A Bridge Too Far (book)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A Bridge Too Far
A Bridge Too Far - 1974 Book Cover.jpg
First edition cover
AuthorCornelius Ryan
Published1974 (Simon & Schuster, New York; Hamish Hamilton, London)
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages672 pp (first edition)

A Bridge Too Far (1974) by Cornelius Ryan gives an account of Operation Market Garden, a failed Allied attempt to break through German lines at Arnhem by taking a series of bridges in the occupied Netherlands during World War II.

Ryan named his book after a comment attributed to Lieutenant General Frederick Browning before the operation, who reportedly said to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, "I think we may be going a bridge too far."[1] But Antony Beevor disputes this, saying that Browning had supported the operation, especially in view of receiving more resources. Secondly he did not appear to have encountered Montgomery that day.[2]

Drawing on a wide variety of sources, Ryan documented his account of the 1944 battle with pictures and maps. He included a section on the survivors, “Soldiers and Civilians – What They Do Today”.

He addressed tactical mistakes made in planning the operation. Until Ryan's book, Market Garden had been a classic example of victors writing the history; that is, popular accounts of World War II tended to overlook the battle or to accept Field Marshal Montgomery's spin on it as being a "partial success".[3]

The 1974 book was published by Simon & Schuster in New York and by Hamish Hamilton in London. There were frequent later editions, and a film based on it was released in 1977.[4]


  1. ^ Ryan, Cornelius (1974). A Bridge Too Far (first ed.). London: Hamish Hailton. p. 67. ISBN 0-241-89073-X.
  2. ^ Beevor, Antony (2019). Arnhem. Penguin. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-670-91867-6. Browning had strenuously supported Comet, which included Arnhem. Now, he was to command three and a half airborne divisions to do the same job, not just one and a half, so he was unlikely to oppose the field marshal on the subject. And the suggestion that on 10 September Browning had said to Montgomery that Arnhem might be going 'a bridge too far' is highly improbable, since they do not appear to have met that day.
  3. ^ "The Battle for Arnhem". The Parachute Regiment. Archived from the original on 26 June 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2007.
  4. ^ Goldman, William (1977), William Goldman's Story of a Bridge Too Far, Coronet Books, ISBN 0-340-22340-5 [NB: Book has no page numbers]