Stanley Maxted, BBC's journalist, reports "live" radio reports from the fighting in Arnhem. He describes Operation Berlin. The evacuation of the 1st Airborne across the Rhine on the night of 25/26 September 1944. Scenes of men dressed in military uniforms. A house on fire. A man talking into a microphone, reading from a sheet, with a beret on. A nursing doctors / nursing room, filled with people piled up all over the floor. A group of sullen looking men sitting in a ditch. A man leaning on the side of a hole in the ground, speaking into a microphone with a record player placed next to his head.

Operation Berlin (25–26 September 1944) was a night-time evacuation of the remnants of the beleaguered British 1st Airborne Division, trapped in German occupied territory north of the Lower Rhine in the Netherlands during Operation Market Garden in the Second World War. The aim of the operation was to withdraw safely the remnants of the division, surrounded on three sides by superior German forces and in danger of being encircled and destroyed. 

The operation successfully evacuated approximately 2,400 men of the British 1st Airborne Division and effectively ended Market Garden, the Allied plan to cross the Rhine and end the war in Europe by the end of 1944. The surviving glider pilots attached to the division were ordered to lay a white tape through the woods, leading from the Perimeter, the grounds of the Hartenstein Hotel, to the north bank of the Neder-Rijn (Lower Rhine) where the Royal Canadian Engineers were waiting with small boats to ferry them to safety across the Rhine to a landing point north of Driel.

Of the original 10,095 men landed in Arnhem, 2,500 were fighting capable on the night of the 25th. Of these, 2,163 British, along with 160 Poles and 75 4th Dorsets, made it across the Rhine and into the safety of Driel.

Source: 

HuntleyFilmArchives (Youtube) | Jonathan Ball (Youtube) | Wikipedia

WW2 Timeline: 

Language: 

No votes yet