According to Field Marshal Montgomery, Operation Market Garden was ‘90% successful‘ – yet for many who have watched the iconic film A Bridge Too Far one would have to summarise that it was anything but. For the beleaguered men of the First Airborne Division, what started out as a sunny Sunday afternoon in September 1944 with a successful drop in northern Holland would end in a fight to the last man until eventually what remained of the battered division would be evacuated back to safety. We will be following just one battalion, the 2nd Parachute Battalion, led by Lieut-Col John Frost – The only battalion to reach the Arnhem Bridge on the evening of 17 September 1944. Throughout the next three days they held the northern end of the bridge despite an ever increasing enemy presence and with their positions diminishing under enemy fire until those that were left were forced to withdraw or become captives. Using anecdotal evidence and then and now visual images our tour will follow these actions and also compare what was happening in Arnhem with what was happening further south along ‘Hell’s Highway‘ and in Nijmegen.
A Bridge too Far? Well, yes it was, but this story of heroism and bravery is a story of what ifs, of bitter fighting, comradeship and the will to battle on despite all odds.