Arnhem – ‘Operation Market Garden’ Tour
(Four day tour)
This tour covers the fighting that raged around the bridge and in the suburbs of Oosterbeek and tells the story of the battle and the courage of the soldiers who took part in the operation that could have ended the war by Christmas. This is a tour not to be missed.
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.
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.
Our tour begins at Leopoldsburg as we set off to cross Joe’s Bridge and follow the corridor taken by XXX Corps known as Hell’s Highway to Arnhem.
Along the way we will study the main actions of the US 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions at Eindhoven and Nijmegen before arriving at our hotel. The rest of the evening is at your leisure.
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. Lunch will be provided on the touring days (included in the price).
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’ (museum entrance fees included in the price). This was the hotel from which 1st Airborne set up their headquarters. It was bitterly fought over throughout the battle.
It is also our intention to visit other sites of interest connected to Operation Market Garden.
Day Four: Today sees us leave our Best Western hotel and journey back to France and our channel crossing back to the UK.
Memorial Service at Arnhem Cemetery
RE Memorial marking the river crossing point