This is a completely new take on Operation "Market Garden", based on the newest and most comprehensive research into primary sources to date on this epic battle.
The indepth research made by the author has resulted in many myths and misconceptions being convincingly dispelled, backed up by detailed source notes. In fact, these two volumes form a completely new image of the battle in the Netherlands in the autumn of 1944.
It was Cornelius Ryan who in 1974 put "Market Garden" so to say "on the map". However, it is obvious that he had no time to go through his vast collection of first-hand material on "Market Garden" before he so sadly passed away that same year. This is a mission that Christer Bergström has taken upon himself.
A torrent of new books about "Market Garden" has been published since 1974, and many of its authors - all included - have done meritorious work in producing new research. But it appears quite obvious that nobody has previously tried to go through The Cornelius Ryan Collection in its entirety in order to publish to the public the important pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that Ryan produced but was never able to use in his book. But now it has been done, for the first time, in this book by Christer Bergström.
Bergström has made a painstaking research work for several years, interviewing veterans and others who participated or witnessed the battle. He has gone through all relevant documents in all relevant archives in the UK, the USA, Germany and the Netherlands, and that material forms the basis of his book.
But even more so: Cross-referencing both sides' documents is absolutely crucial to form an opinion that is as close to the actual events as possible.
The major part of the archive material about the Second World War in official collections has now been made accessible, but this has obviously not been enough - for several reasons. To begin with, we have the fact that the German side destroyed most of its remaining military documents at the end of the war. Even if Germany's Bundesarchiv has an impressive collection of documents from the Second World War at its disposal, it only constitutes a small part of the German military documents that were produced during the war. This is especially true for the last years of the war. In order to get as good an image as possible from the German side, I have during the last few decades had access to large quantities of first-hand material (documents from the war) from private collections - veterans, veterans' associations, collectors, etc.
These books are a must-read to anyone interested in Operation "Market Garden", and who does not want to miss out on newly-revealed knowledge of this fascinating sequence of the Second World War.
Christer Bergström enjoys the reputation of being one of the world's foremost experts on the Second World War. He has published 31 books on the subject, most of them in English. Through his indepth research work, he has moved the borders of our knowledge forward in many fields - e.g. the Ardennes offensive, the Battle of Britain, the Eastern Front. Now the turn has come to Operation Market Garden.
All previous published accounts of Operation "Market Garden" end the main story with the evacuation of the British airborne troops from Oosterbeek - which obscures the fact that Operation "Market Garden" at that time was still to be regarded as essentially a great success. It was only due to the following development of events (including the battle at Overloon in October 1944) that meant that the strategic success of the operation could not be utilized to end the war before the turn of the year 1944.