The battle of Arnhem The deadliest airborne operation of World War II

Antony Beevor

Book - 2018

"On September 17, 1944, General Kurt Student, the founder of Nazi Germany's parachute forces, heard the groaning roar of airplane engines. He went out onto his balcony above the flat landscape of southern Holland to watch the air armada of Dakotas and gliders, carrying the legendary American 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions and the British 1st Airborne Division. Operation Market Garden, the plan to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond, was a bold ...concept, but could it have ever 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. Antony Beevor, using often overlooked sources from Dutch, American, British, Polish, and German archives, has reconstructed the terrible reality of the fighting, which General Student called "The Last German Victory." Yet The Battle of Arnhem, written with Beevor's inimitable style and gripping narrative, is about much more than a single dramatic battle--it looks into the very heart of war."--Inside jacket flap.

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Subjects
Published
New York : Viking [2018]
Language
English
Item Description
"The prizewinning historian and internationally bestselling author of "D-Day" reconstructs the devastating airborne battle of Arnhem in this gripping new account."--Amazon.
Maps on end papers.
Physical Description
xvii, 459 pages, 32 unnumbered leaves of plates : black and white photographs, maps ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliography (pages 433-439) and index.
ISBN
0525429824
9780525429821
Main Author
Antony Beevor (author)
Other Authors
Jeff Edwards (illustrator)
Review by Choice Reviews

Operation Market Garden, the Allied attempt to seize the Rhine Bridge at Arnhem by a combined ground and airborne (parachute/glider) assault, has been written about many times. This battle narrative differentiates itself from the others in several ways. First, and most important, is the preservation of the historicity of the event—no small feat. Every reader knows the Germans will repel the attack, and the challenge—here accomplished—is to reconstruct the battle in a way that maintains the "openness" of the event despite the outcome. The creation of this context underlies the author's solid analysis of what went wrong rather than the breaking of new ground in understanding that failure (upon which most military historians agree). Another unique aspect of this account is its reliance on primary sources (found in endnotes) whose information is skillfully incorporated into an eminently readable narrative attractive to both general readers and more serious students or scholars. Clear, informative maps are liberally sprinkled throughout the text, and both a glossary and a table of military ranks for each nation's army (including Waffen-SS units) will be appreciated. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through faculty.--R. T. Ingoglia, St.Thomas Aquinas CollegeRobert T. IngogliaSt.Thomas Aquinas College Robert T. Ingoglia Choice Reviews 56:05 January 2019 Copyright 2018 American Library Association.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Internationally best-selling author Beevor claims Samuel Johnson, Pritzker, and Wolfson History honors for his penetrating coverage of World War II, so don't miss his study of Operation Market Garden, in which the American 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions and the British 1st Airborne Division sought to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine. Alas, the gambit failed, and the Dutch suffered heavy reprisals after "The Last German Victory," as defending German general Kurt Student called it. Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Beevor (D-Day: The Battle for Normandy) details how in 1944, with Normandy behind them, the Allies planned to continue the offensive against Germany. British commander Bernard Montgomery, smarting from his replacement by U.S. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower as commander in chief of the land forces, sought a campaign to direct attention back to the north where he was firmly in control. His solution was an aerial assault on the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine, opening access to the Ruhr and evading Germany's Siegfried Line. The campaign was misconceived from the start. No one involved understood the limitations of glider/paratroop combat nor how unsuited the marshy Dutch polders were for a tank advance once the paratroopers had landed. The ensuing nine-day battle (September 17–25) ended in an Allied drawback, leaving Dutch forces defenseless. Montgomery isn't the only general to come off badly in this account but, in the end, neither he nor his subordinates accepted blame for defeat, passing it onto others. VERDICT Casual history readers should expect a steep learning curve. Best suited for military history enthusiasts.—David Keymer, Cleveland Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

This is destined to be a World War II military history classic. Historian Beevor (Ardennes 1944) draws on archives, memoirs and existing scholarship to produce a top-notch WWII battle history of the Market Garden Operation, giving equal emphasis to the American airborne landings, the XXX Corps armored attack, and the British 1st Airborne Division battle for the Arnhem bridge. Excel- lent maps make the action easy to follow, and the author's clear, quick prose makes for fascinating, informative reading. Beevor seamlessly transitions from the soldier perspective in the trenches to the perspective of the generals commanding in their headquarters, and balances the points of view of all the participants, including the Germans and Dutch civilians. He does not shy from the controversy surrounding this bold but ultimately unsuccessful allied offensive operation; why the operation failed and who was responsible are some of the central questions of the book. Though he breaks little new ground, Beevor clarifies the consensus argument that the operation's failure was due to fundamental flaws in planning and puts forth well-supported opinions. Beevor's superb latest offering, in keeping with his established record of excellence, is a must-read for the general military history enthusiast and the WWII history expert. Agent: Robin Straus, Robin Straus Agency. (Sept.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"On September 17, 1944, General Kurt Student, the founder of Nazi Germany's parachute forces, heard the groaning roar of airplane engines. He went out onto his balcony above the flat landscape of southern Holland to watch the air armada of C-47 Skytrainsand gliders, carrying the legendary American 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions and the British 1st Airborne Division. Operation Market Garden, the plan to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond, was a bold concept, butcould it have ever 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. Antony Beevor, using many overlooked and new sources fromDutch, American, British, Polish, and German archives, has reconstructed the terrible reality of the fighting, which General Student 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."--Provided by publisher.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The prizewinning historian and internationally best-selling author of D-Day reconstructs the devastating World War II battle of Arnhem to evaluate the campaign's brutal losses and how it reflected the worst aspects of war.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Reconstructs the airborne battle of Arnhem in September 1944, drawing from original sources to describe the terrible reality of the fighting.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

The prizewinning historian and internationally bestselling author of D-Day reconstructs the devastating airborne battle of Arnhem in this gripping new account.On September 17, 1944, General Kurt Student, the founder of Nazi Germany's parachute forces, heard the groaning roar of airplane engines. He went out onto his balcony above the flat landscape of southern Holland to watch the air armada of Dakotas and gliders, carrying the legendary American 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions and the British 1st Airborne Division. Operation Market Garden, the plan to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond, was a bold concept, but could it have ever 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. Antony Beevor, using often overlooked sources from Dutch, American, British, Polish, and German archives, has reconstructed the terrible reality of the fighting, which General Student called "The Last German Victory." Yet The Battle of Arnhem, written with Beevor's inimitable style and gripping narrative, is about much more than a single dramatic battle--it looks into the very heart of war.