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The Battle for the Rhine 1944: Arnhem and the Ardennes: the campaign in Europe: Arnhem and the Ardennes - The Campaign in Europe 1944-45 [Hardcover]

Robin Neillands
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

11 Aug 2005
Robin Neillands' new history of the Battle of Normandy (Cassell, 2002) was hailed by the SUNDAY TIMES as one of the best military history books of the year. This continues the story from the breakout from Normandy to the arrival of the Allied armies on the Rhine at the beginning of 1945. The story is dominated by two great battles: the Allied airborne offensive into Holland that ended in bitter failure at Arnhem, and Hitler's last great offensive in the Ardennes that December, the 'Battle of the Bulge'. This book ends where Robin's previous book THE CONQUEST OF THE REICH begins, thus forming a trilogy that takes us from the Normandy landings to the fall of Berlin.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; 1st Edition edition (11 Aug 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297846175
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297846178
  • Product Dimensions: 3.6 x 15.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Robin Neillands served in 45 Commando Royal Marines during the 1950s. He now works as a journalist and travel writer and has a growing reputation as a military historian. He has published many books on British military history from the Napoleonic era through to the Second World War. His co-author Roderick de Normann also has a military background and several military histories to his credit.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A clear and balanced account 25 Aug 2005
This book will not please fans of generals Patton and Bradley. Robin Neillands continues the project of questioning wartime myths that he began with his excellent 'Battle for Normandy 1944'. In the process the said generals come in for severe criticism for their mediocrity (especially Bradley) and their inflated reputations and bad faith (Patton). And although Eisenhower himself is lauded for his abilities as a supreme C-in-C he too is carpeted for his failure to get a grip on his subordinates in the autumn of 1944. He was at best an indifferent field commander. Montgomery comes in for criticism, but on the whole comes out best as a professional soldier- albeit a nasty piece of work as a person. Still, it's the soldier bit, not being a nice guy, that counts at the highest level in war. US, UK and Canadian frontline troops are all given their due; but US generalship in 1944 is seen as pretty poor stuff, on the whole. The book will seem unfairly anti American to some, but as Neillands himself claims, this is not a chauvinistic work. Neillands distributes praise and blame impartially; it's just that as so few military historians have been willing and able set the record straight the effect on some reputations at this late date will seem a bit of a shock to some. Recommended - but read the Normandy book (which is even better) alongside this one to get the full story.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Thoughtful Analysis 22 Mar 2007
Robin Neillands' latest volume addresses the difficult period between the end of the battles of Normandy and the battle of the Bulge which took the Allies to the banks of the Rhine and paved the way for the invasion of Germany and her final defeat. What he offers is not a blow-by-bow account of operations but a perceptive and thoughtful analysis of the factors affecting strategy; from American domination of the European theatre to logistical constraints and the personalities of generals - Eisenhower, Montgomery, Bradley and Patton - that formed the basis of the broad-front versus narrow-front strategic debate. He attacks a number of myths, especially prevalent among American writers, but he successfully maintains an even-handedness throughout that should guard him against accusations of chauvinism.

Monty's faults were personal not professional ones, and unlike the American generals, who were then and later so critical of him, he was willing to admit mistakes openly in his memoirs. Mr Neillands does not spare him, but it is undeniable that American generals come out rather poorly; notably Bradley who failed to control Patton's wilder excesses, and Major General James Gavin of the 82nd Airborne Division, whose failure to grab the Nijmegen bridges on the opening day of Operation Market Garden was in large measure responsible for its failure.

Mr Neillands's fluid and discursive style focuses on the problems facing the higher levels of command, but with the judicious inclusion of first-hand accounts from soldiers on the ground he also keeps the reader abreast of events to maintain a link with the brutal reality that made these matters important.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars food for thought 14 Dec 2011
By skarper
This is an interesting read for any student of the second world war. It does much to argue that Monty has been treated unfairly by US historians without arguing that Monty was either always right nor an easy subordinate. Eisenhower receives much praise as a supreme commander but much criticism as a field commander. The book covers the relatively unknown Scheldt campaign and other lesser known events as well as the epics of Market Garden and the Bulge. It rightly in my opinion levels blame at the failures at Nijemgen for the failure of the admittedly deeply flawed Market Garden plan. The US reviewers on amazon.com give the book a hard time and accuse it of overwhelming pro Monty bias, I'd expected the exact opposite. I'm not a fan of Monty but having read it I found it pretty balanced and certainly will encourage me to delve deeper into the author's evidence.
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