1) Grave. Cafe “Den Tol”.
The advance of the 43rd Division is headed by the 8th Armoured Brigade attached to it. Here a column of this unit is photographed in front of restaurant ‘Den Tol’ in Reek, on the highway ‘s Hertogenbosch- Grave. The place is nearly unchanged since the war. Many photographs were taken at this spot amongst other of the 8th Armoured Brigade that was in advance of the 43rd Wessex Division, and of the Dutch Princes Irene Brigade.
2) Grave. Van Sasse pumping-station and kazemates.
The ‘Van Sasse pumping-station’ at the so-called defence channel at Grave. In this building, of which the Americans thought it was a power station, most probably the control panel of the nearby-located FLAK was hosted. The German defence of the Maas Bridge at Grave consisted of several anti-aircraft guns placed amongst others near the “Van Sasse pumping station” and on kazemates.
3) Grave. Bridge across the river Maas.
The 2,000 paratroops of the 504 Regiment (called “Devils in baggy pants”) were instructed to occupy the triangle Grave-Heumen-Hatert. At a quarter past one the Regiment landed near Overasselt and Velp. During the Operation the name “Grave” was degenerated into “Graawi”. Pronounced in English it would seem that the soldiers were talking about their “grave”. A heavy load rested on the shoulders of the 2nd Battalion that day. The instruction was given to take the Maas Bridge near Grave by surprise and to keep it till the British 30 Corps came to relieve the Division from their isolation. The bridge must be captured regardless of the price.
On Tuesday 19th September l944, around a quarter past eight in the morning, the link took place with the British 30 Corps. From Veghel the tanks could have reached Grave with the kind of jump Montgomery had in mind for the whole Operation. ‘Greetings from Uden’ a British armoured car reported. In the afternoon of Wednesday 20th September 1944 the first army trucks of the eight hundred vehicles counting supply convoy reached the Maas Bridge via the small corridor.
The Grave Bridge was taken from both sides by the 504 PIR on 17th September. On the 19th September around 10.00 hours the first British tanks crossed the bridge. From September till October the Dutch Princes Irene Brigade guarded the bridge. The nine arched bridge has a total length of 520 meters.
4) Overasselt. Monument at Drop- and Landing-zone O of 504 PIR.
Airborne droppings above the fields at Overasselt.
This monument in the fields near Overasselt is to remember the drop- and landing-zone of the 504 PIR, the 325th Glider Regiment and a battalion of Polish Parachutists. From here the 504 PIR commenced for the capturing of the Grave Bridge and the bridges across the Maas-Waal canal.
5) Overasselt. The dairy factory.
A historical photograph of Lieutenant-General Browning and Brigade-General Gavin near Overasselt short after the first contact with British officers of the Guards Army Division on the 19th September 1944. The house at the background is of Anton Gijsbers; the smoke at the Overasselt dairy factory indicates that life goes on.
6) Heumen. Molenhoek Bridge and monument.
This is the in the mean time disappeared Molenhoek- or Lock bridge at Heumen. After violent fighting, and the withdraw of Germans on this little peninsula, the bridge was captured by the Baker-Company of the 504 PIR on 17th September. It finally happens to be the only usable bridge across the Maas-Waal canal. During the Waal crossing of the 504 PIR, the guarding of the bridge was taken over by the Coldstream Guards. The bridge was pulled down in 1990. A monument at the Heumen side of the bridge remembers the Dutch soldiers who died on the 10th May 1940 when the bridge was captured by the Germans. From here the bridge at Malden is visible which is the next bridge from here. During Operation Market-Garden the canal was crossed by two other bridges, the bridge at Hatert and the one between Grave and Nijmegen known as the Honinghutje bridge. The bridges look liked very similar as the same contractor built them.
7) Molenhoek. Vanished (temp) Cemetery behind party centre “de Raaf”.
US temporary Cemetery 4655 at Molenhoek near Nijmegen.
This is the place of the Vanished temporary Cemetery near Molenhoek, the largest temporary Cemetery in the area. The Cemetery was situated behind the former brewery of Van de Broek now called party centre “de Raaf”. Now the place is being used for agriculture again. Many photos were taken from the Cemetery from this side. It was most commonly called the American Cemetery, as most of the 836 soldiers killed in action in the Groesbeek and Nijmegen area were Americans. Also 38 Britons and 3 Canadians were temporary buried at Molenhoek. The Americans were reburied at Margraten and in the US, the British soldiers at Mook. From the Cemetery is nothing left except for an old cross, a sign that was placed at the entrance of the Cemetery, and old photographs.
