Magnificent Disaster: The Failure of Market Garden, The Arnhem Operation, September 1944

Overview

After Normandy, the most spectacular Allied offensive of World War II was Operation Market Garden, which saw three divisions of paratroopers dropped behind German lines, to be joined by massive armored columns breaking through the front. The ultimate object was to seize a crossing over t the Rhine to outflank the heartland of the Third Reich and force a quick end to the war.

The Operation utterly failed, of course, as the 1st British Airborne was practically wiped out, the ...

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Overview

After Normandy, the most spectacular Allied offensive of World War II was Operation Market Garden, which saw three divisions of paratroopers dropped behind German lines, to be joined by massive armored columns breaking through the front. The ultimate object was to seize a crossing over t the Rhine to outflank the heartland of the Third Reich and force a quick end to the war.

The Operation utterly failed, of course, as the 1st British Airborne was practically wiped out, the American 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions became tied down in vicious combat for months, and the vaunted armored columns were foiled at every turn by improvisational German defenses. In many circles the battle has become known as “Hitler’s last victory.”

In this work, many years in the making, Professor Bennett puts forward a complete, balanced and comprehensive account of the British, American, Polish, Canadian and German actions, as well as the strategic background of the Operation in a way not yet done. He shows, for example, that rather than a bridgehead over the Rhine, Montgomery’s ultimate aim was to flank the Ruhr industrial area from the north. The book also deals as never before with the key role of all three Corps of British Second Army, not just Horrocks’ central XXX Corps. For the first time, we learn the dramatic, untold story of how a single company of Canadian engineers achieved the evacuation of 1st Airborne’s survivors back across the Rhine when all other efforts had failed.

Also revealed is the scandal of how Polish General Sosabowski was humiliated, insulted and dismissed by the mendacious hostility of the British military authorities. And the book shows, too, how the Operation would have failed at the outset but for the brilliant soldiery of the two American airborne divisions who overcame a variety of odds to achieve their objectives.

Respectfully nodding to “A Bridge Too Far” and other excellent works on Market Garden, the author has interviewed survivors, walked the ground, and performed prodigious archival research to increase our understanding of the battle. From the actions of the lowliest soldier to the highest commander, Allied and German, the Operation develops in highly readable style, with the author’s expert analysis unveiling new insights at every step.
www.magnificentdisaster.com

REVIEWS

…an informative volume… provides a wealth of detail. It will make a valuable addition to your collection if you’re an enthusiast of Market Garden or the ETO in WWII…
Armorama, 07/2008

“…interesting appendices and a most complete bibliography, making this probably one of the finest works on the subject yet done… both informative and entertaining… I give my highest recommendation for a superb read.”
Model Madness, 08/2008

"…Reveals much of what history has tended to gloss over… This detailed examination of Market Garden should be a must read for all who have an interest in this operation."
Airborne Quarterly, 08/2008

"…brings previously overlooked details of a battle I thought I knew a lot about. I didn't…expert analysis, unveiling new insights at every step."
IPMS, 09/2008

“…an amazing, utterly captivating and enthralling account… the amount of research he’s put into this book phenomenal. One of the most readable accounts of a second world war campaign I have ever read.”
Books Monthly (UK), 09/2008

“…the first to put forward a complete, balanced, and strategic account of all forces involved and provides us with a new perspective on the many errors and conflicts of the campaign.”
Best of Britain, 10/2008

“…a readable yet thorough history that should make a great addition to any World War Two history shelf.”
Internet Modeler, 11/2008

"well researched and excellently written account which raises many good points and invites a great deal of comment... challenges(the reader)... provides us with a modern appreciation of the battle."
War Books Out Now, 12/2008

“… a smooth, concise account of the battle’s major phases and turning points, well spiced with vignettes from the tactical level…conclusions are well supported… a fine foreword by Carlo D’Este.. Demonstrat(es) that even well-studied campaigns can use a fresh look.”
World War II Magazine, 01/2009

“A fresh look at the disastrous operation in the Netherlands that led to devastating losses among British and Polish airborne troops… a concise look at the critical events during the operation…” The NYMAS Review, Fall-Winter 2009

“To be sure, the basic story has been told many times…however we never get the full story…Bennett brings the Polish, Canadian, and German actions into the campaign in new and significant ways. He has done his homework. He has mined the archives, walked the ground, talked with participants of the campaign, and painted the strategic picture more thoroughly than in previous works… a fine book.”
Military History of the West, Volume 40, 2010

“An interesting well researched and different perspective of The Market Garden
Operation.”
WWII Connection, August 2011

“Immaculately researched…The wealth of detail is exceptional.”
The Book Bag(UK), 10/2011

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Editorial Reviews

Military Modelcraft International
...an incredibly detailed examination of why who and what exactly went wrong in September 1944...a war chest of obscure delights...fantastic photos...A great book on a hugely famous battle.
WWII Connection
An interesting well researched and different perspective of The Market Garden Operation.
The Book Bag(UK)
Immaculately researched...The wealth of detail is exceptional.
World War II Magazine
. . . a smooth, concise account of the battle's major phases and turning points, well spiced with vignettes from the tactical level . . . conclusions are well supported . . . a fine foreword by Carlo D'Este.. Demonstrat(es) that even well-studied campaigns can use a fresh look.
IPMS
. . . brings previously overlooked details of a battle I thought I knew a lot about. I didn't . . . expert analysis, unveiling new insights at every step.
Armorama
. . . an informative volume . . . provides a wealth of detail. It will make a valuable addition to your collection if you're an enthusiast of Market Garden or the ETO in WWII . . .
Fark NYMAS
A fresh look at the disastrous operation in the Netherlands that led to devastating losses among British and Polish airborne troops.
Books Monthly (UK)
. . . an amazing, utterly captivating and enthralling account . . . the amount of research he's put into this book phenomenal. One of the most readable accounts of a second world war campaign I have ever read.
Model Madness
. . . interesting appendices and a most complete bibliography, making this probably one of the finest works on the subject yet done . . . both informative and entertaining . . . I give my highest recommendation for a superb read.
Airborne Quarterly

...Reveals much of what history has tended to gloss over... This detailed examination of Market Garden should be a must read for all who have an interest in this operation.

Best of Britain
. . . the first to put forward a complete, balanced, and strategic account of all forces involved and provides us with a new perspective on the many errors and conflicts of the campaign.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932033854
  • Publisher: Casemate Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/7/2008
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents


Foreword   Carlo D'Este     xi
The Prospects for the Western Allies     1
Two Weeks of Allied Preparation     19
The Other Side of The Hill     43
An American Triumph     61
Airborne Hiatus     87
Black Tuesday     103
Success Clashes with Failure     115
Polonia Restituta     137
Stagnation     143
The Poles' Second Crossing of the Rhine     151
Dithering and Deceit     157
The Last Hope Fades     169
The Night of the Canadians     181
Assessment     191
Epilogue     203
Chronology of Events     211
The Supply Situation of 21st Army Group on the Eve of Market Garden     217
The Air Forces in Operation Market Garden     225
The Humiliation of General Sosabowski     235
Brian Urquhart's Recollections of Intelligence at Arnhem     241
Glossary of Terms and Acronyms     245
Notes on the Text
Acknowledgments
Bibliography
Index     273
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