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.
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
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.