17th Sept 1944

In August 1944, General Bernard Montgomery proposed a daring Allied offensive of one powerful thrust through Holland, across the Rhine and into the German heartland. The plan, requiring many divisions and virtually all the logistic support available to the Allies in Europe, was not agreed to by General Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander. In its place a smaller scale plan, but still a very ambitious one, was approved to secure a bridgehead across the Lower Rhine (Neder Rijn). Montgomery's 21st Army Group would attempt a narrow thrust to and beyond the Rhine, largely supported from its own resources.

The plan was to lay an "airborne carpet" along the 64-mile Eindhoven-Arnhem road along which the British 2nd Army (spearheaded by XXX Corps under Lieut-General B.G. Horrocks) would advance rapidly to reach the Arnhem road and rail bridges which gave passage across the last great natural barrier to the Reich, the Lower Rhine.

We all know the outcome.

Visiting the site seems feeble in comparison to the actions of the thousands of Brave men from 1st Airborne Division...... Everyone a hero and a better man than me.

A man worthy of a salute would have been my grandfather who would have been 89 on tuesday, thankfully he came home, and although I didn't know him well, I get choked with pride when I browse through his effects, escape maps and diary. He was promoted to Sgt in the field at Oosterbeek on his Birthday 1944 the day after he jumped into Op Market Garden. Sadly this is the first year in many I won't be able to pay my respects to the fallen, my best oppo is there and has been tasked with tipping his hat on my behalf.

Always in my thoughts Grandad, one emmensly proud grandson.... Go easy mate
Aye. It seems that we are unique as an Army, in that we celebrate "defeats" more than victories. The participants of Market Garden are heroes to a man. As are the Dutch civilians that provided succour to the soldiers.
done a battlefield tour of "market garden" & met an actual participant, very very sobering & a realisation brought home to you of what we all owe those men.
Will be there tomorrow (Oosterbeek) to pay my respects to all those men who went through more than we will ever know or really understand.

I only wish I was half the man they were.


taken 6 days prior to Market garden
I stop in Oosterbeek on my way to Assen every year to pay my respects.
Last night i was at the Harskamp shooting range(near Ginkel Heath).
had a couple of beers with the lads from 4 Para and laughed about those silly septic ******* who were there also(one got hit by a passing car),all to do the remembrance jump.
Odd thing was the 4Para guys never heard about 49Para..... :? 8O
Bittrich's Aide: My General says that there is no point in continuing this fight and is willing to discuss terms of surrender.

Major Harry Carlyle: We haven't the proper facilities to take you all prisoner! Sorry!

Bittrich's Aide: What?

Major Harry Carlyle: We'd like to, but we can't accept your surrender! Was there anything else?

Looks like A Bridge Too Far will be on my playlist for tomorrow.

That, and a pint of best to honour them all with.
The sacrifice that was made by these gallant warriors is etched into the many truly grateful Dutch civilians that still mark this weekend many years later.

Some images from previous years veterans tandem jumps onto Ginkel Heath DZ.......

Gone but not forgotten.
You're right Harry. To this day we still know we owe you people big time.
It seems the remembrances get more popular by the year.
I did the Airborne March at Oosterbeek this year again and it seems to get busier every year.
I took my Dad to see Arnham & the war cametary when he came to visit me in Germany.I think he knew a few of the RAF Aircrew buried there & we spent hours reading all the names on the headstones.In the little civilian cemetary opposite,the is 4 or 5 graves tucked out way in a corner belonging To a RAF crew who were shot down earlier.I believe they were doing photo recconacnce for the actual drop.
MDN,we all owe people like your Grandfather & my Dad a great deal.
I am proud to have had him as my Father.My respect to your Grandfather,my Dad & those like them,many who never came back.

My Grandfather and his Step brother on leave prior to Op Market Garden, July 1944

His step brother (right) was shot in the ankle as he descended by parachute, he saw the war out in a military hospital believed to have been Minden. He often said that if it wasn't for the Germans he would have lost his leg, I always said if the Germans hadn't shot him his leg would have been fine :D


Book Reviewer
Respect to your grandfather and his step brother and the thousands like em Bless em all I'll raise a glass later
I take it as they are both NCO's with a medal ribbon that Market Gardan wasn't the first op they had been on?
Included below a speach by Field Marshall BL Montgomery

"What Manner of men are these who wear the red beret?

They are firstly, all volunteers and are then toughened by hard physical training.
As a result they have that infectious optimism and that offensive eagerness which comes from physical well being.
They have jumped from the air and by so doing have conquered fear. Their duty lies in the van of battle;
They are proud of their honour and have never failed in any task.
They have the highest standards in all things whether it be skills in battle or smartness in the execution of all peacetime duties.
They have shown themselves to be as tenacious and determined in defence as they are courageous in attack.
They are in fact, men apart.
Every man an Emperor"

Still continuing this ethos in Iraq and the Stan
Our unit went on a BFT to Arnheim in 2001. What an amazing weekend. We took along 2 veterans from The Shiny 9th who were full of stories while remaining modest. We were like kids around pop stars! It was just a coincidence that the museum was displaying a small exhibition of The Shiny 9ths heroic exploits. Bob was quite happy for us to touch his shoulder entry/exit wound!

How do you think I felt when Bob looks at the old photographs of his Unit and says. "I remember that photo being taken but have never seen it until now."

Great photos MOD and thanks. Hats off to your Grandfather and all those brave men who made it possible for me to be sitting here with my kids today.
Just checked my father's notes.
He dropped at 14:00 in the 17th.
Captured morning of 21st.

I would be very interested to know more about the photograph taken 6 days before the Op. Am correct in thinking that is 1st Brigade HQ with Gerald Lathbury centre stage?
Do you have a higher resolution copy you could post?


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