Jump to content

The Battle of Arnhem geocoin

Followers 6

Recommended Posts

Early career off majoor Urquhart.


Educated at St. Paul's School, London, Urquhart attended the Royal Military College, Sandhurst before being commissioned into the Highland Light Infantry in 1920.[1] When stationed in Malta with his battalion he became friends with Academy Award winning actor David Niven. In his autobiography, "The Moon's A Balloon", Niven described Urquhart as, "A serious soldier of great charm and warmth..."


Second World War serviceUrquhart was serving in India during the early years of the Second World War.[1] He remained there until 1941 when he was posted to North Africa before an appointment as a staff officer in the 3rd Division in the UK. Thereafter, his career accelerated. Between 1941 and 1942, he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and commanded the 2nd Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry until 1943, when he was appointed as a staff officer in the 51st Infantry Division, which was stationed in North Africa.[1] For a short time, he commanded the British 231st Infantry Brigade, which faced action in Sicily.



Main article: Battle of Arnhem


Until 1944, he was a senior staff officer in XII Corps.[1] However, in that year, he was given command of the 1st Airborne Division.[1] Its former commander (Major-General George F. Hopkinson) had been killed in Italy, and his successor, Brigadier Ernest Down had been given a command in India.[1] Ironically, Urquhart was prone to airsickness and had never commanded or, for that matter, been a member of an airborne unit.[1] Although a newcomer to airborne operations, Urquhart commanded his division during Operation Market-Garden in September 1944 as it was dropped into Arnhem in the Netherlands in an attempt to secure a crossing over the River Rhine.[1] For nine days Urquhart's division fought unsupported against armoured units of the II SS Panzer Corps. Suffering increasingly heavy casualties, the British airborne forces desperately held on to an ever-shrinking defensive perimeter until orders were received for the remnants of the division to withdraw across the Rhine on 25 September.[1] During these nine days of heavy fighting the 1st Airborne Division had lost over three-quarters of its strength. Shattered as a fighting formation, the division was withdrawn to the UK and saw no further action in the Second World War. Urquhart was awarded the Dutch Bronze Lion for his command.



Main article: Operation Doomsday


In May 1945, following the German surrender, Urquhart led a reconstituted 1st Airborne Division as the advanced guard of Force 134 in Operation Doomsday, the Allied occupation of Norway.[1] During its time in Norway, the division was tasked with supervising the surrender of the German forces, as well as preventing the sabotage of vital military and civilian facilities. Due to delays in troop arrivals, Urquhart ended up driving into Oslo in a captured German staff car, accompanied only by four military policemen and two platoons from 2nd Battalion the South Staffordshire Regiment. Until the arrival of other units from Force 134, as well as the Headquarters of Allied Forces, Norway, Major General Urquhart and his headquarter staff had complete control over all Norwegian activities. This meant that it was Urquhart who welcomed Crown Prince Olaf of Norway and three ministers representing the Norwegian Government when they arrived on a Royal Navy cruiser. General Thorne arrived on 13 May to take command of all Allied troops in Norway and at the end of August, 1st Airborne Division returned to the UK and disbanded. Urquhart was rewarded with the Norwegian Order of St Olaf.


Post-war service


Following the end of the war Urquhart served in several staff positions, including service as the General Officer Commanding Malaya (1950–1952) during the Malayan Emergency. He also commanded the 16th Airborne Division, a Territorial Army formation, from 1947 to 1948,[1] then the 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division until 1950. Urquhart retired from the army in 1955.


Later life


After leaving the army Urquhart became an executive in the heavy engineering industry, retiring in 1970.[1] In 1958 Urquhart published Arnhem: Britain's Infamous Airborne Assault of World War II (ISBN 0-9644704-3-8) detailing his exploits in the battle.


Urquhart was portrayed by Sean Connery in the 1977 film A Bridge Too Far, for which he himself served as a military consultant. Despite his earlier-mentioned friendship with David Niven, in a publication about the filming of the movie, he was quoted as saying that he wasn't much of a movie fan himself and didn't understand why his daughters were so excited at Connery's selection to play him.


