Middlebrook, Martin.


1st ed., 1994. Viii + 501 pp., 38 photo-plates + 13 maps. D.j., 24 x 15cm. FINE. Cutting tipped-in. The Battle of Arnhem was a turning-point in the war, a gamble by Montgomery, using three airborne divisions to capture a series of bridges across the wide rivers that separated a powerful mobile army from the plains of northern Germany. If the bridges had been captured and held, and the ground forces been able to relieve the airborne forces, then there would have been a good chance of ending the war before Christmas 1944. It all went wrong. The bridges were successfully taken by the Americans who were relieved by ground troops but these troops could not reach Arnhem quickly enough. Meanwhile only a small part of the 1st British Airborne Division had reached the Arnhem bridge. Most of the remainder were held up on the outskirts of the town by German units that turned out to be far stronger than expected. After nine days of fighting, the survivors of the division were withdrawn across the Rhine and it was many months later before ground forces captured Arnhem. Describing the battle from start to finish, this is a masterly account of what went wrong.

Share this book