Arnhem 1944, The Human Tragedy of the Bridge Too Far

Much has been written about the attempt to seize and hold the bridge at Arnhem, but this book looks specifically at the human cost. The story of the British and Polish paratroops and glider troops at Arnhem is filled with examples of sacrifice, duty, tenacity, and acts of great personal courage that is inspirational, emotional and deeply moving – Very Highly Recommended.

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NAME: Arnhem 1944, The Human Tragedy of the Bridge Too Far
FILE: R2958
AUTHOR: Dilip Sarkar MBE
PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword, Frontline
BINDING: hard back
PRICE: £30.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War,  special forces, 
covert operations, airborne forces, paratroops, assault gliders, light infantry, supply 
drops, armour,civilians, Netherlands, Dutch Resistance, Operation Market Garden

ISBN: 1-52673-273-4

IMAGE: B2958.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/yy7ybao3
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: Much has been written about the attempt to seize and hold the 
bridge at Arnhem, but this book looks specifically at the human cost. The story of 
the British and Polish paratroops and glider troops at Arnhem is filled with 
examples of sacrifice, duty, tenacity, and acts of great personal courage that is 
inspirational, emotional and deeply moving  –   Very Highly Recommended.

The author has combined carefully collected evidence with many illustrations in the 
form of maps and photographs through the body of text, and in a photo plate section. 
Most military histories of the Battle of Arnhem have concentrated on the progress of 
the battle, the tactics, strategy, politics and logistics, where people are almost 
incidental to the story with the possible exception of the senior commanders. This 
book takes a refreshing approach of recounting the individual actions and acts of 
courage and sacrifice and there are some quite remarkable stories collected together.

The concept of Market Garden was audacious and recognized as a high risk operation 
that might achieve a shortening of the war in Europe. Historians like to pick over the 
entrails of military operations with the benefit of hindsight and enjoy participating in 
the blame game. The reality of the time is often something very different and any 
battle is the sum of the actions of many individuals. As an operation, the high risk 
came from a number of factors. The dropping of paratroopers and glider troops on 
bridges was always potentially risky but had been done very successfully during the 
Normandy Landings where airborne troops had taken and held key bridges and 
communications points. The major challenge was that airborne troops were 
essentially light infantry with a very small number of armed jeeps and trailers. 
Once landed there was no way of extracting them vertically and they had to survive 
or fight their way out. Where today rotary wing aircraft can drop troops vertically 
into a target zone and then come back in to move them around or extract them, in 
WWII it was a one way trip and movement within the battleground was largely on 
foot. Weapons were small arms with a few anti-tank mortars and a small number of 
heavy machine guns. It was critical for the advancing land forces to reach and relieve 
the airborne forces before the enemy realized exactly what was happening and could 
move in heavy equipment to out gun them.

The Germans understood what was happening at Arnhem because of the landings 
that had taken the earlier bridges and they understood how the relieving column of 
armour was progressing up a very dangerous and narrow road between the bridges. 
At Arnhem the Germans were also aided by an SS Panzer unit being serviced and 
repaired in the area. That the airborne troops held out so long is an amazing story for 
any war. Even more amazing and inspirational are the personal stories and costs set 
out in this book.

In considering the battle for Arnhem, much focus is on the troops of both sides but 
Arnhem had a further dimension. The troops dropped into a populated area where 
the Dutch civilians were mixed up with the fighting and a number were active 
members of the Dutch Resistance. This has provided stories of great personal risk 
and courage as civilians helped the airborne troops and the troops tried to protect the 
civilians.