To commemorate Market Garden Anniversary Week (September 17-25, 1944), Ubisoft has released five new screenshots from the upcoming Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 sequel. In addition, Ubisoft has released an article excerpt from Colonel John Antal, US Army Ret, recounting some of the events certain to appear in the game. Enjoy.
“On September 17, 1944, in broad daylight, the Allies launched the largest airborne operation ever conducted. The planes carrying the 101st encountered heavy antiaircraft fire as they approached their targets, but the pilots were able to hold formation, and the paratroopers, for the most part, were delivered to the correct drop zones. These were located to the west of the main highway and in the center of the division’s sector, near the villages of Son, St. Oedenrode, and Best. The 101st Airborne had the critical job of securing the base of the penetration. They seized the bridges in and around Eindhoven, Netherlands. The 82d Airborne was jumped to the north to seize the bridges in and around Nijmegen, Netherlands. The British 1st Airborne and the Poles jumped near Arnhem, Netherlands, to secure the bridge across the Rhine.
The parachute echelon of the 101st Airborne Division consisted of 436 c-47 transport planes carrying some 6,809 parachutists of the Division. Four hundred twenty-four planes dropped on D-Day, and 12 planes carrying Battery “B,” 377th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion, with 140 personnel and 6 guns, dropped on D+3.
A total of 988 CG4A gliders took off from departure bases over a period of 7 days. Seven hundred and sixty-seven of these gliders landed without incident on the designated L.Z. Approximately 5,000 men took off from the UK and some 4,800 eventually joined tier units in the combat zone.
The Division missions called for the seizure of the four highway and railway bridges over the Aa River and Williams Vaart Canal at Veghel, the seizure of the highway bridge over the Dommel River at St. Oedenrode; the seizure of the highway bridge over the Wilhelmins Canal at Son; and the seizure of Eindhoven and the main highway bridges over the streams in that city. The Division objectives were spread over a road distance of fifteen some miles.
The Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division secured their objectives and linked up with the British XXX Armored Corps on September 18, 1944. The 82d Airborne, after hard fighting, also secured their objectives around Nijemgan. The British XXX Corps then continued the attack against fierce opposition up the 60 mile long single road through the American 82d Airborne to the British 1st Airborne at Arnhem. It was a race against time.
As the British tanks fought north the Germans counterattacked and did all they could do to block the attack route and stop supplies from getting forward to the lead British tanks.
During the days that followed, the 101st Airborne fought desperate battles against determined German counterattacks to cut the road and stop the flow of Allied forces north. The fighting along the area from Eindhoven to Uden became known as the fight for “Hell’s Highway” and the courage of the soldiers on both sides is the stuff of legends. The story of the battle for Hell’s Highway is one of the most dramatic of WWII, with lightly armed U.S. paratroopers fighting deadly battles against German tanks and assault guns.”