Chris Brown holds a PhD in medieval military history from the University of St Andrews. He has designed and delivered numerous history and war studies courses for the OLL department at Edinburgh University. He has travelled extensively through Asia, Europe, the United States and North Africa studying battlefields from the middle ages to the 1960s.
The Battle of Arnhem is one of the most iconic Western front battles of the Second World War.
When we think of Arnhem, we think of a bridge too far and a sky full of parachutes dropping the Allies into the Netherlands. It was one of the most complex and strategically important operations of the war. Operation Market Garden was devised to give the Allies the opportunity to bypass the German Siegfried Line and attack the Ruhr. Paratroopers were dropped into the Netherlands to secure all the bridgeheads and major routes along the proposed Allied axis advance. Simultaneously, the 1st Airborne Division, supported by the Glider Pilot Regiment and Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade, landed at Arnhem. The British expected to sweep through and connect with the Arnhem force within a matter of days. However, things on the ground proved very different. The troops met resistance from pockets of SS soldiers and soon were overwhelmed. The Arnhem contingent was cut off from reinforcement and eventually forced to withdraw. The 1st Airborne Division lost three-quarters of its strength in the operation and did not see battle again.
Through quotes and maps, the text explores the unfolding action of the battle and puts the reader on the frontline. If you truly want to understand what happened and why — read the Battle Story.