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PEN & SWORD: ARNHEM-BATTLE FOR THE ISLAND & EVACUATION DVD
This film covers the desperate fighting by the Guards Armoured and 43rd Wessex Division between Nijmegen and the Rhine as they struggled to reach the Poles at Driel and the banks of the Rhine opposite the Oosterbeek Perimeter, where the increasingly beleaguered airborne troops were grimly hanging on. Experts in this often overlooked part of the battle link these events to those being played out north of the Rhine and bring a new clarity to what is often a one sided view of events.
The international tensions between the Poles and the British, American criticism and the fact that the corridor was repeatedly cut behind them meant that Montgomery and his senior commanders had to face facts; the plan to cross Holland in a single leap onto the North German Plain and victory, had failed. Meanwhile, even when the spearhead of XXX Corps had reached the banks of the Rhine they were unable to get more than a handful of Poles and Dorsets across the River. Evacuation of the remains of the Airborne Division, who had been sustained in their positions by the guns of the Royal Artillery, across the Rhine was the only option. Eight days after the operation began less than 300 exhausted men, all that remained of one of Britain’s finest divisions, escaped and an eerie silence settled on Oosterbeek
Running Time: 80 Minutes