A Bridge Too Far, a non-fiction book by Cornelius Ryan published in 1974, tells the story of Operation Market Garden, a failed Allied attempt to break through German lines at Arnhem across the river Rhine in the occupied Netherlands during World War II in September 1944. The title of the book comes from a comment made by British Lt. Gen. Frederick Browning, deputy commander of the First Allied Airborne Army, who told Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery before the operation, "I think we may be going a bridge too far."

Prior to Ryan's book, Market Garden had been a classic example of victors writing the history. Popular histories of World War II of the time usually tended to not mention the battle at all, mentioned it in passing or put Montgomery's spin on it as being a "partial success".[1]

A Bridge Too Far was responsible for bringing to the general public's attention the full extent of this massive operation, including a catalogue of errors and miscalculations, whilst highlighting the extreme bravery of the participants.

The book was also made into a 1977 film titled A Bridge Too Far, with an ensemble cast including Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Anthony Hopkins, and Robert Redford.


  1. The Battle for Arnhem. The Parachute Regiment. Retrieved on 2007-09-13.[dead link]
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