On 18 June 1815 the armies Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington, each of approximately equal strength, faced one another in southern Belgium to fight one of the most decisive battles in history, while elements of a third, Prussian, army sought to reach the field in time to turn the tide in favour of the Allies. On the outcome of Waterloo hung the fate of Napoleon’s renewed bid to impose French rule over Europe. To understand what happened and why – read Battle Story.• Exquisite paintings and drawings place you in the centre of the action• Detailed maps explore how the fight unfolded at Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte• Biographies of the key commanders, both on and off the field, reveal how the personalities of Waterloo and Napoleon influenced the outcome of this great battle• Orders of battle show the composition of the opposing forces’ armies• Packed with fact boxes, this short introduction is the perfect way to explore this crucial campaignGREGORY FREMONT-BARNES holds a doctorate in Modern History from Oxford University and serves as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of War Studies at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. Amongst his numerous publications, he is the author of The Peninsular War, 1807–14, The Fall of the French Empire, 1813–15, Nile 1798 and Trafalgar 1805, as well as editor of Armies of the Napoleonic Wars and the three-volume Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
When we think of Arnhem we think of A Bridge Too Far and a sky full of parachutes dropping the Allies into the Netherlands. Beyond these images, this was one fo the most complex and strategically important operations of the war. Operation Market Garden was devised to give the Allies the opportunity to bypass the German Siegfried Line and attack the Ruhr. Paratroopers were dropped into the Netherlands to secure all the bridgeheads and major routes along the proposed Allied axis advance. Simultaneously the 1st Airborne Division, supported by the Glider Pilot Regiment and Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade, landed at Arnhem. The British expected to sweep through and connect with the Arnhem force within a matter of days. However, things on the ground proved very different. The troops met resistance from pockets of SS soliders and soon were overwhelmed. The Arnhem contingent was cut-off from reinforcement and eventually forced to withdraw. The 1st Airborne Division lost three-quarters of its strength in the operation and did not see battle again. Through quotes and maps the text explores the unfolding action of the battle and puts the reader on the frontline. if you truly want to understand what happened and why - read Battle Story.
* Exciting overview of the World War II battle made famous by the classic movie and book A Bridge Too Far * Boots-on-the-ground story of British paratroopers fighting off Germans in Holland during Operation Market Garden * Masterly analysis of why the operation failed * Draws from the personal experiences of more than 500 participants * Written by an accomplished military historianMartin Middlebrook has written numerous works of military history, including the classic The First Day on the Somme (978-1-84415-465-4). He lives in England
All previous published accounts of Operation "Market Garden" end the main story with the evacuation of the British airborne troops from Oosterbeek - which obscures the fact that Operation Market Garden at that time was still to be regarded as essentially a great success. It was only due to the following development of events (including the battle at Overloon in October 1944) that meant that the strategic success of Operation Market Garden could not be utilized to end the war before the turn of the year 1944. This is a story that has never been told before, and which is described and analysed in detail in the concluding Volume 2 of Christer Bergström's "Arnhem 1944".
New paperback edition - Explore this gripping day-by-day combat narrative of the infamous battle for a bridgehead over the Rhine. Combines analysis and new research by a leading authority on Operation MARKET GARDEN with the words of the men who were there.
The airborne battle for the bridges across the Rhine at Arnhem ranks amongst the Second World Wars most famous actions inspiring innumerable books and the star-studded 1977 movie. This book, however, is unique: deeply moved, the author provides a fresh narrative and approach concentrating on the tragic stories of individual casualties.These men were killed at different junctures in the fighting, often requiring forensic analysis to ascertain their fates. Wider events contextualize the authors primary focus - effectively resurrecting casualties through describing their backgrounds, previous experience, and tragic effect on their families. In particular, the emotive and unresolved issue of the many still missing is explored.During the course of his research, the author made numerous trips to Arnhem and Oosterbeek, traveled miles around the UK, and spent countless hours communicating with the relatives of casualties achieving their enthusiastic support. This detailed work, conducted sensitively and with dignity, ensures that these moving stories are now recorded for posterity.Included are the stories of Private Albert Willingham, who sacrificed his life to save civilians; Major Frank Tate, machine-gunned against the backdrop of blazing buildings around Arnhem Bridge; family man Sergeant George Thomas, whose antitank gun is displayed today outside the Airborne Museum Hartenstein, and Squadron Leader John Gilliard DFC, father of a baby son who perished flying his Stirling through a hail of shot and shell during an essential re-supply drop. Is Private Gilbert Anderson, who remains missing, actually buried as an unknown, the author asks? Representing the Poles is Lance-Corporal Czeslaw Gajewnik, who drowned whilst escaping the hell of Oosterbeek, and accounts by Dutch civilians emphasize the shared suffering sharply focussed by the tragedy of Luuk Buist, killed protecting his family. The sensitivity still surrounding German casualties is also explained.This raw, personal, side of war, the hopes and fears of ordinary men thrust into extraordinary circumstances, is both deeply moving and revealing: no longer are these just names carved on headstones or memorials in a distant land. Through this thorough investigative work, supported by those who remember them, the casualties live again, their silent voices heard through friends, relatives, comrades and unpublished letters.So, let us return to the fateful autumn of 1944, and meet those fighting in the skies, on the landing grounds, in the streets and woods of Oosterbeek, and on the bridge too far at Arnhem.Now, the casualties can tell their own stories as we join this remarkable journey of discovery.
