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A Magnificent Disaster
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After Normandy, the most spectacular Allied offensive of World War II was Operation Market Garden, which saw three divisions of paratroopers dropped behind German lines, to be joined by massive armoured columns breaking through the front. The ultimate object was to seize a crossing over the Rhine to outflank the heartland of the Third Reich and force a quick end to the war. The Operation utterly failed, of course, as the 1st British Airborne was practically wiped out, the American 82nd and 101st Aiborne Divisions became tied down in vicious combat for months, and the vaunted armoured columns were foiled at every turn by improvisational German defences. In many circles the battle has become known as"Hitler's last victory." In this work, many years in the making, Professor Bennett puts forward for the first time a complete, balanced and comprehensive account of the British, American, Polish, Canadian and German actions, as well as the strategic background of the Operation. He shows, for example, that rather than a bridgehead over the Rhine, Montgomery's ultimate aim was to flank the Ruhr industrial area from the north. The book also deals as never before with the key role of all three Corps of British Second Army, not just Horrocks'central XXX Corps. For the first time, we learn the dramatic, untold story of how a single company of Canadian engineers achieved the evacuation of 1st Airborne's survivors back across the Rhine when all other efforts had failed. Also revealed is the scandal of how Polish General Sosabowski was humiliated, insulted and dismissed by the mendacious hostility of the British military authorities. And the book shows, too, how the Operation would have failed at the outset but for the brilliant soldiery of the two American airborne divisions who overcame a variety of odds to achieve their objectives. Respectfully nodding to"A Bridge Too Far" and other excellent works on Market Garden, the author has interviewed survivors, walked the ground, and performed prodigious archival research to increase our understanding of the battle. From the actions of the lowliest soldier to the highest commander, Allied and German, the entire operation is brought to life, with the author's expert analysis unveiling new insights at every step.
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About the Author

was educated at Christ's Hospital School and Sidney Sussex College Cambridge, where he took history and philosophy. He holds a Ph.D in philosophy from McGill University. He spent much of his working life in the labor movement, ending his career in 2006 as National Director of Health, Safety and Environment at the Canadian Labour Congress. He is widely published in the areas of workplace health and environmental protection and has published several articles, op-ed pieces and reviews on the Second World War.

Reviews

Interesting commentaries... A good read... * Soldier * This is a good piece of work. It is not a rehash of stuff we already know. Congratulations to David Bennett for a fine book. * Military History of the West * David Bennett also questions the planning, intelligence advice and bad leadership by some of the British High Command prior and during the operation plus the clash of styles and personalities of some senior British Officers and in his opinion the disgraceful treatment and attitude towards General Sosabowski both during and after Market Garden. An interesting well researched and different perspective of The Market Operation. * www.ww2connection.com * ... the operation is recounted in a highly readable style, with the author"s analysis unveiling new insights at every step. * Britain at War Magazine *

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