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Appendix A: Instructions to Commanders

1 April 10 Major-General P. J. Mackesy Page 247
2 April 14 Major-General Carton De Wiart 249
3 April 16 Brigadier Morgan 250
4 April 17 Major-General Hotblack 251
5 April 22 Lieut.-General H. R. S. Massy 255
6 April 22 Major-General B. C. T. Paget 256
7 May 2 Lieut.-Colonel C. McV. Gubbins 257
8 May 5 Lieut.-General C. J. E. Auchinleck 259

(1) Instructions to Major-General P. J. Mackesy, CB, DSO, MC [1]

1. His Majesty’s Government and the Government of the French Republic have decided to send a Field Force to initiate operations against Germany in Northern Norway.

2. The object of the force will be to eject the Germans from the Narvik area and to establish control of Narvik itself.


(a) You will command the troops including all units of the French Army and any RAF component which may subsequently be added to the force. The force will consist in the first instance of all troops now on board the s.s. Chrobry and Batory.

(b) Should you become a casualty or otherwise be prevented from exercising command of the force, command will pass to the next senior British officer, who will exercise command and, in the event of a French General officer being with the force, assume the acting rank of Major General until another British officer can be appointed.

4. No information is available as to the strength of the Norwegian forces in the area but it is known that Harstad is normally the Headquarters of a mixed brigade and it is supposed that some troops are there now. Their attitude is not known but it is believed that they will be ready to co-operate.

5. Your initial task will be to establish your force at Harstad, ensure the co-operation of Norwegian forces that may be there and obtain the information necessary to enable you to plan your further operations.

6. It is intended to reinforce you with a view to subsequent operations from such base as may be selected by you in consultation with the Senior Naval Officer. Salangen is the only neighbouring anchorage of which the Admiralty have full knowledge.

A timetable showing the time at which these reinforcements might be made available is attached as Appendix ‘A’.

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7. It is not intended that you should land in the face of opposition. You may, however, be faced with opposition owing to mistaken identity; you will therefore take such steps as are suitable to establish the nationality of your force before abandoning the attempt.

8. The decision whether to land or not will be taken by the Senior Naval Officer in consultation with you. If landing is impossible at Harstad some other suitable locality should be tried. A landing must be carried out when you have sufficient troops.

9. You will appreciate the importance of the destruction of the railway leading from Narvik to the Norwegian-Swedish frontier should you be able to engineer it. This is the only known means of communication from Narvik into Sweden.

10. Your force will constitute an independent command directly under the War Office. You will keep in constant communication with the War Office and report as regularly as is practicable as to the situation.

11. A duplicate of these instructions has been handed to Brigadier Phillips.

The War Office, 10th April 1940. E. IRONSIDE, General. C.I.G.S. for S. of S.

Appendix ‘A’

Arrival Date
(a) Remainder 24th Infantry Brigade (Regulars) a.m. 16th April
(b) Two T.A. Brigades (less two battalions) p.m. 16th and 18th April
(c) Transport for all above troops p.m. 19th April
(d) Remainder 49th Division a.m. 27th April
(e) Leading echelon Chasseurs Alpins Between 21st and 25th April
(f) British formations ordered from the B.E.F. Twelve days between date of giving order for move and date of arrival of first brigade (without transport)

Copy of a Message Written out in Manuscript by C.I.G.S. for General Mackesy 2330 hours 10th April, taken by Brigadier Lund

General Mackesy.

Brigadier Lund is bringing your instructions. Owing to naval difficulties in escorting, we have decided to send 4 Bns. together, the whole arriving 30 hrs after the arrival of 2 Bns. With a week’s interval before the arrival of the other 2 Bns.

Latest information is that there are 3,000 Germans in Narvik. They must have been knocked about by naval action.

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You will have sufficient troops to allow you to make preliminary preparations and reconnaissances. You yourself being some hours in front of your 4 Bns. with some men.

You may be able to work up the Norwegians, if they still exist in any formed body in or around Harstad. Tell them that a large force is coming. There should be considerable numbers of ponies in the village and neighbouring ones. Let no question of paying trouble you. Issue payment vouchers and we will see that you get a paymaster as soon as possible. Don’t allow any haggling over prices.

