The 13th of March 1940.
  • El Pip

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    The 13th of March 1940.

    In a sign of the seriousness of the crisis, King Haakon is attending cabinet for the third straight day, an occurrence not seen since the dark days of the Erik the Red's Land Crisis/Debacle.

    "How goes the attack on Hamar?" The King got straight to the point.

    "We were hoping to do a Hundred Days Offensive style attack, which we felt would be within reach of 1918 Infantry." General Ljunberg said.

    "But?"

    "It turns out we lack the artillery to do a rolling barrage, have no tanks to provide support and our handful of aircraft are all fighters." General Laake admitted.

    "So we gave the officers some whistles and told them to do the best they can." General Ljunberg said.

    "It was goings surprisingly well, until the Luftwaffe intervened." General Laake concluded.

    RHvkbmM.jpg

    Well this doesn't look good. That is quite a lot of German bombers even for normal troops, let alone ones trapped in 1918.

    "The troops have been subject to multiple, severe bombing raids and that has seriously damaged their effectiveness." Ljunberg explained.

    "Do we know who is leading the German bombing attack?" The King asked.

    "Udet." General Laake said.

    "Yes, that's what I was asking." The King said.

    "No your majesty, the German commander is General Udet.

    "Just repeating that you don't know 'who they' are isn't very helpful. It is also very poor grammar." The King said sternly.

    "The General's name is Udet! U-D-E-T!" "Prime Minister Nygaardsvolds failed to contain his shouted response.

    "Why didn't you just say that?" The King asked.

    "Those bombers are a long way up, how do we know who the commanding general is?" Armaments Minister Indrebø asked before the Prime Minister could get even angrier.

    Everyone turned to look at Intelligence Minister Roscher-Lund.

    "I just asked the Air Force." Roscher-Lund said.

    Everyone turned to look at the Head of the Air Force, Colonel Gulliksen.

    "We launched the Royal Air Brigade to intercept the bombers and identified their commander during the attack." Colonel Gulliksen said.

    "So we have driven them off with heavy losses?" The King asked hopefully.

    "Not as such." Colonel Gulliksen said. "While we certainly achieved sartorial dominance and managed some deeply cutting remarks about their very gauche uniforms and tacky hakenkreuz, the Germans did prove superior in numbers, training, speed, weaponry, tactics and fighter doctrine. Alas such trivial things proved decisive."

    "I suppose that whole Gladiator / Fokker C.VE ordering cock up didn't help." The King said sadly.

    ---
    Can the men of the 1st Division withstand this fearsome aerial attack and defeat the Fallschirmjäger. How has it gone so long without a mention of Plywood? Can the Royal Air Brigade rebuild in time to make a contribution? Can King Haakon survive, let alone function, without regular visit to the Fjords? Is the lack of Herring in this chapter significant? All, a few or none of these questions could be answered next time on, For King Haakon and the Fjords!
     
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    The 15th of March 1940.
  • El Pip

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    The 15th of March 1940.

    It was a Friday and King Haakon was starting to get twitchy. This was now a full weeks work, well a full weeks attendance anyway, and the Fjords were calling to him. Yet he had to attend yet another cabinet meeting. He had become King to avoid this sort of strenuous endeavour!

    "Is there any important news?" The King asked.

    "Apart from the large German Army marching through the nation?" Prime Minister Nygaardsvold asked.

    "They landed yesterday, so has anything happened since then?" The King continued.

    "We have sunk some German ships." Rear-Admiral Diesen offered.

    byqNXyb.jpg

    If you squint a bit and are hopelessly optimistic this could be confused with good news. Repeat this several hundred times and we may yet starve the Germans out.

    "That is progress." The King enthused.

    "We have two bits of news." General Ljunberg said.

    "Bad and worse." General Laake added.

    "Let us have the worst first." The King decided.

    "And then we were defeated." General Laake said.

    There was a baffled silence.

    "Was the bad news about an attack somewhere?" Nygaardsvold guessed.

    "Yes, in Kristiansand. The German mountain corp attacked in force this morning." General Laake explained.

    wMM6XRR.jpg

    A defeat too rapid for even a screenshot to capture. Almost as if several modern mountain divisions, with full doctrines and massive air support, is overkill for defeating a 1918 infantry division that doesn't even have all the 1918 doctrines.

    "Oslo will soon be surrounded." Genreal Ljunberg said resignedly.

    "We need a plan." Nygaardsvold said.

    "There is only one thing we can do. The King decided.


    Later that day, in the British Embassy



    "I am honoured to meet you, your majesty. How can we assist?" The British Official greeted the delegation.

    "We seek British assistance to help drive the Germans back into the Sea and defend Norway." The King explained.

