Arnhem
The great airborne battle for the bridges in 1944 by Britain's Number One bestselling historianOn 17 September 1944, General Kurt Student, the founder of Nazi Germany's parachute forces, heard the growing roar of aeroplane engines. He went out on to his balcony above the flat landscape of southern Holland to watch the air armada of Dakotas and gliders carrying the British 1st Airborne and the American 101st and 82nd Airborne divisions. He gazed up in envy at this massive demonstration of paratroop power.Operation Market Garden, the plan to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond, was a bold concept: the Americans thought it unusually bold for Field Marshal Montgomery. But could it ever have worked? The cost of failure was horrendous, above all for the Dutch, who risked everything to help. German reprisals were pitiless and cruel, and lasted until the end of the war.The British fascination with heroic failure has clouded the story of Arnhem in myths. Antony Beevor, using often overlooked sources from Dutch, British, American, Polish and German archives, has reconstructed the terrible reality of the fighting, which General Student himself called 'The Last German Victory'. Yet this book, written in Beevor's inimitable and gripping narrative style, is about much more than a single, dramatic battle. It looks into the very heart of war.

Arnhem Details

TitleArnhem
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 17th, 2018
PublisherViking
ISBN-139780670918669
Rating
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Military, Military History, War, World War II

Arnhem Review

  • Sean Smart
    January 1, 1970
    A brilliant new history of one of the epic tragedies of the Second World War. As the author states what tempted him to write another history of this well known battle was access to a lot of new materials.Fans of Beevor’s previous works on Stalingrad, Berlin and D Day will not be disappointed but will perhaps feel the frustration and disappointment in the Generals and the planning of this disaster in the making.At one point Beevor writes something like that many of us have pointed out issues and A brilliant new history of one of the epic tragedies of the Second World War. As the author states what tempted him to write another history of this well known battle was access to a lot of new materials.Fans of Beevor’s previous works on Stalingrad, Berlin and D Day will not be disappointed but will perhaps feel the frustration and disappointment in the Generals and the planning of this disaster in the making.At one point Beevor writes something like that many of us have pointed out issues and errors with the plan for example what if the radios worked properly, but it was just a bad plan badly made and should never have happened. I would recommend
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  • Ian
    January 1, 1970
    Although there have been many books written about Operation Market Garden, I hadn’t personally read any before, so when I heard that Anthony Beevor was bringing out a book about the Arnhem battle, I thought “This is bound to be good”, and it is good of course, although best as a narrative.One thing I would say is that much of the earlier part of the book feels like a follow-on from Beevor’s earlier book about the Normandy battle. I haven’t read that and I was left with the feeling it would have Although there have been many books written about Operation Market Garden, I hadn’t personally read any before, so when I heard that Anthony Beevor was bringing out a book about the Arnhem battle, I thought “This is bound to be good”, and it is good of course, although best as a narrative.One thing I would say is that much of the earlier part of the book feels like a follow-on from Beevor’s earlier book about the Normandy battle. I haven’t read that and I was left with the feeling it would have been better to have done so. (I’m not very methodical with my reading and my choice of material tends to depend my mood at the time).Beevor is pretty scathing about Field Marshal Montgomery and the slapdash way the plan was conceived, commenting that historians who have looked at “what if” details of the operation ignore the basic problem that “It was quite simply a very bad plan right from the start and right from the top.” I won’t attempt to go into the many problems highlighted by the author as it would make this review too long. Suffice to say the arguments are set out in detail in the book.There’s a considerable amount of personal testimony, and this is where the narrative is at its best. They range from the humorous to the very moving. After 4 years of occupation, Dutch civilians were bemused at the politeness of the British soldiers they encountered. One diarist commented on how one night a “Tommy” came very quietly down the stairs into her family’s cellar so as not to disturb her children, and politely asked the family to stay as quiet as possible and not use any lights. She added that “A Boche would simply have said ‘Shut your mouth!”A much more sombre note is provided in a story from a Private Milbourne, wounded and in hospital. “A boy from Carlisle”, badly wounded, was in the same ward. One night, when the other soldiers were chatting, they head him “in a hoarse, croaking voice try to sing the first few bars of “God Save The King”. A deathly hush fell over the ward. Listening to the boy, cold shivers ran up and down Milbourne’s spine…Nurses moved the dying boy into a side ward. Milbourne got up and followed him there. He was still trying to sing the national anthem. Half an hour later he was dead.”The Arnhem battle was a tragedy, most of all for the Dutch civilians and resistance fighters, many of who showed unbelievable heroism in assisting the Allied soldiers, and who suffered terrible reprisals after the defeat. If you already know the story of the battle in detail you may not learn much more from this book. For me it was both readable and informative.