You may have a chance of taking advantage of naval action and you should do so if you can.

Boldness is required.

We will keep you informed of any action by the Germans giving them a chance of getting men in via Sweden. At the moment they cannot reinforce Narvik.

Their first effort will be for reinforcing Bergen and Trondheim.

Good luck to you. We know your responsibility and trust you.

Yours ever,




(2) Instructions to Major-General Carton De Wiart Commanding Force Scheduled for ‘Maurice Operation’ [2]

1. His Majesty’s Government and the Government of the French Republic have decided to land an expedition in Central Norway with the object of:

(a) Providing encouragement for the Norwegian Government.

(b) Forming a rallying point for the Norwegian Government and armed forces.

(c) Securing a base for any subsequent operations in Scandinavia.

This operation will be carried out concurrently with but independent of the operations already initiated in Northern Norway.

2. You are appointed to command the Allied forces which are being despatched to Central Norway.

3. Your role will be to secure the Trondheim area. Subsequently you should take such steps as are possible to secure the use to the Allies of the road and rail communications leading from Trondheim, especially to the east.

4. Points of Landing.

(i) It is suggested, but of this you, together with the Senior Naval Officer, must be the final judges, that the initial landing should be in the Namsos area, and should be carried out by Morgan’s and Phillips’ Brigades.

(ii) A second landing should be carried out about Trondheim preferably

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to the east of the town, and after the Navy has cleared the fjord of German vessels, by 147th Infantry Brigade and Chasseurs Alpins.

(iii) Administrative facilities should initially be developed about Namsos until Trondheim has been secured.

5. A forecast of the dates of arrival in the Trondheim-Namsos area of the elements of your force is as follows:–

(a) 146th Infantry Brigade, Brigadier Phillips, available on 15th April.

(b) One infantry brigade (less one battalion), under Brigadier Morgan, should be available about dawn 17th April.

(c) 147th Infantry Brigade, with artillery and ancillary troops, should be available on 20th or 21st April.

(d) Two battalions Chasseurs Alpins available (in the same area) 18th April.

6. Should you become a casualty or otherwise be prevented from exercising command of the force, command will pass to the next senior British officer, who will exercise command, and in the event of a French General officer being with the force, assume the acting rank of Major General until another British officer can be appointed.

7. As soon as you are established ashore you will get in touch with any Norwegian forces in your vicinity, inform them of the impending arrival of further Allied forces and secure their co-operation in action against any German forces.

8. The Royal Navy are making preliminary landings in the Namsos area with landing parties about 300 strong in all and it is their intention to seize and hold any point in the Namsos area at which your disembarkation might take place.

9. Your force is not organised for landing in face of opposition, and it is not intended that you should undertake such an operation.

10. During the voyage and during landing operations, the Senior Naval Officer will be in command, and he will decide, in co-operation with you, where and when to land.

11. A note as to the strength of the Norwegian forces in the area, and of the strength of any German forces operating in the vicinity, is being given to you separately.

12. Your force will constitute an independent command directly under the War Office. You will keep a constant communication with the War Office and report as regularly as is practicable as to the situation.



The War Office,

14th April 1940.

(3) To Brigadier Morgan from the War Office [3]

1. Your instructions as follows.

2. Festing will have told you role of Carton de Wiart and of Hotblack’s

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projected combined operation on Trondheim. Small force British guerrillas operating your right flank. About 600 sailors landing Aandalsnes night 17/18. Their role after landing will be communicated to you later.

3. Your role to land Aandalsnes area secure Dombaas then operate northwards and take offensive action against Germans in Trondheim area. Not intended that you should land in face of opposition. Second echelon your force will follow you in two days later. As you are without transport you should rely on Norwegian rolling stock and locally impressed transport. You will be kept informed of progress and timings of other British forces operating Trondheim area.

4. Your force independent command under War Office until receipt further orders. Intention later place you under Commander General Operations Trondheim area.

5. During the voyage and during landing operations Senior Naval Officer will be in command. He will decide in co-operation with you where and when to land.

