German order of battle

8 April  – 10 June 1940 

XXI Gruppe

For the invasion of Denmark and Norway, the German 21st Army Corps was renamed XXI Gruppe (Group). It consisted of two mountain divisions - wise given the Norwegian terrain - and  a number of standard infantry divisions and supporting units. The commanding officer was General der Infanterie Nikolaus von Falkenhorst. His Chief of Staff was Oberst Erich Buschenhagen.

General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst, commander of the German foces.

Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-2006-0529-501 / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Chief of Staff Oberst Erich Buschenhagen

Corps Troops

  • German 730th heavy artillery battalion

2nd Mountain Division

Commanded by Generalleutnant Valentin Feursteinm, the division fought in the northern part of Norway, the 137th Regiment dropped by parachute at Narvik on 15 May. Regiments: 136th & 137th mountain light infantry; 111th mountain artillery.

3rd Mountain Division

Commanded by Generalleutnant Eduard Dietl, Most of this division was landed at Trondheim and Narvik on 9 April. Regiments: 138th & 139th mountain light infantry; 112th mountain artillery.

69th Infantry Division

Commanded by Generalmajor Hermann Tittel, From 9 April through 15 April, divisional elements were transported to Bergen, Stavanger, and Oslo. Regiments: 159th, 193rd, and 236th infantry; 169th artillery.

German Fallschirmjäger (paratroopers) during the Norwegian Campaign.

163rd Infantry Division

Commanded by Generalmajor Erwin Engelbrecht, elements were landed at Oslo, Kristiansand, Arendal, and Stavanger, beginning on 9 April. Regiments: 307th, 310th, and 324th infantry; 234th artillery.

181st Infantry Division

Commanded by Generalmajor Kurt Woytasch, By 15 April, this division had arrived at Trondheim, being primarily transported by aircraft. Regiments: 334th, 349th, and 359th infantry; 222nd artillery.

196th Infantry Division

Commanded by Generalmajor Richard Pellengahr, by 15 April, most of this division had landed at Oslo. Regiments: 340th, 345th, and 362nd infantry; 233rd artillery.

214th Infantry Division

Commanded by Generalmajor Max Horn. It landed at Kristiansand and Arendal on 17 and 18 April.Regiments: 355th, 367th, and 388th infantry; 214th artillery.

170th Infantry Division

Commanded by Generalmajor Walter Wittke, entered Denmark through the southern end of Jutland peninsula on 9 April. Regiments: 391st, 399th, and 401st infantry; 240th artillery.

198th Infantry Division

Commanded by Generalmajor Otto Röttig, it occupied Copenhagen, Zealand, and the southern Danish islands on 9 April. Regiments: 305th, 308th, and 326th infantry; 235th artillery.

German 11th Motorized Rifle Brigade

Commanded by Oberst Günther Angern, This was part of the Denmark invasion force. It was replaced by garrison troops from the 160th Security Division on 13 May, when the brigade was withdrawn for use in the invasion of France. Regiments: 110th and 111th motorized infantry and Panzer Abteilung z.b.V 40.

Organization of Wehrmacht Heer Gruppe XXI during the invasion of Norway and Denmark April 1940.

User:Dmanrock29 - Wikimedia Commons


The Luftwaffe's X Fliegerkorps was commanded by Generalleutnant Hans Ferdinand Geisler and had operational command of all Luftwaffe units participating in Operation Weserübung.

I/German 1st Parachute Regiment which was commanded by Major Erich Walther - Individual companies were used to occupy key airfields in northern Denmark (Aalborg Airport), near Stavanger (Sola Airport), and Oslo (Fornebu Airport).


  • 102 fighters.
  • 233 bombers.
  • 39 dive bombers.
  • 165 reconnaissance aircraft (including float planes).
  • 582 transport aircraft.

Generalleutnant Hans Ferdinand Geisler, commander of Luftwaffe forces in the Norway Campaign.

 Hans-Joachim Jabs stands next to his Bf 110C heavy fighter in Norway: 15 December 1940. The Luftwaffe committed a sizeable force to the Operation Weserübung which vastly outnumbered the Norwegian air force.

