Here we look at a title from Pen and Sword titled Operation Market Garden


The following introduction is taken from the Pen and Sword website:

Every General’s aim is to end a war by Christmas, and Montgomery, perhaps, saw his opportunity in a bold strike across the southern portion of the Netherlands close to the borders of an embattled Reich. Still heady from earlier victories in the Normandy campaign, the plan to push deep into enemy territory, with land and airborne forces, was as daring as it was dangerous. Some would say the furthest objective, Arnhem Bridge, was a Bridge too Far.

Separated into two distinct elements, Market, the airborne assault, was designed to capture the vital bridges across the many rivers and canals that were needed. Garden, the ground assault, would ensure the bridges were soon part of a wider Allied salient. However, planning and intelligence was as not as thorough as it had been in previous operations and Market Garden turned from glorious adventure, with easily achievable aims, to an almost devastating defeat.

This Battle Craft title also looks at four pieces of military hardware that were involved in these legendary battles. Representing the land forces are the Triumph HW3 motorcycle, a dispatch riders stalwart and the unique German Sd.Kfz.2 Kettenkrad. These amazing machines were vital in maintaining lines of communications. On the main route of the march, the state-of-the-art British Cromwell duelled valiantly against the deadly Panther Ausf G.

The Quartermaster section provides the modeller with an insight into the development and operational use of the four chosen vehicles that were involved in Market Garden. A selection of historical and contemporary photos and illustrations feature alongside stunning showcase builds, providing the modeller with subjects to whet the creative appetite. It also features details of model kits and extras that can really help the modeller bring military history to life.


This offering from Pen and Sword as part of the Battle Craft series, is authored by Ben Skipper. This title looks at Operation Market Garden with a sub-title of A Bridge Too Far. The card cover protects 64 pages within, and is presented in portrait style of A4 size. The cover on this title should I feel do a reasonable job of protecting the contents with reasonable handling. 

The contents of this offering are covered over two main chapters which are broken down into a number of sub-sections. The book begins with an introduction and the first chapter is:

Operation Market Garden: A Bridge Too Far

Setting the Scene: Key Commanders of the Operation Market Garden; The Principle Cast

The Supporting Cast: Order of Battle (ORBAT) as of 27th September 1944

1st - 16th September 1944: Cry Havoc and let slip the dogs of war

18th September: Through Gritted Teeth

1st Airborne Division: By bullet, Blade and Bile

20th September - Crossing the Waal: Hell and High Water

Arnham - God Save the King!

The Challenges Keep Coming

22nd September: Acceptance of Defeat

Operation Berlin: No Shame in Withdrawal


Quartermaster Section


A27M (Meteor) Cruiser Tank Cromwell

Panzer V Panther (SdKfz 171)

Sonderkraftfahrzeug 2 (SdKfz 2), Type HK-101 Kettenkrad

Triumph 3HW Motorcycle

This offering from Pen and Sword begins with an introduction to the battle which later became known as a Bridge Too Far. The idea for this battle was for paratroops to cease an area behind the German lines, and then a swift advance of armoured units to consolidate the area. The Dutch themselves informed the military that the armoured thrust was doomed to fail, but this information was ignored. The result of all this was that paratroops fought to the last bullet and with no other choice at the end of the battle either surrendered or endeavoured to cross the lines back into Allied territory. I used to work with a paratrooper who took part in this operation, and he informed me that the Germans including the SS units which doomed the paratroopers to fail treated the surrendering soldiers with respect, which I think is a sign of the grit and determination with which they fought. The author within this section has done a fair job of getting over the situation during this operation despite the limited number of pages that are available to him. 

The rest of this title can be considered as reference on some of the specific machinery used and has a dedicated modelling section covering the vehicles exhibited in the title. This begins with the Cromwell tank, and consists of some information of the vehicle, a model build of a Cromwell and a look at the model products available. The same approach is utilised for the Panther, Kettenkrad and Triumph 3HW. Looking at this portion of the title as a whole, it is well presented and provides a reasonable amount of reference for the modeller on each subject, again within the confines available in the title. The photographs provided in the book are a mixture of period specific and some museum exhibits. The photographs are well captioned, and are of good quality.


In these days of tight budgets for hobbies, the ability to purchase dedicated reference material is constrained, especially when you factor in the cost of models and materials. This title provides a good look at Operation Market Garden, with a decent number of photographs of the events therein. With the book then changing to a modelling title that provides reference on four specific subjects and also includes after market materials available, and also shows examples of built models, and all of that is offered currently at £11.89 which is going to be damn hard to beat.



You may also like