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A BRIDGE TO FAR:
On 17th September 1944, the people of southern England gaped as the mightiest airborne force in history thundered overhead "en route" for Arnhem. Arnhem was 64 miles behind the German lines in Holland, and Field-Marshal Montgomery's plan was to sieze the Rhine bridges at Arnhem and Nijmegen to allow an Allied thrust into the industrial heart of Nazi Germany. The Allied armies south of the Rhine were due to reinforce the airborne troops once the bridges had been captured. When Lt-General "Boy" Browning, the Deputy Commander of the First Allied Airborne Army, asked Montgomery how long it would take for the reinforcements to reach the bridges, he was told that it would be two days. "Sir", replied Browning, "I think we may be going a bridge too far". Cornelius Ryan's account of the tragic miscalculations at Arnhem and the valour of the troops on either side is a classic. Over 17,000 British, Polish and American troops became casualties - more than on D-Day - but Arnhem remains a beacon of heroism in the annals of miltiary endeavour. [via]