On Saturday, 18 June 2016 we participated in the Battlefield Tour Oosterbeek perimeter with the guides Joel Stoppels and Wybo Boersma. With these guides we had the guarantee of a very interesting and informative tour which was about the British defense of the perimeter of Oosterbeek. The last area that was held after the Battle of Arnhem was so unfavorable expired. It was a kind of bulge in the area that was recaptured by the Germans. British headquarters was located in Hartenstein Hotel in Oosterbeek. General Roy Urquhart led from there defending the perimeter that was attacked on all sides by the Germans, who had surrounded it. The southern edge was bordered by the River Rhine, near Arnhem. Initially a part of the British 1st Airborne Division succeeded in the bridge to reach the Rhine at Arnhem, but after four days it had to withdraw from the floodplain towards Oosterbeek. The British gave to this area, which was surrounded by the Germans around Oosterbeek, called "Perimeter". The area had the shape of an elongated horseshoe.
The Battle of Arnhem was part of the much larger operation code-named "Market Garden". During this operation three Airborne Divisions from the Belgian border in Lommel to Arnhem were to seize the bridges over the various waterways, and the British 30th Corps to Middle Netherlands could advance.

The heavily damaged Old Church in Oosterbeek in 1945

The Old Church at Oosterbeekhas been restored to its former glory and is to this day an important reminder place at the Battle of the perimeter of Oosterbeek.

Major Lonsdale (left), Second-in-Command of the 11th Parachute Battalion and commander of the Lonsdale Force at Arnhem, accepts a light from Lieutenant David Polley, "C" Section (lines), 1st Airborne Divisional Signals, at Nijmegen on 26th September 1944, after the withdrawal from Arnhem.

With information boards at various locations along the route tells the story of the Battle of Arnhem in the Second World War.

My wife Elly at the British phone box at Utrechtseweg in Oosterbeek. This phone was after the war, donated by British veterans.
We start the tour at the former Hartenstein Hotel, currently Airborne Museum. Near museum is a picture of the British General Roy Urquhart, who had established his headquarters here in September 1944..

Elly looks attentively the Airborne monument at the Airborne Museum

This text is on the English bench at the entrance to the Airborne Museum.

Our guides JoŽl Stoppels and Wybo Boersma.

We lopen door het park rond het Airborne Museum. In de bomen die er toendertijd ook stonden bevinden zich nog granaatscherven. We walk through the park surrounding the Airborne Museum. The trees that were there at the time also have still shrapnel.
This Ordnance Quick-Firing 17-pounder anti-tank gun stands near het Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek
Around the Airborne Museum is a beautiful park. It is hard to imagine that a bitter fight was fought here and the British paratroopers were heavily under attack 72 years ago.
With deep respect and in mind, we stand at the memorable pit on the property "Heavenly Mountain" where the poor Oosterbeekse citizens sought a natural refuge from the violence of war.
Once there was the beautiful estate house  'Hemelse Berg', unfortunately totally destroyed by the fighting in 1944.
House 'Hemelse Berg' before and after the destruction by the German shelling in September 1944.

We walk through the beautiful estate 'De Hemelse Berg'.

Despite the war story is it also pure enjoyment of the beautiful nature.

Elly clearly enjoying the beautiful walk through the estate.

We arrive at a very memorable location where the British Airbornes had positions along the Van Lennepweg with a 3-inch mortar from the 1st Battalion of the Border Regiment. Famous are the pictures of this.

The text on this information panel reads as follows:

Airborne troops under the command of Lieutenant Colonel J.D. Frost managed to hold the road bridge in Arnhem, now the John Frostbrug, from 17 to 21 September 1944 before being overrun. The other British units defended the western part of the town of Oosterbeek. A 3-inch mortar position of 1st Battalion The Border Regiment alongside Van Lennepweg was photographd not far from here.

Here was the position along the Van Lennepweg with the 3-inch mortar from the 1st Battalion of the Border Regiment.

Our guide Wybo Boersma explains the events along Van Lennepweg.

The text on this information panel reads as follows:

The troops in Oosterbeek defended the perimeter north of the Rhine in the hope that they would be relieved by the army advancing from the south. You can see the Rhine from this point. By 22 September 1944, XXX Corps troops from the south had reached the village of Driel on the opposite bank of the river. Here they made contact with the 950 Polish parachutists who had landed the previous day. Because of a lack of boats only 150 Poles were able to cross the Rhine to reinforce the British.

We walk to the Old Church at Benedendorpsweg in Oosterbeek through the beautiful door het de prachtige floodplains of the Rhine at Oosterbeek.
The text on this information panel reads as follows:

The British and Polish troops withdrew from Oosterbeek during the night of 25 - 26 September 1944. The men reached the Rhine via Kerkpad and the floodplains, and were ferried across the river in boats manned by British and Canadian sappers. Many soldiers tried to swim the fast-flowing river and some perished in the attempt. Of the more than 11,000 British and Polish soldiers who landed, approximately 2,300 managed to reach the Betuwe. The rest were either dead, made POW by the Germans (including the wounded), or taken into the care of the Dutch Resistance. After the liberation Oosterbeek and surroundings were a mass of rubble, wreckage, field graves, equipment and ammunition.

