- Taschenbuch: 448 Seiten
- Verlag: Crecy Publishing (5. Juni 2008)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0711033226
- ISBN-13: 978-0711033221
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14 x 3,2 x 20 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 9 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 106.134 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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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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.
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.
Detailed descriptions of battle formations, terrain etc are mixed with accounts from German soldiers from the rank of Private to General, which leaves the reader with the impression of a well researched in-depth report of what fighting was like.
However, there are quite a few mistakes in the book, mostly spelling mistakes like "Sturmbannführer Sonnenstuhl" turned into "Zannenstahl". But also pretty huge mistakes like the claim that "Hummels heavy assault company" was made up by 'Kingtigers', when in reality it consisted of Tiger I, which had been hastily sent from workshops, still in various stages of repair.
These mistakes leave a bitter taste to a book, which in all other respects would have been an interesting read.
The book is written in a fluid, well structured way, describing the days after the retreat of the German army from France and Belgium and their battered state in the days prior to Market Garden. Kershaw goes on and depicts the sheer chaos and the confusion immediately after the first landings and the hurry in which nearly everyone able to hold a rifle on the German side was scrapped together and brought into the front. The heavy fighting against the British Paras and the American Airbornes for Arnheim, Nijmwegen and Eindhoven is described in a detailed fashion. Pleasant is the way Kershaw does it: he almost completely refrains from the damnatory way some authors are using when writing about the former adversary.
Wrap up: read this book for getting a close insight into the ideas and actions of the German side. Kershaw went to great lengths to get the help (in form of letters and interviews) of former German soldiers and their commanders. Taken together with "Arnheim 1944" from William F. Buckingham, which in turn describes this very battle from a British point of view, and especially the errors and omissions made by their commanders, both books make for a pretty comprehensive view on the tragedy of Market Garden.
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