Operation Market Garden
Jeroen Cornelissen wrote
After lots of "surfing the net" I found
a site with everything concerning "Operation Market Garden."
I took the liberty to translate the main events. Please forgive me my
poor English. I know that a lot I write about is translated not the way
it should be.
In September 1944 the Allies, after successfully landed in Normandie (D-Day),
conquered the north of France and Belgium. There were now two opinions
about continuation the battle. The Americans wanted to attack Germany
over a long and wide front. The English Field Marshall Montgomery wanted
to advance right through Holland to the Ijsselmeer and then proceed eastwards
into Germany. That way, the German troops in West Holland would be isolated.
In addition, the Allies wouldn't have to face the heavily defended Siegfried
line. After a lot of discussion, Montgomery was authorised to execute
his plan "Operation Market Garden." The plan existed of two
Market: by means of airborne landings of the 1st
Corps of the 1st Allied Airborne Army to conquer the most important bridges
between Eindhoven and Arnhem.
Garden: The advance of the 2nd English Army of General
Dempsey from which the 30st Army Corps had to push from Neerpelt in Belgium
through Eindhoven over the conquered bridges to Arnhem.
On September 17, 1944 between 13:00 and 14:00 hours the airborne landings
began. The American 101st Airborne Division "Screaming Eagles"
landed near Son and Veghel, the American 82nd Airborne Division "All
American" near Grave and Nijmegen and the 1st English Airborne Division
For many reasons, the operation did not proceed as planned. The advance
of the army from Belgium was seriously delayed by unexpected resistance
and because the bridge over the Wilhelmina channel was blown up by the
Germans. The Allies first had to build a Bailey Bridge making the advance
of the army 36 hours behind schedule. Poor radio connections prevented
good communications, especially near Arnhem. Bad weather conditions delayed
the dropping of necessary reinforcements. The presence of two SS divisions
at the Veluwe was fatal for the British troops at Arnhem.
At the end the goals could not be achieved. The bridge
at Arnhem could not be captured and the advance to Germany came to a halt.
The south of Holland was liberated. The rest of Holland had to wait till
next year, 1945, before they also could be liberated.
Condensed chronologic review
The route from Eindhoven to Arnhem was known as the corridor but soon
was called by the paratroopers Hell's Highway.
Sunday, September 17, 1944
In the morning, in preparation for the landings, multiple targets were
bombed at the landing zones by more than fourteen hundred bombers of the
American 8th Air force and the British 2nd TAF. At 09.45 a.m, from 24
airfields in England, take off began of the 2023 transport aircraft and
towing planes with gliders who had to transport the airborne troops to
In totally it concerned 20.000 men, 511 vehicles,
330 pieces artillery and 590 tons of material. Between 13.00 and 14.00
hours the 1st Airborne Division landed near Arnhem and Oosterbeek. The
US 82nd Airborne Division near Nijmegen and Grave and the US 101st Airborne
Division near Son and Veghel. The British 2nd Para Battalion under command
of Lt.Col.J.Frost reached and occupied around 07.30 p.m. the northern
ramp of the bridge over the Rijn at Arnhem. The bridge over the Maas at
Grave is captured by the 82nd, The bridges in the sector of the 101st
got into the hands of the Americans undamaged, except the one over the
Wilhelmina channel which was blown up at the last moment by the Germans.
After the landings started, General Brian Horocks of the British XXXth
Army Corps gave the command to attack. At 14.15 about 350 pieces of artillery
near the Kempische channel in Belgium opened fire over a 15Km front. At
14.35 the tanks of the Irish Guards begin to advance from Neerpelt in
Belgium under the umbrella of heavy artillery. They experienced a lot
of resistance and did not proceed beyond Valkenswaard. Radio Oranje called
upon the personnel of the Dutch Railways to go into strike to paralyze
German train traffic.
Monday, September 18, 1944
Due to ground fog, only in the late afternoon reinforcements and supplies
can be brought in. Near Arnhem, British Para's advanced to reinforce the
group at the bridge, but they only reached the west side of the town.
