Bog, paperback The Battle of the Bridges af Frank Van Lunteren

The Battle of the Bridges

- The 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment in Operation Market Garden

(Bog, paperback)

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, 1... Læs mere

Operation Market Garden has been recorded as a complete Allied failure in World War II, an overreach that resulted in an entire airborne division bein... Læs mere


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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This book draws on a plethora of previously unpublished sources to shed new light on the exploits of the ?Devils in Baggy Pants?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.


"Through years of painstaking research and close contact with 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment veterans, Frank van Lunteren has added much to our understanding of Market Garden. On these pages, the human story comes to life, sometimes tragic, sometimes amusing, but always poignant and compelling."

It is rare to find such an engrossing book as Frank van Lunteren?s ?The Battle of the Bridges.? Anyone who wants to read firsthand experiences of one of the most amazing actions in the western European Theater of the Second World War must get this book. ? Doug McCabe, curator of the Cornelius Ryan Collection

?Battle of the Bridges? provides an exhaustively researched account of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment?s exploits during Operation Market Garden. The legendary crossing of the Waal river to seize the Nijmegen bridges is covered in exceptional detail.
Steven Zaloga, Author of US Airborne Divisions in the ETO" and his most recent "The Devil's Garden: Rommel's Desperate Defense of Omaha Beach on D-Day"

A review cannot do justice to this book-it must be read! For those familiar with the actions of America's airborne soldiery, you will have your beliefs revitalized! Would any other airborne regiment of the U.S. Army have done as well- perhaps- but in this case it was the 504th - and to it must go the laurels of "the Battle of the Bridges"!
Airborne Quarterly

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. Combining historical research with extended personal interviews of both American, British, and German soldiers and Dutch civilians, 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. ...reaffirms his stature among the very best military historians documenting the U. S. 82nd Airborne during WWII. ... As the nephew of Pvt. Louis P. Holt, Company H, 3rd Regiment, 504th, who died crossing the Waal in one of those pathetic canvas boats, I can only express my admiration and appreciation to Frank for his ongoing efforts to ensure that all those who fought, and especially the many who died, during the battle of the bridges, remain forever alive, forever heroic, and forever exemplary models to future generations.
James Louis Holt, Ph.D.

... a superb book about the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment's role in Operation Market Garden. Today, Frank 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. As a result, his narrative in this book is full of new first person accounts of the battles fought by the regiment to capture the Grave Bridge, which spanned the Maas River, as well as a vital lock bridge on the Maas-Waal Canal on the first day of the operation, and subsequent capture of the northern ends of the two massive bridges across the Waal River in Nijmegen after an epic crossing of the river under extremely intense enemy fire. In addition, Frank's narrative provides the reader with multiple perspectives where available from veterans who participated in the same action, which many readers such as myself value and appreciate, although others might find the repetition to be not to their liking. 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. I can hardly wait for Frank's upcoming companion books about the 504th's other campaigns as I am sure they will be excellent as well.

Phil Nordyke, Author and Historian

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