The Battle of Arnhem

The Battle of Arnhem

The Battle of Arnhem

The Battle of Arnhem

Excerpt

'There has been no single performance by any unit that has more greatly inspired me or more highly excited my admiration', wrote General Eisenhower to the Commander of the 1st British Airborne Division when the battle of Arnhem was over, 'than the nine-day action of your Division between September 17 and 26.'

The battle was, indeed, one of the great epic tragedies which ennoble the history of the British Army. It was planned in the light of Intelligence which proved to be false; it was characterised by a succession of miscalculations and disasters; it ended in surrender and retreat. Out of nearly 9,000 men who had landed scarcely more than 2,000 returned; but it was a victory for the human spirit. It has a special quality, a flavour almost of mystique. Men who were there -- Germans, Poles and Dutchmen as well as British soldiers -- talk of it as though it were fought yesterday. It is, for many reasons, unique.

It is impossible for me to catalogue here the names of the many people in England, Holland and Germany who have spoken to me about the battle, or who have written to me about it, and to whom I am so grateful for the trouble they have taken on my behalf; but there are some who have been good enough to help me in a specially valuable way by providing me with information which I could not have obtained elsewhere or by letting me make use of personal documents and diaries from which I have quoted in my book. I want, therefore, particularly to thank Lieutenant-Colonel Th. A. Boeree, Lieutenant- General Sir Frederick Browning, K.C.V.O., K.B.E., C.B., D.S.O., Mr R. H. Cain, V.C., Mr Fred Davis, Mr David Dawson, Brigadier Anthony Deane-Drummond, D.S.O., M.C., Major-General H. Essame, C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C., Herr Otto Felder, Major-General J. D. Frost, D.S.O., M.C., Major-General G. de Gex, O.B.E., Mevrouw Ida Goch, Lieutenant-Colonel C. F. H. Gough, M.C., T.D., M.P., Lieutenant-General J. W. Hackett, C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C., Mr John Harris, Oberst Walter Harzer, Mijnheer P. Houten, Major Anthony Hibbert, M.C., Air Commodore W. N. Hibbert, Mijnheer Paul de Jong, General Sir Gerald Lathbury, K.C.B., D.S.O., M.B.E. . . .

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