BOOK REVIEW: Arnhem: Defeat and Glory -- A Miniaturist Perspective
by G. S. W. DeLillio.
Upon first glance, this 2002 book seemed like a nice picture book of the author's diorama of 1944 Operation Market Garden. Nicely crafted, the diorama used thousands of 20mm figures and includes vehicles. True, photos a plenty show off vignettes that track the operation, but that hardly does the book justice.
You get a comprehensive overview of the battle, complete with wargame-friendly OOBs, commander bios, drop times, and a running narrative of how the battles swayed back and forth illustrated by 114 photos of the diorama. It presents wargamer-friendly info in an oversized 8.75x11.5-inch hardcover format.
And what magnificent modeling he did: Regular shots, close-up shots, and shots of the same vignette but from different angles show excellence. Gliders, aircraft, tanks, jeeps, artillery, and troops of all forces involved, including a couple of French Char B tanks used by the Germans, show up. My favorite? Boat landing on the river bank amidst smoke (top page 86).
I am not sure, but some of the vignettes remind me of just such a diorama in 20mm that was 60 feet long and presented at the HMGS Fall-In convention in Maryland a decade ago.
Sadly, what is missing is a chapter on the creation of the diorama. As this is the illustrative centerpiece of the book, it would have been nice to learn what he used, how he emphasized this event over that event, and so on.
Given that 2019 is the 75th anniversary of Market Garden, Arnhem books should see an uptick in interest. It's not as dramatic as Cornelius Ryan's A Bridge Too Far, but it deserves to be on a Market Garden reading list, with the photos as a distinct bonus.