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Weserübung Süd - The Attack on Denmark. April 9th., 1940 (Danish field gear)

Article about: I have wanted to do a post on the Danish field gear in WW2, for quite some time. Especially since they are finally making a film about Weserübung-Süd from the perspective of the Danish soldi

  1. #1

    Default Weserübung Süd - The Attack on Denmark. April 9th., 1940 (Danish field gear)

    I have wanted to do a post on the Danish field gear in WW2, for quite some time.
    Especially since they are finally making a film about Weserübung-Süd from the perspective of the Danish soldiers.

    A bit of trailer eye candy:





    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Historical background:

    As a stepping stone for the invasion of Norway, Denmark was to be invaded simultaneously with Norway. The overall operation was codenamed Weserübung. Weserübung-Nord being the invasion of Norway, and Weserübung-Süd being the invasion of Denmark. The most important target in Denmark was the airport in Aalborg, were transport planes, bombers and fighters bound for Noway would be able to refuel. The airport was to be reached no later than Wesertag +1 (April 10th.) This is the key to why the fighting in Jutland continued longer than the fighting on Zealand. Because the Germans pushed harder, to reach as far as possible before the Danish army was able to mobilise, and before the British perhaps intervened.

    Forces:

    Germany: The Germans allotted two "reinforced" divisions, for the attack on Denmark: The 170th and 198th infantry division + Panzer Abteilung ZbV 40 and the 11th Schützenbrigade (motorised). Totalling more the 40.000 men.

    Denmark: Denmark had on paper two full division, totalling more than 14.500 men. The "Jutland" division, and the "Zealand" division + the infamous "Bornholms Værn" on the small island of Bornholm. Most of the Danish forces were at home since the forces called up in 1939 when Hitler attacked Poland, had been send home and only garrison units remained where barracks were placed = scattered all over Denmark in small inefficient units. In Jutland there were about 3700 men garrisoned and ready for action between the 8th-9th of April.

    The fighting: (in Jutland only)

    Have in mind, that the Danish army had been warned of an imminent attack on April the 8th., and the soldiers stationed closest to the border went to sleep in their uniforms, and weapons at the ready. Elements of the German 170th division crossed the Danish border at 4:15 in the morning. Running over the border crossing as fast as possible. Gendarmes at the border did however manage to telephone to the nearby barracks. Fierce fighting took place in and around Haderslev, Hokkerup, Lundtoftebjerg and Bredevad. The last combat took place in the city of Haderslev at approximately 08:00 in the morning, when the order to surrender arrived from the general staff. Fighting on Zealand seized quickly, since Copenhagen was almost run over with a surprise attack from the harbour, and German soldiers were quickly at the Royal Castle and nearby Christiansborg, the seat of the government.

    Casualties:
    German casualties were more than 203 dead, 75 wounded and 2 captured. About 12 armoured vehicles were destroyed, and 3 tanks were damaged.

    Danish casualties were 16 killed and 20 wounded. 1 plane shot down when taking of, rest of the air force was destroyed sitting on the runway.

    The appalling high casualties on the German side, is ascribed to the fact, that the Germans were in a hurry to reach Aalborg Airport, and had to push hard to reach it on Wesertag +1. The Danish soldiers knew the terrain VERY well, they had trained in the area for more than a year, and more than half of the Danish forces that fought that day, had more than a years worth of training. The other half more than ½ a year worth of military training.
    The Danish 20mm Madsen Auto cannon cut through the thinly armoured German vehicles like butter, and the suppressing fire from Madsen 8mm light machine gun made life hard for the advancing Germans.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Danish basic equipment:

    Uniform: M/23 or M/1915 (with great coat M/1910)
    Helmet: M/23
    Boots: M/1930
    Weapons: Madsen LMG M/1929 + M/1924, Pistol M/1910 and Kragh-Jørgensen riffle M/1889.

    Personal equipment:
    Ammunition carriers: M/1906 (40 cartridges)
    Belt: M/1888
    Bayonet: M/1915
    Tornyster (backpack): M/1939
    Gas mask: M/1938 or the older M/1931
    Water bottle and mess tin: M/1895
    Entrenching tool: M/1869
    Mess tin: M/1895 - M/1915
    --------------------------

    Ammunition carrier, M/1906:

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    Belt M1888:

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    Mess tin M/1895:

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    Bayonet, M/1915:

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    Water bottle and carrier M/1895:

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    Entrenching tool M/1869:

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    M/1931 gas mask:

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    M/1938 gas mask:

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    Last edited by 37Webbing; 01-19-2015 at 08:45 PM. Reason: More infor added
    Πόλεμος πάντων μεν πατήρ εστί, πάντων δε βασιλεύς.

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  3. #2

    Default

    Very nice and advanced collection - thanks for sharing


    Regards
    Replace

  4. #3
    ?

    Default

    Nice items friend.
    I would love to see the film.

  5. #4

    Default

    Thank you, both of you.

    I am more than exited for the upcoming film.
    Hopefully it is "true" to actual events.
    And I sincerely hope, that the creators have avoided making any "political" statements...
    Πόλεμος πάντων μεν πατήρ εστί, πάντων δε βασιλεύς.

  6. #5

    Default

    very nice collection

  7. #6

    Default

    Thank you, very interesting collection.

  8. #7

    Default

    Very Nice collection i have been looking for a Danish entrentching tool With cover for ages.

    But it never comes up, With original Danish cover.

    Regards Thomas.

  9. #8

    Default

    Quote by RedarmyDK View Post
    Very Nice collection i have been looking for a Danish entrentching tool With cover for ages.

    But it never comes up, With original Danish cover.

    Regards Thomas.
    They do turn up now and then.
    But you have to either be patient, pay a fortune or rely on pure luck to get one of the early ones.

    Happy hunting
    Πόλεμος πάντων μεν πατήρ εστί, πάντων δε βασιλεύς.

  10. #9
    ?

    Default Weserübung Süd - The Attack on Denmark. April 9th., 1940 (Danish field gear)

    Hi
    Thank you very much. I saw the movie"9. APRIL" . Very interesting and well-made war film. You have very interesting things Danish army.
    I also have a few items used by Danish soldiers

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	923663

    Best regards
    Dabi

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