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  • Publicado : 5 de septiembre de 2012
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OPERATION MARKET GARDEN
By Ken Camel

The largest airborne operation in history began on a sunny autumn Sunday in September 1944. An entire airborne army was committed in a bold attempt to seize the key bridges over the numerous rivers and canals leading into the heartland of the Reich. Over 4,000 Allied aircraft took off from airfields in the United Kingdom, France and Belgium to launch asurprise assault on German-occupied Holland. Three British corps each led by an armoured division were poised at the Belgian border to follow up this airborne attack. The ultimate goal was to gain a bridgehead over the Rhine River, a formidable natural boundary, in an attempt to end the war by Christmas.

Moscow
GERMANY POLAND
AL LI ED

SOVIET FORCES

N
W

E S

FRANCE

With the comingof summer 1944, the beginning of the end of the war in Europe was unfolding. The landings in Normandy followed immediately by Operation Bagration, the Soviet offensive in the East, had the Allied armies on both fronts only 800 miles (1300km) from the German capital of Berlin. The race was on. Throughout June and July, the western Allies ground forces slogged their way through the Bocage country ofnorthern France while their Soviet Allies raced across Byelorussia, having crushed the German armies of Heeresgruppe Mitte (Army Group Centre). Then on 25 July 1944 with Operation Cobra, the newly formed US 12th Army Group (the US First and Third Armies) led by General Omar Bradley, broke out of Normandy. Germany was witnessing both its Western and Eastern Fronts crumbling before the

FO RC ESThe Race For Berlin
armoured advances of the Allied armies. By the end of August, the Soviets had burst into Poland and secured three bridgeheads over the Vistula River. In the west, British and American armoured formations were also recreating the Soviet successes. By the first of September the Allies had advanced 240 miles (400km) towards Berlin. The western Allies crossed the Loire River(11 August), invaded southern France (15 August), liberated Falaise, Chartres and Orleans (17 August), crossed the Seine River (20 August), closed the Falaise Gap (21 August), liberated Paris and captured Troyes and Vernon (25 August), and liberated Amiens (31 August). August had proved to be just as bad in the West as July had been in the East for Hitler and Germany. With the arrival of September,the British Second Army rolled into Belgium. Crossing the Somme River (1 September) British forces liberated Douai (2 September), Brussels (3 September), Lille (4 September) and Ghent (5 September). By 8 September the British XXX Corps had reached the Albert Canal on the Belgium-Dutch border.

A MATTER OF SUPPLY
The rapid Allied advance now created an enormous logistics nightmare. The growingmulti-national force, together with the widening expanse of the front, dictated a new strategy. The lack of sufficient port facilities, the growing length of supply lines, and the now greater need for more supplies became the driving factor in any future offensive plans.



Arhnem Bridge

MAY 45

MAY 45

0 0

KM

100 100

MILES

MAR 45 SEP 44 SEP 44 MAR 45 MAY 45

6 JUN 44 AUG44 AUG 44 SEP 44

MAR 45

MAY 45

AUG 44 AUG 44 AUG 44

SEP 44

C-47 Skytrain

A

1ab

1AB

9. SS-PANZER DIV

KG Tettau

Wolfheze Heelsum Oosterbeek Renkum Heveadorp
er Riv

ARNHEM

10. SS-Panzer DIV

HOLLAND
R

Heteren

Driel

POL ARMY GROUP B HQ Model

To

e hin

Th eR uh r

SEE MAP ON PAGE 8

General Key
Objective Bridges
0 0 5 Scale inKilometres Scale in MILES 15 10 20

Valburg

Elst

Wa

al R ive

r
SS-KG Euling 508/505

Weurt Hernen
er

Ma

as

Riv

NIJMEGEN
Alverna Hatert
504

Beek-Ubergen Wyler

Berg En Dal Malden Molenhoek Heumen Mook Cuijk

GERMANY
II. Fallschirmkorps 3 FJD

Korps Feldt

Nederasselt
XI IC O RP S

Groesbeek Horst
505

Kleve

Oss Heesch SEE MAP ON PAGE 6

Grave...
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