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John Frost

“Whoa Mohammed!” The Arabic battle cry of the British paratroopers

in What you didn't know about the Battle of Arnhem
Soldiers of the 1st Parachute Brigade pose with an Arab and his camel during Operation Torch.

It was an Arab war cry that was regularly heard during the battle of the Battle of Arnhem. From a foxhole in Oosterbeek or a besieged house around the Rhine Bridge in Arnhem, “Whoa Mohammed” was suddenly shouted very loudly. When one of the British soldiers shouted the battle cry, it was immediately taken up…

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Longread: The blood-curdling battle account of a British paratrooper

in Longread
All officers of the 2nd Battalion. Lieutenant Colonel John Frost sits in the front row wearing Scottish trousers. The second officer from the right in the front row is Major Stanley Panter.

Major Stanley C. Panter was one of the British paratroopers who fought at the Rhine Bridge during the Battle of Arnhem. After the war, Panter wrote an extensive battle report. In this factual and blood-curdling story of 4,000 words, Panter meticulously recounts his experiences from the airborne landings on Sunday, September 17, 1944 to the…

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No German soldiers at the Rhine bridge: forgotten in the confusion after the airborne landings

in Arnhem/September 17

Around 8 p.m. on Sunday, September 17, 1944, the first British soldiers reached the Rhine Bridge near Arnhem. To their surprise, the British discovered that the bridge was not defended by German soldiers. In the confusion after the airborne landings, the German army leadership had forgotten to send soldiers to the Rhine Bridge. After several…

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John Frost’s Battalion captures the Rhine bridge, but not the railway bridge and the ship bridge

in Arnhem/September 17
German prisoners are taken away by British paratroopers in the woods near Wolfheze.

After the airborne landings on September 17, three battalions with approximately 2,700 British paratroopers left for Arnhem via three different routes. 1st Battalion , which advanced to Arnhem via the north, came into contact north-east of Wolfheze with the first troops of the 9th SS Armored Division that the Germans had sent to Arnhem. During…

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The Germans blow up the railway bridge at Oosterbeek in front of the British

in Oosterbeek/September 17
Illustration of the railway bridge at Oosterbeek by MC Escher (Yeah, that MC Escher.)

It was a mighty metal construction from 1897: the railway bridge over the Rhine at Oosterbeek. Capturing this bridge was one of the objectives given to the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Parachute Brigade under the leadership of Colonel John Frost during the airborne landings. They had almost succeeded and it had drastically changed the…

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Colonel Frost is on his own at the bridge

in Arnhem/September 18
A British RAF reconnaissance plane took this photo of the Rhine Bridge on Monday afternoon, September 18, 1944. The remains of the destroyed column of armored vehicles are clearly visible on the bridge.

The early morning of Monday, September 18. That was the last moment when it was quiet for the British at the Rhine Bridge. But from half past nine in the morning there was almost continuous fighting at the bridge. Because the British army units could not maintain contact with each other via radios , the…

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British at the bridge destroy Viktor Gräbner’s SS Armored Column

in Arnhem/September 18
An RAF reconnaissance plane took a photo of the destruction of the SS Armored Column by the British. (Photo: Imperial War Museum.)

A Dutch garbage collector who unsuspectingly made his rounds near the Rhine bridge on the early morning of Monday, September 18, 1944, was probably the first victim of the fighting that would take place that day. His garbage truck was fired upon by British paratroopers as soon as he entered their sector. The British were…

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British at the bridge hold out, under heavy German pressure

in Arnhem/September 19
The Van Limburg-Stirumschool on the eastern driveway of the Rhine Bridge. After the Battle of Arnhem, little was left of the school.

The 700 soldiers of 2nd Battalion who occupied approximately thirty buildings on the north side of the Rhine Bridge had no illusions. The day before they had easily survived the attack of a German SS reconnaissance battalion and had also repelled several small attacks on their positions. But now, on Tuesday, September 19, the Germans…

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September 20: Germans smoke out the British at the Rhine Bridge

in Arnhem/September 20
British paratroopers captured at the bridge on Wednesday, September 20, are taken away via Steenstraat. (Photo: Federal Archives.)

If Operation Market Garden had gone according to plan, the ground troops of XXX Corps would have reached the south side of the Rhine on Tuesday, September 19, in the afternoon. But on Wednesday morning, September 20, the tanks and troops of XXX Corps were still in Nijmegen, where the Waal Bridge had yet to…

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