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  • Tim Mercer
    January 1, 1970
    Yep 5 stars. Arnhem and Operation Market-Garden has been a passion of mine for years. So when another book came out I actually said that I wondered if new information could be brought to the table. What a mistake. Beevor has done a brilliant job of covering the campaign from both the operational and tactical level. The book is very readable without having to descent into a sensationalised journalistic piece. Additionally he highlighted the impact on the individuals involved in the fighting regar Yep 5 stars. Arnhem and Operation Market-Garden has been a passion of mine for years. So when another book came out I actually said that I wondered if new information could be brought to the table. What a mistake. Beevor has done a brilliant job of covering the campaign from both the operational and tactical level. The book is very readable without having to descent into a sensationalised journalistic piece. Additionally he highlighted the impact on the individuals involved in the fighting regardless of them being combatants or civilians caught in the middle. One thing I feel he updated was the war crimes that happened during the battle. Both the Germans, Americans and British regularly shot surrendering combatants. Sometimes the reasons were pragmatic such as no spare capacity to handle prisoners and sometimes vengeance driven. It goes as far as Gavin having to specifically order his officers of the 82nd to restrain the executions as he wanted some prisoners taken for intelligence. Luckily for a lot of Allied soldiers the unspoken rule of war crime prosecution is that for an action to be a war crime it has to be done by the defeated side. Beevor also went into the effects on the Dutch population. He covers the resulting forced evacuation of the population of Arnhem to the hunger winter that followed across the Netherlands. A lot of this was the direct result of the offensive that falsely created hope for the population to the point they started both actively and passively resisting the Germans. Monty and his staff do get off lightly either. Apart from the traditional criticisms of the plan, he is especially criticised for refusing to listen to critics who highlighted the insanity of fighting with mechanised forces beyond Nijmegen, failure to open the Scheldt and their treatment of the Polish commander Sosabowski. In all a great addition to the Market Garden literature and well worth the read.
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  • Paul
    January 1, 1970
    A return to form from Mr Beevor.Antony Beevor's latest book covers the Arnhem campaign. He starts, as so many others do, at the planning stage, proceeds to the military operations and the eventual unraveling of allied strategy.The difference between this book and previous books on Arnhem is the slowly shifting focus from the military, with its heroes (Sosobowski, Frost) and its villains (Montgomery, Browning and Thomas) to the civilian. The ultimate heroes and victims of this book, with a narrat A return to form from Mr Beevor.Antony Beevor's latest book covers the Arnhem campaign. He starts, as so many others do, at the planning stage, proceeds to the military operations and the eventual unraveling of allied strategy.The difference between this book and previous books on Arnhem is the slowly shifting focus from the military, with its heroes (Sosobowski, Frost) and its villains (Montgomery, Browning and Thomas) to the civilian. The ultimate heroes and victims of this book, with a narrative that ends post-war, are the brave Dutch people.I look forward to seeing the author (for the second time) in an hour.
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  • Rudy Parker
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed 'Stalingrad' as well as a few of Antony Beevor's other History classics. I had an extra level of fascination for this book, since my mother is Dutch, I was born in Eindhoven, and spent a lot of my childhood in the exact area that 'Operation Market Garden' (couldn't they have come up with a more exciting name for this Paratrooper mission?) happened in; Osterbeek, Arnhem, Nijmegen and EDE. It's amazing that not so long ago, a huge battle waged in this quiet area. My favourite part I really enjoyed 'Stalingrad' as well as a few of Antony Beevor's other History classics. I had an extra level of fascination for this book, since my mother is Dutch, I was born in Eindhoven, and spent a lot of my childhood in the exact area that 'Operation Market Garden' (couldn't they have come up with a more exciting name for this Paratrooper mission?) happened in; Osterbeek, Arnhem, Nijmegen and EDE. It's amazing that not so long ago, a huge battle waged in this quiet area. My favourite part was where the retired managing director of the Dutch East India company, had a troop of British soldiers move in. A gun battle ensued and his entire beautiful tennis court was blown up by German shells!Strange to think that not so long ago, Germans were unwanted occupiers of Holland; starving them, shooting them, stealing their property, massacring their Jewish population. It's so important to remember history. I actually enjoyed this book more than Stalingrad, because of the quality of the writing and my personal connection with the area.
