The Struggle of Battle Group Dietl in the Spring of 1940

Alex Buchner

A German account of the invasion of Norway in 1940.
Date Published :
November 2020
Publisher :
Contributor(s) :
Janice W. Ancker
Series :
Die Wehrmacht im Kampf
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612009179
Pages : 240
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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The first English translation of this German account of the battle of Narvik.

Published for the first time in English, this is a German account of the German invasion of Norway in the spring of 1940. It focuses on the efforts of Group “1” led by Eduard Dietl. This group of Gebirgstruppen was landed at Narvik in early April by ten destroyers. These ships were then all sunk by the Allies. Dietl’s troops were outnumbered by Allied troops but his defense utilized ammunition, food and sailors from the sunken ships and his men retook Narvik once the Allies abandoned their efforts to push the Germans out of Norway.

About The Author

ALEX BUCHNER was born in 1920 in Starnberg, Bavaria. Having left school, he volunteered to join the German Army Mountain Troops in 1939. By the end of the war he was a first lieutenant and an officer commanding a company. He spent two months in an American prisoner-of-war camp and was released on 25 July 1945. After re-armament and the founding of the Bundeswehr, he remained engaged with the army and retired as a major (reserve).

A native English speaker of German and Danish descent, Janice W. Ancker holds a PhD in Germanic Languages and Literatures from University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, with a focus on 20th century European social and political history. She grew up listening to stories and experiences of family members who served during World War II. Later, as a military family member, she lived and taught in Germany for more than ten years. She is the translator of Jutland (M. Epkenhans) Hitler’s Wehrmacht (R. Müller), and The Forgotten Front: The Eastern Theater of World War I, 1914–1915 (G. Gross).


1.The Way to Narvik
2.Consolidation of conditions in the battle group Narvik
3.The fight for the south flank
4.Defensive fight with the Windisch group in the north
5.The sections Narvik and Erzbahn until the end of May
6.The situation in the north worsens
7.Large-scale attack against Narvik section
8.Final battle of the group Narvik


"The book does provide detailed accounts of the numerous battles and skirmishes around Narvik in the spring of 1940. The maps are useful to help understand the terrain and geography. The focus of the text is at the tactical level, and any historian interested in the tactics of the Norwegian campaign or of German mountain troops at this time would find this especially useful."

- Journal of Military History

"Buchner's combat narrative provides evidence from the history of mountain warfare that military organizations trained to operate in a specific environment stand a better chance of success in that environment than untrained units. While this strikes us as common sense, history is replete with armies trying to operate in conditions for which they were completely unprepared."

- Michigan War Studies Review

"Buchner, by way of Ancker, has presented an intensely detailed historical account and counterfactual analysis of the strategic dilemmas faced by German and Allied forces at Narvik. As such this book may be of particular interest to those engaged in wargaming and military simulations as a well as historical enthusiasts more generally."

- Naval Historical Foundation

"The story of Dietl's improvisation in the face of such inadequacies is quite impressive...the best account in English of the German side of Narvik."

- Stone & Stone Second World War Books

"...a fascinating look at the battle from the German Side. While the book does reflect the the attitudes of the time it was written, it also reveals what the German troops faced and provides a good account of the various engagements in and around Narvik."

- WWII History Magazine

"...a fresh new modern perspective with the advantage of 80 years of analysis and study."

- Navy News

"This well-researched and very well-written book offers probably the best overall summary available of the military, economic and diplomatic events leading to the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941 and of its inevitable outcome."

- Baird Maritime

"...a well written and very interesting book that would serve as an excellent counter point to publications of Allied efforts in Norway."

- The Military Reviewer

"While the essentials of this campaign are well known, this book brings it vividly to life. It contains a wealth of detail of small unit actions which amply illustrate the superior fighting power of the German Armed Forces at the time."

- Miniature Wargames

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