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Arnhem is a city and municipality, situated in the eastern part of the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of Gelderland and located near the river Lower Rhine as well as near the St. Jansbeek, which was the source of the city's development. Arnhem has 144,101 residents (per June 30, 2008) as one of the 10 largest cities in the Netherlands. The municipality is part of the city region Arnhem-Nijmegen, a metropolitan area with 726,300 inhabitants.
In the 19th century, Arnhem was a genteel resort town famous for its picturesque beauty. It was known as "het Haagje van het oosten" (The Little Hague of the East), mainly because a number of rich former sugar barons or planters from the Indies settled there, as they did in The Hague. Even now the city is famous for its parks and greenery. The urbanization in the north on hilly terrain is also quite unusual for the Netherlands.
In World War II, during Operation Market Garden (September 1944), the British 1st Airborne Division and the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade were given the task of securing the bridge at Arnhem. The units were parachuted and glider-landed into the area on September 17 and later. The bulk of the force was dropped rather far from the bridge and never met their objective. A small force of British 1st Airborne managed to make their way as far as the bridge but was unable to secure both sides. The Allied troops encountered stiff resistance from the German 9th and 10th SS Panzer divisions, which had been stationed in and around the city.
The British force at the bridge eventually surrendered on September 21, and a full withdrawal of the remaining forces was made on September 26. These events were dramatized in the 1977 movie A Bridge Too Far. - The bridge scenes in the movie were shot in Deventer, where a similar bridge over the IJssel was available, as the area around Arnhem bridge had changed too much to represent WWII era Arnhem. As a tribute, the rebuilt bridge was renamed 'John Frost-bridge' after the commander of the paratroopers. The official commemoration is September 16.
The current bridge is the third almost-identical bridge built at the same spot. The Dutch Army destroyed the first bridge when the Germans invaded Holland in 1940. The second bridge was destroyed by the US Army Air Forces shortly after the 1944 battle.
A second battle of Arnhem took place in April 1945 when the city was liberated by I Canadian Corps of the First Canadian Army.
Although it is generally said, as above, that the British Force at the Northern end of the Arnhem bridge surrendered, General John Frost, who as a Lt Col commanded that force,fiercely denied that. He and his men were overwhelmed and were captured. - Wikipedia
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