In 1940, on this day the second phase of the Winter War commenced with the Soviet invasion of Norway, a move which had been predicted by the Danish ambassador to London, Count Eduard Reventlow.
Pact of SteelWith German intentions as yet undeclared the Western Allies gained no benefit whatsover from this prescient warning. Unable to strategically anticipate the next moves in the theatre, they were forced into committing significant military resources to the defence of Scandinavia before the mission could be fully scoped.
What was clear however was that the German point of strategic interest was Narvik, the railway head from which Swedish iron ore mined at Kiruna and Malmberget was brought to the sea. And therefore the decision was taken to concentrate combined services forces on a strike at Narvik. Whether this bold initiative would create conflict in the Nazi-Soviet Pact, or force the two great powers into an integrated alliance, only time would tell. But in any case the allied strategy of neutralising enemy resources had been fixed right at the beginning of the war with the fateful decision to bomb Azerbaijan's oil fields.
This article is part of our Resource War thread.