|Books - Second World War
Operation Market-Garden 1944 (2) - The British Airborne Missions, Ken Ford. Part two of a three part series on Market-Garden, looking at the 1st Airborne Division’s battle at Arnhem itself, where they were able to hold on for much longer than the plan required (despite a number of serious flaws with the airborne plan and mistakes on the ground), before the survivors were forced to retreat back across the Rhine. A good short account of this famous battle, useful for anyone who wants to understand the battle without getting bogged down in too much detail(Read Full Review)
Steel Wall at Arnhem - The Destruction of 4 Parachute Brigade, 19 September 1944, David Truesdale. A detailed account of the part played by the 4th Parachute Brigade in the fighting at Arnhem – their arrival on the second day, their failed attempt to break through the German defensive line between the bridge and the landing grounds and the prolonged defence of the Division position at Oosterbeek. A very detailed account of the Brigade’s activities, focusing on the entire battle, not just the events of 19 September(Read Full Review)
Freely I Served, Major General Stanislaw Sosabowski . The fascinating autobiography of the commander of the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade, one of the units caught up in the Allied defeat at Arnhem. Traces his career from his early service in the Austro-Hungarian Army, through the German invasion of Poland and on to his time in exile, the formation of his Parachute Brigade, arguments about its use and its eventually deployment at Arnhem. [read full review]
Captured at Arnhem - From Railwayman to Paratrooper, Norman Hicks. Fascinating account of the life of a railwayman and paratrooper, who fought in Tunisia and on Sicily before being captured at Arnhem. Includes a rare account of the experiences of lower ranked POWs, who were used for hard labour in Germany, in this case down a Lead Mine. [read full review]
Deliver us from Darkness - The Untold Story of Third Battalion 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment during Market Garden, Ian Gardner. Follows one battalion from the 101st Airborne as it takes part in the liberation of Eindhoven, defends the road to Arnhem and fights on the 'Island' - the area between the Rijn and the Waal. Also looks at the Dutch experience of occupation and resistance and the part they played in the successes of the 506th. [read full review]
The Devil's Birthday: The Bridges to Arnhem, 1944, Geoffrey Powell. Fascinating account of the entire Market-Garden campaign, paying deserved attention to the American and Polish airborne units as well as the main land campaign, where the real problems with the campaign were to be found as a full corps attempted to push up a single road against stiffening German resistance. [read full review]
Battleground General: Arnhem 1944, Jon Sutherland & Diane Canwell. The equivalent of the old Fighting Fantasy game books, but looking at the Battle of Arnhem rather than a fictional story. Playing as the British or German commander the reader makes a series of choices that influence the outcome of the battle, in what is probably best seen as the printed version of a war game [read full review]
Surgeon at Arms: Parachuting into Arnhem with the First Airborne, Lipmann Kessel. The memoirs of a surgeon who parachuted into Arnhem, operated in a hospital that was soon occupied by the Germans, and who then escaped from captivity and spent weeks with the Dutch underground making a series of attempts to cross the front line. [read full review]
A Magnificent Disaster: The Failure of Market Garden, David Bennett. An interesting study of the failure at Arnhem, focusing on the wider aspects of the campaign as much as on the narrow thrust or the fighting at Arnhem. Bennett covers the German point of view, the flanking operations of XII & VIII Corps and the actions of the 101st Airborne, as well as the wider strategic aims of the operation. [read full review]
General 'Boy' - The Life of Sir Frederick Browning, Richard Mead. Best known for his role in Operation Market Garden, 'Boy' Browning was far from a typical Guards officer, growing up with theatrical connections in a family linked to the Savoy Hotel, and involved in the importing of Hennessy brandy into the UK, industry, while Boy married Daphne du Maurier and worked for Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh after the war. [read full review]
Escape from Arnhem: A Glider Pilot's Story, Godfrey Freeman. The story of two escapes - the first from German captivity, the second from enemy-held territory, both with the help of the Dutch resistances. Freeman also produces some interesting views on the nature of bravery - as is so often the case he underplays his own actions and saw the most bravery in the Dutch civilians who helped so many men to escape from Arnhem. [read full review]
Arnhem 1944 , (campaign series) Stephen Badsey A well illustrated account of the battle with excellent maps and colour plates. A brief section on the battlefield today and wargaming the battle lets the book down a bit, but the orders of battle are useful.
C-47/R4D Skytrain Units of the ETO and MTO, David Isby. The C-47 was used in every major Allied attack from Operation Torch to the crossing of the Rhine, and played a crucial part in the final Allied victory in Europe. This book focuses on those major offensives, from the often flawed planning to the courageous implementation. For many of the crews involved these huge aerial attacks were their first combat mission and the plans required almost impossible levels of precision, but despite this most of these attacks ended in success. Here we discover why. [see more]
Corps Commander , Major General Sir Brian Horrocks with Belfield, Eversley and Essame, H., Magnum Books, London, 1979 (First Published 1977).
Men at Arnhem , Geoffrey Powell , London, 1976, reprinted 2003. Originally published under the pseudonym Tom Angus, but actually written by Geoffrey Powell, a holder of the Military Cross, and a major in the 156 Parachute Battalion of the Parachute Regiment when he took part in the fighting at Arnhem.
Arnhem: Britain's Infamous Airborne Assault of WWII , Major General R.E. Urquhart, first published 1958, republished 1995. Written by the commander of British forces on the ground at Arnhem, this is an invaluable source on the battle
Ryan, Cornelius, A Bridge Too Far , Coronet Books, London, 1976 (First Published 1974). One of Ryan's great trilogy about the war, and one of the classic works of history. Well researched, including many details from the German side. A well written, engaging account of the Arnhem campaign.
On the Psychology of Military Incompetence , Pimlico, London, 1994 (first published 1976), Norman Dixon
A Bridge Too Far , 1977, directed by Richard Attenborough and starring, amongst others, Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Edward Fox, Elliott Gould, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Ryan O'Neal, Robert Redford, Maximilian Schell and Liv Ullmann.