Devil's Birthday: The Bridges to Arnhem 1944



[Download] ➵ Devil's Birthday: The Bridges to Arnhem 1944 By Geoffrey S. Powell – E17streets4all.co.uk Arnhem was the heaviest Allied defeat of and was the subject of the famous film A Bridge Too Far Casualties during the battle were appalling the brave and enduring Dutch people suffered catastrophica Arnhem was the The Bridges MOBI ô heaviest Allied defeat ofand was the subject of the famous film A Bridge Too Far Casualties during the battle were appalling the brave and enduring Dutch people suffered catastrophically in the aftermath and German morale was strengthened at a time of otherwise ebbing fortunes This new revised edition besides being a superb history is, above all, a record of quite extraordinary courage It is unlikely to be superseded as the Devil's Birthday: PDF/EPUB or standard work on a bold, gallant, yet doomed, undertaking.Devil's Birthday: The Bridges to Arnhem 1944

The author of The Bridges MOBI ô a number of works on military history, Geoffrey Powell served in the British Army from his initial enlistment as a subaltern in until his retirement as a colonel in .

Devil's Birthday: The Bridges to Arnhem 1944 PDF/EPUB
  • Hardcover
  • 276 pages
  • Devil's Birthday: The Bridges to Arnhem 1944
  • Geoffrey S. Powell
  • English
  • 10 July 2018
  • 0850523524

10 thoughts on “Devil's Birthday: The Bridges to Arnhem 1944

  1. says:

    Those of us withthan a passing interest in the history of World War II think we know all about Operation Market Garden, the failed attempt by the Allies to end the war in 1944 by an airborne assault through Holland to capture bridges over the Maas and Rhine rivers, skirt the Siegfried Line and enter Germany We ve read the book or seen the movie of A bridge too far, and know that it was the lack of intelligence about the SS divisions in the area, or the lack of radio communication that rui Those of us withthan a passing interest in the history of World War II think we know all about Operation Market Garden, the failed attempt by the Allies to end the war in 1944 by an airborne assault through Holland to capture bridges over the Maas and Rhine rivers, skirt the Siegfried Line and enter Germany We ve read the book or seen the movie of A bridge too far, and know that it was the lack of intelligence about the SS divisions in the area, or the lack of radio communication that ruined the chances for success This book puts those ideas to rights and .Geoffrey Powell commanded C company of 156 Parachute Battalion throughout Market Garden and won the Military Cross for his actions there, although you won t find this out by reading The Devil s birthday Nor will you find an apologia for what was one of the most vicious battles fought on the Western Front in World War II What you will find is a clear headed exposition of the actions throughout Market Garden, dispelling some myths and pointing to the real reasons the operation failed to achieve all its objectives.What Powell makes clear is that the lack of time to properly plan such a complex operation cruelled its chances from the start The Allies had built up a large airborne force, and were always on the lookout for ways to employ it there had been quite a few operations planned after D Day, all of which were cancelled as the advance of the Allies quickly overtook planned airborne objectives.By September 1944 the Germans seemed to be not only on the run, but collapsing as a fighting force Market Garden was planned to punch a hole in the collapsing lines, skirt around the top end of the Siegfried Line, cut off the Ruhr from Germany and voila, the war would be won The planning of Market Garden took place in not muchthan a week, with communications between Montgomery in France and Browning back in England not all that it could be This led not only to some oversights in planning, but also a lack of time for the airborne command to push the USAAF and RAF to organise to land the troops closer to their objectives than what in fact occurred The distance between the Dropping and Landing Zones and the bridges caused delays in capturing the bridge at Nijmegen, and led to the separation of forces at Arnhem, which doomed that part of the plan.The lack of co ordination between attack aircraft and the ground troops, due to lack of effective radio contact, and the Air Force s requirement that the attack aircraft couldn t be in the area of operations while troop carrying or supply aircraft were in the area was a big problem.The number of troops landed on the first day is an issue that Powell looks at closely and draws the conclusion thatcould have been done to getboots on the groundquickly in the drop zones the Air Forces should have been pushed to runthan one drop in a day, and there should have beenthought into which troops and supplies were dropped when the decision by Browning to include his HQ battalion in the first drop is, to Powell, a wrong one.The main part of the operation was the ground assault under the command of General Horrocks, and Powell gives us plenty of detail here, explaining the difficulties of running an army up one road, while also pointing out where that army was perhaps less than expeditious in its advance He importantly points out that is was the tardiness of the advance of the flanking forces 12 Corps and 8 Corps , that led to the small German forces being able to continue to attack 30 Corps on the main road, and indeed cut that road onthan one occasion, delaying the whole operation significantly.And what of the German forces Much has been made in the past of the lack of intelligence about the SS Panzer Corps that were refitting in the area However, as Powell points out, these forces were small in number, and in fact the number of troops and tanks in the area was about what the Allies had expected What was less expected was the stiff resistance of the troops, not only because some of them were in the SS, but also because they were now fighting very close to home soil The Germans were fortunate that the commanders in the area at the time, including Student and Bittrich, were seasoned, smart and effective Having stated that, it is worth noting that the British forces in Oosterbeek held out for as long as they did partly because the forces opposing them were scratch units with not much tactical nous, so the German story was mixed In fact Student himself called Market Garden a great success for the Allies.Powell s description of the fighting in the Oosterbeek pocket is harrowing to read, and no doubt accurate as he was there As with many stories of war, the horrible waste of lives is the thing that sticks with the readerthought from the Allies, and perhaps less triumphalism might have stopped this operation before it began In the end it was the broad push and not the thunderbolt surprise that got the Allies over the Rhine and into Germany Powell has his doubts that, even if successful, Market Garden would have significantly shortened the War, and I tend to agree.Powell ends this book with a discussion of the worth of airborne forces, and comes to the conclusion that their true worth is in operations on a smaller scale than that of Market Garden He points out that in larger strategic operations such as Market Garden or the invasion of Crete by the German airborne forces , even if the forces are successful their loss rate is horrendous However, for smaller scale tactical operations there is great value in using such units He points out that by this stage in the War the Allies had built up such a large airborne force the powers that be felt they had to do something with it to justify its formation.Powell s last paragraph is worth quoting in full It is arguable that Eisenhower would have been better served in the autumn of 1944 by another half dozen infantry or armoured divisions, backed by adequate logistic resources, than by First Allied Airborne Army The airborne forces of the United States and Britain were expensive indeed in high quality men and in the special facilities needed to train them, in manufacturing capacity and in base area support, in scientific research and in military planners Without any doubt, the two Allies had a need for smallish bodies of parachute or glider troops, of battalion or of regimental size On the other hand it is not easy to justify the scarce resources which the Americans and the British devoted to their fine airborne, forces, and to the aircraft which flew them into battle This book may be the definitive account of operation Market Garden It is definitely readable, interesting and comprehensive Recommended.Check out my other reviews at

