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September Hope: The American Side of a Bridge Too Far Hardcover – June 5, 2012
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“A testament to men assigned the impossible who, through sheer willpower, almost pulled it off.”—The Wall Street Journal
“McManus’s extensive research allows him to tell the story with verve and authority.” —Rick Atkinson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of An Army at Dawn
"McManus mines a rich and too-long-neglected vein of stories, many revealed here for the first time.”—Mark Bando, author of 101st Airborne: The Screaming Eagles at Normandy
“An absolutely riveting and vivid narrative that captures the full extent of the heroism of America’s troops in Operation Market Garden...Military history at its finest. ”—Andrew Carroll, editor of the New York Times bestsellers War Letters and Behind the Lines
“McManus’s crisply written book tells of the campaign as seen through the eyes of the privates, sergeants, and captains who jumped into the Netherlands and the air crews who got them there.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Top Customer Reviews
Relying on official after action reports, unit histories, and personal recollections, McManus concentrates on the planning for Operation Market Garden, tactical use of the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions in the plan of attack, and the contribution of the 104th Infantry Division in the seizure of the approaches to the vital port city of Antwerp. Before examining the tactical employment of the force, the author puts forth his conviction that logistics were the key to victory. Without a well-stocked force, the allies had limited military options. He recounts that the allies were handed a quick victory when they seized the city and port of Antwerp. The port had the capability to supply large segments of the allied army. But, field commanders failed to rapidly capture the Scheldt Estuary (the sixty-mile waterway leading from the city of Antwerp to the English Channel), immediately after seizing the port city. It is the author's contention that this was a stunning oversight with profound consequences to the allied effort.Read more ›
The only thing I would take Dr. McManus to task on is his assertion that XXX Corps should have made the move to Arnhem after the 504th cleared the bridge at Nijmegen. While I agree with the rage of the troops on the ground, I do not agree with the assertion that Horrocks, even knowing his situation, should have gone piecemeal down the road that evening. It had already been demonstrated that Market Garden was a failure, it makes no sense to compound a disaster with a bigger disaster by getting shot to pieces on the way to Arnhem. The American airborne and their commanders and followers should rightfully condemn that the Americans were made to clear that bridge for no other purpose, including a river crossing that cost too many lives, but the decision not to advance and get cut up in detail is I think one of the only prudent ones made in the entire British Northwest Europe campaign.
I think all the commanders get treated fairly. I think Ike gets his for giving final approval to the operation. I think Monty gets the appropriate approbation for coveting all the supplies. I think Browning is shown in his true light. Gavin is once again elevated, but his failings as a commander are also brought to light, which makes this account fair.
I would highly recommend this book, as it is a fast read. I feel it gets a tad preachy in places, and there are some odd tense shifts in the over-all narrative, but for those who want to read about the just laurels laid upon our American airborne in WWII this book is for you.
My one complaint had to do with the maps. I find maps a crucial element in histories, especially war accounts. The maps in the book are mostly well done, but there are two problems with them. First, I wish there were more of them. For example, there is only one overall map putting the entire battle in a geographic perspective, and it turns out to be one of the weakest maps. It's main focus is on the takeoff points of the great air armada and how they flew across the channel and into Europe. Landing points are quite small, but it's the only map in the book that gives the reader any relationship of how all the various Dutch towns, cities, rivers, canals, and bridges relate to each other -- and it does a very poor job meeting that goal. But I could have put up with the paucity of maps if it weren't for a simple and annoying gap in the book: there is no List of Maps. I kept wanting too go back and forth between maps and narrative but had to keep searching to find the appropriate map. Sometimes I solved the problem by using multiple bookmarks, but that got old and annoying.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting book as I had two cousins that were in the 82nd Airborne and took part in this action during WWIIPublished 1 day ago by OldBronco
I read this on the heels of "Ardennes 1944" and thought September Hope much more readable. September was less dense with unit numbers and place names. Read morePublished 1 day ago by SLB
Outstanding!! I learned a LOT more about the operation from the American perspective. Not sure I have ever really read any detail on the operation to clear the Scheldt until I... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Michael R. Riter
I found the book a very good read of Montgomery's Market Garden, an operation he clearly lost. McManus missed a few things however. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Willem Ridder - Author Countdown to Freedom
Excellent history, both at the strategic and squad level of combat for an impossible dream objective, an atypical Montgomery plan, frustrated by poor execution by the Brits.Published 4 months ago by Exequiel R. Sevilla Jr.