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 Swinem├╝nde, 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 [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | 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 [Wilhelm Keitel | CPC]
  • Kapit├Ąnleutnant Heinz Beduhn was named the commanding officer of U-23. ww2dbase [U-23 | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean Germany 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 [Orzel | TH, HM]
  • Albatros attempted to hunt down British submarine HMS Triton, which had tried to attack the German force off the Norwegian coast; Triton escaped unharmed. Later that day, as the German force approached the Norwegian coast, Norwegian patrol boat Pol III rammed Albatros. Albatros fired upon Pol III, thus gaining the honor of having fired the opening salvos of the German-Norwegian war. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Albatros | Oslofjord | CPC]
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 Bl├╝cher 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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