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Published: April 17th 2018
Operation Market Garden was a huge and risky bid for the allies to try and end WW2 by crossing over the bridge at Arnhem, bypassing the Siegfried line and surprising the enemy troops. However it all went disastrously wrong and many airmen lost their lives while others were hidden by the Dutch resistance and later helped to escape. It began with a massive parachute drop 6 miles away from the bridge by the 1st Airborne Division supported by Polish troops as well as some Americans and Canadians. They also dropped some guns and ammunition but some of these dropped in enemy territory. Little did they know that the Germans were heavily fortified with guns and tanks and they didn't have a chance. We went to the Museum which was Hartenstein house, which was used as the command centre and also used as a field hospital in the basement. It contains many artefacts, uniforms, guns, photos and medals and in the basement is an interactive display which shows actual footage so you feel you are going through the whole operation. Outside is a memorial given by the Airborne division and also a touching statue of a soldier holding a child by the
hand. This is to represent the fact that each school child "adopts" a soldier so that they never forget. There is a memorial day every September to thank the brave men who tried to end the war quicker. After the museum we also went to the War Cemetery which is a very moving place . So many of the graves marked as "Known only unto God" because they couldn't be identified. We also saw the landing zone which couldn't be nearer because of all the forest and also the anti aircraft guns. An interesting but sad visit.
Meanwhile back on board, the food has improved marginally. There is no seafood at all, only fish. There is plenty of steak and meat but not a prawn to be seen! We came second in the name that tune which for us wasn't bad. The weather has been surprisingly good and it has been dry and mostly sunny every day .
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