The Battle for Ginkel Heath near Ede


The heroic and valiant actions by the British and Polish airborne troops at the Arnhem road bridge and in the Oosterbeck perimeter, which latter acted as bridgehead round the headquarters of the 1st British Airborne Division at Hotel Hartenstein, are well known. Less well known is what happened during the first days of Operation Market Garden at Ginkel Heath, east of Ede, where nearly two thousand British parachutists landed on 18 September 1944. To keep the memory of these momentous events on the heath alive, it is commemorated each year by the landing of a few WW II veterans and of paratroopers of the present British army. However, many of the spectators are not familiar with the specific events that took place in that part of the Veluwe region during those September days. The landing of the 4th Parachute Brigade was only part of all military activities on and around Ginkel Heath and took only nine minutes. The fact that the arrival of the brigade was preceded by almost twenty-four hours of fierce fighting is practically unknown to visitors to these annual landings.

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