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A Bridge Too Far

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  16,258 ratings  ·  277 reviews

A Bridge Too Far is Cornelius Ryan's masterly chronicle of the Battle of Arnhem, which marshalled the greatest armada of troop-carrying aircraft ever assembled and cost the Allies nearly twice as many casualties as D-Day.

In this compelling work of history, Ryan narrates the Allied effort to end the war in Europe in 1944 by dropping the combined airborne forces of the Ameri

Hardcover, 670 pages
Published 1975 by Book Club Associates (first published January 1st 1974)
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Cornelius Ryan has a knack for writing military histories that are incredibly accessible. I'm a far cry from being an “armchair general.” I didn't grow up playing Risk, and my primary point of reference for distinguishing between aircraft carriers and destroyers is the number of pegs required to sink them in the game Battleship (and even then I manage to mix them up). Don't get me wrong, Ryan's trio of WWII accounts (The Longest Day, The Last Battle , and A Bridge Too Far ) tell you who ...more
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I found this a terrific rendition of a disastrous Allied campaign in World War 2 to break through into Germany at Arnheim in the Netherlands in September 1944. Prior to the time it was published in 1974, the Market Garden failure hadn’t received much attention by historians. In terms of scope, its massive deployment of over 40,000 airborne troops delivered by parachute and glider was larger than used in D-Day or in Italy. The incursion of 15-17,000 Allied casualties made it a costly disappointme ...more
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Hippo dari Hongkong
"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
Bob Mayer
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A classic. Required reading for every military person. What's amazing is how almost this exact plan was war-gamed prior to the war and failed exactly like the real plan failed. I've been looking into Airborne operations lately as I just wrote a scene where one of my characters parachutes into France on D-Day-- the biggest drop ever. I went through jump school a long time ago-- let's say I saw Alien in the post theater at Benning the night before my first jump-- and then served in the airborne in ...more
carl  theaker
May 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2

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.

Christopher Carbone
May 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
The title says it all
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
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
A gripping, compelling and well-researched history of the battle. The narrative is cohesive, easy to follow, and very readable, and Ryan moves smoothly from the highest to lowest ranks.

Ryan clearly and vividly writes how the battle was experienced by soldiers and civilians, and he really captures the drama of the battle and the courage and tenacity of the airborne troops. He also explains how Allied aerial reconnaissance was unable to spot the German panzer divisions, how the drop zones were se
Mar 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: meus-libertados
This is a history book that reads like a novel. Even though the battle recounted here took place well before I was born, I feel deeply indebted to the men who fought so bravely and bittered for the bad planning that led so many to suffering and death. And I also feel sad that history tends to be so quickly forgotten... I have registered this book at Bookcrossing and will release it tomorrow to a friend who happens to have family in the vicinity of Arnhem. We had plans to visit the area the next ...more
Feb 06, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Hippo dari Hongkong
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
History if written without care can be terribly tedious. This person on this date at this time did this thing and that other person over at this place at another time did that thing etc. The author here does and excellent job connecting you to the people that went through the events he writes about. He puts it into context of the broader picture of the war and yet while understanding the big picture you feel what the man on the ground feels and experiences along with them in little stories scatt ...more
Shane Evans
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 16, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
It really picked up around page 450.
Amazing. Simply amazing. The 1st Airborne, the 101st, the 82nd, and the Polish Airborne made a daring attempt to end the war early. A drop into Holland the veer around the retreating Germans. An audacious but risky operation. The largest airborne drop of the war. Unfortunately they landed in the midst of a retreating army as well as two SS Panzer divisions. The paratroopers held as long as possible for the meetup of the XXX Armored Corps, bur Model's troops held them up far too long. Ultimately ...more
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an extraordinary work of war journalism, the best I've ever read. A war correspondent, Cornelius Ryan spent decades after WWII interviewing 1200 people including President Eisenhower and Allied and Axis generals and soldiers as well as members of the Dutch underground in order to preserve the history of the failed Market-Garden campaign, which cost more Allied lives (17,000) than the Normandy invasion (12,000). The result is 600 pages of awe-inspiring, poignant, funny, ridiculous and tra ...more
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, war
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
Dhiraj Sharma
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Phan Ba
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Một trong ba tác phẩm nổi tiếng của Cornelius Ryan về Đệ Nhị Thế Chiến. "A Bridge Too Far" viết về Chiến dịch market Garden, cho tới nay là chiến dịch nhảy dù lớn nhất nhưng cũng gây tranh cãi nhiều nhất. Cây cầu quá xa là cây cầu qua sông Rhein ở Arnhem (Hà Lan) mà Sư đoàn 1 Nhảy dù của Anh quốc đã không giữ được vì không có viện quân. Chỉ riêng Sư đoàn này, trong số 20.000 người nhảy dù xuống quanh Arnhem, chỉ còn chừng 2000 người đã trở về sau chiến dịch. Quân đội Đồng Minh đã tổn thất tổng c ...more
Walter Wolfgramm
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wwii, history
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
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
David B
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military
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
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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
“It began to seem that the generals had got us into something they had no business doing.” 6 likes
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