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1st Airborne (Paperback)

Market Garden 1944

WWII

By Simon Forty
Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Series: Past & Present
Pages: 64
Illustrations: 130
ISBN: 9781612005409
Published: 15th October 2017

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While the 6th Airborne Division had landed in France on D-Day and covered itself in glory, its counterpart, the 1st Airborne Division, had last seen action during an amphibious assault at Taranto on September 9, 1943, as part of the invasion of Italy. Returned to the UK in December 1943, it was held in reserve during the battle of Normandy and spent three months waiting for action, as plan after plan was proposed and then discarded, such was the speed of the Allied pursuit of the Germans.In September 1944, however, 1st Airborne played a leading role in Operation Market—the air component of Operation Market Garden, an audacious attempt by the Allies to bypass the Siegfried Line and advance into the Ruhr. It was to be 1st Airborne’s last action of the war. Encountering more resistance than expected, including II SS Panzer Corps, the division landed too far from Arnhem bridge, and fought bravely but in vain. Held up en route, particularly at Nijmegen, XXX Corps’ advance to Arnhem stuttered and ran late.After nine days of fighting, 1st Airborne had lost 8,000 men around Arnhem when the survivors retreated across the Lower Rhine to safety. During those nine days, however, they had created a legend: first as the small unit under Lt-Col John Frost held the “bridge too far” and then as the Oosterbeek perimeter came under sustained attack waiting for XXX Corps to arrive.The Past & Present Series reconstructs historical battles by using photography, juxtaposing modern views with those of the past together with concise explanatory text. It shows how much infrastructure has remained and how much such as outfits, uniforms, and ephemera has changed, providing a coherent link between now and then.

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About Simon Forty

Simon Forty was educated in Dorset and the north of England before reading history at London University’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He has been involved in publishing since the mid-1970s, first as editor and latterly as author. 
Son of author and RAC Tank Museum curator George Forty, Simon and his brother Jonathan have continued the family tradition, writing mainly on historical and military subjects including books on Hadrian's Wall, the Napoleonic wars and the two world wars, often in collaboration. Simon's latest book, published by Historic England, is D-Day UK: 100 Locations in Britain; Jonathan's Heavyweights: The Military Use of Massive Weapons. They are also co-authors of Tank Warfare 1939-1945.

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