Drama Movie

Kongens Nei ——The King’s Choice with the choice of each royal family during World War II

On September 1, 1939, Germany attacked Poland, and on September 3, Britain and France declared war on Germany; on February 24, 1940, the German High Command approved the operational plan to attack France, Belgium and the Netherlands; on April 9, the German army invaded Norway and Denmark, and Denmark surrendered.

The general historical information about the German occupation of Norway at the beginning of World War II is such a stroke, compared with the previous capture of Poland, and later the attack on France, Dunkirk, etc., this is just a small German occupation, not enough to write even a paragraph. Norway was in the westernmost part of Scandinavia and was very important to Germany’s strategy of projecting into the Atlantic, not to mention the iron ore. Since the declaration of war, Britain has laid minefields in Norwegian waters to prevent German submarines and warships from passing through the North Sea. After Germany occupied Denmark (Denmark is in northern Germany, and the Danish army was almost defenseless after the German army broke through the national border, see the Danish film “Opening Day” made in 2015), it used Denmark as a springboard to wage war on Norway. Here leads to the most famous bombing and sinking of the heavy cruiser Blücher at the beginning of World War II. This newest German cruiser after the start of the war was intended to conquer Norway and then fight with the British Navy in the North Sea and even the Atlantic Ocean, but in the end, it was sunk by the heavy artillery of the Norwegian coastal fortress on the first day of Operation Wetherberg in the invasion of Norway, only 6 months after the service.

After learning of the surrender of his own brother, King Christian X of Denmark, King Haakon VII of Norway and his own son’s family began to flee, as the capital Oslo was located at the mouth of the coast and German landing forces could enter the capital almost without any trouble, in fact the Germans occupied Oslo even faster than expected. They evacuated by train, by car, all the way to the northern Norwegian-Swedish border, while the German pursuing troops were so fast that the rearguard was barely able to fight.

On the other hand, the German ambassador to Norway was struggling to find a chance to negotiate with the king, and finally, he was able to negotiate with the king personally face to face, which is the climax of this 2-hour movie, two excellent actors, Denmark’s Jesper Christensen and Austria’s Karl Markovics contributed a wonderful performance for us, the twilight old The king insists on the principles of democracy and freedom that this country upholds, and wants to fight the invaders to the end, while the diplomat does not want the country, whose troops are completely unable to compete with the German army, to fall into the quagmire of a war in which lives are lost.

After negotiations broke down, the Luftwaffe launched an air raid on the King and the government compound, an attack that killed 34 civilians, and in the face of all this, King Haakon VII made his choice – to resist to the end and never compromise.

The film ends here, but the battle for Norway is still going on, with the King and Crown Prince making their way north, even approaching the Arctic Circle. A large number of Norwegian merchant and civilian ships fled to England for refuge, while the Germans quickly occupied Norway’s deep-water ports, which later became the German Navy’s front-runners in the Atlantic and the Allied Navy’s biggest nightmare in reinforcing the Soviet Union from the Atlantic and northern seas. In May 1940, the British army assembled 20,000 men and marched to the landing target of Narvik harbor, while the German garrison was only a few thousand.

Time came to June, the German army on the European continent to advance like a storm, the British and French allied forces were surrounded in Dunkirk, the British for the greater good, had to give up the Norwegian plan, Haakon VII and his father evacuated to England with the government in exile. Faced with the defeat of the Allies, the Swedish government also had to bow to Germany, and Crown Princess Martha (daughter-in-law of Haakon VII), who had already retreated into her mother’s house, took her daughter and son to the United States for refuge until the end of World War II.

After the fall of Norway, Germany built a heavy water plant in Norway, which became an important raw material for the development of the atomic bomb, and eventually the British sent airborne troops to destroy the heavy water plant, killing the German atomic bomb technology, I remember that there seems to be a movie about this, but the shooting is very difficult to see.

Of course, about Norway’s performance in World War II, military fans will remember the Norwegian regiment in the Viking Division.

Appendix: The performance of European royal families in World War II Denmark, Denmark was the first country with a royal family to be invaded by Germany, and Christian X had no time to resist and escape. It was unlucky for Christian X. He came to the throne in 1912, and just after his accession, he encountered World War I. Because of the border with Germany, he appealed to the three northern countries (at that time, only Denmark, Norway and Sweden, Finland was still in Russia) to remain neutral, but at that time, Germany was not interested in the north, and the three northern countries allowed the German navy to pass through their waters. After World War I, Denmark gained a great deal, especially by gaining part of the territory of Schleswig that had been lost in the Prussian-Danish War. After World War II, Christian X was forced to surrender, but he did his best to protect the Jews at home, support the resistance, and even handed over overseas territories (such as Iceland, which was still Danish territory) to the Allies.

Sweden bent the knee to Nazi Germany early on, and after Denmark and Norway were occupied by Germany, Sweden pledged to open its seas and supply iron ore to Germany, gaining neutrality, and Sweden became an informal bridge between the Axis and the Allies in World War II.

The Netherlands, the Netherlands declared defeat and surrendered a few weeks after the German attack. Queen Wilhelmina addressed the nation after the start of the war, declaring no compromise, and a few days later Parliament asked the Queen’s family to go into exile in England, during which time the Queen organized a resistance movement with the government in exile. As in Norway, to secure the royal bloodline, Crown Princess Juliana took refuge in Canada with several children.

