Friday, December 26, 2008

Nijmegen - Operation Market Garden - Bridge; VE Day

Nijmegen, Bridge, Operation Market Garden, the Netherlands

 WWII battle areas: Operation Market Garden, commemorated in the film story, "A Bridge Too Far" (that was the bridge at Arnhem, the focus of the British assault as part of the overall operation, to the north). Here is the bridge at Nijmegen, where the Americans fought.

The city is the oldest town in the Netherlands, see //, dating from Roman times, and Charlemagne.

Operation Market Garden had tragic results, see, but much heroism.

Hotel:  Skip the Casino area, skip the big ones, go right to the bridge bulkhead and look around.  There, at the river Waal,  by the Bridge itself, is The Hotel Courage. Small, excellent location - and not far from the casino, if that is your interest. The hotel is the houselike building in the foreground below.

Bridge at Nijmegen, view with The Hotel Courage  right there

Find the chronology of the battle at The Netherlands retains its gratitude for the effort, despite heavy civilian losses. This has become a lasting bond - maybe that does require an overall war cause that is agreed at the time as necessary. Enduring memorials for valor. If there were not an agreed cause, would that have lasted.

Active river traffic.

See the barge going under the bridge in the picture - many barges on the riverways are also the family's home, and the family car may well be at the prow or stern, for use when docked. There is a great deal of that on the Rhine, in Germany. Also the family dog is often visible. And the car on the prow.

Veterans, and those just remembering, or tribute -- so many there, even after all these years. Several men were camped out under the bridge - not homeless-looking - more like veterans. Some slept all night there. We could see from our hotel.

US Troops.  I believe it was the US 82nd Airborne that focused at Nijmegen at Market Garden. There are annual marches by veterans. See picture and account of Operation Market Garden at

Nijmegen is in Gelderland, central and west in the Netherlands. See a Nijmegen guide at

VE Day, 60th Anniversary Parade, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

For more complete website, see

VE Day Commemoration.

This parade suddenly went by the window of little place where we were eating, at dusk.

The marchers were also in wheelchairs, and it looked like most of the town was participating. It looked like all surviving relatives were invited to join.

Nijmegen is also the site of an old Charlemagne castle ruin, see Charlemagne's biography and search for Nijmegen at It is on the headland overlooking the river, part later rebuilt in 1030. The connections between places come as a surprise. The royal villa is referred to at This is in connection with Charlemagne and dispute resolutions. Romans also were here. See There is a handy map there.

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