Arnhem 75th Anniversary Tour
(Four day tour)
After sweeping through France and Belgium in the summer of 1944, the Allies were poised to enter the Netherlands. Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery favoured a single thrust north over the Lower Rhine river, allowing the British 2nd Army to bypass the German Siegfried Line and attack the Ruhr. To this end the Allies launched ‘Operation Market Garden’ on 17th September 1944 and this year we commemorate the 75th anniversary with a special tour to remember the sacrifices made.
The plan was to drop a carpet of airborne troops consisting of three divisions, the US 101st and 82nd and the British 1st. Their job was to capture and hold a number of key bridges and thus create an ‘Airborne Corridor’ over which the British Second Army lead by XXX Corps could advance. The 101st were given the bridges around Eindhoven and the 82nd those at Nijmegen. The British 1st Division was awarded the prize, the bridges across the Rhine at Arnhem and particularly the road bridge that was to become ‘A Bridge Too Far’.
Day One: Depart by coach from UK collection point and proceed to Dover for our channel crossing by ferry.
We will then leave Calais for our hotel the 4-star Fletcher Hotel-Restaurant Victoria in Hoenderloo. The rest of the evening is at your leisure but a three course evening meal in the hotel restaurant is included in your price – and every night of our stay.
Day Two and Three: Over the next two days we visit the Oosterbeek drop zones of Ginkel and Renkum Heaths, as well as the Polish drop zone at Driel.
We will follow the routes taken by the paratroopers as they moved towards Arnhem, notably the Lion Route taken by Lt Col John Frost and the 2nd Battalion leading to the bridge at Arnhem which they held for almost five days. Here we look at the defence of the bridge itself and the men who made this gallant stand.
During these touring days we also visit the Old (Lonsdale) Church at the base of the defensive pocket on the Lower Rhine and see Kate ter Horst House where so many wounded were cared for. Close by is the VC site of Lance-Sergeant John Baskeyfield, who though wounded, continued to man two anti-tank guns and pour fire into the Germans, delaying their attack until he himself was killed.
We will take you to the area around 14 Zwarteweg where Major General Urquhart avoided capture in the attic. We also walk part of the Utrechtseweg, the main road, looking at the various actions and then we’ll finish at the Airborne Museum ‘Hartenstein’. This was the hotel from which 1st Airborne set up their headquarters. It was bitterly fought over throughout the battle.
It is our intention to attend some of the 75th anniversary commemorations (details of which are to be confirmed) and visit the Groesbeek National Liberation Museum, Groesbeek Memorial along with other sites of interest connected to Operation Market Garden.
Day Four: Today sees us leave our hotel and journey to France and our channel crossing back to the UK.
Memorial Service at Arnhem Cemetery
RE Memorial marking the river crossing point