8) Molenhoek. Monument of the Vanished (temp) Cemetery.
From September 20th 1944, American and British soldiers were buried behind the former brewery of Van den Broek. According to the monument there were 637 burials, however, the real number was 836. They were killed in action in the Groesbeek and Nijmegen area and in the Betuwe. On 2nd November 1944 All Soul’s day was celebrated for the first time in this cemetery. About four years later it was closed. The Americans were reburied in the US and at Margraten, the British soldiers at Mook. The monument can be found along the road opposite of the Molenhoek Motel of Van der Valk.
9) Mook. Railway bridge across the river Maas.
The Germans blew up the Mook Railway Bridge on 17th September 1944 during the approach of the 505 PIR. From the place of the former ferry one has a good view over the river Maas and at the Railway Bridge. Next to the Railway bridge the Mook viaduct till where the 505 PIR was driven back during the Battle of Mook. On the other side of the river the casemates of the river Maas defence line are visible.
10) Mook. Church and Town hall.
The burned out Town Hall of Mook after the heavy fighting of the 20th September 1944.
During the battle of the Waal-bridge on the 20th September 1944, a concentrated German attack took place on the 505 PIR here in the middle of Mook. In the afternoon the Germans recaptured Mook and the lock-bridge near Heumen was in serious danger. Mook became a battlefield and most of the inhabitants took the flight to the woods and the neighbouring town of Molenhoek. Through the efforts of James Gavin the Coldstream Guards were called in and in the evening Mook was recaptured again. The threatening of the Nijmegen bridgehead and the lock-bridge near Heumen was averted. During the fierce fights in the streets twenty soldiers and eight inhabitants were killed and many buildings destroyed amongst others the townhall of Mook the building on my left-hand side. Miracle of miracles the church of Mook remained almost undamaged.
Also Erik Holmes of the 1st Battalion of the Suffolk regiment died here in Mook. This is well remembered by his fellow comrades as they buried him here in Mook. But never in the years afterwards they or his family could find his grave. Erik was not buried at the Mook Cemetery nor was his name mentioned in the Roll of Honour at the liberation museum at Groesbeek. With the help of Piet Cremers from Beek his grave was finally found here at the graveyard near the church of Mook . . . . after a search of 45 years.
11) Mook. Mook War Cemetery.
The fields of honour that the commonwealth War grave Commission maintains in 140 countries, have a uniform layout, with on all larger cemeteries a ‘Cross of Sacrifice’. The British in this cemetery were killed in Germany (February 1945) and in the Betuwe (September-October 1944). Americans relieving the British troops in the Betuwe, took the dead bodies of the British with them, in order to bury them in the temporary American cemetery of Molenhoek. They are now buried at Mook. The British War Cemetery at Mook is situated along the road from Mook to Groesbeek. During the German occupation this road was called the “Adolf Hitler allee”. One of the graves is of Robert Rose, the brother of Arthur Rose, the treasurer of the British Market-Garden Veterans’ Association, the MGVA.
12) Groesbeek. The “South Mill”.
This is the “South Mill”. It can be found in Groesbeek along the road to Bredeweg. During and after the Airborne landings the mill served as a beacon and observation post for the allied forces. The mill survived the war relatively undamaged. At short distance from the mill a monument commemorates the evacuation of the civilians of Groesbeek.
13) Groesbeek. The “Old Mill”.
This restaurant, called “The old Mill”, at the border of Groesbeek and close to the Liberation Museum 1944, was a meeting point at the onset of Veritable. On the photograph Churchill tanks of an unidentified Brigade during Operation Veritable on 8th February 1945.
14) Groesbeek. The Liberation Museum.
Almost 1,800 American soldiers were killed during Operation Market-Garden (the airborne landings) in the period September-November 1944. Most of them have been re-buried in America, but all the names are mentioned on the stones of the ‘Roll of Honour’ in the dome of the museum. British and Canadian soldiers remain buried in the country where they fell in battle. As they have a grave here, their names only have been listed in the books in the memorial hall.
The Liberation Museum at Groesbeek presents the documented story of the Airborne landings, the advance of the ground army, and of all soldiers and civilians in the Nijmegen area involved in the Operation. The museum also shows the ravages of war and what it took to restore the freedom and democracy. Furthermore it serves to express our gratitude for our freedom, for which so many risked their lives during Operation Market-Garden. In the dome of the Museum the names of killed soldiers who are reburied in their homeland are mentioned on the “Roll of honour”, or, when they have a grave here listed in books.
