Read Arnhem 1944: The Airborne Battle, 17-26 September by Martin Middlebrook Online


It wasn't until many months later that ground forces captured Arnhem in conventional fighting. It had literally been "a bridge too far". This book consists of interviews, research of British and Polish airborne forces involved in Arnhem, German forces and Dutch civilians caught up in the battle. The book attempts to cover the wider scene of the American airborne landings aIt wasn't until many months later that ground forces captured Arnhem in conventional fighting. It had literally been "a bridge too far". This book consists of interviews, research of British and Polish airborne forces involved in Arnhem, German forces and Dutch civilians caught up in the battle. The book attempts to cover the wider scene of the American airborne landings and the attempt by ground forces to reach Arnhem....

Title : Arnhem 1944: The Airborne Battle, 17-26 September
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780140143423
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 512 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Arnhem 1944: The Airborne Battle, 17-26 September Reviews

  • Dimitri
    2019-05-22 02:01

    Some men don’t want to talk about it, others can’t stop talking about it. Martin Middlebrook has listened to the latter before age silenced their tongues. He tells the tale of Arnhem in the words of 500 men who were there, obtained both through interview and correspondence. Add to this their reminiscences about the fallen and the material already available in print, most famously the memoirs of Urquhart and Sosabowski* to double the amount of voices. Together, this gives him a considerably larger data pool to work with than for his debut *the First Day on the Somme*. Once again, the protagonists are British: the U.S. 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions do not share the spotlight here.He also brings twenty years’ experience to the page to good effect. His sentiments while walking the fields of Picardy were central to Sommeand a string of ten picked individuals gave us a feel for the ground in 1916, but it was hard to make themselves heard above the din of millions and the net effect was rather chaotic. WithArnhem , chaos is still present, but this time it is part of the plan. Two main features of Market Garden were the isolation of lightly armed airborne units (most prominently the 2nd Parachute Battalion at the Arnhem road bridge) and the piecemeal reinforcements by air. This isolation came partly from the original battle plan, with three airborne holding autonomous perimeters around the Rhine bridges until linked by the advance of XXX Corps. The deployment of the 1st British Airborne Division was successfully contested by German Kampfgruppe. Their opponents had learned that airborne assaults depended upon the first strike for success; the best tactical response was an equally rapid disruption.The resulting dispersal of companies dictates the structure of the book. Where possible we see the airborne assault grind down on a day-to-day basis, but sometimes we stay in the slit trenches for days on end, with no insight as to how the battle develops down the road. It is a maxim of military historiography (and if it isn’t, I totally call dips!) that“a good battle history needs 100 pages to get started”and Middlebrook is not far off the mark. He briefs us on the plan for twin operations MARKET and GARDEN with an eye for their potential strategic rewards. Here, he approaches the level of Lloyd Clark. The limitations/inherent risks of the airborne assault become a lot less deliberate when the flight plan is taken into account. With his analysis of the British OOB, he has written a chapter that will continue to serve me well, no matter how many of the 500+ books on the subject come my way. He is especially strong on the types of aircraft used and the variety of support troops involved, with a nod of respect towards the RAF personnel. They suffered 40% of the casualties during airlifts and supply drops, but in the movie they’re just those idiots who get a paratrooper killed to retrieve a wrongly dropped container full of spare berets – that iconic trivia gets explained near the end. Once the book is airborne, the writer retires wholly behind the curtain and the combatants take center stage. He only emergences to side with them in the aftermath, where most grew to agree with Montgomery’s quotein years to come, it will be a great thing for a man to be able to say: 'I fought at Arnhem' . It is an unsurpassed British talent to turn defeats into their finest moments, but a universal human need to take pride in battles fought. On the other hand ... the knee reflex to condemn the MARKET GARDEN plan can't be surpressed : between instant doubts among the commanders (Sosabowski...) distant drop zones, ignored intelligence on two armoured outfits combined with the known German talent for ad hoc counter-attacks and the continous penny-dripping of companies into the Arnhem road bridge objective area... I'll never understand 100% why this thing was greenlighted !Is this the best Arnhem book? Not sure, a lot has been written since the early ‘90s. Is it one of the best? Probably. It’s so good it becomes a shame that Middlebrook didn’t tackle the exploits of Horrocks’ XXX Corps on Hell’s Highway as well and/or the American airborne operations.

