A new interpretation of the wider military context of the doomed operation features previously unpublished photographs and documents Using first hand accounts and official records, this history examines the legend of the Waal Crossing and the truth behind it, revealing how a culture of elitism mixed with national and personal rivalries led to arguably the greatest Allied defeat of the war. On September 20, 1944, U.S. paratroopers launched a desperate, near suicidal river-crossing in an effort to reach their airborne brethren trapped at Arnhem, only to see their efforts squandered by British tank crews who, instead of racing ahead, sat down to drink tea. The story of the Waal crossing—as told by American veterans of the operation—has become a part of the Arnhem legend, a legend of airborne heroism set against the timidity of the armored forces sent to relieve them; of American professionalism wasted by British incompetence. This history investigates what really happened, and why the operation was even necessary?
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Tim Lynch is a freelance writer, specializing in history and travel. He is a regular contributor to magazines such as Britain at War and Military Illustrated and is the author of Battlefield Archaeology, Silent Skies, and Dunkirk 1940: Whereabouts Unknown.
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