Brothers in Arms

Atlantic Monthly. Nov. 2021. 592p. ISBN 9780802159083. $32. HIST
Military historian Holland (Sicily ’43) turns his keen storytelling skill to the Sherwood Rangers, a British tank unit that had, by the end of the Second World War, amassed more battlefield honors than any other unit in British army history. Originally formed as a mounted cavalry unit, the Rangers formed the tip of the Allied spearhead on D-Day and paved the way for the success of the invasion, Holland argues. The Rangers fought with tenacity throughout the war while suffering a tremendous number of casualties, earning the distinction of being the first British unit to set foot on German soil. While many histories portray the Allied victory as inevitable, Holland focuses on the battles and personalities of the Rangers to prove this view to be misleading; the Rangers faced some of their hardest fighting tank-to-tank fighting and gut-wrenching losses after the breakout from Normandy, he argues. This excellent history of the Rangers is based on numerous interviews, letters, and diaries of many of the unit’s members. Maps and photos bring more depth to the story.
VERDICT An excellent addition to other World War II unit histories and a must-read for anybody interested in military history and the Second World War.
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