    "A serious matter." Cholmondley-Warner agreed. "But first the important question, coffee or tea?" He asked.

    "Coffee." The King said, Nygaardsvold nodded in agreement.

    "Wrong, I'm afraid it's Tea." Cholmondley-Warner sighed sadly.

    "You mean we have to drink Tea?" The King asked.

    "No of course not, we do try to be good hosts even if people's beverage choices are not as we would wish. My man Greyson will prepare some."

    "That's a relief." Nygaardsvold said.

    "It just means Britain will not be able to offer you any practical or useful assistance." Cholmondley-Warner said.

    "WHAT?" Nygaardsvold yelled.

    "We can't go around helping coffee drinking barbarians, standards do have to be maintained. I'm sure you understand." Cholmondley-Warner took a sip from his tea.

    "Is there anything you can do?" The King asked.

    "Well I suppose I can give you these plastic discs that can be exchanged for a not particularly significant amount of electricity."

    x7IQbdt.jpg

    While theoretically useful, Norway is running an energy deficit, this does not help solve the more serious problems facing the country.

    "That does seem fairly useless under the circumstances." The King said dubiously.

    "Indeed." Cholmondley-Warner agreed. "I'm afraid it is just a token gesture."

    ---
    Will the actual ambassador Sir Cecil Dormer be saddened not to get mentioned? Or relieved to have escaped? Will anyone get the joke? Is it even a joke? Does this adequately explain the failures of the AI to do anything at all to assist Norway? What about the Herring? All, a random number or less than none of these questions could be answered next time on For King Haakon and the Fjords!
     
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    The 16th of March 1940
  • El Pip

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    The 16th of March 1940.

    It is a Saturday and yet, somehow, King Haakon is still in the capital attending the war cabinet.

    "Your majesty, are you sure you should be here?" Prime Minister Nygaardsvold asked.

    "You think I should evacuate? Well I refuse." The King said defiantly.

    "No, not that. It's just I've not seen you work a weekend since the Erik the Red's Land Debacle." Nygaardsvold said.

    "And that was probably a mistake." Foreign Minister Koht added.

    "My place is here in Oslo as a symbol of Norwegian resistance and to inspire the Army." The King huffed.

    "It's because since the two German invasions linked up, they have cut all the routes to the Fjords." Security Minister Wold corrected the explanation.

    King Haakon nodded and, just, managed to avoid sobbing.

    "What is the latest news from the war?" Nygaardsvold took control of the meeting.

    "All bad." General Ljungberg said.

    YJFhipL.jpg

    This news does indeed look all bad.

    "Our efforts to dislodge the Germans from Hamar have failed." General Laake explained.

    "I think the challenge of fighting an enemy from over 20 years in the future was too much for out 1918 troops." Ljunberg added.

    "Do you think being repeatedly bombed to death by the Germans was, perhaps, a more significant factor?" Intelligence Minister Roscher-Lund asked.

    "Well it wouldn't help, but the temporal shock was probably decisive." General Ljunberg decided.

    "Have we learnt from this first engagement?" The King asked urgently.

    "Oh yes, we now have a much better understanding of modern warfare." General Laake said.

    "That will help us in the coming battle for Oslo?"

    "Absolutely. We can now confidently predict just how badly we will be beaten." General Laake said.

    "Until now we have been guessing, but the Staff are now sure we are in a bigger pickle than a Herring in a Surslid factory the week before Christmas." General Ljunberg added.

    ---
    The Herring have returned to the narrative, but is it a sign? How long should you leave your pickled Herring before eating? Can the King survive without visiting the Fjords? Will the 1918 infantry have time to at least reach the 1920s before Norway falls? Is the fall of Oslo inevitable? All, none, some or less of these questions couldl be answered next time on For King Haakon and the Fjords!
     
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    The 17th of March 1940.
  • El Pip

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    The 17th of March 1940.

    It is a Sunday and King Haakon was not in a cabinet meeting. Because it was 4am, so he was asleep in his bed in the Royal Suite in Oslo Palace. Or at least he was, until a messenger burst in to awaken him.

    "Your highness, you must come to the War Cabinet there is urgent news!" The messenger announced.

    "Is it Oslo being attacked?" The King asked

    The messenger shook his head.

    "Then it can wait." The King decided, before rolling over back to sleep.

    The door was kicked in again, by a different messenger.

    "Your highness, you must come to the War Cabinet there is urgent news!" The second messenger announced.

    "Not war in Oslo, can wait." The King mumbled drowsily.

    "But it is about Oslo being attacked!" The messenger shouted.

    UPauipJ.jpg

    The Germans finally make their move on Oslo. That sentence is both desperate and deeply optimistic.

