Harclerode, Peter.


New ed., 2000. 192 pp., various photo-plates + maps. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. Operation 'Market Garden' remains one of the most spectacular and controversial battles of World War II. It was a bold plan, aimed at shortening the course of the war dramatically. Key bridges in Holland seized in advance by a daring airborne coup de main would be the means to a surprise thrust into the German industrial heartland. The facts of the subsequent operations are well known: the gallant British and American airborne forces held the bridges against unexpectedly fierce German resistance, but the vital ground forces thrust missed its deadlines and never made it to Arnhem, the last objective and key to the operation. While some questions needed for a definitive judgement can never be answered, this new work represents an important step towards redressing the balance of criticism with an objective and realistic appraisal of why things went wrong and allowing a new view of the bloody battles for Arnhem and Oosterbeek.

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