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  • Gram
    January 1, 1970
    A highly readable account of the Allied attack on the bridges at Arnhem, in Holland by British 1st Airborne and the American 101st and 82nd Airborne divisions during September 1944. Operation Market Garden, (it was actually two operations - one named Market and the other Garden) was the plan to end the war quickly by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond.Long after the event, Field Marshal Montgomery's own biographer described the operation "foolhardy" and, prior to the att A highly readable account of the Allied attack on the bridges at Arnhem, in Holland by British 1st Airborne and the American 101st and 82nd Airborne divisions during September 1944. Operation Market Garden, (it was actually two operations - one named Market and the other Garden) was the plan to end the war quickly by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond.Long after the event, Field Marshal Montgomery's own biographer described the operation "foolhardy" and, prior to the attack, one senior Allied officer described it as "a suicide mission". Indeed, the fighting around the various Dutch bridges continued long after even senior British military officers decided that retreat was the only option left.From the start, the plan was likely to fail. Montgomery more or less tricked Eisenhower, commander of all the Allied forces, to let him go ahead. But the British ignored intelligence from the now famed Bletchley Park codebreakers that the Wehrmacht and SS were stronger in that area than they had first thought. They also ignored information from Dutch Army officers and Dutch resistance fighters. Ultimately, Montgomery and his generals were amazed at how quickly the Germans retaliated. Radio communications between various forces in and around Arnhem and back at HQ were poor. A set of plans detailing the attacks on the bridges was discovered by the Germans after the first parachute landings - plans which should never have been on board the glider which carried the American officer to whom they belonged. More bad luck followed. Airborne supplies missed their targets. Tanks and other armour due to support the paratroopers were held up when it was suggested there was no rush to get there. Bad weather prevented vital air support from rocket-firing fighters which could have swung the various battles in favour of the Allies. This unrelenting litany of incompetence and bad luck is only broken by stories of many acts of bravery by Allied soldiers and airmen, civilian and military doctors and nurses and also Dutch resistance fighters and the civilian population. The latter suffered terribly when the Allies evacuated the battlefields. 200,000 were made homeless when their towns and villages were shelled and burned to the ground. 2000 died as a result of bombing, shelling and execution by the Wehrmacht and SS who regarded any resistance as acts of terrorism. The entire debacle also caused a rift between senior British and American officers which lasted for decades afterwards.Incredibly, Montgomery repeatedly referred to Operation Market Garden as "90% successful". Reconstruction of the city of Arnhem took 25 years, being finally completed in 1969. Despite the hardships they endured, the Dutch people never seemed to bear any ill will towards the men who fought there. Meanwhile, however, the British military's "old boy network" ensured that no blame was laid at their door while the Polish general Stanisław Sosabowski, commander of the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade was made into a convenient scapegoat for the failure to take the bridges.But perhaps these events are best summed up by Prince Bernhard, who, on hearing of Montgomery's optimistic assessment of Operation Market Garden is said to have remarked, 'My country cannot afford another Montgomery victory'.
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  • Guy
    January 1, 1970
    I have just completed reading Anthony Beevor’s book ‘Arnhem’. Let me say firstly, that this is not a detailed military account of Operation Market Garden; rather it is high level overview of the whole operation, where Beevor dives deep to find examples of the point he is making.My father loathed Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. In addition, he would very rarely ever talk about his wartime glider experiences, especially Arnhem. He fought at Arnhem and eventually escaped by swimming the River Rhi I have just completed reading Anthony Beevor’s book ‘Arnhem’. Let me say firstly, that this is not a detailed military account of Operation Market Garden; rather it is high level overview of the whole operation, where Beevor dives deep to find examples of the point he is making.My father loathed Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. In addition, he would very rarely ever talk about his wartime glider experiences, especially Arnhem. He fought at Arnhem and eventually escaped by swimming the River Rhine having been left behind after the evacuation. Having read this book I think I now have a grasp of why my father felt the way he did regarding Montgomery.Operation Market Garden was probably one of the greatest examples of the damage that ‘Group Think’ can inflict. By mid-1944 it was becoming apparent that the German army was slowly collapsing. In the North-West European Theatre, the ground troops were making great progress; no sooner