Books - Arnhem

 

10 Commando by Ian Dear

Pegasus Archive review: A fascinating account of the formation, training and deployment of No.10 (Inter-Allied) Commando; one of the most extraordinary units of the Second World War. Its numerous Troops, of Belgians, Dutch, French, Norwegians, Poles, Yugoslavs, and the German and Austrians of the mysterious X Troop, served with particularly high distinction in North-West Europe and across the Mediterranean. This is one of very few books to tackle this most intriguing subject, though the author admits that it cannot be the definitive history as the records are sparse, the ingrained culture of secrecy prevented many of its members from speaking of their deeds for decades, and so few of the original members of the Commando are now alive to enlighten us. 10 Commando is, nevertheless, a very fine introduction to a unit which deserves much wider attention. Price: £12.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/?product_id=2594

 

Air Battle for Arnhem by Alan Cooper

Pegasus Archive review: The part played by the air forces over Arnhem is one of the most overlooked aspects of a battle about which almost too much has been said, yet it witnessed some of the most courageous flying of the war, with the slow and unarmoured transport aircraft flying low and steady over heavy flak to deliver vital supplies to the beleaguered airborne troops on the ground, resulting in a Victoria Cross, 90 gallantry awards, and the loss of over 300 aircrew. The opening pages describe the run-up to Operation Market Garden, with a chapter devoted to each day of the airborne drop and resupply operation, including notes on the weather conditions, daily losses, the state of the German defences, and the narrative is generously reinforced throughout with individual stories of the aircrews. It closes with an analysis of the air operation, the lessons it taught, and some very detailed appendices, including a complete list of the crews who were shot down, and what is known of the crash and their fates. Price: £19.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Air-Battle-for-Arnhem-Hardback/p/3674

 

Air War Market Garden: The Build Up to the Beginning by Martin W. Bowman

Pegasus Archive review: This first book of Martin Bowman's four-part epic about Operation Market Garden describes the planning and preparation of what was the largest airborne operation in history, through to the first 24 hours of the landings at Arnhem. These are the most crucial phases of any book attempting to understand the Battle, as it was in the plan that all of the mistakes were made which condemned the operation to failure before it had started. It is a subject which has been wrestled with many times before to the point where it is quite impossible to add anything that is particularly new, but Bowman uses the immense space that a four-part series provides to describe it in a level of detail which none have done before, drawing on a vast range of first hand accounts to provide a thorough and extremely readable account which is largely told in the words of those who were there. Price: £25.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Air-War-Market-Garden-The-Build-Up-to-the-Beginning-Hardback/p/3696

 

Air War Market Garden: So Near and Yet So Far by Martin W. Bowman

Pegasus Archive review: The second of a four-part series of books describing Operation Market Garden, this particular volume dwelling almost exclusively on the 1st Airborne Division at Arnhem, in particular the events concerning the defence of Arnhem Bridge from the second day onwards, the arrival of the Second and Third Lifts, and the ill-fated attempts to reinforce the bridge garrison. The story of Market Garden has been told many times before and to such an extent that it is difficult to add much that is new, yet Martin Bowman makes a bold effort by describing the course of the battle through a large number of hand-picked veterans accounts, whose stories add much colour and vitality to a battle which, already, has fascinated so many since 1944. It is a very well researched book, packed with detail, and contains many passages which will interest even those, including myself, who have dedicated most of their adult lives to studying this battle. Price: £20.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/air-war-market-garden-so-near-and-yet-so-far/p/3860/

 

Air War Market Garden: Shrinking Perimeter by Martin W. Bowman

Pegasus Archive review: The third of Martin Bowman's four-part series about Operation Market Garden. This volume begins with the efforts of the 82nd Airborne Division and the 2nd British Army to capture Nijmegen Bridge, going on to describe the collapse of resistance at Arnhem Bridge before moving on to the Oosterbeek Perimeter, where the remainder of the 1st Airborne Division made their stand. It is difficult to add anything new to a story which has been told so many times before, yet Martin Bowman's four-part approach allows for the inclusion of far more detail than most have managed, and is particularly valuable for the passages concerning matters outside of the Arnhem area, which have all too often are relegated to a footnote despite being epics in their own right. Bowman makes very liberal use of a wide range of first-hand accounts, and these give the narrative a very lively and personal flavour. Price: £25.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Air-War-Market-Garden-Shrinking-Perimeter-Hardback/p/4032

 

Air War Market Garden: A Bridge Too Far? by Martin W. Bowman

Pegasus Archive review: This final chapter in Martin Bowman's four-part account of Operation Market Garden examines the last days of the Battle of Arnhem, particularly the events leading up to the 1st Airborne Division's withdrawal, and the incredible story of Operation Pegasus; the sheltering, organisation and later extraction of over 100 escapees who were cut-off on the other side of the Rhine for a further month. He concludes with an analysis of the innumerable factors which contributed to the Allied downfall, including several ideas which have not been widely considered. In view of the vast library which has been published about Market Garden, and above all the Arnhem episode, it is very difficult to add anything new to this very familiar story. Yet by using four books to describe what all before him have attempted to compress into one, Bowman has produced an exceptionally detailed and very readable account, taking every opportunity to describe events in the words of those who experienced them. Price: £19.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Air-War-Market-Garden-A-Bridge-Too-Far-Hardback/p/4129

 

All Men Are Brothers: The Polish Roll of Honour, The Battle Of Arnhem, 1944 by Andries Hoekstra

In the weekend of 17 September 2005 a new book will be released. It is a tribute to the Polish soldiers and airmen that were killed in Operation Market Garden in September 1944, during the battle of Arnhem. The introduction tells the reader why and how the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade Group was formed and the important part its commander Major-General Stanislaw F. Sosabowski played in this process. These soldiers and officers trained hard for one goal only; the liberation of Poland. In stead they landed near Arnhem and many of them would never see their beloved Poland again. "All Men Are Brothers" contains the records of the 101 Polish soldiers that were killed during the battle of Arnhem. Each record is spread on two pages. The left page shows a portrait photo and the personal information, the opposite page shows the photo of the gravestone, and information on the cemetery and plot number. "All Men Are Brothers" is bilingual (Polish and English). 224 pages, full colour, more then 300 unique photos of which most have never been published before in a book. Printed on high quality glossy paper with a strong binding. It will be shipped in a special strong cardboard packing. "All Men Are Brothers" will be released on September 17th, 2005. The price is €22,50 including package and postage in Europe, and €27,50 outside Europe. --- SPECIAL OFFER--- pre-order and pay for this unique book before August 10th, 2005 for: €17,50 including package and posting within Europe and €22,50 including package and posting outside Europe. For further details see http://www.marketgarden.com/sales/amab-en.php (English) and http://www.marketgarden.com/sales/amab-nl.php (Dutch).