Eindhoven is liberated by the 101st Airborne Division. At 11.15, first
radio contact is achieved between the Americans and a patrol of the Guards
Panzer division and at 12.15 they meet each other at Woensel. In the late
afternoon the ground forces arrive in the south of Eindhoven. At 21.00
hours the British engineers begin to build a Bailey bridge over the Wilhelmina
channel near Son.
Tuesday, September 19, 1944
The British Para's failed to reach the closed in men at the bridge at
Arnhem. They experience intense resistance. Later they have to pull back
with heavy losses from Arnhem back to Oosterbeek. The provisioning from
the air at Arnhem failed. The provisioning at Groesbeek and Son succeeds
only partly. At 6:15 am, the 33 meter long Bailey bridge, build by the
British engineers, is ready and the army continues. Market Garden is now
already 36 hours behind schedule. At noon, the Guards Armored Division
reach Nijmegen, however, they can't continue because the bridge across
the river Waal has not been taken. In the evening at approximately 7:10,
the Luftwaffe launched a bombardment at Eindhoven. 227 People get killed
and another couple of hundred are wounded.
Wednesday, September 20, 1944
The group British Para's endure heavy casualties at the bridge at Arnhem,
but are still holding. Both bridges at Nijmegen are taken in the evening.
To advance further to Arnhem is not possible, the 43th Infantry Division
has not arrived because heavy battles delayed them. The Germans attack
the bridge at Son but are being repulsed. Provisioning by air succeeds
better, especially near the village of Overasselt.
Thursday, September 21, 1944
In the morning the Prinses Irene Brigade marches through Eindhoven, on
their way to Grave. At the Rijnbridge at Arnhem, the remaining Para's,
after days of heroic fighting, surrender to the Germans. The 2nd Army
gives artillery support to the British Para's at Oosterbeek. The Polish
Airborne Brigade of Gen. Maj. Sosabowski lands at Driel, south of the
river Rijn, but cannot cross it. The English tanks reached no further
then Elst in the Betuwe. They have to wait for the infantry. Provisioning
planes are being attacked by the Luftwaffe at Arnhem.
Friday, September 22, 1944
Due to bad weather conditions, provisioning by air cannot take place.
The 43th Infantry Division advances in the morning from Nijmegen, but
does not proceed beyond Elst. A British reconnaissance unit contacts the
Polish Airborne Brigade. The Germans attack the corridor between Uden
and Veghel from the east and block all traffic for 24 hours. A brigade
of the Guards are being sent back from Nijmegen to Veghel to support the
Para's from the 101st from the north. At night approximately. 50 Polish
men succeed in crossing the river Rijn and reach the British Para's.
Saturday, September 23, 1944
Weather conditions improve. Reinforcements can be supplied by air at Overasselt
and Son. At noon the corridor is open again. The English take in Elst,
but at Oosterbeek the condition of the English Para's is very bad. At
night another 200 Polish men can cross the river Rijn again.
Sunday, September 24, 1944
Again weather conditions are bad. The closed in English Para's at Arnhem
get artillery support from the 64th Regiment Middle heavy Artillery and
later also from the 49th Battalion Heavy Artillery. The are located near
Nijmegen and fire over a range of 18 kilometers. The English infantry
and the Polish para's try to cross the river Rijn at night but failed.
The 2nd English Army advances to Driel in the Betuwe. The corridor is
being blocked for the second time by the Germans, now between st. Oedenrode
Monday, September 25, 1944
In the evening and at night, the remains of the English 1st Airborne Division
are pulled back across the river Rijn. Over twenty-two hundred men safely
reached the south shore of the river, the wounded are left behind. The
corridor is still blocked.
Tuesday, September 26, 1944
The weather improves. The corridor, being blocked for 44 hours, is open
Patrick , I hope you know something more now about "Operation Market
Garden." The address of the site is http://www.marketgarden.nl*
I hope to hear from you.
*Sadly this link is broken.
If you know of a new address, please advise.
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