Hitler's Preemptive War

The Battle for Norway, 1940

Henrik O Lunde

Date Published :
November 2010
Publisher :
Illustration :
16 pages b/w photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781935149330
Pages : 600
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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This book describes the often overlooked World War II campaign for Norway—a complex series of battles in which Hitler out-gambled Churchill in order to secure a vital resource lifeline for the Third Reich.

After Hitler conquered Poland and was 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 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 north, seizing Norwegian strongpoints 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 gotten underway.

Henrik Lunde, a native Norwegian and former U.S. Special Operations colonel, has written the most objective account to date of a campaign in which 20th-century military innovation found its first fertile playing field.

About The Author

Colonel Henrik O. Lunde served three tours in Vietnam in the U.S. Army. After a prestigious career in the military, Lunde has written a number of books, including four military history books and numerous articles on military history.


Preface & Acknowledgments

1. Allied Plans–Flawed, Inadequate, and Hesitant
2. German Plans—Bold, Imaginative, and Reckless
3. Ignored Warnings—Ships Passing in the Night
4. Narvik Area Defenses
5. The German Attack on Narvik
6. Destroyer Battle
7. Confusion and Disarray
8. Beachhead Consolidation and Second Naval Battle
9. The Narvik Front, April 13–26
10. Campaigns in the South
11. The Norwegian-French Offensive, April 29–May 12
12. 2nd Mountain Division to the Rescue
13. The Bjerkvik Landing and the Mountain Offensive
14. The Loss of Nordland Province
15. The Week that Lost the Campaign—Strained Relations
16. Time Runs Out
17. Evacuation, Armistice, and Disaster

Command Structures
Operational Code Names


"Lunde has thoroughly dissected both ground and naval battles and managed to make a complex politico-military situation clear. . . . military collections will want to acquire this excellent effort . . .”"

- Library Journal

“..a detailed, well laid out history… essential reading; a must-have in your military library and a job very well done by the author.”

- Military Modelcraft International

“Well written with an unbiased eye. . . . Every aspect is covered, with British, French, German and Norwegian viewpoints, decisions and actions all being taken fairly into account.  .  .  . It’s an interesting story and one I would recommend.”

- Military Modelling

“..will undoubtedly become recognized as a milestone among the books about Norway in 1940.”

- Militoria Historia

“A very detailed look at what was the first “joint” operation of the Second World War, the highly risky and amazingly successful German invasion of Normandy in April 1940…a comprehensive account of what was one of the most complex campaigns of the war…”

- The NYMAS Review

“This large book will fuel debate. . . . Exhaustive research and intellectual detachment enable the author to bring objectivity and a fresh interpretation to a subject that has been until now laden with national self-justification. . . . Holds the reader’s interest while progressing seamlessly from political and strategic decisions to theater operations and tactics of the various national forces engaged, including describing and analyzing combat on land, at sea, and in the air. . . . This book is a gem.”

- Parameters

 “While it's almost impossible to find a new book about a hitherto unexplored WWII-related subject, it's almost as unlikely to discover a new book that turns out to be the best yet written on the topic. . . .  Henrik Lunde's new Hitler's Pre-Emptive War is certainly not the first book about the 1940 invasion of Norway and the battles around Narvik, but it sure looks like the best.”

- Stone & Stone Second World War Books

“…a solid account of the campaign that is both informative and readable, with a focus on military operations that include German, British, French and Norwegian.”

- War Books Review

“Thoroughly researched, objective and thoughtfully written… a highly recommended addition to the historiography of World War II, and sheds new light on this misunderstood campaign.”

- World War II

“…a well documented, critical and hard hitting analysis of the war in Norway.”

- Cybermodeler

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