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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 August 2009
Perhaps it is fact, perhaps it was Hollywood but I was under the impression that many of Germany's most senior officers during WW2 privately referred to Hitler as "that Bavarian corporal." Having been corrected by the attached comment (for which I am truly grateful), all I can find is a reference to him being called "a Bohemian corporal." Bavarian or Bohemian my point of the lack of respect shown to their Fuhrer remains unchanged. And not without good cause. Whilst his position as supreme commander of all armed forces may well have led to Germany's initial successes at the beginning of WW2, his lack of requisite experience in military matters at every level became the main factor in Germany's inevitable failure and final defeat on all fronts.

No country can sustain several campaigns - by air, land and sea, in different theatres of war at the same time and expect to win them all. Hitler, of course knew better. In this book, retired US Army colonel Douglas Dildy examines a much overlooked part of WW2 during which Hitler sought to dominate Denmark and Norway.

In a work which is very well researched, I was staggered by some of the facts and figures produced about a campaign I previously knew little about. With all opposing sides including their commanders, troops, ships and aircraft carefully described, I was particularly surprised to discover how small the British fleet was on the day Britain declared war - even though this was the most powerful fleet in the world at that time. Similarly, I was not aware that Germany lost one heavy and two light cruisers, ten destroyers and six U Boats in this particular operation with only one battle cruiser, one heavy and one light cruiser and four destroyers surviving.

Having skilfully outlined all the protagonists and the forces available to each, this book contains an enthralling account of what actually happened in those northern climes in 1940. I was most impressed by the range of historic photographs which include several Allied personalities in addition to British and German individuals, ships, aircraft, actions and so forth. Once again, Osprey Publishing has included a selection of first-rate artwork to support an equally first-rate product.

This book covers one particular aspect of WW2 with great style. As such, it will fill a gap in the knowledge of a great many people and probably lead to further personal research on the part of many. It certainly has with me.

NM
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 September 2007
As a military history freak I was already somehow familiar with this campaign, but still I really enjoyed this book.

Doug Dildy did an excellent job describing the motives behind the invasion and the reasons for which the Allies were taken by surprise. He very well seized the general spirit of this campaign - in fact, it was an extremely daring operation for Germans, a gamble which could easily fail and in which improvisation and desperate moves played a great role. For that reason it was a very dramatic fight and it makes a great read. You will find it hard to believe, but in one battle, because of lack of fuel German planes actually had to land on an airport still in hostile hands - the turret gunners then kept the Norvegian soldiers at bay until the landing of some paratroopers saved the entire force from certain destruction (if somebody made a movie out of it, the critics would certainly blast it as impossible)! You will certainly appreciate also the pictures of very modern Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft guns of British Army tracted by horses lend by sympathetic Norvegian farmers...

This is also a tale of great heroism - the lonely and desperate fight of HMS "Glowworm" against German heavy cruiser "Admiral Hipper" is very well described, as the daring attack of Cmdr Warburton-Lee five destroyers against a German destroyer force twice as strong at Narvik.... Great blunders are also well described, as the one which resulted in the tragic and avoidable loss of the precious aircraft carrier HMS "Glorious" and the two gallant destroyers which were its only (!) escort, HMS "Ardent" and HMS "Acasta".

Being Polish, I particularly appreciated that our participation in this campaign was not forgotten - Polish submarine ORP "Orzel" torpedoed the "Rio de Janeiro", first German troop transport lost in this campaign, Polish mountain troops fought at Narvik and destroyer ORP "Grom" and great troop transport "Chrobry" became casualties.

Maps are good and there are three colour plates, of which two are very good - only the first, showing the first naval battle of Narvik, is of poor quality. Pity - the heroism of Warburton-Lee and his people desserved better than that.

Only one point, in which I can not agree with the author - according to Doug Dildy, losses suffered in invasion of Norway made it impossible for Germans to succeed in crossing the Channel, even if they won the Battle of Britain. Well, this is a daring statement, to say the least - actually German leadership believed it possible, and Winston Churchill believed it too; strongly enough to mobilise Home Guard and starting fortifying the beaches.... But this is a minor point.

Bottom line, this is a great Osprey Campaign and I recommend it warmly.
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VINE VOICEon 22 October 2009
After reading this book I must agree with the other reviewers that this is a good Osprey book.

It covers a very important episode in World War 2, namely the German attack and occupation of Denmark and Norway, happening at the brink of the French invasion and being a complex sea, air and land campaign.

The book has detailed and helpful maps and the author has skill in presenting his subject and it has none of the hurried feel that some Osprey Books have of late. As a book in English on the Danish and Norwegean Campaings this is without the best and has everything you would need to know and great photographs to boot, if somewhat stiff and less than impressive colour plates but I have never found these to be indispensable.

There is only one area I would criticise and that is the conclusion. Here I think the author is guilty of overexamination. He states the German Objectives at the start and all of these were met and throughout the war Germany did appropriate considerable resources from both countries yet the author does not take this into any account. So I think his conclusion is over simplified.

Where he does shine is in style and the amount of detail he presents and he does all nationalities justice, this is a book about the French, Norwegean, Polish and Danish forces as well as the German and British.

I heartly recommend this book to anyone with interest in World War 2 and not just those who would take a paticular interest in this campaign.
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on 6 May 2013
A great description of undermanned but brave defence of their relevant nations during the beginning of the Wehrmachts unrivalled supremacy across Europe
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on 30 September 2007
Despite its shortness and lack of small unit action (in both Norway and Denmark), it is a very good book which include all of the major land and sea battles, and includes lots of great photographs, artwork etc.

As a Norwegian, I have been able to get books more specific to the small clashes in both Denmark and Norway, but they are in their native languages (Norwegian and Danish) and is probably unknown and unreadable to anyone who is not familiar with it or with the Danish or Norwegian languages. I also noted some minor spelling errors (like King Håkon VII's name should be spelled Haakon VII and Crown Prince Olaf should be spelled Crown Prince Olav), but they are not very important and only Norwegians or people which has an interest on this subject would notice them.

So as I already have said, despite it is somewhat short, it is a very good book, which I recommend for both starters and those who already has some knowledge of this campaign.
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on 2 January 2011
Useful book on an important subject but unfortunately the author does tend to reveal an anti-British sentiment and a use of derogatory terms to describe most British activity in the campaign which jarred with me as a reader. The Allied actions were inadequate and the British were in overall command but I think it telling that after this the Germans never attempted a direct confrontation between the Kriegsmarine and the Royal Navy and suffered so heavily at the hands of the Royal Navy that the Kriegsmarine (U-Boats excepted) played a reduced role in the remainder of the war. Raeder may have felt this a price worth paying at the time but I doubt he expected that the Kriegsmarine would not recover from this early encounter. I believe this book misses this strategic consequence of the campaign.
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on 22 May 2016
good history, good pictures
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on 16 August 2007
This book gives a good outline of conditions and preconditins for the battle. The only German tri service planned operation of the whole war it set the standards for all axis and allied amphibious operations to come. Especially good account of the sea battle and the huge losses incurred on the Germans. Those losses made an invasion across the English Channel next fall impossible. The only drawback is its shortness (the book's that is!) and the inevitable lack of small unit accounts from all those nationals that fought in the battle of Norway.
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