  2. says:

    Having watched A Bridge Too Far over Christmas I felt an urge to readabout Operation Market Garden.Devils Birthday is written very much from a British perspective but does give credit to the American 82nd and 101st who often do not get the recognition they deserve The bravery of these men comes alive through these pages I understand muchthe logistical challenges for the Allies and as the author puts it what could go wrong went wrong The author lends the book credibility as he was Having watched A Bridge Too Far over Christmas I felt an urge to readabout Operation Market Garden.Devils Birthday is written very much from a British perspective but does give credit to the American 82nd and 101st who often do not get the recognition they deserve The bravery of these men comes alive through these pages I understand muchthe logistical challenges for the Allies and as the author puts it what could go wrong went wrong The author lends the book credibility as he was on the ground in Osterbeek during Operation Market Garden.The book was published in 1984 when many of the top brass were still alive Had this been published later I think the author would have been farcritical of Monty et al Got the feeling he held back a bit out of loyalty.In short, I learned a lot and now I want to dig into this subject a lot

  3. says:

    Thought it was a great read Fitting that it was the first book I finished in my new house on Arnhem St drinking coffee from my mug from the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek.

  4. says:

    Geoffrey Powell has written a first rate military history of the Allied Offensive in 1944 to bring World War II to a rapid conclusion by seizing the bridges over the key rivers in Holland that would allow the Allied Forces to then invade Germany and drive directly toward Berlin Known as Operation Market Garden, the plan called for the use of the three Allied Airborne Divisions, the British First Airborne Division, and the American 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, to seize the vital bridges th Geoffrey Powell has written a first rate military history of the Allied Offensive in 1944 to bring World War II to a rapid conclusion by seizing the bridges over the key rivers in Holland that would allow the Allied Forces to then invade Germany and drive directly toward Berlin Known as Operation Market Garden, the plan called for the use of the three Allied Airborne Divisions, the British First Airborne Division, and the American 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, to seize the vital bridges that would then be the highway for the 30th Corp under General Horrocks, to cross the Rhein and start the invasion of Germany Geoffrey Powell examines in a concise, strategic and insightful manner, all of the key personalities and their reasoned decisions for wanting to have this campaign Yes, it turned out to be a disaster for a number of reasons that should and could have been predicted, and anticipated, but because of the burning desire of Montgomery and the British government to end the end the war as quickly as possible, and save as many British troops from continued losses, facts were overlooked or discarded Many of us will remember the very successful movie, A Bridge to Far that came out about this campaign, and how costly it was for the Airborne Divisions Faulty intelligence or disregarded intelligence reports failed to prepare the British First Airborne Division for the fact they were jumping into zones around Arnhem that were already infested by the 9th SS and 10th SS Panzer Divisions that were being refitted in the area As events proved, heroism and dauntless courage is no match for ard forces with tanks and heavy equipment This is a insightful, informative and very provocative military history, with lessons that are valid and should be considered and remembered by any military or political leader making a decision to send combat troops into action without well thought out plans and contingencies that can help make the outcome a success One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the very poignant and focused revelations that Geoffrey Powell presents about the bravery of the Dutch population around Arnhem and the other cities that were being liberated by the Allies in this Market Garden operation The bravery of the Dutch and their courage in helping wounded Allied soldiers, knowing that German reprisals would be instant execution, is truly remarkable It s a chapter in WWII that very few people are aware of because it s so often not discussed or written about Operation Market Garden has always been a controversial campaign with numerous histories and studies written, and strong opinions on all sides about whether or not it should have even taken place The Devil s Birthday is a book that answers these questions in a very thoughtful, precise, and insightful manner, and is well worth reading I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in military history and all of its complexities Geoffrey Powell is a superb author and fine writer