Is'nt it beautiful here Elly?

Our very knowledgeable guide Wybo Boersma explains the events surrounding the Old Church on the Benedendorpsweg in Oosterbeek. Curiously remains that no memorial window could be placed in the church, so there was a monument outside the church.
After the fighting, the Old Church had changed in ruins in September 1944.
Fortunately, the Old Church is the Benedendorpsweg fully recovered its former glory.
The havoc around the Old Church with the abandoned British 17-pounder, which was used to defend the area around the Old Church on the Benedendorpsweg against German attacks. Here was the point where the British and Polish paratroopers had gathered to stabbing the Rhine with boats in the night of 24 on September 25 1944 in the Betuwe.

Major Lonsdale

From the pulpit of the Old Church Major Lansdale held his pep talk.

The ruins of the Old Church after the fighting in september 1944.

This beautiful scene of the situation around the Old Church was to see in the Airborne Museum before it was toroughly renovated with much beauty is lost.
This property is across from the Old Church on the Benedendorpsweg and still shows clearly grenade impacts. They are still traces of the war that raged here in September 1944.                            
Also at the Benedendorpsweg in Oosterbeek, the Concert Hall.
The writer Kneppelhout, who had acquired the estate `Heavenly Berg` in 184, bought  in the village a piece of land and left them for the many artists who visited Oosterbeek build a workshop with coffee room, facing bookstore Romijn in 1867. Later the studio was converted into a concert hall and clubhouse.
It is a building with a neo-classical facade, three windows, a round entrance in the middle and above excellent central section, topped by a tympanum with a top member pollarded feature in the form of an oil lamp.
In his will has writer left the concert hall to the church, which put it almost a century later at the monument list. Already one and half century much has sung, danced, played cards and partying in the building. It is known that Jo Vincent in her younger years has occurred here. Also, it served as a church for the Remonstrant before the church was built on the Wilhelminastraat.

View on the beautiful area of the Concert Hall.

The text on this information panel reads as follows:

In 1939 the municipal council earmarked De Tafelberg hotel as a hospital in times of emergency. At the beginning of September 1944 the hotel was commandeered by the headquarters of Heeresgruppe B under the command of the German Field Marshal Model. He fled on 17 September, taken totally by surprise by the airborne landings. The general practitioners of Oosterbeek equipped the hotel as an emergency hospital, which was then taken over by the British. Dutch and British doctors worked there as well as Oosterbeek First Aiders, Red Cross staff and Community Nurses. Sometimes operations were even carried out on the billiard table. The building was hit several times by artillery fire.

It is always very nice to have lunch in restaurant Schoonoord.

Our guide JoŽl Stoppels gives more explanation about the course of the battle in the perimeter of Oosterbeek and tells what happened at the crossroads where we look out at restaurant Schoonoord. The British 21st Independent Parachute Company, which was related posts in Oosterbeek has been active here during the fighting in September 1944, as in Schoonoord hotel, located in the center, where we have lunch.
For years, Schoonoord restaurant was a meeting of the British veterans during the Battle of Arnhem. There was even a special veterans room. Now there are not many veterans come the veterans room is gone.

This was the interior of the veterans room in restaurant Schoonoord.

Photos and objects in the restaurant remind us of that time.

In the afternoon we visited the Airborne Museum 'Hartenstein' at Oosterbeek.

Since 7 January 1944 Major General Urquhart was the commander of the British 1st Airborne Division. Urquhart unit was first deployed in Operation Market Garden. His division, where the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade under Major General Stanisław Sosabowski belonged, landed at Oosterbeek. Urquhart set up his headquarters in the former Hartenstein Hotel
the hunting horn of Major John Frost. At the time stolen from the museum but thanks to the efforts of the then director of the Airborne Museum  Wybo Boersma back where it belongs.

These pictures I took out of a room in the museum.

This German field telephone seemed familiar. After all I also have two in my collection.

Ofcourse we walked through theAirborne Experience. in the underground Experience you experience the war in full force. Here you will feel the impact of violence on young boys who desperately fighting for their lives.

Na afloop van de battlefield tour gingen we nog even langs het met sloop bedreigde Dreyeroord. The hotel Dreyeroord was the heart of the northern defense of the King's Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB) during operation Market Garden in September 1944. The hotel was also called The White House.
In the park behind the hotel, heavy fighting took place. There are still traces of these fights, such as the traces of tank-tracks in the driveway of the hotel.
During the war, the hotel was heavily damaged. After the war, the family van Straaten became the owner of the hotel and completely renovated it. There was also a small museum in the hotel, dedicated to the KOSB.
The hotel closed on October 1, 2014.
In 2016, action is taken against the possible demolition of the building.