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Hitler's Preemptive War:

The Battle for Norway, 1940

Paperback (600 pages), kindle, audiobook
The brief but violent campaign to prevent the British from exerting control of the coastline of neutral Norway, while still fine-tuning his plans against France.

Hitler's Preemptive War:

A thorough examination of one of history's revolutionary campaigns...

After Hitler conquered Poland, and while still fine-tuning his plans against France, the British began to exert control of the coastline of neutral Norway, an action that threatened to cut off Germany's iron-ore conduit to Sweden and outflank from the start its hegemony on the Continent. The Germans quickly responded with a dizzying series of assaults, using every tool of modern warfare developed in the previous generation. Airlifted infantry, mountain troops and paratroopers were dispatched to the Scandinavian nation, seizing Norwegian strong points while forestalling larger but more cumbersome Allied units.

The German navy also set sail, taking a brutal beating at the hands of Britannia, while ensuring with its sacrifice that key harbors could be held open for resupply. As dive bombers soared overhead, small but elite German units traversed forbidding terrain to ambush Allied units trying to forge inland. At Narvik, some 6,000 German troops battled 20,000 French and British, until the Allies were finally forced to withdraw by the great disaster in France, which had then get underway.As a veritable coda to the campaign, the aircraft carrier Glorious, while trying to sail back to Britain, was hammered under the waves by the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst.

The air, airborne, sea, amphibious, infantry, armor and commando aspects of this brief but violent campaign are here covered in meticulous detail. Henrik Lunde, a native Norwegian and former U.S. Special Operations colonel, has written perhaps the most objective account to date of a campaign in which 20th century military innovation found its first fertile playing field.

Norway, heavy water and Quisling...

Related Scanning WWII dates...

  • 09 Apr 40: Day 1 of 63 of the Battle of Norway
  • 10 Jun 40: Norway surrenders unconditionally to the Nazis
  • 16 Jun 40: French transfer Norwegian heavy water to British
  • 25 Sep 40: All political parties except Quisling's pro-Nazi party are dissolved
  • 01 Feb 42: Quisling forms a puppet government under German rule
  • 18 Oct 42: Commandos parachute in to recon Telemark plant
  • 19 Nov 42: Sabotage attempt fails when gliders crash en route
  • 16 Feb 43: Commandos parachute in to meet reconnaissance party
  • 28 Feb 43: Commandos successfully sabotage Telemark plant
  • 16 Nov 43: RAF bombs heavy water plant, which is under repair
  • 20 Feb 44: Railway ferry carrying heavy water to Germany is sunk
  • 07 May 45: All German troops in Norway surrender unconditionally
  • 09 May 45: Quisling is captured by Norwegian underground
  • 10 Sep 45: Quisling is sentenced to death in Oslo
  • 24 Oct 45: Quisling is executed by firing squad for high treason

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