Maps

A map of the Arnhem area, including drop zones

Pictures

The remains of the Johannahoeve Farm

Johannahoeve Farm today

The Johannahoeve Farm, home to some of the KOSB defending LZ-L

Boiled potatoes being handed out to German soldiers during a lull

German infantry pass an abandoned 6-pounder anti-tank gun

A German soldier helping himself to the contents of a supply canister

The tunnel under the railway through which the 4th Para Brigade passed

German infantry approaching Wolfheze

German infantry preparing to set a Horsa on fire

A German soldier walking passed an abandoned Horsa

A Horsa glider on fire

A Horsa glider on fire

 

Whilst the gliders were being unloaded, the 10th Battalion, falling back in good order, arrived on LZ-L. As they were crossing the open ground, however, German armoured vehicles and infantry appeared out of the woodland behind them and opened fire across the zone, leading more to confusion rather than casualties. Due to the differences in language and dress, and the belief of the Poles that they had landed amongst enemy troops, there were isolated incidents of groups of Poles and British exchanging fire, causing casualties on both sides. With the zone under attack, there followed something of a scramble to reach the safety of the woodland to the south, as a result of which some of the glider loads had to be abandoned.

 

From the north, No.9 Company of the now greatly reinforced Battalion Krafft, who had been so effective in delaying the Reconnaissance Squadron and the 3rd Parachute Battalion on Sunday 17th September, emerged out of the woods only to be violently thrown back with heavy losses by HQ and "D" Company's of the 7th King's Own Scottish Borderers. To the east of the zone, "A" Company had been allocated an exposed position and they were to have withdrawn in step with the 10th Battalion. As they did so, however, they found themselves penned in on three sides by German troops and were eventually left with no option but to surrender; only thirty men succeeded in slipping away to rejoin the Battalion.

 

With German troops descending upon LZ-L, the 4th Parachute Brigade had to get themselves and their equipment south of the railway line and into comparative safety of the woodland beyond, before making their way to Oosterbeek, where the rest of the Division was gathering. Most of the infantry were simply able to cross the line by climbing the embankment, some running a gauntlet of snipers and machine-gunners as they did so, and in this fashion Brigade HQ and the majority of the 7th KOSB managed to cross. They were followed by the 156th Battalion, but a breakdown in communication resulted in half of their number, included amongst which was "B", almost all of Support and a platoon of "C" Company, continuing to march in the direction of Wolfheze, the two groups were never to be reunited. This latter group arrived in the village and met up with part of the 10th Battalion and a unit of Glider Pilots who, having found the area to be largely deserted, proceeded to ready it for a defence.

 

Half a mile to the east of Wolfheze, the Brigade discovered a small drainage tunnel that ran beneath the railway line. It was just large enough to enable a Jeep to pass through, and so the slow process of transferring the entire Brigade's vehicles through this highly congested area began. To prevent enemy interference, "A" Company of the 10th Battalion were ordered to hold a finger of woodland a quarter of a mile to the north-west whilst the 7th King's Own Scottish Borderers' "B" Company, some of whose men had been cut-off in the withdrawal, did likewise in the north-east. Both of these outposts were soon heavily engaged with the pursuing Germans. The Borderers brought the initial attacks to an immediate halt when a Bren gunner deliberately destroyed an abandoned cart which was heavily laden with anti-tank mines; the huge resulting explosion leaving many enemy dead and wounded, and a charge by the Borderers succeeded in pushing the remainder out of the wood.

 

The 10th Battalion's rearguard of Captain Queripel's "A" Company were forced to fight off repeated and sustained attacks throughout the day and into the night. Despite being heavily taken on, the Company fiercely defended this strip of woodland, which was so vital to the Brigade's safety, until they were eventually evicted on Wednesday morning. Those who were able to do so moved back, however Captain Queripel stayed behind to cover his men, armed only with a pistol and several grenades. He was fatally wounded shortly after, and his supreme conduct earned him a posthumous Victoria Cross.