15) Groesbeek. Remembrance stone at “Wylerbaan / Derde Baan”.
Drop- and landing-zone T of 508 PIR and start point of Operation Veritable.
This is the drop- and landing-zone T of the 508 PIR. Around 13.30 hrs on 17th September 1944 1,922 paratroopers of the 508 PIR, the ‘Red Devils’, glided down in two waves on drop zone T, Northeast of Groesbeek, close to the German border. On the 8th February 1945 this drop zone was the starting point of Operation Veritable, in which over 300,000 British and Canadian soldiers set off for Wesel and the Rhine on Monty’s Operation Veritable. The monument on the other side of the road commemorates both the landing of 508 PIR and the start of Operation Veritable.
16) Groesbeek. Canadian War Cemetery.
Here we are at the Canadian War Cemetery at the Zevenheuvelenweg between Groesbeek and Nijmegen. The Cemetery is the largest in the area. Here, more than 2300 of our liberators found their last resting place. Most of burials are Canadians killed during Operation Veritable. Also 268 British soldiers are buried here.
This memorial, two colonnades with more than 1,000 names carved in the back walls, honours the Canadian, British and South African soldiers who were killed during the advance from France. Their bodies have never been found or identified. Just as the other landing-zones near Groesbeek, the grounds on which these buildings are situated were captured just in time on 18th September 1944, before the second Airborne Lift, fortunately delayed by early morning mist, arrived.
The Cemetery is always kept in impeccable condition and are a credit to the War Graves Commission and its supporters and helpers. The Cemetery is often visited, witness the fact that the guest book is signed nearly every day, by visitors from all over the world. Each year, on 4th May, a large ceremony is held here. In 1992, pastor Thurling from Bredeweg spoke about the text on the headstones and explained the words “Sapper” and “Driver” amongst others. Probably not commonly known are the ceremonies held here on the 3rd day of the Nijmegen 4-day marches. During these ceremonies, soldiers from all over the world are told by their officers about the ultimate sacrifice paid by young soldiers, in a small country far away from their homeland.
From the back of the Cemetery, one has a good view on the landing-zone of the 508 PIR. In the winter of 1944-1945 the wooded parts of this area were used as storage places for the huge amount of material that was necessary for Operation Veritable. On 17th September 1944 a Dakota C-47 made a forced landing not far from here.
17) Berg en Dal. Memorial Column.
This memorial column was erected in gratitude for the liberation and to commemorate the fallen. On the ‘Devil’s Hill’ and in the woods near Berg and Dal long heavy fighting took place. Not only did the war cause the death of numerous people; it also caused enormous damage. On orders from the military authorities most inhabitants of the municipality were evacuated in November 1944. After 7 months in the front line, not one house appeared to be undamaged.
18) Nijmegen. Hotel Restaurant Sionshof.
This is Hotel Restaurant Sionshof on the boarder of Nijmegen and Groesbeek, the assembly point of the Guards Armoured Division and meeting point with the 82nd Airborne Division. During the entire Operation it was also a meeting place for all those war correspondents that hoped to participate in crossing the rivers. In the entrance hall a tablet remembers Operation Market-Garden. From here we will enter Nijmegen via the Nijmeegsebaan, a route many soldiers must have followed, either by tank or by foot.
19) Nijmegen. Nebo.
The Nebo seminary was a British hospital during the war. Not far from here, on the other side of the road from Groesbeek to Nijmegen and next to the Sionshof was another small Temporary Cemetery.
The novella ‘Five graves at Nijmegen”, written by Eric Baume, was published by B.T. Batsford Ltd. in London in the spring of 1945. It has run into several editions, both in English and Dutch. Up till now it is a story shrouded in mystery. It tells us what happened around the graves opposite the British hospital in the Nebo seminary and next to hotel Sionshof.
20) Nijmegen. “The Valkhof”.
The Valkhof and Barbarossa ruins where nothing suggests the heavy fighting which took place in September 1944.
The Grenadier Guards captured the bridge across the river Waal and the 504 PIR in the early afternoon of 20th September after the 504 PIR crossed the river in canvas boats. At the time of the crossing however, the northern approach of the bridge was still controlled by the Germans and it would last till about 19.00 hours before sergeant Peter Robinson’s troop of tanks crossed at first the bridge. The bridge was strongly defended by the Germans, amongst others from the Valkhof ruin. The monument next to the Valkhof, an Angel throwing a wreath of laurels, had nothing to do with Operation Market-Garden. Although, it could have been placed to stimulate the Kings Company of the Guards who came from that direction to drive out the Germans from the Valkhof after fierce hand to hand fighting.