 

Arnhem A Few Vital Hours: The SS-Panzergrenadier-Ausbildungs und Ersatz-Bataillon 16 at the Battle of Arnhem, September 1944 by Scott Revell, Niall Cherry and Bob Gerritsen

'Arnhem A Few Vital Hours' concentrates on a German unit which played a major role in fighting the 1st British Airborne Division in September 1944. This unit was the SS-Panzergrenadier-Ausbildungs und Ersatz-Bataillon 16 or to give it an English 'name': the SS Panzer Grenadier Training and Reserve Battalion 16. This unit was, as its name suggests, a training unit and mainly consisted of 17 and 18 year old recruits led by veterans who had all seen active service and were getting them ready for the front line. It was commanded by SS-Sturmbannführer Krafft and consisted of around 300 officers and men. It had been located in the Arnhem area. By September 1944 the unit had been warned that it would be acting as an anti-airborne landings unit, should the expected assault come. On the 17th September 1944 the unit was quickly mobilised and for a 'Few Vital Hours' during the afternoon, it basically stopped the 1st Airborne Division in its tracks on their way towards Arnhem. This book covers these few vital hours in detail using veterans' accounts, a diary Krafft wrote for Himmler in late 1944 and official reports. Later on in the fighting Krafft was given command of a 'Kampfgruppe' and their actions in and around the Oosterbeek perimeter are also included as well as the history of SS training in the Arnhem area; an analysis of the Krafft diary; casualties sustained by the unit and a summary of the war service of SS-Sturmbannführer Krafft. Hardback, 155 pages, 14 coloured maps, 100 b&w photographs, 30 documents, order of battle. Price: £25.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or niall.cherry@baesystems.com

 

Arnhem: The Battle for Survival by John Nichol and Tony Rennell

In September 1944, a mighty shock force of battle-hardened Allied troops dropped from the skies into enemy-occupied Holland in what was hoped would be the decisive final battle of World War II. Landing miles behind the German lines, their daring mission was to secure bridges across the Rhine so that ground forces could make a rapid dash into Nazi Germany. If all went well, the war could be over by Christmas. But what many trusted would be a simple operation turned into a brutal battle. Of some 12,000 airborne soldiers, around 1500 died and 6,000 were taken prisoner. The vital bridge at Arnhem they had come to capture stayed resolutely in German hands. But beneath this bitter military defeat was a more important story - of heroism and self-sacrifice, gallantry and survival, guts and determination unbroken in the face of impossible odds. In the two-thirds of a century that have passed since then, historians have endlessly analysed what went wrong and squabbled over who was to blame. Lost in the process was that other Arnhem story: the triumph of the human spirit, as seen through the dramatic first-hand accounts of those who were there, military and Dutch civilians side by side, in the cauldron, fighting for their lives, fighting for their comrades, fighting for their honour - a battle they won hands down. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.amazon.co.uk/Arnhem-Battle-Survival-John-Nichol/dp/0670918881/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1317055035&sr=8-3

 

Arnhem: The Fight to Sustain by Brigadier Frank Steer

Pegasus Archive review: A most interesting account of Arnhem from the perspective of the Royal Army Service Corps and the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. The book begins with a description of their role within the 1st Airborne Division; the organisation of their units, equipment used and supplies that they were expected to render. Then comes a day by day account of the battle, with the logisticians initially plying their unglamorous trade against the background of an operation that had not yet gone awry, then, as the situation became desperate, taking their place in the thick of the fighting. Frank Steer also discusses the wider aspects of the battle, from the supremely courageous work of the RASC Air Despatchers on the resupply flights, to the progress of the 1st Airborne Division's Seaborne Echelon, following in the wake of the 2nd Army. Price: £12.50. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/?product_id=8

 

Arnhem: The Landing Grounds & Oosterbeek by Brigadier Frank Steer

Pegasus Archive review: One of a splendid series of battlefield guides covering the Battle of Arnhem and the wider Operation Market Garden offensive. This book describes four routes around the general area of Oosterbeek; beginning with the drop zones for the first and second lifts and tracing the failed attempt of the Reconnaissance Squadron to reach Arnhem Bridge; the second route follows the movements of the 4th Parachute Brigade and their attack on and withdrawal from the Dreijenseweg defensive line; and the final two routes are based around Oosterbeek itself. They encompass many of the principal sites in this area, using maps and a considerable number of photographs and primary accounts to lend a vivid structure to numerous places of interest. Although this is a short book of 144 pages, it contains a surprising level of detail, which has been very well researched and presented in a clear and concise manner. Price: £10.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Arnhem/p/1965

 

Arnhem: Nine Days of Battle by Chris Brown

Pegasus Archive review: In view of the vast library which has been published about Arnhem it is quite impossible for any book which takes an overall view of events to add anything new to the history, and in recognition of this Chris Brown instead focuses his attention on a critical analysis of the conduct of the battle. Almost half the book is devoted to a discussion of the events which took place before a shot was fired, beginning with the planning phase of Market Garden, which merits close study as it is here where the mistakes were made which doomed the operation to failure, and ends by paying particular attention to the composition, training, capabilities and indeed short-comings of the 1st Airborne Division. His summary of the battle concentrates above all on the decisive first three days, and considers in conclusion those moments which could have turned the tide, and ends with some interesting remarks on the repercussions, which endure to this day, of Arnhem for the Parachute Regiment and the British Army as a whole. Price: £18.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/index.php/arnhem-nine-days-of-battle.html#sthash.K7gH8FYK.dpuf

 

Arnhem: Operation 'Market Garden' September 1944 by Lloyd Clark

Lloyd Clark provides a chronological overview of the operation, from its initial conception through to the end of the battle. It emphasises the land and air aspects of the fighting, as well as the participation from all parties involved - Britain, America and Poland and the Germans defending. Lavishly illustrated with some 200 photographs (many unpublished) this book offers a new perspectives on what actually happened on Operation Market Garden and the Battle of Arnhem. 0 7509 2835 2 19. September 2002. Price: £25.00.  Copies may be purchased from Amazon.

