Airborne at the Bridge
The Battle of Arnhem was a major battle of the Second World War at the vanguard of the Allied Operation Market Garden. It was fought in and around the Dutch towns of Arnhem, Oosterbeek, Wolfheze, Driel, and the surrounding countryside from 17–26 September 1944.
The Allies were poised to enter the Netherlands after sweeping through France and Belgium in the summer of 1944, after the Battle of Normandy. Market Garden was proposed by Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery, who favoured a single thrust north over the branches of the Lower Rhine River, allowing the British Second Army to bypass the Siegfried Line and attack the Ruhr. Allied Airborne troops were dropped in the Netherlands to secure key bridges and towns along the Allied axis of advance. Farthest north, the British 1st Airborne Division landed at Arnhem to secure bridges across the Nederrijn, supported by men of the Glider Pilot Regiment and the 1st Polish Parachute Brigade. British XXX Corps were expected to reach the British airborne forces in two to three days.