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Garden of disapointment.

I was disappointed by the recent Operation MARKET GARDEN articles. In the January article, "The First Days of Market Garden" (Volume 19, Issue 12), there is a photograph which I am sure is the Oosterbeek Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery at Oosterbeek. The caption for the photograph reads: "graves are still being tended to this day by the Dutch civilians." Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemeteries are maintained by commission employees. Friends and family often place flowers, poppies or other mementos on graves, but Dutch civilians are not tending these graves.

In the March article (Volume 20, Issue 1) "No Braver Man ... Part one" it is noted the storm boats would carry 36 men, the boats were built to carry 15, depending on the equipment the troops had with them. On the last trip across the river on the night of the evacuation, Russ Kennedy may have taken out 32 airborne troops, but the boat gunnels were only inches above the water. This was not the load the boats were intended for. The name "Operation Berlin" was not ironically named, but intentionally chosen by 1st Airborne commander Major-General Urquhart, in case radio transmission was intercepted, to lead the enemy to believe what was being planned was an assault. Since no footnotes are included with the article, it is difficult to trace information. Reference to a number of the 20th FC RCE storm boats being bogged down in the mud, sounds very much like the fate of wheeled amphibious DUKWs, which tried to cross the river with supplies on a previous night. Storm boats had flat bottoms, and were carried to the river. I mention the above only to give a flavour of the errors the article contains.

As a Canadian interested in the Canadian part of Operation BERLIN, it is disheartening to read a Canadian magazine article by a Canadian author that fails to tell the story properly; I hope none of the British authors I have chastised find out we can't get our own story straight.

For anyone who would like the real story of this action, there is the book The Storm Boat Kings by John Sliz. Also an article from the Canadian Military Journal, search "A Bridge Too Far: The Canadian Involvement in the Evacuation of the British 1st Airborne from Arnhem September 1944," on the Internet.

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Title Annotation:Letters to the editor
Author:McVean, Bill
Publication:Esprit de Corps
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jun 1, 2013
Words:389
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