The Naval War in the Baltic 1939-1945

The author followed a long career in the Danish Navy, as a torpedo boat skipper, missile corvette captain, intelligence officer and Soviet analyst, with a post as a teacher of naval warfare at the Royal Danish Navy Academy. – This is a well researched, and nicely illustrated book covering the much neglected conflict in the Baltic during WWII – Highly Recommended.


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NAME: The Naval War in the Baltic 1939-1945
FILE: R2544
AUTHOR: Poul Grooss
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, Seaforth
BINDING: hard back 
PAGES:  400
PRICE: £30.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Royal Navy, Napoleonic Wars, technology, naval 
architecture, wood working, model making, construction 
techniques, warships, marine engineering

ISBN: 978-1-5267-0000-1

IMAGE: B2544.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y9swba5x
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: The author followed a long career in the Danish Navy, 
as a torpedo boat skipper, missile corvette captain, intelligence 
officer and Soviet analyst, with a post as a teacher of naval 
warfare at the Royal Danish Navy Academy.  - This is a well 
researched, and nicely illustrated book covering the much 
neglected conflict in the Baltic during WWII  – Highly Recommended.

The author has written a comprehensive review of naval actions and 
interests in the Baltic. For some inexplicable reason, English 
language publications have largely avoided the war in the Baltic, 
but also back through history. The Baltic was and is important to 
the British as a trading area. Elizabeth I considered a marriage 
proposal from Russia's Ivan IV and British traders were already 
sending individual ships and convoys into the Baltic each year for 
trade. British and Swedish interests combined in the German wars 
through the 17th and 18th Centuries. During the Napoleonic Wars, 
Sweden and Portugal were the only European allies at a critical 
stage of the conflict and the British reluctantly invaded neutral 
Denmark before Napoleon could, taking the Danish Fleet out of 
France's reach and maintaining British access to the Baltic. It 
could also be said that the Baltic was to play a very important 
part in the final battle at Waterloo.  Prussian Generalleutnant 
Graf von Hohenlau had put up a spirited defence against the much 
larger French army and only become surrounded because his Russian 
allies broke and ran. Undeterred, he broke through the French 
encirclement and marched to the Baltic Coast. He sent a messenger 
to the British Baltic Trade Convoy, asking the Royal Navy for help 
in evacuating the Prussian Division. Although the British and 
Prussians were not allies, the naval commander agreed and helped 
evacuate the Prussians from under the French guns and on to the 
temporary Prussian capital. Although Prussia was forced to surrender 
they rose against the French at the first opportunity and joined the 
Alliance against the French when Napoleon escaped from Elba. The 
result was that the Prussian army rode to the support of Wellington 
at a critical point in the Battle of Waterloo, securing the final 
defeat of Napoleon who was forced to flee the field and fight his 
own soldiers for access over a bridge in their flight.

It should therefore not be surprising that the Baltic was an 
important theatre during WWII. The Soviets fought the Finns and 
threatened the Swedes, the Germans traded with Sweden and 
supported Finland. Naval actions between Germany and the Soviets 
were bitterly fought and held implications for the siege of 
Leningrad. The Germans were not the only combatants to trade with 
Sweden, the British having as great a need for Swedish ball 
bearings and using high speed aircraft and patrol boats to bring 
the materials out of the Baltic.

The Baltic was also very important to the Germans as an area where 
they could train their submarine crews in relative safety and 
locate their secret weapons development sites. That in turn 
resulted in the British bombing those sites and the shipyards and 
ports from which the U-boats operated. Then, the Baltic was to see 
the tragedy off mass evacuations ahead of the advancing Red Army 
from the Eastern territories, where large number perished.

The author has researched impeccably and shown why the Baltic was 
an important theatre that shaped WWII in ways that have not been 
fully understood. A masterly presentation of a battle area badly 
neglected by historians