4 Dec. 45

Weather conditions delayed the march on the Low Countries. In January 1940 instructions were given to the German Navy for the attack on Norway. On the 1st of March a directive for the occupation was issued by Hitler. The general object was not said to be to prevent occupation by English forces but, in vague and general terms, to prevent British encroachment in Scandinavia and the Baltic and "to guarantee our ore bases in Sweden and to give our Navy and Air Force a wider start line against Britain." But the directive went on (and here is the common pattern):

" . . . on principle we will do our utmost to make the operation appear as a peaceful occupation, the object of which is the military protection of the Scandinavian states . . . It is important that the Scandinavian states as well as the western opponents should be taken by surprise by our measures.... In case the preparations for embarkation can no longer be kept secret, the leaders and the troops will be deceived with fictitious objectives."
The form and success of the invasion are well known. In the early hours of the 9th of April, seven cruisers, 14 destroyers, and a number of torpedo boats and other small craft carried advance elements of six divisions, totalling about 10,000 men, forced an entry and landed troops in the outer Oslo Fjord, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim, and Narvik. A small force of troops was also landed at Arendal and Egersund on the southern coast. In addition, airborne troops were landed near Oslo and Stavanger in airplanes. The German attack came as a complete surprise. All the invaded towns along the coast were captured according to plan and with only slight losses. Only the plan to capture the King and Parliament failed. But brave as was the resistance, which was hurriedly organized throughout the country — nothing could be done in the face of the long-planned surprise attack — and on the 10th of June military resistance ceased. So another act of aggression was brought to completion.

Almost exactly a month after the attack on Norway, on the 10th of May 1940, the German Armed Forces, repeating what had been done 25 years before, streamed into Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg according to plan — a plan that is, of invading without warning and without any declaration of war.

What was done was, of course, a breach of the Hague Convention, and is so charged. It was a violation of the Locarno Agreement of 1925, which the Nazi Government affirmed in 1935, only illegally to repudiate it a couple of years later. By that agreement all questions incapable of settlement by ordinary diplomatic means were to be referred to arbitration. You will see the comprehensive terms of all those treaties. It was a breach of the Treaty of Arbitration and