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Montgomery's Rhine River Crossing: Operation PLUNDER

Montgomery's Rhine River Crossing: Operation PLUNDER

by Jon Diamond


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After the Normandy break-out, the Allies’ headlong dash east came to a halt in the autumn with the ill-fated MARKET GARDEN operation and over-extended supply lines short of the Rhineland. After repulsing the Nazis’ daring Ardennes offensive, Montgomery’s and Bradley’s Army Groups cleared the Reichwald and Rhineland and closed on the Rhine.

With both sides aware of the strategic significance of this physical barrier the stakes could not have been higher. Eisenhower’s plan involved a vast airborne assault by General Ridgway’s XV11 Airborne Corps (codename VARSITY) and the simultaneously coordinated river crossing by Monty’s 21 Army Group codename PLUNDER with Dempsey’s British Second Army and General William H. Simpson’s US Ninth Army.

This superbly illustrated and researched book describes the March 1945 assault crossing involving naval amphibious craft, the air and artillery bombardment and diversionary attack by the British 1st Commando brigade at Wesel. In concert with VARSITY and PLUNDER, Patton’s US Third Army Group crossed further south.

As a result of this triumph of strategic planning and tactical execution, the fate of Hitler’s ‘Thousand Year Reich’ was finally sealed.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526731739
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 12/27/2019
Series: Images of War Series
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Jon Diamond MD is a kidney specialist in the USA with a deep interest in the Second World War. He is a keen collector of photographs. His Stilwell and the Chindits, War in the South Pacific, Invasion of Sicily, Invasion of the Italian Mainland: Salerno to Gustav Line, 1943-1944, Onto Rome 1944; Anzio and Victory at Cassino and Beyond Rome to the Alps; Across the Arno and Gothic Line, 1944-1945 and Op Plunder The Rhine River Crossing are all published by Pen and Sword in the Images of War series. [83]

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 4

Abbreviations 5

Introduction 6

Chapter 1 Strategic Prelude to the Campaign 7

Map: Strategic situation 8

Chapter 2 Terrain, Fortifications and Weapons 39

Chapter 3 Commanders and Combatants 99

Chapter 4 Clearing the Rhineland 141

Map: The Rhineland campaign and advances to the Rhine River 142

Map: The Allied 'Broad Front' Rhine River assaults 154

Chapter 5 The Rhine River Crossings and Airborne Assault 183

Map: Montgomery's 21st AG Rhine River crossing 184

Epilogue 229

References 238

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