Operation Market Garden, which took place in 1944, was the largest airborne landing offensive in the Netherlands. The military offensive aimed to end the Second World War and liberate the Netherlands as soon as possible. The Allied forces managed to liberate part of the Netherlands, but unfortunately failed to bring the operation to a successful close at the Battle of Arnhem. To keep remembering the impressive stories and the victims, we highlight special hiking routes, in cooperation with the Airborne Region. The routes tell stories about the battles fought in the area and take you past monuments and remnants from the war, so you can dwell on the local, but important history of the Second World War while walking.
The special Airborne hiking routes highlight local history of a part of Operation Market Garden. During the hikes, you will look at monuments and see sights, discover impressive stories, and commemorate the victims. You will also contemplate freedom. Freedom is no matter of course, and during the hiking routes you will experience how hard-won it was. The Airborne hiking routes contribute to keeping the memory of the war alive. Lest we forget.
The Poles of Driel is a hike past important sites in and around Driel, where the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade fought during the Second World War. The route takes you, among other things, across the landing grounds and past the headquarters of Major-General Sosabowski.
The Oosterbeek perimeter route takes you along the perimeter: a horseshoe-shaped line of defence around Oosterbeek, to which the British and Polish troops were pushed back during the Battle of Arnhem. The hiking route leads along sites of great battles, small suffering and brave deeds, past old manors, former emergency hospitals, and traces of the war that are still visible. In this area, the Allies held out under continuous German attacks for nine days.
This route takes you across Ginkel Heath, past monuments commemorating, and information panels with stories about, events from the Second World War. Two thousand paratroopers landed on Ginkel Heath near Ede. This marked the beginning of the liberation of the Netherlands.
This walk takes you through the centre of Arnhem and makes the failed Battle of Arnhem (which took place in September 1944) come alive through 25 'listening spots'. Download the Airborne Stories app (in the App Store or Google Play Store) to listen to the audio clips
Operation Market Garden was one of the biggest Allied operations during the Second World War. With this operation the Allies aimed for a rapid march on Berlin, hoping to end the war before Christmas 1944. The operation was aimed at capturing the bridges across the large rivers Meuse, Waal and Rhine, and in this way bypassing the German line of defence. Until Nijmegen, everything went according to plan, but then the Allies had to capture the bridge at Arnhem to ensure the success of the operation. Unfortunately, after desperate fighting and many casualties, the bridge at Arnhem proved 'a bridge too far' and the liberators were forced to give up.
As part of Operation Market Garden, the Battle of Arnhem is, of course, a well-known piece of history. But there were many events that preceded the Battle of Arnhem. Besides, other violent events also took place at other locations during the Battle of Arnhem. Below you can read the local stories of Operation Market Garden. Do you want to experience these stories from up close? Walk the special Airborne hiking routes!
Operation Market Garden, which mainly consisted of paratroopers and airborne landings, played a major part in the municipalities of Overbetuwe, Renkum, Ede, and Arnhem. The name 'Airborne' refers to the paratroopers and airborne landings. This is why the region in which the four municipalities are located is called the Airborne Region. In each Airborne municipality, a hiking route is highlighted that you can walk to follow in the footsteps of the Allied soldiers. Visit all locations in the Airborne Region and discover the historical sights and stories about, among other things, the Poles of Driel, the Perimeter or the line of defence, large-scale airborne landings, and the Battle of Arnhem.
Liberation Route Europe is an ever-extending international commemoration route connecting milestones from modern European history. The route connects the most important areas during the Allied advance.
The Hiking Trail of Liberation Route Europe follows the trail of the Allies in the last stage of the Second World War. The trail leads past places that were important during the liberation of the European continent. When you walk (part of) the Liberation Route Europe in the Airborne Region, you will find several marked listening spots, sights and historic sites where you can learn more about the war and the liberation.
The basis for the international Hiking Trail of the Liberation Route Foundation is the new, digital route portal. This app is also suitable for smartphone. The app shows a dynamic map with route planner and invites you to explore the Airborne Region. Try the app, walk the Airborne hiking routes and the trail, and discover the unique stories of the area.