  • Kevin
    2019-05-07 01:55

    This book only concentrates on the British and Polish areas of operation during Operation Market Garden, the most ill-fated airborne operation during WW2. Ill-fated, true, or at least for the British 1st Airborne Division who never became relieved from the slowly-advancing XXX Corps, for reasons we can muse on; either for the constant cutting of the highway leading to Arnhem by Germans so close to their border - the Market Garden plan called for a single 'spear thrust' towards the Rhine, or and what Martin Middlebrook suggests the lack of urgency in taking the other bridges prior to the Arnhem Bridge. Whatever reason for the late arrival of the British Second Army and XXX Corps, the planning for the British 1st Airborne Division was mired in incompetence, not understanding mainly that two Panzer Divisions were resting exactly in the Arnhem area, even after intelligence officers being told by the Dutch Resistance as well as photo-recon evidence warned them so. I guess the best analogy to be used regarding the British airdrop would be similar to 'disturbing a hornets nest', to put it mildly. Whilst success seemed positive for the first day or so, with the 2nd Battalion under John Frost taking Arnhem Bridge, the Germans reacted in force, cutting off the bridge defenders from any support or relief, despite considerable effort with the remaining airborne troops attempting to break-through; they suffered badly, eventually being forced back into what became the Oosterbeek perimeter. When lightly armed airborne troops have to take on the elite of the Wehrmacht with Tiger tanks, then things can only go wrong and get very messy indeed. Martin Middlebrook uses a whole load of eye-witness accounts, not just from the surviving British troops who were alive at the time he wrote the book (1993), but also from the Dutch civilians too who had to endure their town being devastated from the war-zone it became. Many acts of bravery are told here, not just from the troopers on the ground, but also from the resupply drops, whose supply canisters mostly ended up in German-held areas as well as the extreme bravery of the air-transport squadrons in trying to make their drops under intense anti-aircraft fire - the Germans were expecting them. Many, meaning hundreds of their personnel died or became prisoner; this chapter alone dealing with the supply drops was very informative, as I knew so little about it prior to reading this book and just how brave it must have been to fly into intense small arms and flak barrages at such a low altitude. Compared to Cornelius Ryans 'A Bridge to Far' (a film was based on it), which still includes eye-witness accounts and covered the whole of Operation Market Garden, Martin Middlebrooks book focus' exclusively on the British airborne operation, with as I mentioned, a chapter on the resupply drops, a chapter on the Polish drop several days later (which cost the 1st Polish Independent Airlanding Brigade their Commander afterwards, a possible scapegoating by the British), and a great appendix detailing Arnhem and its surrounds today. Oosterbeek and Arnhem today are littered with memorials and war-graves, just giving testament to what happened for nine days in September 1944 and the sacrifices made, both of the British troops and the innocent Dutch civilians caught up in probably Montgomerys greatest blunder of the whole war.

  • Marc
    2019-05-08 18:48

    Having read many books about the American side of Operation Market Garden, I was intrigued to read about the British side of things. Martin Middlebrook has done a fantastic job of recreating the chaos, savagery, heroism and tragedy of the attempt by the British and Polish airborne troops to secure the Arnhem road bridge over the Rhine River.The plan was for the troops to seize the bridge and be reinforced within three days. Instead, they fought for nine days and were virtually wiped out, suffering heavy casualties and losing incredibly large amounts of troops to capture by the Germans. The book is filled with personal accounts by British and Polish troops who were at Arnhem, as well as Dutch civilians who had the war dropped on their doorstep. There are many fantastic maps showing the progress of the battle, and some great pictures also. The aftermath of the battle is discussed as well and offers some interesting thoughts on how history could be very different if things had gone better for the British.It's a wonderful book and helped fill a void in my personal knowledge of the battle. You'll find it a worthy addition to your library for sure.

