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Autor Thema: Invasion of Norway 1940 and the Copenhagen leak  (Gelesen 624 mal)

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Offline Platon Alexiades

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Invasion of Norway 1940 and the Copenhagen leak
« am: 18 Mai 2022, 16:45:51 »
Has anyone identified who leaked the information about Weserübung to the American Embassy in Copenhagen? On about 6 April 1940, they were informed that the invasion of Norway was imminent and that a division transported in ten ships would land at Narvik while Sweden would be left alone. This information was passed to the British Admiralty and relayed to Admiral Forbes on 7 April but was not taken seriously as it was believed to be part of the "war of nerves".

I am curious to learn who had passed the information. Probably a person in the Hans Oster circle of the German Resistance to Hitler? I have some suspicion on who it was but have no definite proof.

Platon

Offline Olaf Berg Nielsen

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Re: Invasion of Norway 1940 and the Copenhagen leak
« Antwort #1 am: 18 Mai 2022, 20:06:28 »
Long before April 9,
there were warnings, about what the Germans were planning. it was noted that an increasing number of German aircraft in the days leading up to 9 April flew up along the Danish west coast, and violated Danish territory. And in the days leading up to April 9, one could from Herring hear planes warm up for the action on April 9th. On April 8, a Danish plane flew along the border. But long before, the Danish and English governments knew that the Germans would make an attack on Scandinavia.

A warning from April 4
On the evening of April 4, 1940, it received Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs a warning from the Embassy in Berlin about the attack. Because at Christiansborg the warnings were not taken seriously. One would look at the time.

Would make peace under favorable conditions
That same evening, the German Chief of Staff left F. Holds at the army headquarters in Zossen an hour's drive south of Berlin to Army Commander-in-Chief W. von Braunchitz to provide him with evidence that the British Government was willing to join one for Germany extremely favorable peace, when just Hitler was removed. It was a connection between the two events. It was prompted by Hitler - opponents in the intelligence service of the German High Command.

Greetings
Olaf

Offline ufo

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Re: Invasion of Norway 1940 and the Copenhagen leak
« Antwort #2 am: 18 Mai 2022, 21:34:20 »
Hej Platon,

the incident is mentioned in detail in the abridged version of:
Sir Francis Harry Hinsley, "British Intelligence in the Second World War".
Complete with the time of day when the information was passed and the phrase of it being part of the 'war on nerves'. Alas - the informer is not included.

I do not have the unabridged version. The abridged is some 600 pages long. The unabridged stretches over 5 volumes in six books. It might thus be that the incident is covered in greater detail. The books came out long enough after the war for any detail like this to have been declassified.

If it is in there it would most likely appear in volume 1.
Bit of a long shot but trying to get it from a library could be worth a try.

Ciao,
ufo




Offline Platon Alexiades

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Re: Invasion of Norway 1940 and the Copenhagen leak
« Antwort #3 am: 19 Mai 2022, 15:11:19 »
Hello Olaf and Ufo,

Many thanks for your suggestions. I am not sure the mystery will ever be solved. I do have the full set of Hinsley's book and there is no more details from what you cited. I can only add that the signal was sent by the US Ambassador Atherton in Copenhagen but I could not find any mention of the source in the US State Department files when I investigated the story many years ago. Perhaps some information has been released since then.

The signal was relayed by the British Admiralty in signal 1259/7 April to Admiral Forbes, C. in C. Home Fleet, who received it at 1420/7. At 1735/7, another signal informed him that the German battlefleet was at sea and shortly after the Home Fleet sailed to intercept.

Best regards,

Platon

Offline Violoncello

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Re: Invasion of Norway 1940 and the Copenhagen leak
« Antwort #4 am: 19 Mai 2022, 17:46:54 »
Hi Platon,

as far as I can see there have been two leaks:

1. On 3 April 1940 Colonel Hans Oster informed Colonel Sas, the Dutch military attaché in Berlin. He in turn personally informed on 4 April 1940the Danish military attaché Kjolsen and the Danish Legation Council Stang.
 
2. Admiral Canaris informed the Danish Envoy in Berlin, Herluf Zahle allegedly at the same time.
They all seem to have informed their government...

(e.g.: Bartz, K.: Die Tragödie der deutschen Abwehr, Preußisch-Oldendorf 1972, S. 55f.; Abshagen, Karl-Heinz: Canaris, Stuttgart, 1955, S. 252ff.)

Kind regards

Violoncello

Offline Peter K.

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Re: Invasion of Norway 1940 and the Copenhagen leak
« Antwort #5 am: 19 Mai 2022, 21:44:08 »
... according to Olivier DESARZENS, Nachrichtendienstliche Aspekte der "Weserübung" 1940, p. 93 ff

Zitat
In den ersten Morgenstunden des 6. April traf ein Telegtamm des britischen Gesandten in Kopenhagen, Charles Howard-Smith, im Foreign Office ein. Howard-Smith, der gute Kontakte mit seinem amerikanischen Amtskollegen Ray Atherston pflegte, hatten von diesem äußerst beunruhigende Nachrichten erhalten:
U.S. Minister is informed by well placed neutral source, which has proved reliable in the past, that last night (from 4th to 5th april) ... Hitler gave definitive orders to send one division in ten ships moving unostentatiously at night to land at Narvik april 8th occupying Jutland same day but leaving Sweden ...
mentioned source: FO 371/24815 from Mr. Howard-Smith, Copenhagen, departure 5 april 1940, 1225h, arrival 6 april 1940, 0120h

It´s interesting to know, that the content of the telegrams of Howard-Smith and Atherston to their governments differ slightly (for a French translation of both please take a look at Jean VANWELKENHUYZEN, Les avertissements qui vennaient de Berlin 9 octobre 1939 - 10 mai 1940)
Grüße aus Österreich
Peter K.

www.forum-marinearchiv.de

Offline Platon Alexiades

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Re: Invasion of Norway 1940 and the Copenhagen leak
« Antwort #6 am: 20 Mai 2022, 01:57:54 »
Hello Violoncello and Peter,

Many thanks for both your input and interesting sources. I know of the Oster/Sas contacts and it looks probable that the Danish attaché Kjolsen may have been the source. I was also wondering if Korvetten Kapitän Hans Liedig of the Abwehr (and part of the Oster group) who travelled to Copenhagen at that time and may have been a source.

Best regards,

Platon

Offline Violoncello

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Re: Invasion of Norway 1940 and the Copenhagen leak
« Antwort #7 am: 20 Mai 2022, 11:35:03 »
Hi Platon,

do you know the date when Liedig travelled to Copenhagen?

As far as I know Liedig as leader of sub-group I / M in the Amt Ausland/Abwehr recited to Canaris and Oster on 1 or 2 April 1940 on the theme "State of preparation of `Weserübung´". On 2 April 1940 the date of "Weserübung" was fixed to the 9 April 1940. On 4 April 1940 Colonel Hans Piekenbrock, leader of group I and as such chief of Liedig, returned from a last meeting with the Norwegian Nazi Quisling in Copenhagen to Berlin. If Liedig accompanied his chief I dare say he would have had little chance to contact third parties. But, of cause, it`s not totally ruled out. On the other hand I didn`t find any hint. The third leak seams to be rather unlikely.
(e.g. Höhne, H.: Canaris, München 1976, S. 388; Desarzens (s.o.), S. 46)

Kind regards

Violoncello