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Air War Market Garden: So Near and Yet So Far (Hardback)

WWII Aviation Arnhem

By Martin Bowman
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Series: Air War Market Garden
Pages: 174
ISBN: 9781781591178
Published: 13th March 2013

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This is the second volume in a meticulously researched four-part series that provides a comprehensive insight into the aerial exploits at Operation 'Market Garden' in September 1944. In an interesting method of presenting the information, the author's arrangement of British, American, Dutch and German personal narrative interspersed with factual material offers a more personalised view of the war through the eyes of the hard-pressed Allied airborne troops who were actually there in the thick of the action.

They take you steadily through the bitter house-to-house fighting in Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Arnhem and the fanatical attempts to keep open the narrow road to permit XXX Corps to reach and relieve Colonel John Frost's men, outnumbered and out-gunned at Arnhem Bridge. They reveal the frustration and bitter disappointment in the battles of the drop zones, the bloody fight for the bridges across the Rhine and the almost suicidal second and third lifts to re-supply the troops holding on precariously, fighting desperately, tenaciously and bravely to prevent their positions being overrun in the face of overwhelming enemy superiority. Stories of individual heroism act to humanize this period of wartime history which is often reduced to mere facts.

Timelines detail the day to day events happening in all areas of the battle both on the ground and in the air and also add weight to the story in hand, whilst carefully selected archive images work to supplement the text perfectly.

Martin Bowman has unearthed a wealth of new facts an recollections, which are particularly harrowing to read.

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The second of a four-part series of books describing Operation Market Garden, this particular volume dwelling almost exclusively on the 1st Airborne Division at Arnhem, in particular the events concerning the defence of Arnhem Bridge from the second day onwards, the arrival of the Second and Third Lifts, and the ill-fated attempts to reinforce the bridge garrison.

The story of Market Garden has been told many times before and to such an extent that it is difficult to add much that is new, yet Martin Bowman makes a bold effort by describing the course of the battle through a large number of hand-picked veterans accounts, whose stories add much colour and vitality to a battle which, already, has fascinated so many since 1944. It is a very well researched book, packed with detail, and contains many passages which will interest even those, including myself, who have dedicated most of their adult lives to studying this battle.

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About Martin Bowman

Martin Bowman is one of Britain’s foremost aviation historians and has written many books and articles.

He lives in Norwich .

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