Hitler's Arctic War
Contributor: Thomas Houlihan
Review Date: 22 Jul 2003
Full Title: Hitler's Arctic War: The German Campaigns in Norway, Finland, and the USSR 1940-1945
I have just finished reading this book, and I don't recommend it. Reading it, I felt the book was more about how the Red Army, with some assistance from England, was able to counter "Hitler's Arctic War!" I've never seen so many pictures of Soviet mortars!
I've not had time to go digging for textual comparisons. There are a couple of sections, though, that sound very much like a simple regurgitation of Ziemke's book, "The German Northern Theater of Operations: 1940-1945." At least one chapter starts out by recounting information from other chapters in a manner that made me think of an essay collection. Almost like the two authors worked on different chapters, then didn't bother to compare their work.
One of the first things that drew my attention was the photos. Specifically, a photo of a Hitlerjugend formation, captioned as Gebirgsjager! That wasn't bad enough, but it was done twice! That wasn't all, though, with the photos. I went back and counted, just to see if somehow I had misjudged what I was reading. Bearing in mind this book is about the Germans, there are more photos of Russians here than there are Germans! Actually, of the 150 photos I counted in the book, only 57 of them are of German subjects. Of those, several are from different theaters. There are 3 photos of Quisling, and only two of Hitler. Yet, the book is about Hitler's campaign?
Captioning for the photos leaves a lot to be desired. Some of them are misleading, or just out and out wrong. According to one, 3.SS-Totenkopf was in Finland! One caption purports that a ski patrol is reacting to enemy fire, although the men are just laying in the snow, looking around, with their rifles strapped across their backs!
I purchased this book as a reference for a project of my own. I believe that it will be used more specifically as an example of what misinformation has been published, which can strengthen my own work.
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Winston Churchill, 1935