Saturday, April 4, 2009, we had the annual meeting of the Friends of the
Airborne Museum in hotel restaurant Nol in 't Bos, located in the
beautiful surroundings of Renkum and Wageningen. Afther the meeting we walked part of the
route used during the evacuation
Of the approximately 8,000 casualties of the British 1st Airborne Division (including
the glider pilots and the Polish Brigade) not all were killed during the battle
or taken prisoner by the Germans: quite a number of men evaded capture. At least
300 of these men managed to return to the Allied lines eventually, often with
help from the Dutch resistance. One such attempt to reach friendly grounds was
operation 'Pegasus I' on the night of 22 October 1944, were Major Allison Digby
Tatham-Warter led 138 men safely across the Lower Rhine. The news of this
successful escape soon reached the Germans, who reacted by strengthening their
patrol on the river bank. As a result of this 'Pegasus II' on 18 November 1944
failed with only 7 men returning safely. Colonel Graeme Warrack, the Division's
chief medical officer, who had arranged the evacuation of the British wounded
during the battle of Arnhem, was one of those persons who didn't make it to the
Allied lines that time. For him and many others more time of hiding and
travelling would follow. Warrack returned safely on 6 February 1945, almost 5
months after the beginning of Market Garden.
The author Cees Hazelhoek, author of the book entitled Get'em Out
was also present at the walk. This book is about the escape operation.
There were two: Pegasus I and Pegasus II. The second has, unfortunately,
In this hotel restaurant on the border of Wageningen and Renkum we
had the annual meeting of the VVAM and began our rout following
On the terrace of the hotel restaurant Nol in 't Forest, I saw this
beautiful outdoor chess
Theme of this day was the greatest escape operation from the Second
World War, Operation Pegasus. Therefore on our meeting point these
figures were displayed, showing how British military men were changing
closes after a long period of hiding.
The escape route was through the woods of Renkum in the direction of
the river Rhine.
We walk the route followed during
We follow the escape route of the survivors used during Operation
Cees Haverhoek, author of the book 'Get 'em Out, the story of Pegasus
I and II', gives an explanation.
This barn was the last stop before the floodplains of the River
Rhine were achieved.
Here the soldiers before
they dress as part of Operation Pegasus will cross the Rhine. They do
this in the barn in the photo left is displayed.
The floodplains of the River Rhine
are achieved. This was the most dangerous part, because this open area
was under the eye of German patrols before the river was reached.
Already a few days, the Americans on the other side gave fierce
artillery fire, so the attention of the Germans was derived. Also
American patrols infiltrated this area.