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A Screaming Eagle in Holland: The Road to Arnhem
By Donald R. Burgett. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1999. 183 pp. $24.95.!
[Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) HAROLD E. RAUGH, Jr., United States Army]

The US Army 101st Airborne Division (the “Screaming Eagles”) was one of three Allied airborne divisions that conducted parachute and glider landings on 17 September 1944 along a sixty-mile road in Holland from Eindhoven north to the Rhine River town of Arnhem. The plan was that after key bridge sites on this road were secured by the paratroopers, the British XXX Corps was to pass through the airborne divisions and attack into Germany, thus flanking German forces in France in an attempt to thrust to Berlin to bring the war to a swift conclusion. Named Operation “Market Garden”, this brainchild of British Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery was poorly planned, feebly supported, and the ground element timidly led, resulting in failure. The anguish of this Allied defeat has been immortalized in a noteworthy book (by Cornelius Ryan) and on film as “a bridge too far”....more

The Bloody Road to Tunis: Destruction of the Axis Forces in North Africa, November 1942-May 1943
By David Rolf. London: Greenhill Books, 2001. 320 pp., $39.95 hardcover.
[Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) HAROLD E. RAUGH, Jr., United States Army]

The battle for Tunis, the final operation in the ferocious North African campaign of World War II, was truly “a furnace in which British and Americans, from the top brass to the humblest soldier, learned how to live, fight, and die together.” The Allied fighting machine forged in the harsh terrain and unforgiving weather of North Africa, against stalwart German defenders, laid the foundation for future battlefield success in Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany.

The Allied plan to defeat Axis forces in North Africa was relatively simple. German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's forces would be trapped between and annihilated by two advancing Allied armies. British Lieutenant General Bernard Montgomery's Eighth Army, launching a massive offensive at El Alamein on 23rd October 1942, would push Panzerarmee Afrika west, through the Egyptian and Libyan deserts. Landing at various locations in Morocco and Algeria in Operation Torch on 8th November 1942, Anglo-American forces (British 1st Army and US II Corps), after defeating Vichy French troops, would drive to the east and trap Rommel in Libya. For many reasons, including American inexperience, occasional poor British and American leadership, and an Allied underestimation of Axis speed, responsiveness, and defensive abilities, the final battle was fought not in Libya but in Tunisia.....more

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