17 September 1944

59 years ago today men were being parachuted or landing by glider as part of Operation Market Garden. The history of this battle has been written and disected by people far more qualified than I.

This message is for the brave men of whatever capbadge who took part and for those who did not come home. Having met some of the vets who were there I will never forget their sacrifice.
and to many of the dutch whom hid numerous members of 1st Airborne Division and helped them escape at great risk to themselves.
17th Sept always brings a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat.

My Grandfather was a PJI Sgt and formed part of the 1st Airborne Division of the Arnhem Jumps as a Pathfinder

He won the Croix de Guerre and was one of only a handful of Paratroopers to cross the the Bridge at Arnhem.

It was a battle he really never got over, and images haunted him until he passed away sometime ago.

Some of his tales and photographs that were left to me (that he would never speak about) are treasured for ever.
...and for my Father, part of the desperate armoured drive to get to the Parachute Regiment. They got a lot closer than has been commonly portrayed, before being recalled. I'm not sure but didn't some of the lead elements actually get into Arnhem?
Having just read Cornelius Ryans excellent book ''A Bridge too far' the armoured drive was stopped three miles out of Nijmegen. A resuce Mission was launched resulting in the evacuation of the remains of the British 1st Airbourne Division on the night of 26th September. Only 2163 out of 10,005 troops escaped.

The 4th Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment, part of 43rd Infantry Div were ferried across the Rhine in the closing stages to reinforce the Oosterbeek pocket. However, they were opened up on by the Germans who had control of the northern bank which lead to many of the boats being sunk or scattered. Of the 420 men who took part 239 made it to the other side where most of them were captured.

30 Corps arty got within range of 1st Airborne Div and provided cover when the remains of the Divison were withdrawn on the 25/26th Sept.

Out gunned, up against armoured Inf units with heavy armour support (mostly SS), little air support, minimal artillary, low scales of ammo etc. For a force who were told they would be relieved within 48 hrs its not bad going holding out for 9 days.

Out of the 10,005 men who took part 7,578 were either KIA, wounded or POW. Heroes to a man.
Every Man An Emperor.

is worth a look.

It is a work in progress and the lad (Dutch) who is behind it is clearly an enthusiast.

"Out of ammunition, God save the King"

Stuff of legends.

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