21) Nijmegen. “Jan van Hoof” monument at Trianus square.
After the war money was raised by the citizens of Nijmegen to erect a monument for their best known resistance fighter, Jan van Hoof, who saved the Nijmegen Waal Bridge. The bronze standard-bearer near the Waal Bridge is dedicated to all those who with van Hoof were killed in the liberation of Nijmegen. As early as 1945 a commemoration stone had been laid on the spot where he died and a carved stone placed in one of the piers of the bridge that he saved by sabotaging the ignition wires of the blasting-charge.
22) Nijmegen. Hunnerpark.
This is the Hunnerpark on the west side of the bridge approach. Here, on 18th September 1974, allied military leaders interred a time capsule containing official documents and memorabilia of Operation Market-Garden.
23) Nijmegen. Belvedere.
The dominating Belvedere at the Hunnerpark was a strong military defence bastion from the 17th Century.
Nowadays it is a restaurant with a nice view over the river and to the Waal Bridge. During Operation Market-Garden it was fortified by the Germans and formed, together with several anti-tank guns along the bridge approach, a strong defensive work. The German anti-tank gun in front of Belvedere remembers the fierce fighting for the Waal Bridge.
24) Nijmegen. Waal-Bridge.
The days after the Nijmegen Waal Bridge was captured, a long stream of military vehicles, heading for Elst, was visible from the Belvedere tower. It’s hard to remember now, how fierce the fighting for this huge bridge was in those September days of 1944. After the Nijmegen Waal Bridge was captured it was not out of danger. Daily the bridge was target of bombing raids and in the night of 28th to 29th September German frogmen seriously damaged the bridge about where we are now at the main support. Immediately after the accident a Bailey bridge was moved in by the British Royal Engineers to cover a hole in the super-structure.
From the bridge one has a good view over the river in the direction of the railway Bridge and to the lower city of Nijmegen which in the mean time has almost completely been rebuilt. Underneath the railway Bridge the river is visible where Julian Cook and his men crossed the river.
British Bailey bridges played an import role during Operation Market-Garden not only in Son, but also in this area. Between the railway- and road-bridge a Bailey pontoon bridge was constructed to secure the island connection. Furthermore Bailey bridges were situated next to the Grave bridge, next to the lock bridge at Heumen and next to the rail-road viaduct at Molenhoek.
From the other side of the bridge one has a good view over the “Ooij polder” where from September 1944 until February 1945 the front line ran straight through this swampy area. During the winter of 1944/45 the Germans inundated a great part of this beautiful polder. During Operation Veritable the polder was recaptured by the Canadian First Army.
25) Lent. Waal crossing Monument.
The place of the Waal crossing on 20th September 1944 by the 504 PIR.
Specially made historical correct painting for Norbert de Groot his book ‘Als sterren van de hemel’
(As Stars from heaven).
The Waalcrossing Monument is situated near Lent, opposite the Nijmegen power station. From the power station the crossing of 26 collapsible British boats under command of Julian Cook took place under heavy German fire from this bank of the river. Only fourteen boats reached this side of the river. The surviving American paratroops managed to capture Fort “Hof van Holland”, the railway-bridge and the northern ramp of the traffic-bridge. The unveiling of the monument took place on 18th September 1984 in presence of James Gavin.
26) Lent. Fort “Hof of Holland”.
This old Dutch fort was a serious threat during the Waal crossing and afterwards because of the German anti-aircraft- and machine-guns on top of it. Via a small bridge and a brickwork tunnel the paratroops reached the inner court and on the old Indian way they recaptured the fort.
From this place we have a final look into the direction of Nijmegen and we continue our journey on “The Island”, where some of the fiercest fighting of the whole Operation took place. The Battles were almost entirely British, and later Polish Airborne, with a number of British regiment engaged.
27) Elst. Church.
This is the Elst church where the 94th Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery had an observation post in the tower. With their 25 pounders they fought for a fortnight just south of Arnhem in support of the evacuation of the Airborne.
28) Driel. Polish monument.