had an airborne landing been planned, than it was postponed because the landing zones had already been overrun by Allied forces. The highly trained and very expensive 1st Airborne Division was beginning to think it would never see action. Indeed, many senior army officers as well as politicians were of view that the best way to utilise the 6th Airborne was to break it up and add the extra manpower to existing regular army units.Senior 1st Airborne Commanders were desperate “to have a go.” Montgomery was engaged in a constant political battle with the Americans, desperate to cover himself in glory by demonstrating how his master plan would drive the allies deep into the Ruhr Valley cutting off a vast section of German manufacturing and bringing the war to a rapid close. It was after the cancellation of several planned airborne landings that Montgomery saw his opportunity in Market Garden to demonstrate his “military superiority” and airborne commanders saw their opportunity to finally get to demonstrate how effective the 1st airborne really were. The ‘Group Think’ was now in place and woe betide any who spoke against it. In a matter of a few days plans were rushed through and the assault took place.Early in the book Anthony Beaver demonstrates the huge flaws in the planning that Montgomery and several British airborne commanders refused to accept. General Urquhart who was detailed to draw up the ”Market” element of the plan, delivered his plan to General Browning saying he had done as requested but the General must understand this was going to be “a suicide mission!” There were many other contrary indicators and contrary advice that the ‘Group Think’ simply shut out. In some cases, those offering the advice had their careers threatened.The airborne fought like tigers at Arnhem even eliciting praise from the dreaded Waffen SS for their fighting qualities. This was not only two armies in conflict, it also involved the people of Arnhem and notably the vastly underestimated (by the British) Dutch Resistance. After the battle the city of Arnhem was not only totally depopulated by the Germans, their properties and houses were looted and stripped of all they contained as well as many properties being deliberately destroyed. For the Dutch the price of failure was horrific.Many of you will have a fair understanding of the above but Beevor’s book succinctly brings the whole story together in a way I have not seen before; and I have read several books on Arnhem. (‘A Street in Arnhem’ is a tremendous read from the Dutch point of view). Operation Market Garden was a shambles in the planning and therefore became a shambles on the ground. The sacrifice of British, American and Dutch lives was horrific and had people with good experience been listened to it would never have taken place. I now fully understand my late father’s feelings for Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. I strongly commend the book and especially the last chapter on the aftermath.
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  • Mark Adkins
    January 1, 1970
    I know what you are thinking, not another book about Operation Market Garden how can there be yet another one. I normally would think the same thing, I look at my book shelves and I can see four books about the operation specifically and then several other books about World War Two in general which of course mention the battle. However, the author, Antony Beevor much like his does with all his books manages to find new information and present it to the reader and the other information which is f I know what you are thinking, not another book about Operation Market Garden how can there be yet another one. I normally would think the same thing, I look at my book shelves and I can see four books about the operation specifically and then several other books about World War Two in general which of course mention the battle. However, the author, Antony Beevor much like his does with all his books manages to find new information and present it to the reader and the other information which is fairly common knowledge he is able to present in an interesting way. You have the events leading up to the operation, the planning (or lack of planning), the rivalry between the various commanders, the actual battles, and then the aftereffects. One of the interesting things in this book is the the accounting of what happened to the poor Dutch citizens after the battle ended and the Allies were forced to withdraw. The author talks about the Dutch famine of 1944-45, otherwise known as the "Hunger Winter" and you feel for the plight of the innocent victims of the war. As a Canadian I also was interested in the fact that he mentioned the role of the Canadian Army in Operation Berlin (the evacuation of the British 1st Airborne Division), most of the time the Canadian Field Engineer Squadrons (the 20th and 23rd) are barely mentioned. In this book he even references some key participants by name. It is a minor thing but something I enjoyed.If you are a fan of military history I recommend this book and in fact the author in general, you will find it an enjoyable and informative read.
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  • Anthony Nesbitt
    January 1, 1970
    https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/05/a...
  • judo
    January 1, 1970
    This book action packed, well written, main character, protagonist driven, villain well developed.
