Norwegian order of battle

8 April  – 10 June 1940 


The Norwegian army numbered around 55-60,000 men, not all of whom were mobilised at the start of the campaign due to the speed of the German forces which caught the Norwegians off guard. Thus, some Norwegian units were not up to full-strength.

In contrast to divisions fielded by the Allied and German forces, the most powerful Norwegian military formation was the regiment (the Norwegian division was more of an administration unit). Each Norwegian regiment was supposed to have two infantry battalions and one landvern (militia) battalion. Each regiment should have a strength of 3, 750 men and each battalion 1,250 soldiers.

The Norwegian forces were initially commanded by General Kristian Laake before he was replaced by Colonel Otto Ruge on 11 April 1940.

General Kristian Laake

Colonel Otto Ruge

Norwegian Army

The Royal Guards battalion – based in Oslo and Elverum, the only unit in Southern Norway that received proper training during the inter-war years.

1st Division – This division had its headquarters in Halden and was commanded by Major-General Carl Johan Erichsen.

  • 1st Infantry Regiment (based in Fredrikstad)
  • 2nd Infantry Regiment (based in Oslo)
  • 3rd Infantry Regiment (based in Kongsberg)

2nd Division – This division had its headquarters in Oslo and was commanded by Major-General Jacob Hvinden Haug.

  • 4th Infantry Regiment (based in Trandum)
  • 5th Infantry Regiment (based in Elverum)
  • 6th Infantry Regiment (based in Hønefoss)

3rd Division – This division had its headquarters in Kristiansand and was commanded by Major-General Einar Liljedahl.

  • 7th Infantry Regiment (based in Kristiansand)
  • 8th Infantry Regiment (based in Stavanger)

Norwegian Østerdalen, Eastern Norway, 1940.

4th Division – This division had its headquarters in Bergen and was commanded by Major-General William Steffens.

  • 9th Infantry Regiment (based in Bergen)
  • 10th Infantry Regiment (based in Voss)

5th Division – This division had its headquarters in Trondheim, and was commanded by Major-General Jacob Ager Laurantzon.

  • 11th Infantry Regiment (based in Åndalsnes)
  • 12th Infantry Regiment (based in Trondheim)
  • 13th Infantry Regiment (based in Steinkjer)

6th Division – This division had its headquarters in Harstad, and was commanded by Major-General Carl Gustav Fleischer. The division was better prepared for war than any other unit of the Norwegian Army as it had been mobilised and kept on duty during the Finnish Winter War.

  • 14th Infantry Regiment (based in Mosjøen)
  • 15th Infantry Regiment (based at Elvegårdsmoen)
  • 16th Infantry Regiment (based in Tromsø and Bardufoss)

During the campaign, the 6th Division formed two light infantry brigades. The 6th Brigade was initially commanded by Colonel Kristian Løken, and from 9 May by Lieutenant Colonel Ole Berg, and the 7th Brigade, commanded by Colonel Wilhelm Faye.

Norwegian machine gun crew in Dirdal, Norway 1940.

Additional units – These were additional units not organised into divisions.

  • 1st Dragoon Regiment (based at Gardermoen, including Norway's only tank)
  • 2nd Dragoon Regiment (based in Hamar)
  • 3rd Dragoon Regiment (based in Rindleiret, Verdal)
  • 1st Artillery Regiment (based in Ski)
  • 2nd Artillery Regiment (based at Gardermoen)
  • 3rd Artillery Regiment (based in Trondheim/Stjørdal)
  • 1st Mountain Artillery Battalion (based in Evje)
  • 2nd Mountain Artillery Battalion (based in Voss)
  • 3rd Mountain Artillery Battalion (based in Bardufoss)
  • Alta Battalion (based at Altagård in Alta)
  • Varanger Battalion (based in Kirkenes, with training grounds at Nyborgmoen near Varangerbotn)

At the time of the German invasion, only the following Norwegian land units were mobilised and available for deployment.

  • The Oslo battalion of the Royal Guards
  • 4 regiments of the 1st and 2nd Divisions
  • 3 battalions of the 3rd Division
  • 5 battalion for the 4th Division
  • Only about 2 battalions and a company of 5th Division
  • The 6th Division
  • Three landvern companies at Horten, Haugesund and on various fortresses in the Oslofjord.
  • One artillery battalion at Fredrikstad, and another one in the extreme north.
  • One artillery battery at Gardermoen, and two more in the extreme north.
  • One mountain artillery battery at Evjemoen
  • One engineer company near Madla
  • Partially mobilised elements of the 3rd Dragoon Regiment at the outskirts of Trondheim
  • A company of volunteers at Hegra
  • The Alta and Varanger Battalions

Norwegian soldiers manning a roadblock.

Norwegian Army Air Service

At the outbreak of the German invasion, the Norwegian Army Air Service consisted of:[6]

  • 11 Gloster Gladiator biplane fighters (7 operational)
  • 3 Armstrong Whitworth Scimitar biplane fighters (not operational due to maintenance)
  • 4 Caproni Ca.310 monoplane reconnaissance/bombers (3 operational)
  • 25 Fokker C.V-D reconnaissance/bomber biplanes (24 operational)
  • 16 Fokker C.V-E reconnaissance/bomber biplanes (16 operational)
  • 29 de Havilland Tiger Moth biplane trainers (26 operational)
  • 3 de Havilland DH.60 Moth biplane trainers (not operational due to maintenance)
  • 6 Curtiss P-36 Hawk monoplane fighters (not operational as still under assembly)

By the end of the campaign, all of the Norwegian Army Air Service's aircraft were either shot down, destroyed or captured, apart from two Fokker C.Vs and one Tiger Moth that escaped to Finland on 8 June 1940. Although there where plans to form a Norwegian unit in Finland - to be commanded by a Captain Ole Reistad, the aircraft were implemented into the Finish Air Force instead.

