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Operation Market Garden

Operation Market Garden was the Allied attempt to sieze key river bridges in the Netherlands by airborne assault in September 1944. If successful, the Allies could cross the River Rhine and attack Germany's industrial heartland in the Ruhr. British General Bernard Montgomery conceived the plan, and believed its success would end the Second World War by Christmas 1944.
 
Before an operation of this magnitude could be launched, aerial reconnaissance was undertaken to allow photographic interpreters to assess the strength of German defences at the target bridges, select suitable drop and landing zones for paratroops and gliders, study the planned route of the ground troops who were tasked to link-up with the airborne elements, and to identify enemy defences and order of battle in the surrounding area.
 
This gallery presents a selection of images taken before, and during, the operation.