Operation MARKET-Garden

Waffen-SS officer and Wehrmacht troops
The British 1st Airborne Division, Polish 1st Parachute Brigade, U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division and 101st Airborne Division was dropped along a line marked by Eindhoven in the south and Arnhem in the north in mid-September 1944, both cities in the Netherlands. The Market portion of the operation was made up of the airborne attacks. The Garden portion of the operation consisted of the British 2nd Army roaring north along highway 69 (Hell's Highway). The two attacks were known collectively as Operation Market-Garden, the largest airborne drop in military history involving three Allied divisions. The report that Arnhem was free of serious resistance was incorrect. Several days before the Operation, the 9.SS-Panzer-Division Hohenstaufen and its sister formation 10.SS-Panzer-Division Frundsberg (II.SS-Panzerkorps) were moved into the Arnhem area to rest and refit, however they had both been so severely mauled during the Normandy fighting that they now mustered a combined force of approximately 6,000 men. No longer worthy of the title “division”, the Hohenstaufen and Frundsberg were dubbed divisional SS-Kampfgruppen. Although numerically weaker to the British 1st Airborne Division, their men were all excellently trained and battle-hardened. SS-Obergruppenführer Wilhelm Bittrich's II.SS-Panzerkorps played a decisive role in the defeat of the Allied offensive. Also present were some 600 Dutch SS trainees (Kampfgruppe Tettau) and Luftwaffe Gruppe 3. Credit: The Pegasus Archive. Image: Waffen-SS, Heer and Luftwaffe troops in Arnhem September 1944. Photography by SS-Kriegsberichter Pospesch. Commons Bundesarchiv.

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