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The Battle of Arnhem

The Deadliest Airborne Operation of World War II
Written by: Antony Beevor
Narrated by: Sean Barrett
Length: 16 hrs and 47 mins
Categories: History, Military
4.5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The prizewinning historian and internationally best-selling author of D-Day reconstructs the devastating airborne battle of Arnhem in this gripping new account.

On September 17, 1944, General Kurt Student, the founder of Nazi Germany's parachute forces, heard the groaning roar of airplane 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 legendary American 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions and the British 1st Airborne Division. 

Operation Market Garden, the plan to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond, was a bold concept, but could it have ever 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. 

Antony Beevor, using often overlooked sources from Dutch, American, British, Polish, and German archives, has reconstructed the terrible reality of the fighting, which General Student called "The Last German Victory." Yet The Battle of Arnhem, written with Beevor's inimitable style and gripping narrative, is about much more than a single dramatic battle - it looks into the very heart of war.

©2018 Antony Beevor (P)2018 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"Beevor conveys a clear sense of what was happening in each fight and the knock-on consequences for the others. What’s more, the compressed time scale and limited strategic scope of Market Garden ideally suit the author’s testimony-rich approach.... Mr. Beevor is a highly accomplished architect of what the American literary scholar Samuel Hynes calls 'battlefield gothic': the nightmarish horrors and absurdities of combat which themselves become a badge of authenticity for war stories...no one could be better placed to explore these topics.” (The Wall Street Journal)

“[The Battle of Arnhem] is destined to be a World War II military history classic.... Excellent maps make the action easy to follow, and the author’s clear, quick prose makes for fascinating, informative reading.... Beevor’s superb latest offering, in keeping with his established record of excellence, is a must-read for the general military history enthusiast and the WWII history expert.” (Publishers Weekly

The Battle of Arnhem brings a wealth of new detail to a major World War II disaster.... Beevor brings to the familiar story a vast amount of research in German, British, American, Polish, and Dutch archives. As usual, his narrative bristles with specifics, including countless observations gleaned from eyewitnesses to every stage of Market Garden. Devoted readers of military history will enjoy the wealth of details." (Christian Science Monitor

What members say

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  • Lee CD
  • 2019-02-06

Exceptionally well written and performed

There have been a LOT of books about Market Garden but this one adds a new perspective. Most books cover all the details from the german and allied side. Mr Beevor made a point of telling part of the story through the eyes of the dutch people. Very eye opening and makes the suffering of the French sound like a joke in comparison. As a veteran paratrooper myself, Mr Beevor captured what it's like to dangle under a parachute.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Patrick
  • 2018-10-05

Outstanding

Over the last several decades I have read articles, a few books, viewed TV & movies on the subject of OPERATION MARKET GARDEN and its aftermath. This book covered the STRATEGIC, TACTICAL, and INDIVIDUAL perspectives in an outstanding way. Highly recommend this book to those readers interested in World War II.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Justin Latva
  • Michigan
  • 2019-07-16

Wow..

not only is this the best World War II book I have heard but the narrator was also excellent. he was very pleasant to listen to and I could clearly understand everything that he said and it kept my interest. The story itself was gripping and this particular author has a way of putting a story together from so many different accounts it makes you feel like you have the actual battle in front of you.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • F. J. Junkers
  • 2019-04-18

Exceptional, as usual for Mr. Beevor

I listened to the Audible version and it was fantastic. Sean Barrett brings Beevor's words to life and transports you to the battles.

the only glitch is that one should have a look at a map of the battle area and, if interested, the names of the Germans involved, so as to be even more localized during the listening.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Tom Barreiros
  • 2019-04-01

Incredible. A moving and powerful tale.

Brave British paratroopers fight alongside Polish and Dutch Nationalists to save Holland. Gripping amd moving. A tale of hubristic military planning gone wrong.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-10-31

different view on monty

read and listened to several other books about this battle.Where they all have been good this one hits hard on the mistakes made by Monty,Browning,and Horroks make.The personalities of the leaders comes across very well. No punches pulled here.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Alec Drumm
  • Weston, CT, USA
  • 2018-11-03

Fighting a lost war

At heart this is a very sad story. So much bloodshed and destruction while the war had been lost for Germany for months. Still the Germans fought on viciously. But the Allied forces were not well led either and would often shoot prisoners of war, for example. The destruction of the ancient Dutch cities of Nijmegen and Arnhem would have been wholly unnecessary with better war planning and execution.

Antony Beevor is British, but the British generals, especially Browning and Montgomery, come across as incompetent compared to the US and Polish forces. In contrast, the bravery of the British paratroopers is always clear even when facing impossible situations. In the end it's not enough to win the battle and the war is prolonged by more than 6 months, causing immeasurable suffering to the Dutch population in German occupied territories.

The book is very well written and never boring. It is very bleak at times. The narrator was excellent.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Greg Brown
  • 2019-08-18

Added much perspective to Market Garden

I became very aware of the impact of battle on Dutch people. Their active help and the shocking German reaction. It is amazing to me that the Dutch have any respect for the Germans. Many details were new to my reading experiences.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-08-02

Very Good War Story

Very good audiobook, well performed. In addition to great perspectives from the Allied troops, great details about the experiences of the local residents and especially the medical personnel. Nearly impossible to follow author’s geographical movements (would really help to have a map, e.g. “chapter 7 occurred here”) and which bridges were where. Once I gave up trying to follow, it was a better listen. Author and narrator did excellent job helping convey the soldier experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • ryan j diamond
  • 2019-02-21

Interesting

I was able to gain so much knowledge in had not previously known! Great read!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful