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Past & Present - 1st Airborne Market Garden 1944

Title:1st Airborne Market Garden 1944
Writer:Forty, S. & Timmermans, T.
Published:Casemate Publishers
Published in:2017

Facts about Operation Market Garden are commonly known. Market Garden was a large allied offensive in The Netherlands in September 1944. The operation was characterized by a large deployment of airborne troops aiming to capture bridges on strategic locations between Eindhoven and Arnhem.

One of the units that took part in the airborne landings was the British 1st Airborne Division. Its previous action occurred as part of the September 1943 invasion of Italy, Operation Slapstick. Afterwards, it returned to Britain and was held in reserve during the Battle of Normandy. During Operation Market Garden in September 1944, the 1st Airborne played a leading role in the Allied attempt to go around the Siegfried Line and enter the Ruhr area.

After nine days of fierce fighting, the 1st Airborne had lost 8,000 men around Arnhem when the remaining troops retreated to the Lower Rhine. During the Battle of Arnhem the goal was to occupy the Rhine Bridge under the command of Lt-Col John Frost until the ground army arrived. However, the division encountered more resistance than expected and was only able to maintain the northern lane of the bridge for a few days.

Like other parts of this "Past & Present" series, 1st Airborne Market Garden 1944 depicts battles during Operation Market Garden through photographs in combination with clear text. This publication is an interesting addition to the books that have already been written on this subject. The numerous historical and contemporary photos give a good view of the situation then and now.

The added "then and now" information reads well and is clear. However, it must be mentioned that 1st Airborne Market Garden 1944 does not contain any new facts or insights. That is not the intention of the booklet. Nevertheless, it can serve as a good travel guide for visiting the battlefields in the Arnhem area. Like earlier parts of this series, 1st Airborne Market Garden 1944 also contains a lot of information about monuments and museums.

Rating: Very good


Article by:
Han Smits
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