 

Arnhem Surgeon: The story of Captain Michael James of 181 Airlanding Field Ambulance RAMC September 1944 by Niall Cherry

This booklet complements Red Berets and Red Crosses, as since that was first published in 1999 much new information has been found in archives or supplied from veterans and relatives. Some of this new information concerned Captain Michael James who, in March 1944, was posted as a surgeon to 181 Airlanding Field Ambulance RAMC. In September of that year he and his team ended up working in the Oosterbeek perimeter and were taken prisoner after the evacuation. This booklet covers his Arnhem story but it is also the story of his team without whom he could not have functioned and also the unsung Dutch helpers. 28 pages 24 illustrations 2 maps Price £6 Euros 7.50. Copies may be purchased from Amazon, niall.cherry@baesystems.com or robert.sigmond@planet.nl.

 

Arnhem Their Final Battle: The 11th Parachute Battalion 1943-1944 by Gerrit Pijpers and David Truesdale

RN Sigmond Publishing are pleased to announce the publication of their latest work which deals with an often forgotten unit who fought at the Battle of Arnhem. Arnhem Their Final Battle covers the story of the 11th Parachute Battalion during its short life in the Second World War, covering the formation of the unit, the action on Kos and extensive coverage of their ill-fated time at Arnhem in September 1944. Many personal stories, documents and photographs as you would expect of a Sigmond Publishing book. Overseas orders accepted but please enquire about postage costs. 208 Pages with approx 180 black and white photographs, various documents, maps and aerial photographs. Price: £30.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or niall.cherry@baesystems.com

 

A Tour of the Arnhem Battlefields by John Waddy

Pegasus Archive review: There have been several very fine battlefield guides written about Arnhem, but this one deserves particular attention as its author participated in it as a company commander in the 156th Parachute Battalion. It comes with a superb 1:25,000 scale military map of the battlefield, complete with historical grid references which may be used in conjunction with unit war diaries and official reports. The book itself gives a general introduction to the military situation before the battle, intelligence reports and the outline plan for both the air and grounds forces involved. It goes on to describe the course of the battle based around 45 selected points which describe key actions, many of which are in the vicinity of Oosterbeek where the most protracted fighting took place, with others in Arnhem, Driel and the wider area. Waddy's narrative is very concise, condensing a great deal of information into a relatively small space, and is helped along by a number of maps, photographs, and carefully selected veterans accounts. Price: £10.39. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/A-Tour-Of-The-Arnhem-Battlefields-Paperback/p/3

 

Brotherhood of the Cauldron: Irishmen in the 1st Airborne Division from North Africa to Arnhem by David Truesdale.

Brotherhood of the Cauldron tells the story of some 300 men who served in or with the 1st Airborne Division during the Second World War. These men came from all the counties of Ireland, both the "loyal" north and "neutral" south, and many were awarded decorations for bravery, including one Victoria Cross. Ten years of research, including trips to the battlefield and interviews with many veterans, has produced a work that will benefit not only those interested in the Arnhem operation, but those seeking information on their family histories. More than 200 photographs accompany the text; some will be familiar to students of airborne operations, but in many cases the captions identify men previously unknown. Other photographs are being published for the first time, some being reproduced from old newspaper cuttings or well-worn snapshots taken from the backs of drawers or wallets, where they have lain forgotten for many years. For a few men the war was a horror best forgotten, for others a defining point in their lives, but for most it was simply something that had to be done. Price £12.95. Copies may be purchased from Amazon.

 

Commandos in Exile: The story of 10 (Inter Allied) Commando 1942-1945 by Nick Van der Bijl

Formed from members of Free Forces who had escaped from German occupation, 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando was one of the most unusual units in WW2. All members had to pass the Green Beret commando course at Achnacarry in Scotland and the book begins by describing this training. With no less than six national troops, plus X Troop drawn from exiled Jews, 10 Commando never fought as an entity but loaned troops for specific operations, such as One Troop (French) taking part in the Dieppe Raid, 2 Troop (Dutch) fighting at Arnhem, 5 Troop (Norwegian) raiding the Lofoten Islands etc. At other times groups played a key intelligence role questioning POWs, translating captured documents, conducting reconnaissance patrols and intelligence gathering on the D-Day beaches. Price: £19.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/?product_id=1715

 

Diary of a Red Devil by Albert Blockwell

Diary of a Red Devil relates the war time experiences of a young man, Albert Blockwell from the north-east of England, who in February 1940 was called up for service with the Army. Initially conscripted into the Royal Army Ordnance Corps and trained as a vehicle mechanic, he was then posted in March 1940 to a pre-war Territorial unit - The 7th Kings Own Scottish Borderers. Then in September 1944 Albert flew to Holland on Operation Market-Garden and his account (written in PoW camp) describes the savage nine days fighting at Arnhem from the slit trench level. Taken prisoner on the last day his account then describes the spartan life in PoW camp without pulling any punches. Sadly Albert died in 2001 but his diary survived and his daughter Maggie Clifton together with help from two published 'Arnhem' authors have edited a unique account of the fighting at Arnhem from the frontline soldier's perspective. Price: £19.75. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.helion.co.uk/

 

