Pictorial History of the 101st Airborne division in the liberation of Holland, is the
fifth volume of a series covering the involvement of the American Paratroopers in the
Invasion of Europe.
While many seemed to focus on just the jumping part of an airborne operation, which some
considered the toughest part of being a paratrooper, the veterans of Normandy knew the hardest
part was about to begin after they landed. The moment the paratroopers and glider riders of the
101st Airborne touched the ground in Holland, their unique distinction as airborne troops no
longer made any difference. Once on the ground, they had to fight their way out as infantrymen.
But unlike regular infantrymen, airborne troops had to fight to all points of the compass with
lighter weaponry and less supplies at that. But what they lacked in the calibre of their guns, they
compensated with physical strength and the calibre of their guts. The long marches with full gear and
merciless training in the U.S. paid off in Holland, where all distances were covered on foot.
Immediately after landing, the bridges at Veghel and St.-Oedenrode were captured intact.
The bridge at Son, which was already mined by the Germans before the operation started in anticipation
of the advancing British army, blew up in the faces of the paratroopers. Consequently, the bridges
in Eindhoven were captured the next day and the canal at Son was quickly Bailey bridged.
In forty hours, at about 06:00 hrs. on September 19, 1944, their original missions were
The next eight days of the experience of the 101st Airborne Division in Holland resembled to
Maj. Gen. Taylor “…nothing so much as the operations of the U.S. Cavalry in defending the railroads
as they pushed westward through Indian country. Our task was to keep the Germans from cutting this road
which was the lifeline of the Second Army. The fulfillment of the mission called for highly mobile
operations by task forces put together quickly to counter the recurrent German thrusts from the flanks
of the highway….Successively, Son, Best, Veghel and Uden became the scene of heavy fighting, but the road
was cut only twice in this period and then only for a few hours”.
When Operation Market-Garden was officially over on D+10 - September 27, 1944 - the 101st Airborne
Division had already suffered a total of 2.356 casualties; 373 killed, 1.436 wounded and 547 missing.
Having captured the bridges and then having guarded the corridor - or “Hell’s Highway” as the American
paratroopers named the main highway to Arnhem – the 101st accomplished all and more that was expected
of them and should have been relieved.
With more than 850 black & white period photographs, this book is the definitive pictorial record
covering the liberation of Holland. It also includes many full color close-ups of what is believed
to be the largest Airborne memorabilia collection, including many items recovered from the battlefield
as well as veterans' uniforms and equipment.
9 1/2 x 12 1/2, Hardback - 560 pages - 850+ photos
Price is 75 euro