1st Edition HB 2010

abundance of valor

Hardback. First published in the US in 2010 by "Presidio Press". Printer N/K.
Written by Will Irwin. ISBN number 9780345501769.
Allied special operations units fight and flounder in the ill-fated Market-Garden
offensive in this colourful but unfocused WWII picaresque. Former Special Forces fighter
Irwin (The Jedburghs) recounts the exploits of three-man Jedburgh Teams sent into
German-occupied Holland to organize Dutch resistance fighters in support of General
Montgomery's infamous bridge too far debacle. The author focuses on two Americans:
Lt. Harvey Allan Todd, who was taken prisoner by the Germans at Arnhem,
and Maj. John Olmsted, who organized a secret intelligence network behind enemy lines.
There's not much shape or significance to these largely unrelated plot lines,
which concern some of the most ill-conceived and useless operations of the war.
Olmsted lost important enemy plans; in Todd's case, an American rescue force is
captured by the Germans and imprisoned in the very POW camp it was supposed to liberate.
Still, the author vividly recounts many varieties of WWII experience: blood-and-guts
combat set pieces; a tense espionage thriller; and a harrowing captivity narrative.
Irwin's angle on the oft-told Market-Garden fiasco doesn't make for a grand epic,
just a collection of well-told war stories.