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Thread: OPERATION MARKET GARDEN - THE BATTLE FOR ARNHEM

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    OPERATION MARKET GARDEN - THE BATTLE FOR ARNHEM

    Remembering all the Britishicon from the 1st Airborne Division, American and Polish young men who gave their lives to defend a series of bridges over the River Rhine between the 17th and the 26th of September 1944. Fierce fighting across the board from the 2nd Parachute Battalion at Arnhem Bridge, to elements of both the 82nd and 101st American Airborne at other bridges on route to Arnhem.
    Sadly 30 Corps the armoured element of the operation could not make thier deadline, due to several factors including, intense 88mm guns positioned on the single track road, that took out a large number of tanks.
    The poor intelligence that did not highlight the presence of the 8th and 9th SS Panzer Group relaxing in Arnhem at the time of the operation.
    I still believe it was a successful operation insofar it showed that a well trained multi national force could fight for longer than forecast, especially as the resupply dropped in enemy hands as the days grew longer.

    Brave young men
    UTRINQUE PARATUS
    Last edited by Gil Boyd; 09-21-2021 at 12:10 PM.
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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    Here's one that made it out alive after swimming the river while the Germans were shooting at him. I've mentioned him before but the photograph has only recently come to light and was taken before he joined the Parachute Regiment. He volunteered to serve in the Parachute Regiment as soon as it was formed, making him a founding member. So upset by the Battle of Arnhem it was a long time after the war before he was prepared to go anywhere near an aeroplane, until he had to for his work.

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    20+ years ago, when I was involved with the AB Recce Association, I was privileged to have known a number of the 1st AB Recce survivors such as Des Evans, Ken Hope etc., and dear old Chalky White, who was the 1st AB Recce Don R and was the last soldier to leave the bridge, and make it back through the Germanicon lines to the Oosterbeek pocket.

    I was also involved with the 43rd Recce Association, at the same time, so also knew many of the 43rd Recce veterans which were part of 30 Corps that were pushing to Arnhem to relieve 1st AB.
    Just the thing for putting round holes in square heads.

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    Well its not too late for those in the UKicon near London who want to come to a very special evening at Covent Garden in aid of the Airborne Forces Museum.
    Its being held at the biggest Masonic Lodge centre, (hope I've said that right) in Queen Street.

    As the fundraising Trustee for the museum during Arnhem month I have arranged two showings of THEIRS IS THE GLORY, a film for those that don't know, made in 1946 using the same soldiers who survived the battle in what was still a pretty desolate town. It was the best attended film for 10 years and even King George had a private viewing. Made by Desmond Hurst who made The Malta Story, Scrooge etc and so many more famous films.

    As Richard Todd as you will know an ex PARA, died in 2009 just after The Prince Charles opened our new museum at IWM Duxford, he was our Ambassador for the museum.
    I asked Bruce Crompton ex 10 PARA and on many TV channels as COMBAT DEALERS, an expert on all WW2 Germanicon militaria, to be our new Ambassador.

    Last Saturday at the packed matinee showing at Duxford, I asked him to talk from the 8/9th SS Panzer Regiment and how they were hammered on the bridge by the 2nd Parachute Battalion. They lost half of their 40 vehicles to very accurate PIAT and Bren fire killing their commander and causing absolute mayhem.

    We as ex Paratroopers always talk up our side of the story, so I thought it would be good to hear from the other side. I asked Caroline Frost Lt Col Frosts daughter to come along as well, who gave a stirring side to her fathers life in 2 PARA. He was without doubt one of the founding fathers of what was to become a Regiment in 1949. You will remember he was the officer in charge of the Bruneval Raid. The first use of 2 PARA as it was in the very early days to capture the German radar on the french coast. A complete success, and without it IMHO the war would have gone on a lot longer and we wouldn't have been able to see the amount of aircraft heading our way each day.

    So in short this Saturday 6 pm start FREE food and a ticket entry price of £30 a very special evening in the company of one of the very few survivors from the bridge Bill Wiiliams B Coy, 3 rd Parachute Battalion aged 96, Bruce Crompton and a cracking auction of indiividually signed large photographs of the battle signed by veterans no longer with us, and much much more.
    Priceless in my view, go on line to:

    75th Anniversary Gala Screening Tickets, Sat 25 Sep 2021 at 18:00 | Eventbrite
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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    I am very touched at how the Dutch to this day care for the graves and memorials with such passion and take the sacrifices made very seriously.

    Bob
    "It is said, 'Go not to the elves for counsel for they will say both no and yes.' "

    Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion, The Fellowship of the Ring

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    In junior high school...I got introduced to Cornelius Ryan's book "A Bridge too Far"...and subsequently the movie. I read the book 3 times in 9th grade! I was infatuated.

    it stirred a real interest in me and may eventually may have helped inspire me to volunteer for the 82nd as a young man in the mid-1980's. Incredible men (and women--Ms. Ter Horst) made that an incredible story. So impactful.....
    "Audacia....By daring deed"

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    Mike,
    It runs deep in our family veins as we lost relations at Arnhem buried in Oosterbeek Cemetery which did inspire me to join The Parachure Regiment and specifically 2 PARA, which led to my son joining 2 PARA as well where he still serves after 20 years today.

    It was a ferocious battle for both sides. From OUR side and that of the American units too, we took a lot of serious casualties, but all achieved what they set out to do.
    Sad that 30 Corps didn't make the same gains by road, but as I said they were up against it from very well prepared defensive anti tank positions.

    Sometimes when you are at the TIP OF THE SPEAR you are on your own, and it is then that you realise, that ammo, first, water and food and first aid are so so very important to maintain the EDGE!!
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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    Couple of things that really shine about that mission is the Para's were up against it right from the start being some miles from the intended point to start with then having to last longer than envisaged holding off the Germans.
    As fate would have it the Germans had extra resources there by default on R&R, it was outstanding bravery by well trained and led paratroops which certainly gave the Germans a bloody nose.


    With the early raid on the radar site it would have to rank among one of the best early stunts of the war perfectly executed.
    If you can get your hands on a copy of "Green Beach" By James Leasor about the Dieppe Raid, bit of an eye opener it had an inner mission, a RAF radar expert went ashore with a group of soldiers to get to the radar station there to get up to date intel on the latest Germanicon radar.
    The only snag was and I bet they did not tell the RAF team member this but the leader of that group of soldiers had strict orders if capture by the Germans was imminent he was to shoot and kill the RAF member as he knew to much about the allies radar capabilities being an expert.
    How is that for a redundancy plan!

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    The chap whose photo I posted in post 2, in order not to get shot as he swam the river, swam some of it underwater.

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    Flying10uk,
    Great to see that photo of Private G Burdett, who was Int Section, Battalion HQ, 2nd Battalion the Staffordshire Regiment. Brave man.
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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