The following introduction if from Pen and Sword:
The 1944 Arnhem airborne operation, immortalized by the film A Bridge Too Far, will forever be remembered as a great British feat of arms. British and Polish paratroopers displayed outstanding courage and tenacity in a desperate last stand situation. And yet, as this book describes, the plan was fatally flawed as the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions were recuperating and concealed nearby. What followed was a bloody battle of attrition the result of which was arguably inevitable.
Drawing on rare and unpublished photographs, this Images of War series work reveals the historical combat record of the Hohenstaufen and Frundsberg divisions. It describes the intensity of the fighting in and around Arnhem between these elite SS and supporting units against a lightly armed yet equally determined enemy. In spite of the war being only months away from its end and the defeat increasingly certain, the SS soldier remained fanatically motivated.
This superbly illustrated book with its well-researched text and full captions captures the drama of that historic battle for a bridge over the Rhine.
This offering from Pen and Sword looks at the Waffen-SS at Arnhem during the period the paratroops were landed during Operation Market Garden. The author of this release is Ian Baxter and the book comes with a reasonably sturdy card cover protecting 112 pages of satin finish paper on the inside. The contents of the book are as follows:
Deployment on the Eastern and Western Fronts up to Summer 1944
Assessment of the German situation in Holland September 1944
Chapter 1 The Landings
Chapter 2 First Attacks
Chapter 3 Battle for Arnhem
Chapter 4 Retaking Arnhem
Each of the chapters in this title begin with a couple of pages of written text, covering the specific segment and can be considered more as introductory writing giving the reader an overview of the situation. The pictures of which are the main feature, the text itself is well written in English and while I myself are not going to learn a lot from the small amount of text, I do feel that it needs to be included to help give context to the photographs and break them up into logical portions.
The main body of the book is the large number of period photographs provided, with very few that I recognise from previous releases. The photos can be said to begin, by showing the men and equipment that the Paratroops would be facing, and gives you a good idea of how formidable the task before them was. The images of the parachute drop into Arnhem I am sure must have “put the wind up” the Germans, as the sheer number of parachutes and the gliders coming in is an impressive sight. None of the photographs in this title really show combat scenes, as I do not believe people have a chance to pick up a camera to start taking shots - with that said there are a good number of pictures taken during the conflict, showing the troops moving forward to take positions.
The images provided in this release should prove of great appeal to anyone into their dioramas and period settings, as some of the images in this title will make for excellent vignettes or large dioramas. Each of the photographs are provided with a reasonable sized caption, and while I cannot guarantee their accuracy I do feel they are an aspect of the Images of War series that gives great appeal.
This release covering the SS in Arnhem, covers many aspects of their lives, weapons and equipment and what could bring to bare against the enemy. I would have liked to have seen a few images of the Paratroopers in the title other than as prisoners, purely because they are an important aspect of what this book is about. With that said I cannot fault what is offered, and this should prove a particularly useful reference on uniform and the camouflage used.