  • Shawn
    January 1, 1970
    There is no disputing that Anthony Beevor is one of the most skilled raconteur's of episodes from our recent military past. His new treatment of Operation Market Garden and its aftermath demonstrates tremendous research (not necessarily all his own - a point we'll discuss later) as well as a unique ability to weave together disparate narratives into a single engaging narrative. He did this supremely well with Stalingrad, the Spanish Civil War and D-Day to name the more stellar - in my opinion.Be There is no disputing that Anthony Beevor is one of the most skilled raconteur's of episodes from our recent military past. His new treatment of Operation Market Garden and its aftermath demonstrates tremendous research (not necessarily all his own - a point we'll discuss later) as well as a unique ability to weave together disparate narratives into a single engaging narrative. He did this supremely well with Stalingrad, the Spanish Civil War and D-Day to name the more stellar - in my opinion.Beevor's stated objective for revisiting this previously explored operation was to reveal some previously untouched aspects. The result of his re-engagement with the existing record and previous narratives does drive a final nail in any defence that circumstances and not simple lack of solid military preparedness and good strategic foresight led to what can only be termed an abject military and humanitarian failure. Not only did it fail to accomplish the grand objective of establishing a bridgehead to allow a final (British) push into Germany, but it distracted from more pressing strategic concerns (securing and holding Antwerp for example) and led to substantial and easily avoidable civilian and military sacrifices that did not (despite Churchill's statement) grant any substantive strategic achievement.However, I am unconvinced that this conclusion or much of the narrative really sheds new light on the operation or the personalities involved. In fact, as Beevor freely admits in his acknowledgements he relied heavily on the evidence compiled by Cornelius Ryan for his magisterial 'A Bridge Too Far'. Although Beevor (or his team) are superb researchers and were able to draw on additional records and seemingly carried out a superb trawl, I would not come away feeling that the objective of raising new (and/or substantive) discoveries is achieved. There is no doubt that this book may well expose many to this compelling tale of pre-destined operational failure - if you haven't already read Ryan's (or other's work) or sat through the cinematic treatment. The footnotes are possibly some of the more telling and rewarding aspects of the experience. They contain some lovely sidenotes that possibly have escaped earlier note and made for fine reading in themselves.I came away feeling that for all the exquisite detail - it was far too much to really deliver a tight and effective narrative and the cast of thousands made for a real challenge to keep track of. It may well work for some. I felt that, as Beevor admits, he meticulously explored much of the evidence compiled by Ryan and found that much went unused in this earlier work. However, perhaps Ryan was just a better editor and used what was effective and the scraps that Beevor cleaned up off the cutting room floor could have been left there.As seems the generally accepted perspective, Montgomery comes off as a detached ego-driven villain once again, and the peccadilloes of egos, hierarchies and inability to learn from the past amongst the subordinate players demonstrates how not to launch an effective military operation. Nonetheless, the story is well retold, the evidence well presented, and I certainly learned many things I had not known from past recounting (lrgely from the footnotes). However, all in all, it felt that this could have been more effectively told with less detail in a far less elaborate arrangement to better effect. It is difficult to tell the Market Garden story as an upbeat tale of heroism and victory (although many of the politicians and soldiers sought to do so in the immediate aftermath) and the overall tone of Beevor's treatment is not unlike Stalingrad - thoroughly capturing and reflecting the grim, harsh and depressing realities of modern warfare.
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  • Nat
    January 1, 1970
    There is no greater reading pleasure for me than a new military history on a topic I already know a lot about and a couple of summer days to sit outside and read it. I got to enjoy this while sitting on the grass in Regent's Park, in Keble College in Oxford, and finished it on my sunny patio in San Francisco. I have a better sense of the physical layout and timeline of Operation Market-Garden than any other battle. That's because I read A Bridge Too Far several times as a kid, watched the movie There is no greater reading pleasure for me than a new military history on a topic I already know a lot about and a couple of summer days to sit outside and read it. I got to enjoy this while sitting on the grass in Regent's Park, in Keble College in Oxford, and finished it on my sunny patio in San Francisco. I have a better sense of the physical layout and timeline of Operation Market-Garden than any other battle. That's because I read A Bridge Too Far several times as a kid, watched the movie over and over, watched the "Replacements" episode of Band of Brothers several times, watched Theirs is the Glory, played hours and hours of the Nijmegen and Arnhem chapters of Medal of Honor: Frontline, and most importantly, spent weeks and weeks of my life playing both Close Combat II: A Bridge too Far and Close Combat: Last Stand Arnhem. The Close Combat games force you to become very clear on the relation between the major and minor road and railroad bridges all over the corridor from the Belgian frontier to Arnhem. Here's one new anecdote in this book that cracked me up, about the German-born Jewish private Theodore H. Bachenheimer, who emigrated to Hollywood with his parents before the war, and would infiltrate German units to gather intelligence:On 18 September when the Allies had no troops in Nijmegen, Bachenheimer had slipped into the railway station, where many German soldiers were enjoying a meal in the restaurant. Aided by a Dutch Railway engineer, he took over the public address system. After issuing an order to all the Germans in the station to surrender, he fired his sub-machine gun in front of the microphone. This caused the forty Germans in the station to run out in panic. (pp. 360-361)
