Invasion of Norway World War 1

What if Norway was drawn into World War One in a similar way to how it was in World War Two?

I was reading Jellicoe’s book on the Grand Fleet and there’s a line about the uncertainty on the German fleet’s movements. The Royal Navy had to guard against an attack on English Channel ports, but also it seems Jellicoe was concerned the High Seas Fleet would take station at Trondheim where it routinely conducted exercises in peacetime. I would have thought that the Royal Navy would have been perfectly happy with the High Seas Fleet sailing hundreds of miles away from Germany to operate out of a port without logistical support, but Jellicoe took the threat of German bases in Norway seriously enough to dispatch cruisers to scout out the Norwegian coast.

What if these concerns/threats materialized in OTL and Norway was invaded? Norway has many choice fjords for bases for either alliance to wage commerce war. I don’t think Norway had the military strength to enforce its neutrality by evicting any foreign squadron that posts up in a Norwegian fjord, but I also don’t think the Allies or Germany had large enough contingents of rapidly-deployable marines to secure anything but the immediate vicinity of their naval base, so the situation might become very chaotic. Whose side would Norway take?
 
Unlike WW2 in WW1 Norway is actually doing armed neutrality. The Norwegians have a lot of torpedo boats and coastal guns with 25ish years less wear than they had in 1940, and most of it's manned. The RN has the ships to spare if it gets to Norway without the HSF sortieing but it'll take casualties.
 
Without much in the way of aircraft, is the larger RN not in a far better position?

What do you mean? The relative sizes between fleets was smaller in World War 1 than WW2, and when I think of “ships sunk by air attack” during the Norwegian campaign of OTL, I think of the sinking of the German cruisers Konigsburg by British aircraft, it wasn’t like convoys off Malta or the invasion of Crete where the Royal Navy really suffered losses under air attack.
 
What do you mean? The relative sizes between fleets was smaller in World War 1 than WW2, and when I think of “ships sunk by air attack” during the Norwegian campaign of OTL, I think of the sinking of the German cruisers Konigsburg by British aircraft, it wasn’t like convoys off Malta or the invasion of Crete where the Royal Navy really suffered losses under air attack.
Without any ju52s the FJ might not be that good at actually getting to Norway.....?

Also, RN would be far more willing to come south without bombers to actually fight off souther Norway, and It's still far larger even if they are both larger than WWII?
 
Without any ju52s the FJ might not be that good at actually getting to Norway.....?

Also, RN would be far more willing to come south without bombers to actually fight off souther Norway, and It's still far larger even if they are both larger than WWII?

The bulk the German invasion force in WW2 came by sea, didn’t it? I didn’t think that paratroopers were a decisive factor. And I do wonder what a clash of the fleets in 1914 would look like.
 
Unlike WW2 in WW1 Norway is actually doing armed neutrality. The Norwegians have a lot of torpedo boats and coastal guns with 25ish years less wear than they had in 1940, and most of it's manned. The RN has the ships to spare if it gets to Norway without the HSF sortieing but it'll take casualties.

Do you think Norway would resist if Britain demanded access for bases? I thought Norway was a bit of a British client state, like Greece’s relationship to the Allies, and Greece let the Allies use the island of Lemnos for the Gallipoli campaign and Salonica for the Macedonian front.
 
Do you think Norway would resist if Britain demanded access for bases? I thought Norway was a bit of a British client state, like Greece’s relationship to the Allies, and Greece let the Allies use the island of Lemnos for the Gallipoli campaign and Salonica for the Macedonian front.
The Norwegians were indeed relatively friendly with the British. Most of what I know is from WW2 so this could be wrong but I know they sold iron to the Entente in WW1 and in WW2 the opinion of the government was that the right side was the British side. No clue what Norway's relations with Imperial Germany were at the time.
 
The Norwegians were indeed relatively friendly with the British. Most of what I know is from WW2 so this could be wrong but I know they sold iron to the Entente in WW1 and in WW2 the opinion of the government was that the right side was the British side. No clue what Norway's relations with Imperial Germany were at the time.
Early WW1 the Norwegians tended to trade on commercial terms. They sold a lot of fish, nitrates copper, nickel and pyrite to the Germans and a lot of iron, fish and cargo services to the Entente.

In late 1916 the British issued an ultimatum to the Norwegians to cut off trade with the Germans. This was accepted in early 1917.

EDIT I'm not sure if the ultimatum would have been accepted if it wasn't for the cost that unrestricted submarine warfare was taking on the Norwegian cargo fleet. A lot of more modern Norwegian historians tend to take the view that the Norwegian position from 1917 on was the case throughout the war and call Norway a neutral ally through the war. They were definitely pro ally later on but not that early.
 
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In late 1916 the British issued an ultimatum to the Norwegians to cut off trade with the Germans. This was accepted in early 1917.

Do you think if such an ultimatum would have been effective earlier? Or would the trade going to Germany just be routed through Sweden the same way trade from America to German was routed through Sweden/Denmark/Holland?

I'm not sure if the ultimatum would have been accepted if it wasn't for the cost that unrestricted submarine warfare was taking on the Norwegian cargo fleet.

What would refusing the ultimatum look like? I thought Britain was going to cut off coal to Norway in the winter if they didn’t comply and the Norwegian government thought there might be a socialist uprising if living conditions got worse. I thought as far as coal went Germany was reasonably self sufficient but I don’t know if they had enough to spare to Norway.
 

