Sims, James.


Imperial War Museum, 2nd imp., 1978. Xiii + 118 pp., 14 photo-plates + 6 maps & ills. D.j., 22 x 14cm. Tape marks to pasted e.p.'s & inside flaps (only) of d.j., o/w V.G.+. This book was the only memoir of Arnhem to have come from the pen of a private soldier. The author was nineteen and had never seen action when, on 17th September 1944, as part of the vanguard of the highly-trained 1st British Airborne Division, he was dropped 64 miles behind the German lines outside an obscure Dutch town called Arnhem. His unit, the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, managed to reach its objective, the huge steel bridge which spanned the Lower Rhine, but was soon engaged by powerful German forces. Cut off from the rest of the Division and from the tanks of the Second Army struggling to break through to them from the south, the men of the 2nd Battalion and elements of other units held the northern end of the bridge for three days and four nights against repeated attacks by German infantry and armour. The author vividly describes this entire ordeal and the last part of his book is an account of his unique experience as a prisoner of war in Germany shortly before the collapse of the Third Reich.

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