World War II: Operation Market Garden: Road to the Rhine--Eindhoven to Arnhem Corridor

Figure 1.--Eindhoven was the largest city in North Barbant, confusingly much of the southern Neterlands. It was the jumping off point for Market Garden, the plan to seize the Eidhoven to Arnhem Corridor and cross the Rhine. Here we see Dutch civilians and American 101st Airbone Divison soldiers near an abandoned German 88mm gun in Eindhoven, probably September 20, 1944. The 88 was one of the icomnic weapons of the War. The civilians probably lived in the home next to wear the 88 was set up. The Germans did this to make llied air strikes more difficult. Can you imagine what that was like for them. Next to the 88 you can see the German wheeled carrier. What looks like white arm bands the soldiers are wearing, are actually American flags.

Market Garden was fought over the Eindhoven to Arnhem corridor fron North Barvant into Gelderland. Key to the success of Marget Garden was to seize the bridges in the corridor. Three important rivers were involved: The Meuse, Waal, the Lower Rhine, and of course the Rhine itself. There were also bridges over small rivers and canals. The Rhine cut across Gelderland and the citical target was the Rhine River bridge at Arnhem, the capital of Gelderland. The Germans had lsrgely pulled out of Belgium. The Netherlands was a different matter. The Allies managed to capture most of the bridges between Eindhoven (the Dommel) and Nijmegen (the Waal) at the onset of the operation, althogh not all on schedule. Eindhoven was the largest city in North Brbant. The bridge at Nijmegen was the largest in Europe. The primary ground force, Lieutenant-General Brian Horrocks' XXX Corps was delayed by the stiff German resitance and especially the difficulty the Airborne units had in securing the bridges at Son en Breugel and Nijmegen. The Germans succeeded in demolished the bridge over the Wilhelmina Canal at Son before it could be secured by the U.S. 101st Airborne Division. The U.S. 82nd Airborne Division's was unable to seize the huge highway bridge over the Waal River at Nijmegen as anticipated (before September 20). This all delayed XXX Corps. British paratroopers dropped on Arnhem, primarily north of the Rhine and then moved toward Arnhem and the all important Rhine River Bridge. The massive American paratroop drop took place further south. They seized the single narrow paved road to Arnhem. They had, however, to fight hard to hold the road against heavily armed German forces still in the Netherlands. British armor which had the war-winning assignment drove north on the highway, but apprently did not rush down that road as forseen in Montgomery's plan to relieve the British airborn troops that had seized Arnhem and the bridge. Unknown to the Allies, Germman SS armor units has recently moved into the area north of the Rhine. The British airborn seized the bridge in tact, but the units north of the Rhine were cut to pieces by the heavily armed Germans.



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Created: 5:08 PM 1/25/2019
Last updated: 5:08 PM 1/25/2019