6. Previous instructions re co-operation with Norwegians and reports to War Office unchanged.

The War Office,

16th April 1940.

(4) Instructions for Major-General Hotblack [4]

Object and Scope of Operations in Central Norway.

1. His Majesty’s Government and the Government of the French Republic are agreed that the early capture of Trondheim is vital to the success of the further operations in Scandinavia.

2. The immediate object of the Allied operations in Central Norway is therefore the capture of Trondheim. With this end in view, operations as follows are projected and in process of execution: –

(a) Operation ‘Maurice’—Commander, Lieut.-General Carton de Wiart. This comprises an advance southwards on Trondheim from the Namsos area by 146th Infantry Brigade (Brigadier Phillips) which is probably to be reinforced by the first echelon of the leading French light division (three battalions and attached troops).

(b) Operation ‘Boots’—Commander, Major-General Hotblack. This comprises a combined operation by the Navy and Army, with an RAF component to be added later, with the object of forcing the entry of Trondheim Fjord, capturing Trondheim, and destroying the German forces in that area.

(c) Operation ‘Sickle’—Commander, Brigadier Morgan. This comprises a landing by 148th Infantry Brigade (two battalions) at Aandalsnes, with the role of securing Dombaas, preventing the Germans from using the railway to reinforce Trondheim, and possibly a subsequent demonstration northwards towards Trondheim.

3. You are appointed military commander of the land forces detailed for Operation ‘Boots’.

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The forces placed under your command are as follows: –

15th Infantry Brigade.

Two Canadian battalions under Brigadier Samson (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and ................).

147th Infantry Brigade (Brigadier Lammie).

4. The system of command of the combined operations to be carried out by force ‘Boots’ will be that of ‘Joint Command’ by the naval, military and air commanders as laid down in Chapter IV, paras. 2-5 of the ‘Manual of Combined Operations, 1938’.

The name of the naval commander appointed by the Admiralty is ................

5. In view of the paramount need for speed, the plan of operations has been prepared by you in co-operation with the Staffs of the War Office and the Admiralty, and is being communicated by you to the naval commander.

Should you and the naval commander desire to depart from this plan, you will bear in mind that any appreciable delay may have the most serious consequences on the course of operations in Scandinavia.

6. The organisation of command of the Allied military forces in Scandinavia is given in Appendix ‘A’.

7. Should you become a casualty or otherwise be prevented from exercising command of the force, command will pass to the next senior British officer, who will exercise command, and, in the event of a French General officer being with the force, assume the acting rank of Major General until another British officer can be appointed.

8. When your forces have successfully landed, it is important that good relations with the Norwegians should be fostered.

9. You will be guided by Appendix ‘B’ with regard to the conduct of all forms of bombardment.

10. You will be kept informed regularly by the War Office as to the latest situation.

11. You will keep a constant communication with the War Office, and report regularly as to the situation.

Appendix A: Organisation of Command of the Allied Military Forces in Scandinavia

1. First stage.

Major-General Carton de Wiart assumes rank of Lieutenant-General (local unpaid), and commands British forces now operating from Namsos and 1st Echelon (three battalions and attached troops) Chasseurs Alpins under General de Division Audet (Operation ‘Maurice’). Major-General Hotblack commands independently all land forces involved in sea-borne operation ‘Boots’ for capture of Trondheim.

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2. Second stage.

Major-General Hotblack’s force (‘Boots’) becomes subordinate command under Lieutenant-General Carton de Wiart at a time to be decided by the latter, which will not be before Major-General Hotblack has reported to Lieutenant-General Carton de Wiart that his force has been effectively established ashore.

3. Third stage.

When Lieutenant-General Carton de Wiart reports that he is in a position effectively to exercise direct command of components of Major General Hotblack’s force, Major-General Hotblack himself will be withdrawn under orders of the War Office.

4. Brigadier Morgan’s force (Operation ‘Sickle’) remains independent under War Office until further orders. Lieutenant-General Carton de Wiart will report when communication has been established with Brigadier Morgan.

