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Jansplaats
Arnhem
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The first few days following the British airborne landings were tense ones for the inhabitants of Arnhem’s city centre. At first it seemed a…

The first few days following the British airborne landings were tense ones for the inhabitants of Arnhem’s city centre. At first it seemed as if the Germans were making a run for it. But that impression soon changed. There was heavy fighting by the bridge and, all across the city, the crackle of machine-gun fire could be heard. Supplies of gas, electricity and water were cut off. Fires broke out and could only be extinguished days later. Shots were fired in the streets. The city’s residents fled to the cellars of their homes, taking mattresses and blankets with them. The few who dared to take a peek outside would alternately see British soldiers and then German soldiers running through the streets. British soldiers would sometimes run into buildings to take cover or hide. A little further up the street, a British soldier lay on the doorstep of the police station, shot dead. His body would stay there for days. In the attic of that same police station, a stray British solider managed to keep himself hidden for weeks on end.

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