On 25th September 1944 the 1st Independent Polish Parachute brigade, commanded by major-General S. Sosabowski, landed at Driel. Time and again attempts were made to ferry Polish paratroops across the Rhine in rubber dinghies under heavy German fire in order to help to maintain and reinforce the British perimeter around Hartenstein. During the night of September 25/26, together with the Dorsets, they covered the evacuation of the British and Polish paratroopers from this perimeter at the cost of many casualties. The National Monument consists of a plinth, symbolising the Polish nation and it contains a bronzed urn filled with Polish soil, flanked by the Polish and Warsaw coats of arms and crowned by the Polish Brigade. From the plinth a dynamic concrete element rises, symbol of the Polish courage and strength; the figure of Youth emerges from here, the inscription says: ‘Surge Polonia’ – Poland rise ! The columns on either side were added in 1979: the left one bears the plaque with the names of 94 Polish soldiers who were killed; the one on the right shows the coat of arms of Poland and the memorial plaque, fitted in 1946.
29) Driel. Monument at the Lower-Rhine dike.
During the night of September 25/26, 1944, British and Canadian Engineers (‘Sappers’) ferried about 2,400 British and Polish Airborne from the opposite side at Oosterbeek to the Southern bank where safety was waiting; the canvas boats and those with outboard engines were most vulnerable and they crossed under continuos heavy German fire. This monument is dedicated to these brave Engineers. It consists of a large slab of Portuguese bianco sargo granite on which two black granite slabs are attached: one with the badges of RE and RCA; the other one shows the dates and an image, originally sketched by a Canadian Sapper. ‘They were just whispers and shadows in the night’, quoting a British paratrooper who was one of the Airborne to be ferried across during that night. From the place of the monument the Driel ferry, the Westerbowing and the old church near Oosterbeek are visible.
30) Arnhem. Airborne Monument.
About 100 metres north of the John Frost Bridge, one can find one of the most important monuments of the Battle of Arnhem. It’s an old pillar of the Justice Palace in Arnhem, which was totally destroyed during the battle. Every year a commemoration of those men who died and fought at the bridge is held here. The monument can be found on the Airborneplein (Airborne Square) in Arnhem. It does only have one sentence inscription: ‘17 September 1944′.
31) Arnhem. John Frost bridge.
The majority of the 2nd Parachute Battalion under command of Lieutenant-Colonel John Frost managed to reach the Arnhem Bridge in the evening of 17th September by way of the most southern route from the dropping zone. The 600 odd men entrenched themselves around the northern ramp of the bridge. Awaiting for the 30 Corps they managed to hold the bridge for seven days. At the end there was a great shortage of ammunition, food and water. The number of casualties were numerous and finally the bridge was “A bridge too far”.
On the bridge one can find a plague which commemorates the actions of 2nd Parachute Battalion.
leading his soldiers persistent and brave
went a bridge too far which they tried to save
the bridge is now with his name proudly wrought
32) Arnhem. St. Eusebius church.
The remains of the old city centre on the Rhine Bridge after the liberation. A Bailey bridge already replaces the bridge. On the foreground the Eusebius church.
During the heavy fighting in 1944 the Eusebius church was heavily damaged. In 1994 the totally renovated tower was reopened. The 93 meters high tower contains a unique glass elevator. At the top of the tower an explanation is given about the battle of Arnhem and one has a good view over the area. The tower is sometimes called ‘The miracle of Arnhem’. After the war it arise from the ruins. In the church the guild plates and a mausoleum of Hertog Karel van Gelder can be found. It contains the heaviest Bayard bell of Holland. In the church there is a very nice Strümphler organ. This organ is from 1795 and comes from the Amsterdam Lutheran church. (The old organ was destroyed in the war.). You find this church at the Kerkplein, you cannot miss: You can see the tower from long distance.
33) Oosterbeek. Airborne Cemetery.
Airphotograph from the Airborne War Cemetery at Oosterbeek taken in 1947.
Arnhem is the capital of the Province of Gelderland; Oosterbeek is a village suburb about four miles from the city centre. It was in this area that the British 1st Airborne Division landed in September 1944 in their vain attempt to capture and hold the bridge over the Lower Rhine at Arnhem. The division made a stand within a gradually shrinking perimeter at Oosterbeek, holding out until all hope of relief by troops advancing from the south was abandoned and their supplies and ammunition ran out. Many of those who died were buried on the south side of Oosterbeek, in what was to become the cemetery when large numbers of others were brought in from temporary graves. The cemetery is the scene of an annual ceremony organised by the local people. Poles also often visit it, as a number of their countrymen are buried here.
The cemetery contains over 1,600 British burials, over 30 Canadian, four each from Australia and New Zealand and 80 from Poland. There is an excellent museum nearby concerned with the fighting at Arnhem; it is owned and organised by the local authorities.
