Northern gate was blown up by the Germans

On April 9th 1940 at 4.15 in the morning, the Germans hit Denmark. Their plan was called “Weserübung” and was originally conceived as an attack against Norway. Since the German fighter planes did not have enough range to fly to Norway, the Germans planned for an occupation of the northern part of Jutland, and take the air field of Ålborg to be used as a middle station. However the plan was changed by a stroke of a pen, to occupy all of Denmark, in spite of a recent Non-Aggresion Pact signed by Hitler himself.

As “Kastellet” then housed both the commanding General as well as the Danish General Staff they deemed it important to control it from the first minutes of the occupation. The plan was in fact inspired by a novel called “Doomsday” of 1908, where the citadel was taken almost exactly as it happened in 1940. A German battalion under command of Major Glein was taken aboard the ship “S.S. Hansestadt Danzig” and sailed all around Zealand, and disembarked the troops at Langelinje, where a nazi-friendly haulage contractor had parked several Lorries for their use. These, however were not needed for the “Kastellet”. The soldiers simply ran from Langelinje to the Norgesport (the North Gate) which was closed. They placed a charge and blew it open, after which they streamed into the Kastellet, shouting that they came as friends – a somewhat strange entry by friends. The small Danish guard of only 6 men were quickly overcome, and they took Kastellet in possession, which remained occupied for the duration of the war – even longer, since the very last Germans (members of the so called ”Dienstgruppe Dänemark” that took care of the demobilization of the German army) did not leave until 22nd December 1946. 


Here is the blown Norgesport the day after. The lock was blown more than 200 meter into the citadel, but the only one to get hurt was one of their own NCO’s that was wounded by the explosion.


The marks of the explosion is clearly visible even today in the old stones of the gate. This day has been documented in the book ”Kastellet den 9. April 1940” by Michel Boucheny, published by Kastellets Venner. Only in Danish, unfortunately.