Bundesarchiv Bild


The Baltic Sea and Norwegian Waters Naval Group Command West was commanded by Generaladmiral Alfred Saalwächter


Battleship Force – Vizeadmiral Günther Lütjens

  • Gneisenau, Kapitän zur See Harald Netzbandt (damaged 20 June)
  • Scharnhorst, Kapitän zur See Kurt-Caesar Hoffmann (damaged 8 June)

Objective: Narvik Warship Group One – Kapitän zur See and Kommodore Friedrich Bonte ( † 10 April)

Generaladmiral Alfred Saalwächter, commander of the Kriegsmarine forces during the Norwegian Campaign.

First Flotilla (detachment) – Fregattenkapitän Fritz Berger

  • Z2 Georg Thiele (Type 1934) – Korvettenkapitän Max-Eckart Wolff (Flotilla Flagship) (beached 13 April)

Second Flotilla – Fregattenkapitän Erich Bey

  • Z9 Wolfgang Zenker (Type 1934A) – Fregattenkapitän Gottfried Pönitz (Flotilla Flagship) (beached and scuttled 13 April)
  • Z11 Bernd von Arnim (Type 1934A) – Korvettenkapitän Curt Rechel (beached and scuttled 13 April)
  • Z12 Erich Geise (Type 1934A) – Korvettenkapitän Karl Smidt (sunk 13 April)
  • Z13 Erich Koellner (Type 1934A) – Fregattenkapitän Alfred Schulze-Hinrichs (scuttled 13 April, Schulze-Hinrichs (POW))

Third Flotilla – Fregattenkapitän H.-J. Gadow

  • Z17 Diether von Roeder (Type 1936) – Korvettenkapitän Erich Holthof (scuttled 13 April)
  • Z18 Hans Lüdemann (Type 1936) – Korvettenkapitän Herbert Friedrichs (Flotilla Flagship) (scuttled 13 April)
  • Z19 Hermann Künne (Type 1936) – Korvettenkapitän Friedrich Kothe (scuttled 13 April)
  • Z21 Wilhelm Heidkamp (Type 1936) – Korvettenkapitän Hans Erdmenger, (Group One Flagship) (sunk 10 April)
  • Z22 Anton Schmitt (Type 1936) – Korvettenkapitän Friedrich Böhme (sunk 10 April)

The German destroyer Z9 Wolfgang Zenker served in the Norwegian Campaign, eventually being scuttled on 13 April 1940, during the Second Battle of Narvik in Rombaksfjord, Norway, after running out of fuel and ammunition.

 Archiv Kapitänleutnant d. R. Helmut Krummel, Schiffdorf-Wehdel


Advanced HQ/3rd Mountain Division – Generalleutnant Eduard Dietl, 139th Mountain Regiment/3rd Mountain Division – Oberst Windisch, coastal artillery battery (crew only), Naval signals section, Army signals platoon, I Bn/32nd LW Flak Regiment (personnel only)

Landing Group (planned to be at or entering Narvik when Warship Group One was scheduled to arrive.)

  • Bärenfels (cargo ship) (army equipment, guns, and ammunition) – diverted to Bergen and sunk by Fleet Air Arm air attack on 14 April
  • Rauenfels (cargo ship) (army equipment, guns, and ammunition) – sunk by British destroyers Havock and Hostile while entering the Ofotfjord on 10 April.
  • Alster (cargo ship) (motor transport and military stores) – captured by the British destroyer Icarus near Bodø on 10 April

Tanker Group

  • Jan Wellem (tanker) – arrived at Narvik, sunk 13 April
  • Kattegat (tanker) – scuttled by crew after being intercepted by Norwegian patrol boat Nordkapp on 9 April

Objective Trondheim

Admiral Hipper and a destroyer approaching Trondheim.

The heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper, (pictured here in dry dock.). She served in the Norwegian Campaign with her most notable action being the sinking of the British destroyer, HMS Glowworm, A collision between the two ships, resulted in a 40-meter (130 ft) section of the Hipper's armoured belt on the starboard side being torn off.