He is the subject of the biography Urquhart of Arnhem (ISBN 0-08-041318-8) by John Baynes.


Urquhart and his wife Pamela had four children, among them Elspeth Campbell (wife of the former leader of the Liberal Democrat party Menzies Campbell)[3] and Suki Urquhart, author of The Scottish Gardener.


In his memoirs, Campbell says that Urquhart told Elspeth's first husband, Philip Grant-Suttie, "there's no need to be formal; just call me General", and that he also insisted on tasting all the food and champagne for Elspeth and Menzies' wedding before paying for it.[3] He is also known to have told his daughter never to trust men who bought half-bottles of wine; Campbell bought Elspeth a full bottle on their first date.


Major General Urquhart died on 13 December 1988, aged 87 years.

Edited by Getzie family
Link to comment

Was devised by Lord Montgomery, British General and it happened after Normandy Invasion. It was a preemptive move by Lord Montgomery to secure multiple travel & supply routes into Germany, mostly through Holland. It hinged on the capture of multiple bridges. They pushed too far, making overextensive use of light infantry and paratroopers; their mobile support could not reach and secure all of the bridges in time. The operation and its subsequent mixed results was mostly factually recounted in the movie "A Bridge Too Far". Had Market Garden been successful, the war might have ended by Christmas 1944. The forces involved on the allied side involved British commando & paratroop forces, American infantry soliders, members of the free French Forces under Charles DeGaulle, and free Polish forces.


Mr. RFD would LOVE this coin! All of the above facts came right from his brain!

Link to comment

Background of Operation Market Garden


After the Battle of Normandy, by the end of August, 1944, the remainder of German forces retreated across the Low Countries and eastern France towards the German border. In early September, the British 21rst Army Group, under the command of Bernard Montgomery, advanced on a line running from Antwerp to the northern border of Belgium, along with the British 2nd Army, commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir Miles Dempsey. The 1rst Canadian Army under Lieutenant-General Harry Crerar had begun its task of taking the ports of Dieppe, Le Havre and Boulogne-sur-Mer. In the south, the U.S. 12th Army Group under Lieutenant General Omar Bradley approached the German border and oriented on the Aachen gap with Lieutenant General Courtney Hodges’ U.S. 1rst Army in support of Montgomery’s advance on the Ruhr, while its U.S. 3rd Army under Lieutenant General George S. Patton moved eastward towards the Saar.


The Operation


Operation Market Garden was the brainchild of British General Bernard Montgomery, who suggested that the Allied forces should launch an offensive across northern France conducted by the British 21rst Army Group and supported by the US 1rst Army under Major General Courtney Hodges. But since the operation plan required the seizure of bridges across the Meuse River and two arms of the Rhine as well as several smaller canals and tributaries, Montgomery would need the British I Airborne Corps and the US XVIII Airborne Corps. The seizure of bridges would allow the Allied ground forces cross the Rhine River. By crossing the Lower Rhine the Allied forces could outflank the Siegfried Line and encircle the Ruhr, Germany’s industrial heartland.


After a preliminary bombardment of anti-aircraft batteries carried out by B-17 bombers the day before, Operation Market Garden began at 09:30 hours on September 17, 1944, when the British and American airborne units took off from the airfields in southern England. During the first four days of the operations nearly all bridges were taken by the Allies. Nevertheless, after a series of attacks and counter-attacks between the Allied aiborne units and the German forces, by September 25, several Allied airborne elements had been severely mauled by the Wehrmacht ground troops, which included the 9th SS Division Hohenstaufen. Beaten, the Allies had to fall back to their former positions.

Link to comment

Intelligence failure


Unlike the American airborne divisions in the area, British forces at Arnhem ignored the local Dutch resistance. There was a good reason for this: Britain's spy network in the Netherlands had been thoroughly and infamously compromised — the so-called England game, which had only been discovered in April 1944. Perhaps assuming that the Dutch resistance would be similarly penetrated, British intelligence took pains to minimise all civilian contact. U.S. units, without this bad experience, made use of Dutch help. As things turned out, knowledge of the Driel ferry or of the underground's secret telephone network could have changed the result of the operation, especially since Allied radio equipment failed, having to rely on messengers. The latter was very important: it would have given the XXX Corps and Airborne High Command knowledge about the dire situation at Arnhem.


