The Battle of Arnhem in September 1944 has been much publicised, with its extraordinary
parachute drop and the gallant defence by Frost's few men of the bridge at Arnhem.
However, its relative failure left the Allies holding a 30-mile stretch with the enemy
firmly entrenched on both sides. The village of St Oedenrode was liberated on 18 September,
but Allied troops did not capture Schijndel, four miles away, until 23 October.
The Arnhem debacle left vast stretches of Holland to the left and right of the salient
occupied by enemy forces, strategically placed to menace any future plans. These areas of
Holland had to be cleared by Allied troops in platoon or company strength, fighting in tight
situations against bitter skilled resistance, losing one or two casualties at a time.
There was none of the awesome and inspirational massing of troops and armour as seen in the
battle for Normandy, for Arnhem itself, or in the Battle of the Bulge yet to come.
Interweaving narrative with eyewitness accounts of British, Canadian and Polish troops,
Ken Tout reveals how these men suffered and died on a scale far exceeding the casualties
of the immediate assault on Arnhem.