The Battle of the Bridges

The 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment in Operation Market Garden

Frank van Lunteren

Operation Market Garden has been recorded as a complete Allied failure in World War II, an overreach that resulted in an entire airborne division being destroyed at its apex. However, within that operation were episodes of heroism that still remain unsung.
Publication date:
August 2014
Publisher :
Casemate Publishers
Language:
English
Illustration :
16pp photos
Format Available     Quantity Price
Hardback
ISBN : 9781612002323

Dimensions : 229 X 152 cm
-
+
£25.00
eBook (ePub)
ISBN : 9781612002330

Adobe Digital Editions is needed to download and view eBooks

Out of stock

£4.99
Unfortunately, due to sales rights restrictions, we cannot offer The Battle of the Bridges for sale in your country.

Overview
-

• A deadly daylight amphibious assault across the Waal River to secure the north end of the Highway Bridge in Nijmegen, Holland, crucial to the success of Operation Market-Garden.

Operation Market Garden has been recorded as a complete Allied failure in World War II, an overreach that resulted in an entire airborne division being destroyed at its apex. However, within that operation were episodes of heroism that still remain unsung.

On September, 17, 1944, the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, floated down across the Dutch countryside, in the midst of German forces, and proceeded to fight their way to vital bridges to enable the Allied offensive to go forward. The 101st Airborne was behind them; the British 1st Airbourne was far advanced. In the 82nd's sector the crucial conduits needed to be seized.

The Germans knew the importance of the bridge over the Waal River at Nijmegen as well as James Gavin and his 82nd troopers did. Thus began a desperate fight for the Americans to seize it, no matter what the cost. The Germans would not give, however, and fought tenaciously in the town and fortified the bridge. On September 20 Gavin turned his paratroopers into sailors and conducted a deadly daylight amphibious assault in small plywood and canvas craft across the Waal River to secure the north end of the highway bridge in Nijmegen. German machine guns and mortars boiled the water on the crossing, but somehow a number of paratroopers made it to the far bank. Their ferocity thence rolled up the German defenses, and by the end of day the bridge had fallen.

This book draws on a plethora of previously unpublished sources to shed new light on the exploits of the"Devils in Baggy Pants” by Dutch author and historian Frank van Lunteren. A native of Arnhem—the site of "The Bridge too Far”—the author draws on nearly 130 interviews he personally conducted with veterans of the 504th, plus Dutch civilians and British and German soldiers, who here tell their story for the first time.

REVIEWS

'Frank Van Lunteren has crafted a superb book … [he] should be considered as the authority on the subject of the World War II 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He has interviewed countless veterans of the regiment and has dug deeply to find previously little known accounts of the actions of the participants in the regiment's combat … In addition to his great narrative, Frank has included a number of previously unpublished photographs of the 504th, the bridges, and the battlefields in the book. The Battle of the Bridges adds greatly to the known information of the regiment and of this battle. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the World War II history of the United States Army's airborne forces.' -- Phil Nordyke, author and historian
Phil Nordyke

'The Battle of the Bridges is a seminal contribution to the gloried history and daring exploits of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment during Operation Market Garden, with special focus on the suicidal daylight crossing of the Waal River and subsequent capture of the bridges in Nimegen. ... Frank Van Lunteren's suspenseful writing compels the reader to share the intimate, desperate, unbelievable struggles of American soldiers fighting, bleeding, and dying to free Holland from years of pernicious Nazi occupation. In so doing, Van Lunteren reaffirms his stature among the very best military historians documenting the U. S. 82nd Airborne during WWII. One hopes that the remaining four volumes he is writing about the 504th will maintain the same high level of artful military history presented here.' -- James Louis Holt, Ph.D.
James Holt

'A review cannot do justice to this book -- it must be read!' -- Col. William E. Weber, USA Ret, publisher of The Airborne Review
The Airborne Review