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Operation Market Garden


17 September – 25 September 1944

WW2 - Operation Market Garden

Immortalised in the film A Bridge Too Far, on 17th September 1944 Operation Market Garden began with ground troops advancing across the Belgian-Dutch border and Airborne troops dropped close to a series of key bridges between Eindhoven and Arnhem. The idea was to capture the bridges on the road to Arnhem using Airborne troops dropped up to 80 miles behind enemy lines, and then ground forces would advance and link up with them bridge by bridge.

The Facts


  • Date: 17 September – 25 September 1944
  • Location: The Netherlands and Germany
Countries Involved
British Empire
United States
Canada
Poland
Netherlands
German Empire
Countries Commanders
Bernard Montgomery
Lewis H. Brereton
Miles Dempsey
Frederick Browning
Brian Horrocks
Stanisław Sosabowski
Gerd von Rundstedt
Walter Model
Kurt Student
Wilhelm Bittrich
Gustav-Adolf von Zangen
Number of Casualties
Around 15,326 - 17,200 Around 3,300 - 13,300

Battle result: Allied operational failure

General Bernard Montgomery, whose plan this was, aimed to try and end the war by Christmas by taking the war into Germany itself, which lay just beyond Arnhem, via this narrow corridor. Like all plans, it went wrong and suffered setbacks. Airborne troops at the far end got to Arnhem Bridge and held on for as long as they could while they bulk of their comrades were pushed back to a pocket around the suburb of Oosterbeek. By the end of the battle ground troops had linked up with the men at Arnhem, but it was too little, too late. Of the 12,000 who had dropped into Arnhem, only 2,000 made it back. The rest were killed or taken prisoner, many of the latter wounded.

Allied Paratrooper

Allied Paratrooper

Nijmegen, Holland

Nijmegen, Holland

Arnhem Bridge

Arnhem Bridge

Learn more about this battle on the following Leger Battlefield tours