The Battle for Arnhem 1944-1945...
...from Pen and Sword
Title: The Battle for Arnhem
Author: Anthony Tucker-Jones
Publisher: Pen and Sword
There have been many books on the subject of Arnhem and this new Images of War title from Anthony Tucker-Jones provides an interesting mix of the archive photos and the introductory text that introduces each chapter. The story of Operation Market Garden is full of 'What ifs' and I like the way Anthony has addressed so many of them, even those which will never really have an answer. A vital element I think is that it looks at all the elements of the operation, not just in Arnhem itself, but with the other contributions of the two US airborne divisions and that of 30 Corps in driving up the 60 mile route towards the Arnhem bridge.
The Introduction which sets the scene is followed by 9 chapters. They tackle the planning beforehand, the elements of the battle itself, and the aftermath. So there is Monty's Garden and An Airborne Market, both of which include maps as well as the text and archive images. Then What Panzers, as both 9th and 10th SS Panzer divisions were 'resting' in the area and how maybe these were not given the consideration they deserved. Then the two US airborne divisions roles, with Securing Eindhoven and Fight for Nijmegen before we get to the British 1st Airborne division, Trapped at Arnhem. Over to 30 Corps next, with Stalled in the Betuwe, the 'island' between Nijmegen and the Arnhem bridge. The final two chapters consider The Oosterbeek Pocket and lastly Arnhem Liberated, though that didn't happen until April 1945. With over 150 archive images in the book, many of those from within Arnhem itself have been seen before but there are plenty of others which will give even more inspiration and detail for modellers.
There is an extra little piece at the end, The Movie Controversy, with some notes on the famous film, 'A Bridge Too Far'. It seems there were one or two personalities who did not really get on with each other. Without the original book by Cornelius Ryan, which coined the title of 'A Bridge Too Far', the failure at Arnhem has been seen as some sort of success from a failure, just as we did with Dunkirk. I enjoyed reading the observations from author Anthony Tucker-Jones.
Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.