Posts tagged ‘World War II airborne operations’

FRIDAY FOTO (September 24, 2021)

Under Delft blue clouds.

(U.S. Army photo by Army Captain Nadine Wiley De Moura)

A soldier with the Texas National Guard descends to the first drop zone at Houtdorpeveld, in the Netherlands during  NATO’s largest airborne technical exercise on September 14, 2021. Exercise Falcon Leap , with more than 1,000 paratroopers from 12 different nations, led by the Royal Netherlands Army to highlight interoperability in observance of the 77th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden during World War II.

Market Garden was a massive Allied attempt to leapfrog the German Siegfried defense line with two sub-operations:

Market — an airborne assault by two American and one British airborne divisions, joined by a Polish airborne brigade to seize key bridges in the Netherlands — the last one crossing the Rhine River bordering Germany.

And Garden — a ground attack led by British armored forces, moving over the seized bridges to create a 64-mile salient into German territory with a bridgehead over the Rhine, creating an Allied invasion route into northern Germany.

For a number of reasons — including incomplete planning, bad intelligence about German forces, weather delays and insufficient aircraft to ferry an airborne Army of more than 40,000 troops — the operation failed in its ultimate objective: Punching a hole in German defenses and crossing the Rhine. More than 15,000 Allied troops were killed, wounded or captured. German casualties exceeded 6,000.

September 24, 2021 at 5:39 pm Leave a comment


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