September 20th

Nijmegen

At Nijmegen, the combined efforts of the 82nd Airborne and the ground forces finally manage to take the road and rail bridge.The brave paratroopers from the 504th PIR crossed the fast flowing Waal River in broad daylight under a hailstorm of German bullets, grenades, and artillery. When they finally reached the far side they had to cross a large stretch of open ground before they finally reached the dike where the Germans were dug in. Like fearless bloodthirsty beasts, they stormed the German positions, slaughtering them all and took the rail bridge and later the road bridge quickly. The message that the rail bridge was captured (around 17:00h) seems never to have reached HQ because nothing was undertaken to exploit this. The Paratroopers continue to move towards the road bridge and manage to secure the north end.

In Nijmegen, the ground forces of XXXX corps with the help of the paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne finally break through the German defenses and their side of the bridges was taken too. Unfortunately, by the time the road bridge was taken, it was nearly dark and there were no forces available to start a drive on Arnhem.

A strong German counter-attack at Mook near the vital lock bridge at Heumen takes the 82nd off guard but the attack is eventually stopped when divisional reserve arrives and with the help of the Coldstream Guards which are assigned to the 82nd.The Germans also attacked Wyler, Beek, and Groesbeek giving the 82nd Airborne a hell of a day. All three attacks were stopped but with heavy losses and some loss of terrain.

Arnhem

The situation near the bridge at Arnhem is getting near catastrophe, the northern end is still in British hands but without water, food and with a lack of ammunition the outcome seems certain. In Oosterbeek the Para’s have formed a horseshoe-like perimeter with the base on the river Rhine and at most around 2km deep centered around the Hartenstein Hotel.

The Germans try to cut this perimeter in two but this attack is stopped and the perimeter restored.The Airborne’s are pushed from the Westerbouwing Heights, the high ground overlooking the river Rhine.

At this time there are only 3000 men left at Oosterbeek and fewer than 500 at the bridge, the rest is killed, captured or wounded. VC Baskeyfield | VC Grayburn

Eindhoven

At Veghel, in a brilliant move, the 501st PIR bags a battalion of Germans. C company at Heeswijk Dinther is used as the anvil while A & B company moving toward Heeswijk Dinther act as the hammer. In a matter of hours, they took hundreds of prisoners and defused what could have become a very serious threat to the west flank.In the early morning the German 107th Panzer Brigade launches the another attack on the corridor but this time they find the Americans well prepared. During the night they have reinforced this area and together with tanks from the 15/19 Hussars they repulse an attack by 8 Panther tanks.

As a last resort the Germans start shelling the road in order to stop the traffic, this works and traffic flowing north stops as truck crews take cover and a damaged truck blocks part of the road,General Taylor, 101st Airborne Commander drives from Eindhoven to Son, passed the trucks of XXX Corps that does not move in fear of the German shells. He arrives in Son without any issues and is furious with the slow pace of the British

.The Americans and the British mount a counter-attack from both Eindhoven and Son with the aim to surround and destroy the Panther tanks. They do not succeed in surrounding the Germans but they are being pushed back from the corridor.

Later that day the 107 Panzer brigade is forced to withdraw from the area of Son because the flanking corps are moving up and are threatening to take Helmond where the last intact bridge across the Wilhelmina canal is. They manage to escape across the bridge and will be ready for another attack on the corridor later but in the engagements between Son and Eindhoven they have lost one-third of their tanks.