Banner ad: Harold D. Carr
Watch video: Harold D. CarrSide ad: Harold D. CarrSide ad: Car Star - Hi TechSide ad: Olympic Game Farm

75th anniversary of daring WWII Allied operation marked in the Netherlands

75th anniversary of daring WWII Allied operation marked in the Netherlands
Spectators watch a mass parachute drop at Ginkel Heath, eastern Netherlands, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, as part of commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, an ultimately unsuccessful airborne and land offensive that Allied leaders hoped would bring a swift end to World War II by capturing key Dutch bridges and opening a path to Berlin. (Peter Dejong/AP)

GINKEL HEATH, Netherlands — Parachutes glowing gold and white against clear blue skies, hundreds of paratroopers floated to the ground in the eastern Netherlands on Saturday to mark the 75th anniversary of a daring but ultimately unsuccessful mission that Allied commanders hoped would bring a swift end to World War II.

Operation Market Garden dropped nearly 35,000 paratroopers deep behind enemy lines in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. After landing, the troops were to capture and secure key roads and bridges so Allied forces massed in Belgium could pour into Germany’s industrial heartland.

Recreating the mass drops of September 1944, military aircraft flew low over Ginkel Heath on Saturday and current military parachutists leaped out. Thousands of spectators watched and applauded the soldiers once they were on the ground.

One veteran of the original landing, Sandy Cortmann, jumped again Saturday while strapped to a British paratrooper. After their landing, a wheelchair took Cortmann to a tent to watch the anniversary ceremony.

The British 1st Airborne Division led the huge airborne assault 75 years ago that was part of British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery ill-fated plan for Operation Market Garden. Paratroopers from the U.S. Army’s 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions and Poland’s 1st Independent Parachute Brigade also were dropped into the Netherlands.

“It was a day like today. Weather was just like this; lovely sunny day,” he said, adding there was no opposition on the Sunday afternoon when he landed close to two German soldiers lying in the heathland with their girlfriends.

“They were quite surprised to see me,” he added with a cheeky smile.

But as he and other paratroopers got to Arnhem there was plenty of opposition from German troops. He was hit by a German shell and his right arm was amputated shortly afterward.

The Allied troops met stubborn German resistance in and around Arnhem. Their advance stalled on a bridge spanning the River Rhine, a battle immortalized in the book and Hollywood film “A Bridge Too Far.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Top

Logo: WA Military Resource Guide
This is an unofficial website that includes the listing of telephone numbers of the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard commands in the state of Washington. It is published by West Coast Publishing, a firm in no way connected with the Department of Defense, the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard. The appearance of advertisements on this website does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of Defense or the Army, Air Force, Navy, or Marine Corps or Coast Guard of products or services advertised. All products and services advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation or any other non-merit factor of the purchaser, user or patron.