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Værker af Jim Ring

Associated Works

Slightly Foxed 70: Tigers at the Double Lion (2021) — Bidragyder — 26 eksemplarer
Slightly Foxed 27: Well Done, Carruthers! (2010) — Bidragyder — 25 eksemplarer
Slightly Foxed 43: The Flight in the Heather (2014) — Bidragyder — 19 eksemplarer
The Arthur Ransome Society : transcripts from the literary weekends (1993) — Bidragyder, nogle udgaver1 eksemplar

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Priser og hædersbevisninger
Mountbatten Maritime Award (2001)



I orginally thought this was a book purely about the final assault on the Eagle's nest but it is in fact about was war in the Alps and Switzerland. It was a solid read and filled in some gaps in my knowledge about WWII as I knew pretty much nothing about the Alpine campaigns.
Brian. | 3 andre anmeldelser | Apr 4, 2021 |
Highly readable, with (given the subject) rather detailed bits of "ordinary" history thrown in. Ring's assertation that the English were only interested in scaling the major peaks, however, is wrong. Their influence on climbing involving all fours mustn't be neglected. See the first ascents of the Aiguilles de Chamonix.
Kindlegohome | Dec 27, 2015 |
The story of the Alpine nations in World War 2 is little known; this book goes a long way towards correcting this lack. It takes as its central theme the story of Switzerland, which remained neutral during the war against all odds and expectations. There was, after all, a certain degree of sympathy for the German cause in Switzerland (and indeed, there is a considerable authoritarian streak in the nation even today; I have heard it described as 'the world's most polite police state'...). At the same time, the Swiss are fiercely independent, and value their particular strain of democracy very highly.

The key to the conundrum of why Switzerland avoided invasion lies in two things: firstly, the ability of the Swiss to disrupt vital communication links between Germany and Italy, and secondly, the ability of the Swiss army to retreat to the high Alps and defy any attempts to dislodge them. Ironically, as the Third Reich collapsed, the Nazi regime promoted the concept of the "Alpine Redoubt", where Hitler and his henchmen would retreat to and wage unending guerrilla warfare against the Allies, in no small part inspired by what the Swiss actually were prepared to do. It was all propaganda and fantasy, of course; but fears that it might be true were instrumental in the western Allies diverting their attention to the Alps and leaving the capture of Berlin to the Red Army.

As a neutral enclave in occupied Europe, Switzerland became extremely useful to both sides as a conduit for information, diplomacy and trade; a role it has retained to the present day.

The book contrasts the story of Switzerland with the stories of the war in the other Alpine nations - France, Italy, Austria and Yugoslavia. (This last is rather odd, as Yugoslavia is not generally considered to be an Alpine nation; though there are useful political parallels that make the story hang together.) The book certainly tells some interesting stories, such as the activities of the Maquis in the Vercors, the vast limestone plateau near Grenoble; the short-lived partisan states in northern Italy; or the activities of the Austrian partisan group O5; but other stories are missed or glossed over. After all, the one place where the Stauffenberg plot to assassinate Hitler was put into full action was in Austria; and I got more detail on the partisan war in Yugoslavia from a book on Bosnian narrow-gauge railways than I found here. And if Yugoslavia, why not Greece? Again; the book mentions the Kehlsteinhaus, the one remaining building from the Obersalzburg complex that formed Hitler's mountain retreat but once, and fails to mention the story of its construction and the perhaps more remarkable story of its retention after the war against the opposition of the occupying Allies.

There is also a serious lack of fact-checking and ignorance of the general political, cultural and social landscape of Europe, both then and now. Errors such as connecting the legend of the sleeping monarch Barbarossa under the German Alps to Wagnerian opera (a project Wagner considered and did preparatory sketches on, but which never resulted in a finished work); describing Göring's Schloss Mauterndorf as "Bavarian" when it is as close to the centre of Austria as you can get; or, more seriously, considering the 97% 'yes' vote in the Austrian Anschluß plebiscite as a legitimate expression of the will of the Austrian people when its status as a classic rigged ballot is well-known, are blithely slipped into the text as minor asides delivered with the knowingness of the expert. These errors, connected with a writing style that is unabashed popularism and some heavy-handed political opinions promoted as gospel fact betray this as a hurried work of journalism rather than a considered work of history.

Yet its subject has been little covered and that alone makes this useful; but serious researchers will want to supplement it with more detailed sources.
… (mere)
2 stem
RobertDay | 3 andre anmeldelser | Sep 3, 2014 |
Just when you thought every possible story about WWII had been covered, up comes a book like this and reveals so much new. While aspects of this book have been represented tangentially in many other books, Ring is the first to bring together a comprehensive history of the Alps as a geographical entity in its own right in WWII . The heart of the story concerns Switzerland, the only nation contained entirely within the Alps, an island of democracy surrounded hy hostile fascist states, Germany, Italy and Vichy France, twice coming within hours of German invasion, but surviving through luck and advantageous developments elsewhere in Europe. This is the first book I have read that deals comprehensively with Switzerland's war experience, a nation that is in the background of of so many other war stories, as refuge for escaping Allied POWS and Jews fleeing genocide, a haunt of Allied and German spies, the only place where warring nations could conduct business with each other, and less palatably, as the eager recipient of Nazi gold ripped from the mouths of concentration camp victims. In addition Ring deals with other little known campaigns of WWII, the heroic fights of French resistance and Italian anti-fascist partisans, and the British playing off the communist and royalist resistance in Yugoslavia util they decided to support Tito's communist partisans, with major consequences for post-war Europe. Also covered in depth is Berchtesgarden, Hitler's Alpine retreat, its place in Hitler's heart and in his plans including as part of a planned impregnable redoubt to stave off defeat. Its not a perfect book by any means, sometimes it drags, and an occassional tone of forced jocularity is awkward, but for what it represents, bringing a largely neglected theatreof WWII together in its proper historical and geographical context, it is a terriffic read and a genuine revelation.… (mere)
drmaf | 3 andre anmeldelser | Nov 3, 2013 |


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