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Longread: the Battle of Arnhem through the eyes of German commander Walter Harzer

in Longread

Many personal accounts have been written from the English side in which soldiers describe their experiences during the Battle of Arnhem. Much less attention is paid to the Battle of Arnhem through German eyes. Below is the story of the German Colonel Walter Harzer. Harzer was commander of the 9th SS Division Hohenstaufen and played…

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“Alarm! Paratroopers!” The 9th and 10th SS Armored Divisions immediately spring into action

in Oosterbeek/September 17
An armored car of the SDKFZ 250/3 type is deployed against British paratroopers near Oosterbeek. (Photo: Federal Archives.)

Even before all British troops had landed west of Wolfheze on Sunday, September 17, the troops of the German 9th and 10 SS Armored Divisions had already been alerted. To immediately clear up a major misunderstanding: the two armored divisions stationed near Arnhem had almost no tanks and mechanical artillery. Combined, the two divisions only…

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Walter Harzer: the German commander who eventually defeated the British

in Main characters
On September 28, 1944, German commanders discuss the outcome of the Battle of Arnhem at Walter Harzer's headquarters. From left to right: Field Marshal Walter Model, General Wilhelm Bittrich, Colonel Walter Harzer and General Heinz Harmel. (Photo: Gelders Archive.)

When speaking of the German commanders responsible for the Allied defeat at Arnhem, it often refers to Field Marshal Walter Model and General Wilhelm Bittrich. Less attention is paid to Obersturmbannführer Walter Harzer. Yet it was Harzer’s troops that ultimately defeated the British Airborne Division. Harzer led the 9th SS Armored Division Hohenstaufen as Obersturmbannführer…

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Myth: “Market Garden failed because the Germans were in possession of the original attack plans“

in Myths
A German soldier inspects a Waco glider during Operation Market Garden.

There are still many myths circulating about the Battle of Arnhem for so many decades afterwards. One of those myths is that Operation Market Garden failed because the Germans acquired the original plans for Market Garden. Because the Germans knew what the Allies were planning, they could anticipate this in advance. The British and Americans…

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Not the Hartenstein hotel, but Musis Sacrum was intended to be the British headquarters

in Arnhem/General information/What you didn't know about the Battle of Arnhem
During the Second World War, Musis Sacrum, located in the city center, was in use as a 'Wehrmachtheim' for the Germans stationed in Arnhem.

According to the. original plans for Operation Market Garden, the 1st British Airborne Division was to occupy all of Arnhem before being relieved by the Allied ground forces. The Airborne Division’s headquarters would be located in concert hall Musis Sacrum. Musis was chosen because it was close to the Rhine Bridge and because it was…

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