A bridge too far

The year is1944, and the war is raging at full force. During Operation Market Garden, tens of thousands of Allied paratroopers land in occupied territory and a ground army advances from the Belgian border. The advance to the German Ruhr area is halted. Arnhem turns out to be a bridge too far. The south of the Netherlands is largely liberated, but the north and middle remain occupied, and the big cities in the west are facing a terrible famine.

What was supposed to be a quick victory for the Allies turns into one of their toughest defeats. At the Arnhem bridge, Lt. Col. John Frost and his men defend themselves until they are out of ammunition.

John Frost
These four days turn out to be the most important days in the life of John Dutton Frost. These four days, from 17 to 20 September 1944, define the rest of his life. The then lieutenant colonel and his men are the only ones to reach the bridge in Arnhem.

A bridge too far
It is the ‘bridge too far’ in an operation that eventually only worked in theory. When Frost and his men reach the north side of the bridge at eight o’clock on 17 September, they are carrying enough ammunition and provisions to last for two days, which is not enough for a hopeless struggle against the German supremacy. On 20 September, Frost, together with other wounded, is taken prisoner of war by the Germans. He is freed in March of 1945. The bridge itself remains in Allied hands only until 21 September, long enough to block the German advance to the bridge over the Waal in Nijmegen. (Source: Spannendegeschiedenis.nl).

Read more about Operation Market Garden on www.liberationroute.com 

View the story about Operation Market Garden

32 kilometer

Liberation Route Arnhem

On this route, you partly follow the Rhine and cross the river at the John Frost Bridge in Arnhem, which is also popularly called the ‘Bridge too Far’, after the famous film that was made about the battle between the Germans and the British. The latter wanted to conquer the bridge in September 1944 but did not succeed. Along the route, you also pass some of the landing areas where the paratroopers landed in September 1944.

More about this route

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‘De Vergeten Executie’ – Audiotour

Audio tour through Sonsbeek park about 'The Forgotten Execution' during WWII.

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