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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Excellent Work, 24 Feb. 2014
By 
C. J. Riches (Southampton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Gathering Storm: The Naval War in Northern Europe September 1939 - April 1940 (Hardcover)
Having thoroughly enjoyed the previous works by Geirr Haarr I had no hesitation in purchasing this and have not been disappointed. There is ample detail in the work, covering all aspects of the war at sea in the first few months of the war - surface engagements, the early attempts to make effective use of airpower, submarines, mines, raiders etc. It is lucidly presented and concentrates on operational/tactical aspects without wandering off into political or grand strategy. There are a healthy supply of very clear maps, and a good selection of photographs. What is very pleasing in these days of "rush to publish" is that the layout has been well-thought out with the photos and maps appropriately positioned with the text.

The chapters progress chronologically apart from ones devoted to a particular topic (eg air power), but this doesn't make the overall thread loses track of the broader picture. Quotes bring the actions to life, and there is also analysis about whether particular decisions were the right choices. I have no concerns about the quality of the research that has gone into the book, and even where I thought I had spotted an error, on re-reading it was I who was wrong.

There are a series of appendices, some of which are convenient to include but obtainable elsewhere (ships sunk, ships in a particular force) but also including a list of German ships intercepted by the Royal Navy (which I'd never really given much thought to).

For those with an interest in naval matters in the war, it provides a very readable volume with in-depth handling of a dynamic period.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is how military history should be - lucid, detailed, well-written, 1 Mar. 2014
By 
Henk Beentje "Henk Beentje" (Kew, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Gathering Storm: The Naval War in Northern Europe September 1939 - April 1940 (Hardcover)
September 1939 to April 1940 was the 'phony war' on land, but certainly not on the sea - and this deals with the war in the waters between Britain, Germany and Scandinavia, and the northern Atlantic. There was plenty of action here from day one: U-boats sinkings ships from the Athenia to HMS Royal Oak; commerce raiders such as the Deutschland (later the Lutzow), mine warfare, the Northern Patrol, the Altmark, and the preparations for the invasion of Norway. Actually, this invasion could have been by Great Britain and France, just as well: troops had already been embarked! Haarr describes all this in detail, with many photographs of both ships and actions, and with a good supply of maps as well. It ends with the actual invasion, described by this same author in his earlier books (The German invasion of Norway; the battle for Norway).

My opinion: this is how military history should be. Detailed and based on plenty of research, but still with a solid overview; covering politics and war, ships and personalities, but remaining lucid and very well-written. Very well illustrated (with many photos from the authors' own collection) and with plenty of clear maps - for me, this is as good as it gets. I will buy anything from this author, from now on, sight unseen!
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the money., 8 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: The Gathering Storm: The Naval War in Northern Europe September 1939 - April 1940 (Hardcover)
Excellent
Well up to the standard of his previous books. Recommended to purchase by anyone interested in this period of naval history.
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