Escape from Arnhem: A Glider Pilot's Story by Godfrey Freeman

This is the remarkable true story of a young army glider pilot's experience of the last days in the defence of Arnhem Bridge, his eventual capture and then escape to be adopted by the Resistance, the hair-raising journey through occupied Europe and his eventual return to the UK. After capture Freeman was first taken to Apeldoorn where he was hospitalized, claiming shell-shock. Although quite sane, he feigned trauma with escape in mind, until being punished for aiding the escape of four Allied inmates. Then he was put on a train bound for Germany, from this he escaped and eventual made contact with the Dutch underground. He is given civilian clothes and a bicycle and rides overnight to Barnveld where he stays with a schoolmaster and church organist. Then another cycle ride to a farm where he sleeps in the hayloft and finally still on his bike, he rides through the German front lines. He eventually is returned to RAF Broadwell by Dakota to resume his part in the war, from capture to freedom within a month. The text is interspersed with flashbacks to the author's childhood and early training, capturing the true spirit of a typical modest and yet outstandingly brave young man of the wartime era. Price: £13.59. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/?product_id=2285

 

Every Man an Emperor by Gerry Leaper

I am delighted to present Every Man An Emperor, my tribute to those men who fought at Arnhem almost 62 years ago. I have vivid memories of those days in 1944 when as a seven year-old the men in red berets arrived in our village almost doubling the population. I was in awe of them [and still am]. This is a work of fiction which follows three ordinary blokes from their training to the maelstrom that was Arnhem. Throughout I have used poetic license including imagined conversations between senior officers during the planning of the operation. I also own up to interfering with the UK location of the Reconnaissance Squadron upon which I base this novel, which meant fictionally changing the Signals Unit's base. I apologize to the villages of Caythorpe and Ruskington for this, and to the airborne personnel concerned. Even in rural New Zealand, we have those with memories of Arnhem. I have chatted with the widow of an officer of the Lonsdale Force, and a Dutch lady who lived in the heart of the battle. After clearing my costs I intend to make a donation to a suitable Veterans' Association. As this novel is self-published, it is not in retail shops [yet] and is available through the Trafford Publishing Website. Using Google, key in Every Man an Emperor and you will see this Website and also Trafford's. Alternatively you can contact me the author - Gerry Leaper on rnm60@hotmail.com. I have stocks available priced at NZ$30.00 plus postage (UK/Europe NZ$12.06 - US NZ$11.15 - Aus NZ$6.33 and New Zealand $3.50). Please contact me with any comments - I can send a couple of sample chapters if you wish - I tend to respond more favourably to praise rather than criticism - but don't hold back! Regards, Gerry Leaper, South Island, New Zealand.

 

Freddie Gough's Specials at Arnhem by Robert Hilton

From R.N. Sigmond Publishing, an illustrated history of the 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron from official records and personal accounts of members of the Squadron. 256 pages with over 280 photos and numerous maps. Price: £38, plus postage. To order, email niall.cherry@baesystems.com

 

Freely I Served by Major General Stanislaw Sosabowski

Pegasus Archive review: In the study of the Battle of Arnhem, few memoirs are as important as those of Stanislaw Sosabowski. As commander of the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade, he was critical of the unsatisfactory plan to such a degree that he later fell victim to a conspiracy of British generals to have him removed from his post. The memoir briefly follows Sosabowski's service in the Austrian Army during the First World War, before discussing his role in the defence of Warsaw in 1939 and his subsequent escape to Britain. Here, his Parachute Brigade was formed for the sole purpose of liberating Poland, yet as this hope grew increasingly unrealistic they were pressured to participate in the campaign in North-West Europe; a distraction which Sosabowski bitterly resented. Much of the narrative is concerned with this period and with Arnhem, and in it Sosabowski gives his own version of events and an insight into his relationship with his peers, above all Lieutenant-General Browning, commander of the 1st British Airborne Corps, with whom he frequently had heated exchanges. Sosabowski was a stubborn man and prone to explaining his views in the most blunt of terms, yet they were entirely sound and emanated from a vastly experienced military mind, and, if heeded, would have resulted in a far superior plan. This memoir is a portrait of a highly professional soldier, but above all of a man who was completely devoted to the dream of liberating his homeland, no matter how distant a prospect it became. Price: £19.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/freely-i-served-hardback/p/6027/

 

From Delhi to Arnhem: 156 Parachute Battalion by John O'Reilly

This book is a "living history" based on extensive discussions with men who served in the 156 Parachute Battalion, their families and members of the Dutch Resistance. The Battalion's story, in particular the events at Arnhem, is clarified and brought to life by these previously unpublished accounts. The fortunes of twelve young soldiers from the Battalion are traced throughout, giving a vivid and human focus. The narrative follows the formation of the Battalion in India in 1941, when parachuting to war was a new and relatively untried concept. The Battalion was later transferred to Egypt, Palestine, then Tunisia for further training and in 1943 saw action against the Germans for the first time as part of the Allied invasion of Italy. The defining moment in the 156 Battalion's war was on 18th September 1944, when they flew to Arnhem as part of the 1st Airborne Division during Operation Market Garden. The details of the Battalion's role and the actions of its members are followed closely throughout the ferocious eight day battle and its aftermath, including Operations Pegasus I and II, illuminating the courage and dedication of the paratroopers of the 156 and the Dutch Resistance. The book contains over 400 pages including more than 350 photographs, many previously unpublished, as well as 40 stunning full colour maps and illustrations. Price: £34.99 + £13.00 p&p, the latter being negotiable for multiple orders. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or john.oreilly@thorotonpublishing.com

 

General 'Boy': The Life of Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Browning by Richard Mead

