The Germans launched their invasion of Denmark and Norway in Operation Weserübung on 9 April 1940. The Allies and Germans both had plans to occupy Scandinavia, in particular Norway, which was seen as an important strategic territory due to its maritime access to the Atlantic and its northern port of Narvik that supplied Germany with Swedish iron ore during the winter months. Learning of British intentions to carry out an occupation of neutral Norway and an imminent operation to mine the waters along its Atlantic coast, German forces were deployed against Denmark, which surrendered in a matter of hours. A larger force was transported aboard fast naval vessels to attack targets along the Norwegian coast, backed by aerial bombardment with most major towns being occupied quickly. The Norwegians resisted fiercely, with the assistance of the Royal Navy, which was forced to withdraw as the situation deteriorated. The Nazi-allied politician Vidkun Quisling carried out a coup on 9 April and the royal family and cabinet were evacuated, eventually leaving for Britain on 7 June.
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