In September 1944, having sped through France and Belgium, Montgomery sought to race into Germany and to end the war by Christmas. It wasn't, of course, that simple.
Operation Market Garden would drop Allied troops into The Netherlands, held by Nazi Germany, to secure key bridges across the Rhine along the path of advance. But it was folly - in the Dutch staff college exams, any candidate who adopted this plan had been failed on the spot. Indeed, the campaign ended in a glorious defeat, and half of the 12,000 Allied troops taken prisoner.
With his typical authority and skill in bringing a campaign to life, Britain's bestselling historian creates a gripping, vivid narrative that shows why the battle was fought, and lost. With masterful command of material from a vast range of sources, he also paints the human side of war, and its heroes and villains - "more like a prosperous dentist than the head of the Waffen-SS" - and moments of glory and humour too.
This is classic Antony Beevor - on an iconic campaign.
About the Author
Antony Beevor's books include Crete - The Battle and the Resistance, which won a Runciman Prize; Paris After the Liberation, 1944-1949 (written with his wife, Artemis Cooper); Stalingrad, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature; Berlin - The Downfall, which received the first Longman History Today Trustees' Award; and, most recently, The Battle for Spain. His books have appeared in thirty foreign editions and sold nearly four million copies.
This absorbing new account of the battle with the eye for telling detail which we have come to expect from Antony Beevor. . . this time, though, he turns his brilliance as a military historian to a subject not just of defeat, but dunderhead stupidity. -- Tony Rennell * Daily Mail *
Beevor tells a story that is more human and complex than what he calls "the great myth of heroic failure", a tale of vanity, hubris, occasional incompetence, human frailty and remarkable grit. . . In Beevor's hands, Arnhem becomes a study of national character. -- Ben Macintyre * The Times *
Antony Beevor's magnificent account. . . Beevor's skill lies in his ability to recreate the tumultuous brutality of battle. . . With stark honesty, Beevor describes the terrible panoply. -- Gerard De Groot * The Times *
The analysis he has produced of the disaster is forensic. Aficionados of military history will revel in Beevor's microscopic detail, with every skirmish given its rightful place. . . Beevor's prodigious research has nevertheless unearthed many treasures, particularly his record of the sufferings of Dutch civilians who risked their necks by nursing wounded allied soldiers. -- Giles Milton * Sunday Times *
Complete mastery of both the story and the sources. The beauty is in the details. . . . This gripping book, with its tightly focused timescale and subject matter, shows him once again at his very best. -- Keith Lowe * Literary Review *
Another masterwork from the most feted military historian of our time. . . Does the story need to be retold? Beevor is such a good writer, with a gift for clarity and a knack for the telling personal portrait, that the answer is undoubtedly yes. -- Jay Elwes * Prospect Magazine *
Our greatest chronicler of the Second World War . . . The drama of manoeuvre and counter-thrust, the courage and cowardice of soldier and civilian, the follies and vanities of commanders, which are especially rich in this story, are deployed with colour and humanity. His fans will love it. -- Robert Fox * Evening Standard *
As Antony Beevor showed in Stalingrad, he is a master of his craft as a military historian. . . We have here a definitive account of one of the most painful episodes of the Second World War. -- Piers Paul Read * The Tablet *
It is, in short, a chapter of the Second World War that was crying out for the storytelling talents of Sir Antony Beevor, arguably the finest narrative historian of his generation. This is the result - and his many fans will not be disappointed . . . Beevor's particular skill is his ability to unearth new sources that articulate the experience of war felt by ordinary people: soldiers and civilians, men and women. . . Beevor has produced another superb book, tirelessly researched and beautifully written, that will long be the benchmark for this subject. -- Saul David * Daily Telegraph *
Beevor's superlative new book . . . Arnhem sees him return to Stalingrad form. Forensic is too soft a word to describe the breadth of detail he brings. -- Marco Giannangel * Daily Express, ***** *
The compressed time scale and limited strategic scope of Market Garden ideally suit the author's testimony-rich approach . . . Beevor is a highly accomplished architect of what the American literary scholar Samuel Hynes calls 'battlefield gothic': the nightmarish horrors and absurdities of combat -- Daniel Todman * Wall Street Journal *
This is destined to be a World War II military history classic . . . Beevor's superb latest offering, in keeping with his established record of excellence, is a must-read * Publishers' Weekly *
Arnhem brings a wealth of new detail to a major World War II disaster . . . Beevor brings to the familiar story a vast amount of research in German, British, American, Polish, and Dutch archives. As usual, his narrative bristles with specifics, including countless observations gleaned from eyewitnesses to every stage of Market Garden. Devoted readers of military history will enjoy the wealth of details -- Steve Donoghue * The Christian Science Monitor *