News from the Green Howards
FRIENDS LECTURE - FRIDAY 26TH MARCH - THE GREEN HOWARDS IN NORWAY -1940
This Friday Major Roger Chapman will be giving the Friends monthly lecture - The Green Howards in Norwegian Campaign, 1940. The lecture will take place in the Normanby Room, Green Howards Museum, Richmond at 7pm.
It is exactly 70 years ago, that the 1st Battalion The Green Howards fought in Norway during their first campaign of World War Two. Their contribution to the Battle of Otta on the 28th April 1940 - when they gallantly upheld an overwhelming force of German troops for a whole day - resulted in only a couple of paragraphs in the official history of the campaign. Yet it proved that well-led and well-trained British troops could fight effectively without tank, artillery or air support against highly professional German divisions. In the end, the Battalion had no alternative except to conduct a fighting withdrawal, supported on the flanks by Norwegian ski troops.
Roger Chapman, a previous Director of the Museum, will explain with maps and photographs about the German invasion of Norway and the hasty British response to a call for help from the Norwegians. It resulted in a small allied force - ill-prepared and unequipped for mountain warfare, without close-support weapons, artillery or transport - fighting against seven German divisions. The disastrous outcome was inevitable. It exposed the consequences of democratic countries' unwillingness to prepare in peacetime for the demands of war.
The Battalion was signalled out for its endeavours at Otta as one of the very few effective allied actions in the campaign. A Battle Honour was duly awarded to the Green Howards for their gallant stand against nine German battalions supported by tanks, artillery and squadrons of Luftwaffe bombers and fighters.
Tickets cost £3.00 if booked in advance, £3.50 on the door.
The next lecture in the series will be ' Jane Austen and the military as seen through her letters and novels' given by Paul Brunyee, Former Territorial Green Howard, and author of the recently published 'Napoleon's Britons'.