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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.

A magnificent collection of photographs, perfectly documented.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

These battles are often little talked about, but thanks to this book, the efforts of the allied armies to hasten the end of the war by hitting the industrial heart of Hitler's Germany can be known in great detail.

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On The Old Barbed Wire

The battle to breach The Rhine: Rarely-seen photos show how one million Allied troops used amphibious craft and duck-board bridges to cross Germany's natural water barrier on road to ending World War II

Daily Mail

Heroic Allied soldiers seen fighting their way across Europe during World War II in stunning new book of rare pics

The Sun

The latest in the Images of War series (second to none) covers Montgomery and Patton as they crossed the Rhine and secured the area for the Allied Forces as Hitler's plans started to fall apart. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of this series. Many never before seen images are shown in each volume, providing an alternative to the textual accounts of war we're more familiar with.

Books Monthly

The very popular Images Of War Series has another winner with this latest addition. The Rhine Crossing has received remarkably little coverage, with history dominated by Op Market Garden and Op Overlord. – Most Highly Recommended.

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Firetrench

Jon Diamond treats us to a really well-presented photo history of the Rhine Crossing of 1945.

The author begins by getting things into context, looking at the Allied advance to the Rhine via the snakes and ladders of the winter campaigns preceding the river crossing. This all works very well.

The main events are shown in all their breadth and drama and, fair to say, a number of standard images appear; but that is hardly a surprise.

What I like is the range of images on view. I have written and curated a book that features Operation Varsity-Plunder and the subsequent advance into the Reich and what I really like is matching the images here to the press photographs I used. It helps me to map where “my” photographers were and I have been able to confirm some of the timings of their work.


This is, therefore, a really useful and thoroughly engaging book to own and I highly recommend it to the house.

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War History Online, Mark Barnes

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.

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Armorama

Featured 'ON THE BOOK SHELF' by Neil Smith

Wargames Illustrated, October 2019

The ‘Images of War’ series seldom disappoints and this book adds excellent imagery to support the clear and condensed descriptions of the Allied assaults to cross the Rhine. Excellent.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy
 Jon Diamond

About Jon Diamond

Jon Diamond MD is a kidney specialist in the USA with a deep interest in the Second World War. He is a keen collector of photographs. His Stilwell and the Chindits, War in the South Pacific, Invasion of Sicily, Invasion of the Italian Mainland: Salerno to Gustav Line, 1943-1944, Onto Rome 1944; Anzio and Victory at Cassino, Beyond Rome to the Alps; Across the Arno and Gothic Line, 1944-1945, Op Plunder - The Rhine River Crossing and MacArthur’s Papua New Guinea Campaign are all published by Pen and Sword in the Images of War series.

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