On September 17, 1944, the Allies launched Operation Market Garden, a bold and dangerous operation they had hoped would catapult their armies across the Rhine, into the heart of Germany, and end World War II in the European theater before Christmas. It would fail. 

Operation Market Garden was a flawed plan from the very beginning. Allied planners ignored crucial intelligence indicating that the Germans were much stronger than previously believed and that German SS armored units had been placed in key locations. They also were relying on a single two-lane highway, aptly nicknamed “Hell’s Highway” to advance to the Rhine while resupplying their troops. This would allow German forces to cut the road in numerous places. 

 

The Breakout From Normandy’s Beaches

Following the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, Allied progress was soon measured in yards as they had to crawl their way through the thick hedgerows of the bocage country. Each small field was a set-piece battle; the Germans would expertly defend one and then retreat to another.