Pegasus Archive review: This fascinating biography follows the life of "Boy" Browning through his days at Eton and into the Grenadier Guards, with whom he served as a junior officer in the First World War, and on to his aspiring inter-war career, culminating in his part in laying the foundations of the British Airborne Forces during the Second World War, and, later, serving as Chief of Staff to Mountbatten in South-East Asia. Browning was respected throughout the Army as a highly capable officer who inspired the highest standards in his subordinates, but Richard Mead also exposes the warmer, more personal side of his character that only a select few were allowed to witness. He also chronicles Browning's enduring, but troubled marriage to Daphne du Maurier, and his last tragic years, which, as a consequence of a lifetime of unceasing work, were defined by a series of ailments, both mental and physical. Lieutenant-General Browning has become one of the most maligned figures in the history of the Airborne Forces movement, and so it is most refreshing, not merely to read an account which considers matters from his perspective and attempts to answer the criticisms, but one which acknowledges that Operation Market Garden consumed but a single month in the life of a man whose long career in the military, before and beyond September 1944, was as distinguished as it was highly regarded. Price: £20. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/?product_id=2604

 

Glider Pilots at Arnhem by Mike Peters and Luuk Buist

The fierce struggle between the British 1st Airborne Division and the superior German forces in and around Arnhem is well documented. This book tells of the role played in the battle for Oosterbeek and the bridge at Arnhem itself by the men of the Glider Pilot Regiment (GPR). These men were already experienced soldiers who volunteered to join the airborne forces and take the fight to the Germans in a totally new regiment. The men of the GPR were predominantly SNCOs trained to fly wooden assault gliders into occupied territory. Once on the ground they were expected to go into battle with the troops they had delivered onto the Landing Zone. During the Arnhem operation they were involved in the initial defence of the LZs, before fighting house to house leading mixed groups of infantrymen, engineers and medics. In so doing they suffered extensive losses from which the Regiment never fully recovered. This book tells their story in their own words from the moment they landed on Dutch soil through the fierce fighting all around the ever shrinking perimeter until the survivors of the GPR proudly marked the route out for the battered survivors of 1st Airborne Division as they escaped over the Rhine. Price: £20.00. Copies or e-books may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/?product_id=1971

 

Green On by Arie-Jan van Hees

"Green On!" concentrates on the involvement of the Royal Air Force and the Royal Army Service Corps "Air Despatchers" and their parachute re-supply sorties, flown during  Operation "Market". Between 18 and 25 September 1944, Stirlings and Dakotas of Nos. 38 and 46 Group flew 628 re-supply sorties to the "Arnhem/Oosterbeek area". Of these, 89 aircraft did not return to base, most of these crashed or belly-landed in enemy-occupied territory and many of their aircrew, flying personnel and air despatchers alike, paid the ultimate price. With the help of Dutch people and their resistance movement, many RAF and RASC air crew (and sometimes a "passenger") were able to escape and evade capture. Others had to endure captivity in a German prisoner of war camp. Their stories will be told in this book. See www.rafarnhemresupply.nl for more information. Price: (including p&p) Euro 55.00. Regrettably the processing of UK banker's cheques will lead to additional costs of 10.00 Euros, so if you decide to pay by banker’s cheque then please issue the cheque at an amount of Euro 65.00. Another payment option for UK-customers is to transfer money into my “IBAN” (International Bank Account Number): NL 36 SNSB 0902518453, SWIFT address SNSBNL2A. Please advise your bank that the payment of Euro 55.00 must be made "Free of all charges to beneficiary" and that any administration and processing costs will be covered by you. (I have been told that these costs can amount to Euro 3.50). At this moment it appears that the forwarding of bank notes (Euro 55.00) by mail (registering is up to the customer) is the most cost effective alternative. Although I prefer payment in the Euro currency; if customers have trouble acquiring 55.00 Euros from their bank or Post Office, the final alternative I can offer is to send £40.00 by mail. The author will then take care of exchanging the UK currency into Euros. If in doubt you can contact me by telephone at 00-31-43-4092279 or at ariejan@marketgarden.com or via mail: Arie-Jan van Hees, Courtpendu 7, 6245 PE Eijsden, The Netherlands. Copies may also be purchased from Amazon.

 

History of the Glider Pilot Regiment by Claude Smith

Pegasus Archive review: An excellent account of this most unique of Regiments by one of its former members. Despite a seemingly small number of pages, the book contains a great wealth of detail which follows the evolution of the glider element of the British Airborne Forces from its early experimental days to its peak in 1944/45, and then the post-war years where the increasingly obsolete concept was ultimately disbanded. Smith remains focused solely upon the Regiment's activities and does not wander off, as others have done, into the familiar and well-worn story of the wider events of the time, and though he does not dwell too much on the individual recollections of glider pilots, what he presents is a thorough account of the operations in which they were involved, including some which are not widely known even amongst experts in the field. Price £12.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/History-of-the-Glider-Pilot-Regiment/p/1540/

 

I Was a Stranger by General Sir John Hackett

Synopsis: Badly wounded at the battle of Arnhem, and then spirited from his hospital bed by the Dutch Resistance, Brigadier John Hackett spent the winter of 1944 in Nazi-occupied Holland. He was hidden by a Dutch family, at great risk to their own lives, in a house a stone's throw from a German military police billet. After four months in hiding, Hackett was at last well enough to strap a battered suitcase to an ancient bicycle and set out on a high adventure which would, he hoped, lead him to freedom. Simply told, exciting and compelling, I Was a Stranger is an unforgettable testament to the quiet strength of the author and to the brave, devoted people who saved him. Price: £16. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://foxedquarterly.com/2014/02/i-was-a-stranger/

 

