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Arnhem

Discussion in 'Living History' started by JonathanBall39, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. JonathanBall39

    JonathanBall39 Member

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    Thanks for all the kind words on the Remagen photos. Yes we are lucky that so much history is but a hop across the channel away. I thought you may like to see these. First posted on WW2talk they are of that most iconic of British battlefields, Arnhem and the Oosterbeek perimeter...


    The Airborne memorial at Drop Zone Y at Ginkel Heath.


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    The Glider LZ Memorial near Wolfheze


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    And one of the LZ's as it is today.


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    The Airborne Memorial at Heelsum featuring a Airborne variant of the 6lb anti tank gun. It's one of only 3 still in existence. The memorial shows an imaginative use of the panniers used in the operation


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    Oosterbeek CWGC Cemetery


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    Sergeant's to a man. The Glider Pilot Regiment


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    Lewis Curtis, buried only a fortnight ago, amongst friends again


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    3 VC's at Oosterbeek


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  2. JonathanBall39

    JonathanBall39 Member

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    We then moved onto the Hartenstein Hotel Museum, a chance to walk in the footsteps of Roy Urquhart..


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    I appreciate that not everyone approves of the 'Airborne Experience' exhibition at the Museum but I thought it was marvellous.


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    Urquhart


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    Arnhem medics


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    The Newspapers capturing the ebb and flow of battle..


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    Never surrender ;)..


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  3. JonathanBall39

    JonathanBall39 Member

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    Some Airborne memorials..


    The Oosterbeek memorial


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    Dorsets and the Borders..


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    The view towards the Railway bridge..


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    The Church at Oosterbeek formed part of the defensive perimeter and was defended by Lonsdale Force. Here is Dickie Lonsdale himself from Theirs is the Glory


    [video=youtube;MKzzEsswzEs]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKzzEsswzEs[/video]




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    In this spot two Vickers Machine Guns got 'damn well dug in' to defend the perimeter..


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    And the field of fire that position afforded


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    The Church Memorial


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  4. JonathanBall39

    JonathanBall39 Member

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    St. Elisabeth's Hospital


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    Pegasus marks a spot on the trail..


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    The house in whose attic Roy Urquhart hid keeping him out of contact for 36 hours..


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    And finally as the day drew to a close, the bridge..


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  5. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    Stupendous. Five Star effort.

    I had heard that the original bridge at Arnhem was to be demolished. Must have been a rumour, or planned and never executed. Nice to see the original structure still in place.

    Arnhem was, in retrospect, the worst defeat ever suffered by the German Army in WW2. Defeat? They won the battle, but guaranteed the war would have no chance of conclusion by the Western Allies getting to Berlin before the Soviets. Their last ditch effort in the Ardennes would have been sent against the Soviets, as it should have been. So, Arnhem was a double defeat, both for Germany, and for the Allied alliance. It left the door firmly shut, and as the Soviets gathered on the Oder River, the Cold War rears it's ugly head.
     
  6. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Some superb pictures there, Jonathan.
     
  7. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    Hmmm...interesting.

    The American newspaper you posted, 'Stars and Stripes' also ran a story reporting that Washington was predicting that the war with Japan would run for a "minimum of a year and a half to two years after the fall of Germany". Either they were being cautiously pessimistic, or, their losses where starting to bite, with the campaign expected to slow down.

    As we know now, Japan lasted a scarce three months after the fall of Germany, surrendering in August of 45.

    Wonder whether that was the official 'word', or whether the White House and the Joint Chiefs were preparing the nation for the very worst. It's interesting because it's a public acknowledgment that the war with the Japanese was, in the minds of Washington, only going to get slower and more costly.

    This view may well have colored opinions when it came to dropping the bomb. Planners of Operation Olympic/Coronet were taking Gen. Macarthur's estimates of casualties to be suffered pretty seriously as it was. This might have come along at a time when the general pessimism was at it's height. Proves that the United States military was taking a very conservative approach to the war with Japan.
     
  8. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    The Brit newspaper, 'The Daily Sketch", shows a box in the bottom right hand corner of it's front page "Timely Words of Faith"......along with the photo shown of 1st Airborne graffiti from Arnhem, (Never surrender.....F**k the Gerrys), it seems to fit quite nicely. Interesting too is the 'kill sheet' at the bottom of the graffiti, telling all who read it how many Germans they had killed.

    What an incredible spirit those 1st Airborne boys must have had. The Germans were in open admiration of it, from what I've read. !st Airborne prisoners, some brought to Oflag IV prison camp in Germany, were openly lauded by an SS General that turned up there for an impromptu inspection. Laughing and joking with dirty and battleshocked survivors, the author of the account said of the visit....

    "Those 1st Airborne fellows aquired quite a reputation at Arnhem. There is, it seems, some glory after all in war...."

    I beleive it was none other than General Bittrich himself who inspected these troops. The authors other inmates thought it was Goring, but the Generals dapper appearance and lack of a monacle both point to Bittrich, who said of the battle...."In all my years as a soldier, I never saw people fight so hard."
     
  9. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    A wonderful collection of photos. Thanks for posting them.
     
  10. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Great to see the Arnhem photos....just for the record, neither bridge is the original structure. The rail bridge was blown by the Germans at the beginning of the Battle ( with airborne troops literally just starting to cross ). The road bridge was demolished by the Germans in early 1945 but was rebuilt in almost exactly the same style as the original. A few years ago there was a proposal to change the name from the 'John Frost Bridge' to the 'Nelson Mandela Bridge' ; this proposal was quickly dropped after an outcry in which local people played a large part.
     
  11. JonathanBall39

    JonathanBall39 Member

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    The Nelson Mandela bridge is indeed in Arnhem, just lower down than the John Frost bridge. It's quite an ugly concrete road bridge but does give a nice view back up the river.

    The Nelson Mandela bridge in Arnhem
     
  12. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Thanks, Jonathan - so they arrived at a compromise .... Back in the early 2000's my Dad and I met an Arnhem councillor who gave us some of the background - apparently feelings ran very high !
     
  13. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    Thankyou Mr Bull.

    I thought that bridge had been replaced, just wasn't sure.

    As for changing the name fro the JohnFrostBrug, (John Frost Bridge) to the Nelson Mandela Bridge, I would have blown a big rassberry at that one too.

    Anyone would think the government of the Netherlands had forgotten all about Operation Market/Garden. Disgraceful really, considering just how hard those boys fought to liberate Holland.
     
  14. pistol

    pistol Member

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    The Arnhem road bridge actually was knocked out by Allied bombers on 7 Oct 1944, so as to cut off the German units under II SS Pz Corps that were operating on The Island, the low-lying waterlogged area between the Lower Rhine at Arnhem and the Waal at Nijmegen.

    At the time the German II.SS-Pz Corps was making a full-out effort to oust the British (and Americans - 101st Airborne Div!) from The Island.
     

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