Naval History Homepage and Site Search
 
 

BRITISH ADMIRALTY REPORTS of WORLD WAR 2

 

NORWEGIAN CAMPAIGN - ALLIED LANDING PLANS, OPERATION R.4, APRIL 1940

 

Transcribed by Don Kindell

HMS Aurora (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

back to Admiralty War Diaries

 

(for more ship information,  go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search)

 

Norwegian Campaign Operations April to June 1940

 

 

Area of Operations, only some locations in text are shown

 

 


 

 

AIR 15/205

 

SECRET

CYPHER MESSAGE

 

Serial No. 59

To:  H.Q.C.C.                                                                                                                                    Date 1/4/40

From: Admiralty                                                                                                                                Time of Receipt 2115.

 

                                                                                                                                                        Despatch 2240

1/4/40.

 

Following message is passed to you for information. C. in C. Home Fleet repeated C. in C. Rosyth, F.O.C.O.S., F.O. Greenock, C. in C. Western Approaches.

 

C.S.I. from Admiralty. Admiralty 0008/29 to C. in C. Home Fleet only

 

The laying of mines in Norwegian waters may lead to German reaction in Scandinavia.

 

(2). It has therefore been decided to hold troops ready to occupy the Ports of Stavanger, Bergen, and Trondheim and ready to land at Narvik. The operation will be know as Plan R.4.

 

(3). The landing of troops at the three Southern ports will be carried out on similar lines to O.S.O. contained in your No. H.F. 001360/297 of 6th March. It is anticipated that the Troops for Stavanger and Bergen will be ready to embark in cruisers at Rosyth on 5th April and the Troops for Trondheim ready to embark in a liner on the Clyde on the same day. The stores for the three Ports should arrive at Rosyth and Clyde on 4th April. 3 cruisers of 1st Cruiser Squadron and 1 of 18th C.S. should, therefore, arrive at Rosyth early on Thursday 4th April.

 

(4). It is intended that the initial 2 Battalions of the Narvik Force should be ready to sail from the Clyde in a liner about 7th April, accompanied by 2 Cruisers of the Arethusa Class under the Command of Admiral Sir Edward Evans. It is probable that some 200 Men will be embarked in the Cruiser Flying the Flag of Admiral Evans.

 

(5). Request you will arrange for cruisers and the necessary Destroyer escorts to be available at the Clyde and for a Home Fleet Oiler to be embarked to proceed to Narvik, the name of this oiler being signalled in order that arrangements for her to embark certain stores can be made.

 

(6). 2 Store ships for the Narvik Force should be ready to sail from Bristol Channel Ports about 9th April escort to Clyde being arranged by C. in C. Western Approaches.

 

(7). It is probable that subsequent reinforcements, including the French contingent, will proceed to Narvik only. Arrangements are being made for the provision of the local Defences of this Port for Plan R.3.

 

(8). It is not intended that any Forces shall be landed in Norway until the Germans have violated Norwegian Territory, or there is clear evidence that they intend to do so. In addition to the above Forces a Striking Force should be available at Rosyth from P.M. 3rd to deal with any Seaborne expedition the Germans may send against Norway.

 

(9). It is realised that the above requirements will necessitate the withdrawal of all Cruiser support SWD from Northern Patrol and it is at your discretion to withdraw the latter temporarily should you consider it desirable.

 

Further details will be communicated later. 0125/31.

 

                                                                                                                                                T.O.O.  1653

                                                                                                                                                T.O.R.   1934

Decyphered by V.D. Jenks, ASO.

 

 


 

PLAN R.4

 

1. Plan for the military occupation of Stavanger, Bergen, Trondhjem, and Narvik. The Plan is not put into operation until the Germans have violated Norwegian territory.

 

2. NAVAL TASKS

(i). Provision of cover and escort for convoys.

 

(ii). The transport in warships of troops to Stavanger, Bergen, and Narvik.

 

(iii). Provision of local naval defence at Narvik.

3. OUTLINE PLAN

 

Plan R.4 is divided into two parts known as STRATFORD and AVONMOUTH.

(a). STRATFORD force consists of two battalions for Stavanger (Red Force), two battalions for Bergen (Blue Force), and one battalion for Trondhjem (Green Force).

 

(b). AVONMOUTH force combined British and French force of about 18,000 men.

 

4. FORCES TAKING PART

 

A.  STRATFORD

 

Red Force in two cruisers sail from Rosyth on D.1, arrive Stavanger D.2

 

Blue Force two cruisers sail Rosyth D.1, arrive Bergen D.2.

 

Green Force Convoy (T.P.), convoy (M.O.), one M.T. ship (S.S. CYCLOPS with first line M.T. for Stavanger), S.S. CHROBRY sails Clyde D.1, arrives Trondhjem D.4.

 

B.  AVONMOUTH

(a). AURORA (Flag ship of Admiral Sir E. Evans)

PENELOPE

MAORI

SHANTY (n.b. ASHANTI)

FOXHOUND

ESCAPADE

ENCOUNTER

 

             Sail with S.S. BATORY in convoy

 

(b). H.M.S. PROTECTOR, A/S and boom defence trawlers

 

(c). At least six destroyers for convoy escort

 

(d). Convoys

N.S. 1

 

2 Storeships (LOMBARDY and MCGREGOR LAIRD)

 

N.P. 1

 

S.S. BATORY leaves Clyde D.1, arrives Narvik D.5

 

N.O. one oiler leaves Scapa as requisite, arrived Narvik as soon after N.P. 1 as possible

N.P. 2

 

3 liners - EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA, MONARCH OF BERMUDA, and REINA DEL PACIFICO with remainder of British Brigade

 

R.F.A. WAR PINDARI sails to arrive Narvik D.5

 

(e). French component with convoys and escort proceed in two or more fleets calling at Clyde for refuelling and route instructions.

