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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strongly argued myth-buster, covering Normandy to the Rhine, 19 Jan 2012
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Neillands does his usual job of demolishing myths, in this sort-of-sequel to "Battle for Normandy". Its a cracking read, strongly argued throughout, but if you are really looking for an in depth account of Arnhem/ Operation Market Garden, you might find this a bit light in that particular area. However, it does a great job of placing Market Garden in context, both militarily and politically, which is important because it is very often considered in isolation.

Montgomery, so often scapegoated for failures but rarely credited for his successes, receives a staunch defender in Neillands, who nevertheless acknowledges his flaws. xxx corps, often blamed for "slowness", or even cowardice, in coming to the aid of the heroic paratroopers of 1st Airborne get some defence at last. Neillands points out that they were never supposed to be involved in fighting and consequent delays at Nijmegen, and that if the Nijmegen bridge had been taken on schedule by 82nd Airborne for xxx corps to cross unimpeded, xxx corps would actually have kept their part of the schedule.

Surprisingly, controversially, Bradley and even Eisenhower (shock, horror, wash out your mouth with soap Mr Neillands) don't come out of Neillands' account with quite so much of their erstwhile glory intact. Bradley is a more straightforward case, far too thin-skinned about his personal vanity when his job was to fight the germans, colluding with Patton to sidestep orders from SHAEF that they didn't like, caught napping and nearly to disaster by the Battle of the Bulge. However, Eisenhower, that all round nice guy who shall not be criticised in some circles, also takes a lot of blame from Neillands for his lack of grip on his subordinate generals- for after all, he was the Supreme Commander, the buck stopped with him. As an example, Neillands points out that, if Eisenhower viewed the clearing of the Scheldt and the consequent opening of supplies via Antwerp as of overriding importance, he should have ORDERED Montgomery to make it a priority-and it will not do to scapegoat Montgomery in hindsight, just because what was actually given priority did not work out!

The saddest part of the book is the back biting, self aggrandisement and scapegoating that went on amongst the generals- and for which their men often suffered if bad decisions were made as a consequence. For me it was a chastening thought that the front line soldiers put their lives in the hands of these generals, who sadly didn't seem to worry about that when they would rather score points off their rivals, or feather their own nests. An example (but certainly not the only one) would be Browning insisting on diverting lift to his HQ, so that he could be "in on the action" when he ended up being even less able to influence the battle and arguably diverting 82nd effort away from the vital Nijmegen bridge and onto the dubiously useful Groesbeek heights.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging work of military history, 24 July 2014
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This review is from: The Battle for the Rhine 1944: Arnhem and the Ardennes, the Campaign in Europe (Kindle Edition)
Was impressed by Robin Neilland's knowledge of WW1 in his book The Old Contemptibles. From reading Battle for the Rhine it seems he's equally at home in WW2.

The book is strong on the overall narrative, capturing the suffering and heroism of the soldiers involved.

Neillands doesn't shirk from noting the achievements of the German army and also the failures of the Allied leadership. Definitely one of the most engaging works of military history I've read this year, full of facts and good judgement.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking military history, 26 Sep 2014
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Ian Barker (Bolton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Battle for the Rhine 1944: Arnhem and the Ardennes, the Campaign in Europe (Kindle Edition)
This is a look at the allies' breakout from Normandy and their attempts to gain a bridgehead over the Rhine. On the way it covers the ill-fated Market Garden operation and the Ardennes offensive - otherwise known as the Battle of the Bulge.

Neillands doesn't shy away from the things that went wrong. Failures of command and personality clashes between generals, stretched supply lines, poor intelligence, dubious strategy and bad planning.

Having read this book it's hard to escape the conclusion that had things been better managed the war in Europe could well have been over by the end of 1944. Which would of course have had a significant effect on the postwar map. A thought provoking read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful., 25 July 2014
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This review is from: The Battle for the Rhine 1944: Arnhem and the Ardennes, the Campaign in Europe (Kindle Edition)
The Arnhem and Ardennes campaigns show up Monty and Eisenhower at their best and worst. Robin Neillands asks some good questions and provides some interesting answers in relation to the leadership and successes/failures of the likes of Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge. The German army nearly fully exploited the divisions and weaknesses of the Allied forces, but gaps were filled and the German army quite literally ran out of puff and petrol. A readable account that should be of interest to soldiers and military historians alike.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A well written book, writes a strong a strong ..., 11 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Battle for the Rhine 1944: Arnhem and the Ardennes, the Campaign in Europe (Kindle Edition)
A well written book, writes a strong a strong and persuasive case against the American Generals in these battles. One major error says he can find no evidence evidence for a traitor at Arnhem, I would suggest he looks at the books (published in the 60's if I remember) of Lt. Colonel Oresto Pinto of Dutch Counter Intelligence who names the traitor and why he was not tried.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent analysis of Allied operations post Normandy, 7 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Battle for the Rhine 1944: Arnhem and the Ardennes, the Campaign in Europe (Kindle Edition)
An excellent analysis of Allied operations post Normandy, which draws on UK and US sources and debunks a number of misconceptions about the NWE campaign. Thoroughly recommended to anyone who has an interest in this phase of the campaign.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 24 Oct 2014
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This review is from: The Battle for the Rhine 1944: Arnhem and the Ardennes, the Campaign in Europe (Kindle Edition)
excellent well presented views on the way the war was conducted by senior commanders. thoroughly enjoyed the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 7 Aug 2014
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Mr. N. McDougall "Fatman" (Fife Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Battle for the Rhine 1944: Arnhem and the Ardennes, the Campaign in Europe (Kindle Edition)
Picked on a recommendation from a friend well written and balanced history.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good, 8 Dec 2014
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This review is from: The Battle for the Rhine 1944: Arnhem and the Ardennes, the Campaign in Europe (Kindle Edition)
good book
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