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A Bridge Too Far: The Classic History of the Greatest Battle of World War II
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A Bridge Too Far: The Classic History of the Greatest Battle of World War II

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  10,183 ratings  ·  171 reviews
Here is Cornelius Ryan's masterly chronicle of the greatest armada of troop-carrying aircraft ever assembled for a single battle -- culminating in the most grandiose and devastatingly tragic struggle of World War II.

Now in a new edition for the 50th anniversary of VE Day, A Bridge Too Far tells the classic story of the battle of Arnhem, one of the most dramatic battles of
ebook, 672 pages
Published February 16th 2010 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 1974)
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Shivam Chaturvedi
Sep 20, 2014 Shivam Chaturvedi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: WWII Enthusiasts
Shelves: favorites, ww2, history
What an absolutely monumental piece of work from Cornelius Ryan! 'Operation Market-Garden' - the subject matter of this book was the Allies' failed attempt to seize a bridgehead over the famed Rhine river and use it as a springboard into Nazi Germany, thereby bringing a quick and decisive end to the war after the successful Normandy invasion. I first heard of it while playing this game called 'Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts'. This was several years ago and this book has been on my 'to-read' ...more
Nov 17, 2014 Checkman rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in military history
As others have pointed out before A Bridge Too Far was something of a ground-breaker. Operation Market-Garden was a forgotten battle in the annals of World War II. Forgotten by all except those who fought it in it (both sides) and those who survived it (soldiers and civilians). Yes there had been a few books and a couple films about the failed operation. In 1954 Clark Gable starred in a movie called Betrayed that blamed the failure on a traitor within the Dutch resistance which made for great dr ...more
Idle Hippo
"Fantastic but unrealistic."
That's Eisenhower's first reaction and opinion upon hearing Montgomery's plan regarding Operation Market Garden.

"Fantastic and realistic!"
That's Erie's (hey, that's me!) first reaction and opinion after he finished this book :D

IMHO, this book remarkably evokes "what happened" behind one of the biggest military gambling in history. Ryan fastidiously portrays the ambitious plans which resulted in more Allies casualties than the entire Normandy landing.

In S
A.L. Sowards
The detailed, well-written story of Montgomery's uncharacteristicly daring plan to force open a path through Holland into Germany and end the war by Christmas, and how that plan failed. Montgomery, defending himself, pointed out that the Allies reached 90% of their objectives. Unfortunately, a road that takes you only 90% of the way to your destination is useless, and in this case, tragically expensive in terms of causalities. I wouldn't have minded a few more details about the 101st and 82nd ai ...more
Mr. Cornelius Ryan notes in his Acknowledgements as an author of contemporary history even 30 years after the event it was difficult to assemble the account of the Market-Garden operation. He did an amazing job capturing individuals' remembrances and thoughts - insights that we can only dream of being able to capture today. Bridge Too Far: The Classic History of the Greatest Airborne Battle of World War II is a wonderfully written account of this classic airborne assault of Holland during WWII. ...more
Christopher Carbone
May 31, 2009 Christopher Carbone rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: books about the bad guys winning
Probably the best book written about a single operation in WWII, A Bridge Too Far chronicles the ambitious plan of Montgomery to airlift troops into Holland, capture the bridges and cross the Rhine, culminating in the defeat of the German Panzer units on the other side. It was and still is one of the greatest Allied defeats of World War II.

Many plans begin with the chilling phrase, "Home By Christmas." Well, this was the ultimate "Home By Christmas" plan and ended ingloriously. The book details
Much like Ryan’s excellent book, The Longest Day, this work about World War II alternately presents the perspectives of the Germans and the Allies during a critical initiative in 1944. The time is September, three months after D-Day, and the Allies have retaken France and Belgium and are poised along a line on the western boarder of Germany and the Belgium-Holland boarder. Holland awaits liberation, and Montgomery, chafing under the direction of Eisenhower, wants to initiate a lightening thrust ...more
Simply one of the best military histories out there. Mr. Ryan's last book was his masterpiece. He got the pathos and the tragedy of Market Garden right, and he lays the blame squarely where it belonged. At the feet of Field Marshal Sir Bernard Law Montgomery. The plan was flawed, and trying to run an entire corps up a road that was barely one tank wide should have been enough to kill the it was, it was not, and some 8000 British paras, along with thousands of Americans and Dutch civil ...more
Idle Hippo
Edisi aslinya gue kasih bintang lima tapi untuk buku ini bintang empat aja deh. Semata-mata karena ini buku versi abridged dan unsur "fun" dalam gaya bahasa terjemahannya yang bikin nyengir. Kalo ini buku ini terbitnya tahun 2000an dijamin gue bakal ngasi bintang satu buat bahasa yang rada2 kacau balau:D Jadi inget review-nya buku perang yang laen dari seorang Jendral di rumah sebelah yang ngadat ngerasa dikibulin penerbit ampe dia minta duitnya dibalikin lagi , hihihihi *tiaraaaaaap ~ takut dil ...more
This book is well done and amazing. It is better than the movie. I began reading while stationed with the 533rd CEWI BN in Germany as our team prepared for the Nijmegen march in Netherlands. The march is 160 kilometeres 40kmX4 days and has been held in Nijmegen since 1916. For U.S. military teams in uniform with a weighted rucksack it has come to commemorate the soldiers that were involved in Operation Market Garden. Good book among many on the subject.
carl  theaker

