cover image Rhineland: The Battle to End the War

Rhineland: The Battle to End the War

W. Denis Whitaker, Author St. Martin's Press $24.95 (422p) ISBN 978-0-312-03419-1

The authors, Canadian freelance writers, describe WW II operations code-named Grenade, Veritable, Blockbuster, Plunder and Varsity, a six-week series of battles in 1945, in which American, British and Canadian troops under General Omar Bradley and Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery breached the Siegfried Line and crossed the Rhine. Probably the best-known maneuver of the campaign was the pivotal seizure by the U.S. 1st Army of the Remagen bridge on March 8, which opened the way for the breakthrough. In this popularized account, the authors pay tribute to the skillful German resistance (especially the holding action and disciplined withdrawal of the 1st Parachute Army under General Alfred Schlemm), crediting its ferocity in large part to the ill-conceived Allied insistence on ``unconditional surrender.'' The book includes excellent maps, enabling readers to follow the complex unfolding of the campaign. Military Book Club selection. (Dec.)