In September 1944 the Wolfheze Hotel in Oosterbeek was the HQ of the Nazis Army Group B - the HQ of Field Marshal Walther Model. Sometime over the next decade the name of the Wolfheze Hotel was changed to Bilderberg Hotel which, from anecdotal evidence, seems to have been bought by Prince Bernhard himself during that time. Model was the direct opposite equivalent to Allied commander Bernard Montgomery who planned Market Garden and was unjustly criticised for its failure.
Hear in this hour long programme all about just how close Market Garden may have come to ending World War Two by Christmas 1944 and exactly what part the young Lord Carrington played as comander of one of the lead Sherman tanks to cross the Nijmegen road bridge over the Waal on the evening of Wednesday 20th September 1944.
Also how Brigadier Lathbury's refusal to send two companies of paratroopers along Lion route to reinforce Lt Col John Frost at the Arnhem Bridge, despite assurances from Major Tony Hibbert that the way was clear, proved to the success of the operation.
The Battle For Arnhem – A Bridge Quite Near – recent revelations that show Field Marshal Montgomery’s Operation Market Garden, in September 1944, aimed at severing German supply lines on the Western Front should have worked. It was early morning in Holland on Sunday 17th September 1944 and as the gliders and paratroopers poured down along a sixty mile corridor to hold the bridges. The furthest bridge from the front line at Arnhem became the focus of attention as and the biggest airborne operation in history unfolded. Was it really ‘A Bridge Too Far’ as the title of Cornelius Ryan’s book and Robert E. Levine’s famous film imply? Or could the tanks and ground troops of XXX corps have gotten through to relieve the surrounded British paratroopers? With Arnhem only 10 kilometres, a 30 minute drive away and a virtually clear road ahead – General Horrocks’ M4 Sherman tanks inexplicably halted for 17 hours. By the time the tanks started rolling at lunchtime the next day British paratroopers had run out of ammunition, been forced to surrender and German Panzer 5 & Tiger tank reinforcements had arrived to block the way. The Nijmegen bridgehead was established around 19:00hrs, 3 hours later, at 22:00hrs that evening the British were forced to surrender at the Arnhem bridge. So paratroopers of the 1st Airborne division at Arnhem bridge may have been relieved in the nick of time and war in Europe could have been over six months earlier, by Christmas 1944. We look at Cornelius Ryan’s book ‘A Bridge Too Far’ as well as Joseph E. Levine’s film of the same name. Interviews with: Captain T. Moffatt Burriss, author of ‘Strike and Hold’ who was commander of i-company, 504th regiment, 82nd Airborne division during the legendary Waal river crossing; Robert Kershaw author of ‘It Never Snows In September’ who interviewed 10th SS Panzer Division Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel, commander of the German defence of the Nijmegen and Arnhem bridges; Major Tony Hibbert who was a senior officer of 2nd batallion 1st brigade, British 1st Airborne division at the Arnhem bridge; Tim Lynch author of ‘Operation Market Garden: The Legend of the Waal Crossing’; Sir Brian Urquhart, army intelligence officer in the run-up to the operation he was critical of it and transferred before it began… but later became Secretary General of the newly formed United Nations.