I post this as a serious discussion, put forward by an elderly, (But still handsome) Ahem ! old Sapper. This is the subject up for grabs. It would be interesting to hear the modern day Sappers views on this much talked about operation? Here we go then: The Market Garden Operation. BLOODY ARNHEM. There has been much written about this mighty thrust forward towards the âFatherlandâ Indeed, through countless films and documentaries many celluloid heroâs have been created, and even more myths that are now: because of he power of films, looked upon as the real history of the battle for Holland and Arnhem Because the main drive up through the centre of Holland was given so much publicity, it is not generally known that the drive North through Holland was a âtwo pronged affairâ The other drive took place on the eastern side of the Country, and that was the operation that I, with my company took part in. Why was this mighty operation planned and put into operation? Well, I have written before on this. But let me recall the atmosphere of that time. It is of vital importance that the existing atmosphere around at that time is clearly understood. We were in fact, teetering on the edge of complete Victory. Everything was within our grasp. Just beyond Arnhem lay the open plains of Germany, where we would be able to tackle the enemy with our superior forces, and our airpower. All the Northern industrial areas of Germany were now theoretically within our reach. Berlin itself was reachable through that Northern rout. The partially open gates that would enable a massive drive into the heart of Germany were there for all to see. Beyond those gates beckoned the golden prize of complete victory by Christmas and the greater part of Germany in Allied hands We had the Germans retreating, If now, at that time. While the battlefields were so âFluidâ could the plan work? Was it worth the risk? Consider thisâ¦Stop, and think about the fleeing Enemy, beaten to a pulp at Falaise, running for his life. Was it worth a possible catastrophic defeat? What were the odds? Yet if this master stroke could be pulled off? Then the war would be over by Christmas. Many tens of thousands of young menâs lives would be saved, USA, Canadian, and British. We would have been in Berlin long before the Russians! If it only half succeeded? Then the main of the country of Holland would be ours. It all lay out in front, just needing that âodds againstâ masterstroke that would end the war in one great leap forward. Should it fail? Then the great majority of Holland would be ours in this great leap forward anyway. The Americans had many times criticised Monty as being slow and indecisive, that to the British is one of the most stupid claims. This man had chased the enemy over many hundreds of miles of North Africa had beaten the living daylights out of the much respected Rommel, and never lost a battle. So with that in mind, would you have taken the risk? Monty had beaten and humiliated the enemy at Falaise, the greatest defeat inflicted on the German army anywhere, in any conflict, including Russia. He had taken Normandy ten days ahead of the planned schedule. The enemy were tired, having retreated continuously for many hundreds of miles. You have under your command some of the finest fighters in the world in the British airborne. It is a risk, but that is what fighting men are forâ¦to fight. The rewards were beyond contemplation. The long years of war where this country had been bled white, could now be brought to an abrupt end. If it failed at the last hurdle? Holland would be ours anyway. What did happen is well known by now, but in those long years since Market Garden, so many books and films have been produced, many of them without a shred of truth behind their stories. Many prejudices have been exercised, much utter rubbish had been written, often by authors that want to please their readers by twisting the tale to suit their book sales, until now the whole history of those days is governed by Hollywood and anti British authors. Indeed that films have now become the true legends of those times, when in truth they are utter crap! The lone British voice talking about the atmosphere of those times, and the feeling that total victory was just within of our grasp, is lost in the wilderness of the masses of films and books and stands very little chance of being heardâ¦.Let alone believed. But I try! Now having read this, would you take the chance of total victory, almost within your grasp? Think about itâ¦..You have chased the enemy for hundreds of miles, he is running for home, full pelt. There, stretching out before you, stood the wonderful golden prize of the whole of Northern Germany in your hands. Many thousands of young men lives would be saved. The war over by Christmas. The leap frogging operation up through Holland was a 100% success, the main of Holland central was ours. A few miles ahead lay the final gate into the Fatherland. The chances of forcing that gate? the final objective are about 50% odds in comparison with what had gone before. Now ! If the critics are to be believed, we should have stopped, sat on our hands saying âWe have done well, now lets have a restâ in fact, stopping the fighting. Now you are in charge. You know that the casualties would be high, but the prize is there, if it could be grasped. In fact it only just failed. Would you go for it? Or was there some other way that could have been tried?Or would you chicken out? So Modern day Sappers "of all ranks" What do you think? Swordman.