    Slightly later that day, in War Cabinet Bunker #7, the King is being briefed more thoroughly.

    "What is the latest news General?" The King asked.

    "We lost." General Laake summarised.

    "But I can still hear shooting!?" The King said.

    "Not the battle of Oslo, the Battle of Hegoland." Rear-Admiral Diesen explained.

    9eXo4Cm.jpg

    A pair of ancient submarine flotillas had failed to stop the Kriegsmarine. Perhaps Norway should have licenced built a boat from someone who knew how to make proper submarines (and torpedoes that worked) rather than the inter-war USN?

    "I didn't even know that had started." The King admitted.

    "We sent you an urgent messenger." General Ljunberg looked disappointed.

    "Anyway lets not get bogged down in those details, what news from the land war?" A guilty looking King Haakon tried to move the meeting on.

    "We lost." General Laake repeated himself.

    4bWsoPs.jpg

    Well that's not gone well. At least the defeated Norwegians don't march into the sea CK3 style. Instead they turn into French tanks and then evaporate.

    "Bugger." King Haakon sighed.

    ---
    Can the King and his cabinet escape? Will they even try? Can the vital Herring reserves be smuggled out or will they fall to the Germans? Is this the dark revenge of Plywood? Can Plywood even take revenge? Will Norway even last long enough for their to be a Norway Debate in the UK? Some, all, less or none of these questions will be answered next time on For King Haakon and the Fjords!


    Bonus Royal Bedroom Photo Link - - It's not what I expected from King Haakon to be honest, but apparently that is his suite in Oslo Palace.
     
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    The 18th of March 1940
  • El Pip

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    The 18th of March 1940.

    It was a Monday morning and King Haakon VII of Norway was packing up ready for a trip to the Fjords, not because of his legendary lack of work ethic but because the Germans were poised to occupy Oslo.

    "Are you ready to depart your majesty?" Foreign Minister Koht asked.

    "Almost, just one more vital item to pack." The King replied, reverently placing a signed photo of Sonja Henie into his bag. "OK, done."

    "Then come with me your majesty, the fleet is waiting to evacuate you." General Laake lead the way through the palace.

    "Has everyone else made it out?" The King asked.

    "The government and the gold reserves have been loaded." Koht confirmed.

    "And the armed forces?"

    "The Navy have loaded all they can and the Air Force has flown to safety in the UK." General Ljunberg said.

    NbgHx6H.jpg

    British Carriers sitting in the Dover Straits doing very little, Australian bombers failing to bomb Kiel and aircraft making impossibly long transfers over sea. All in all a reassuringly familiar scene.

    "So where are we going?" The King asked.

    "To a secure bunker near Narvik." General Laake said.

    "I hope it's not got a ridiculous contrived name."

    "Of course not your highness." General Ljunberg looked offended.

    "The bunker is No-Acronym." General Laake explained.

    The King stopped and stared.

    "Which, admittedly, stands for Northern Operations - Area Command, Royal Order of Norwegian Yeoman Militia" General Laake admitted while shuffling his feet.

    "It is at least well lit." Koht tried to calm his monarch down.

    "How?" The King asked suspiciously.

    "By burning the candle at both ends." General Ljunberg confessed.

    "It does give a very nice light." Koht enthused.

    YKTreKb.jpg

    Dear Lord things are serious in Norway if this is the state of their bunker lighting.

    King Haakon considered objecting, but stopped himself. After all, if an emergency of this scale didn't justify burning up the candle reserves then what would?

    ---
    Can the King escape to Narvik? Will the Norwegian armed forces manage to rally? How did the deeply confused Fokker CV-E and/or Gloster Gladiators of the Royal Norwegian Air Brigade manage to fly so far? Why did they chose Dover? Does anyone remember who Sonja Henie is? Should the King have just saved time and told the fleet to head straight to the UK? All, some, none or less of these questions will be answered next time on For King Haakon and the Fjords!
     
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    The 23rd of March 1940
  • El Pip

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    The 23rd of March 1940.

    To the relief of King Haakon upon arrival in Narvik he had managed to find time for a quick trip to the Fjords. Not because things had improved, but because things had got so bad that even the government had admitted another cabinet meeting was not going to make any difference.

    The Norwegian Total War Cabinet were meeting in Narvik town hall, their deliberations were interrupted by a messenger. But not their usual messenger.

    "What the hell is going on?!" Prime Minister Nygaardsvold set a new record for going from calm to rage.

    "Isn't it obvious, we've received a vital message." Foreign Minister Koht said calmly.

    "That's not a messenger, that's a Sea Lion!" Nygaardsvold shouted

    "I think you'll find that it is a Seal." King Haakon corrected.

    Nygaardsvold glared at him.

