Steel Wall At Arnhem

The Destruction of 4 Parachute Brigade 19 September 1944

David Truesdale

Publication date:
August 2016
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
221 photos & 3 maps
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781911096054

Dimensions : 245 X 170 mm
This book is temporarily out of stock.
ISBN : 9781911628446

Dimensions : 245 X 170 mm
This book is temporarily out of stock.


The deployment of the British 1st Airborne Division somewhere in Europe prior to the end of the War was indeed a case of ‘coins burning holes in the pockets of SHAEF'. The Allied High Command was anxious to commit to battle a Division that, while it contained some elite units, was not fully trained, had carried out only one divisional exercise and was contained several officers who were either unfit or unsuitable for Airborne command. On Monday 18 September 1944, the aircraft and gliders carrying the men and equipment of 4 Parachute Brigade took off from airfields in the south of England. For the first time from its creation in North Africa the Brigade was going into battle as a unified formation albeit not fully trained and far from experienced. Within 24 hours the Brigade would cease to exist, having achieved nothing more than the deaths of good men for no good reason. Despite the fine words of Winston Churchill that the operation had not been ‘in vain' and Montgomery's ‘90% successful', there is more logic to be found in the words of the Great War poet Wilfred Owen when he wrote in his poem Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori. There were those commanders who were indeed ‘ardent for some desperate glory'. This is a full account of the Brigade and its actions at Arnhem.


Some books tell of the exploits that made a difference to the wars. This one by David Truesdale tells a different story, one of utter futility despite the attempts by Churchill and Motgomery to try to persuade people that the operation had made a difference. Heroism of the first order, but at such a cost…
Books Monthly

...this book is a comprehensive and well-resourced account of the maelstrom that 4th Para Bde dropped into.

This work is extensively researched from primary sources in archives, and great pains have been taken to locate and tell the stories of individuals who were part of the Brigade, and this is a great strength of the work.
Society of Friends of the National Army Museum