Review:It Never Snows in September

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sniper1shot
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Review:It Never Snows in September

Post by sniper1shot » 06 Mar 2008 20:53

Title:It Never Snows in September
Authour: Robert J. Kershaw
Publisher: Ian Allan
ISBN: 1-885119-31-3
Stars: 5
(out of 5)

Well, I have heard a lot about this book over the pasts few years. For some reason I never found a copy when I actually did search for it. Found this copy at Aberdeen Book Store.
This book covers Operation Market Garden the Airborne landings in Holland in '44, you know the movie, A Bridge Too Far ?? Well, this book is it. As there are quite a few books on this topic I found this one really interesting as it is from the GERMAN side of the battle.
There are 25 chapters in 340pages with many photos spread through out the book. Many that I have not seen.
What I found interesting is that the authour made it easy to follow along w/each chapter by describing the scene as the Germans saw it. There are a few maps and air photos with descriptions of what unit is where and who is facing who. There are also quite a few quotes from German soldiers. I also liked the fact that these same soldiers are quoted/interviewed throughout so you get the feel of what they are seeing. These soldiers are either SS-Reg Army-Specialist (also a Brit POW during the battle) or Comd of a unit.
The book describes how the Germans were able to muster large units so fast and block the advances of the Allied Airborne units. It also states how these units faired in battle with the elite Allied soldiers and the huge losses in men and material due to improper planning and using "green"/inexperienced troops.
I found the book to be a fair and evenly balanced look at this particular battle and how and why it succeded and failed in certain areas for both the Allies and German forces.

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Dan W.
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Re: Review:It Never Snows in September

Post by Dan W. » 07 Mar 2008 00:44

Thanks for the review, I really like Kershaw, and have not read this book though I have heard about it, its on the "to read" list. Check out "War Without Garlands" by Kershaw, that's a really great book, using source material from both Soviet and German perspectives to describe in vivid detail the first year of Barbarossa

sniper1shot
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Re: Review:It Never Snows in September

Post by sniper1shot » 07 Mar 2008 04:33

Yes, I have that book too. I liked "It Never Snows...." better than "Garlands" though.

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Michael Emrys
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Re: Review:It Never Snows in September

Post by Michael Emrys » 07 Mar 2008 13:21

sniper1shot wrote:Yes, I have that book too. I liked "It Never Snows...." better than "Garlands" though.
Interesting. I read ...Garlands first, when it came out, and liked it very much. About a year later I got ...Snows... out of the library in great hopes. I took a look at it and decided it didn't interest me, so I never really read it. But maybe I will go back and give it a second look.

Michael

sniper1shot
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Re: Review:It Never Snows in September

Post by sniper1shot » 07 Mar 2008 19:00

I really liked the way that the authour "paints the picture".
The Germans actually made quite a few mistakes and the Allies didn't capitalize on them. I liked the way that this was written as it comes across as an honest account of the battle.

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Michael Emrys
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Re: Review:It Never Snows in September

Post by Michael Emrys » 08 Mar 2008 12:12

sniper1shot wrote:The Germans actually made quite a few mistakes and the Allies didn't capitalize on them.
I think this may be pretty typical for the whole war and is probably the greatest disadvantage that the Allies worked under. It also seems to be what German commanders have in mind when they criticize the Allied performance.

Michael

sniper1shot
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Re: Review:It Never Snows in September

Post by sniper1shot » 08 Mar 2008 18:36

Exactly. I guess it is easy to say now, 60 odd years later, but at the time no one on either side knew the exact situation of their enemies. Makes for some good reading.

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B Hellqvist
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Re: Review:It Never Snows in September

Post by B Hellqvist » 02 Jul 2009 23:21

I've just finished the book, and it was a very interesting read. I've read Kershaw's "War Without Garlands" and "D-Day", which were great reads as well (especially the former) but this book displayed a lot more tactical detail. There could have been more and better detailed maps, but that's the usual cry of war buffs, I guess... I liked the debunking of the "elite German troops" myth, and couldn't help chuckling when I compared Kershaw's (or rather von der Heydte's) assessment of the Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 6 with Stephen Ambrose's hyperbole in "Band of Brothers". First Ambrose: "These were crack German troops, including their elite parachute regiment" (Band of Brothers, p 182, concerning the units Easy Company had fought). Then von der Heydte (p 49): "...the combat-efectiveness of the regiment was low. It had not yet developed any cohesion; and the young replacements which made up 75 per cent of the unit had received little or no training. Hundreds of the soldiers in this regiment had never held a rifle in their hands, and fired the first shot of their lives in battle! Moreover, several members of the officer corps were unable to perform what is expected of an officer." Thanks, Mr Kershaw, for the reality check!

Jan-Hendrik
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Re: Review:It Never Snows in September

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 03 Jul 2009 06:30

Well, one of hundreds of writers that finally recocknized that allied tropps in West in 1944/45 did not fight any so called "elite" troops, but the "bitter rest", 2nd or 3rd class compared against the status of german army< in 1941/42 :P

Jan-Hendrik

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