Paratroopers landing in the Netherlands during Operation Market Garden in September 1944
Operation Market Garden was an unsuccessful British-American airborne invasion of the Netherlands (Holland) during World War II that lasted September 17-25, 1944. It was the largest airborne operation of the war, involving more than 34,000 airborne troops.
Operation Market Garden was intended to advance the Allies across the Rhine River into Germany’s industrial heartland. The plan was for three divisions of the First Allied Airborne Army to be dropped behind German lines in the Netherlands. They were to capture key bridges and towns to clear a 64-mile corridor into Germany through which the ground troops (the XXX Corps of the British Second Army) would pass.
The operation began on September 17, 1944, with Allied paratroopers and glider troops being dropped into various landing zones in the Netherlands. The first day was largely successful, and many of the bridges were captured (or destroyed by the Germans) by the second day.
However, the Germans reacted quickly, and their resistance proved much stiffer than expected. This meant the two bridges most important to success–at Nijmegen and Arnhem–were not captured when planned, delaying the advance of the XXX Corps. The bridge at Nijmegen was finally captured on the 20th, leaving the bridge at Arnhem as the only remaining objective.
Battle of Arnhem
At Arnhem, the British had been dropped on the first day about 7 or 8 miles from their objective, and only one British battalion made it to the bridge. Cut off from the majority of the British airborne troops (who became trapped at Oosterbeek), the battalion held the northern end of the bridge until the 21st, before being overwhelmed by the Germans.
With the bridge uncaptured and the XXX Corps unable to cross the Rhine, the Allies decided to abandon Operation Market Garden. The British survivors trapped on the far side of the Rhine were evacuated on the night of the 25th.
Although Operation Market Garden did not achieve its ultimate objective of getting the Allies across the Rhine and into Germany, the offensive did free parts of the Netherlands from German control. The operation is often remembered for the bravery shown by the Allied troops involved, despite the heavy casualties sustained by some divisions.
Learn more about Operation Market Garden through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.
Articles and Clippings about Operation Market Garden
American front page news coverage of the first day of Operation Market Garden Mon, Sep 18, 1944 – 1 · St. Louis Globe-Democrat (St. Louis, Missouri) · Newspapers.comBritish newspaper articles about the first day of Operation Market Garden Mon, Sep 18, 1944 – 5 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comLt. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton's message to Allied troops prior to Operation Market Garden Mon, Sep 18, 1944 – 3 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.comNews of two Canadian men who were involved in the invasion of Holland (Operation Market Garden) Mon, Sep 18, 1944 – 1 · The Vancouver Sun (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) · Newspapers.comBritish Second Army links up with Allied Airborne Army near Eindhoven during invasion of Holland Tue, Sep 19, 1944 – 5 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comMembers of Dutch resistance and Polish troops are part of invasion of Holland Tue, Sep 19, 1944 – 5 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comSoldier calls airborne invasion of Holland "the toughest assignment of the war so far" Tue, Sep 19, 1944 – 4 · The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) · Newspapers.com"Glider Trains Stretch for 285 Miles" in Operation Market Garden Tue, Sep 19, 1944 – 20 · The Vancouver Sun (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) · Newspapers.comPhoto of Allied troop carriers "During the Allied Sky Invasion of Holland" Tue, Sep 19, 1944 – 12 · The Windsor Star (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) · Newspapers.comImage of the Nijmegen Bridge & map of progress of Operation Market Garden Fri, Sep 22, 1944 – 1 · The Province (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) · Newspapers.comWar correspondent's account of "How the Nijmegen Bridge Was Won" Sat, Sep 23, 1944 – 5 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.com"Desperate Efforts Made by Allies to Reinforce British Unit at Arnhem" in the Netherlands Sat, Sep 23, 1944 – 1 · Nanaimo Daily News (Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada) · Newspapers.comGerman accounts of British situation at Arnhem during Operation Market Garden Sat, Sep 23, 1944 – Page 1 · The Cumberland News (Cumberland, Maryland) · Newspapers.comOpinion: Effort to aid trapped British airborne troops at Arnhem not a "rescue" Sat, Sep 23, 1944 – 2 · Nanaimo Daily News (Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada) · Newspapers.com"Polish Troops Cross Rhine to Save British" at Arnhem during Operation Market Garden Mon, Sep 25, 1944 – 2 · The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) · Newspapers.comOpinion: There is nothing "revolutionary" in airborne tactics in Operation Market Garden Mon, Sep 25, 1944 – 4 · The Austin American (Austin, Texas) · Newspapers.com"Heroes of Arnhem Are Withdrawn Across the Rhine" at end of Operation Market Garden Wed, Sep 27, 1944 – 1 · The Ottawa Citizen (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) · Newspapers.comExcerpt from eyewitness account of British paratrooper who participated in Operation Market Garden Wed, Sep 27, 1944 – 11 · The Windsor Star (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) · Newspapers.comBritish officer says Market Garden wasn't a "failure, but rather a gallant but expensive success" Thu, Sep 28, 1944 – 9 · The Ottawa Citizen (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) · Newspapers.comPhotos: "Two Views (German and Allied) of Airborne Invasion of Holland" Fri, Sep 29, 1944 – Page 28 · The Minneapolis Star (Minneapolis, Minnesota) · Newspapers.comMember of British 1st airborne recon squadron gives firsthand account of Operation Market Garden Sat, Sep 30, 1944 – Page 3 · The Winnipeg Tribune (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) · Newspapers.com"Dutch Gave Their Food to the 'Men of Arnhem': More Stories from Survivors" Sat, Sep 30, 1944 – 6 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comBritish newspaper opinion piece praises men at Arnhem & reacts to failure of Market Garden Sun, Oct 1, 1944 – 4 · The Observer (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comSays 3 weeks later, it's "still too early to assess the full value" of Operation Market Garden Sat, Oct 14, 1944 – 6 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comLetter from U.S. paratrooper who participated in Operation Market Garden with eyewitness account Sun, Dec 3, 1944 – 3 · () · Newspapers.com