Hardback with dustjacket. First published in the UK in August 2014 by "Ian Allan Publishing".
Printer N/K. Written by Robert Kershaw. ISBN number 9780711037540.
Robert Kershaw follows up his best-selling account of the Battle of Arnhem from
German eyes - It Never Snows in September - to focus on the experiences the Dutch civilians and British
and German soldiers in one street fighting to survive at the heart of one of the most intense battles
of World War 2. A Street in Arnhem tells the story of the battle of Arnhem in September 1944 from the
perspective of what could be seen or heard from the Utrechtseweg, a road that runs seven kilometres from
the Arnhem railway station west to Oosterbeek. This stretch of road saw virtually every major event during
the fighting for Arnhem during Operation Market-Garden in September 1944. The story is about the disintegration
of a wealthy Dutch suburb caught up unexpectedly in the war it had escaped for so long. The war had thus far
been kind to Oosterbeek and its swift liberation on 17th September suggested they might well escape the
abject misery inflicted on so many other unfortunate European communities. The book charts the steady
destruction of a well established and exclusive rural community, where wealthy Dutch holiday makers had
relaxed enjoying its rural delights before the war. It was a popular hotel destination. The destruction of
this pretty village is charted through the eyes of British, Polish and German soldiers fighting amid its
confused and horrified Dutch inhabitants. It portrays a collage of human experiences, sights, sounds, visceral fears
and emotion as ordinary people seek to cope when their street is so suddenly and unexpectedly overwhelmed in a savage battle,
in which the heaviest weapons of the day were employed. Robert Kershaw's new research reveals the extent to which
most people in this battle, whether soldiers or civilians, saw only what was immediately happening to them.
They had virtually no idea of what was going on around them. It offers a unique picture of a stable community coping
with a disaster progressing through joy, shock, horror, resignation and then despair as their lives are irrevocably ruined
by the conflagration bursting over them. Many original Dutch, German and English accounts have been unearthed through interviews,
diary accounts and letters. Post combat reports have been discovered charting the same incidents from both sides as well giving
the Dutch civilian perspective. The story is told as a docudrama following the fortunes of a number of British, Polish,
German and Dutch characters, within a gripping narrative format. This tale will resonate with any reader.
Holland had not witnessed conflict since the Napoleonic wars. What happens when your street, where you have lived
for generations is suddenly overwhelmed by conflict? A Street in Arnhem tells that story and provides some of the answers.
Colonel Robert Kershaw was born in 1950, studied history at Reading University and joined the Parachute Regiment in 1972
fulfilling numerous regimental appointments until selected to command the 10th Battalion (10 Para).
He attended the German Staff College spending a further two years with the Bundeswehr as an infantry, airborne
and arctic warfare instructor. He speaks fluent German and has extensive experience with NATO, Multinational operations
and all aspects of operations and training. His active service includes several tours in Northern Ireland,
the First Gulf War and Bosnia. He has exercised in many parts of the world and served in the Middle East and Africa.
During the Gulf War he was appointed L/Lt Col acting as the Liaison Officer between the Corps Commander
and the UK Armoured Division and participated in the invasion of Iraq with the Forward Tactical Corps Headquarters.
He was subsequently awarded the US Bronze Star. At present he is finishing his final army appointment with the
Intelligence Division at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Robert Kershaw's The Tank Men tells the story both of the
British soldiers who trained for, drove and fought in tanks during the Second World War, and the German tank men
who fought against them. It was sold to Hodder & Stoughton who will publish in 2008 as a lead non-fiction title.
He has also written four highly praised books of military history which have been published in the UK, USA, Germany,
Poland and Russia. In addition Robert Kershaw has appeared on BBC radio and been interviewed in two TV documentaries.
He has published a number of magazine and newspaper articles including The Times, Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph
and Daily Telegraph. On departing the army in 2006 he became a free-lance author and military commentator.
He will also be taking up an academic appointment with the War Studies staff at Sandhurst.
Robert Kershaw is married and has three sons. His chief interests are military history, the cinema, sailing, skiing and running.