Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines. However, mismanagement and poor planning result in its failure.
The true story of Operation Market Garden, the Allies attempt, in September 1944, to hasten the end of WW2 by driving through Belgium and Holland into Germany. The idea was for US airborne divisions to take the towns of Eindhoven and Nijmegen and a British airborne division, reinforced by a Polish airborne brigade, to take the town of Arnhem. They would be reinforced, in due course and in turn, by the British XXX Corps, land-based and driving up from the British lines in the south. The key to the operation was the bridges, as if the Germans held or blew them, the paratroopers could not be relieved. Faulty intelligence, Allied high command hubris and stubborn German resistance would ensure that Arnhem was a bridge too far. Written by
Sir Laurence Olivier showed up on the set wearing an old suit and a pair of battered black shoes. He informed Sir Richard Attenborough that he had been gardening in the shoes for a month, so that they would look just right for the character, a Dutch farmer and doctor who risks his life to tend the wounded. See more »
Most of the C-47 aircraft in the movie are incorrectly painted a yellowish-brown. The actual color would have been olive drab. See more »
Last week, September 13 to 19, 2004, Operation Market Garden happened exactly 60 years ago. It was maybe the last remembrance of Operation Market Garden with a sizable number of veterans present from as far afield as Australia, the USA, Britain, and Poland. It was VERY impressive to see them marching or driving over the John Frost Bridge in the centre of Arnhem, where the battle had its climax. The veterans I talked to told me they really enjoyed the warmth with which they were received, by both the young and old Dutch people. Many were moved emotionally.. and many visit the remembrance annually, as far as their health permits (they are all in their 80s of course).
Other memorable events were the air droppings on the Ginkelse Heide (heath), and the ceremony at the military cemetery at Oosterbeek, attended by the Queen of Holland and the Prince of Wales.
For those who are interested, here are some good websites with info on the battle: