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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A is for Arnhem: A Bridge Too Far


On 17 September 1944 thousands of paratroopers descended from the sky by parachute or glider up to 150 km behind enemy lines. Their goal: to secure to bridges across the rivers in Holland so that the Allied army could advance rapidly northwards and turn right into the lowlands of Germany, hereby skirting around the Siegfried line, the German defence line. If all carried out as planned it should have ended the war by Christmas 1944.
Unfortunately this daring plan, named Operation Market Garden, didn't have the expected outcome. The bridge at Arnhem proved to be 'a bridge too far'. After 10 days of bitter fighting the operation ended with the evacuation of the remainder of the 1st British Airborne Division from the Arnhem area.



During our cruise in spring, 2011, with Viking River Cruises, we visited the city of Arnhem in The Netherlands. Our ship, the Viking Pride was berthed in full view of the bridge whose loss meant so much in the second World War.



Posted for the letter A
in Mrs. Nesbitt's alphabetical meme
ABC Wednesday
To see how other bloggers used the letter A, please click  HERE!

20 comments:

anthonynorth said...

A great place. It was a daring campaign that should have succeeded, let down by bad intelligence. Arnhem had 2 off-duty Panzer Divisions on location that no one had noticed.

photowannabe said...

Thanks for the snippet of history. The river cruise is a wonderful way to learn about the world, up close and personal.

Roger Owen Green said...

That's a sad tale. Of course, war is, by its very nature, a sad tale.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Jo said...

Love the view of the bridge beyond your tourist ship, Kay. The huge stone monument is amazing too. Thanks for all your comments. I'm on a deadline trying to finish my second story this week and not succeeding! A big hug to dear Lindy Jo PS how far is Project Kitchen getting on?

Mara said...

I've been to Arnhem several times (well, over 20 anyway) and don't think I have ever seen that monument. I do know some of the story though.

Another sad story that happened to Arnhem during the war was that the Allied forces mistook Arnhem and Nijmegen (a close city) for two German towns just accross the border and bombed them. A lot of people were then forced out of their houses and some even lived in the local Open Air Museum for the remainder of the war. The museum had plenty of houses and farms that had been moved there to protect them from demolition and save them for future generations.

Reader Wil said...

Yes this was both tragic and stupid and should not have happened. It was due to fail.
Arnhem has recovered fortunately and is now a beautiful modern city.
Thanks Kay for this informative post!

☆♥Shydub♥☆ said...

it's fascinating how each places, things had its own history and story. thanks for sharing

Visiting from ABC Wednesday and RT

chubskulit said...

Fantastic views of your letter A. I like the bit of info of history too.

My A entry, come and see. Have a lovely day!

Martha Z said...

An interesting bit of history, reinforced in your memory I'm sure, by actually being there.

Leslie: said...

I'd still like to visit Holland some day - and what a shame about the bridge.

Leslie
abcw team

Paula Scott said...

So glad that YOUR ship did not suffer like the Italian cruise line did this week1

Hildred and Charles said...

A few months later, as they reached the woods close to Njimagen, Charles lost his older brother - we visited there in 1995 and left a rock and a plaque from the hills of home in the Okanagan which we attached to his gravestone. A great post, Kay.

Tumblewords: said...

Thank you for a wonderfully informative post. The photos are beautiful!

diane b said...

I love river cruises too. This is a sad but interesting piece of history.

Gattina said...

Interesting, I didn't know that. I didn't learn very much about this time ate school, Germany wanted to forget ! Today the German children learn what happened in school.

EG Wow said...

Very sad! It's a beautiful city now, though.

Wanda said...

Thanks for a little slice of History I wasn't aware of. I have a dear friend from Holland.

Vicki said...

Thanks for sharing your vacation. Looks like a place my husband would enjoy. Wonderful photos.
~Vicki~

Powell River Books said...

I'm reading a scifi (time travel) book about World War II in England on my Kindle right now. It must have been a very difficult time throughout Europe then. - Margy

Mel Cole said...

amazing place. love to hear historical info. that ship is fascinating too. My "A" for ABC Wednesday.