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It Never Snows in September: The German View of Market-Garden and the Battle of Arnhem September 1944 (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 5. Juni 2008


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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 436 Seiten
  • Verlag: Ian Allan (5. Juni 2008)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0711033226
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711033221
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,9 x 3,4 x 19,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 202.957 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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"'A piece of history which succeeds in being original, penetrating and highly readable. No-one until now has asked the Germans why they thought the enterprise turned into tragedy. What they have told Robert Kershaw transforms our understanding." John Keegan, Daily Telegraph" -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .

Synopsis

On the afternoon of 17 September 1944, Lieutenant Joseph Enthammer, a Wehrmacht artillery officer based in Arnhem, gazed up to the clear skies, hardly believing what he saw. White 'snowflakes' appeared to hang in the air. 'That cannot be' he thought. 'It never snows in September! They must be parachutists!' They were. He was witnessing the first wave of the British parachute assault on Arnhem. The war had reached the Reich. The blow moreover had come as a total surprise. The Allies had expected operation Market-Garden to bring the collapse of the Wehrmacht in the West and shorten World War 2. But the Germans resolved to fight. This ground-breaking military study uniquely chronicles this period of the war through the eyes of the ordinary German soldier and analyses the reasons for the eventual outcome. A major work of military history, this new paperback edition is certain to stimulate renewed debate about one of the most controversial operations of World War 2.

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Through meticulous research of so far untapped German sources, personal interviews with former combatants and official records, Kershaw gives the reader an account of Operation Market-Garden from the side of the German defenders, ranging from the commanding general to individual soldiers and small-unit leaders in the thick of the fighting.
I must say I was surprised at some of the revelations this book contains, facts that rather complimentary books like "A bridge too far" by C. Ryan tend to conveniently gloss over, for example the fact that the strategic planning for the entire operation was based in nothing so much as wishful thinking and unfounded optimism, or the casual barbarism of American airborne forces, whose methodical murder of German prisoners and wounded Kershaw recounts on several well-documented occasions. Also, the high casualties suffered by both sides and the brutality of the close-quarter fighting with flamethrowers and grenades in the tightly confined "cauldrons" around the bridgeheads came as something of a surprise to me.

