A Bridge at Arnhem

New York, N.Y. Pinnacle Books, 1975. First Printing [Stated]. Mass market paperback. 264, [8] pages. Includes Acknowledgments, Foreword, Prelude to a Battle, The Battle of the Bridge, The Cauldron, The Escape, and Bibliography. The Towering Story of the Greatest Airborne Operation of World War II. This is the story of a battle for a bridge. It was a daring and highly modern battle. Nearly ten thousand British soldiers were to be dropped or landed sixty miles behind the German lines to capture the key bridge, which would be held until the relieving forces linked up with them in one, or at the most, two days. In fact, only six hundred of them reached that bridge--and they held it for nearly six days against everything the German enemy could throw in against them; but the relieving forces never came. There were few survivors of that epic battle. Charles Henry Whiting (18 December 1926 – 24 July 2007), was a British writer and military historian and with some 350 books of fiction and nonfiction to his credit, under his own name and a variety of pseudonyms including Duncan Harding, Ian Harding, John Kerrigan, Leo Kessler, Klaus Konrad, K.N. Kostov, and Duncan Stirling. In 1967, he began writing nonfiction books for the New York publisher Ian Ballantine. Whiting continued this work even when producing novels. From 1976, he was a full-time author and would average some six novels a year for the rest of his life. He was also a prolific and popular military historian, who developed a niche market for writing about the Second World War from the point of view of the experiences of regular soldiers rather than the military strategists and generals. Operation Market Garden: a massive airborne strike designed to open a corridor through Nazi-held Holland, by-pass the Siegfried Line and crush the 1,000 Year Reich before Christmas. Despite the gallantry of the elite First British Airborne Division - the Red Devils - who were to seize the key bridge across the Lower Rhine at Arnhem, the Operation ended in a resounding victory for the Germans. This is the story of this epic battle, the commanders who planned it and the units who paid for their mistakes. The Battle of Arnhem was a battle of the Second World War at the vanguard of the Allied Operation Market Garden. It was fought in and around the Dutch towns of Arnhem, Oosterbeek, Wolfheze and Driel and the vicinity from 17 to 26 September 1944. The Allies were poised to enter the Netherlands after sweeping through France and Belgium in the summer of 1944, after the Battle of Normandy. Market Garden was proposed by Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery, who favored a single thrust north over the branches of the Lower Rhine River, allowing the British Second Army to bypass the Siegfried Line and attack the Ruhr. US Airborne troops were dropped in the Netherlands to secure bridges and towns along the Allied axis of advance. Farthest north, the British 1st Airborne Division landed at Arnhem to capture bridges across the Nederrijn, supported by men of the Glider Pilot Regiment and the 1st Polish Parachute Brigade. The British XXX Corps were expected to reach the British airborne forces in two to three days. The 1st Airborne Division landed some distance from its objectives and was hampered by unexpected resistance, especially from elements of the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions. Only a small force was able to reach the Arnhem road bridge while the main body of the division was halted on the outskirts of the town. XXX Corps was unable to advance north as quickly as planned and the British airborne troops were not relieved according to schedule. After four days, the small British force at the bridge was overwhelmed and the rest of the division trapped in a small pocket north of the river. The British could not be sufficiently reinforced by the Poles or XXX Corps when they arrived on the southern bank, nor by Royal Air Force supply flights. After nine days of fighting, the remnants of the division were withdrawn in Operation Berlin. The Allies were unable to advance farther with no secure bridges over the Nederrijn, and the front line stabilized south of Arnhem. The British 1st Airborne Division lost nearly three quarters of its strength and did not see combat again. Condition: Good.

Keywords: Operation Market Garden, British 1st Airborne, Glider Pilot, Polish Parachute, British XXX Corps, Nederrijn, SS Panzer Divisions

ISBN: 0523006357

[Book #81980]

Price: $15.00

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