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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They Fought at Arnhem - By Mike Rossiter
If you are only going to read one book about the battle of Arnhem then why not make it this one?

It admirably combines the personal stories of three soldiers who were there, with a very good overview of the battle in Arnhem itself and the wider Market Garden operation. I can't agree with another UK reviewer's opinion that this is both unnecessary or indeed not...
Published on 17 Aug 2011 by Adam Harcourt-Webster

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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good, all-round read...
I have studied and read about Operation Market Garden for many years now (possibly too many years) and so I bought this book on the understanding that it was a retelling of the story from the perspective of three men who were actually there. However, although the three veterans in question all have nicely written introductions as to how they ended up fighting in one of...
Published on 3 Jun 2011 by M. Yates


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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good, all-round read..., 3 Jun 2011
By 
M. Yates (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: We Fought at Arnhem (Hardcover)
I have studied and read about Operation Market Garden for many years now (possibly too many years) and so I bought this book on the understanding that it was a retelling of the story from the perspective of three men who were actually there. However, although the three veterans in question all have nicely written introductions as to how they ended up fighting in one of the most famous British battles of recent history but then their roles in the story almost fizzle out as the author takes it upon himself to tell us the history of the operation, yet again, as this has been told many times before and by writers with more military understanding than this one. Several mistakes are made, admittedly small ones; '4th Airborne Division' rather than '4th Parachute Brigade' as an example but still these are unnecessary mistakes when there is so much reference available today. As someone who has read many books about the battle I found myself 'flipping' through large sections of text and trying to piece together the three veterans stories as that's the reason I bought the book in the first place.

Eventually the book does return to the veterans and we're able to pick up their stories, albeit with a wary eye on the factual details :)

Admittedly with so many other books available regarding Market Garden and the battle for Arnhem, this one has a tough job to keep its head above water but it manages to do so with the minimum of effort.

To round up; I'd say that its a book worthy of a place on your bookshelf amongst other Market Garden histories but for a better understanding of the battle I'd go for Martin Middlebrook's 'Arnhem 1944' which is excellent or even 'Glider Pilots at Arnhem' by Mike Peters and Luuk Buist which actually manages to tell the stories of the GPR and the Arnhem battle in one book without losing the reader.

Personally, I would've loved this book to be more about the three veterans than the actual operation but other readers might appreciate the overview accompanied by the more personal involvement of the survivors.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They Fought at Arnhem - By Mike Rossiter, 17 Aug 2011
By 
Adam Harcourt-Webster (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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If you are only going to read one book about the battle of Arnhem then why not make it this one?

It admirably combines the personal stories of three soldiers who were there, with a very good overview of the battle in Arnhem itself and the wider Market Garden operation. I can't agree with another UK reviewer's opinion that this is both unnecessary or indeed not well done. On the contrary I think the author has given a very informative summary of the key elements in the operation. At the time the three characters featured in the book knew nothing of what was happening outside their immediate experience, and their accounts are refreshingly new. Indeed, one of the failures repeated over and over again in many books on Arnhem is to rely on the same eye witness material, often given by officers and not enough by the lower ranks. This is particularly important in the case of Arnhem as many officers were regular army, new to Airborne operations and lacking the tough training of the men they were commanding. The ordinary soldier often has a very different perspective and is often in a better position to see the immediate consequences of actions taken.

The author has tried to show the chaotic nature of unfolding events as remembered, and how that tallies with the bigger picture. Hence the need to give an overview of the operation's history. The bravery of those on the ground isn't in question, much of the responsibility for the failure lies with bad planning and execution at very senior level in both British and American commands. But it is also true to say that once on the ground many fundamental mistakes were made by field commanders, not least at Arnhem. Crucial opportunities were lost from the very outset. The developing chaos described in the book, not least in the failure of some senior officers to understand the need for speed and coordination in lightly armed Airborne operations, resulted in scarce resources and men being frittered away. The three eye witnesses could see this happening. This is most obvious in the attempts to break into Arnhem by those trying to reach Colonel Frosts' men at the bridge; but it's also obvious too in that no one, it seems, had given thought to alternatives if the bridge itself could not be secured.

In the end the real failure was that relief for the men in Arnhem didn't arrive. They held on but the will to salvage something from the delay and chaos just seems to have evaporated very quickly. This leads on firmly to the other strength of this book, it doesn't just end with a 'what if?'. Yes, if it had all worked history likely as not would have been different, but it didn't. For the men captured at Arnhem their ordeal was far from over, they had to endure a pretty brutal captivity, far more so than most British prisoners of the Germans did. I knew little of this, and it's worth buying the book for this alone, it's a rather forgotten part of the story. All three men featured in this book had to endure it and the bravery with which they bore it wins them the greatest respect in my eyes. Buy the book and read it for yourself.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A rather disappointing read., 4 April 2014
This review is from: We Fought at Arnhem (Paperback)
This book sounded like it had real promise, but was unfortunately something of a disappointment. The book has numerous mistakes (for example who knew that the American 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions were veterans of landings on Crete?), and was despite the subject matter one of the few books that I've read on the subject that I had no problem putting down.

