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Battle of Arnhem: Mass parachute drop marks WW2 assault – [IMAGES]

Battle of Arnhem: Mass parachute drop marks WW2 assault – [IMAGES]
September 21
16:54 2019

(UTV|COLOMBO) – A mass parachute drop has taken place in the Netherlands to mark the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden in World War Two.

The Prince of Wales is attending services to commemorate the allied assault in the Battle of Arnhem.

Veteran Sandy Cortmann, 97, parachuted again over the Dutch city.

British, US and Polish forces dropped behind enemy lines in 1944 but failed in their bid to secure eight bridges and open up a route into Germany.

About 35,000 troops landed by parachute and gliders in what was then the largest airborne operation in history.

They seized bridges and canal crossings at Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Arnhem, but were forced to retreat after German counter-attacks. More than 1,500 allied soldiers were killed and nearly 6,500 captured.

The events were portrayed in Richard Attenborough’s 1977 Hollywood war epic A Bridge Too Far starring Sean Connery, Robert Redford, Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine.

Prince Charles and Princess Beatrix

Veterans at Arnhem commemorative service

Sandy Cortmann

Paratroopers and Gliders in Operation Market Garden in September 1944

Veterans Geoff Roberts (left) and Ray Whitwell at the CWGC Oosterbeek War Cemetery near Arnhem, Netherlands on 20 September 2019Allied Sherman tanks crossing the newly-captured bridge at Nijmegen in Holland during their advance as part of Operation Market Garden

 

On Friday, the ashes of two veterans of the Battle of Arnhem were laid to rest alongside their fallen comrades buried in Oosterbeek.

Relatives of Pte Dennis Collier, 95, from Harrogate, and Pte Steve Morgan, 93, from Chipping Norton, travelled to the Netherlands to see their remains interred.

Tributes were paid before wreaths were laid and the last post was sounded by a lone bugler.

Meanwhile, the southern Dutch town of Brunssum has bestowed honorary citizenship on 328 British soldiers buried in its war cemetery in recognition of their sacrifice to help liberate the Netherlands.

(BBC)

 

 

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