Liberation of Sint-Michielsgestel +77

Liberation of Sint-Michielsgestel +77

On October 23rd 1944 the village of Sint-Michielsgestel was liberated by British troops of the 7th Battalion Black Watch, part of the 51st Highland Division. The attack was part of Operation Pheasant and the men were approaching from the direction of Schijndel, and being driven in Kangaroo Armoured Personnel Carriers (basically Sherman tanks without turrets) they made rapid progress until they reached the village. There they came under small arms and mortar fire, they debussed from the Kangaroo's and proceeded on foot through the village under heavy fire. Their objective was the bridge across the Dommel river however when they…
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Bastogne – Two Day Battlefield Tour

Bastogne – Two Day Battlefield Tour

Every once in a while I get asked to do a battlefield tour in Bastogne and usually I kindly excuse myself and refer them to one of the local experts. However when I was asked by a group of friends, which had been on an Arnhem tour last year, to do a two day tour I agreed. Day 1 We spent the better part of two days on the battlefield visiting different point around the perimeter, beginning at the Mardasson memorial where we discussed the strategic aims of the operation as well as a quick overview of what happened during…
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Airborne March but different

Airborne March but different

In 1991 I moved to Arnhem and in 1992 I participated in my very first Airborne march. This is the annual commemorative march around Oosterbeek, the biggest one-day walking event in the world with up to 30.000 people participating. Since that very first time I only missed one march, making a total of 26 marches up to 2020. Unfortunately in that year the Airborne (as we call it) had been canceled due to the Covid restrictions. For this year the organizers quickly realized that a normal Airborne wasn't possible but they didn't want to cancel it outright. The solution was…
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Airborne Museum & Cemetery in Oosterbeek

Airborne Museum & Cemetery in Oosterbeek

In late 2019 and early 2020 the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek went through a big refit and when it was ready to open it couldn't because of Covid. The museum then briefly reopened in the fall of last year but I was not able to visit. Then was forced to closed again for months until, finally, this week when it could open it's doors again. (more…)
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A chance encounter, meeting the daughter a MIA C-47 pilot

A chance encounter, meeting the daughter a MIA C-47 pilot

On the 17th of September 1944 at the start of Operation Market Garden C-47 "Chevelet" was heading towards the Netherlands, on board were ten pathfinders of the 101st Airborne division and five crewmembers. Their destination was drop zone A1 at Veghel where the pathfinders were to jump and then mark out the area for the 1st battalion of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment which were to land there. (more…)
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