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Reading 19º: The Battle of Arnhem (Operation Market Garden)

In May 1945 World War II ended in Europe. It ended when the Russians defeated Berlin. However, the troops that captured Berlin could easily have been British or American.

If operation Market Garden had succeeded then the British or American troops might have arrived in Berlin weeks before the Russians, ending the war before Christmas 1944. This being the case the future of Europe might then have been very different.

Market Garden was one of the most daring plans of World War II. Thirty thousand British and American paratroopers were to be flown behind the enemy lines to capture the eight bridges across the rivers of the Dutch and German border. At the same time, British infantry and tanks were to walk towards the bridges and help the paratroopers. They would then try and cross the bridges.

The plan carried out by General Bernard Montgomery, commander of the British forces, did not work as planned. The weather was a major problem. It was raining heavily and it was very hard for the troops to advance. The land was bogged down. The advance was slow and lots of British and American soldiers died.

After weeks of fighting the allies broke through. For the next three weeks they travelled through France and Belgium liberating Paris and Brussels. Victory to the allies seemed near.

Readings 19º

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