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Or another division which isn't mentioned? Here is an imminent example of the poor content editing. What map of Holland is the author using? Reference to Hotel Tafelberg in Arnhem. Normally Hotel Tafelberg is referenced as being in Oosterbeek, not Arnhem. Although one could use this reference if referring to the greater Arnhem area. However, in a detailed account such as "It Never Snows in September" the geographical reference should be as accurate as possible. Arnhem is to general in this case. One last editorial example for the review, but not the last you'll find in this book, "Nine hours after the airlandings around Groesbeek, the first burst of automatic fire shattered the eerie stillness of Nijmegen by night.
It was Nine hours later would have put the local time at - definitely night as stated by the author, but not ! In addition to the editing issues there are a few challenges I have to what is written. For example - The author refers to a "betrayal legend" which arose after the war. The "betrayal legend" is never discussed. Unless the reader is up on the history of this Operation the insight into what this legend is about will never be understood.
The author believes - contrary to many other military historians - that landing the 1st British Airborne closer to the Arnhem bridge would not have lent itself to a higher probability of mission success. I wished Mr. Kershaw would have expanded upon this theory.
Yes, the SS Panzer Divisions would have been closer, but the British would have immediately taken up defensive positions in an urban setting vice being caught in either open ground or wooded areas. Knowing the kind of fight Frost's 2 PARA put up keeping the Germans at bay from the north end of the Arnhem bridge, it would have been interesting to see what the majority of the division would have been able to do invested in Arnhem proper. As a matter of fact I believe the Germans may have had a rougher time of it. Kershaw continually refers to Harmel's rank throughout the book as a Colonel.
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Finally this book is not for the casual reader wanting general information on the Market Garden Operation. Nor should it be the first book for a serious student of the subject. I highly recommend reading a general overview of the Operation such as A Bridge Too Far by Cornelius Ryan , which will provide the required background to better understand what is taking place in "It Never Snows in September". I also recommend getting a good map of the area of operations.
Even with the maps provided in the hardcover version, they will not be sufficient to cover many of the individual actions described in this book. With a little work this book could have easily had four to five stars. I put the majority of the blame for the lower score on the publisher and editorial staff - or total lack thereof.
If you are a serious student of the Market Garden Operation this is an invaluable reference, as you will have the background understanding to know what is taking place and be able to readily overlook many of the content editing errors. All others beware! View all 17 comments. Aug 13, Jeff Dawson rated it it was amazing.
Five Stars. I can't say enough about this excellent work. The most telling part of this historical account is where the pivotal part of the battle occurred from the German side and it wasn't Arnhem.
This to was addressed. Yes, Bittrick's forces where there, but it wasn't they that made first contact with Urquart and the 1st British airborne. It was the adhoc Five Stars. It was the adhoc forces hastily organized by the commanders on the ground to set-up defensive positions until Model recovered from the initial shock of the airborne drops on September 17, Model was an excellent officer but why would he think he was the target? If he'd been captured, how would the British extract him and how would it hasten the wars end?
Why would the Germans fight so tenaciously so late in the war? They were defending their homeland as would any soldier, even if the situation appeared hopeless.
EDGE: Battle Books: Arnhem : Gary Smailes :
This book is a testament to all men who serve their country. It depicts the human spirit from the most barbaric to humane. It addresses the fog of war and how no matter what plans are being laid out in the safe confines of headquarters, it is the men on the ground who bear the brunt of executing orders no matter how nonsensical they appear. For the soldiers, an emphatic yes! Our leaders? History will answer that question. The only complaint I have is for the publisher. The book I have was re-published in They need to back and clean-up the editing. The first three quarters of the book was well done.
In the last quarter, I felt the sensation the book was being rushed to the presses with all the misspelled words.
Books by Gary Smailes
An easy fix if they'll take the time. An excellent addition for any military historian. Nov 27, Marcus rated it it was amazing Shelves: world-war-2 , military-history. For those interested in operation Market-Garden I'm one of those people , this book is an invaluable source of information "from the other side of the hill". Keep in mind that content of this book focuses on operational level of German response to the operation, so the text material deals mainly with actions undertaken by units of at least company size.
Edge: Battle Books
However, the individual German soldier is not forgotten by the author, who uses snippets of diaries, letters and interviews to convey the perso For those interested in operation Market-Garden I'm one of those people , this book is an invaluable source of information "from the other side of the hill". However, the individual German soldier is not forgotten by the author, who uses snippets of diaries, letters and interviews to convey the personal experiences of men who took part in that battle.
Text material is excellently supported by some of the best maps I've seen in a book about World War II, as well as a multitude of relevant photographs some published for the very fist time. I would recommend for this book to be read together with Middlesbrook's "Arnhem ". In combination, those two books provide a superb overview of this unique and tragic attempt to end World War II in Europe before end of Jul 25, Rich Taylor rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Anyone interested in the airbourne battles.
Shelves: militaryhistory , favorites. I rate Martin Middlebrook as the best military historian that I have read. In the introduction to his superb 'Arnhem' book he states tat he will not address the German side of the battle because Kershaw has already done suc a good job that there is nothing to add. High praise indeed - and justly deserved. A very detailed book, with finely judged emphasis and plenty of first hand accounts, telling a side of the story that is poorly explored elsewhere. Excellent analyis and conclusions. A really good counterpoint to Middlebrook.
Excellent book on the German perspective of Market Garden; great photos interspersed with the text, some color maps, good organization, appendix with order of battle. Gives you a feeling of how desperate the German counterattacks were and how successful they were with so little resources. Also a good view of what they thought of the Americans, not stuff you see in the John Wayne movies. Jan 03, Singleton Mosby rated it really liked it Shelves: world-war Best book I've read so far about the German side of the battle.
A lot of personal accounts interwoven with a well researched background. Oct 07, William J. A lot has been written about it and a famous movie made about it, "A Bridge Too Far. Although a British Officer of the Parachute Regiment, Kershaw is fluent in German and attended the German Staff Course so he is well qualified to present this perspective. If there is a better example of what Clausewitz calls Friction and the Fog of War, I have not come across it in my reading.
German Soldiers were constantly fighting without information as to the enemies strength and capabilities. There was no radio communications among units trying to coordinate attacks because there were no radios. Units were created ad hoc by senior commanders as they rushed reinforcements to stop the Allied progress. Units exhausted and retreating from the Normandy invasion going to Germany to refit were stopped and sent to Arnhem to fight.
Troops were exhausted, low of food and had few heavy weapons. Naval forces, Luftwaffe trainees and school cadres were sent as infantry without proper training or leadership.
Infantry and tank training school cadres and students were sent to the front. Railway guards and police were mobilized to fight.
All were sent into battle piecemeal. It is a wonder they succeeded. The author describes an "ear" battalion where to qualify one had to be deaf, had one or both ears missing together with additional disabilities such as missing a finger Kershaw, p. The Germans succeeded in containing the attack through improvisation, excellent staff work, some good tactical leadership and the determination of the individual German soldier. The author estimates that somewhere between 5, and 8, German soldiers died in this battle although the official figure is 3, It was a high price to pay for both sides.