Disjointed, badly written, and often factually inaccurate. I wouldn't recommend it, and am being generous with my two star rating
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5.0 out of 5 stars we Fought at Arnhem, 20 Jun 2013
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This review is from: We Fought at Arnhem (Paperback)
I loved the book as I knew Ron Jordan who is featured in the book. He told me a lot about the war and was great seeing it in print.

I enjoyed it very much.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good account of Arnhem, 10 May 2013
By 
P. Le Marre (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: We Fought at Arnhem (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It gives a good account of the battle of Arnhem. There are some minor mistakes in regards to which brigade/Division that has been highlighted by other reviews, so if you require a history of each unit then maybe a different book is required. The title of the book is 'We Fought at Arnhem', so that is exactly what the book describes. It is about the men who fought in different areas around the bridge at Arnhem, so from an eye witness account it is very factual. You can never get a better insight into a battle unless those that were there have given an account. Many historians may have there facts correct on units and strategy, but all they have to go on is other written works and dispatches. This book covers it from a first hand account. A great read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars We Fought at Arnhem, 23 April 2013
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Mrs. K. A. French (Smallfield) - See all my reviews
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Purchased for my Dad on Kindle, he had a stroke so perfect for him and he seems to be enjoying the book
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2.0 out of 5 stars Confusing, poorly researched, difficult to follow, 26 Feb 2013
A book that tells a story like the battle of Arnhem through the eyes of 3 different veterans is a good idea. The story of how soldiers operated tactically on the ground, and the problems they faced in achieving their objectives, should make for a compelling read. This is especially true when an operation doesn't go according to plan, both because of the improvisation required by the soldiers and also the human drama that normally accompanies the chaos of unexpected battles.

However, while We Fought At Arnhem focuses to a certain extent on the groups that included the 3 veterans, it mainly details the problems that were faced by the Allied forces in general and how the problems of individual units combined to cause the ultimate failure of the operation. This is not a bad thing in and of itself, but the book claims a different proposition, one which it does not deliver. There is much too little heard from the men themselves - interviews interspersed with some background when necessary would have been far more effective at telling their story - and the book assumes a good knowledge of the geography of the area and a decent understanding of military structure. I kept looking back to the maps included to find that places that were mentioned repeatedly weren't shown on any maps, and the various troop movements didn't seem to correspond to the map images. Also, the myriad divisions/brigades/regiments that are mentioned left me constantly querying Wikipedia to try to understand how the structure fitted together. Is it too much to ask to include a page, as some other books do, that gives a brief outline of the number of men in a unit and how the formation is built (e.g. x platoons in a company, y companies in a battalion, z battalions in a regiment, etc)?

Ultimately, We Fought At Arnhem was a good idea, but not one that was delivered very well, which ironically mirrors the situation at the battle of Arnhem that the author was trying to describe.
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5.0 out of 5 stars first hand account of a brilliant yet tragic event, 14 Feb 2013
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Michael Byrne (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: We Fought at Arnhem (Paperback)
If you have an interest in this battle then this book will put you there. An excellent first hand account of the whole action from different viewpoints and gives a great overall depiction of the truley courageous actions by those brave brave boys and men in the now famous Operation Market Garden.

This account is however only litely sprinkled with the personel accounts of the three Paras shown in the book. DO NOT let this put you off. If you want a first book to read on this epic battle this will cover all the bases.

Easy to read and follow a very good book.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Better Arnhem books out there, 10 Sep 2011
By 
This review is from: We Fought at Arnhem (Hardcover)
Have to disagree with these reviews, as the book is riddled with mistakes.

For example, p85 the Author mentions 6 Para Brigade - no such formation ever existed, it was the 6th Airlanding Brigade.

P185 - Colonel Dobie of the 3rd Battalion - Dobie was in command of the 1st Battalion.

P358 - mention of a General Kissin - should be Kussin.

It does make you wonder if this Authors other books are also riddled with such mistakes.... was this not proof-read for facts? Or checked by an expert?

I could go on, but I don't really want to waste my time.

The idea of the book seemed good - to get a better look at Arnhem, but unfortunately, this has not really worked.
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We Fought at Arnhem
We Fought at Arnhem by Mike Rossiter (Paperback - 26 April 2012)
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