Any war with Norway/Sweden would have had repercussions with the USA, which was far more important than any short term disruption of the iron ore trade.
One of the great what-ifs....
If the British had launched R4 what would the Norwegians have done? The obvious conclusion is they would have gone to war with the Western Allies and invited the Germans in. But maybe not. Was Norway really going to put herself on the 'wrong' side or would the government make diplomatic grumblings while at the same time accepting - albeit it reluctantly - the landing of troops?
Regardless of whether the latter came about or not, with key ports occupied Weserubung, if attempted, would be a different proposition - and would be most interesting if the Allies got there just 24 hours earlier and Weserubung proceeded as planned (the ships already being at sea). In such a scenario the Germans could well have been dealt a very bloody nose at Narvik, Bergen and Trondheim.
None of the above would alter the fact that the Western Allied troops deployed (in number and equipment) were woefully inadequate, and the Germans would take Oslo and southern Norway pretty quickly, but already the complexion of the campaign has altered dramatically and German losses are almost certainly pretty grim.
And that is before we even think about the entrance of Sweden.....
To me, it sounds strange that there would have been a chance for the Norwegians to simply join the Allies, if they had been attacked by them first. That's wishfull thinking, I believe. The Norwegian people were (and still are) very proud where there own independence was concerned. Don't forget: Norway was part of Denmark for a very, very long time and didn't gain independence until 1905.
It's not the same as with the Baltic States, where there wasn't much support for the Germans even after they "liberated" those countries. The people there didn't forget who sold them to the Soviets first.
Norway didn't have such a thing happening to them, so they would join the Axis states if they had been attacked first...
It might be a language thing so apologies if I have the gist of what you are trying to say wrong.
First and foremost I don't understand 'wishful thinking'. There is no wishful thinking on my part other than a) a wish that the whole brainless idea (R4) had never been contemplated, b) the Norwegians had properly defended their country by using the tools they had available (although fully understand why that was not the case - and they were hardly alone in the 'not being prepared' department....).
'so they would join the Axis states if they had been attacked first' I don't see how you can say that in a matter of fact way. None of us know. We can guess at what might have happened and put forward arguments in support of our views - but none of us know.
'Simply join the Allies'. Again I am not sure what this means. It would not be a case of simply doing anything. In the situation outlined, matters would be very confused and so action to be taken would likely be far from straightforward. My thinking - which was simply putting forward a possible scenario - is that:
a) The Germans (in Nazi form) were not natural bedfellows for the Norwegians. There was only minor support for the nonentity that was Vidkun Quisling
b) At the time the British would have been putting R4 into effect, the Norwegian government was already aware of intelligence coming from Sweden about German plans.
c) This knowledge and the unease it caused would have been compounded by the fact that German soldiers, that were being fished out of the sea at this time, were claiming they were on their way to Bergen.
d) Norwegian anger at the Western Allies landing in Norwegian ports (and adopting as peaceful a manner as possible while so doing) would not have had long to ferment by the time the German navy came tearing up the Oslofjord all guns blazing. Why would the Norwegians necessarily have hatred only for the Western Allies and be prepared to fall into bed with the Nazis just because the former beat the latter to 'invasion' by a few hours?
e) If, before a shooting war had developed with Germany, there had been large-scale Western Allied/Norwegian clashes then it would make the Norwegians less likely to co-operate with the Allies and may have driven them into the arms of the Nazis - but that would be by no means certain.
f) I don't get any comparison between the Baltic States and Norway and certainly wouldn't use Latvia, Estonia or Lithuania to support any theories as to what the Norwegians may or may not have done.
For a country like Norway, throwing their lot in with Adolf Hitler's regime would not have been a certainty in my view even if the Western Allies had just landed in the country.
England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805