Warship Group Two – Kapitän zur See Hellmuth Heye,

Admiral Hipper, Kapitän zur See Hellmuth Heye (damaged 8 April)

  1. Destroyer Flotilla – Fregattenkapitän Rudolf von Pufendorf
  • Z5 Paul Jakobi (Type 1934A) – Korvettenkapitän Hans-Georg Zimmer, Flagship of 2. Destroyer Flotilla
  • Z6 Theodor Riedel (Type 1934A) – Korvettenkapitän Gerhardt Böhmig
  • Z8 Bruno Heinemann (Type 1934A) – Korvettenkapitän Hermann Alberts
  • Z16 Friedrich Eckoldt (Type 1934A) – Korvettenkapitän Alfred Schemmel
  • Naval Special Operations Group – Korvettenkapitän Wilhelm Hornack


138th Mountain Regiment/3rd Mountain Division – Oberst Weiss, minus one company on the Lutzow, diverted to Oslo, 1./112th Mountain Artillery Regiment, 1./38th Engineer Battalion, naval signals detachment, army signals platoon, Two Coast Artillery Batteries (crews only), I Bn/611th LW Flak Regiment – personnel only, airbase personnel

Landing Group (Planned to be at or entering Trondheim when Warship Group Two was scheduled to arrive.)

  • Sao Paulo (supply ship) (mined off Bergen on 9 April, mine laid by Norwegian minelayer Tyr),
  • Levante (cargo ship)
  • Main (supply ship) (captured and sunk on 9 April by Norwegian destroyer Draug)

Tanker Group

  • Skagerrak (tanker) (scuttled on 14 April when intercepted by the Royal Navy cruiser Suffolk)
  • Moonsund (tanker) (sunk on 12 April by the British submarine Snapper)

The Carl-Peter, S 19, and S 24 at Bergen, Norway: 12th April 1940. The Carl Peters class was build to support an equip the smaller S-boats with torpedoes, depth charges, ammunition, fuel and fresh water, in addition they were used as floating barracks and hospitals.    Archives E. Skjold


Objective Bergen Warship Group Three – Rear Admiral Hubert Schmundt

  • Köln – Kapitän zur See Ernst Kratzenberg (Flag)
  • Königsberg – Kapitän zur See Heinrich Ruhfus (damaged by Norwegian coastal artillery on 9 April, then sunk by Fleet Air Arm aircraft on 10 April)
  • Bremse Fregattenkapitän Jakob Förschner (damaged by Norwegian coastal artillery on 9 April)
  • Torpedo boat Leopard Kapitänleutnant Hans Trummer (sunk in collision 30 April)
  • Torpedo boat Wolf, Oberleutnant Broder Peters, Flag of 6. Torpedo Boat Flotilla Korvettenkapitän Hans Marks,
  • S-Boatflotilla – Kapitänleutnant Heinz Birnbacher
  • S-Boat-Tender Carl Peters, Kapitänleutnant Otto Hinzke (damaged by Norwegian coastal artillery on 9 April)
  • S19, S21, S22, S23, S24, Schiff 9 (mined off Bergen on 10 April, mine laid by Norwegian minelayer Tyr), Schiff 18 (damaged and beached 25 April)


HQ/69th Infantry Division, 1./169th Engineer Bn, 2./169th Engineer Bn, HQ/159th Infantry Regiment, I./159th infantry Regiment, II./159th infantry Regiment (-5. Company), 159th Band, naval signals section, army signals platoon, two coastal artillery batteries (crews only), I Bn/33rd LW Flak Regiment – personnel only, airbase personnel

Landing Group

  • Rio de Janeiro (troop ship) (torpedoed and sunk off Lillesand by the Polish submarine Orzeł)

Landing Group Stavanger

  • Roda (cargo ship) (captured and sunk on 9 April by Norwegian destroyer Æger)
  • Objectives Kristiansand and Arendal

Objectives Kristiansand and Arendal

A German S boat in Norwegian waters, 1940. The 'S' stood for Schnellboot, meaning "fast boat". The Allies referred to them as 'E-boats'. They were fast, well-armed and robust, excellent at raiding and ambushing unsuspecting merchant ships. Archives Erling Skjold

