8 Apr 1940
  • British destroyer HMS Glowworm discovered German Navy Marine Gruppe 1 at 0800 hours and was fired upon by cruiser Admiral Hipper at close range. Outgunned, Glowworm's captain decided to ram the German cruiser, which caused heavy damage for Admiral Hipper but it also led to her sinking, which killed 118, including commanding officer Lieutenant Commander Gerard Broadmead Roope, who received a posthumous Victoria Cross, the first of the war; captain Hellmuth Heye of Admiral Hipper spoke highly of Roope's courage. Off Narvik, British destroyers Esk, Icarus, Impulsive, and Ivanhoe mined Vestfjord at 0500 hours in preparation for landings by British and French forces at Namsos, Narvik, and Andalsnes; Norway was informed of this action at 0600 hours. Meanwhile, German Navy Marine Gruppe 3 departed Wilhelmshaven, Germany for Bergen, Norway (1,900 troops aboard 2 cruisers, 1 transport, 1 minelayer, and 5 torpedo boats), Marine Gruppe 4 and Marine Gruppe 6 departed Cuxhaven, Germany for southern Norway (1,250 troops), and Marine Gruppe 5 departed Swinemünde, Germany for Oslo, Norway (2,000 troops aboard 3 cruisers, 8 minesweepers, and 3 torpedo boats). In Britain, Vice Admiral Max Horton dispatched 6 more submarines to intercept these additional German invasion fleets; many of his peers were against this decision, believe there would not be any additional fleets being dispatched by the Germans. Among the 6 newly dispatched British submarines included HMS Ursula, HMS Triad, and HMS Sterlet, which departed to patrol the Skagerrak between Denmark and Norway. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German Field Marshal Keitel ordered the transfer of active military servicemen who were 50% Jewish and those who were married to women who were 50% Jewish to reserve or militia units. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The 4,843-ton Greek cargo steamer Okeania was mined and sunk in the English Channel off Deal on the Kent coast, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Main Article | HM]
  • The 8,612-ton British steam merchant Ahamo struck a mine and sank in the North Sea off Wells by the Sea on the Norfolk coast, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Main Article | HM]
Germany
  • Emden departed Strander Bucht off Strander, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany for Norway together with Group 5. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Norway
  • German passenger-cargo ship Rio de Janeiro, pressed into service by the German Army, was transporting troops and horses for the invasion of Norway when she was attacked by the Polish submarine Orzel (under British command) while off Lillesand in southern Norway at 1150 hours. Orzel's first torpedo missed, and the second scored a hit but failed to sink the ship. With smoke pouring from the stricken transport, the order was given to abandon ship. A third torpedo struck the ship amidships, breaking its back and sinking her. About 150 men including 97 Luftwaffe Flak troops and 80 horses drowned. There were 183 survivors. German sailors rescued by Norwegian ships admitted that they were en route to attack Bergen. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH, HM]
Photo(s) dated 8 Apr 1940
German light cruiser Emden in the North Sea en route to Oslo, Norway, 8 Apr 1940German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper or Blücher in the North Sea en route to Oslo, Norway, 8 Apr 1940; photo taken from light cruiser Emden seen in the foreground

8 Apr 1940 Interactive Map

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis




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Famous WW2 Quote
"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935