History of Germany
Adolf Hitler

Why was Norway important to Hitler?



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The German invasion of Norway was a dramatically daring military operation. The decision to embark on the venture was made by Adolf Hitler as Chief of State and also (since December 1938) as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the German Reich. He arrived at it over a period of six months during which the proposal was debated at length in the highest echelons of the German Armed Forces. Hitler's own attitude shifted during that time from lukewarmness verging on indifference to determination. Since the war the decision has been both praised and condemned; here it is presented as an example of decision-making in a developing situation. [1] Even though the occupation of Norway and Denmark had no significant effect on the outcome of the war, it established a milestone in the history of warfare by demonstrating the effective reach of modern military forces. Although lacking the resources to capitalize on it, the Germans had made a move of potential value to them in the development of a global strategy. It confronted the United States as well as Great Britain with a strategic threat. It brought Germany, theoretically at least, into a position to strike outward from the mainland of Europe toward Iceland, Greenland, and possibly the North American continent.