Book — 312 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
This book examines the meteoric rise of Sweden as the pre-eminent military power in Europe during the Thirty Years War during the 1600s, and then follows its line of warrior kings into the next century until the Swedes finally meet their demise, in an overreach into the vastness of Russia. A small Scandinavian nation, with at most one and a half million people and scant internal resources of its own, there was small logic to how Sweden could become the dominant power on the Continent. That Sweden achieved this was due to its leadership - a case-study in history when pure military skill, and that alone, could override the demographic and economic factors which have in modern times been termed so pre-eminent. Once Protestantism emerged, via Martin Luther, the most devastating war in European history ensued, as the Holy Roman Empire sought to reassert its authority by force. Into this bloody maelstrom stepped Gustav Adolf of Sweden, a brilliant tactician and strategist, who with his finely honed Swedish legions proceeded to establish a new authority in northern Europe. Gustav, as brave as he was brilliant, was finally killed while leading a cavalry charge at the Battle of Lutzen. He had innovated, however, tactics and weaponry that put his successors in good stead, as Sweden remained a great power, rivaled only by France and Spain in terms of territory in Europe. And then one of his successors, Karl XII, turned out to be just as great a military genius as Gustav himself, and as the year 1700 arrived, Swedish armies once more burst out in all directions. Karl, like Gustav, assumed the throne while still a teenager, but immediately displayed so much acumen, daring and skill that chroniclers could only compare him, like Gustav, to Alexander the Great. This book examines thoroughly, yet in highly readable fashion, the century during which Swedish military power set an example for all Europe. While the Continent was most visibly divided along religious lines - Catholic versus Protestant - geopolitical motives always underlied the conflicts. Sweden's reliance on its military skill was especially noteworthy, as it veritably founded the modern concept of making wars pay through conquest. Karl XII finally let his ambitions lead him too far, as did Napoleon and Hitler in following centuries, into the vastness of the nascent Russian Empire, where he was finally defeated, at Poltava in Ukraine. Thus the period of Swedish supremacy in Europe came to a close, albeit not without leaving important lessons behind. In this work, by renowned author Henrik O. Lunde, these are clearly to be seen. (source: Nielsen Book Data)
Book — 409 p.,  p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
From flirtation to coalition
Plans, preparations, and deployments
Operations in Central Finland
The Finnish offensives
Coalition problems and Soviet counteroffensives
Aborted plans and dashed hopes, 1941-42
Front without combat activity--January 1943-June 1944
Soviet summer offensive--June 9-21, 1944
Soviet offensive ends--Finland leaves the war
From friction to fighting
The 20th Mountain Army's katabasis.
This book explores the unlikely coalition between Germany and Finland in World War II, and their joint military operations from 1941 to 1945. An oft overlooked participant of the war, Finland fought against the Soviets in the infamous and illegal Winter War, alongside Germany in the Continuation War of 1941, and finally against former ally Germany in the conclusive and bloody Lapland War. In his prologue Lunde covers the turbulent history of Finland, from its separation from the Soviet Union in 1917 to its isolation after being bludgeoned in 1939 - 40. Lunde examines both Finnish and German motives for forming a coalition against the USSR, and how - as logical as a common enemy would seem - the lack of true planning and preparation would doom the alliance. Lunde posits that it was inconceivable that the highly professional German General Staff allowed itself to accept the militarily unsound and shaky coalition that was waged between Finland and Germany. The war aims were not discussed nor harmonised, there were no campaign plans with tasks and missions spelled out past the initial assault, no effective main effort established, inadequate force levels, and an unsound command structure within various headquarters. Practically every rule in the book was broken. In this book, Henrik Lunde, the renowned author of Hitler's Pre-emptive War: The Battle for Norway, 1940 (Casemate) once again fills a profound gap in our understanding of World War II. (source: Nielsen Book Data)