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  • Philip Brown
    January 1, 1970
    What a bloody disaster! Market Garden otherwise known as the battle of Arnhem, not the book. The book is an excellent testament to all the Dutch civilians and British, American, Polish and yes German soldiers who died in this brutal bloody fiasco brought on by the vanity of Montgomery ably assisted by the preening General ‘boy’ Browning.The book starts with the collapse of the German defences after the battle of Falaise Gap and their retreat across Northern France while pursued by the American a What a bloody disaster! Market Garden otherwise known as the battle of Arnhem, not the book. The book is an excellent testament to all the Dutch civilians and British, American, Polish and yes German soldiers who died in this brutal bloody fiasco brought on by the vanity of Montgomery ably assisted by the preening General ‘boy’ Browning.The book starts with the collapse of the German defences after the battle of Falaise Gap and their retreat across Northern France while pursued by the American army under General Patton and the British Army under the recently and controversially promoted Field Marshal Montgomery. The allied advance ultimately paused in Belgium as supply lines became overstretched and the German army re-organised and put up a more spirited defence. This should’ve been the time for the allies to seize the Belgium port of Antwerp to secure and re-in force their supply lines and prepare for the final push into Germany. However, this did not fit in with Montgomery’s view of the European theatre who believed (contrary to all intelligence from a variety of reliable sources) that the German Army was at the point of collapse and one more co-ordinated attack would finish the war by Christmas 1944. From this was born operation Market Garden where the Market part is the plan involved paratroop and glider drops behind enemy lines at Nimjagen and Arnhem to capture bridges and the Garden part would involve an armoured advance across Holland starting at Eindhoven and finishing at Arnhem 3 days later. Thus the whole of Holland would be liberated in 3 days and the allies would command the German frontier from Belgium to Holland and the way open to the German industrial heartland of the Ruhr would be open.
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  • Colin
    January 1, 1970
    Antony Beevor has produced a concise and readable account of "Operation Market Garden". He has used first-hand accounts from all sides - including the Dutch civilian and Resistance - to provide a fast-paced narrative of the battles of September 1944. There is nothing particularly new about this account, other perhaps than the source material. The background to, and reasons for the failure are summarised rather than analysed in depth. You do, however, get to appreciate the chaos and misjudgement Antony Beevor has produced a concise and readable account of "Operation Market Garden". He has used first-hand accounts from all sides - including the Dutch civilian and Resistance - to provide a fast-paced narrative of the battles of September 1944. There is nothing particularly new about this account, other perhaps than the source material. The background to, and reasons for the failure are summarised rather than analysed in depth. You do, however, get to appreciate the chaos and misjudgement of the Allied operation and the skill of the Germans, both in reacting so quickly on the ground but also in mobilising additional resources from within the Reich in order to eliminate the Allied forces. They partially succeed - at Arnhem itself - but otherwise fail to dislodge the Allies from Nijmegen and the area captured from the XXX Corps advance.It is also right and fitting that Beevor points up the terrible consequences for the Dutch of the Arnhem failure. The "Hunger Winter" of 1944-45 was the German retaliation for their involuntary participation in the battles, and it was an humanitarian disaster.Beevor also has a good piece on the sad story of the Polish participation in the battle and the way in which he feels that the British - Horrocks and Browning in particular - misrepresented the attitude of the Polish commander, Sosabowski.As a narrative of this notorious operation, Beevor's account is excellent. I would have appreciated more analysis of causes and consequences, but this is not to take away from the skill with which Beevor has weaved the many primary source accounts into a readable and compelling book.
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  • Brian
    January 1, 1970
    I have read all of Beevor’s wartime histories and have thoroughly enjoyed them every one. It is his skill as s writer that attracts. He turns what could be dry historical description into thriller-like prose. His account of the characters, the preparation and execution of ‘Market Garden’ is masterful. He paints in ‘mini’ stories of those involved, individual cameos telling you about a squaddie who foresaw his death and was proved correct or a description of young Dutch kids risking their lives f I have read all of Beevor’s wartime histories and have thoroughly enjoyed them every one. It is his skill as s writer that attracts. He turns what could be dry historical description into thriller-like prose. His account of the characters, the preparation and execution of ‘Market Garden’ is masterful. He paints in ‘mini’ stories of those involved, individual cameos telling you about a squaddie who foresaw his death and was proved correct or a description of young Dutch kids risking their lives foraging for ammunition from dead soldiers to give to the hard pressed paratroops of the 101st Airborne trapped in the Oosterbeek Pocket. These are peppered all through the book and make the whole thing so very real. He holds back no punches in describing the idiocy of fools like Montgomery, who has overall responsibility for the debacle, and his subordinates Browning and the strutting but useless martinet Thomas. Their conceit, ineptitude and personal ambition undoubtedly led to the deaths of many thousands of people both soldiers and civilians. He is particularly moved by the vindictiveness shown by Browning and his cronies to Sosabowski, commander of the Polish troops, and their attempts to scapegoat him. Overall a truly excellent book.
