published on: 17/09/2021
The objective was to create an Allied invasion route into northern Germany. It failed, however, to secure a bridgehead over the Rhine.
The operation was the brainchild of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and strongly supported by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The airborne operation was undertaken by the First Allied Airborne Army with the land operation by XXX Corps of the British Second Army. The objective was to create a 64 mi (103 km) salient (bulge formation of troops) into German territory with a bridgehead over the River Rhine, creating an Allied invasion route into northern Germany. This was to be achieved by seizing a series of nine bridges with combined US and British airborne forces, with land forces swiftly following over the bridges. The operation succeeded in liberating the Dutch cities of Eindhoven and Nijmegen along with many towns, creating a 60 mi (97 km) salient into German-held territory, limiting V-2 rocket launching sites. It failed, however, to secure a bridgehead over the Rhine, with the advance being halted at the river.