In the shadow of Arnhem: the battle for the lower Maas, September-November 1944

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Sutton, 2003 - History - 242 pages
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The Battle of Arnhem in September 1944 has been much publicised, with its extraordinary parachute drop and the gallant defence by Frost's few men of the bridge at Arnhem. Epics like Cornelius Ryan's A Bridge too Far have shown in print and on the big screen just how close the campaign was to success. However, its relative failure left the Allies holding a thirty-mile stretch of a single road with the enemy firmly entrenched on both sides. The village of St Oedenrode, at the base of this road, was liberated on 18 September, but Allied troops did not capture Schijndel, four miles away, until 23 October. The Arnhem debacle left vast stretches of Holland to the left and right of the salient occupied by enemy forces, strategically placed to menace any future plans. These areas of Holland, criss-crossed by unfordable rivers and canals and closely populated by small villages, had to be cleared by Allied troops in platoon or company strength, fighting in tight situations against bitter skilled resistance, losing one or two casualties at a time. There was none of the awesome and inspirational massing of troops and armour as seen in the battle for Normandy, for Arnhem itself, or in the Battle of the Bulge yet to come. Interweaving his engaging narrative style with the eyewitness accounts and personal reminiscences of British, Canadian and Polish troops, Ken Tout reveals how these men suffered and died on a scale far exceeding the casualties of the immediate assault on Arnhem.

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Contents

Mad Tuesday and Black Friday
19
the Generals Forgot
52
A Pocket of Small Change
71
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Ken Tout worked for many years overseas with voluntary organizations, including Oxfam, HelpAge International, and the Salvation Army, and latterly as a consultant to the United Nations Unit on ageing. He has a PhD in gerontology and in 1994 was awarded the OBE for services to the elderly, mainly in developing countries.

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