Little Sense of Urgency by R. G. Poulussen

In the first part of the book, I elaborate on the structure of the Allied Expeditionary Force, the strong anti-army sentiment in high airforce circles, the different kinds of air support, the plans leading up to the invasion, Montgomery's strategy and directives from Normandy to operation Market Garden, the American and British battles in Normandy, the breakthrough i.e. operation Cobra, Montgomery's plan to cut off German forces by advancing to the Seine River, Bradley's decision to halt Patton in Argentan, the construction of Ultra messages, Eisenhower's Broad Front plan versus Montgomery's Single Thrust plan, "Victory Disease", Montgomery's M.523 directive of 3 September to encircle the Ruhr Area, the German knowledge of Montgomery's directive M.523, the outline of operation Comet, the German reorganization in Holland and finally the presentation of operation Market Garden and the serious weakening of this plan by 1 Allied Airborne Army. In the second part, I describe - per day - the military events of British 1 Airborne Division, American 82 and 101 Airborne Division and British 30 Corps, from 17 until 26 September 1944. This structure is complemented by elaborating on the attack on the railway bridge at Oosterbeek, the successful capture of the bridges at Heumen and Grave, the first attempt to capture the Waal Bridge, the structure of the German defences around Arnhem, the departure of American troops around the Waal Bridge, the attempts of British troops to reach Frost at the Rhine Bridge and the subsequent withdrawal to Oosterbeek, the combined American-British attack towards the Waal Bridge, the structure of the three British battle groups attached to the two American airborne divisions, the almost successful German attack on the Son Bridge, the successful two-way assault on the Waal Bridge, the second German attack on the Son Bridge, the German defences in The Island, the assault on German positions at Ressen, the Poles at Driel, the second assault at Ressen, the American pincer movement between Sint-Oedenrode and Veghel, the concentric German attack at Veghel, the efforts to relieve the British troops in Oosterbeek, the attack on Elst, the two-day capture of Bemmel, the Germans attacking at Eerde and cutting "Club Route", the decision making process and the evacuation of British troops from the Oosterbeek perimeter and finally the Allied counter-attack that drove the Germans from "Club Route". For more information: http://marketgarden1944-2014.pre-jump.nl/

 

Lost at Nijmegen by R. G. Poulussen

The three day delay in the capture of the Waal Bridge in Nijmegen was unnecessary and seriously contributed to the failure of operation "Market Garden". For the first time a factual account of the decisive first twenty-four hours of fighting by the 82nd Airborne Division around Nijmegen. Somehow, the importance of the three day delay is usually overlooked in the evaluation of operation "Market Garden". If the Waal Bridge had been secured, when XXX Corps arrived in Nijmegen on the 19th of September, they would have had 48 hours to relieve their compatriots at Arnhem. The three day delay in the capture of the Waal Bridge is generally explained as follows: the necessary quick capture of the Waal Bridge failed because the commander of the 508 PIR (Parachute Infantry Regiment) - designated to capture the Waal Bridge - misunderstood pre-jump orders given by General Gavin. Authentic documents however prove that in fact no pre-jump orders were issued, as claimed by General Gavin. There is an official statement in which General Gavin admits that he alone was responsible for the shift in priority from capturing the Waal Bridge to defending the Groesbeek Heights. As a direct result the 508 PIR landed without offensive orders, disabling the key weapon of General Gavin: the effect of surprise. Based on a lot of original material in Dutch and American archives, the author meticulously describes the combat actions of the 504 and 508 PIR. Furthermore, the American strength is analysed and so is the German threat toward the landing zones on the 18th of September. The achievements of the Dutch are not forgotten; the last three days of Jan Van Hoof are described in detail and so are the actions of Captain Bestebreurtje and volunteer Agardus Leegsma. Background information, uncovered maps and enlightening overviews complete the book. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://lostatnijmegen.pre-jump.nl

 

Major and Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide to Operation Market Garden

Pegasus Archive review: Major and Mrs Holt have long been setting the benchmark for superb battlefield guides, and this third edition, ambitiously covering the entire Operation Market Garden area, certainly adds to that reputation. Accompanied by a large map, it begins with a historical overview of the ill-fated campaign and is thereafter divided into five timed itineraries covering all of the principal sectors; beginning with the initial advance of XXX Corps, then the 101st Airborne Division at Eindhoven, the 82nd Airborne Division in the Groesbeek and Nijmegen areas, and finally the 1st Airborne Division and Polish Brigade around Arnhem. In all, no less than 325 places of interest are described, including museums, cemeteries and monuments, with a great many colour photographs scattered throughout, as well as directions and a concise but thorough and personal narrative accompanying each site. This book is a remarkable achievement, and it is difficult to imagine touring the battlefield in the company of anything else. Price £16.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Major-And-Mrs-Holts-Battlefield-Guide-To-Operation-Market-Garden-Paperback/p/4228

 

Major Cotterell at Arnhem: A War Crime and a Mystery by Jennie Gray

Conscripted into the British Army in 1940, talented journalist Anthony Cotterell was never going to make a natural soldier. The Army eventually realised that his abilities lay elsewhere and he was transferred to a new department of the War Office where he could do what he did best - write. He would become one of the Army's top journalists, eventually covering the D-Day landings and the Normandy campaign. Anthony managed to blag himself a place in the parachute drop at Arnhem in September 1944 as part of Operation Market Garden. Captured, on 23 September he was one of a group of British prisoners wounded or killed when SS guards opened fire. Treated in a German dressing station with the other wounded, Anthony then vanished without trace, the only member of the party to do so. In Major Cotterell at Arnhem, Jennie Gray tells the story of Anthony's rise to journalistic fame in the Army, the Arnhem adventure, the SS war crime and the disappearance. She then recounts the dramatic and painful three-year search to find Anthony mounted by the War Crimes Group, the Search Bureau and the Netherlands War Crimes Commission, in tandem with the private search made by Anthony's devoted brother, Geoffrey Cotterell. Best-selling author Geoffrey has kindly co-operated in in the writing of this book. Complemented by Anthony's own words, official War Crime Group documentation and the letters about the search that Geoffrey wrote almost daily to his mother, this is a poignant story of one man lost in the tumult of war. Copies may be purchased from Amazon.

