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The Sinking of the Blücher (Hardback)

The Battle of Drøbak Narrows: April 1940

Maritime > Naval Military > By Century > 20th Century Military > Greenhill Books > Greenhill: 20th Century Military > Greenhill Books > Greenhill: WWII P&S History > British History P&S History > Social Science & Culture > Politics > Political History Photographic Books WWI > Naval Battles WWII > Battles & Campaigns > Norway in WWII WWII > Naval Warfare WWII WWII > Photographic Books World History > Europe World History > UK & Ireland

By Geirr H Haarr, Tor Jørgen Melien
Greenhill Books
Pages: 432
Illustrations: 200 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781784388751
Published: 6th March 2023

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A lesser-known event during World War II, the sinking of the Blücher is key part of naval history that marked the beginning of the Norwegian Campaign. The Sinking of the Blücher is a comprehensive investigation into why the German cruiser, named for Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher (Prussian victor of the Battle of Waterloo), was approaching Oslo on the night of 9th April 1940, why and how she was sunk and the ramifications and significance of the event. The text also explores the influence of the British government and military on the reasons behind Operation Weserübung, the German invasion of Norway.

This book is a methodical, unbiased compilation of primary sources and archival material. It details the sequence of events leading to the sinking of the Blücher, the flagship of the force that was to seize Oslo, from setting sail for Norway, to evading British submarines in the Skagerrak, and finally sinking to the bottom of the Drøbak Narrows after being struck by Oscarsborg fortress gunfire and torpedoes. The text, which connects intricate accounts of the attacks, paints a picture of the sinking and explains the politics behind the military operations, and the result of the sinking which enabled King Haakon and his Government to escape to Britain, join the Allies and continue the resistance from there. Simultaneously, the primary source material individualise the sailors and military personnel involved in the sinking from both sides. The writing is accompanied by multiple maps and upwards of 200 stunning, photographs, many never-before-seen.

’This book is based upon deep, painstaking and thorough research with the use of many primary sources, archives, memoirs and the most comprehensive range of published material… this book represents essential reading for those with a serious interest in the Scandinavian theatre and European naval affairs during the Second World War. It is also fitting that this aspect of the war is garnering the attention it deserves.’

The Mariner's Mirror

Full review available at: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://seahistory.org/wp-content/uploads/The-Sinking-of-the-Blucher_-The-Battle-of-Drobak-Narrows_-April-1940-Review.pdf

Charles C. Kolb, Ph.D, Sea History

"...one of the best volumes on war in the European Theater that I have read in some time."

Read the review here

Sea History Newsletter

I was extremely keen to receive and read ‘The Sinking Of The Bulcher’ when it was published due to my service in the Royal Navy.

As with the majority of P&S publications I am amazed at the amount of research that must have been carried out by the authors which includes records from Germany, Norway, Denmark, America and the UK.

A must read for all interested in this period and location during WWII.

Navy Daze, The Ton Class Association

Article: Quick Thinking in the Dark

The Spectator

As featured in

The Bookseller, Jan 23

About Geirr H Haarr

Geirr H. Haarr is a Norwegian living in Stavanger. He has written several books in English and Norwegian, focusing on naval history. His books are characterised by thorough research, primary sources and a high degree of objectivity, tying together convoluted storylines into a lucid and engaging narrative. His text has both human and historical interest which appeals to a wide readership.


About Tor Jørgen Melien

Tor Jørgen Melien is a Kommandørkaptein (ret.) (Commander SG) from the Norwegian Navy and has a Cand Philol (MA+) degree in history from the University of Oslo. He served in the Coast Artillery, including Oscarsborg Fortress during the Cold War. In addition, he served as Commander at Bolærne Fort and acting Commander at Rauøy Fort, all part of the events described in this book. Later he worked at The Defence Staff, at the Ministry of Defence, and at NATO SHAPE in Belgium. Melien has been Editor for the Norwegian Military Journal. Since 2008 he has been working as historian and Research Scientist at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies. 

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