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A enlightening account of an overlooked part of WW2.
on 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.