Belgium, which replicated the tragedy of World War I because it was just north of France, had to become a “borrowing” tool for the German army. King Leopold III of Belgium made the choice between staying and going, staying himself and leaving the government. Leopold III believed that the only way to help his countrymen was to stay and help the Nazis. During World War II, Leopold III was torn, and even tried to send his children to England for refuge, but they were taken back by the Germans, so he had no choice but to live in seclusion. Because Leopold III went to Germany to meet Hitler during World War II, Leopold III suffered a crisis of rule after World War II, and finally abdicated in favor of his eldest son, Baudouin, who took the throne.

Luxembourg, the royal family of Luxembourg was also forced into exile a few days after the start of the war. Archduchess Charlotte was in England with the government in exile, while Crown Prince Jean went to study in the U.S. Later in World War II, Crown Prince Jean joined the Irish Guards in London, and although he did not go to the front, the prince, in full military dress, was welcomed by millions of people after the restoration of Luxembourg.

The United Kingdom, which was the maternal home of Queen Maud, wife of Haakon VII, and King George VI, Maud’s own nephew, led Crown Prince Olaf to have a lot of opinions about his mother (as reflected in the film) because Maud lived mostly in England in her later years. George VI and his entire family held fast to the palace during World War II, and the Queen Mother refused to take refuge in Canada, only to be evacuated to the English countryside. Crown Princess Elizabeth and her sister Margaret also refused to take refuge in Canada, and in 1940, at the age of 14, Elizabeth made her first public broadcast, calling on the nation’s sheltered children to be strong in the face of war and to help their country defeat the enemy in any way they could. The two pre-teen princesses were also involved in logistics.

Italy, at the time, had a royal family, and Mussolini’s position was that of Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy, with King Vittorio Emanuele III as a mere puppet. Vittorio Emanuele III was not willing to be a puppet, especially since the Italian army was performing very badly on the front, and considering Nazi Germany’s distrust of the former German royal family, even throwing some of the royal nobility into concentration camps (one of them was an Italian princess married over), the king, together with the political forces opposed to Mussolini, made several attempts to overthrow the Fascist rule, and finally in 1943 , Mussolini was imprisoned and later rescued by Germany. Italy fell to the Allies, in order to ease public opinion, Vittorio Emanuele III announced the regency of his son Umberto, with the end of World War II, Italy set off a wave of reverse royalty, Vittorio Emanuele III announced the abdication of the throne, Umberto II ascended the throne, but the nation did not buy, a referendum to abolish the monarchy, only a month or so after the accession of Umberto II announced his abdication in exile.

In 1940, Romania suffered the same situation as Poland, several regions were heavily pressed by Germany and the Soviet Union, Romania was forced to cede Basarabia and Northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union, and Northern Transylvania to Hungary (equal to Germany), Carroll II was condemned at home He fled after handing over power to the soldier Antonescu. Carroll II’s son Mihály I ascended the throne, while Antonescu fell to the Nazis and declared war on the Soviet Union. Mihály I was anti-war and he and his mother protected some of the Jews in the country. When the Red Army attacked Romania late in World War II, Mihály I joined the anti-German political forces in arresting Antonescu. After escaping the Luftwaffe air raids, Mihály I surrendered power to the Soviet Union, for which Stalin awarded him a medal. After World War II, Romania became a country behind the Iron Curtain, Mihály I announced his abdication and lived in exile in Switzerland and the United States. After the great changes in Romania, Mihály I returned to his homeland and retired in the Elizabethan Palace, where he had lived before.

Yugoslavia, King Peter II of Yugoslavia was under age when he ascended to the throne, and was ruled by Prince Paul, who was pro-German. Members of the royal family fled to other countries, and Yugoslavia was divided between Germany, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, and the independent states of Croatia.

Bulgaria, the Bulgarian state Boris III saw the neighboring countries were reduced to the Axis or occupied by the German army, had no choice but to put down the neutral position and Germany, Boris III ceded land and allowed German trains to pass, but strong resistance to Hitler’s order to hand over the Jews and send troops, and finally returned to Bulgaria from Germany on August 26, 1943 after the death of a strange, the queen and some members of the cabinet insisted that the king had been killed by the Germans. After Boris III’s death, his son Simeon ascended to the throne, with his uncle Kirill as regent, who pretty much maintained his brother’s policies, and the Bulgarian government became pro-British and American during the latter part of World War II. After the Soviet Red Army entered Bulgaria, Prince Kirill was arrested and executed, and the young Simeon and his family went into exile in Spain. An economically talented man who was a director of an electronics company for many years, Simeon returned to Bulgaria after the great changes in Eastern Europe to organize a political party to run for office, and he served as prime minister from 2001-2005.

In Greece, the Kingdom of Greece succeeded in driving the Italian invasion army out of the country in 1941, but failed to resist the German attack, and King George II went into exile in England, with most of the royal family in exile (as Greece had long been in a ruling crisis, the royal family had been scattered throughout Europe) and a small number remaining in Athens, such as the mother of the current Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, Alice of Battenberg Princess Alice of Battenberg, who protected the Jews from the Nazis in Athens and was named “International Righteousness” by Israel after the war.

Some of them died on the front line, some died in concentration camps, and some survived until after World War II to be interrogated.

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