The Netherlands / Audiospot

A German loose cannon




On September the 17th 1944, Veghel celebrates the liberation. American paratroopers have control of the bridges andare celebrating. Veghel is anticipating the arrival of the British XXXth Army Corps when a German tank crashes through the crowd firing as it goes.

On the 17th of September1944, the US 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment captured Veghel. This was part of Operation Market Garden. As part of this operation, thousands of American, British and Polish paratroopers were dropped near Eindhoven and Veghel as well as near Nijmegen and Arnhem. These paratroopers had orders to seize and hold bridges and roads, so that a corridor could be established, which would allow the British XXXth Corps to advance to Arnhem.

In Veghel, a bizarre situation occurred when a German tank commander realised too late that Veghel had fallen into the hands of the Americans. Firing as he went, he tried to re-join his own troops.

The corridor was targeted by German attacks. The roads both north and south of Veghel were cut off repeatedly. As a result, the British did not reach Arnhem on time and Operation Market Garden failed. But the Allies held their ground in Veghel. For a time, Veghel was a liberated island in occupied territory.