5. The movement of the 2nd Echelon Chasseurs Alpins (three battalions and attached troops) will be directed by the War Office in the first instance, but the intention is that as soon as the tactical situation permits, the whole French force should come under the command of General de Division Audet, subordinate to Lieutenant-General Carton de Wiart.

6. It is intended that once the Allies are in full control of the Trondheim area, a corps commander should be appointed to command all British, French and Norwegian forces in Scandinavia.

Appendix B: Instructions by His Majesty’s Government to Govern the Conduct of all Forms of Bombardment

1. The following instruction will govern the conduct of all forms of bombardment until the restrictions therein contained are modified.

These restrictions, in the meantime, are not to be relaxed on any account pending further instructions, even in retaliation for indiscriminate action by an enemy.

2. The object of the instructions is not to define legitimate military objectives, but to lay down a course of action in accordance with the agreed policy, which it may be expedient to adopt at the outset of war. It will be observed that the effect will be to restrict bombardment more severely than is required by a reasonable interpretation of existing international law.

3. Only the following ‘purely military objectives in the narrowest sense of the word’ may be bombarded from the sea or air. Army Commanders will conform generally to the spirit of these instructions.

(a) Naval forces, i.e. warships, auxiliaries actually attendant on the Fleet, naval dockyards, barracks, and other establishments manned by naval personnel.

(b) Army units, fortifications, coast defence works, barracks, camps, billets, depots, dumps, and other establishments manned by military personnel.

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(c) Air units, military aerodromes, depots, storage units, bomb stores and other establishments manned by air personnel. (d) Troop transports (whether at sea or in harbour), roads, canals, and railways used for military communications, military road and inland water transport. Trains, road and inland water transport are not to be attacked unless they can reasonably be presumed to be of a military character. (e) Accumulations of Navy, Army or Air Force stores. (This does not authorise attack on factories.) (f ) Naval, Army and Air Force fuel installations or dumps in the field or situated within the confines of the Naval, Army and Air Force establishments mentioned in sub-paragraphs (a) to (c) above.

(Note.—Bulk stocks of fuel not covered by the above definitions are not to be bombarded under these instructions.)

4. Action against objectives in paragraph 3 above will be subject to the following general principles: –

(a) The intentional bombardment of civil populations is illegal.

(b) It must be possible to distinguish and identify the objectives in question.

(c) Bombardment must be carried out in such a way that there is a reasonable expectation that damage will be confined to the objective and that civilian populations in the neighbourhood are not bombarded through negligence.

Thus it is clearly illegal to bombard a populated area in the hope of hitting a legitimate target which is known to be in the area, but which cannot be precisely located and identified.

5. Subject to the general policy set out above, Commanders must exercise their discretion, and orders for bombardment should be framed according to the spirit of that policy and not necessarily to the letter. In particular it must be borne in mind that the fact of an objective being unquestionably military does not necessarily or invariably justify bombardment of it. Thus an anti-aircraft or coast defence gun situated in the centre of a populous area could not be bombarded with reasonable expectation that damage would be confined to it. A small detachment of troops in billets in, or a convoy of transport passing through a town, or a troop transport lying alongside a commercial wharf, are unquestionably military objectives, but the bombardment of such objectives in a town might involve risks to the civil population out of all proportion to the military importance of the target at the time and might thus be unjustifiable. justification for bombardment even of unquestionably military objectives must therefore depend on circumstances and must be decided by Commanders acting in the spirit of these instructions.

6. The necessary action is being taken to secure the adherence of our prospective Allies to this policy, and the necessary communications are being made to the Governments of the Dominions and of India.

7. Later it may be desirable to extend the scope of these instructions to the full extent allowed for by the following: –

Naval Bombardment—Hague Convention No. IX Of 1907.

Air Force Bombardment—The Draft Hague Rules of Aerial

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Warfare 1922/23 as interpreted in the Air Ministry instructions to be issued in the near future.

Until such times as further instructions are issued from London, however, the above will stand. They are, however, liable to be modified at the shortest notice.

8. The action of armies is well established by practice and is not in dispute. Commanders of military forces on the ground will use every reasonable precaution to avoid undue loss of civilian life by artillery bombardment.

