This book is written by someone highly qualified for the task. The account is absorbing and provides sound explanation for the series of events of Operation Market Garden.
The author does not mince his words and acknowledges the difficulties that were encountered.
For the reader Montgomery's scheme is a difficult one to critique although in hindsight it is easy to say what should or might have happened if.
When I first read about this battle many years ago and had the privilege of meeting Major General Frost in Arnhem in the 1960s I asked many of the questions Colonel Powell seeks to answer in his narrative. He tells the heroic tale of the battles along "Hells Highway" giving the reader a good understanding of why Arnhem could not be held.It was not bad intelligence, it was not lack of support, it was not lack of training, it was not lack of co-ordination: it appears it was in fact the very essence of the operation-speed. It is remarkable given the frustration of planners and soldiers alike that such a vast operation was organised in so short a time. Because of that many things were overlooked of necessity because it was a case of urgent priority to achieve the objective. Whilst the strategic objective was not fully achieved most of the tactical objectives were.
In war risks have to be taken and everyone who fought in those battles is the judge of whether it was worth it. Those who fought in Arnhem and Oosterbeek and along that highway and all those heroes of the 101 and 82 US Divisions gave the verdict of the campaign many with their lives. All one can say in the words of that memorial in Oosterbeek: "Their Name Liveth For Evermore"
Was this review helpful to you?