1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Arnhem: The Battle for Survival (Paperback)
I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Lloyd Clark's "Arnhem" and Robert Kershaw's "It never snows in September" it is not, but the authors have created a very human story from what was an excuriatingly difficult military action for those who served in it.
Some say that books "compiled" from veterans' memories and under the guise of honouring those who were there represents lazy history on the part of the given author. Perhaps in certain instances that may be true, but not here - Nichol and Rennell have created a brilliantly vivid picture of the endeavour which is very easy to follow and, is as far I can tell, as factually accurate as its possible to be in the context of such a fluid and confused action. They also successfully place into context the travails of the XXX Corp's intended "Blitzkrieg" and credit is given where it is due, despite the fact that Market Garden must be considered a costly (but most definitely heroic) failure. Rennell and Nichol have achieved an excellent synethsis of the factual and the human, and have created a very readable and informative book as a result.
So why only four stars? Two reasons:
1) I personally like my history to be a little bit denser and so what is missing for me is more of the background of why Market Garden was undertaken in the first place.(This book really only covers the Arnhem "experience"). Was it really about Monty's ego as some attest? or was Market Garden a plausible war winning strategy? Was the failure of a (possibly) good idea simply the a result of bad planning? Or a combination of all three? Did Eisenhower simply "give in" to Monty or did he see clear vitues in the attempt? I came away from the book having really enjoyed their treatment of the element of Market Garden which was Arnhem, but I was in the end unsure on the Authors' opinions on the bigger picture conundrums associated with the failure of the operation as a whole.
2)The second reason for a dropped star is simply that I would have liked the book to have been rounded out from the German perspective too...
In conclusion though, I strongly recommend this book.