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Customer Review

on 6 January 2011
What this guy doesn't know about Operation Market Garden probably isn't worth knowing.
Having read a few accounts from the Allied perspective, this book's interpretation of events from the point of view of the Germans was fascinating. Kershaw's position is, essentially, that there has been too much focus upon the failure of the operation as a result of Allied mistakes; he examines the extraordinarily effective response the Germans managed to put together - still reeling from their defeat at Normandy, cobbling together troops who were often too young/inexperienced to have undergone any combat. An appreciation of the bravery of the Arnhem landings - and their ultimately tragic conclusion - is certainly not diminished by this re-focus; indeed, I came away with even more admiration as Kershaw makes it clear that the Allied troops faced a far more formidable enemy than might have been expected - and that the airborne troops actually did all that was asked of them. I thoroughly recommend it if you have more than a passing interest in the Arnhem landings.
The author has been let down by the publisher, though. They've been publishing this, in a number of editions, for many years - so a decent copy editor should have spotted the typo's (and, frankly, some clunky grammar at times). Far worse is the transformation to the current paperback edition. Throughout the text, there are references to specific photographs which aren't supplied and you get the sense of missing maps. Eventually, frustrated, I bought a secondhand copy of the out of print illustrated version: virtually every page has photographs or explanatory diagrams/maps - and suddenly everything makes sense. It's like finding out there's a video of something you thought only existed as a radio programme. The current paperback edition has some lousy, indecipherable maps in the middle with a ridiculous key (grey = wooden area; grey = town; grey line = road; grey line = river); you buy the illustrated version and realise it's because they've lazily copied a full colour map into a black and white version which can't cope with the distinction between blues and greens.
It's all very well trying to produce an affordable edition, but it still has to make sense.
DO buy this - Kershaw is great - but try to get the older edition with photographs/maps.
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