All in all, I recommend this work as a valuable supplement to the so far rather one-sided coverage of this fierce battle. Kershaw draws conclusions that - if properly transferred to the broader canvas of current military operations - are valid even today.
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Amazon.com: 29 Rezensionen
24 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Fantastic Presentation of the German Viewpoint 27. April 2003
Von Anthony Cooper - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The difficulty with reading Ryan's "A Bridge to Far" or Middlebrook's "Arnhem" (both excellent books) is you don't get the full sense of what's happening on the other side. It wouldn't matter so much in histories of many other battles, but Operation Market-Garden was notable for its confusion. As a result, the understanding of the whole story particularily benefits from the German viewpoint.
Kershaw takes a logical method of breaking the battle down into pieces, and has added new insights to each section of the battle. Some parts are slightly sketchier than others, but I suppose that's due to the lack of available information. The book also has several series of photographs, though Kershaw takes the somewhat annoying tack of describing each photograph in the text as well -- one picture is worth a thousand words. Lastly, the author disputes the theory that the British 1st Airborne would have held the Arnhem bridge if they had landed closer to it.
21 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
An Excellent Battlefield Account 3. Januar 2002
Von R. A Forczyk - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Although there are many books on the famous Operation Market-Garden in September 1944, It Never Snows in September is the best account in English that covers the German perspective on the battle. The author, a serving British army officer, delivers an excellent account that offers valuable insights from the enemy viewpoint as well as sound military analysis. Furthermore, the well-written narrative is enriched by excellent photographs (many from German collections) and detailed tactical maps. This book is a feast for military historians and deserves a place in any military library.
The book is divided into 27 short chapters that cover the period from 2 September to 4 October 1944. Three interesting appendices cover the German orders to 2nd SS Panzer Corps on 17 September 1944, a detailed German order of battle for the entire campaign and a casualty estimate broken down by sub-units. Kershaw's research into German sources is extensive and while it does have gaps, it provides far more detail than standard sources on the battle than journalistic accounts like A Bridge Too Far. For example, Kampfgruppes Spindler, the vital blocking force that prevented the British 1st Airborne from reaching its objectives in strength on the first day, is not even mentioned in Ryan's classic account.
Kershaw's view of the battle differs from most of the Allied accounts of the operation. In his view, "Allied historians have tended to blame mistakes rather than effective countermeasures in order to account for the failure." It was, "improvisation and rapid build-up of [German] force [that] blunted the attacks...German reaction times were astonishing." Certainly the ability of the German commanders to rapidly assemble effective battle groups from various odds and ends - including Luftwaffe ground troops, sailors and railway workers - and throw them into the battle was incredible, but it came at the price of high casualties. The untrained German kampfgruppes often suffered 50% losses in initial combat and these units had little ability to gain ground. Nevertheless, the rapid deployment of these hodgepodge formations frustrated the over-complicated Allied plan that had not allowed for any significant enemy action. Thus, Kershaw concludes that alterations to the Market-Garden plan, such as dropping the British 1st Airborne Division closer to Arnhem Bridge, probably wouldn't have changed the outcome very much.
Another unique aspect that Kershaw brings out is the huge command and control problems affecting the German response to a huge, unexpected airborne attack. The German chain of command in Holland was vague when the attack began and the Germans had made the amateur mistake of making the main north-south highway the command boundary; the British 30th Corps attack up this highway physically split the German forces. Lack of radios in most units forced the German to rely on telephones and runners, which made response times very slow and inhibited the flexible tactical style that the German leaders preferred. Officers were given ad hoc units and had to inspire untrained, often un-motivated troops to assault elite Allied paratroops that were dug-in. Coordinating the attacks to sever the vital Allied link on "Hells Highway" was very difficult for the Germans and their command and control deficiencies were a critical restraint on their ability to effectively counterattack.
Although the book overall is excellent, there are a few noticeable omissions and errors. In terms of omissions, the critical actions around Elst on 21-23 September 1944 are not detailed. How exactly did the Germans stop the final Allied lunge toward Arnhem Bridge and what exactly did the British do to try and break through? Interestingly, part of the initial contact between the British 43rd Wessex Division and kampfgruppes Knaust near Elst on the evening of 22 September 1944 is mentioned, but only concerning British casualties. There is no mention that the British ambushed and destroyed five Tiger tanks in that action. With the artillery, air and armored firepower available to 30th Corps, the inability to breach the German defenses at Elst deserves more attention in this account, particularly since the author cites the actions north of Nijmegen as decisive in determining the outcome. In terms of errors, there are some noticeable mistakes in the German order of battle, particularly concerning the Tiger tanks used in the battle. Only two companies of the 506th Heavy Tank battalion, with 30 Tiger II tanks, served in the later stages of the battle - the other company went to Aachen. Kershaw incorrectly identifies the "Hummel" company as part of the 506th, but it was actually an independent company with 14 Tiger I tanks. Panzer Company 224 had 16 ex-French Char B tanks, not 8 Renault tanks. The composition of the 10th SS Panzer is also overly-vague. The point is that the author's research is over twelve years old and new research in German archives have turned up information that clarifies and refines some of the data presented in this book.
Overall, this book provides a much-needed English language account of the German view of Operation Market-Garden. Many fine details that help to clarify the critical elements of the battle are presented here. Some of the author's conclusions, such as those attempting to develop lessons that might assist a NATO defense against a Soviet airborne attack, are no longer relevant but the details of this brutal, exhausting, nerve-wracking, too-close-to-call battle provide their own lessons. This book belongs in any professional military reading list.
28 von 29 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Lacks Photos 20. Dezember 2008
Von Charles - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Be forewarned, this paperback edition lacks all the original photographs that appear in the original hardback edition. It has the color maps of the original edition reprinted in b&w. Search out the original edition.
13 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Good but Flawed 23. November 2008
Von W. Wood - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
As a former paratrooper (82nd Abn Div) and now history teacher I opened this book with some anticipation. I had read many (if not most) of the previous works on the Market-Garden Operation, lived in Belgium and visited the Netherlands while there. I am familiar with the terrain, having travelled it and studied it for years. Therefore I considered
myself somewhat of an amateur expert on the battle. However, I found reading this book that I had a hard time keeping up with events. This could be because (as other reviewers have posted) Kershaw concentrates almost completely on the German side; and this would not be a complaint as this is his stated purpose. I do believe the flow of events could be better followed if the author or publisher had provided more, better, and better placed maps. As it is, in the edition I have, the maps are concentrated in one section about mid-way through the book. I was half-way through the book before I discovered them and was pleasantly surprised to find them considering I had flipped through the pages looking for maps before.

