Arnhem – ‘Operation Market Garden’ 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.
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.
At Leopoldsburg our tour begins as we 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 drop zones around the Arnhem and Oosterbeek areas including the Polish drop one at Driel.
We look at 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 which we will follow and then look at the defence of the bridge itself.
Over these two 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.
We will take you to the area around 14 Zwarteweg where Major General Urquhart avoided capture in the attic.
It is also our intention to visit other sites of interest connected to Operation Market Garden.
Day Four: Today sees us leave our 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