Arnhem

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by muzzleflash, Sep 17, 2005.

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  1. On this day in 1944, the gallant lads of 7 KOSB were in postions east of Arnhem. In the days that followed, the Battalion suffered huge losses in the fierce fighting around Wolfheze as desprate attempts were made to capture the bridge in the town. Out of the 740 Borderers that landed by glider as part of operation Market Garden, only 4 officers and 72 OR's escaped across the Rhine. 7 KOSB's losses were amongst the highest in the British 1st Airborne Div.

    Men apart.
     
  2. Mention Arnhem and many if not all will think straight away about the Parachute Regiment and possibly the Engineers, Signals, Medics, Artillery, RASC and REME that supported them.

    We shouldn't forget the troops of the Air Landing Brigade that landed on the first day, and were there throughout the battle.

    1st Battalion The Border Regiment - Went in: 788 men Died: 121 Evacuated: 235 Missing: 432

    2nd Battalion The South Staffordshire Regiment - Went in: 767 men Died: 85 Evacuated: 124 Missing: 558

    7th (Galloway) Battalion The King's Own Scottish Borderers - Went in: 765 men Died: 112 Evacuated: 76 Missing: 577

    The Glider Pilot Regiment - Went in: 1262 men Died: 219 Evacuated: 532 Missing: 511
     
  3. Sadly, Glider Pilot Regiment casualties were even higher than this at 229 dead (Source Lion with Blue Wings, Ronald Seth 1955). This gave them the highest casualty rate of any unit at Arnhem, many of them survivors of the landings in Sicily and Normandy. The late General Sir John Hackett told me in 1992 that he attributed their high casualty rate to the pilots' determination to go 'Gerry hunting', volunteering for many of the more dangerous jobs.
    Casualties were so high, that the GPR had to co-opt a lot of pilots from the RAF for the Rhine Crossing, where they suffered a disproportunately high fatality rate. The late Fred Corrie, SSM of D Sqn reckoned it was because the ex-RAF pilots tended to walk around the LZs upright, unlike their army compatriots, who ran about half crouched, having learnt the hard way in the previous three landings.
     
  4. My father went in with 2 Para and was captured i believe at the bridge ( the capture probably saved his life ) I interned his ashes at the Arnhem war cemetry in 1982 , he died on April 1st same year which saw the start up of the Falklands war. May he and his comrades rest in peace. I wonder if we would be capable or maybe stupid enough to have men do this act of great courage and selfless bravery again