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  • Philip
    January 1, 1970
    All I can say after reading Anthony Beavor's latest book is thank goodness I have never had to serve under British generals..... The serial incompetence, studied arrogance and contempt for the sacrifices of allies during the debacle at Arnhem are documented alongside the bravery and self sacrifices of ordinary soldiers. Montgomery and "Boy" Browning despite intelligence, warnings by the Dutch allies, the objections of experienced battlefield commanders embarked on a foolish escapade that saw the All I can say after reading Anthony Beavor's latest book is thank goodness I have never had to serve under British generals..... The serial incompetence, studied arrogance and contempt for the sacrifices of allies during the debacle at Arnhem are documented alongside the bravery and self sacrifices of ordinary soldiers. Montgomery and "Boy" Browning despite intelligence, warnings by the Dutch allies, the objections of experienced battlefield commanders embarked on a foolish escapade that saw the 1st Airborne division destroyed and large numbers of British and Polish soldiers ending up as POW's..... Beavor describes the shameful treatment of the senior Polish airborne officers and the petty insistence that the surviving Polish para's 'walk home' during the retreat while British troops were evacuated on trucks. Lions led by donkeys is an understatement. The lacklustre performance of the Guards Armoured Division who were tasked to reinforce the the Para's and who showed a distinct lack of fighting elan is also well documented. It's little wonder that the senior Airborne officers were so bitter after the battle.
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  • Brian
    January 1, 1970
    General David Fraser, who was a Grenadier subaltern and took part in the battle for Nijmegen, wrote ‘Operation Market Garden was, in an exact sense, futile. It was a thoroughly bad idea, badly planned and only - tragically - redeemed by the outstanding courage of those who executed it.’ It is these people together with the Dutch people, both civilian and the Dutch underground who’s stories Anthony Beevor tells. It is through their stories the true picture of the whole operation can be seen. It i General David Fraser, who was a Grenadier subaltern and took part in the battle for Nijmegen, wrote ‘Operation Market Garden was, in an exact sense, futile. It was a thoroughly bad idea, badly planned and only - tragically - redeemed by the outstanding courage of those who executed it.’ It is these people together with the Dutch people, both civilian and the Dutch underground who’s stories Anthony Beevor tells. It is through their stories the true picture of the whole operation can be seen. It is that for me that makes this and all Anthony Beevor books so enthralling.Anthony Beevor’s story has the drama of the battles, the courage and cowardice of soldiers and civilians and the follies of the commanders. As the commanders were trying to dump their failures on each other the soldiers were involved in ferocious battles that reduced towns like Arnhem to rubble and destroyed peoples homes and lives. Arnhem was not fully rebuilt until 1969.It is, like most war stories, harrowing and distressing. Stories like Arnhem and Dunkirk need to be told and told well. Anthony Beevor does just that.
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  • Kevin McMahon
    January 1, 1970
    Without any doubt in my mind this is a fabulous book right up there with the author’s book on Stalingrad. This one added a great deal to my knowledge of that battle. Yet again we have the poor leadership of the British Army, namely Montgomery, Browning and Horrocks and what really galled me was their treatment of Sosabowski trying to make him a scapegoat for their pig headedness and then doing the same to Urquhart.First class research and a great telling of this battle from both the allied and G Without any doubt in my mind this is a fabulous book right up there with the author’s book on Stalingrad. This one added a great deal to my knowledge of that battle. Yet again we have the poor leadership of the British Army, namely Montgomery, Browning and Horrocks and what really galled me was their treatment of Sosabowski trying to make him a scapegoat for their pig headedness and then doing the same to Urquhart.First class research and a great telling of this battle from both the allied and German side as well as the support of the Dutch people and the cost to them.Definitely a must read for those interested in WWII
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  • Bill McFadyen
    January 1, 1970
    This up to date volume on the Battle for the Bridges 1944 is an excellent read. I trust our present ‘ Generals and Brigadiers’ are just a little more prepared and willing to listen to other opinions than some of those of WW2.It is refreshing to read an unvarnished account of this debacle rather than the earlier self supporting tales written by the main characters in the 1950/60. A bridge too far indeed.The impact on the Dutch has been bypassed in many accounts - here we can see the hell that man This up to date volume on the Battle for the Bridges 1944 is an excellent read. I trust our present ‘ Generals and Brigadiers’ are just a little more prepared and willing to listen to other opinions than some of those of WW2.It is refreshing to read an unvarnished account of this debacle rather than the earlier self supporting tales written by the main characters in the 1950/60. A bridge too far indeed.The impact on the Dutch has been bypassed in many accounts - here we can see the hell that many civilians caught up in the battle suffered - about time.
