In April 1940, when German forces invaded Norway, Fleischer was commanding the 6th Infantry Division. Ordered to lead Norwegian ground troops against German forces at Narvik in northern Norway, Fleischer managed to contain the Germans in the mountains north of the town. Although suspicious of Britain and France, Fleischer operated in conjunction with British naval bombardment of German forces and with French and Polish land forces on the coast. Fleischer finally defeated the Germans at Narvik, forcing their withdrawal.
After the fall of Norway, Fleischer was appointed commander in chief of the Norwegian army in exile. Later in 1940, he was made chief of the army High Command. Angry at the British for their withdrawal from Norway, he found himself in constant disagreement with London over military policy. In 1942 he was sent to Ottawa, Canada, as military attaché. Later that year he committed suicide, severely discontented with Norwegian military policy.
Brandon Scott Boor
Koht, Halvdan. Norway: Neutral and Invaded. New York: Macmillan, 1941.; Macintyre, Donald. Narvik. London: Pan Books, 1962.; Moulton, J. L. The Norwegian Campaign of 1940: A Study of Warfare in Three Dimensions. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1966.