Great tale of Market Garden. A few year later when they were filming
the flic in Holland, I just happened to be there checking out the
forrests where divisions Hohenstauffen and Frundsberg had been
hiding. I heard they were asking for extras to be soldiers and
I raced to the site, but no luck for me. Still a great related

Also check out 'It Never Snows in September' a great book from
the German perspective of this battle.

It really picked up around page 450.
Other than the main characters and events in Arnhem it's sometimes hard to keep the large number names and units and also the Dutch geography straight, as the narrative skips back and forth between them in order keep the chronology in order.

The author is pretty good about being impartial, and did a great deal of work interviewing surviving Germans. There is still something of bias towards attributing actions like the shooting soldiers attempting to surrender to malice when the Germans were repo
This account of Operation Market-Garden is considered a classic for a reason. This a pretty comprehensive take on what probably the most complex combined-arms operation of the Second World War. The narrative is well organized, covering all three airborne divisions' actions, leading armored units of Montgomery's 2nd Army, the German forces that opposed them, and the Dutch civilians caught in-between. Even with all this information, the writing is very accessible.

Operation Market-Garden itself was
The celebrated, exhaustive story of the ill-fated invasion of Holland by the Allies in September, 1944. Mr. Ryan left no stone unturned in researching this book. All written work, government records, and interviews with seemingly every living survivor he could find, both Allied and German. His work is staggering in its thoroughness, and unlike many efforts of this kind, the final product emerges as readable and even exciting. He has managed to shape all his data into a coherent narrative, and t ...more
Shane Evans
My favorite war movie is "A Bridge Too Far." Made in the late 70's, it starred everyone and their cat from both sides of the pond: Michael Caine, Robert Redford, Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Elliot Gould. The list goes on and on. Even Sir Lawrence Olivier is in it.

What is not to love about the movie! The allies have this great plan to catch the Nazis by surprise and end the war by xmas. The movie recreates the largest airborne drop ever. Watching all those planes and gliders flying over the c
Walter Wolfgramm
I think this is a great book for me because its mainly about War.This book is great because it includes the army my Great Grandpa was in the Nazi's,but he left to Tonga to get away from the War.War is my favorite topic because it includes alot of history, he is something that were in the book.A Bridge Too Far by the late Irish-American journalist Cornelius Ryan is the third in a series of books written about the major battles of the Second World War in Europe. In dramatic fashion, A Bridge Too F ...more
You can feel the tragedy brewing the whole time.

This is the history of Operation Market Garden, the largest airborne military operation up to that point in WWII. Almost 35,000 troops were to parachute or arrive in gliders along a narrow corridor through the Netherlands. They were to capture numerous bridges which would allow ground forces to sweep up the corridor and make it over the Rhine river. After that, the allied forces would have a straight shot into the industrial heart of Germany and h
Dhiraj Sharma
A Bridge Too Far is the 2nd Epic by Cornelius Ryan (the first being "The Longest Day" based on Normandy landings of 6 June 1944)

Ryan follows the same working principle of conducting several interviews from personnel from both ends of the fighting sides and converting these into a lucidly written narrative of actual war, the technique which worked to perfection in the Longest Day.

