Author(s): Patrick Delaforce
Operation Plunder was Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s swan song. It is rarely mentioned in the Second World War history books, and when it is, both American and British military historians dismiss it as being ultra-cautious.
Monty was by nature a cautious commander with dwindling manpower resources. Operation Market Garden in September 1944 had not been successful in achieving a major lodgement over the Rhine. Monty knew that Hitler regarded the Rhine as his final barrier, and his storm-troopers and paratroops had fought like demons for four weeks in February/March 1945 defending the Siegfried Line in Operations Veritable and Blockbuster. Presumably they would continue to defend their own country to the bitter end. So, in command of a British, a Canadian and an American army Monty ensured by very careful planning, including a huge airborne drop in Operation Varsity, that the great onslaught would be furious, quick, ruthless and highly successful. And so it was.
Patrick Delaforce fought in Blockbuster, Plunder and all the river battles in his armoured battle group, which reached the Danish frontier just before Stalin’s Cossacks.The book is part of a Fonthill trilogy by Delaforce: Monty’s Rhine Adventure (Market Garden); and Invasion of the Third Reich (the campaign after Plunder).
|234 x 156 mm
|15 March 2015
|194 black and white photographs
Patrick Delaforce was educated at Winchester College. During the Second World War, aged 17, he was in Churchill's Home Guard and witnessed the London Blitz of 1940 and 1941. Later he served as a troop leader in Normandy with the Royal Horse Artillery of the 11th Armoured Division.
Hitler's Wehrmacht blew him up with their mines in Holland, and he was again wounded by a rifle grenade on the banks of the River Elbe. He was with the first battle group into Bergen- Belsen concentration camp in April 1945, was twice mentioned in despatches, and was awarded the Bronze Cross of Orange-Nassau.
In autumn 1945 he served on a War Crimes Tribunal in Hamburg and tried many concentration camp guards. Finally, he was an official British Army of the Rhine witness when Mr Albert Pierrepoint, the British hangman, executed 13 convicted war criminals in Hameln on 13 December 1945.
After leaving the army, he worked as a port wine shipper and ran an advertising agency in New York, before becoming a professional writer, mainly on historical and military subjects.
40 books by him have been published with 100 editions (including in Russia).