Operation Market Garden: The Battle for Arnhem
ARMY ENGINEER SCHOOL FORT LEONARD WOOD MO
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For the paratroopers of Lieutenant Colonel LTC John Frost s 2d Parachute Battalion, success in Operation Market Garden must have seemed almost inevitable. After an unopposed daylight jump, they were greeted in the Dutch village of Heavedorp not by German opposition but by throngs of civilians who paraded them through the streets as liberators. Despite this auspicious beginning, LTC Frost and his entire battalion would be lost within three days and the remainder of the British 1st Airborne Division would be forced into a desperate retreat back across the Rhine River. Operation Market Garden was a World War II attempt by Allied airborne and ground troops to capture a series of bridges over Dutch waterways in order to open a way across the Rhine River into the Ruhr Valley, Germany s industrial heartland. It was the largest airborne operation of the war and the costliest. The British assault on the Dutch town of Arnhem was the biggest failure of the operation because the British landed too far from their targets and German defenses were much stronger than expected. Of the 10,000 British airborne troops who landed around Arnhem, 1,130 were killed and 6,450 were captured.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics