Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Arnhem Airborne Museum

On a very bitterly cold day we visit the Airborne Museum 'Hartenstein' in Oosterbeek near Arnhem
I'd done a bit of research first on the famous Allied defence of the 'Bridge Too far' but there is so much more to it than the 'Bridge story'






After 25 years of annual commemorations of the battle, the 'old soldiers' thought it best to request that they stop the ceremony and 'move on'
The locals were having none of it and were adamant that the event continued thus forging a strong bond between the nations involved that holds today..



One of the more famous scenes depicted in oils


What was left of Rotterdam...




Operation Market Garden which I found compelling reading...




There is much physical memorabilia here with artefacts mixed together..



The Brits crossing a small river en route to Arnhem
The Dutch were ecstatic at their arrival and actually slowed the guys down


The last in a series of wall charts showing the hopelessness of the British position without the arrival of support troops and munitions 


The finger trapping end of a Gattling Gun


Medic's morphine kit


That famous Luger pistol


Bond's weapon of choice...Walther PPK


Major-General Stanisław Sosabowski was made a scapegoat for the failed operation and suffered very bad press after the battle
On reading the events I get the impression there's a lot more to it and he was unfairly treated




This was a novel idea to get the troops mobilised quickly to the battle



One of 'Britain's finest moments borne out of desperation


Real Men….


I particularly liked the prose here..



This was actually a crib sheet used in the film Theirs Is the Glory, filmed in 1946 using only the guys who actually fought in the battle, not actors
Written on the back of a door and kept out of screenshot



I had to look at this twice!
Can you believe the car workers in England actually went on strike when their fellow men were dying on the battlefield?



Down in the basement there is the 'Airborne Experience' which although might look lame in photo form was actually a chilling experience. There is the constant cacophony of battle noise and it helps to bring it home to the visitor what hell everyone went through











Outside its at freezing point as we stroll around the park



Only fitting that we take the half hour walk to the war cemetery





A lot of these guys had to be left on the battlefield after the retreat across the Rhine and were buried by the Germans
Thankfully they were reburied with dignity shortly after liberation in this beautiful spot





Most of these men were in their twenties when they lost their lives for us...





I quite liked this museum as it focused greatly on the whole aspect of the struggle here. There is much attention given to the fate of the Dutch civilians and compelling insights in to the lives of the evacuees from Arnhem and surrounding villages
The media used is excellent and we didn't find it overwhelming….