(5) Instructions for Lieutenant-General H. R. S. Massy, DSO, MC [5]

1. His Majesty’s Government have placed you in command of all British and French troops operating in Central Scandinavia, excluding any which may be operating in the Narvik area or based on Narvik. These latter will continue to be commanded by Major-General Mackesy under the orders of Lord Cork and Orrery.

2. Your object will be to establish, in co-operation with the Norwegians, Allied control of Central Norway. To enable this to be done it is essential that adequate ports of entry, including Trondheim, should be secured for the maintenance of your forces.

3. A list of the original instructions issued to Lieutenant-General Carton de Wiart is attached as Appendix B. A copy of the original instructions issued to Brigadier Morgan and of messages subsequently amending these instructions is attached as Appendix C.

4. Certain measures of which you have been informed have already been taken to provide reinforcements for Maurice and Sickle. The forces which you may anticipate having at your disposal as further reinforcements are shown as Appendix D. These forces will only come under your orders when so ordered by the War Office.

5. An operation Scissors for guerilla operations by a number of independent companies is being organised. The first company is due to be dispatched immediately.

6. You will act in co-operation with, but not under the command of, the Commander-in-Chief, Norwegian forces. You are at liberty to place any part of your force under Norwegian command should you think fit.

7. Should the course of operations develop in such a manner as to necessitate unified command by a Headquarters in Scandinavia of all the Allied forces in Scandinavia further orders will be issued by the War Office.

8. Should you become a casualty or otherwise be prevented from exercising command of your force, command will pass to the next senior British officer, who will exercise command and, in the event of a French General Officer being with the force, assume the acting rank of LieutenantGeneral until another British Officer can be appointed.

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9. You will be guided by Appendix E with regard to the conduct of all forms of bombardment.

10. You will keep a constant communication with the War Office, and report regularly as to the situation.

The War Office

22nd April 1940.

[Appendices omitted.]

(6) Expeditionary Force Instruction No. 1 [6]

To Major-General B. C. T. Paget, DSO, MC


(a) A German Army of about one Corps, based on Southern Norway, is operating against the Norwegian Army, which is believed to be fighting a delaying action on the approximate line Hamar-Elverum.

(b) The Germans have also landed about 3,000 men at Bergen; at Stavanger, where they have occupied the aerodrome.; and at Trondheim, where they have between 3,500 and 5,000 men and at least two destroyers. The aerodrome at Vaernes, near Trondheim, is also in their hands.

(c) The German force in the Trondheim area is believed to be disposed as under, but the numbers may be increased by airborne reinforcements.

(i) 1,500 in the area Levanger-Verdalen facing the British force based on Namsos.

(ii) 500 protecting the coast defences at the entrance to the Trondheim Fjord about Agdenes.

(iii) 200 at Stören (twenty-five miles south of Trondheim) operating in a southerly direction.

(iv) 300 operating on the Trondheim-Ostersund railway to the east of Trondheim.

2. Allied forces, consisting of 146 Infantry Brigade and a demi-brigade of Chasseurs Alpins, both under the command of Major-General Carton de Wiart, are based on Namsos. If possible these forces are to be kept in being in order to maintain pressure against Trondheim from the north. You have been informed separately of the composition of the British forces now operating south of Dombaas and of the forces to accompany you.

3. A force of Gladiators will, it is hoped, be ashore by the 25th April. In the meantime a Carrier with fighter aircraft will be off your base at Aandalsnes. Contact with these should be arranged through Brigadier Hogg at the Base.

4. An advance skeleton Corps Headquarters, under the orders of Brigadier Hogg (D.A. and Q.M.G.) is travelling with you and will be responsible for: –

(a) Organising the base at Aandalsnes and organising the anti-aircraft defence of that base.

(b) Reconnoitring a subsidiary base at Geiranger and arranging for its anti-aircraft defence and for the requisitioning of transport for employment on the road L. of C. from Geiranger to your forces south of Dombaas.

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(c) Making similar arrangements at Sundalen.

(a), (b) and (c) above are in order of priority. Brigadier Hogg will be operationally under your orders.

