September 20th, 1944 - On this day in World War Two history, In Operation Market Garden, British ground troops link with U.S. 82nd Airborne in Nijmegen, Holland.
The Operation had begun just 3 days earlier, and with a link up already made, you could say things were going well for the allies.
The operation required the seizure of the bridges across the Maas (Meuse River), two arms of the Rhine (the Waal and the Lower Rhine) along with crossings over several smaller canals and tributaries.
While several bridges were captured between Eindhoven and Nijmegen at the operations onset, delays soon set in along with the German demolishing of bridges before the allies got to them (the Germans destroyed the bridge over the Wilhelmina Canal before the US 101st Airborne were able to secure it.
Furthermore, the US 82nd Airborne's failure to capture the main road bridge over the river Waal at Nijmegen before this day, September 20th, delayed the British XXX Corps. The success of Market Garden relied on the rapid movement of the British armored forces while the allied paratroopers secured the bridges on which the armor would cross next, ensuring the Germans would not be able to demolish them.
The paratroopers found it difficult to carry out their task effectively, and soon German reinforcements moved in from Germany to beat the allies back.
The allies were just too slow. The farthest advance was achieved by the British 1st Airborne Division, which managed to capture the north end of the Arnhem road bridge, but they were soon overrun, and the rest of the 1st Airborne Division was evacuated on September 25th.
Operation Market Garden was the key to ending the war by Christmas, which was many officers and soldiers dream alike. But, with its failure, the allies buckled in for a longer was consisting of more deaths, more destruction, and more horror. This is a good picture of the initial preparation for Operation Market and shows the gear a paratrooper dropped with.
#wwii #worldwarii #history #ww2history #warhistory #ww2 #us #british #america #britain #1944 #germantanks #germantank #germany #operation #failure #armor