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Fortress Best

When on the 17th, 18th and 19th of September 1944, thousands of American paratroopers land in the area between Best and Son, the residents of Best believe liberation is near. But the Americans have a different assignment. The 15th Scottish Division is tasked with capturing Best. They discover the Germans have turned Best into a fortress. From the 21st of September, heavy fighting takes place in the city centre, near the railway line and in the Vleut. It takes until the 24th of October before the Scots liberate Best.

On the 17th, 18th and 19th of September, massive airdrops took place in the area between Best and Son. Thousands of American paratroopers from the 101st Airborne Division and hundreds of gliders with military equipment landed there on their drop zones. The operation, known as Market Garden, aimed to capture a strip of land, called a corridor and seize and hold the roads and bridges. This would allow the XXXth British Corps to use it to advance to Arnhem.

An American company attempted to capture the bridge over the Wilhelmina Canal, but failed. German soldiers blew up the bridge. But on the 19th of September, the Americans, with the help of British tanks, still achieved a victory. Then the 15th Scottish Division was tasked to secure the western part of the landing zone. Best also had to be liberated.

It turned out not to be easy. The occupier had constructed heavy defences in Best. From the 21st of September, the troops of the Scottish Division were involved in continuous fighting in the city centre, near the railway line and the Vleut. Eventually, they managed to liberate Best on the 24th of October.

Tourist information

Hoofdstraat, Best - GPS code N 51 30.713, E 5 23.498