How will these resources help you? 

When this often-overlooked campaign of the Second World War is discussed, it usually falls into the ‘side-show’ category. This is an oversight, historically speaking, as the Norway Campaign was one of the most significant events in the history of the Second World War. Another challenge to teaching is that events in the campaign were not straightforward – for example, who actually invaded whom, and then who invaded whom first? These are not questions you regularly have to address in a military history study.

The timeline

Invasion of Norway – WW2 Timeline

published by the Second World War History, The Great Global Conflict Day-by-Day (website)

The ideal way to begin is with a timeline. This resource is an excellent gateway into the topic and makes very clear that this was indeed the first direct land confrontation between the military forces of the Allies (the United Kingdom and France) against Nazi Germany in the Second World War. The remainder of the timeline can be used throughout the teaching on the topic as a handy point of reference. It can also be printed out and distributed among a class or made part of a wall display.

A summary

The Norway Campaign in World War Two

by Dr Eric Grove, published by BBC, (2011)

This article is a straightforward and accessible summary of the whole campaign with contemporary illustrations, together with informed analysis. There is also a generous suggestion of further reading into and around the topic.

An analysis

Review of Anatomy of a Campaign: The British Fiasco in Norway, 1940 by John Kiszely

by G H Bennet, published by the British Journal for Military History, 6(1), pp.91–92, (2020)

This resource is a scholarly review of what many consider the best book written to date about the Norway Campaign. As well as providing a succinct synopsis of the entire period, the review also reinforces one of the other forgotten aspects of the significance of the campaign – the fall of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and his replacement by Winston Churchill. 

The definitive account

Anatomy of a Campaign: The British Fiasco in Norway, 1940

by John Kiszely, published by Cambridge University Press, (2019), 9781316646427

For those students (and teachers) who want to dig deeper, this book offers 390 pages packed with detail and opinion, written by former lieutenant general and professor of war studies. It is widely considered to be the authoritative version of the whole of the Norway Campaign and will tell you everything you could want to know.

Further Materials

Secret Alliances: Special Operations and Intelligence in Norway, 1940−1945 by Tony Insall, published by Biteback Publishing Ltd, (2021), 9781785906619 Find this book
The battle for Norway, 1940: The forgotten Battle of Britain by Nick Hewitt, published by History Extra, (2019) Read this article
The 1940 Norway Campaign, published by the Second World War Experience Centre (website) Access this resource
David M. Holbrook is a retired secondary school History tutor and a current A-level examiner. 

Text © David M. Holbrook, 2021.