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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very readable history of the Allied side of the battle, 30 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Arnhem 1944: The Airborne Battle, 17-26 September (Penguin history) (Paperback)
"Arnhem 1944" is another excellent war history from Martin Middlebrook. It has all the usual hallmarks of a Middlebrook history: research so exquisitely detailed and painstaking, that you know he's got things right, coupled with a readable style that mixes narrative with personal recollections of participants, all illustrated with numerous maps that enable the reader to follow the cut and thrust of individual unit actions, and the inexorable development of the allied defeat.
However, I was somewhat disappointed that Mr. Middlebrook failed to follow the formula that made his World War II bombing campaign books so absorbing. In those books, he examined every aspect of the aerial battles from the points of view of the allied aircrews, the German defenders (on the ground and in the air), and the victims of the bombing themselves.
In "Arnhem 1944", Mr. Middlebrook has avoided looking at the battle from the German perspective. In his introduction, he stated that he originally had every intention of doing so, but while he was carrying out his research, a comprehensive history on the Germans' experiences in that battle was published, causing him to drop that aspect from his research. Unfortunately, Mr. Middlebrook fails to quote from that German history, with the result that the reader feels, to some degree, like the allied defenders must have done: impressed by the determination and ferociousness of the German attacks, but never knowing about the extent of the resources available to the Germans. Just a hint of the Germans' thought processes throughout the battle would have balanced out the book considerably.
That criticism aside, this is still an excellent piece of work, which General John Hackett, a senior participant in the battle, calls "without question the best book published so far on the Market Garden operation." Who can argue with someone so well qualified to assess this book?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A collection of first hand accounts of those involved, 1 Nov. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Arnhem 1944: The Airborne Battle, 17-26 September (Penguin history) (Paperback)
A typical Martin Middlebrook book, one produced as a result of meticulous, accurate research, details of which, have been collected from those involved in the battle. The book covers the preparations, a day by day account as the battle unfolds and the days of the withdrawl across the Rhine. This book is an excellent reference document for those contemplating a visit to the battlefield, enabling the reader to comprehend what happened, in September 1944, on an almost personal level and how the current monuments, placques, streets and villages relate to those events.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome., 21 Oct. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Arnhem 1944: The Airborne Battle, 17-26 September (Penguin history) (Paperback)
The third Middlebrook book I have read, and as ever fantastic research and elegant use of real accounts from those that were there to make for a compelling narrative. A must read if you have any interest in WW2...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Those Amazing Gliders, 14 Dec. 2009
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This review is from: Arnhem 1944: The Airborne Battle, 17-26 September (Penguin history) (Paperback)
Martin Middlebrook is a master a producing books that
explain complex military operations in a manner that
is comprehensible to the knowledgable general reader.
He especially is good at bringing the direct experience
of the individuals involved (soldiers or civlians as the case
may be) on both sides of the battle to the reader.
In this book about the British First Airborne Division's role in the
Battle of Arnhem phase of Operation Market Garden, fascinating
details emerge that I have not encountered in other sources.
Among the most interesting for me was the airlift phase
of the operation. Having seen the movie "A Bridge Too Far" in addition to documentaries about Market Garden, the use
of gliders, those amazing, engineless aircraft, seems rather strange and foolhardy, in light of the
pictures we have all seen of gliders crashing into trees,
or tipping tail up on landing, or hearing about their tow
ropes breaking in flight. In actuality, Middlebrook points
out that in this operation, the overwhelming majority of gliders
landed safely, and even in cases where the tow ropes broke, most pilots were able to land them safely, even at sea, and the crew and passengers often escaped relatively unscathed from overturned gliders, even with the danger of a heavy load in the back of the aircraft breaking loose and falling into the cockpit. He gives details on how the gliders were flown, at what speed and distance they were cut loose, and the like. Similarly, he explains how the paratroopers lined up to jump from the aircraft, that the aircraft were at an altitude of only 500-600 feet and the paratrooper was in the air for only 15 seconds. The heavy equipment the paratrooper brought down with him was jettisoned before he landed. In the event, the first day's lift was overwhelmingly safe and successful, which should have given the operation a good start, but which tragically, was not able to be utilized properly. This book describes the great heroism of the Airborne's forces and will be of interest to anyone who has a more than passing interest in the Second World War or military history in general.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive account of the Battle of Arnhem, 28 Sept. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Arnhem 1944: The Airborne Battle, 17-26 September (Penguin history) (Paperback)
Brilliant. Superb detail.Superb balance. All to often Arnhem accounts concentrate on certain events and less on others. This amends those unbalanced books I've had to put up with. Superb research. Superb personal narratives. The best book about the Battle of Arnhem. Full Stop.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last word on British operations in Market-Garden, 6 Nov. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Arnhem 1944: The Airborne Battle, 17-26 September (Penguin history) (Paperback)
This informative work gives readers an in-depth account of the tragic, yet heroic, operations in and around Arnhem in 1944. A must for those interested in Airborne operations, or for anyone who wants an example of valour in the face of extreme odds.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars, definitely, 28 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Arnhem 1944: The Airborne Battle, 17-26 September (Penguin history) (Paperback)
Of all the books about Arnhem from the Airborne perspective this is the best. It's the clearest, the most thorough, and it's stuffed with the most brilliant eyewitness anecdotes. If you want the German perspective read It Never Snows In September; if you want the grit and the gore read Zeno's The Cauldron or Geoffrey Powell's Men At Arnhem. But for your basic groundwork, Middlebrook's your man. It was a very complicated battle and he makes it comprehensible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arnhem History, 22 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Arnhem 1944: The Airborne Battle, 17-26 September (Penguin history) (Paperback)
As an avid Arnhem researcher I borrowed and read this book after a trip to Arnhem. I found that I wanted to have my own copy. I think it is one of the most accurate books on this subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on the battle of Arnhem, 21 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Arnhem 1944: The Airborne Battle, 17-26 September (Penguin history) (Paperback)
The best book on the battle of Arnhem.Excellent first hand accounts of the battle that clearly was going to fail even before the boys had left home.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Purchase, 18 April 2015
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Brilliant Purchase, 1st edition in really good condition with extras that I wasn't expecting so a lovely surprise
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Arnhem 1944: The Airborne Battle, 17-26 September (Penguin history)
Arnhem 1944: The Airborne Battle, 17-26 September (Penguin history) by Martin Middlebrook (Paperback - 28 Sept. 1995)
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