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Do you think Norway would resist if Britain demanded access for bases? I thought Norway was a bit of a British client state, like Greece’s relationship to the Allies, and Greece let the Allies use the island of Lemnos for the Gallipoli campaign and Salonica for the Macedonian front.
I don't know if the situation would go that far, but by basic geography, the Norwegians were more economically tied to the British Isles, just as the Swedes were to the Germans.
Also for consideration (our Scandinavian posters would know more), by 1914, the Norwegians still had some recent memory of the potential re-conquista (real or contingent) by the Swedes following independence in 1905. As noted by CV(N)-6 earlier, the forts were manned, artillery and ammo was newer, and the soldiers were perhaps better trained than the 1940 version.

Supply ships (for U-Boats and surface raiders) moving about the northern fjords would be still another headache and an resource sink for the RN to bottle up in 1914.
 
Do you think if such an ultimatum would have been effective earlier? Or would the trade going to Germany just be routed through Sweden the same way trade from America to German was routed through Sweden/Denmark/Holland?
I'm sure some trade could be rerouted but I don't believe that it would have been large scale. Remember Swedish trade with Germany was insured through Lloyds of London. Britain knew what was being shipped where and when.

What would refusing the ultimatum look like? I thought Britain was going to cut off coal to Norway in the winter if they didn’t comply and the Norwegian government thought there might be a socialist uprising if living conditions got worse. I thought as far as coal went Germany was reasonably self sufficient but I don’t know if they had enough to spare to Norway.
I've just gone and checked this. The ultimatum was issued on 18 December 1916 and a coal embargo went into force on 22 December 1916. British demands weren't accepted till mid February 1917. I had guessed that the British would have struggled to follow through and that if Norway increased fish trade with Germany then Britain would fold.

Prior to this agreements between Norway and Britain had limited fish exports to Germany at 15% of the total catch.
 
Do you think Norway would resist if Britain demanded access for bases? I thought Norway was a bit of a British client state, like Greece’s relationship to the Allies, and Greece let the Allies use the island of Lemnos for the Gallipoli campaign and Salonica for the Macedonian front.
Norway is a lot closer to Germany than the UK, so unless the uk stations the bulk of the fleet in Norway, Norway will always be open to retaliation by the HSF.
So yeah, I think the Norwegians would most stridently protest and refuse.
 
I'm not sure if the ultimatum would have been accepted if it wasn't for the cost that unrestricted submarine warfare was taking on the Norwegian cargo fleet. A lot of more modern Norwegian historians tend to take the view that the Norwegian position from 1917 on was the case throughout the war and call Norway a neutral ally through the war. They were definitely pro ally later on but not that early.
To quote the International Encyclopedia of the First World War.
Foreign Minister Løvland outlined a foreign policy rooted in a perception of Norway’s geographical remoteness from the areas of conflict on the European continent, and “a wish to be left alone in order to get on with building a new nation”.[13] The policy focused on active international trade relations. Neutrality became the cornerstone of this policy, with an emphasis on no “political alliances that might drag the country into other peoples’ wars.”[14] However, it is also important to stress that at heart the Norwegians believed that Britain would protect the country and its economic assets in the case of a European war between the great powers. Thus, in 1914, Norwegian foreign policy was understood to be essentially trade policy, and the Norwegians were well aware that they were within the British sphere of influence.
 
Norway is going to take the side of whoever didn't invade them - they were pro-neutrality much more than pro-British.

Norway and Sweden had also agreed to support each other in the event of invasion, so any German attacks would have to come before that - the Germans are not going to risk their Swedish iron supplies in exchange for better basing for raiders.
 
Norway is a lot closer to Germany than the UK, so unless the uk stations the bulk of the fleet in Norway, Norway will always be open to retaliation by the HSF.
So yeah, I think the Norwegians would most stridently protest and refuse.
Depends where in Norway!
 
Norway is a lot closer to Germany than the UK, so unless the uk stations the bulk of the fleet in Norway, Norway will always be open to retaliation by the HSF.
So yeah, I think the Norwegians would most stridently protest and refuse.

Is it? I think the distance from the points in Norway closest to Germany is roughly the same as the distance from the points in Norway closest to Scotland, at somewhat under 300 miles. Also when it comes to “retaliation” against a theoretical Allied Norway, that ~300 mile distance is roughly the distance from Germany to the ports in eastern England like Yarmouth which were the target of the tip-and-run battlecruiser raids. The Royal Navy doesn’t need to be in Norway to cut off the High Sea Fleet on its way home, the geometry is such that it’s just as easy for the Grand Fleet from Scapa Flow and Rosyth to block raids on Kristiansand as Scarborough. That is, unless the High Seas Fleet is returning through the Great Belt and jeopardizing Danish neutrality. Of course, the corollary of what I just said is also true, if the Grand Fleet gets based out of Norway they might do just as good a job defending the English coast as they did up in remote Scapa Flow, while doing a better job blockading.
 
What if Norway was drawn into World War One in a similar way to how it was in World War Two?

I was reading Jellicoe’s book on the Grand Fleet and there’s a line about the uncertainty on the German fleet’s movements. The Royal Navy had to guard against an attack on English Channel ports, but also it seems Jellicoe was concerned the High Seas Fleet would take station at Trondheim where it routinely conducted exercises in peacetime. I would have thought that the Royal Navy would have been perfectly happy with the High Seas Fleet sailing hundreds of miles away from Germany to operate out of a port without logistical support, but Jellicoe took the threat of German bases in Norway seriously enough to dispatch cruisers to scout out the Norwegian coast.

What if these concerns/threats materialized in OTL and Norway was invaded? Norway has many choice fjords for bases for either alliance to wage commerce war. I don’t think Norway had the military strength to enforce its neutrality by evicting any foreign squadron that posts up in a Norwegian fjord, but I also don’t think the Allies or Germany had large enough contingents of rapidly-deployable marines to secure anything but the immediate vicinity of their naval base, so the situation might become very chaotic. Whose side would Norway take?
Maybe there would be a resistance led by Fridtjof Nansen against the Germans.
 
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