Having discovered them, I find it distracting to have to flip to the map section constantly to re-orient myself to the action and dispositions of the units being discussed and in my opinion the maps are difficult to read once one locates the map that might have the information needed.

It might just be the reader's fault but I have found myself re-reading paragraphs to ensure I've understood the flow of action. Again, this could be because having read battle accounts from the Allied side (including "A Bridge Too Far" by Cornelius Ryan, which does give the Geramn point of view) I am more conversant with the American and British participants than I am with the Germans, though there are many familiar names in the German cast. But Kershaw is attempting to tell a big, big story with many different characters, this is a difficult thing to do and for the most part he manages well. But there are times when the fog of war descends on the text. It is a difficult task mastered by only a few (Ryan and Ambrose come immediately to mind), Kershaw does an admirable job and I do not wish to be too hard on him, when he pulls it off, the book is superb. Perhaps this makes the foggy parts stand out.

So my conclusion? This is a very good book with some compelling eyewitness testimonies. I will consider it a valuable addition to my library. However,I would not suggest it for someone unfamiliar with the battle. I would like to give it more than the three stars but feel the lack of maps and occasional incoherence of the text bring the overall work down. Better maps distributed through the text at relevant points would enable the reader to get an understanding of the action. At the very least I would recommend one getting an overall map of the area to keep by one's side for quick reference during the reading. It's a shame the publishers didn't put one at the front of the book.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Best From The German Side -- Combine With A Bridge Too Far 4. Oktober 2008
Von David M. Dougherty - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This is an excellent historical work on how the German Army was able to improvise a defence against Montgomery's Market-Garden operation, ultimately defeating it and almost annihilating the British 1st Airborne Division. It was Hitler's last victory, following on his tactical successes against the British operations Epsom and Goodwood in Normandy, all of them against Montgomery.

The author made a noble effort to provide maps of the operations, but more detailed maps were definitely needed and should have been included with the text concerning the operations covered by the maps. From the allied side there were three airborne divisions, the Polish Brigade, and the spearhead of XXX Corps to be accounted for, but on the German side the number of units and ad-hoc formations went well into double figures. To make things worse, their composition was fluid. ALso a larger map to show the German supply and collection points on both sides of the Rhine was needed.

The prose is British English and fairly riveting. The problem is its organization, and a strictly calendar approach of each date focusing on the twin battlefields of Arnhem and the corridor, then broken up into operations against the major Allied formations, might have been better. I constantly referred back to Cornelius Ryan's "A Bridge Too Far" to see what the Allied side was doing & how the fight was portrayed from their viewpoint, and between the two I felt I truly understood what was happening.

The only real difficulty was in understanding the attacks made by Von Zangen's 15th Army from the Northwest after crossing the Scheldt between Antwerp and the North Sea where Montgomery had taken no steps to cut off their avenue of retreat. They hit the corridor from the Northwest at a number of points, forcing the two American airborne divisions to divert strength to meet these unexpected attacks.

Short, but sweet, this book should be on the shelf of every historian interested in Market-Garden. The contrasts between the combatants was stark. The Germans improvised with 1st, 2nd and 3rd line troops, throwing composite and untried formations desperately against veteran and elite Allied troops and won the day in spite of overwhelming Allied air superiority. The British command displayed a marked lack of talent in meeting changing circumstances, and the Americans come off solid and competent. In a sentence, Montgomery's set-piece battle turned into a melee of ever-changing pieces that he couldn't control effectively. The case can also be made that the German leadership training at the NCO, company grade and field grade officer levels clearly outclassed the British, and to some degree, the American.

An interesting side point concerning the combat on the flat polders utterly deviod of cover was that the Sten guns used by the British proved superior to the German machine pistols. The Sten guns had magazines sticking out to the side, thus enabling the shooter to lie flat on the ground versus the German Schmeisser with its bottom-feeding magazine that required the trooper to lie with raised torso and head. The Germans experienced higher casualties as a result. This point has apparently been missed by US personnel -- we have no side-feeding magazines today in the American Army.

All in all, this is an important work and a much needed addition to the World War II literature. It may be a little difficult to follow, but this book is well worth the read.
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