In September 1944, a mighty shock force of battle hardened Allied troops dropped from the skies into enemy-occupied Holland in what was hoped would be the decisive final battle of World War II.Landing miles behind the German lines, their daring mission was to secure bridges across the Rhine so that ground forces could make a rapid dash into Nazi Germany. If all went well, the war could be over by Christmas. But what many trusted would be a simple operation turned into a brutal losing battle. Of 12,000 British airborne soldiers, 1,500 died and 6,000 were taken prisoner. The vital bridge at Arnhem they had come to capture stayed resolutely in German hands. But though this was a bitter military defeat for the Allies, beneath the humiliation was another story - of heroism and self-sacrifice, gallantry and survival, guts and determination unbroken in the face of impossible odds. In the two-thirds of a century that have passed since then, historians have endlessly analysed what went wrong and squabbled over who was to blame. Lost in the process was that other Arnhem story - the triumph of the human spirit, as seen through the dramatic first-hand accounts of those who were there, in the cauldron, fighting for their lives, fighting for their comrades, fighting for their honour, a battle they won hands down.
“Reveals much of what history has tended to gloss over . . . should be a must read for all who have an interest in this operation” (Airborne Quarterly). After Normandy, the most spectacular Allied offensive of World War II was Operation Market Garden, which planned to join three divisions of paratroopers dropped behind German lines with massive armored columns breaking through the front. The object was to seize a crossing over the Rhine to outflank the heartland of the Third Reich and force a quick end to the war. The operation utterly failed, of course, as the 1st British Airborne was practically wiped out, the American 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions became tied down in vicious combat for months, and the vaunted armored columns were foiled at every turn by improvisational German defenses. Some have called the battle “Hitler’s last victory.” In this work, many years in the making, David Bennett puts forward a balanced and comprehensive account of the British, American, Polish, Canadian, and German actions, as well as the strategic background of the operation, in a way not yet done. He shows, for example, that rather than a bridgehead over the Rhine, Montgomery’s ultimate aim was to flank the Ruhr industrial area from the north. The book also deals as never before with the key role of all three Corps of British Second Army, not just Brian Horrocks’ central XXX Corps. For the first time, we learn the dramatic untold story of how a single company of Canadian engineers achieved the evacuation of 1st Airborne’s survivors back across the Rhine when all other efforts had failed. Also revealed is the scandal of how Polish Gen. Sosabowski was treated by the British military authorities, and how the operation would have failed at the outset but for the brilliant soldiery of the two American airborne divisions. Respectfully nodding to A Bridge Too Far and other excellent works on Market Garden, the author has interviewed survivors, walked the ground, and performed prodigious archival research to increase our understanding of the battle, from the actions of the lowliest soldier to the highest commander, Allied and German.
Arnhem 1944: the airborne strike for the bridges over the Rhine. The true story of the greatest battle of World War II and the basis of the 1977 film of the same name, directed by Richard Attenborough. The Battle of Arnhem, one of the most dramatic battles of World War II, was as daring as it was ill-fated. It cost the Allies nearly twice as many casualties as D-Day. This is the whole compelling story, told through the vast cast of characters involved. From Dutch civilians to British and American strategists, its scope and ambition is unparalleled, superbly recreating the terror and suspense, the heroism and tragedy of this epic operation. 'I know of no other work of literature of World War II as moving, as awesome and as accurate in its portrayal of human courage.' - General James A Gavin
Operation Market Garden was an Allied plan to try and end the war before the end of 1944, and relied on landing airborne troops to secure bridges over the Rhine bridges in the Netherlands. Critical to this plan were the glider troops of Britain's 1st Airlanding Brigade. Short on heavy weapons and not trained in street fighting, the glider troops were meant to secure and defend the Allied perimeter around Arnhem as the parachute brigades fought their way into the city. Facing the airborne forces were understrength Waffen-SS units that were hastily formed into ad hoc battle groups, some supported by armour. The troops on both sides would have their tactical flexibility and powers of endurance tested to the limit in the bitter actions that ensued. Employing first-hand accounts and drawing upon the latest research, David Greentree tells the story of the glider troops' dogged defence of the Allied perimeter at Arnhem, and the Waffen-SS forces' efforts to overcome them.