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A radio announcer: "It was about dawn, that the first reports came in saying that German troops have crossed the frontier into Denmark. At the same time attacks were being delivered from the sea at some of Norway's biggest ports. The Oslo radio is still working."

As part of the policy of 'distant war' the Allies wanted to engage the Nazis away from the usual fields of conflict in western Europe, but still be able to hurt the Nazis' plans for expansion. It was in Norway that it was decided to engage the Nazis. It was hoped this would stop vital supplies of Iron ore bound for the Nazi war machine, which was obtained from neutral Sweden and then transported to the Norwegian port of Narvik. The ore would then be shipped through neutral Norwegian waters to Germany.

The taking of Norway would not only stop the Nazis but would allow Britain and France to support Finland against the Soviet Union, who had invaded Finland on 30th November, 1939. The Soviet army, ravaged by experienced officers in the Stalinist purges, came across strong Finnish opposition and suffered defeat in its first efforts to subdue the Finns. This exposed the Red Army's weakness caused by those purges, and something that Hitler noted. But further attacks on Finland finally resulted in victory for the Soviets.

On 20th January 1940, the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill made a radio broadcast from London. The broadcast informed the nation of the 'War Situation' after the first five months of the conflict. He end the broadcast with : "The day will come when the joybells will ring again throughout Europe, and when victorious nations, masters not only of their foes but of themselves, will plan and build in justice, in tradition, and in freedom a house of many mansions where there will be room for all." (The complete speech).

On 6th April, 1940, Hitler invaded Norway meeting little resistance, much to do with the devastation of Warsaw in Poland, which resulted in opposing Hitler's war machine. Norway did not want to experience what the Polish cities and people had endured. Norway would face Nazi occupation for the rest of the war.

British and French forces met German opposition at Narvik, and although the German Navy took a serious beating it made little difference. The British and French forces were lightly equipped compared to a well equipped German army, with the all important artillery and air support, something the Allies lacked. The Allies invasion of Norway was repelled, and many POW's were captured, some were taken back to Berlin and displayed before Hitler, and others were used by the Nazi propaganda machine.

The Norwegian Campaign was an attempt to stop Norway falling into German hands, but it led to Hitler gaining Norway. The disaster in Norway led to the downfall of the British government, when in the House of Commons during the 'Norway debate' (7th/8th of May 1940), determined the downfall of Chamberlain.

Lord Halifax was favourite to lead a new coalition government, but he was not considered to be a wartime leader. Winston Churchill, the First Lord of the Admiralty, was the other choice but was considered an adventurer. It would be 'behind the door' politics in the corridors of power that would determine Chamberlain's recommendation to the King for Britain's next Prime Minister.

Chamberlain (The British PM): "I sought an audience with the king, tendered to him my resignation, which his Majesty has been pleased to accept."

That evening Chamberlain went to the palace and resigned, his recommendation to King George VI, as his successor as Britain's Prime Minister, was Winston Churchill. King George VI sent for Churchill who excepted the post of Britain's new Prime Minister. At dawn the Nazis invaded the low countries striking at Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg.

A Radio announcer: "This is the BBC home service. The German army invaded Belgium and Holland early this morning by land and landing from parachutes. The armies of the low countries are resisting. Their appeals for help have been to the Allied governments and Allied troops are moving to their support."

Winston Churchill made his first speech as Prime Minister in the House of Commons on 13th May 1940. (The complete speech). On the 19th May 1940, Churchill made his first radio address to the British people. : "Having received his Majesty's commission. I have formed an administration of men and women from every party and from nearly every point of view. We have differed and quarrelled in the past, but now one bond unites us all, to wage war until victory is won. And never to surrender ourselves to servitude and shame. What ever the cost maybe." On the 13th May 1940, Winston Churchill made his first speech as Prime Minister in the House of Commoms and stated : "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat." (The complete broadcast).

Defeat by the Nazis in Norway can now be seen as a blessing in disguise, as victory in Norway would have put the Allies face to face against the Soviet Union. But a series of events would lead to the Soviet Union becoming Allies with the British and French against the Nazis, which would be one of the turning points of the conflict. But it could have been so different.

In the meantime what the Allies had feared had now become a reality, as the Nazis had unleashed 'Blitzkrieg' on the old battle grounds of western Europe. The French and British Expeditionary Force advanced to meet the on coming threat from the Nazis, moving straight into the trap that Hitler had contrived. Another disaster was about to happen.

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For those visitors that have entered to this site, directly to this page, we would like to inform you that this page is part of a series of pages, within a section that acts as a backdrop to 'The Puzzle' project. 'The Puzzle' is a musical project that looks at different events from the 20th-21st Century.

This section is part of the 'World War II' zone. 'A Promise Of Peace' tells the story, in chronological order, of World War II.

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