5. AIR TASKS

 

A/S and air protection for convoys and reconnaissance of North Sea.

 

15 Group tasks

 

Air escort required for French convoys in Western Approaches and Irish Sea, and N.S. 1        from Newport to Clyde.

 

18 Group tasks

 

A/S protection from Clyde and Northwest coast of Scotland to Narvik for convoys N.P. 1 and N.P. 2. A/S protection for RED cruisers from Rosyth to Stavanger, for BLUE force cruisers from Rosyth to Bergen, for convoy (T.P.) from Clyde to Trondhjem, convoy (M.O.) from Leith to Stavanger.

 

6. COMMUNICATIONS

 

AVONMOUTH force will keep watch in guard ship on following frequencies, in order of preference.

280 kcs. While air escort is provided

 

Fleet Reconnaisance Wave

 

No. 18 Group R.A.F. main frequency.

In the event of enemy surface forces being reported within 60 miles, all ships set watch on Fleet Reconnaissance wave in addition to any others. All enemy reports are re broadcast by Scapa W/T on Fleet Reconnaissance Wave.

 

 


 

MOST SECRET

 

PLAN R.4

 

INFORMATION

 

1. The decision to lay mines in Norwegian waters may lead to German reaction in Scandinavia.

 

AIM

 

2. To forestall German action by occupying certain ports in Norway in anticipation of the landing of an expeditionary force.

 

PLAN

 

3. Ports to be occupied:

 

STAVANGER

BERGEN

TRONDHJEM

 

Port to be occupied in Force: NARVIK

 

4. Troops for Stavanger and Bergen, approximately two battalions, for each place, will embark in cruisers DEVONSHIRE, YORK, BERWICK, and GLASGOW. These cruisers are to arrive at Rosyth early on Thursday, 4th April in readiness to embark troops on 5th April. Stores for these two ports will arrive Rosyth on 4th April.

 

5. Troops for Trondhjem, approximately one battalion and an advanced party for PLYMOUTH Force to be ready to embark in liner S.S. CHROBRY on the Clyde on the 5th April. Stores for this port will arrive at Clyde on 4th April. Naval escort to consist of three destroyers.

 

6. Troops for Narvik, two battalions to be ready to sail from Clyde on liner S.S. BATORY about 7th April; naval escort comprises cruisers AURORA and PENELOPE under command of Admiral Sir Edward Evans, and destroyers. Times of sailings will be notified later but will conform generally to the sailing instructions contained in paragraph 13 and Diagrams I, II, and III to Plan R.3 (file S.7010/18).

 

AIR COOPERATION PROBABLE REQUIREMENTS

 

7. Diagram II shows four cruisers as sailing approximately noon from Rosyth to arrive Bergen and Stavanger (presumably two cruisers to each place) before noon on the following day. In addition to A/S Air protection, long range fighter protection will probably be required during daylight hours. Dawn and dusk searches of southern half of the North Sea may also be required to give warning of movements of enemy surface craft.

 

8. A/S protection will be required for both Trondhjem and Narvik forces on passage on West coast of Scotland and subsequently on passage across the North Sea. Long range fighter protection from Shetlands may also be necessary for the North Sea crossing for   the Trondhjem force.

 

There is no mention in Plan R.3 of an air component with Stavanger force and presumable the subsequent movements will adhere to the outlined plan shown in paragraphs 11 to 27 of Plan R.3

 

9. Withdrawal of cruiser support from Northern Patrol may require reinforcement of air patrols between Faroes and Iceland and between Faroes and Shetlands. This may require the withdrawal of Sunderlands from units in 15 Group. Flying boats to operate from both Shetlands and Invergordon.

 

AERODROMES AND SEAPLANE BASES ON WEST COAST OF NORWAY

 

10. Naval seaplane stations exist at Harstad and Bergen though it is probable that many other anchorages exist in the fiords. Military aerodromes exist at Vaernes near Trondhjem and Bomoen east of Bergen. The main civil aerodrome is 7 miles southwest of Stavanger at approximately sea level.

 

PARTICULARS OF STAVANGER AERODROME

Landing Area.     N.N.E. by S.S.W. 950 yards

 

                         S.E. by N.W.        1050 yards

 

Grass covered

 

Two concrete runways, 43 yards wide and of same length and same directions as stated above.

 

One hanger 164 feet by 26 feet.

 

Has W/T facilities, transmitting and receiving station and D/F station.

 

Meteorological services and boundary markings.

 

STAVANGER SEAPLANE BASE

 

The aerodrome communicating by concrete road to the Hafs Fiord which is used as a seaplane base. This base is used regularly for commercial traffic. There are two very small breakwaters at the South west Corner with a slipway between them which can only be used at high water as it is of any great length. There is no hanger, but fairly large tarmac and aircraft with their wings more than four or five feet off the ground can be moved along the concrete road to the aerodrome hanger. Believed to be two mooring buoys.

 

 

back to Admiralty War Diaries

revised 14/7/11