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Montgomery’s Rhine River Crossing - Operation Plunder (Paperback)

Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives

WWII Photographic Books WWII Photographic Books Military

By Jon Diamond
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Images of War
Pages: 240
Illustrations: 250
ISBN: 9781526731739
Published: 2nd October 2019


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After the Normandy break-out, the Allies’ headlong dash east came to a halt in the autumn with the ill-fated MARKET GARDEN operation and over-extended supply lines short of the Rhineland. After repulsing the Nazis’ daring Ardennes offensive, Montgomery’s and Bradley’s Army Groups cleared the Reichwald and Rhineland and closed on the Rhine.

With both sides aware of the strategic significance of this physical barrier the stakes could not have been higher. Eisenhower’s plan involved a vast airborne assault by General Ridgway’s XV11 Airborne Corps (codename VARSITY) and the simultaneously coordinated river crossing by Monty’s 21 Army Group codename PLUNDER with Dempsey’s British Second Army and General William H. Simpson’s US Ninth Army.

This superbly illustrated and researched book describes the March 1945 assault crossing involving naval amphibious craft, the air and artillery bombardment and diversionary attack by the British 1st Commando brigade at Wesel. In concert with VARSITY and PLUNDER, Patton’s US Third Army Group crossed further south.

As a result of this triumph of strategic planning and tactical execution, the fate of Hitler’s ‘Thousand Year Reich’ was finally sealed.

The heart of the book, as an Images of War title, rests with the large number of well chosen archive photos that have been selected to illustrate each element of the campaign. One or two are quite well known, but the bulk of them were new to me. Interesting to the historian who studies the NW Europe campaign, as well as detail for the re-enactor and for the modeller. Plenty of pictures show the river crossing equipment, with Bailey Bridges, rafts, amphibious vehicles such as the Buffalo. Add all the AFVs, trucks of US bridging equipment and airborne forces and their gliders there is just so much to find in here. This book has jumped straight in as among my favourite books in the Images of War series.

​Read the full review here

Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

This title as part of the Images at War series is another great title in the line up as the images have been well chosen and presented to the viewer. This offering has far more text than is usual and so in that sense is a more rounded title as regards what it offers everyone rather than just the modeller; as such you can pick this book up and appreciate it as a book rather than just offering visual reference. I have to accept that the modeller will most likely find this title for its visual reference which it offers in spades, but I urge you to take the time to read the text as it is worth the effort.

Read the full review here


Featured 'ON THE BOOK SHELF' by Neil Smith

Wargames Illustrated, October 2019
 Jon Diamond

About Jon Diamond

Jon Diamond MD is a kidney specialist in the UK with a deep interest in the Second World War. He is a keen collector of photographs. His Stilwell and the Chindits and War in the South Pacific are published by Pen and Sword in their Images of War series.

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