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  • Ove Kronborg
    January 1, 1970
    En god bog om Operation Market-Garden, der i september skulle skaffe den britiske feltmarskal Montgomerys styrker vej gennem Holland mod Tyskland. Bortset fra forfatterens omtale af de mange planlægningsmæssige og ledelsesmæssige fejl, der kostede flere tusinde britiske og amerikanske faldskærmssoldater samt flybesætninger livet, indeholder bogen intet nyt i forhold til andre bøger om operationen. For mig står Martin Middlebrooks "Arnhem 1944 : The Airborne Battle" fortsat som langt den bedste b En god bog om Operation Market-Garden, der i september skulle skaffe den britiske feltmarskal Montgomerys styrker vej gennem Holland mod Tyskland. Bortset fra forfatterens omtale af de mange planlægningsmæssige og ledelsesmæssige fejl, der kostede flere tusinde britiske og amerikanske faldskærmssoldater samt flybesætninger livet, indeholder bogen intet nyt i forhold til andre bøger om operationen. For mig står Martin Middlebrooks "Arnhem 1944 : The Airborne Battle" fortsat som langt den bedste beskrivelse af begivenhederne.
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  • Gavin McGrath
    January 1, 1970
    Beevor is one of my newly discovered historians. His prose is clear, compelling, and articulate. His storytelling is excellent. The story of the Allied attempt to take Arnhem bridge ‘a bridge too far’ is a harrowing account of bravery, cruelty, stupidity, and astonishing arrogance. The courage of combatants and the astounding character of Dutch people contrast arrestingly with Montgomery and his staff’s hubris. Why Monty wasn’t relieved of command is beyond me!
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  • Craig Pearson
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. As is usual with books of this type downloaded to my Kindle the charts, maps, and photos were left behind. This book virtually cried out for maps to keep the action straight. That is unfortunate because the writing was detailed and easily readable. This is the story of a bridge too far and the egos of generals in charge who wanted to do too much causing deadly consequences to British, Dutch, Belgian, and American troops.
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  • J.G. Cully
    January 1, 1970
    As usual, Antony Beevor delivers a detailed, thoughtful and deeply researched book. Previously I would have counted D-day as his best work but Arnhem now ranks as a close second in my mind, even above the legendry Stalingrad. Personal accounts mix seamlessly with grand strategy and the whole book feels tightly written with every aspect of the battle covered with respect and care. Well worth it.
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  • Ietrio
    January 1, 1970
    I have wrongly assumed this to be a book on the war. Instead it is a romantic novel using as a backdrop the few pieces of information Beevor could catch quickly enough. It's about birds singing and how desolate a place looked that particular morning, when Beevor and his sources were not even aware. A fairy tale.
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  • Scott Gardner
    January 1, 1970
    Another really well written book from Beevor , the Marketgarden campaign has it's myths destroyed and the blame laid squarely at the door of Montgomery , one of the most over rated generals in history.
  • Lee
    January 1, 1970
    Many years ago, I read “A Bridge Too Far”by Cornelius Ryan. Beevor covers the same story, but the historical read each is much deeper, giving details of the political infighting between the same sides - German and Allies - and how the Market Garden Plan quickly unraveled. Lots of personal accounts, to just from official sources. The book ends on a solemn note, detailing the effects of the “Hunger Winter”that killed thousands of Dutch.
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  • Christopher Allen
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting new material I found this to be probably the best of Beevor's books, very well written with fresh perspectives, particularly on th terrible consequences on the Dutch population of this disastrous operation.
  • Teresa
    January 1, 1970
    There is nothing in this book that was not in A Bridge Too Far. It is well researched and written in Beevor's trademark narrative style but the wealth of detail was exhausting and overwhelms the bigger picture. I found the final chapter on the Dutch Hunger Winter to be the best.
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  • Anton Lönnebo
    January 1, 1970
    The book is as is standard with Beevor, good as it does not deal with history regarding the USSR.
  • Garth
    January 1, 1970
    Just another Beevor masterpiece. The man produces very good histories indeed.
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