Warship Group Four – Kapitän zur See Friedrich Rieve

  • Karlsruhe – Kapitän zur See Friedrich Rieve (torpedoed and sunk on 9 April by the British submarine Truant on return voyage to Germany)
  • Torpedo boat Luchs – Kapitänleutnant Karl Kassbaum, flagship of Kapitän zur See Hans Bütow (F.d.T. = Leader of T-Boats),
  • Torpedo boat Greif – Kapitänleutnant Wilhelm-Nikolaus Freiherr von Lyncker, flagship Korvettenkapitän Wolf Henne, leader of 5. Torpedo Boat Flotilla),
  • Torpedo boat Seeadler – Kapitänleutnant Franz Kohlauf,
  • S-Boat-Flotilla – Korvettenkapitän Rudolf Petersen
  • S-Boat-Tender Tsingtau – Kapitän zur See Carl Klingner
  • S7, S8, S17, S30, S31, S32, S33


HQ/310th Infantry Regiment, I/310th Infantry Regiment, 9 Co./310th Infantry Regiment, 234th Bicycle Infantry Co., naval signals platoon, two coastal artillery batteries (crews only)

Objectives Oslo and Oslofjord Warship Group Five – Rear Admiral Oskar Kummetz Objective Oslo

  • Blücher – Kapitän zur See Heinrich Woldag, flagship (sunk 9 April by the Norwegian coastal fortress Oscarsborg in the Oslofjord)
  • Lützow – Kapitän zur See August Thiele (damaged by Oscarsborg 9 April, then torpedoed and further damaged by Spearfish on 11 April, during the return voyage to Germany)
  • Emden – Kapitän zur See Werner Lange
  • R18
  • R19
  • Rau 8

Objectives Son and Moss

  • Torpedo boat Möwe – Kapitänleutnant Helmut Neuss

S-Boats moored at Stavanger, Norway. A key objective of the German invasion was the securing of major Norwegian ports to ensure the transportation of vital iron ore from neutral Sweden to Germany could continue uninterrupted .

Archives Johan Aakre

Objective Horten

  • Torpedo boat Albatros – Kapitänleutnant Siegfried Strelow (grounded and wrecked 10 April while under fire from Norwegian coastal artillery)
  • Torpedo boat Kondor – Kapitänleutnant Hans Wilcke
  • R17 (sunk 9 April by Norwegian warships Olav Tryggvason and Rauma)
  • R22 (damaged by Olav Tryggvason and Rauma)
  • Rau 7

Objective Rauøy Island

  • R20
  • R24

Objective Bolærne Island

  • R22
  • R23

Objective Egersund Cable Station

Warship Group Six – Korvettenkapitän Kurt Thoma, 2 Minehunting Flotilla

  • M-1, M-2, M-9, M-13

Objectives Korsör and Nyborg Warship Group Seven – Kapitän zur See Gustav Kleikamp

  • Schleswig-Holstein – Kapitän zur See Gustav Kleikamp
  • Claus von Bevern (mine warfare trial ship, ex minesweeper/large torpedo boat)
  • Pelikan (mine warfare trial ship, ex minesweeper)
  • Nautilus (mine warfare trial ship, ex minesweeper)
  • Campinas (cargo ship)
  • Cordoba (cargo ship)
  • MRS 12 (minesweeper)
  • School Flotilla of Commander in Chief Baltic Approaches
  • Six armed fishing trawlers – Fregattenkapitän Dr. Oskar Dannenberg

Objectives Copenhagen Warship Group Eight – Korvettenkapitän Wilhelm Schroeder

  • Hansestadt Danzig (minelayer) – Korvettenkapitän Wilhelms Schroeder
  • Stettin (icebreaker)

Warship Group Eight supported in the waters of the Belt by 13. Patron-Flotilla – Kapitänleutnant Dr. Walther Fischer

German horse-drawn artillery with a leFH 18 10.5cm howitzer near Oslo, 14 April 1940. Despite the image of the German army being predominately mechanized, most of their heavy equipment was horse drawn.

