Major and Mrs Holt’s Battlefield Guide to Operation Market Garden
Leopoldsburg – Eindhoven – Nijmegen – Arnhem - Oosterbeek
By Major and Mrs Holt
Pen and Sword (www.pen-and-sword.co.uk)
RRP GBP £16.99
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This is an updated third edition of this outstanding guide to the Market Garden battlefields. The authors are famous for their battlefield guides and this volume is written to their high standards. If you are going to visit the Market Garden area then this guidebook is a must have.
Any visit to a battlefield needs advance planning and research. This volume provides just that. It places the operation into the context of the wider war and then concentrates on Operation Market Garden. Operation Market being the Allied airborne army consisting of the American 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and the British 1st Airborne Division. They were dropped behind enemy lines in Holland with the intention of capturing five significant bridges. On the ground, Operation Garden, led by the British XXX Corps had the simultaneous task of driving along a single road into enemy territory and across the five bridges (which the airborne element was to capture). Their final objective was the town of Arnhem, 60 miles away.
There has been a multitude of books on Market Garden but this volume is unique in that it is a guide to all the battlefields. It starts with an update to the main section covering things that have changed since the second edition. This update includes new monuments / memorials, new or changed museums and new / changed roads. This latter point is of particular note because there have been some changes in road access to the battlefields during the last few years and this affects one of the recommended itineraries.
The majority of the book is dedicated to five itineraries. These provide an excellent approach to viewing the battlefields, museums, monuments and other relics. The itineraries are: (1) Leopoldsburg to Eindhoven (XXX Corps), (2) Eindhoven to Nijmegen (XXX Corps and US Airborne), (3) The Groesbeek Circuit (XXX Corps, Canadian and US Airborne), (4) Nijmegen Centre (XXX Corps and US Airborne) and (5) Oosterbeek, Arnhem to Driel (British and Polish Airborne).
Each of these Itineraries is packed full of really useful notes and descriptions. Even if you have not yet reached the locations these guides provide that essential planning and guidance. The guide is well-written and superb. Even if you wish to have an “armchair” tour of the battlefields then this guide is all you need to have a comprehensive tour.
It is not possible to over-emphasize the quality and usefulness of this guidebook. It is not just another guidebook – it is the guidebook for Operation Market Garden. If you are going to these battlefields or just wish to know more about them then this is the book to buy! There is no need to consider any others.