THE AMBITIOUS GRAB FOR ARNHEM BRIDGE RAPIDLY BECAME A PROTRACTED CAMPAIGN, WITH THE ALLIES FACING A TOUGHER, MORE DOGGED FOE THAN ANTICIPATED. JOHN ASH EXAMINES THE COST IN LIVES TO THE AIRBORNE FORCES THAT FOUGHT FOR A BRIDGE TOO FAR.
Operation Market Garden proved to be a costly operation. In the push, XXX Corps lost around 70 tanks, numerous other vehicles, and approximately 1,500 men became casualties. US airborne, USAAF air crew and glider pilot casualties were put at just under 4,000 – 2,110 or so of those being paratroopers or glider infantry. The RAF lost 89 of the aircraft that were flying hazardous resupply sorties, with more downed on close air support taskings for an approximate 300 aircrew killed.
German casualties sustained around Arnhem and Oosterbeek were recorded at 1,300 killed, with 2,000 more wounded, missing or captured. However, during XXX Corps advance, historians estimate that between 6,000 and 8,500 German soldiers became casualties.