Warfare History Network
Hitler was not pleased.
How One Of Nazi Germany's Most Dangerous Warships Was Sunk
Norway had been able to avoid the massive bloodletting of World War I entirely and fervently hoped to steer clear of World War II as well through a policy of strict neutrality. Having seen the fate of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, by 1940 many of Europe’s smaller and traditionally neutral nations were struggling to strengthen and modernize their military defenses. Norway had waited until almost the last minute before beginning a rearmament program and was ill prepared militarily to even enforce its own neutrality in Norwegian waters.
Tonnage wise, in 1940 the Royal Norwegian Navy was roughly only one quarter of the size it had been in 1914. It had only two capital ships, the armored coastal defense ships Norge and Eidsvold,whose keels had been laid before the turn of the century. The handful of new vessels available were mostly small patrol boats better suited to fisheries protection and enforcement than naval warfare, and there had been no money in the defense budget for the fleet to actually put to sea and conduct maneuvers since 1918.