Scandinavian Misadventure: The Campaign In Norway - 1940
Front Cover: Scandinavian Misadventure: The Campaign In Norway - 1940 by Maurice Harvey, © 1990, Spellmount Ltd., Kent, United Kingdom, Hardcover, 323 Pages, 0-946771-44-8, 940-542181. Clash of the arms series; 2. Jacket Illustration: British Ships under air attack in The Vaagsfiord. Imperial War Museum
Scandinavian Misadventure is a meticulous and scholarly study of the politics, personalities and events of these momentous months of 1940, during World War II. Maurice Harvey sets the scene in all the countries directly involved in the conflict. The first four chapters describe the political vacillations in Britain, France and Germany as the Allies looked for a way to disrupt the flow of iron ore to Germany.
The invasion itself is described in detail and the major part of this book, a description of the land battle is divided between the conflict between the Germans advancing north from Oslo and the battle for Narvik and the operations south of Bodo. This book will appeal to the general reader with its vivid, fast moving account of the many military actions on land, at sea and in the air surrounding the Campaign in Norway.
From the Cover Flaps
After the blitzkrieg in Poland in 1939, an uneasy pause settled upon Europe - where and by what means was the war to be fought? All the major protagonists were insufficiently prepared to engage in a major land battle on the Western Front during the winter of 1939/40, the RAF was unready to launch a strategic offensive upon Germany, and it was only at sea that the conflict was pursued with any conviction.
Goaded by Winston Churchill, the Allies contemplated severing the supply of iron ore from Sweden to Germany via Narvik, but for six months the Governments in London and Paris debated incessantly, but did nothing. The Government in Oslo, clinging to their country’s neutralist principles, watched and waited apprehensively, the Altmark incident in February 1940 only fueling their suspicions.
The question of where the war was to be fought was emphatically answered by Hitler. In the early hours of the 9th April 1940, the Germans launched by sea and air a meticulously planned and daringly executed invasion of Norway and Denmark.
The Allies responded promptly, but although their intervention was ill prepared and inadequately supported, it was studded with fierce military actions and individual acts of valor and fortitude.
The conflict in Norway between April and June of 1940 was the first occasion in the history of warfare that all three Services had been engaged in a totally joint operation.
For the Allies the ramifications of this new method of warfare became painfully apparent as the campaign developed. Moreover, it occurred in an area that posed unique problems of topography and climate and was conducted throughout in an atmosphere of political indecision and strategic improvisation.
Air Commodore Maurice Harvey carefully sets the scene in all the countries directly involved in the conflict. The first four chapters describe the political vacillations in Britain, France and Germany as the Allies looked for a way to disrupt the flow of iron ore to Germany without upsetting the Scandinavians, and Admiral Raeder and Vidkun Quisling sought to persuade Hitler to intercede in Norway.
The invasion itself, followed by the two dramatic naval raids upon Narvik are next described in detail. The major part of the book, a description of the land battle, is divided into two parts: firstly the conflict between the Germans advancing north from Oslo with the retreating Norwegian Army and their British and French allies of ‘Maurice force' and 'Sickle force’, and secondly the battle for Narvik and the operations south of Bodo.
As befits an airman, Air Commodore Harvey gives particular emphasis to the implications upon the land and sea battles of the contribution of the two Air Forces involved, the RAF and the Luftwaffe, and three chapters are devoted to this aspect.
The book concludes with an analysis of the lessons to be learned from this disastrous episode in the Allied war effort and charts briefly the Norwegian’s heroic struggle under the Nazi occupying power until relieved in 1945.
Scandinavian Misadventure is a meticulous and scholarly study of the politics, personalities and events of these momentous months. But the book will also appeal to the general reader with its vivid, fast moving account of the many military actions on land, at sea and in the air.
About the Author
Air Commodore Harvey is a serving Royal Air Force Officer and a graduate of the Royal College of Defence Studies. A student of military history for many years, he has published articles on military and political history. The Foreword is written by General Sir Geoffrey Howlett, Commander-in- Chief Allied Forces Northern Europe from 1986 to 1989.
- List of Illustrations
- List of Maps
- Land of the Midnight Sun
- The Scandinavian 'Problem'
- Operation Wilfred - A Day Too Late
- Weseruebung - A Plan For Action
- Ships That Pass in the Night
- Consolidation and Retaliation
- Counter Invasion - "Mauriceforce"
- 'Sickleforce' - Diversion to Disaster
- 'Sickleforce' - Defeat in the Gudbrandsdal
- Air Support - The Missing Link
- The Mastercard - Luftwaffe Operations in Central Norway
- Operation Rupert - Misplaced Optimism
- 'Scissorsforce' -- Retreating Again
- The Captue of Narvik -- Success at Last
- The Gladiator's Revenge - Air War in the North
- Mistaken Strategy - Faulty Execution
- Appendix: Allied Order of Battle
Back Cover: Scandinavian Misadventure: The Campaign In Norway - 1940 by Maurice Harvey
British Library Catalolguing in Publication Data
First published in the UK in 1990 by Spellmount Ltd
© Maurice Harvey 1990
Scandinavian misadventure: the campaign in Norway 1940. (Clash of arms series; 2)
1. World War 2, Norwegian campaign
I. Title II. Series
Typesetting by Vitaset, Paddock Wood, Kent
Printed in Great Britain by Biddles Ltd, Guildford, Surrey