Arnhem 1944: The Airborne Battle

Arnhem 1944: The Airborne Battle

by Martin Middlebrook


View All Available Formats & Editions
Usually ships within 1 week


Arnhem was meant to end the war in Europe. The Germans were in retreat from Normandy and seemed to be beaten. Three airborne divisions were to seize the bridges across the great rivers of Holland and unleash the Allied armies into Germany. The Battle of Arnhem was a turning-point in the war, a gamble by Montgomery, using three airborne divisions to capture a series of bridges across the wide rivers that separated a powerful mobile army from the plains of northern Germany. If the bridges had been captured and held, and the ground forces had been able to relieve the airborne forces, then there would have been a good chance of ending the war before Christmas 1944.

It all went wrong. The initial operation was successful, the bridges taken by the Americans were relieved by ground troops, but these troops could not reach Arnhem quickly enough. In the meantime, only a small part of the 1st British Airborne Division had reached the Arnhem Bridge. Most of the remainder of the airborne force was held up on the outskirts of the town by German units that turned out to be far stronger than expected - a major intelligence failure. After nine days of fighting, the survivors of the division were withdrawn across the Rhine and it was not until many months later that ground forces captured Arnhem.

Using the technique he has perfected over twenty-five years of military study, blending meticulous research based on original documents with the personal experiences of more than 500 participants, Martin Middlebrook describes the Battle of Arnhem from start to finish, from one end of that complicated battlefield to the other. The author offers a masterly summary of what went wrong in the last major defeat in battle suffered by the British Army.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526726803
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 06/25/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 512
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)
Lexile: 1270L (what's this?)

About the Author

Martin Middlebrook has written many other books that deal with important turning-points in the two world wars, including The First Day on the Somme, Kaiser's Battle, The Peenemünde Raid, The Somme Battlefields (with Mary Middlebrook) and The Nuremberg Raid 30-31st March 1944 (all republished and in print with Pen and Sword).

Martin Middlebrook is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and lives near Boston, Lincolnshire

Table of Contents

List of Photographs vii

List of Maps ix

Introduction 1

1 The Path to Arnhem 5

2 'First Airborne' and Friends 20

3 The Arnhem Area 49

4 Preparations for Battle 59

5 The Air Armada 75

6 The Morning in Holland 90

7 The Landings 96

8 The Vital Hours 116

Battalion Krafft 117

1st Parachute Brigade Plan 119

The Reconnaissance Squadron 123

The Divisional Commander 126

The 3rd Parachute Battalion 129

The 1st Parachute Battalion 137

The 2nd Parachute Battalion 142

The Divisional Area 162

The Other Landings 165

9 The Battle in the Town - Monday 167

The 3rd Parachute Battalion 170

The 1st Parachute Battalion 175

C Company and No. 4 Platoon, 2nd Parachute Battalion 184

Reinforcements 186

10 The Battle in the Town - Tuesday 190

The 1st and 3rd Parachute Battalions 195

The 2nd South Staffordshires 200

The 11th Parachute Battalion 206

In the Rear of the Fighting 209

11 Waiting for the Second Lift 217

12 The Second Lift 224

13 The Battle in the Woods 248

The Evening Moves 251

156 Parachute Battalion - the Dreijenseweg Action 254

The 10th Parachute Battalion - the Pumping-Station-Area Action 261

The Third-Lift Glider Landing 269

The 4th Parachute Brigade Withdrawals 272

Wednesday -into Oosterbeek 282

14 The Battle at the Bridge 287

Monday 288

Tuesday 300

Wednesday 307

Resistance Fails 317

15 The Formation of the Oosterbeek Perimeter 324

The Eastern Perimeter 324

The Western Perimeter 329

Wednesday - Lonsdale Force 331

16 The Battle at Oosterbeek 341

The Thursday Attacks 341

The Siege - Friday to Monday 351

The Local People 365

The Divisional Units 372

The Medical Services 378

17 The Resupply Flights 386

Tuesday 387

Wednesday 391

Thursday 393

The Final Flights 396

18 The Polish Brigade 402

19 The Sacrifice of the Dorsets 418

20 Evacuation 423

21 The Reckoning 436

The Cost 438

Was It Worth It? 441

22 The Years That Followed 445

Appendix 1 Order of Battle and Operational Details, 1st British Airborne Division and Attached Units 455

Appendix 2 Order of Battle, Polish Independent Parachute Brigade Group 461

Appendix 3 Order of Battle, 38 and 46 Groups RAF and RASC Air Despatch Units 462

Appendix 4 Order of Battle, US Air Units Carrying British and Polish Parachute Troops on Operation 'Market' 464

Appendix 5 Arnhem Today 465

Acknowledgements 478

Bibliography 486

Index 487

Customer Reviews