History of the Battle

The following summary is reproduced courtesy of Airborne Assault, the Museum of the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces:

While the 6th British Airborne Division fought in Normandy the 1st Airborne Division was on constant stand-by for further airborne operations. There were 16 cancellations before 17th September 1944 when they flew to Arnhem during Operation MARKET-GARDEN.

1st Allied Airborne Corps, which included the American 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, was tasked to secure the main canal and river crossings between Eindhoven and Arnhem. The aim was to provide an ‘airborne carpet’ along which the ground forces spearheaded by 30 Corps would break into the Ruhr and end the war.

The 1st British Airborne Division, which included the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 10th, 11th and 156th battalions of the Parachute Regiment under command of Major General Roy Urquhart was dropped near Arnhem to seize the road bridge over the Neder Rijn.

Due to insufficient aircraft to fly the Division complete, the Air-Landing Brigade had to be used to protect the DZs for the second lift, leaving only the three battalions of the 1st Parachute Brigade to secure the bridge.