Objectives Middelfart and Belt Bridge Warship Group Nine – Kapitän zur See Helmut Leissner, F.d.V.O

  • Rugard (cargo ship), flagship of F.d.V.O,
  • Arkona (M115), Otto Braun (M129), Cressida, Silvia, R6, R7 (minesweepers)
  • UJ 107 (ASW patrol craft)
  • Passat, Monsun (Tugs)


Objectives Esbjerg and Nordby Warship Group Ten – Kapitän zur See and Kommodore Friedrich Ruge F.d.M. West

  • Königin Luise (F6) (patrol craft)
  1. Minehunter Flotilla – Korvettenkapitän Karl Marguth
  • KFK M1201, KFK M1202, KFK M1203, KFK M1204, KFK M1205, KFK M1206, KFK M1207, KFK M1208, M4, M20, M84, M102 (minesweepers)
  1. Minesweeper Flotilla – Korvettenkapitän Gert von Kamptz
  • R25, R26, R27, R28, R29, R30, R31, R32 (R boat minesweepers)


Objective Thyborön 'Warship Group Eleven – Korvettenkapitän Walter Berger 4. Minehunter Flotilla – Korvettenkapitän Walter Berger

  • M-61, M-89, M-110, M-111, M-134, M-136 (minesweepers)
  1. Minesweeper Flotilla – Kapitänleutnant Hagen Küster
  • R 33, R 34, R 35, R 36, R 37, R 38, R 39, R 40 (minesweepers)
  • Von Der Groeben – Oberleutnant zur See Gustav Czycholl (R boat tender)

Mine Sweeper Covering Group Laying minefields to the Skagerrak to protect the German resupply route to southern Norway.

  • Schlesien (pre-dreadnought battleship)

Minelaying Group – Kapitän zur See Kurt Böhmer:

  • Roland – Korvettenkapitän Karl von Kutzleben (minelayer)
  • Cobra – Kapitänleutnant Dr. Ing. Karl-Friedrich Brill (minelayer)
  • Preussen – Korvettenkapitän Karl Freiherr von der Recke (minelayer)
  • Königin Luise – Kapitänleutnant Kurt Foerster
  • M6, M10, M11, M12 (minesweepers fitted to lay mines)

U-Boat Force Force – Rear Admiral Karl Dönitz

U-Boat Group One Patrol area: Narvik, Harstad, Vestfjord, Vågsfjord

  • U-25, U-46, U-51, U-64 (sunk 13 April), U-65

U-Boat Group Two Patrol area: Trondheim, Namsos, Romsdalsfjord

  • U-30, U-34

U-Boat Group Three Patrol area: Bergen, Ålesund, Shetland Islands

  • U-9, U-14, U-56, U-60, U-62

U-Boat Group Four Patrol area: Stavanger

  • U-1 (sunk c. 6 April), U-4

U-Boat Group Five Patrol area: East of the Shetland Islands, Vågsfjord, Trondheim

  • U-37, U-38, U-47, U-48, U-49 (sunk 15 April), U-50 (sunk 6 April)

U-Boat Group Six Patrol area: Pentland, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands

  • U-13 (sunk 31 May), U-57, U-58, U-59

U-Boat Group Seven Never assembled

U-Boat Group Eight Patrol area: Lindesnes, Egersund

  • U-2, U-3, U-5, U-6

U-Boat Group Nine Patrol area: Bergen, Shetland Islands

  • U-7, U-10, U-19

Unassigned to a group Operating in the area of the Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands, and Bergen

  • U-17, U-23, U-24, U-61

The U-64, a type IXB U-boat, which has left port in Wilhelmshaven for operations off the Norwegian coast in 1940. In April 1940 the vessel was attacked by a Swordfish of 700 Squadron from HMS Warspite in Herjangsfjord / Narvik and lost with 2 hands. The crew were rescued by German mountain troopers and adopted the Edelweiss badge when they took over command of their new U-boat U-124, which eventually became the fourth most successful boat of the war.