Following on from my previous post, this picture (partly based on a black-and-white photograph) depicts a group of French and Norwegian troops preparing to march with their skis during the German invasion of Norway (Operation Weserübung).
French chasseur alpins (mountain infantry) were among the thousands of French, British and Polish troops that landed in mid-April 1940 to bolster the Norwegian defence. They are wearing waterproof cotton anoraks, and carry skis alongside rucksacks and additional equipment on their backs. The two Norwegian troops wear grey-green service uniforms with soft winter cap, rucksack, and slung M1894 Krag-Jørgensen rifle; the corporal wears a red rank bar on the cuffs. Next to them is a Norwegian infantry officer wearing a short double-breasted jacket and officers’ kepi.
Allied troops made landings at Namsos and Andalsnes in mid-April, but withdrew by early May. Despite successfully retaking Narvik in the north, the Allies were forced to fully evacuate their troops in early June due to the deteriorating situation in western Europe, ending two months of resistance against the German invasion.
By Ibrahim Zamir