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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Arnhem by Antony Beevor, read by Sean Barrett.

On 17 September 1944, General Kurt Student, the founder of Nazi Germany's parachute forces, heard the growing roar of aeroplane engines. He went out onto his balcony above the flat landscape of southern Holland to watch the air armada of Dakotas and gliders carrying the British 1st Airborne and the American 101st and 82nd Airborne divisions. He gazed up in envy at this massive demonstration of paratroop power.

Operation Market Garden, the plan to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond, was a bold concept: the Americans thought it unusually bold for Field Marshal Montgomery. But could it ever have worked? The cost of failure was horrendous, above all for the Dutch, who risked everything to help. German reprisals were pitiless and cruel and lasted until the end of the war.

The British fascination with heroic failure has clouded the story of Arnhem in myths. Antony Beevor, using often overlooked sources from Dutch, British, American, Polish and German archives, has reconstructed the terrible reality of the fighting, which General Student himself called 'The Last German Victory'. Yet this book, written in Beevor's inimitable and gripping narrative style, is about much more than a single dramatic battle. It looks into the very heart of war.

©2018 Antony Beevor (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

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Sosabowski and the Poles vindicated

For years a lot of shameful nonsense had been written about the role of the Polish brigade and Gen. Sosabowski. In recent years it was the veterans of the British 1st Airborne that led the way in restoring the unfairly tarnished reputation of the General and his men (ironically Sosabowski was at one point asked to lead the division, but refused as he felt it would compromise the potential use of his brigade in Poland). This book does them justice.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Excellent book

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Having studied Arnhem a little over the years, watched "A Bridge too Far" many times as well, this book really put some meat to the bone. If you have any interest in Market Garden then this book will not disappoint. I note an earlier comment on the accents within the book and personally I found them quite acceptable, just to address some balance there.

I'm going to listen to Stalingrad next.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Clear, and insightful

The truly poor quality of Britain’s senior generals beggars belief.

While the high quality of field commanders, soldiers , and Dutch civilians is the exceptional. All the more poignant for the contras between the m.

The self grandisment at one end and incredible self sacrifice at the other.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • C I H
  • Bath, United Kingdom
  • 26-06-18

Time for the Truth....

Incredible story that portrays, the execution and the unfolding of Arnhem brought to life by Sean Barrett ( I can listen to this man all day). For all interested parties American, English, German and Polish this epic story presents all sides and worts an all, compelling listening, I loved it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Another Beevor classic

This book is essential reading for anyone interested in military history. Antony Beevor displays his formidable narrative and analytical skills in his account of the Arnhem offensive. The book is very well read by Sean Barrett.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Not Beevors greatest work but still worth a listen

Barrett is engaging as ever. I can see that Beevor was trying to avoid being too similar to Cornelius Ryans 'Bridge Too Far' but the structure at times was a little awkward and did not flow for me especially early on. Also the story appeared to bog down with the problems between the senior officers and Montgomery which although he was correct to bring up it just seemed to keep returning to it again and again rather than focusing more on the soldiers on the ground. I will always enjoy Beevors work but this was not up there with Stalingrad and Berlin

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Excellent, full of detail and understanding

This is great listen. Sean Barrett’s voice is very appropriate, he sounds like what I imagine a retired English officer would have sounded like if he was recounting his own experiences decades later. The book is brilliant. No holds barred, never indulgently graphic but full of empathy and enough detail so you know how awful it was. First half full of fascinating details about military planning in ww2 and then second half full of details about how bad it got when it all went so terribly wrong.

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A grim tale well told

Comprehensive account of a tragic battle. Told from all sides. Heroic stories and testament to the Dutch people.

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  • Mr
  • 07-07-18

"It was quite simply a very bad plan"

There has been a long debate over whether the disaster at Arnhem was the result of a bold plan that didn't come off, or a foolish plan that was unlikely to ever work. Beevor nails his colours firmly to the latter position, and lays the blame squarely at the feet of the British senior commanders, who came up with a plan that ignored basic problems of geography and supply: and seems to have been dictated as much by political as military concerns.

I came away from this dreary story full of admiration for two groups. The British paras who showed astonishing resilience and tenacity in the face of vastly superior German forces: and the Dutch civilian population who displayed unstinting humanity and generosity in spite of the hardships they themselves were enduring. The Poles also deserve an honorable mention, despite having been unfairly blamed by some for the failure.

I expect high quality history from Antony Beevor, and high quality narration from Sean Barrett, neither disappoints here. Beevor taps non-British sources to give a wider and more complete picture of events, and combines traditional operational history with a sympathetic, but never mawkish sensitivity for the very ordinary people caught up in the vast calamity that was world war two.

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Brilliant

Exceptional book, I knew it was a bad battle but I never realised the long term ramifications.

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  • per
  • 09-06-18

Very good description of the battle and background

Very good description of the battle and background with a sprinkel of personal stories.
Not too gory but precise depiction of an sometimes horrifying situation/situasjons.
Good narrator, quite dry but likable good and precise.