Age shall not wary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We will remember them”.
All: We will remember them.
34) Oosterbeek. The Old Church at the Benedendorpseweg.
The Old Church in Oosterbeek is the oldest church in Holland. It was built around the year 900. The church is a lot smaller now and was rebuilt when the war was over. It was totally destroyed. The church was an end of the perimeter en was a post of the Artillery. Due to the lost of the brigade, the church became important: de artillery fired from here. They fought a brave battle for days. The church was held till the last day. The church was the point of rendez-vous before the withdrawal.
Monument near the Old Church Oosterbeek:
Near the Old Church in Oosterbeek stands a monument that commemorates especially those men who fought near this church.
and their Polish comrades with the support of
brave Dutch men and women fought a grim battle
around this ancient Church in the struggle to
liberate The Netherlands from Nazi tyranny.
This stone commemorates all who took part in
this action and above all those who died
NOT ONE SHALL BE FORGOTTEN-
35) Oosterbeek. House of Kate ter Horst at the Benedendorpseweg.
This is the house were Kate ter Horst, the Angel of Arnhem, took care of 300 wounded British soldiers. The house, the former vicarage of the Old Church, is situated not far from the church. In the garden, about 50 British soldiers were buried. In 1980 Kate and her husband Jan received a British distinction namely “Member of the British Empire”. Kate had already received the Kings Medal for courage in the cause of Freedom.
In 1993, a motorcar knocked down Kate and Jan while they went out for a walk. Kate died and Jan was seriously injured. It was destiny that the tragic accident happened at the same place where she saw many English soldiers dying.
36) Oosterbeek. Airborne Museum “Hartenstein”.
This is Hotel Hartenstein: the headquarters of General Urquhart. In Hartenstein Park, nearby, it was very dangerous. German soldiers hid in the trees and fired at the British. On the tennis-court the Airborne Division held his prisoners of war. Nowadays, Hotel Hartenstein the famous Airborne Museum. In the basement of the hotel the injured were taken care of. The building can be found on the Utrechtseweg in Oosterbeek.
The Airborne Museum gives an impression of Operation Market-Garden and the Battle of Arnhem by means of e.g. an audio visual presentation, pictures, equipment, personal belongings, weapons, uniforms and dioramas. Both of the Allied as well as the German soldiers.
37) Oosterbeek. The Airborne monument opposite the Hartenstein museum.
The Airborne monument opposite the Hartenstein museum. Mayor General R.E. Urquart laid the first stone on 25th September 1945.
This is one of the most important monuments of the Battle of Arnhem. Jacob Maris built it in 1946. The monument has got no inscription, but an explanation is to find at the bus stop near the Utrechtseweg. This explanation contains a report of the battle. Some benches also surround this monument, called a needle.
38) Oosterbeek. The Westerbouwing.
This hill played an important role during the Battle of Arnhem. The soldiers from the 1st Border were dislodged by German troops. They could sweep the entire river with their machine-guns. Especially the Polish on the other side of the river came in trouble. They were constantly shot and only could cross the river during the night. In this they did not succeed completely, as light bullets were fired during the crossing. Only 200 of them managed to reach the other side of the river. One day later the Dorsetshire Regiment also tried it, but they failed, as the Germans could easily reach them from the height of the Westerbouwing. Also because of the sacrifice of this Regiment the battle was cancelled. On the Westerbouwing a beautiful restaurant is situated. On the wall of the restaurant a plaque is fit which commemorates the Dorsets. From here we can also see the Driel ferry, the church towers of Elst and Driel, and the power station of Nijmegen.
At the Westerbouwing, one is automatically confronted with the question: “In how far was Market-Garden a success” and “Where did it go wrong”. Was it a 90% success and can we say this in presence of relatives and those who survived Market-Garden and the hell of Arnhem.
Let me quote part of a letter I received from Dennis Sear from Berkhamsted. He believes that the end justified the means in Market-Garden and he doesn’t think that there are many of his chaps who lay blame on their leaders for what happened. Weather, luck and lack of vital information, all played a part.
Although not a military strategist he would contest the historians claim of failure and here is why:
A number of Bridges of strategic importance were taken and held. This meant that the Germans lost a number of natural defences. I doubt if a step by step approach would have achieved as much, or if the eventual end of the war would have been achieved in the time it was.
The area was ideal for the build-up and preparation for Operation Veritable, plenty of cover in the marshalling areas.
In the mean time the channel ports were freed and consequently lines of communication reduced and consolidated.