Norwegian Air Force fighters 1940



In 1939 the Norwegian government was very concerned about the threat of war in Europe.

The ministry of defence was desperate to buy more and more modern weaponry for the armed forces. In their quest for more modern aeroplanes they turned to France and England and tried to place orders for modern fighter planes. However both countries were also rearming their own air forces and were not very enthusiastic to export planes to Norway that they could also use at home.

However both countries also saw the benefit of a stronger northern Europe and in the beginning of 1939 a number of export deals were signed, the first aircraft arriving in April. Further aircraft followed at the end of 1939 and beginning of 1940.


In total the Norwegian Air Force received 56 Morane MS-406 fighters, 48 Hawker Hurricanes and 66 Boulton Pauls Defiant. The Norwegians also wanted Spitfires and Dewoitine D-520s but both of these could not be delivered because of domestic needs.


When in the April of 1940 the German tried to invade Scandinavia the Luftwaffe was surprised by the modern Norwegian fighters, the delivery of which had not been noted by the Germans. As a result the German airlift of troops and equipment supporting the invasion was essentially destroyed and many transport planes and troops were lost.


This enabled the British to land troops in Norway and together with the Norwegian forces they succeeded in driving the Germans out for the country by the 18 of April. After this Norway allowed the British to establish air bases in the south of the country which were used to mount bombing raids on northern Germany from 1941 onwards.



Last updated: 29/08/2017