The book basically covers the Allied Operation called "Operation Market Garden" in which Allied Top Brass landed thous
Tells the story Operation Market Garden, one of the bigggest US-British offensives of WW II. The primary objective was to gain control of a major bridge across the Rhine at Arnhem in Holland that would allow an immediate land invasion into Germany before winter. Land forces could not accomplish this because they had outrun allied supply lines which still ran back to Normandy. Antwerp, a major port, was in allied hands but the approaches to the port and the Schelde remained in German control allo ...more
David B
Cornelius Ryan presents the story of Operation Market-Garden with a scholar's attention to detail and a novelist's attention to human drama. Following D-Day, General Montgomery undertook a daring push to enter Germany and force its surrender. Paratroopers were dropped in advance to secure important bridges and hold them until ground forces arrived. Unfortunately, German resistance was far greater than anticipated and the route itself was often too narrow or inadequate in other ways, making the p ...more
This book covers Operation Market-Garden exceptionally well. Coming from someone with barely any previous knowledge of the operation prior to this read, the book does a great job explaining all the key players, the overall big-picture of the plan, and the individual experiences of the units and soldiers to the point that even WWII beginners like me can comprehend. Although it took me awhile to complete due to unavoidable circumstances, I found myself captivated by the book and looked forward to ...more
Armin Hennig
wer den Film, dessen Verlauf dem Einsatz von zahlreichen kassenträchtigen Stars Rechnung tragen musste, insgesamt enttäuschend fand, wird hier sicherlich besser bedient.Die Zusammenhänge sind gut aufgezeigt, die Zeugnisse über den fehlgeschlagenen Versuch den zweiten Weltkrieg ein Dreivierteljahr früher zu beenden, sind natürlich von wechselhafter Qualität. Es gibt Partien, die zum besten an Kriegsdarstellung gehören, aber auch ein paar ziemlich dürre Zweige, insbesondere der Abbruch des Unterne ...more
This is the rugged, true and tragic history of Operation: Marketgarden. Mr. Ryan does a grand job of introducing us to the men involved in this operation, from the generals down to the cooks. The only trouble is that this is the largest operation of World War II and there are just too darn many of them to keep straight. So you just have to slog forward (somewhat like they did) and trust in the author. With that in mind, you are treated to the grand sweep of the plan, the infeasibility of key par ...more
This is the second book in Ryan's great, great, great trilogy that started with The Longest Day, June 6, 1944 and ended with The Last Battle. I can not recommed this any greater than to say I think it is just the best ever written about this battle wich was considered an utter failure. But the effort of the allies was brave and their courage outstanding. At the end of the book Ryan lists every participant that he interviewed and gives what they were doing at the time of the interview.
Too many variables...too many variables. If the weather had been perfect, the potential of the Dutch support (in both intel and subversive ops) encouraged, and a few less fortuitous movements made on the Germans, it very well could have been a completely different story. It is amazing how strong personalities in conflicts can drive tremendous results, both good and bad. I think these aspects were well captured by Cornelius Ryan, as well as the way the fog of war impacted all participants.
Ali Ahmad
A true story lost somewhere in the realms of history, recapitulated in detail by Cornelius Ryan in his most exhilarating book, A Bridge Too Far. A disaster so profound that the Allies choose to ignore the largest airborne attack in the history of warfare, that ended in vain. A true story told so perfectly that it dampens all the victory stories of World War 2.To any one having a taste for good books I will strongly suggest perusing A Bridge Too Far.
A Classic!!!! Both the book which was later made into a movie. This book tells of the Allied effort to end the war in September 1944 by a joint airborne force of American and British paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines to capture a crucial bridge across the Rhine in Arnhem. Operation Market Garden as it was called, Was the largest armada of troop-carrying aircraft ever assembled and cost the Allies nearly twice as many casualties as D-Day.
Well I think everyone has probably seen the film. So I was intrigued to see if the book and the historical analysis was a more complete view. Well I can say that it truly was. Cornelius Ryan is an excellent historian. His level of detail and coverage of this campaign is excellent and shows how they could create such a good film of the story.

As always with a WW2 book it is important that the book covers the story from both sides of the battles and in this respect Cornelius Ryan's research was exc
The ultimate book on that deeply flawed operation with Paratroopers that failed at the bridge at Arnhem. ANd as a consequense the Northern part of the Netherlands remained in German hands for another winter (the Hungerwinter).

About the brave men and women that lived through this chapter of WOII that is still remembered today.

The writing is a bit dry but the story is well told.
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  • The Great Escape
  • It Never Snows in September: The German View of Market-Garden and the Battle of Arnhem, September 1944
  • Six Armies in Normandy: From D-Day to the Liberation of Paris; June 6 - Aug. 5, 1944
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  • Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck
Ryan was born in Dublin. After finishing his education Ryan moved to London in 1940, and became a war correspondent for ''The Daily Telegraph'' in 1941.

He initially covered the air war in Europe during WW II, flew along on fourteen bombing missions with the Eighth Air Force and Ninth Air Force United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), then joined General Patton's Third Third Army and covered its act
More about Cornelius Ryan...
The Longest Day The Last Battle A Private Battle Conquest: 2 Longest Day: The D-Day Story, June 6th, 1944: The D-Day Story, June 6th, 1944

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“It began to seem that the generals had got us into something they had no business doing.” 5 likes
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