Title: Hitler's Northern War The Luftwaffe's ...
Publisher: University Press of Kansas, 2001
Publication Date: 2001
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: First Edition
Fine/Fine. First Edition. author inscription, 338pgs. Bookseller Inventory # 005841
Synopsis: Adolf Hitler had high hopes for his conquest of Norway, which held both great symbolic and great strategic value for the Fuhrer. Despite early successes, however, his ambitious Northern campaign foundered and ultimately failed. Adam Claasen reveals the full story of this neglected episode and shows how it helped doom the Third Reich to defeat. Hitler and Raeder, the chief of the German navy, were determined to take and keep Norway. By doing so, they hoped to preempt Allied attempts to outflank Germany, protect sea lanes for German ships, access precious Scandinavian minerals for war production, and provide a launchpad for Luftwaffe and naval operations against Great Britain. Beyond these strategic objectives, Hitler also envisioned Norway as part of a pan-Nordic stronghold - a centrepiece of his new world order. But as Claasen shows, Hitler's grand expectations were never realized. Goring's Luftwaffe was the vital spearhead in the invasion of Norway, which marked a number of wartime firsts. Among other things it involved the first large-scale aerial operations over sea rather than land, the first time operational objectives and logistical needs were fulfilled by air power, and the first deployment of paratroopers. Although it got off to a promising start, the German effort, particularly against British and arctic convoys, was greatly hampered by flawed strategic thinking, interservice rivalries between the Luftwaffe and navy, the failure to develop a long-range heavy bomber, the diversion of planes and personnel to shore up the German war effort elsewhere, and the Northern theatre's harsh climate and terrain. Claasen's study covers every aspect of this ill-fated campaign from the 1940 invasion until war's end and shows how it was eventually relegated to a backwater status as Germany fought to survive in an increasingly unwinnable war. His compelling account sharpens our picture of the German air force and widens our understanding of the Third Reich's way of war.
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