The Recce Jeeps of Arnhem

Craig Allen sorts fact from myth around the famous battle to capture a road bridge over the Lower Rhine in September 1944

After many years of attending the annual Arnhem Commemoration, held in remembrance of the events which unfolded in September 1944, I was sadly absent last year due to Covid-19 enforced travel restrictions. One of the highlights of previous trips has always been the assemblage of Jeeps and other World War Two vehicles lining the original drop zone at Ginkel Heath.

‘I dug a little deeper into history to uncover a very different tale to the one I had always accepted as fact’

Airborne Jeeps and re-enactors arrived at Ginkel Heath DZ before the commemorative drop

This got me thinking about one of the enduring myths of the battle – that the Jeeps of the Airborne Recce Squadron failed to arrive. As a result, this allegedly forestalled the intended ‘coup de main’ attempt on the bridge and is enshrined in Parachute Regiment folklore.

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