Danish armed forces in WWII

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Gott
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Danish armed forces in WWII

Post by Gott » 06 Oct 2002 17:35

Is there any good info on the Danish army during the invasion, in which they barely fought for real (if I'm wrong feel free to correct me)? How about info on the Danish army which the Germans allowed to exist up to 1943? please tell me about their info, or related links. BTW, I saw vague pictures of the Danish helmet and it was quite odd looking, could anyone give me a better picture of the helmet shape?

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 07 Oct 2002 16:26

Danish losses amounted to:-
12 Airmen
11 Soldiers
3 Frontier Guards killed.

The Danish Army after that stood at 3300, of which the Royal Life Guards were the principal 'Fighting' unit. The rest were used for repair and maintenance work.

I'm not sure if any members of the Danish Army died in August'43 when the Germans disarmed them after a short struggle.

:D Andy from the Shire

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 07 Oct 2002 20:07

Cheshire Yeomanry wrote:The Danish Army after that stood at 3300, of which the Royal Life Guards were the principal 'Fighting' unit.


Only 3300 men? is that true?

Pantherblaster
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Post by Pantherblaster » 09 Oct 2002 20:34

Remember he stated "after that". So, after april 1940.

Regards,

Pantherblaster 8)

Caldric
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Post by Caldric » 09 Oct 2002 20:42

But how many died in Wiking Division? Or am I confusing these with those from Holland and Dutch lands.

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Steen Ammentorp
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Post by Steen Ammentorp » 10 Oct 2002 07:10

For those interested in Denmark during WWII I suggest that you take a look at http://www.milhist.dk Which is an excellent site when talking about Danish military history. It’s bilingual and most of the articles is in Danish.

Kind Regards
Steen Ammentorp
The Generals of World War II

Pantherblaster
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Post by Pantherblaster » 10 Oct 2002 20:20

Wiking was an international Waffen-SS Division not a Danish unit. I doo know that people from my country served init, but the SS is not really what I know a lot of, to be honest.

Regards,

Pantherblaster 8)

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Thomhasj
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Post by Thomhasj » 20 Oct 2002 14:31

The Danish Defence Act of 1937 set up a peacetime establishment of two divisions, an independent anti-aicraft and engineer regiment, an army air force, the Bornholm garrison, a transport battalion and a general headquarters.
In peacetime the regiment sand battalion were no more than a small administrative staff responsible for the training of the annual intake of 6599 conscripts who were allocated as follows:
- 4340 to the infantry
- 465 to the Life Guards
- 374 to the cavalry
- 1120 to the artillery
- 300 men to the engineers
On 8 April 1940 there were a 6600 conscripts with eleven month's training service with the colours, as well as a further 2050 non-combatants. During the German invasion part of this force was on leave, while a further 7% were unfit for duty.
The Sjaelland Division had its headquarters in Copenhagen and consisted of the Life Guards, the 1st, 4th and 5th Infantry Regiments, the Guards Hussars, the 1st and 2nd Field Artillery Regiments, the 13th Anti-Aircraft Battalion and an engineer battalion.
The Jutland Division had its headquarters in Viborg with the 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th Infantry Regiments, the infantry pioneer regiment, the Jutland Dragoon Regiment, the 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, the 14th Anti-Aircraft Battalion, and the 2nd Engineer Battalion.
The establishment strength of an infantry regiment was 3000 all ranks who were armed with Krag-Jorgensen M84/24 rifles and Bayard M1910 pistols.
The supporting arms of the regiments consisted of:
256 light machine guns (Madsen M24)
32 heavy machine guns (Madsen M29)
24 horse drawn machine guns (Madsen M29)
24 heavy mortars
6 horse drawn anti-tank guns (37mm Bofors)

Thomas "Dutchie" Roode

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HolgerDanske
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Post by HolgerDanske » 21 Oct 2002 20:30

The previous post is well-informed, but not fully correct - there were not heavy mortars in the Danish army and some other details.

I would like to refer to the link given above: http://www.milhist.dk/9april/9april.html

The below has been drawn from several sources which can be given upon request:

Danish Forces 1940

The Danish regular armed forces consisted of the army and navy with their integral air services. The Danish government had carried out a mobilisation of 30.000 reservists bringing the Army up to 55.000 after the German invasion of Poland 1 September 1939 and this force had been kept in service until the winter of 1940, when the large majority had been sent home (most with uniforms). After the invasion of Denmark the Danish armed forces were allowed to function on a very low level with 2200 armed, 1100 non-armed troops and 2000 officers, warrant officers and NCOs, and later only on the island of Zealand. On the 29 August 1943 the strange co-existence between the Danish government and the Germans ended.

