65 years ago today – the hinge of fate

Captain Lionel Queripel VC

Captain Lionel Queripel VC

The remnants of the four Parachute Battalions that had been attacking into the town had fallen back to Oosterbeek. The Headquarters and support troops, as well as the Artillery – were gathering in the village of Oosterbeek.

In the north, the 4th Brigade had been pinned down overnight. As it became clear that their attack had little chance of succeeding, Brigadier Hackett and Major-General Urquhart agreed that the 4th Brigade would disengage and move underneath the railway and attempt to fight their way into Arnhem on the southern route.

What followed was pandemonium. It was against all training and doctrine to disengage in the open, in daylight, when in action. What started as an orderly withdrawl became a pell mell retreat. Rumours began to spread that the Germans had advanced from the east and taken the Wolfheze crossroads, which would have taken the 4th Brigade from the rear, eliminated their escape route and cut them off completely. In the mele most of the Jeeps were passed under a culvert under the railway, and men scrambled up and over the embankment. The Germans followed hot on the Paras heels and inflicted heavy casualties.

Captain Lionel Queripel, a 25 year old Captain in the 10th Battalion of the Parachute Regiment, was the senior officer in a group of men cut off and in danger of being overwhelmed. With no regard for his own safety he ordered his men to retreat and covered them, firing his pistol and lobbing hand grenades. he was never seen alive again.

The survivors of the 4th Brigade trickled their way into Oosterbeek, where the rest of the Division was established. Brigadier Hackett and one party of men became surrounded in a hollow, some distance from safety. After sitting it out for several hours they decided to make a charge for it, and safely made it into the forming Oosterbeek perimeter.

After only 4 days of fighting the Germans had completely surrounded the British, both at the Bridge and in Oosterbeek. The British had lost a massive amount of men killed, wounded, missing or captured. They could no longer count on reinforcements, as the Polish Para Brigade’s drop had been cancelled the day before due to poor weather in england, and a new dropping zone had to be found for them. And curiously, given the allies complete air superiority, there was an almost complete lack of close air support. The designated supply dropping zones had been overun too, so the British would be receiving next to no supplies of food, ammunition or medical supplies.

The Germans, meanwhile, were getting stronger all the time. Reinforcements were pouring in from all over Holland and Germany. Heavy weapons were being moved into the battle zone. And with XXX Corps still south of Nijmegen and unable to influence events at Arnhem, what was supposed to be a walkover had turned into a bitter struggle for survival.

About these ads


Filed under Army, Arnhem, Remembrance, World War One

13 responses to “65 years ago today – the hinge of fate

  1. This website online is mostly a stroll-by way of for the
    entire data you wished about this and didnཿt
    know who to ask. Glimpse right here, and also youཿll
    definitely discover it.

  2. I think this is one of the most vital information
    for me. And i am glad reading your article.
    But want to remark on few general things, The website style is
    perfect, the articles is really nice : D. Good job,

  3. Thanks for the recommendations you have provided here.
    One more thing I would like to say is that laptop
    memory requirements generally increase along with other advancements in the know-how.
    For instance, any time new generations of processor chips are made in the market, there’s usually a related increase in the size and style calls
    for of both the pc memory in addition to hard drive space.

    This is because the application operated by way of these cpus will inevitably surge in power to take advantage of the new technology.

  4. May I simply just say what a relief to find somebody that really understands
    what they are talking about over the internet.
    You actually know how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    More people ought to check this out and understand this side of the story.
    I was surprised you aren’t more popular given that you surely possess the

  5. Every weekend i used to go to see this web page, as i want enjoyment, as this this website conations truly fastidious funny material too.

  6. Thanks designed for sharing such a pleasant opinion,
    post is good, thats why i have read it entirely

  7. In the meantime, Maria and Captain Von Trapp fall in deep love with one another.

    She also doesn’t get any retreat athome from her quite strict
    and domineering mother. Your preferred Pinoy Shows, like!

  8. The overall game is won by the contestant to complete the ultimate stop whatsoever timeframe.
    To get this audition, you’ll be able to employ professional support including providers.

  9. Să presupunem că aveți pur și simplu – un viraj din veniturile profitabil
    cu 10 pana la 20 la suta din trafic . Aici este cea mai bună strategie
    pentru a adăuga cuvinte cheie sau fraze cheie în ghidul dumneavoastră .

  10. Yes, the 5c is quite a leap for Apple who lastly appear to have altered their colors.
    Yup, apparently its heading to work on the iPad.
    The 3GS is accessible at $199 for a sixteen gig, and $299 for a 32 gig.

  11. A sizable wall events towards them with a cutout opening the contestants need certainly to
    repeat. Therefore, what does Facebook inform US about shows?
    I can live without hearing, “get in my belly!” again.

  12. As in any other cellular phone or PDA, the Iphone
    also has an deal with guide tagged with the name
    ‘Contacts’. As soon as it is done, you can now start to jailbreak iphones
    for tmobile.

  13. Extensions offered by Cydia derive from the
    Mobile Substrate that will be developed by Freeman. This is not to mention it’s really
    a fantastic product. The Ipod doesn’t allow additional wallpapers
    or style to be loaded.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s