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A Bridge Too Far: The Classic History of the Greatest Battle of World War II Paperback – May 1, 1995

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A Bridge Too Far: The Classic History of the Greatest Battle of World War II + The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day + Last Battle: The Classic History of the Battle for Berlin
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (May 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684803305
  • ISBN-13: 978-8171676361
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Marking the 50th anniversary of events leading up to the end of WWII are these two reissued historical works from the late war correspondent, author of The Longest Day.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Published in 1974 and 1966, respectively, these comprise the second and third legs of Ryan's World War II trilogy begun with 1959's The Longest Day (Classic Returns, 4/15/94). Bridge examines the Allies' failed plan to open a venue into Germany, while The Last Battle profiles the growing tensions among the ranks of both the Allied and the Axis powers toward the conclusion of the European war. LJ's reviewers praised Ryan, finding his analysis "exciting and fast paced" (LJ 8/74) and "the tensions of the period are there on each page" (LJ 3/1/66).
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

A Bridge Too Far is one of the best accounts of Operation Market Garden.
Kalon Tsang
I'm a big history buff and this book is an excellent read for anyone who likes World War II books.
Ryan did a great job of research and his writing is very clear and complete.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on July 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Famed author Cornelius Ryan has a unique and appealing way of telling a story that makes his books quite unique, and this huge best seller is no exception. He lets the disastrous story of the wrong-headed Allied decision to risk an immense day-light paratrooper drop with "thunderclap surprise" (catching the Germans with their proverbial pants down) for the first time in the European campaign unfold as an ill-conceived effort to capture a series of bridges critical to a fast and successful prosecution of the Allied thrust into the heart of Germany.
This tale retelling the Allied miscalculation of potential German resistance and the speed with which they could proceed up the one road needed to support the airdropped forces is a riveting tale. Its total cost in terms of human life and unnecessary destruction is a cautionary lesson for history. Like his other books, this is a story told at every level, but concentrating on the faithful recollections of the actual participants in the action. Thus, the reader is wept into the action as we get a voyeur's view of the moment-to-moment development of the story as it unfolds in all its horrific detail.
There is a cornucopia of information presented here, and Ryan's approach is scrupulously faithful to the facts, all of them, regardless of the source. Therefore, there is a great deal of attention paid to the recollections and experiences of the German armed forces and noncombatants as well as the Allied invaders. Unlike some other efforts on this subject, there is no apparent effort here to color the results and make the Allies more circumspect and less provocative in making and activating their ill-conceived plans.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Myers VINE VOICE on March 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
I shall assume that everyone reading this review has seen the movie made of this book: with an all-star cast including Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Robert Redford among many others, it's rather hard to miss. I was expecting to find all sorts of inaccuracies in the movie exposed in this book. But while there indeed were a few inaccuracies, the movie is surprisingly true to the book, down to verbatim accounts herein, such as Major Cook (played by Redford in the movie) and his 82nd airborne troopers crossing the Waal to seize the other side of the bridge at Nijmegen with rifles as oars, under heavy Jerry mortar fire, synchronising the rowing to "Hail Mary-full of Grace-Hail Mary-full of Grace."- One might add that it's the only fully successful Allied action one finds here. More importantly, the movie does capture the spirit of the operation as a whole, especially the valiant tenacity of the airborne troops. And, if you thought the movie was too bloody, you will only be convinced that it didn't show the gore and confusion of war as fully as it might have.

Despite some reservations - to which I shall get around in due course - this book is a sorely needed one. Market-Garden is carefully swept under the carpet in both British and American accounts of the war, as is the "hedgerow war" fought after D-Day. In fact, when I first saw the movie (at age 11 or 12), I thought it was some sort of fiction!

As one born and educated in England, I can't help but seeing Monty's fiasco here as an act in what the Brits at the time (Monty and Churchill especially) saw as a tragedy: The crumbling British Empire. Also, there's Monty's peculiar situation. It's very hard to convey to Americans.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Bill Wilson on November 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
There is not a more accurate retelling of operation Market-Garden anywhere. This part of the second world war is often overlooked as it lies in the shadow of D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge. Cornelius Ryan has magnificent first hand sources telling their part in the Great operation and their personal views on what happened. There are view points of Nazi Tank Officers, British Paratroop colonels, 101st airborne commanders, and the fearless members of the dutch underground. It is neatly written, covering every detail, no matter how small, from background, to planning, to the drop, through the rough streets of Arnhem, down the road with General Horrocks and the Irish Tank guard, the 101st's struggle with the Son bridge, German general Harzer's rushed yet unexpected panzer corps, and all the way to the last bridge; the Bridge too far. It has enough interesting and little known facts to keep the history buffs satisfied, while keeping avid readers on the edge of their seat.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Mannie Liscum on December 25, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like Stephen Ambrose's books, I found Mr. Ryan's "A Bridge Too Far" hard to put down. Ryan has style in the way he weaves a story, especially one as complicated as that of Operation Market Garden. During the first few days of Market and the beginning of Garden the Germans generally believed that the British and Ami's were staging some big rouse - clearly an airborne drop of that size and magnitude could not have been planned by Montgomery, it was too daring, he was known to be (overly) cautious. But it was Monty's baby. It took Monty a lot of maneuvering to convince SHAEF and Eisenhower to make the dash for the Rhine (and Berlin as Monty's true objective). It had panache and daring and if everything that could have gone wrong hadn't it may have just been the end of the war. As it played out it was a huge set back for the Allies, and given the failure to clean up the Germans around Antwerp because troops were diverted to Garden, one could say that Hurtgen and The Bulge were direct fallouts from Market-Garden's failures. Military objectives aside Market-Garden was an amazing testament to the men who fought it, especially those lonely British airborne troops who held out so admirably in Arnhem. Mr. Ryan does their sacrifices justice with this work. A Bridge Too Far is a must read for all serious students of WWII and should be read by anyone interested in great battles.
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