5. On arrival in Norway you will assume command of all British troops in the country, other than those operating under the orders of MajorGeneral Carton de Wiart based on Namsos and those in the Narvik area.

6. Your task will be to co-operate with the Norwegian Army in preventing the northward advance of the German Army based on Southern Norway.

7. It will be necessary for you to safeguard your left and rear against attack by the German forces in Trondheim and parachute-landed detachments on your L. of C.

8. You should make the earliest possible contact with the Commander-in-Chief, Norwegian Army, with a view to obtaining close co-operation towards the fulfilment of your task and the safeguarding of your forces and communications.

You will not be under the orders of the Commander-in-Chief, Norwegian Army.

9. You should report your situation and your requirements at frequent intervals and all information that you are able to obtain.

Your channels of communication are laid down in the Outline Plan and first Maintenance project (G.S. (P) No. 650).

(Sd.) H. R. S. MASSY,

Lieutenant General,

Commander, 5th Corps.

Headquarters, 5th Corps.

22nd April 1940.

(7) Instructions to Lieut-Colonel C. McV. Gubbins, MC [7]


1. Force Maurice has been instructed to send a detachment of too French Chasseurs Alpins to Mosjøen by sea to hold it until relieved by you. This detachment should have arrived there night 1st/2nd May.

2. A detachment from Force Rupert (one company Scots Guards) arrived Bodo area on 30th April and reported ‘all well’.

3. No. 1 Independent Company sailed for Mo against any attempted landings by sea or air. Copy of instructions at Appendix A.

4. Nos. 3, 4 and 5 Independent Companies together with your Headquarters will be shipped from the Clyde probably on morning 4th May 1940.


5. You will assume command of Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5 Independent Companies and any further companies that may be subsequently placed under your orders.

6. You will send two companies to the Mosjøen area as soon as

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possible, after which arrangements are to be made by this Headquarters for the shipment of the French detachment to the United Kingdom.

You will send one company to the Bodo area to relieve the company of Scots Guards whose removal is being arranged by Rupertforce.

7. Your first task is to prevent the Germans occupying Bodo, Mo and Mosjøen. This they may try to do by small parties landed from the sea or dropped by parachutes. Later the Germans may be expected to advance northwards on Mosjøen from the Trondheim area via Grong. You will ensure that all possible steps are taken by demolition and harrying tactics to impede any German advance along this route. Your companies operating in this area should not attempt to offer prolonged frontal resistance but should endeavour to maintain themselves on the flanks of the German forces and continue harrying tactics against their lines of communications.

8. Similarly, should the Germans invade Sweden and attempt to reach the Mosjøen-Mo-Bodo area across the Swedish border, you will employ harrying tactics and demolitions in order to make their advance slow and costly.


9. You will report as soon as possible whether you require additional independent companies sent to join you.

In addition, you can be reinforced at short notice by any of the following in small detachments: –

(a) Light tanks.

(b) Bren Carriers.

(c) 3.7-inch howitzers or 3-inch mortars.

(d) M/c combinations.

provided you can be sure of landing them, employing them to good purpose, concealing them from air attack and maintaining them.


10. An Independent Companies Administration Group is now in process of formation and will leave for Bodo about 7th May. It will be accompanied, or followed closely, by supplies and maintenance stores for the whole force for thirty days. Thereafter Bodo will be kept stocked with thirty days’ supplies and maintenance stores by periodic shipments from the United Kingdom.

Each Independent Company leaving the United Kingdom has been, or will be, accompanied by thirty days’ rations (plus a proportion of mountain ration) and its G.1098 equipment.


11. You will report as soon as possible what assistance you require in the way of small craft for sea transport. If considered necessary by you trawlers or other small ships can be made available.


12. Signal instructions have been issued separately.

Special Reports

13. Report early on the possibility of any landing ground with 1,000 yards runway in the Bodo area.

Additional Officers

14. Eight Indian Army Officers are allotted to you for employment as

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you think fit. The fullest use should be made of their knowledge and experience of irregular warfare in mountainous country.

