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Bridging Hell's Highway: The U.S. 326th Engineer Battalion During Operation Market Garden
This work is a snapshot of one of the engineer units that took part in Operation Market Garden, the 35,000 man airborne assault into The Netherlands to capture a series of bridges that would lead around the West Wall and into the heart of Germany. If all had gone well, Montgomery’s 21st Army Group probably would have beaten the Russians to Berlin and...
This work is a snapshot of one of the engineer units that took part in Operation Market Garden, the 35,000 man airborne assault into The Netherlands to capture a series of bridges that would lead around the West Wall and into the heart of Germany. If all had gone well, Montgomery’s 21st Army Group probably would have beaten the Russians to Berlin and ended the war before Christmas 1944. This epic battle has been told many times from an overall view and has been the subject of many debates as to why the operation failed. This will not be repeated here. Instead, I offer a worm’s eye view of a small specialized group of men who did everything that was asked of them and more; losing twenty-four men during their time in The Netherlands. Compiled from personal accounts, war diaries, reports and a selected bibliography, this is the story of the U.S. 326th Engineer Battalion during the nine days of Operation Market Garden. A story that focuses around all of the bridges in the fifteen mile stretch of highway with which the 101st Airborne Division was entrusted. Around these bridges is where the majority of the action occurred for the members of the 326th Engineer Battalion. Probably the most famous of their actions centers around the Bailey bridge at Zon. However, as you will read, this was not the only bridge that the battalion focused on during the battle.
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