Has anyone read it yet? I am up to the end of the Arnhem chapter. Max Hastings is a well-known fan of the Wehrmacht and this book is therefore slightly biased; however it is well worth reading for his blistering criticism of UK generalship in the European theatre. Montgomery is recognised as one of a very few half-decent UK generals (with the emphasis on the half) along with two of his corps commanders, but he gets a kicking over his inability to fight anything other than set-piece battles and for his slowness, particularly in failing to grasp the importance of the approaches to Antwerp. The Yanks come out slightly better, but not much. Eisenhower is criticised for his lack of strategic insight but receives warm praise for his political gifts as supreme commander. One criticism is of UK and US staff training, which does not deal with the command of very large armies. The Germans and Russians are praised as commanders, their character defects aside. One possible conclusion that the book does not draw (at this stage anyway) is that perhaps the UK and US were handicapped in the Great War mindset of their generals, whereas the Germans and Russians had a new generation of generals, courtesy of disarmament and purges of the officer corps. Market Garden gets a complete (and perhaps overdue) slating at all levels from Eisenhower downwards as a foolish concept that was incompetently executed (3 drops rather than 2 drops someway distant from the objectives with no serious offensive air support - as opposed to Pegasus Bridge, which worked extremely well) and the criticism of General Browning is particularly vicious, exemplified in his "bridge too far" question - seen as demonstrating that he had no grasp of the fundamental aim of the operation. The Germans are highly praised for their ad-hoc and highly effective response to the unexpected attack, although their opponents were inadequatley armed paratroopers. The XXX Corps attack along a single road also gets the predictable kicking. An excellent book so far, from someone who does not sit on the fence! Perhaps it would have been worth placing under TCHs and PODs Christmas trees in light of our current fascination with light forces.