Brig., G.S., N.W.E.F.

Headquarters, N.W.E.F.,

Nobel House,

2 Buckingham Gate, S.W.1.

2nd May 1940.

(8) Instructions from the Secretary of State for War

Instructions for Lieut.-General C. J. E. Auchinleck, CB, CSI, DSO, OBE [8]

1. The object of His Majesty’s Government in Northern Norway is to secure and maintain a base in Northern Norway from which we can: –

(a) Deny iron ore supplies to Germany via Narvik.

(b) Interfere so far as may be possible with ore supplies to Germany via Lulea.

(c) Preserve a part of Norway as a seat of Government for the Norwegian King and people.

2. As a first stage in the achievement of this object, operations are now in progress for the capture of Narvik. The present forces assembled for this purpose are under the command of Admiral of the Fleet Lord Cork and Orrery; the Military Commander, Major-General Mackesy, being subordinate to him. A list of the Anglo-French troops at present under Major-General Mackesy is given at Annexure ‘1’.

3. It is the intention of His Majesty’s Government that there should be no interference with the existing plans of Lord Cork and Orrery until they have either achieved success or been abandoned. At some future date, however, it will be necessary to revert to the normal system of command.

4. You are appointed G.O.C.-in-C. Designate of the Anglo-French Military Forces and the British Air Component in this area. His Majesty’s Government will decide when the present system of unified command shall terminate. Thereafter you will be in independent command of the Anglo-French Military Forces and the British Air Component and will act in close co-operation with the Senior Naval Officer in the Narvik area.

5. You will proceed to the Narvik area with an officer detailed by the Chief of the Air Staff, and, in conjunction with Admiral of the Fleet Lord Cork and Orrery, report for the information of the Chiefs of Staff the forces required to attain the object in paragraph 1 above and the area which you recommend should be occupied. You should take into account the necessity for making arrangements to enable any iron ore now at Narvik to be despatched to the United Kingdom, and, if the situation permits, for resuming the supply of iron ore from the Swedish iron mines at Gallivare.

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Your report should include recommendations as to the practicability and desirability of repairing the railway from Narvik to the Swedish frontier.

Scale of Enemy Attack up to October 1940


6. The scale of naval attack that may be expected against Narvik is: –

(a) Raids by capital ships or cruisers which, although not very likely, are a possibility.

(b) A heavy scale of submarine attack by both torpedo and mine.

(c) Light craft and M.T.B. attack. Germany will probably take full advantage of such measure of control as she may be able to obtain over Norwegian waters to secure the approach of attacking light craft.


The scale of land attack that may be expected is: –

(a) Raids or attempted landings by parties carried in coastal vessels.

(b) Sabotage, especially of the railway.

(c) Parachute landings.

(d) A German advance from Sweden following invasion of that country.


The Narvik area is within reach of German bombers based on or re-fuelled in Southern or Central Norway. A daily weight of attack of 40 tons is possible from these bases from now onwards.

To this must be added a light scale of attack from seaplanes operating from fjords. The scale and frequency of this attack would be very seriously increased if the Germans succeed in establishing air bases in Sweden, such as Boden (near Lulea) and Ostersund, or further north in Norway.

To meet this scale the Chiefs of Staff estimate that two or three fighter squadrons, one bomber servicing unit and some Army co-operation aircraft are required.

7. When you have taken over command it is intended to withdraw Major-General Mackesy and the Staff of the 49th Divisional Headquarters, less such personnel as you may wish to retain.

8. The forces operating in Norway south of the Narvik area, at present under the command of Lieut-General Massy, may at an early date be placed under your command. The policy as regard operations in this area is described in the attached telegram which is being despatched to Lord Cork and is at Annexure ‘2 ‘.

9. Should you become a casualty or otherwise be prevented from exercising command of your force, command of the Anglo-French land and air forces will pass to a British officer to be nominated by you until another British officer can be appointed. This officer will be given the acting rank of Lieut-General.

10. You will act in co-operation with the Norwegian Commander-in-Chief.

11. You will maintain constant communication with the War Office.


War Office,

5th May 1940.

[Annexures omitted.]