Norway 1940

Norway 1940

by Francois Kersaudy
     
 

In the late 1930s, as Europe moved toward war, the peaceful kingdom of Norway found itself strategically vital to the interests of Germany, France, and Great Britain. Though Norway was strictly neutral, in April 1940 Britain and France mined Norwegian territorial waters to prevent supplies from reaching Germany. Immediately, the German Reich invaded the militarily… See more details below

Overview

In the late 1930s, as Europe moved toward war, the peaceful kingdom of Norway found itself strategically vital to the interests of Germany, France, and Great Britain. Though Norway was strictly neutral, in April 1940 Britain and France mined Norwegian territorial waters to prevent supplies from reaching Germany. Immediately, the German Reich invaded the militarily weak Norway.

Norway 1940 shows the country fighting valiantly, assisted by the Allies in a two-month campaign that has become a textbook example of confused aims and faulty coordination. François Kersaudy delved deeply into the archives of the nations involved to offer the most balanced account to date. He depicts the glaring political and military errors of the campaign and goes on to consider large questions about its conduct and consequences.

François Kersaudy was a research fellow at Keble College, Oxford University. He is the author of Churchill and DeGaulle.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The German attack on April 9, 1940 came as a surprise to the small, unprepared armed forces of Norway. Kersaudy ( De Gaulle ) describes how King Haakon VII, the 70-year-old monarch, rallied the country to resist the invader while the British and French organized an expeditionary force. In London, meanwhile, opposition to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's leadership escalated precipitiously after the Germans invaded Belgium and the Netherlands; stepping down, he was replaced by Winston Churchill, who decided that British troops were needed to defend England from an expected cross-Channel invasion. By June 9 the last Allied troops had been withdrawn from their ineffectual beachheads in Norway. What influence did this brief campaign have on subsequent developments in World War II? For Germany it meant air and naval bases closer to England; for England it meant the emergence of Churchill as war leader. This workmanlike account of one of the war's peripheral campaigns is of limited appeal. Photos. (Oct.)
Library Journal
The Allied campaign in Norway has had its detractors, but none with the satiric style of Kersaudy. Most of what he damns deserves condemnation--the blindness, refusal to pay heed to early warnings, the constant betrayal of the Norwegians, and the unpleasant mission, given to a lowly field commander, of informing the Norwegian commander-in-chief of the British and French withdrawal. After a brief introduction, the book plunges into the German attack. Oslo's occupation was delayed by the sinking of the German cruiser Blucher in Oslofjord. Otherwise, the Germans had no trouble rousting the poorly armed Norwegians or the British, who lacked artillery, anti-aircraft guns, and tanks. The only bright spot in the two-month campaign was provided by the French, who contributed excellent ski troops and Foreign Legionnaires in Narvik. Kersaudy writes well, and the translation is good; the bibliography, however, lacks important works. For large and general collections.-- Raymond Lindgren, California State Univ., Long Beach

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780099834205
Publisher:
Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/27/1992
Pages:
272

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