 

Men at Arnhem by Geoffrey Powell

Pegasus Archive review: Major Geoffrey Powell led "C" Company of the 156th Parachute Battalion at Arnhem, later commanding the remnants of that Battalion in the fighting around Oosterbeek before bringing them across the Rhine in grand style when the 1st Airborne Division was ordered to withdraw. Originally written under the pseudonym of Tom Angus, Men at Arnhem is a semi-fictional account of the role that Powell played; the names used are an invention and a little of the chronology has been altered in the interests of a smoother narrative, but all of the events portrayed are quite real and give a most vivid account of Powell's experiences. Yet this book is much more than one man's story, as it brilliantly describes life in a typical parachute rifle company during this most difficult and bloody of battles, and it is for these insights into the lot of the ordinary infantryman that it has rightly been acclaimed a classic. Price £12.95. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Men-At-Arnhem/p/458/

 

Nijmegen: US 82nd Airborne & Guards Armoured Division by Tim Saunders

Pegasus Archive review: One of the five books in the superb Battleground series devoted to Operation Market Garden, focusing on the very broad and difficult sector allocated to the 82nd Airborne Division. The chapters describe the key areas from South to North, including Grave Bridge, the bridges over the Maas-Waal Canal, the Groesbeek Heights, Nijmegen, and many more besides. As with all books in this series, a considerable number of maps, photographs and first-hand accounts have been packed into a deceptively small space, and the concise narrative manages to go into a level of detail which makes this a solid historical study rather than just a battlefield guide. A fine tribute to the "All American" 82nd, a Division which General Dempsey of the 2nd British Army described as the finest in the world at that time. Price £12.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Nijmegen-Paperback/p/228

 

No Return Flight: 13 Platoon At Arnhem by Haks Walburgh Schmidt

This book tells the story of the search for the men aboard a huge Horsa glider that sailed into the Battle at Arnhem on 18 September 1944. In the early phase of the battle the pilots of the British engineless plane wish their passengers good luck in their race for the Arnhem bridges, probably never to see them again. 54 years later one of the pilots, Sergeant Morley 'Taffy' Williams, visiting the Netherlands for the annual commemorations of the battle, meets a Dutch journalist and expresses his deep wish to find out what happened to his passengers of that fateful flight to Arnhem. Together they decide to start a search for them. Over six years later this investigation has resulted in a moving personal story of the Battle at Arnhem. The captivating stories of the airbornes give the reader a surprising and gripping view on the events. As a fascinating consequence the search has led to several unexpected renewed personal contacts between the pilot and some of his passengers and their relatives. It also rekindled the search for some of Morley's passengers that are still missing. To buy: Gazelle Books or Amazon.

 

Nothing is Impossible: A Glider Pilot's Story of Sicily, Arnhem and the Rhine Crossing by Victor Miller

Pegasus Archive review: Victor Miller was a member of "G" Squadron, The Glider Pilot Regiment, and he describes his experiences with this unique force from the early days of its formation and his training as a pilot, through to the invasion of Sicily, the Battle of Arnhem and the Rhine Crossing. It is a pity that Miller did not participate in the Normandy landings, as his book would then have been a complete study of all the major Airborne operations in Western Europe. There have been many memoirs, including a few classics, which had been written about the Airborne Forces, but what sets this extremely readable account apart is the sheer depth of Miller's narrative and his considerable skill as a writer. Arnhem, spanning almost half of the book, is clearly the centre piece, and he provides a most vivid account of the desperate fighting which took place as the exhausted and depleted remnants of the 1st Airborne Division struggled to hold a bridgehead across the Rhine. Highly recommended. Price £20.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Nothing-is-Impossible-Hardback/p/10835

 

Operation Market Garden: The Battles for Nijmegen and Arnhem September 1944; An appreciation of the Royal Engineer Element by John Carbis

Although much of this is by sheer force of circumstance, bound up with the gallant events of the Allied Airborne force during those few fateful days in September 1944, there is another equally important series of events that should be attributed to the 'engineering achievement' both by the airborne engineers and those of XXX Corps; it is this emphasis that this book has endeavoured to highlight. Lt Colonel Myers, the CRE at Arnhem, in his after action report said of 4 Parachute Squadron RE. "Sappers can fight or they can do field engineering. This Parachute Squadron had, for months almost years, been yearning for a fight. It got it and it did magnificently as soldiers." To buy: Contact In-Pensioner 347 J C CARBIS, 13-4 Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 4SR. Telephone: 020 7881 5390, Email: john_carbis@hotmail.com. Price: £20.00 + P&P.

 

Orange Blood, Silver Wings by Stewart Bentley

The story of the Dutch Resistance and the Allied Jedburgh teams during Operation Market Garden is one that has been overlooked by nearly all of the popular histories on this audacious failure. The sacrifice of individual Dutch Resistance members to help the Allies liberate their homeland is detailed here in a story drawn from archival reports, memoirs and first person interviews. Available from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetail~bookid~38913.aspx

 

Rifleman: A Front Line Life by Victor Gregg

Pegasus Archive review: A highly readable autobiography, beginning with the early years of Victor Gregg's life in pre-war London and then his service in the British Army. His vivid account of the war in the Western Desert with the Rifle Brigade, including temporary attachments to Popski's Private Army and the Long Range Desert Group, is particularly compelling. Joining the Parachute Regiment thereafter, Gregg fought with the 10th Battalion in Italy and at Arnhem, where he was taken prisoner. Condemned to death for inadvertently burning down a factory in Dresden, he survived because that city perished in a firestorm; an event which he describes in harrowing detail. Gregg became a member of the Communist Party after the war, and, by now accustomed to life on the edge, found himself chauffeuring numerous suspect characters across Britain. He proceeded to tread the very fine line between assisting the Communists and passing information to the British. Later used by MI6 to make numerous trips across the Iron Curtain, Gregg's story ends in 1989, when he happened to attend a rally in Sopron where the wire separating east and west was cut, a few weeks before the Berlin Wall fell. A fitting final chapter in the story of a man who has led a quite extraordinary life. Price £13.49. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.bloomsbury.com/Rifleman/Rick-Stroud-Victor-Gregg/books/details/9781408813966

Victor Gregg can be seen speaking of his experiences at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9qvvHbNsJk.

