Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Airborne Monument, Oosterbeek

The Airborne Monument, Oosterbeek, Netherlands
It commemorates a heroic struggle by the 1st Airborne Division
(The Battle of Arnhem - Oosterbeek, 17 - 25 September 1944)
For additional information about the Airborne Monument at Oosterbeek click on 'Comments below.


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

In September 1944 the 1st British Airborne Division made what turned out to be a heroic, but ultimately futile, struggle to take and hold the bridge over the river Rhine at Arnhem. About 8000 airborne troops, complete with jeeps, mortars and artillery descended in the Oosterbeek area. While initially the Germans fled from Oosterbeek it was not long before they counter-attacked and the Allies were on the defensive.

With no relief forthcoming, on 25 September 1944 Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery gave the order for the survivors of the Division to withdraw from Oosterbeek and cross the river Rhine. Many of the townsfolk of Oosterbeek had assisted the Allies in their attempt to liberate the town. With their homes in ruin most locals left their homes and their town to live in exile until the end of the war in May 1945.

When the Oosterbeek exiles returned they decided one of the first things they would do - even as their homes were being rebuilt - was to build a memorial to remember and honour the brave souls who had fought long and hard so that their town and their land would be free. The thoughts and ideals symbolised by the stone memorial would be Freedom, Faith, Righteousness, Hope and Love. Along with these five ideals, the Monument was designed with five figures supporting the column. .

The first stone for the Oosterbeek Airborne Monument was laid on 25 September 1945 by Major General Roy Urquhart, C.B., D.S.O. Major General Urquhart had been the Commander of the 1st British Airborne Division the previous year during the Battle of Arnhem / Oosterbeek. In the course of the battle he had also been one of the Allies given refuge by the civilians of Oosterbeek and managed to evade the Germans.

The Monument stands near the Hartenstein Hotel - where General Urquhart's HQ was based during the struggle. Later, it became a museum dedicated to the memory of the Battle of Arnhem / Oosterbeek. The Monument and the Airborne Museum at Oosterbeek stand as permanent reminders of the gratitude of the Dutch people for these men who came out of the skies in September 1944.

Tuesday, 29 September, 2009  

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