Battle of Norway DVD Review by Blaine Taylor

Battle of Norway DVD Review by Blaine Taylor

This is an exciting, full-length, German-made wartime documentary on World War II's first amphibious blitzkrieg/lightning war campaign of either side in the Western Theater of Operations.

The German invasion of Norway preceded one also planned by the Allies---Great Britain and France---by a mere matter of days, as the Nazis literally got there first, with Denmark thrown in for good measure. The major goal of what was also the first arctic campaign of the war was to secure the route of neutral Sweden's all-important iron ore through Norway to Germany that was vital for the Third Reich's war economy.

The campaign began as an initiative of the German Navy that---ironically, although Norway was taken---suffered a major naval defeat at Narvik at the hands of the British Royal Navy, from which it never recovered.

Tiny Denmark fell the very first day, overrun by the German Army, with its Copenhagen airports seized by the Luftwaffe/Air Force. The same happened with the capture of Oslo, but northern Norway proved a much tougher nut to crack. The original invasion force of elite mountain corps troops found themselves besieged on the high ground by the combined Allies of England, France, Norway, and Poland. Among these were the elite forces of French, Polish, and Norwegian mountain troops, as well as elements of the famed French Foreign Legion.

The sea, air, and mountain aspects of the fighting were also highlighted by the use of elite German paratroops to reinforce the besieged Nazi ski troops at Narvik, where the famed "Lion of Narvik"---mountain corps Col. Gen. Edouard Dietl.---emerged as the main hero of the overall campaign, that lasted into June 1940. The French collapse that month in France led the Allied forces to withdraw from Norway, which the Nazis then held fast until May 1945.

Berlin's cinematic record of this extraordinary first-ever "combined arms" operational campaign victory incorporates footage taken by German combat correspondents, animated maps, and also scenes from captured Allied newsreels, to present a dramatic and comprehensive chronology of the fierce fighting.

Editors blend Allied film coverage of the naval engagements off the rugged Norwegian coast with period German footage as well. The latter offers a riveting account of the many battles, as seen from the men of both navies and armies. Dietl's tenacious defense of surrounded Narvik against elite French mountain troops in particular highlights this magnificent, full-length feature.

Enhanced by an original musical score, here is a grand and graphic portrayal of Hitler's second blitzkrieg of the Second World War, the first having been in Poland, in which the German mountain troops also took part.

Kampf um Norwegen Feldzug 1940/Battle for Norway 1940
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