One of the main fighters available to the Norwegian Air Force at the time of the German invasion in 1940 was the British made Gloster Gladiator. However, only available in small numbers and outdated compared to the German machines, they could do little to prevent the German invasion. The pictured aircraft has been adapted for use in Norwegian conditions.

Royal Norwegian Navy

The Royal Norwegian Navy during the campaign consisted of:

2 Eidsvold-class coastal defence ships:[8]

  • Eidsvold (sunk 9 April), Norge (sunk 9 April)

7 destroyers:[9]

  • Three Draug-class: Troll (captured 18 May), Garm (sunk 26 April) and Draug (evacuated to the United Kingdom 9 April).
  • Four Sleipner-class: Æger (sunk 9 April), Sleipner (evacuated to the United Kingdom 25 April), Gyller and Odin (both captured 9 April)
  • Two incomplete Sleipner-class destroyers: Tor (scuttled 9 April) and Balder (captured 9 April)

11 minelayers

  • Five Vale-class: Vale (captured 13 May), Uller (captured 9 April, sunk by Norwegian forces 1 May), Brage (captured 9 April), Nor (captured 14 April), Vidar (captured 14 April)
  • Two Gor-class: Gor (captured 13 May), Tyr (captured 20 April),
  • Two Glommen-class: Glommen (captured 14 April), Laugen (captured 14 April),
  • Two unique vessels: Frøya (scuttled 13 April), Olav Tryggvason (captured 9 April)

8 minesweepers

  • Two Otra-class: Otra (captured 10 April) and Rauma (captured 9 April)
  • Six rebuilt 2. class torpedo boats: Djerv (scuttled 2 May), Dristig (scuttled 2 May), Hvas (captured 11 April), Kjæk (captured 12 April), Falk (captured 12 April), Hauk (captured 9 April)

HNoMS (His Norwegian Majesty's Ship), A coastal defence ship of the Royal Norwegian Navy. She was sunk at the battle of Narvik, 1940.

9 submarines

  • Three A class: A-2 (damaged and run aground 9 April), A-3 (scuttled 16 April), A-4 (scuttled 16 April)
  • Six B class: B-1 (evacuated to the United Kingdom 8 June), B-2 (captured 11 April), B-3 (scuttled 10 June), B-4 (captured 10 April), B-5 (captured 9 April), B-6 (captured 18 May)

17 torpedo boats

  • Three Trygg-class: Trygg (sunk 25 April), Snøgg (captured 5 May), Stegg (sunk 20 April)
  • Six 1. class: Brand (captured 9 April), Laks (captured 13 April), Sæl (sunk 18 April), Storm (wrecked 12/13 April), Sild (scuttled 5 May), Skrei (scuttled 8 May)
  • Eight 2. class: Grib (scuttled 17 April), Jo (scuttled 17 April), Kjell (captured 11 April), Lom (captured 9 April), Ravn (scuttled 17 April), Skarv (captured 9 April), Teist (scuttled 14 April), Ravn (captured 9 April)

58 patrol boats, including:

  • Fridtjof Nansen (evacuated to the United Kingdom 8 June), Heimdal (evacuated to the United Kingdom 8 June), Honningsvåg (captured from the Germans 13 April, evacuated to the United Kingdom 7 June), Nordkapp (evacuated to the United Kingdom 8 June), SS Oster (captured 22 May), Pol III (captured 14 April), Thorodd (evacuated to the United Kingdom 8 June)

Sailors of the Norwegian Navy manning 4" guns on their destroyer.

On June 7th, thirteen ships and 500 men from the Royal Norwegian Navy escaped to the United Kingdom to continue the fight. As the war progressed, they were joined by other Norwegians – those who were already living abroad, civilian sailors – or others who had avoided capture.

Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service

The Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service consisted of:[14]

  • 6 Heinkel He 115 seaplane reconnaissance torpedo bombers (all operational)
  • 1 Marinens Flyvebaatfabrikk M.F.12 biplane trainer aircraft (non-operational as undergoing repairs)
  • 1 Junkers Ju 52 seaplane bomber (non-operational as undergoing maintenance)
  • 20 Marinens Flyvebaatfabrikk M.F.11 biplane reconnaissance seaplane (17 operational, 3 undergoing maintenance)
  • 3 Marinens Flyvebaatfabrikk M.F.10 biplane trainer seaplane (two operational, one undergoing maintenance)
  • 5 Marinens Flyvebaatfabrikk M.F.8 biplane trainer seaplane (two operational, three undergoing maintenance)
  • 6 Douglas DT2B/C torpedo bomber biplanes (two operational, one undergoing maintenance and three not mobilized)
  • 4 Breda Ba.25 biplane trainer aircraft (non-operational as all undergoing maintenance)

Heinkel He 115A-2 (He 115N) F.60 of the Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service.

Of the Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service's fleet of aircraft, four Heinkel He 115s were evacuated to the United Kingdom at the end of the campaign, while one He 115 and three Marinens Flyvebaatfabrikk M.F.11s were flown to Finland and taken over by the Finnish Air Force.