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The Battle for Norway 1940 - 1942 (Paperback)

Military WWII > Battles & Campaigns > Norway in WWII

By John Grehan, Martin Mace
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Despatches from the Front
Pages: 186
Illustrations: 16
ISBN: 9781526782137
Published: 13th August 2020



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Despatches in this volume include that on the first and second battles of Narvik in 1940; the despatch on operations in central Norway 1940, by Lieutenant General H.R.S. Massy, Commander-in-Chief, North West Expeditionary Force; Despatch on operations in Northern Norway between April and June 1940; the despatch on carrier-borne aircraft attacks on Kirkenes (Norway) and Petsamo (Finland) in 1941, by Admiral Sir John C. Tovey; the despatch on the raid on military and economic objectives in the Lofoten Islands (Norway) in March 1941, by Admiral Sir John C. Tovey, Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet; and the despatch on the raid on military and economic objectives in the vicinity of Vaagso Island (Norway) in December 1941, by Admiral Sir John C. Tovey.

This unique collection of original documents will prove to be an invaluable resource for historians, students and all those interested in what was one of the most significant periods in British military history.

This will be an essential read for anyone with an interest in this often overlooked endeavour re-publishing, as it does, Admiralty and British Army despatches which detail the first and second battles of Narvik, and include accounts of the raids upon Vaagso Island and the Lofoten Islands.

You're in safe hands with John Grehan and Martin Mace, and this slender volume requires and gets light handling from them in the form of a few introductory words. Useful and vital with a handful of photos thrown in.

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Paul Nixon

"The dispatches presented provide a more 'boots on the ground and on board' perspective on the Norwegian campaign and the sometimes cheeky antics of the British commandos who participated in these actions. This volume is definitely worth reading, or even a second read, by anyone interested in the conduct of the Second World War in this region."

The Northern Mariner

This book is part of a series that presents original despatches from commanders at the front, in this case covering the Norwegian Campaign and subsequent commando raids on off-shore islands. The battle for Narvik has been recounted many times but this book provides a perspective through the eyes of commanders. – Very Highly Recommended

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If you are researching or wargaming Norway 1940 and/or Operation Claymore 1941, this book will be of great interest to you. Because in The Battle for Norway 1940-1942 you will find the original words of the commanding British officers. Written not with hindsight, but as they saw things at the time.

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Lars Gyllenhaal

A very informative book, one that I will continue to refer to in the years ahead.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

This to me is a fascinating book because I am an avid fan of documents and official reading, whilst some might find this boring and hard to read, I find it a joy because you getting the actual thoughts and reports of what actually goes on. It’s very much like being a fly on the wall. The majority of the communications are between Admiral William Boyle and John Tovey and other top officers and commanders, and very much details and information about various operations, planning, terrain, conditions, landings, attacks and conclusions. I found this an excellent book and it would be good to see more books like this that rely heavily on official documentation. A definite 4.5 stars from me.


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UK Historian

The book provides a consolidated resource for any student of the war in Norway from April 1940 until December 1941, therefore, I recommend it to anyone interested in the Second World War in this area.

Robert Bartlett, September 2020

This book compiles military and naval despatches from the entire Norwegian campaign, making it an invaluable document for historians and researchers. This is the first time this has been done, and hopefully it will stimulate interest into one the lesser known but significant aspects of the Second World War.

Destructive Music

This book is one of a series published recently by the same compilers, to which I have become a convert. I have found them increasingly useful for my research, and as a quick point of reference in respect of the campaigns they cover.

The book comprises six despatches, one by Lieutenant General MASSY that covers the two operations codenamed Maurice Force and Sickle Force in central Norway; the second covers the first and second naval battles of Narvik, in early April 1940. The third despatch was written by Admiral of the Fleet, the Earl of Cork and Orrery, and has as two appendices, the dispatches those from Major General MACKESY and Lieutenant General AUCHINLECK, which cover the operations in Northern Norway around Narvik. The last three were written by Admiral TOVEY, to detail the operations on Kirkenes, and the raids on the Lofoten Islands and Vaagso Island in 1941. Each despatch is reprinted in its original format, and as such, they contain a wealth of information, including some orders of battle and casualty figures.

The book provides a consolidated resource for any student of the war in Norway from April 1940 until December 1941, therefore, I recommend it to anyone interested in the Second World War in this area.

British Military History

About John Grehan

JOHN GREHAN has written, edited or contributed to more than 300 books and magazine articles covering a wide span of military history from the Iron Age to the recent conflict in Afghanistan. John has also appeared on local and national radio and television to advise on military history topics. He was employed as the Assistant Editor of Britain at War Magazine from its inception until 2014. John now devotes his time to writing and editing books.

About Martin Mace

Martin Mace has been involved in writing and publishing military history for more than twenty years. He began his career with local history, writing a book on the Second World War anti-invasion defences in West Sussex. Following the success of this book, he established Historic Military Press, which has published a wide range of titles. Having launched Britain at War Magazine, he has been its editor since the first issue in May 2007.

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