After the war, claims arose that the Dutch resistance had indeed been penetrated. One high-ranking Dutch officer who had worked in counter-intelligence at SHAEF, Lieutenant-Colonel Oreste Pinto published a popular book, Spy Catcher, part-memoir and part counter-intelligence handbook. Pinto, who had made a name for himself in World War I for his part in uncovering Mata Hari, claimed that a minor figure in the Dutch resistance, Christiaan Lindemans (nicknamed "King Kong") had been a German agent and had betrayed Operation Market Garden to the Germans. Lindemans was arrested in October 1944, but committed suicide in his cell in 1946 while awaiting trial. In 1969, French journalist and historian Anne Laurens concluded that Lindemans had been a double agent.

Link to comment

Market would be the largest airborne operation in history, delivering over 34,600 men of the 101st, 82nd and 1st Airborne Divisions and the Polish Brigade. 14,589 troops were landed by glider and 20,011 by parachute.


Gliders also brought in 1,736 vehicles and 263 artillery pieces. 3,342 tons of ammunition and other supplies were brought by glider and parachute drop.

Link to comment

One of the facts about making the film "A bridge too far". Members of the 1st and 3rd Parachute Reg. were used for the jump scenes. During the making of the film a paratroopr refused to jump because, in his opinion, it was for a film and not operational. He was Court Marshalled, my brother served with 3 Para and was with them when they went to the Falklands where he recieved a citation for bravery.

Link to comment

Monday 25 september 1944

Decision is made: withdrawing of troops from Oosterbeek across the Rijn and leaving the perimeter. At 10.30 am the order by Major-General Roy Urquhart came under the name Operation Berlin (trying to confuse the germans). At 22.00 pm British and Polish para's left their positions and crossed the river. Big artillery fire of the XXX Corps was used to cover and protect the withdrawing para's. The end of Market Garden was a fact.


Tuesday 26 september 1944

About 2200 British Airbornes came back with 160 Polish para's and 75 ‘Dorsets’. Arnhem was no longer the frontline of the war, Nijmegen was now the warzone and a long cold and deadly winter started.


arnhem-urquhart.jpg Book written by Major-General Roy Urquhart

Edited by Team Professor X
Link to comment

From Historyofwar.org:

There are many factors that can be cited for the failure of Operation Market Garden, all deserving of consideration:


The report by OB West blamed the decision to spread the airborne drop over more than one day as the main reason for the failure.

The Luftwaffe agreed and added that the airborne landings had been spread too thinly and too far from the Allied frontline.

General Student thought the airborne landings were a great success and blamed the failure on the slow progress of XXX Corps. In this respect, Generalfeldmarschall Model deserves credit for the skill with which he used the sparse resources available to him, particularly given the state Fifteenth Army was in at the time, and for recognising the importance of the Nijmegen bridges.

Lt General Brereton reported to Washington that Market had been a brilliant success but had been let down by Garden, with which Bradley in part agreed, blaming Montgomery and the slow advance by the British between Nijmegen and Arnhem.

Major General Urquhart blamed the fact that the drop zones for British 1st Airborne were too far from the bridge and rather unfairly, his own actions on the first day.

Lt General Browning's report blamed XXX Corps' underestimation of the strength of the German forces in the area, the slowness with which it moved up the highway, the weather, his own communications staff and 2nd Tactical Air Force for failing to provide adequate air support. He also managed to get General Sosabowski dismissed from his command for his increasingly hostile attitude.

Field Marshal Montgomery blamed the slowness of XXX Corps in general and O'Connor in particular. Later, he partially blamed himself, but laid a large proportion of the blame on Eisenhower. ". . . if the operation had been properly backed from its inception, and given the aircraft, ground forces, and administrative resources necessary for the job - it would have succeeded in spite of my mistakes, or the adverse weather, or the presence of 2nd SS Panzer Corps in the Arnhem area."