The theoretical Danish Army order-of-battle was a general staff with corps troops and two standing divisions as well as the Army Air Corps.

Royal Life Guards Regiment (3 infantry btn, support Coy, Anti-tank coy)
6 Inf. Regiments (1-5th, 7th) (4 infantry btn, support coy, anti-tank coy)
1 (partly motorised) regiment (6th) with two motorcycle/cycle btn with light anti-tank capacity and 2 inf btn.
1 (partly motorised) Pioneer Command with two motorcycle/cycle btn with light anti-tank capacity.
2 Cavalry regiments with 2 armoured car squadrons, 4 horse squadrons, 2 motorcycle, 2 motorised and 4 support and HQ squadrons
Three artillery regiments with a total of 4 motorised light arty btn (each 12 75mm Krupp 1902), 4 horse drawn light arty btn (each 12 75mm), 3 motorised heavy arty btn (each 8 10,5 and 4 15 cm Schneider)
Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment with 3 Btns (each 12 75mm Vickers M1932 and 12 20mm Madsen)
Engineer Regiment with Engineer and signals companies
Bornholm (Island) Defence with 7 infantry companies.

The total army strength upon mobilisation was theoretically some 85.000 all ranks. On the day of the German invasion only some 15.000 troops were available and of these half of them had only 6 months of training. The Sjaellandske Division had 7.600 troops and the Jydske Division 7.000 troops available in the morning of the 9 April. These were distributed among most regiments and no units were fully organised and combat ready. The exception to the rule was the 14th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion, which had been fully manned since the mobilisation and managed to down a few German planes in Western Jutland.

The Army was contrary to popular belief relatively well equipped by 1940-standards and with a higher degree of motorisation than the Germans. It had a higher level of machine guns and support weapons than most comparable armies in 1940, but its rifles were old and submachine guns were only been introduced in that year. It lacked armoured capability except for two small squadrons of Swedish-built Landsverk 180 and Lynx armoured cars, but had a relatively good anti-tank capability with 37mm and 20mm guns which was proven during the fighting at the border when knocking out 12 (13 according to some sources) German Sdkfz 221, 222 and 232 as well damaging four PzKw I/II
An infantry battalion had 4 rifle companies with each 16 8mm Madsen M1924 LMGs (64 total), 1 support company with 8 8mm M1929 Madsen MMGs, 8 20mm Madsen M1938 guns and 6 81mm Brandt mortars. Each regiment had one anti-tank company with 6 37mm Bofors M1937 AT guns, which were drawn by light terrain cars (Tempo Geländwagen 1200) or light trucks.
As for all armed services the army was in the middle of introducing new weapons and vehicles including Swedish 9mm submachine guns, more 20mm Madsen guns, 15 Lynx armoured cars as well as a new 10,5 cm light howitzer planned.

The Army Air Service was composed of obsolete planes like the Glauster Gauntlet fighters and Fokker C.5 (C.V.) reconnaissance biplanes with the exception of the newly introduced Fokker D.21 (D.XXI) fighters. Both air services were in the middle of being modernised in 1940 and 12 unassembled Fokker G.1 fighter/light bomber had been delivered by Fokker and a further 24 were planed to built in Denmark. All planes were destroyed or taken by the Germans on the morning of 9 April. One Danish Fokker C.5. was shot down by a Me110 of I/1ZG at Vaerlose Air Base near Copenhagen.

The Navy was composed by three services, the navy, the coastal artillery and the navy air service. The navy was based on a mine laying capacity and mine fields in the Danish straits and a capacity to protect these areas. The mine capacity was largely up to date, while the capacity to defend it was partly modern and partly outdated. The two large ships – so-called artillery ships – were old and only one of them had been modernised. The 16+ torpedo boats were relatively modern and the 12 submarines were modern by 1940 standards.
The Coastal artillery (forts) was armed with relatively modern guns (7,5-30,5 cm) and had received new ammunition, anti-aircraft guns etc during the late 1930s. Its main task was to defend Copenhagen and control the minefields in Oresund. Strangely enough the full crew was sent home on 8 April 1940.
The navy air service was even more obsolete than their army counter parts even if new procurements had been signed. It consisted of Hawker Danckok and Nimrod bi-plane fighters, Hawker Dantorp torpedo planes, Heinkel H.E. 8 reconnaissance hydro monoplanes, and Fairey P4/34 light bomber/recon plus trainers.
The navy did not see action in the German invasion even if the submarines, torpedo boats and the mine fields could made things extremely difficult for the Germans on their way to Norway.

