Historian Robin Neillands gets to the truth of what really happened. He examines the often difficult relationships between the Allied generals and the nature of Eisenhower's exercise of his role as Supreme Commander. With superb battle narratives throughout and clear analysis of success and failure at every point, the author casts a new and informed light on the long-drawn-out and costly struggle for the Rhine.
©2005 Robin Neillands; (P)2005 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Thoroughly researched...Neillands's volume has a place in any collection serving World War II history students and buffs." (Booklist)
I have purchased literally 100 books from audible.com and this is the first review I have written. I felt compelled to comment on this books outrageous inaccuracies and blatant biases. This is more a work of fiction or wishful thinking then an accurate historical text. I am open-minded about the nature of military histories and that there can be several valid points of view, especially sixty years after the fact. I do not want to perpetuate national stereo types but this book is nothing more than anti-American/pro-British propaganda.
This was not an inexpensive purchase and I am regretful that I did not wait to read user reviews before I bought it. There were none available at the time because it was a new release. The author calls American historians pathologically sycophantic to American generalship and its accomplishments. I have known many British military officers and found them mostly realistic about American contribution to the Second World War in all areas of warfare (Logistics, Manpower and Generalship). This author perpetuates the perception that the British suffer delusions of relevancy. They lament the loss of empire and continually admonish the US anti imperial positions.
That said, I will try to be specific about the outrageous claims made by the author. He claims that the British planned Operation Market Garden was a failure because of the 82nd Airbornes failure to capture the key bridge in their assigned sector in a timely manner.
He claims that the British 30th Corp had to lend armor support to the 82nd to complete its assigned objectives. He states that this caused 30th Corp an unnecessary delay which led to the annihilation of the British 1st Airborne division. The amount of armor that assisted the 82nd amounted to a handful of tanks and not the entire Corp (his words). They could have easily pushed on to relive the British 1st Airborne.
Having read many historical books about wars (Tuchman, Ambrose, Davies, to name a few authors) I have to comment that while the details of offensives were quite enjoyable, I found the haranging and complaining throughout to be tiresome and weary.
The author has chosen this book to defend Montgomery, attack Eisenhower, Patton and Bradley and to explain multiple times that the US was not the only army that fought on the Allied side in WWII. His tone is whiny and grating.
I did enjoy the detailed insight into the Market Garden, Antwerp and Scheldt offenses and the forest east of Achen quite interesting.
I love military history without all the undertones of bitterness.
Naval Air Corps - (DC3, C118, P2V Neptune) 1965 - 1970
The author makes the case that, if everyone just listen to Montgomery, the war would have been won much sooner. Not! The tone of the entire book is a whine. I found no new facts only subjective sneers to Eisenhower, Bradly, Patton and on and on. Yawn; very snoring.
It is really difficult to condemn the actions that lead to victory, but this author does nothing but in this disappointing book. While he grudgingly admits that dear "Monty" was difficult to get along with, the author is certain, like many other armchair generals in Great Britain that he should have been given command of the European Theatre in WWII. How do you spell Market Garden -- the mistaken strategy that wasted precious lives and time? His extensive criticism of Eisenhower, who held it all together and made it work in the ETO is tiresome and his research work was hardly extensive. He took bit after bit out of context to make his point from a limited number of authors. The fact remains unassailable that American generals won the war that the British could not even fight alone. Spotty research and bizarre chauvinism make this book far less about the Battle of the Bulge than a pro-Montgomery diatribe.
While I agree that many books about World War 2 written from an American viewpoint are biased, this one takes the cake on the British side. Field Marshal Montgomery certainly was one of the great leaders of the war, but this book goes out of its way to defend him and belittle the Americans. In the main, it's an enjoyable listen. But when the author launches into one of his defensive rants, then I just had to tune out. Monty needs no defense, and Eisenhower and the other American commanders certainly are undeserving of the harsh criticism leveled by the author.
At least I now know that operation Market Garden failed because of the Americans and yet poor Monty got all the blame. This is a terrible accounting that ignores or distorts many documented facts.
Seeking objective history.
According to the author the Brits save the day for the Allies or they should have!
The narrator did a find job one of the few English spoke narrators who was ease to listen to.
Did presented critical of American Army actions with much true. ie Pattons disasterous attempt to rescue his POW son in law. But the way the arguement was woven reminds of lawyers defense arguments. Took a lot to sit throught the "stoey telling"
Though I did get tired of hearing the slanted view of events from the British perspective, the book was an excellent review of the events from the break out of Normandy through to the allies crossing the Rhine. The book goes into great detail the leadership decisions made by the allied generals and the bitterness between Montgomery and some of the American generals.
Is American history of WWII so pro-USA? I found it rather annoying, but I suppose it goes both ways. I can't say it was refreshing, but it was enlightening.
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