There is also the matter of allowing the German Fifteenth Army to escape into northern Holland where it could defend the approaches to Arnhem by not clearing the Scheldt estuary, the nature of the highway along which XXX Corps had to advance (a two tank front), the failure to appreciate the unpredictability of the British weather in September, the critical requirement of good communications, which at that point in history was unlikely given the level of technology available and the blatant ignoring of intelligence (from both the Dutch resistance and reconnaissance flights) that armoured units had moved into the Arnhem area.

Link to comment

Een brug te ver


Deze schitterende film is het waar gebeurde verhaal van Operation Market Garden, deze film is in Nederland op verschillende locaties opgenomen, de film probeert het waar gebeurde verhaal te vertellen hoe het destijds allemaal mis heeft kunnen gaan.

A Bridge too Far is een epos over de meest tragische blunder van de Tweede Wereldoorlog en vertelt gedetailleerd over een ambitieus plan dat meer Geallieerde levens kostte dan de hele landing in Normandië. In A Bridge Too Far wordt de geschiedenis pijnlijk nauwkeurig herschapen op het werkelijke strijdtoneel en met en fantastische cast van louter sterren. De geweldige omvang de spanning en het gevaar van één van de grootste militaire gokken uit de geschiedenis wordt meesterlijk weergegeven.


In September1944 als de Geallieerden nog bedwelmd zijn van het succes van de invasie in Normandië, lanceren ze vol vertrouwen Operation Market Garden, een wild plan bedoeld om de Tweede Wereldoorlog zo snel mogelijk te beëindigen. Het plan was om door Duitsland binnen te vallen de oorlogsmachine van het Duitse Rijk te vernietigen. Een combinatie van politiek op het slagveld, verkeerde informatie, pech en uitermate slecht weer leidde echter tot een ramp.

Edited by Getzie family
Link to comment

Airborne troops are only lightly armed and their survival depends upon taking the enemy by surprise and reaching objectives before they have time to react with heavy weapons. However, so cocksure were the Allies in their view that the Germans were already beaten, numerous grave errors were made which doomed Market Garden to failure before a shot had been fired. Principally, there were not enough transport planes to fly all three Divisions to their targets in one go. Instead they had to be flown to Holland in three lifts, with only one lift per day.

Link to comment

Thanks all for participating !


There were 47 entries:


1 TheMcMorrows

2 Bartians

3 geomomrockz

4 sr510

5 nevadanick

6 kungfuhippie

7 nevadanick

8 ItTakesAThief

9 Ogima

10 Team Professor X

11 sr510

12 nevadanick


14 Bartians

15 Getzie family

16 E&Cplus3

17 Team Professor X

18 ItTakesAThief

19 spider16

20 Getzie family

21 E&Cplus3

22 Team Professor X

23 nevadanick

24 ItTakesAThief

25 Getzie family

26 Team Professor X

27 ItTakesAThief

28 Team Professor X

29 Getzie family

30 nevadanick

31 ItTakesAThief

32 Team Professor X

33 nevadanick

34 Getzie family

35 ItTakesAThief

36 RecipeForDisaster

37 nevadanick

38 ItTakesAThief

39 RecipeForDisaster

40 Getzie family

41 ItTakesAThief

42 nevadanick

43 speakers-corner

44 Team Professor X

45 RecipeForDisaster

46 Getzie family

47 ItTakesAThief


I have decided to change pick three lucky winners instead of one. The lucky winner will be picked using http://www.randompicker.com.


The cointest is now closed and posts after this one won't participate in the cointest !

Edited by Dofferson
Link to comment

And the lucky winners are:


  • Team Professor X
  • geomomrockz
  • ItTakesAThief


The results can be verified using this link: results


Please send me a PM with your address if you are one of the three lucky winners.


One last thing:


I am not responsible if there is some screwups with mail deliveries, this means that if the coin gets lost in the mail i will not send out a new one !

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Followers 6
  • Create New...