Veterans and villagers gather to remember Battle of Arnhem

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More than 100 veterans of the Battle of Arnhem are travelling this weekend to the southern Dutch city to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the heroic and doomed struggle to capture and hold the “bridge too far”. It may be the last such commemoration.

The dwindling number of survivors among the thousands of British and Polish soldiers who parachuted into Arnhem or arrived by glider will be honoured by Dutch officers, children and some of the elderly civilians who sheltered the Allied troops as they came under withering attack from German Panzer divisions.

On Sunday the Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will pay tribute to the thousands who were killed during the ten-day battle, the brainchild of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, who had hoped to shorten the war by capturing strategic bridges across the Rhine in September 1944 and pushing on to Berlin.

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