This is the vivid account of how a brilliant plan turned into an epic tragedy. This book tells the true story of the Battle of Arnhem which was fought in September 1944. Nine thousand men of the First British Airborne Division were parachuted into the peaceful countryside that surrounded Arnhem. Their objective was to capture and hold the bridge over the Rhine ahead of the advancing British Second Army. Nine days later, after some of the fiercest street-fighting of the war, 2000 paratroopers managed to escape to safety. 'Finely recorded...truly the battle of Arnhem has been fortunate in its historian' Sunday Times
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(197mm x 133mm x 22mm)
Weidenfeld & Nicolson History
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
In theory the battle made famous by the film 'A Bridge Too Far' was a sound idea. Operation Market Garden aimed to continue the momentum of the Allies' push through Europe by sending a massive force into Arnhem that would take the main river crossings from Holland into Germany and establish a strategic bridgehead, before pushing on into the enemy's industrial heartland, the Ruhr. On 17 September 1944 9000 airborne troops were dropped behind German lines. The intention was that they would make a rapid advance, followed by tanks and infantry who would relieve the paratroopers and move onwards across the captured bridges. However, the Germans, aided by bad weather, managed to launch devastatingly successful counter attacks against the advance troops and also to severely limit the effectiveness of the supporting forces. Ten days of brutal combat ensued, often involving ferocious running street battles. By the end the majority of the allied soldiers had been lost, with 2000 paratroopers surviving to make their escape. Skilfully blending historical overview with eyewitness accounts, Hibbert's measured prose brings home a real sense of the bloody maelstrom that was Arnhem. We learn of Montgomery and Eisenhower's tactical disagreements over how to proceed, and how apparently faltering German resistance stiffened as the advancing Allied armies neared the Fatherland. We are also given the perspective of those on the ground as the book recounts various incidents and individual acts of heroism from the men caught up in the thick of battle. A classic account. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Christopher Hibbert
Christopher Hibbert was educated at Radley and Oxford. He served as an infantry officer during the war, was twice wounded and was awarded the Military Cross in 1945. Described by Professor J.H. Plumb as a writer of the highest ability, he is, in the words of The Times Educational Supplement 'perhaps the most gifted popular historian we have'. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Hon. D. Litt of Leicester University.