  5. says:

    The Devil s Birthday is an excellent account of Operation Market Garden, written by one who fought in Arnhem Powell provides a history of the whole battle, though focuseson the airborne rather than the actions of XXX corps though these still get covered, rare for a British book, there is proper recognition of the efforts of the US 101st and 82nd airborne divisions the latter called the 83rd on the back cover during the battle, and the key role they played.Powell hits home on the trag The Devil s Birthday is an excellent account of Operation Market Garden, written by one who fought in Arnhem Powell provides a history of the whole battle, though focuseson the airborne rather than the actions of XXX corps though these still get covered, rare for a British book, there is proper recognition of the efforts of the US 101st and 82nd airborne divisions the latter called the 83rd on the back cover during the battle, and the key role they played.Powell hits home on the tragedy of the battle in his concluding chapters, yes the British 1st airborne division suffered terribly in the fighting at the bridge, and wider Arnhem battle front, but the real tragedy is that even if the plan had been successful and bridgehead had been created across the Rhine, the war would not have ended by Christmas It is this litany of assumptions on which the operation that is launched easy to point to in hindsight, some not so easy at the time that is the real tragedy Morale had not collapsed in the German army, they were still able to galvanise men to populate the fighting divisions, and whilst perhaps not of the calibre of 1940, were sufficient to give a significant bloody nose to the western allies And if this is the case, the battle should not have been tried, as Lathbury identified, to make it worth while, all the bridges were needed, not 90%, and Geoffrey Powell builds on this to argue that without a collapse of the German army in the west it was not worth it, instead creating a narrow and difficult salient into enemy territory, and untold suffering for the people of Holland, who bravely continued their protest action against the Germans for the rest of the war.Interestingly the author concludes that the strategic parachute force developed by the allies during the war was not in fact justified by the resources spent, and the results achieved whilst not denying the undoubted gallantry demonstrated by those who fought in the divisions Airborne victories weretactical than strategic, and when being used as a strategic force, in Market Garden, they were unsuccessful.This is an excellent account of the battle, well recommended to any with even a passing interest in the war in Western Europe in 1944

  6. says:

    I thought this would just be another Market Garden book but I enjoyed itthan I d expected To begin with, it s told from a British perspective and as such it gets into the details of the British forces much better than accounts I ve read to date The author is candid and critical I thought he was a bit easy on Monty, but he focused his criticisms on Monty s subordinates and their dubious choices It should also be noted that the author participated in the battle as a company commander.H I thought this would just be another Market Garden book but I enjoyed itthan I d expected To begin with, it s told from a British perspective and as such it gets into the details of the British forces much better than accounts I ve read to date The author is candid and critical I thought he was a bit easy on Monty, but he focused his criticisms on Monty s subordinates and their dubious choices It should also be noted that the author participated in the battle as a company commander.He s also quite complementary of the Americans, excepting Brereton, whom as he rightfully notes were muchexperienced in airborne ops at the time For example, he notes how extensively and successfully the Americans used local citizens as guides and assets while the British were distrustful or ignored the locals to their own determent.An excellent account of the operation and a must read for anyone interested in the topic

  7. says:

    Nice written and very nice detailed book about operation Market Garden, a must read for anyone interested in this disastrous campaign Te author besides of being a veteran of the operation himself was an historian who talked with officers in the aftermath.

  8. says:

    Powell was a veteran of the battle This book is enjoyable but is relatively amateurish in its writing style Not too different to A Bridge Too Far, just not as detailed.Again full of the many inaccuracies of similar books.

  9. says:

    An excellent book on Operation Market Garden The author does an excellent job of showing us the players and understand their choices and mistakes.

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