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Arnhem, Battle of (Operation Market-Garden) 17-26 September 1944: Home

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Operation Market-Garden

Parachutes open overhead as waves of paratroopers land in Holland during operations by First Allied Airborne Army, September 1944.


Following a plan conceived by British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, Allied paratroopers jumped into Holland to seize bridges so that advancing British armored troops could cross the Lower Rhine River, move rapidly into the Ruhr (the industrial heart of Germany), and, they hoped, end the war by Christmas 1944. The airborne portion of the plan went well initially, but the ground advance was held up, forcing the British and Polish paratroopers at Arnhem to withdraw. The Germans mauled the British First Airborne Division at Arnhem, killing, wounding, and capturing thousands, although the British put up gallant resistance. The operation, code-named Operation Market-Garden, involved U.S. paratroopers of the 82nd adn 101st Airborne Divisions. The campaign is often described as having attempted the reach "a bridge too far," which later became a title of a book about the operation by Cornelius Ryan.

taken from - Douglas Brinkley et al., eds., The World War II Desk Reference (New York: Grand Central Press, 2004), 201-202.