By early September 1944, with the Normandy Campaign behind them, six Allied Armies were racing across Northern France and into the Low Countries. Ahead of them the remnants of the German Army were retreating to the borders of the Fatherland. To many on the Allied side it seemed that a bold action was all that was needed to finish the war by Christmas.
The plan called for a carpet of paratroopers to capture and hold bridges along a 64 mile road, allowing an armoured spearhead to reach its goal of the bridge at Arnhem. If successful this would leave the route to the industrial heart of Germany, The Ruhr, wide open.
For this “It Happened Here” episode, Bletchley Park’s Research Officer Dr Thomas Cheetham has been looking in detail at the entire operation, including Bletchley Park’s contribution, to tell us if it always was going to be just A Bridge Too Far.
Special thanks to Mr Ben Thomson for playing the role of our Hut 3 Intelligence Officer.
In memoriam, Eileen Younghusband BEM (1921-2016) WAAF Section Officer