17th September 1944 (Operation Market Garden)

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Mighty_doh_nut, Sep 15, 2008.

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  1. I won't be around on the morning of the 17th so am posting this now.

    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 91 on Thursday, 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.

    Always in my thoughts Grandad, one emmensly proud grandson.... Go easy mate

    Thankfully this year, both Stella and myself will be making the annual pilgrimage to Oosterbeek and Arnhem to pay our respects and raise several dozen glass's of Hollands finest.

    Been looking through my Grandfathers effects, once again lumpy throated and dusty eyed.





    Apologies to members who have been here a while, I drone on about this every year at this time. Unlucky, if I'm still here in ten years I'll still me writing about it then. :D

    Raised glasses folks.....
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Ditto.
    Ad unum omnes.
  3. You definately have nothing to apologise for. Thanks for posting the pictures.
  4. MDN - nice one !!

  5. London Regt did a Battlefield Study there last year. We had with us two vets, one who was B Coy 2 Para and deeply affected by the visit, he was captured and spent the rest of the war near Dresden. The other had been a glider pilot, he'd joined TA RAMC in Croydon pre-war but was too young to join the BEF. He said that it was only relatively recently that he learned that his passengers were the Staffs mortar crew so often shown in the eponymous picture. As we walked out of the Hartenstein Museum he pointed out the house in which he'd volunteered to run an RAP while the evacuation was carried out. He too spent the rest of the war behind the wire and when the Russians advanced the Germans marched them 200 miles west before they were eventually freed.

    It was humbling and an honour to be in the presence of such men.
  6. If anyone is going this weekend, Stella and I will be the ones singing Gold and dancing badly.
  7. The mortar crew were actually Borders, and you can visit the mortar pit where the pic was taken. There is also another pit just a bit further away, also near by is the Airborne tree. Id also try to visit where D Company the Borders fought as it doesnt get so many visitors.

    Oh and have a drink for my friend Cowboy ex-South Staffs, who survived but as a prisoner and also Ginge from the Borders, both smashing blokes, ginge is usally in the Bakers bar. :)
  8. Well said Minister,you have every reason to be proud,as we who are ex Airborne are proud of our forefathers.May they NEVER be forgotten.
  9. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    One of the VC's awarded was to Lance-Sergeant John Baskeyfield of the 2nd Battalion South Staffs Regiment


    This is a memorial not far from where I live

    More info here

    One of the local TA centres is named Baskeyfield House

    125 Fd Sq RE(V)

    Just thought I would mention it, have a good time in Holland
  10. minister_doh_nut
    The photos you have shown i have the !st 4th 5th and 6th amongst many more i copied from a set that an Arnhem vet has who i know and is president of our PRA branch he is 85. Unfortunatly he will miss this year at Arnhem as he is not well first time he has missed it in many a year.
  11. The fourth picture down features my mates Dad, he was in the PFA, he's the guy next to the one having the drink, his name was Sgt A Tennucci and that picture is on the wall in the Hartenstein. He was captured at the bridge and went on to serve a full career and getting a commission, there was a room named after him in the museum in Keogh Bks.
  12. My mate Paul was the model for that statue! He met Gladys, who was shocked at his similarity to her Brother.
  13. I reckon this time 64 years ago the sphincters of 1st Airborne Division were twitching like fcuk
  14. 3 Para Mortars never had that reputation then mate!!

    Have a good one when you go over.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. glass will raised tomorrow night in Cape Town...

    I was reading last night that Capt Dick Winters of Band of Brothers celebrated his 90th birthday this year, still alive and well.

    I suppose it appropriate to also remember our brothers in Afghanistan, whom in 60 years time we too will be telling stories of their bravery and comraderie to our kids....