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on 29 September 2007
Now, when i saw this book sitting on the shelf in Waterstones, the title triggered visions of detailed plans of possible troop movements, pinpointed landing sites, logistical data and generals drawing arrows on maps. I foresaw this as a long-awaited, unabridged copy of the invasion plans for Great Britain as seen by Hitler and his war cabinet in 1940.
However, it was much to my consternation when i read through this book and discovered that it is actually not plans at all, but more of a collection of pre-war data about Great Brtain; even a travel guide, if you will.
The book, broken down into 3 parts; Analysis and vital statistics, Strategic and military assessment, and Military and geographical phrases, is very intersting and features some fascinating photos of Britain before the war, but nowhere is there printed a single sentence that suggests what the German high command planned to do on the ground. The Wehrmacht, Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe are given no mention, and the logistical feasibility of implementing a sea-bourne invasion is not brought into question.
One can almost see this text being handed to German field-officers as a form of guide book to Britain, and what to expect in terms of infra-structure and population distribution, prior to an invasion.
I have to admit that i am disappointed overall, and feel almost cheated by the title. It seems a little too much hype went into the naming of this book.

Michael Jones
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on 10 January 2008
I have to agree with Jonesy's review of this book.
The title made me think of the arrows from the Dad's Army intro sweeping inland toward London from the south coast and details of where the Panzers would be concentrated, instead I got information about the various types of road surfacing and the percentage of goods carried by canal.

A more apt title for this book would be "Dull statistics of the British Isles, 1940". German invasion plans? Who do you think you are kidding Mr. Bodleian Library?
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on 28 January 2008
This was a dull unenlightening the historian researching WWII from a german perspective it is probably deeply intriging, but as a read unto itself i wouldn't bother. I have read others in this series of reprint and found them interesting, but this simply looks better than it is.
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on 22 August 2013
Interesting and detailed booklet that covers what nazi Germany clearly thought were essential bits of info. Unfortunately, the title is a little bit misleading as aside from some brief mentions of Wales, this is very specifically an invasion guide for England alone. The actual invasion plans cover each section of England from Dover to the scottish border, mentions Cardiff, then stops. If you wanted to know their plans for NI or Scotland or the Channel Islands, or Eire which is geographically in the 'british isles' the is not the book for you.
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on 29 December 2015
The title was intriguing and I expected to read classified information on manoeuvre plans, intentions and stratagems. In a nutshell, I expected to read about the German military thinking and decision process.

This book then comes as a disappointment.

What we get in this book is a plain geographical (physical as well as human) description of largely England during war time. It talks about terrains, landscape and climate; it also covers the human settlements, population density, networks, and industries. Along the way, military considerations are highlighted - ease of troops movements, sources of cover, billeting, provisions, vintage points etc.

Occasionally you will find some wits in the descriptions: "England is also a land of oppositions in social respects. The impact of this, however, is softened by the widespread emergence of similarities in lifestyles; and the differences, because they are considered traditional, do not have such a divisive effect as they would in less conservative countries." "There is also a lower class, fairly substantial in size, of workers on poor to average pay and the long-term unemployed ... Some of these negative developments must be put down not to undeserved poverty but wholly or in part to insufficient competence in domestic matters, specifically among women as well as to a lack of mutual encouragement.' (p. 47) "England, the oldest railway country in the world, has a very tightly knit network with a density relative to surface area that is bettered only by Belgium...The railways are the spine of internal transport in England. State planning was absent from the beginning, so contruction of the railways took place according to economic considerations alone.' (p.40-41)

Beyond these, it is a dry collection of statistics and data on largely England.
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on 6 June 2010
I bought this book for a friend having read it myself previously.

A very serious document but nevertheless amusing in the way that the Germans thought of us as people. References to the 'class' system, with the poorest people not only being poor but filthy and ignorant to boot.

The book runs into much detail as to where cover could be found during fighting and the best parts of the country to obtain food and supplies. Somehow don't think Wales was too popular, not only from the point of view of mountains but also the general lack of food sources.

Great many statistics regarding population and industry, not quite certain how accurate it might have been? Also maps of certain areas highlighting the positions of factories and other places of strategic interest.

An interesting little volume, makes me wonder what we might have written if the same thing had been written by us about the Germans.
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on 4 February 2013
Interesting Nazi view of wartime UK. Good read for anyone interested in this period of the war. WW 2 buffs
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on 5 May 2013
I was disappointed to find the title was completely misleading.
There was nothing much more than a description of Britain and the British, as seen through German eyes.
Certainly there was mention of the cover available for troop movements in certain areas, and a discourse on the futility of attempting to disrupt the British rail network, but that aside the book made bland reading to say the least.

We have all heard the Germans had lists of named people they wished to assassinate or interrogate. They were extremely organized and thorough to the point of obsession. We know they would have pinpointed places to set up their HQs, land their planes and set up supply depots etc, why no mention of this?

Is it possible there is still some form of censorship applying to this information; if so then at least admit it rather than try to palm us off like this.
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on 19 December 2011
Although the title, is partly misleading and should have labelled saying it as a handbook for the German soldier. It is intresting and insightful of what the German military's perspective on Britain was and what they accounted as important essentail military knowledge. A brilliant and intriguing book into the Second World War.
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on 22 May 2015
Somewhat better planned execution than 'home guard pocket book' you'd expect from the Jerries. Its a good job that Operation See Lion was thwarted by the Navy and RAF!
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