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Archive for Sunday, September 20, 2009

Parachutists honor ill-fated WWII mission

September 20, 2009

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— Hundreds of British, American and Dutch parachutists drifted out of blue skies over the central Netherlands on Saturday to mark the 65th anniversary of an ill-fated operation aimed at bringing a swift end to World War II.

The mass jumps over the Ginkelse Heath near the town of Ede honored the thousands of Allied troops who took part in air drops as part of “Operation Market Garden” in September 1944.

The operation was British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s plan to drop paratroopers deep behind enemy lines in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands to capture and secure key roads and bridges so that Allied forces massed in Belgium could pour into Germany’s industrial heartland and bring World War II to an early end.

But once on the ground, the Allied troops met with stubborn German resistance in and around the city of Arnhem and their advance stalled on a bridge there spanning the River Rhine.

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