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This fascinating title offers a new look at Operation Market Garden and the Arnhem campaign from the perspective of the German forces who defended against the Allied offensive.
In the late summer of 1944, SS-Obergruppenführer Wilhelm “Willi” Bittrich found himself in the Netherlands surveying his II SS Panzer Corps, which was in a poor state having narrowly escaped the defeat in Normandy. He was completely unaware that his command lay directly in the path of a major Allied thrust: the September 17, 1944, launch of the largest airborne and glider operation in the history of warfare. Codenamed Operation Market Garden, it was intended to outflank the German West Wall and “bounce” the Rhine at Arnhem, from where the Allies could strike into the Ruhr, Nazi Germany's industrial heartland. Such a move could have ended the war.
However, Market Garden and the battle for Arnhem were a disaster for the Allies. Put together in little over a week and lacking in flexibility, the operation became an all-or-nothing race against time. The plan to link the airborne divisions by pushing an armored division up a sixty-five-mile corridor was optimistic at best, and the British drop zones were not only too far from Arnhem Bridge, but also directly above two recuperating SS Panzer divisions. This new book explores the operation from the perspective of the Germans as renowned historian Anthony Tucker-Jones examines how they were able to mobilize so swiftly and effectively in spite of depleted troops and limited intelligence.