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Pen & Sword- Images of War-The Waffen-SS at Arnhem

ISBN Number:
ISBN 978-1-39901-294-2
Saturday, June 11, 2022
Pen and Sword Books
Retail Price:
$26.95 USD
Reviewed By:


The Waffen-SS at Arnhem

by Pen and Sword Books



Pen & Sword Publishing has produced a really good book that covers the battle for Arnhem during the latter stages of World War II.  This book is covered  in great detail with many photos that have been previously uncovered and published.

The Battle of Arnhem was a battle of the Second World War at the vanguard of the Allied Operation Market Garden.  It was fought in and around the Dutch city of Arnhem, the town of Oosterbeek with the villages Wolfheze and Driel in the vicinity from 17 to 26 September 1944. The Allies were poised to enter the Netherlands after sweeping through France and Belgium in the summer of 1944.  This advance was made possible after the Battle of Normandy.  Operation Market Garden was proposed by Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery, who favored a single push northwards over the branches of the Lower Rhine River.  This would allow the British 2nd Army to bypass the Siegfried line and attack the Ruhr, Germany's industrial corridor.  US Airborne troops were dropped into the Netherlands to secure bridges and towns along the line of the Allied advance. Farthest north, the British 1st Airborne Division landed at Arnhem to capture bridges across the Nederrijn (Lower Rhine), supported by men of the Glider Pilot Regiment and the 1st Polish Parachute Brigade.  The British XXX ("thirty Corps") were expected to reach the British airborne forces in two to three days.

The 1st Airborne Division landed some distance from its objectives and was hampered by unexpected resistance, especially from elements of the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions. Only a small force was able to reach the Arnhem Road Bridge while the advance of the main body of the division was stopped on the outskirts of the town. XXX Corps was unable to advance north from Nijmegen as quickly as planned and the British airborne troops were not relieved according to schedule. After four days, the small British force at the bridge was overwhelmed and the rest of the division trapped in a small pocket north of the river. The British could not be sufficiently reinforced by the Poles or XXX Corps when they arrived on the southern bank, nor by the Royal Air Force supply flights. After nine days of fighting, the remnants of the division were withdrawn in Operation Berlin, a name chosen for the operation to keep morale from dropping.  The Allies were unable to advance further with no secure bridges over the Nederrijn and the front line stabilized south of Arnhem. The British 1st Airborne Division lost nearly three quarters of its strength and did not see combat again.

The 1944 Arnhem airborne operation, immortalized by the film A Bridge Too Far, will forever be remembered as a great British feat of arms. British and Polish paratroopers displayed outstanding courage and tenacity in a desperate last stand situation. And yet, as this book describes, the plan was fatally flawed as the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions were recuperating and concealed nearby. What followed was a bloody battle of attrition the result of which was arguably inevitable.

Drawing on rare and unpublished photographs, this Images of War series work reveals the historical combat record of the Hohenstaufen and Frundsberg divisions. It describes the intensity of the fighting in and around Arnhem between these elite SS and supporting units against a lightly armed yet equally determined enemy. In spite of the war being only months away from its end and the defeat increasingly certain, the SS soldier remained fanatically motivated.

This superbly illustrated book with its well-researched text and full captions captures the drama of that historic battle for a bridge over the Rhine.

This book is printed in Paperback, at 112 pages.  Ian Baxter being the author of this fine work, includes a lot of personal photos that he has come across over the years.  Some of these wonderful photos occupy the entire page, some half a page.  There are a lot of photos in this book and they are rare.

The book is published in 7 7/16"  by  9 11/16"  The front and rear pages are heavier card stock which means this book technically is a paperback version.

The book is affordable at roughly $26.95 USD.

Some of the photos included are as follows:



Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.  I have also reviewed the Pen & Sword Paperback book "Waffen-SS, in Normandy 1944".  This book, like that book, is an extremely well written book with lots of photos that I have not seen before.  The book covers a lot about the operational plans and how they were executed, with the British ultimately having to surrender.  I very much enjoyed reviewing this book sample and find it a great addition to my library.  I can see myself reading this book often as it covers a rather desperate and sad chapter in WWII that some argue didn't have to happen when it did.  This book gives the reader so much appreciation for what these men went through, fighting until their ammunition ran out.  Loved the photos....loved the history covered of this battle.  It is very well written and pretty much covers everything in chronological order.

Thanks goes out to Casemate Publishing for this book review sample.

Reviewed by GLEN MARTIN


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