Norwegian Campaign 1940 - The Naval War

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by Hucks, Apr 25, 2013.

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  1. Hello all,
    First post on the forum although I have been reading the various threads for the past month to get a feel for the place!

    Just thought I'd post a recommendation for two books by the same author which I found to be a superb read.
    The first one is titled The German Invasion Of Norway 1940 by Geirr H Haarr (ISBN: 978-1-84832-032-1) and it is a book that concentrates on the Naval aspects of the campaign from all sides. Despite the author being Norwegian, and the book title hinting at a German 'slant' to the narrative it is in fact a very fairly written book, all sides receiving a balanced, and totally unbiased, coverage. It is obvious that Haarr has gone to great lengths in his research in all 3 main countries to obtain material for this book. I couldn't believe how the Norwegian leaders missed all the signs that something was afoot, something I was not aware of, including the sinking of a troop transporter off the coast of Norway by the Polish submarine Orzel. Looking at the jigsaw pieces in the book you can't help but think "How did they not connect the dots?"
    A few more maps wouldn't of gone amiss but that is a minor issue more than made up for with some great photographs, alot previously unseen I believe, including Blucher's stern rising out of the water as she goes under rather than just the often seen one of her listing over to port, and photos of the damage to the Konigsberg just prior to her sinking.
    The second book follows on from where the frist one leaves off and is called The Battle For Norway April-June 1940 (ISBN: 978-1848320574) and this time has a few more maps. It concludes after the sinking of HMS Glorious.

    He does seem to have a new book out dealing with the Naval war in 1939 but while it is listed on Amazon with a release date of late last year I can not track down a copy. It is called The Gathering Storm: The Naval War in 1939 (ISBN: 978-1848321403). As I can not offer an opinion of this book I will just use the publishers blurb...
    The term 'the phony war' is often applied to the first months of the Second World War, a term suggesting inaction or passivity. That may have been the perception of the war on land, but at sea it was very different. This new book is a superb survey of the fierce naval struggles, from 1939 up to the invasion of the Norway in April 1940. The author begins the book with the sinking of the German fleet at Scapa Flow in 1919 and then covers the rebuilding of the Kriegsmarine and parallel developments in the Royal Navy, and summarises relevant advances in European navies. The main part of the book then describes the actions at sea starting with the fall of Poland. There is a complex, intertwined narrative that follows. The sinking of Courageous, the German mining of the British East Coast, the Northern Patrol, the sinking of Rawalpindi, small ship operations in the North Sea and German Bight, the Altmark incident are all covered. Further afield the author deals with the German surface raiders and looks at the early stages of the submarine war in the Atlantic. As with his previous books, Geirr Haarr has researched extensively in German, British, and other archives, and the work is intended to paint a balanced and detailed picture of this significant period of the war when the opposing naval forces were adapting to a form of naval warfare quite different to that experienced in WWI. This new book is set to fulfill all the expectations raised by his first volumes.
     
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