Thursday, April 26, 2018

September Hope

September Hope: The American Side of A Bridge Too Far by John C. McManus  502 pp.

British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery coerced General Dwight D. Eisenhower into dedicating the largest number of paratroopers to an ill-conceived assault on the Germans in The Netherlands in an effort to secure bridges and make a path through to Berlin. Montgomery's idea was that the European war would be ended by Christmas of 1944. What needed to be done first was to secure the Port of Antwerp and stop the German forces to the south of Antwerp. The 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions parachuted a record breaking number of men into the area where they were met with little support by the British ground forces. The result of this failed operation was the loss of many allied lives and ultimately the famine and starvation of 20,000 Dutch citizens in the Hongerwinter (Hunger Winter) of 1944-45. This is another well researched history by Dr. McManus. The individual stories of various soldiers and officers come from primary sources. It is an easily readable volume. I listened to the audiobook and the narration was well done but it was necessary to access the maps to figure out where the action was taking place.

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