  • Tico Onderwater
    2019-05-23 19:44

    Well-written book from an interesting perspective: Middlebrook's study is based on accounts of eye-witnesses rather than literature study. This gives a new dimension to the fights around Arnhem and Oosterbeek, since it's not only a "general's history" but also an account of how ordinary men (English, Polish, Dutch and German alike) lived through this famous operation.

  • Michiel
    2019-04-29 23:00

    zeer compleet overzicht van de acties bij de slag om arnhem. Inclusief goede overzichtskaartjes.

  • John Melvin
    2019-05-21 19:47

    DetailedExcellent detail of the Allied air drop at Arhem follows units in the air and on the ground throughout a frustrating operation.

  • Michael Romo
    2019-04-25 22:51

    The tragic story of the British 1st Airborne Divison's battle at Arnhem during Operation Market Garden. Poor planning, the failure to drop closer to the Arnhem bridge and the British XXX Corps lack of urgency doomed the 1st Airborne. Colonel John Frost when freed from a German POW camp by a unit of Patton's Third Army wrote: "All ranks of this Army, when they saw our Red Berets, would say, 'Arnhem. Aye. We'd have gotten through. Yes, Sir. We'd have gotten through' - I couldn't help believing that they would have."This excellent book did not shy away from the controversy surrounding Polish General Sosabowski's comments at the Valburg conference and rightly found the British treatment of him and his valiant Brigade shameful. Well worth reading for those who love military history.

  • Y. Ben-david
    2019-05-12 20:02

    Like all of Martin Middlebrook's books, this one, although somewhat dry, is very readable, and full of little known, interesting facts behind the big story. For instance he goes into detail explaining how the glider operations worked. Although numerous gliders broke loose from their tow lines, most of them managed to make emergency landings safely. He relates how the crew in one tow plane looked on in horror as the glider they were towing simply broke up in mid air. In spite of incidents like this, the large majority landed safely in their target zone.I highly recommend this book, like all of the others by this author.

  • Neil
    2019-05-14 00:01

    A very well researched and informative book about the British and Polish airborne operations during the Market Garden campaign. I've read a lot of different books about the campaign, but this one added to my knowledge of it by going into interesting details about the origins and histories of the various batallions.The only thing I don't entirely agree with is his overall conclusions, since its debatable as to whether a sucessful M-G campaign would have lead to a complete collapse of the German military machine before the end of 1944, whereas the author implies that it was certainty.

  • Tomi
    2019-05-24 21:40

    Everything you ever wanted to know about Market Garden and more...more than I wanted to know, for sure! It was mostly very interesting though. There were many anecdotes taken from diaries and letters written by those participating in the operation. The operation was doomed from the start, though; poor planning, a lack of proper leadership, and a lack of communication. Makes me wonder how we ever won World War II...

  • John
    2019-04-28 21:43

    I absolutely loved this. Middlebrook has a style and efficiency that draws you in. His comprehensive and we'll detailed writings are probably the best that I have read, regarding Arnhem (and I must've read over 50 different titles).There are numerous first hand accounts of the battle, many of which I had never previously come across.

  • Kars
    2019-05-07 21:05

    A very comprehensive account of the airborne part of operation market garden. I was immediately gripped by the detailed accounts. Unimaginable bravery, suffering, savagery and tragedy are present in equal parts. The author does a great job of detailing the strategic and tactical actions which ultimately lead to the operation's failure.

  • M Link
    2019-05-02 01:07

    CourageousA very comprehensive and authentic account of a courageous attempt by courageous individuals despite poor intelligence and planning research brilliant.

  • Steve
    2019-05-22 20:44

    Great book and insight on Operation Market Garden and the Battle of Arnhem from the British perspective.

  • Rich Taylor
    2019-05-20 21:04

    Perfect treatment from the best military history author. What more is there to say?