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HolgerDanske
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Picture of Danish Tempo wagen with 37mm bofors anti-tank gun

Post by HolgerDanske » 22 Oct 2002 16:08

I have come across this picture on the excellent Danish Army Vehicles homepage http://www.armyvehicles.dk/

http://www.armyvehicles.dk/tempog1200.htm

It is a gun crew from the 3rd Regiment in Viborg (part of the "Jydske Division") in a Tempo G1200 terrain car with a 37mm Bofors M1937 anti-tank gun. The NCO is in the khaki M1923 uniform, while the privates are in the M1915 grey uniform. The picture must be from late summer 1939.

HD

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 22 Oct 2002 22:04

Holger,

Thanks for a lot of new info for me about your armed forces in WWII.
Some of your equipment were familiar to us too. What was the fate of your unassembled Fokker G-1`s? We had ordered them too, but ours were destroyed during German attack to Netherlands.

Juha

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HolgerDanske
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Post by HolgerDanske » 22 Oct 2002 23:03

Hello Juha,

Yes, indeed Denmark and Finland shared quite a few weapons including the Madsen 20mm, 37mm Bofors and some of the planes. We even had a couple of pilots serving in your airforce in 1940.

The fate of the Danish G.1s is unknown to me. Denmark had ordered 12 unassembled planes from Fokker, which had been delivered in early 1940 and at least one was in the assembly line 9th April. Furthermore, Denmark had bourgt the license to produce 24 i.e. 36 in total. Now this was hypothetical because of the German invasion.
Source: http://www.fokkerg-1.nl/ (THE source on G.1!)

A discussion of planes taken into the service of Luftwaffe incl. Danish and Dutch Fokker planes (and many more) can be found at the message board of: http://www.luftwaffe-experten.co.uk/ Unfortunately, there is nothing on the fate of the Danish G.1s so far.

Do you know if Finland took over any of the Danish D.XXI from Germany?

HD

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 23 Oct 2002 21:50

Holger,

The Fokker G-1 link was VERY interesting. So many people interested in such a rare plane.
No, we didn`t receive any your Fokker D21`s. What eas their fate?
During Winter War we did receive: 20mm Madsens, about 100 trucks ( donated by shipowner Möller), eight 450mm torpedoes. Mr Forsström organised a "skilled labour" enlisting for Finland: 900 danes entered, about 300 went to Finland before peace.
Dansk Frivillig Korps, led by col. Tretow-Loof was about 1000 men strong. Only swedes were more numerous, fighting with us. Five of them never reached Denmark alive.
Pleace check if my sources are correct.

Juha

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HolgerDanske
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Danish volunteers in Finland + Danish pilots for the allied

Post by HolgerDanske » 24 Oct 2002 09:23

Juha,

I have not found any info on the fate of the Danish D.XXIs, but a number of the Dutch were used by the Luftwaffe for fighter training.

According to what I have found 1200 volunteers were sent to Finland and very few actually got to fight. On 11 December 1939 the Finnish Ambassador to Copenhagen reported that there were 500 volunteers, but that Finland had no means to feed, equip and transport them to Finland. The Danish government would not officially sponsor them. Then a Danish businessman Mr.P.M. Dall, who was a friend of the Finnish general Martola, privately sponsored the full Danish contingent and the then 1200 volunteers were sent to Uleåborg (spelling?) to receive training since only 25% had previous military experience.

None of them saw combat before the war was over and they became very frustrated. Half of them went home and the remaining formed the Danish-Finland Battalion in Lovisa. Then when they heard that Denmark had been invaded with practically no fight their frustration became even worse. In end of May 1940 most returned home. During the continuation war 205 Danes fought and 11 died.

Unfortunately, many of the frustrated anti-communists formed a nucleus of the Danish SS "Frikorps Danmark", which was formed the following year.

A few Danes did however see combat and this was mainly the fighter pilots who volunteered on a private basis early in the war see: http://www.dalnet.se/~surfcity/denmark.htm

Other pilots served in the allied forces and the most famous of them all, Kaj Birksted had 10 kills and 10 possible kills.
http://www.dyno-tech.com/bravo/danish_s ... t_war.html

HolgerDanske

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 24 Oct 2002 23:20

Holger,

Thanks for the detailed info.
Uleåborg is correct (swedish), as is Oulu.
I have read that we bought 1941-43 from you 155 20mm Madsen AA-guns. What kind of weapon production did you have during the occupation? Where else did you export them?
During the wars you helped us in many ways. One perhaps lesser known "way" was when you (and swedes) took care of great number of our children, whose families were having hard times here.
My headmaster at highschool was one of them, "war children". He speeks fluent danish and has even published a finnish-danish-finnish dictionary.
He also organises tours from here to Denmark, and from Denmark to here.

Juha

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