 

Roll of Honour

The completely revised edition of the Roll of Honour of the Battle of Arnhem has been published at last! Originally compiled by Jan Hey in 1986, Geert Maassen and Philip Reinders, aided by a number of people from the Netherlands and abroad, have now produced the fifth edition. This brand new book was published by the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum Oosterbeek. Compared to the previous edition (from 1999) 24 names and other information of Allied soldiers who died during or as a consequence of the fighting in September 1944, have been added. 10 names had to be skipped since the men involved turned out not to have been at Arnhem or did not die due to the battle. Appendix A shows that 1915 military, including 243 of the air forces and 82 Air Despatchers, were killed. Data about more than 1300 of these have been corrected or expanded since 1999. Relevant information was added, derived from: dossiers about those who died in POW camps or hospitals in Germany; casualty files in the National Archives in London; Polish military documents in The Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum; data from a private collection about wounded men in Apeldoorn hospitals; the archives of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. A new chapter is about the many graves of men "Known unto God", over 280 of which were found in the Netherlands. Of these 240 are in the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery. According to Jan Hey's figures 424 men are missing in action to this day. Thus it can be concluded that the mortal remains of about 140 soldiers of the Allied army that were involved in the Battle of Arnhem have never been found or registered. "Roll of Honour - Battle of Arnhem - September 1944" is a hardcover book, counts 272 pages, and contains 225 photographs and other illustrations (ISBN: 9789081755306). Readers in the United Kingdom can purchase a copy from Niall Cherry, the price being £25 plus £5 postage and packing: Niall.Cherry@baesystems.com. In the Netherlands this reference book is available from the local book shops in the Arnhem region and from the Airborne Museum ‘Hartenstein’ at Oosterbeek. It is also for sale through info@vriendenairbornemuseum.nl.

 

Shan Hackett: The Pursuit of Exactitude by Roy Fullick

Pegasus Archive review: John "Shan" Hackett is best known as the commander of the 4th Parachute Brigade at Arnhem, but, as this biography reveals, he led an extraordinary life beyond that single, famous week in Holland, September 1944. Roy Fullick fully describes Hackett's participation in the battle, where he was severely wounded and taken prisoner, and then the months spent as a guest of the Dutch Resistance before his final, epic escape to the Allied lines in February 1945. He also details his lesser known exploits; as a cavalryman with the 8th Hussars in North Africa, and as GSO1 Raiding Forces, a post which brought him into contact with the SAS, Long Range Desert Group, and Popski's Private Army; whose name he had apparently coined. His career blossomed in the post-war period, reaching its zenith in 1966 when the now General Sir John Hackett was placed in Command of the British Army of the Rhine and NATO's Northern Army Group. Yet he was much more than a mere professional soldier, and after retirement embarked on a most successful academic career, publishing several books and becoming Principal of King's College, London. Price: £14.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/?product_id=1887

 

Stirlings in Action with the Airborne Forces by Dennis Williams

Pegasus Archive review: This book traces the wartime history of 190 and 620 Squadrons, who shared the same airfield and, as part of No.38 Group, had been formed to transport the British Airborne Forces into battle, participating in the Normandy landings, the Rhine Crossing, and also Arnhem; where the successive resupply missions suffered heavy losses and saw what some have described as the most courageous flying of the war. Yet these operations occupied only a fraction of their time. They also flew innumerable and often dangerous sorties in support of the Special Operations Executive and the SAS, with small formations of aircraft dropping men, agents and equipment deep behind enemy lines, both before and after D-Day. This is a superbly researched account of the many activities of these squadrons, generously supported with many photographs and veterans accounts. Price: £25.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Stirlings-in-Action-with-the-Airborne-Forces-Hardback/p/1551

 

Surgeon at Arms by Lipmann Kessel

Pegasus Archive review: Captain Lipmann Kessel was a Jewish South African surgeon who served with the 1st Airborne Division at Arnhem, spending almost all of the Battle as a prisoner at the St Elizabeth Hospital where he worked ceaselessly to tend the wounded, for which he was ultimately awarded the MBE and Military Cross. The narrative begins in the final moments of the Battle, and vividly describes the conditions and difficulties of working in an improvised hospital under enemy supervision. As it was close to the front line and there was every chance that his prisoner patients could be freed by the Allied advance, he continually argued against the German desire to evacuate it, and deliberately kept lightly wounded men on the danger list so that they would not be taken away. Lipmann Kessel also came into contact with the Dutch Resistance and, having saved the life of and helping to smuggle away Brigadier Hackett, he also managed to make a run for it himself when it was clear his services were no longer necessary. Having spent several dangerous months hiding behind enemy lines in the care of the Resistance, he finally reached Allied territory in February 1945. Price: £12.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Surgeon-at-Arms-Paperback/p/3302

 

The Devil's Birthday: The Bridges to Arnhem 1944 by Geoffrey Powell

Pegasus Archive review: Geoffrey Powell's account of Operation Market Garden is widely considered to be amongst the very best, not least because his impeccable research has produced an account which considers the campaign in its entirety, not just the part played by the 1st Airborne Division at Arnhem, but also those of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and the 2nd British Army. The narrative contains no personal recollections, nor does it dwell on the actions of individuals, instead it catalogues the events as they unfolded and presents a meticulous study of the command decisions made, as well as the numerous elements, some of which are often overlooked, which conspired to bring about the collapse of an operation which had promised so much. As a volume which clearly and accurately describes these aspects and sets the entire Market Garden campaign into context, there is, in my opinion, no finer book on the subject. Price £11.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/The-Devils-Birthday/p/3494/

 

Without Tradition: 2 Para 1941 - 1945 by Robert Peatling

Pegasus Archive review: This history of the most famous of all the wartime parachute battalions has been compiled by one of its former members. The background to the formation of the 2nd Parachute Battalion, and its operations at Bruneval, North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Arnhem, are described through a mixture of the author's narrative, war diaries and official reports, but the greater part of the volume consists of rich and colourful recollections by numerous veterans, and it is in these that Without Tradition truly comes to life. In comparison to the impressive treatment of Bruneval, Oudna and Arnhem, the recollections of the latter phases of the North African campaign and Sicily are perhaps a little sparse, yet this remains a very fine account of what was one of the finest battalions in the British Army. Price £12.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Without-Tradition/p/753/