    "You can tell by the ears and flippers." The King explained.

    "I don't care what sort of sea borne mammal it is!" Nygaardsvold screamed.

    "You should, it makes all the difference." The King said, pulling a roll of vellum from the animal's neck.

    "See." He held aloft the scroll. "You wouldn't find this sort of thing on other types of pinniped."

    "Why not?" Nygaardsvold asked suspiciously.

    "Well it would hardly be a Sealed Message if it was sent by Sea Lion would it?" The King said.

    While the cabinet groaned, the King read the message.

    cf8TugR.jpg

    Norway has been sacrificed that Churchill might rise to power. In accordance with the Prophecy.

    "Well that's nice for them, but utterly useless to us." The King said.

    The assembled minister nodded sadly.

    "Anything important to discuss?" He continued.

    "We must prepare for our impending defeat at Trondheim tomorrow." General Ljunberg said.

    "That is defeatist talk, how can you have so little faith in the army?" Nygaardsvold shouted.

    "We are sure the 5th Division under General Rudge will fight bravely and nobly in the finest traditions of the Norwegian armed forces." General Ljunberg reassured him.

    "We are just equally sure we will lose due to being disorganised, low on morale, lacking any modern doctrine or training, being massively out-numbered, out-teched, lacking any air support and being constantly bombed by the luftwaffe." General Laake explained.

    "When you put it that way I'm amazed we've lasted this long." King Haakon admitted.

    ---
    Is Trondheim doomed? What happened to the Norwegian Navy? Why is an ancient prophecy of Britannia linked to the ineptitude of the Norwegian government? Was that joke worth the build up? How much longer can this be dragged out? Which will give out first, Norway or Nygaardsvlod's vocal chords? Most, many, none or a random number of these questions could be answered next time, on For King Haakon and the Fjords!
     
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    The 24th of March 1940
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    The 24th March 1940
    The Norwegian cabinet were waiting anxiously to find out if the staff's gloomy predictions were correct and debating, what if anything, they could do about their bleak situation. A spirited discussion on the feasibility and morality of weaponised Gjetos was interrupted by a messenger.

    AoUDe94.jpg

    The 5th Division were indeed brave, even the army briefing admits it, but alas that was not enough.

    "Told you so." General Laake said, looking both smug and depressed.

    "So what is the plan now?" Nygaardsvold asked.

    "Try to rally the 5th Division in Mo I Rana, fail, and then wait the couple of weeks until the Germans march into Narvik." General Ljunbererg outlined the strategy.

    "Then what?"

    "After the fall of Narvik we will relocate to HNoMS Norge." General Laake explained.

    "Of course. Hakkon's Northern Outpost Masterminding Strategic Norwegian Operations Resisting Germanic Expansion." The King nodded.

    "No your majesty, the ship HNoMS Norge. She and the rest of the fleet will be waiting in Narvik harbour to evacuate you, the gold and the government." General Laake said.

    "And in that order." General Ljunberg added, to the disquiet of the rest of the cabinet.

    "Bugger." King Haakon sighed.

    ---
    Will General Ljunberg's prediction be correct? Will the Norwegian Navy survive long enough to evacuate the government? Will Mo I Rana ever be mentioned again? Where would the Norwegian government flee to? Could King Haakon even bear to leave his Fjords? All of these question will be answered next time, in the final chapter of For King Haakon and the Fjords!
     
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    The 11th of April 1940
  • El Pip

    Lord of Slower-than-real-time
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    The 11th of April 1940

    King Haakon VII of Norway stood on the bridge of HNoMS Norge and looked back at Narvik, it was sadly apparent from the German flags fluttering over the town that there would be no heroic evacuation for the still retreating 5th Division.

    jk7fgEY.jpg

    Well that has not gone well at all. Though full marks to General Laake for pessimistically correctly predicting the course of the campaign.

    The King looked over when Prime Minister Nygaardsvold entered.

    "The British will accept us a government-in-exile, a Royal Navy squadron is on it's way to rendezvous with us and escort us across the North Sea." He said.

    "Where are they taking us?" The King asked.

    "Hull."

    "Of course." The King nodded and looked back to the shore.

    "You could not stay your highness, you must escape and be a symbol for our forces to rally around. We must fight on until we free Norway." The Prime Minister guessed at what his monarch was thinking.

    "You are, of course, correct Nygaarsdvold. But..." He tailed off and walked right up to the window for one last look at his beloved Fjords.

    "It's been emotional." King Haakon VII said, before leaving the bridge and walking into exile.


    So as the Norwegian coastal defence ship of fate sails towards the fishing port of destiny, and the Herring trawler of time dredges up the last catch of eternity, I notice our work here is done and we have reached the end of the AAR.

    The End
     
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