Hells Highway to Arnhem Bridge: Operation Market Garden
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Following the initial successes of D Day the Allied advance began to develop supply problems and eventually halted at the Dutch/Belgian border at the beginning of September 1944. In order to break the deadlock Montgomery proposed using airborne troops to make a daring leap over the German defences and open up the way for a mass advance by the Allied armour into Germany. Despite an outstanding valiant and heroic attempt by the British they were unable to ‘hold until relieved’ by the Second Army and, in the name of Ryan’s famous book and subsequent Hollywood movie, it tragically proved to be ….. “A Bridge Too Far….”
We start at the beginning of XXX Corps journey at Joe’s Bridge and follow the route all the way to Arnhem Bridge covering all Drop and Landing Zones and bridges on the way before falling back to the Oosterbeek Perimeter then evacuating across the river:
Guests are met at Eindhoven airport, the heart of “Market Garden”, by the MHT Team. Guests are driven down to “Joe’s Bridge” where XXX Corps started their long drive up Hell’s Highway.
Day One sees various Drop and Landing Zones of the 82nd and 101st US Airborne Divisions along with various stories of XXX Corps advance. The group stops off at all the key bridges such as Son and Grave and we have lunch at a little restaurant in Son Forest at a 101st DZ as well as afternoon tea at Beverijdings Museum, Groesbeeb, an 82nd DZ. The Day ends at Nijmegen bridge where we cover the bitter fighting against entrenched SS troops. We then retire to our hotel in Nijmegen.
Day Two sees us cross Nijmegen bridge and we cover the US river crossing as well as XXX Corps bitterly fought rush across the bridge. We visit the initial British DZ’s and LZ’s and cover the main battle plan and movements towards Arnhem as well as relive smaller engagements and also VC actions. Our day ends at Arnhem bridge itself where we cover all the key positions and battle tactics before making our way tour hotel in Arnhem.
Day Three we see the British reinforcement DZ’s, take in various small engagements, follow routes into town, VC actions, the Arnhem railway bridge battle the Oosterbeek Perimeter Defence positions. After lunch at the Oosterbeek crossroads we visit the Hartenstein Hotel which is now a wonderful museum. We then see the Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery at Ooesterbooek before seeing the Polish DZ then finally visiting the location of the evacuation across the river after the collapse the Ooesterbeek pocket thus bringing to an end a truly memorable trip.