Belgium / Audiospot
On September 17, 1944, the British XXXth Army Corps departs from here to enter the Netherlands. The bridge does not fall to the British without a fight. A week earlier, it is captured by the Irish Guards in a surprise attack on the Germans. But the Germans don’t surrender the bridge so easily. They counter attack in an attempt to recapture it. This results in several civilian casualties. The Guards hold their position and the bridge is named after their commander, J.O.E. Vandeleur.
This bridge played a crucial role in the execution of Operation Market Garden. The ground offensive of the British XXXth Corps began here on September 17 1944. In the vanguard, the Irish Guards entered the Netherlands, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel J.O.E. Vandeleur.
Those same Irish Guards had captured this bridge during a surprise attack on September 10. From that moment, the bridge was named after the commander of the unit that had carried out this feat. It was called Joe's Bridge.
Over the following days, the bridge came under attack from the German side. During the fighting, besides military losses, there were also civilian casualties.
Luikersteenweg at Barrierspark, Lommel.
GPS code: 51° 14' 20.94"N 5° 22' 43.32"O