The presenters provide a graphic account of the ground troops battle towards Arnhem and provide fresh insights into what was an operation that did much to advance the Allies dash for victory. There were mistakes, there was bad luck, there was heroic action and there were successes. That Market Garden came so close to achieving its objectives justified the attempt.
NAME: Hell’s Highway, Operation Market Garden
CLASSIFICATION: Video, DVD, reviews
PRESENTER(S): Tim Saunders, Mike Peters, Jo Hook, Richard Hone, Tom Dormer, John Greenacre
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword Digital
MEDIA: One DVD
FORMAT: Dual layer
RUNTIME: 107 minutes
PLAYERS: Personal Computer, Mac Computer, DVD Player
PRICE: GB £19.99
SUBJECT: Airborne assault, paratroops, gliders, infantry, WWII, Second World War, technology, armoured columns, World War Two, 1939-1945, 1944
DESCRIPTION: Operation Market Garden was a two pronged assault on German forces in a corridor through Holland to the German homeland. The ground forces in Market were intended to advance very quickly along a narrow and exposed roadway to relieve each of the airborne units who were seizing bridge crossings ahead of the land advance. The eventual failure of the British airborne forces at Arnhem has provided an enduring topic where the failures are picked over and historians advance various theories about the wisdom of the operation. The Allies had little option but to attempt the operation in the hope of bringing the war to a more rapid conclusion and to overrun the V2 ballistic missile launching sites that were causing increasing damage to targets in Britain. Arnhem is popularly referred to as a “bridge too far” which is not even good hindsight. For the operation to fully succeed, all the bridges from the start line to the German border had to be taken intact and held until ground troops with heavy guns and armour could relieve the lightly armed paratroops and gliders. Where a bridge could not be taken intact, it would have to be rebridged to provide a reliable path for ground forces. The Allies were aware of the challenges and, although some factors may have been deliberately ignored, including the shortage of aircraft and gliders to take all the airborne forces to their targets in a single lift, the commanders accepted risk to attempt to speed the ending of a destructive war. The British XXX Corps were given the task in Market to strike through the reforming collection of SS and Luftwaffe paratroops to reach each of the bridges. The strike came within 10 miles from Arhem after overcoming stiff resistance. As the advance stalled, the Arhem bridgehead held out far beyond the intended schedule and eventually the paratroops either escaped South or surrendered after an epic battle. The presenters provide a graphic account of the ground troops battle towards Arnhem and provide fresh insights into what was an operation that did much to advance the Allies dash for victory. There were mistakes, there was bad luck, there was heroic action and there were successes. That Market Garden came so close to achieving its objectives justified the attempt. The ground operations have previously received less scrutiny than they deserve because the stoic resistance of the British airborne forces at Arnhem has dominated the history of that phase of WWII.