The Flutist of Arnhem: A Story of Operation Market Garden

Written by Antonio Gil
Review by John Kachuba

In German-occupied Holland in December 1943, all the British Special Operations Executives had been captured by the Nazis—all except one. John Hewson, carrying valuable information that might help the Allies break through German defenses and allow them to push into Germany, remained at large, hunted by the Gestapo and German military.

The Allies conceive of a daring plan to drop airborne troops into Holland to secure key bridges and gain a foothold for an Allied assault through German lines. The maneuver, dubbed Operation Market Garden, will also provide support for the Dutch underground to get Hewson to safety; that is, assuming the operation is successful. Among the soldiers trying to rescue Hewson is his own son, who he hasn’t seen in years.

While much has been written about Operation Market Garden, Gil’s graphic novel makes the story come alive. Gil is an illustrator, comic author, and writer specializing in military history, with more than 100 publications in magazines, books, and comics. His knowledge of World War II history is expansive, and the novel is highly detailed yet rendered in a manner that is exciting and intriguing, rather than pedantic.

This work will certainly appeal to young readers and is also an entertaining read for adults.