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pre-invasion defenses at Stavanger
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Author:  Lancer4321 [ 09 Apr 2013 20:51 ]
Post subject:  pre-invasion defenses at Stavanger

I am an amateur historian and designer of conflict simulations. I am currently working on a project about the German invasion of Norway in 1940 and am hoping someone who frequents this site may be able to assist with my research.

I am trying to find information about the Norwegian coastal defenses which were in place BEFORE the Germans invaded (in other words, those defenses which Norway constructed before the invasion to defend itself, *NOT* those facilities built by the Germans after they had already occupied the country). I have been able to obtain reasonably detailed data about the coastal artillery sites at most of the major Norwegian port cities, including Trondheim, Bergen, Kristiansand, the approaches to Oslo, and the proposed but still incomplete defenses planned for Narvik. However, I have been unable to find any conclusive information about whether there were (or were not) any coastal artillery emplacements in or around Stavanger.

I would greatly appreciate any assistance or information anyone might provide.

Thank you.

Author:  Lancer4321 [ 02 May 2013 6:31 ]
Post subject:  Re: pre-invasion defenses at Stavanger

Just following up on my original post, in case anyone is interested.

After waiting about two weeks I received a reply to a similar enquiry I made to the Oscarsborg museum. According to their historian (Tor Hovland, former commander of the Oscarsborg fortress) there were NO costal artillery installations at Stavanger prior to the April 9 invasion. Apparently this puzzled the museum staff and they did some further research, providing the following translated quote from a study published in 1999 by the Coastal Officer's Union, edited by Commander Odd T. Fjell:

"Priorities would set counties like Rogaland, Sogn and Fjordane and Møre and Romsdal open regarding defending the areas. These areas was not regarded as crucial counties regarding resources. I addition they lacked a developed railway network, which at that time was regarded a strong benefit for the defenders."

Then, later this week, I received a follow-up message to my post here from Erik, who confirmed that aside from a small number of infantry strongpoints that I'd already known about (eight concrete reinforced machine gun nests, which were not manned on a permanent basis), there were nothing beyond some vague future plans for coastal artillery in the Stavanger area.

While it's good to have finally gotten some reliable data on the lack of coastal artillery at Stavanger, it still leaves me wondering why the Germans elected to seize the port and nearby Sola airfield using roughly half of their scarce airborne assets (two of the four companies of paratroops allocated to Weserubung) when the maritime approaches to the town were completely undefended.

I can only surmise that either the German planners had no idea that Stavanger was so vulnerable to amphibious assault, or that they were concerned that it would take the landing force too long to march from Stavanger to the all important airfield at Sola, affording the Norwegian military time to organize a defense of that vital facility. It's too bad we'll probably never know.

Author:  Arquebus [ 03 May 2013 11:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: pre-invasion defenses at Stavanger

Lancer4321 wrote:
I can only surmise that either the German planners had no idea that Stavanger was so vulnerable to amphibious assault, or that they were concerned that it would take the landing force too long to march from Stavanger to the all important airfield at Sola, affording the Norwegian military time to organize a defense of that vital facility. It's too bad we'll probably never know.


The Norwegian and British navy was probably also a factor to consider, and the German ship "Roda" heading for the port of Stavanger was sunk by the Norwegian destroyer "Æger" at the April 9. 1940.

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