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Operation Comet aerial images released

Dramatic low-level aerial photographs of three bridges in the Netherlands are now accessible.


The photographs were taken on 6 September 1944 to assist in planning Operation Comet. This was to be a parachute and glider assault by the British 1st Airborne Division. In the plan, these troops were to capture the bridges at Grave, Nijmegen and Arnhem. Allied ground forces would then advance and cross the rivers Maas, Waal and Lower Rhine.


Planners ordered 541 Squadron, RAF, to undertake low-level photographic reconnaissance of each bridge. These aerial photographs would assist in locating any enemy defences. We have now digitised and uploaded the photographs from all three sorties.


Operation Comet was postponed twice. It was then superseded by Market Garden, launched on 17 September 1944. This was a much larger operation with an extra two US airborne divisions. Operation Market Garden was the subject of the 1977 feature film A Bridge Too Far.

23 March 2017