Record turn-out for Dutch WWII event

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An event marking a huge Allied airborne operation near the Dutch town of Arnhem towards the end of World War II has drawn a record number of participants.

Around 33,000 people were expected for the Airborne Walking Tour, held in Oosterbeek, but many more turned out, the organisers say. It is the 65th time the event has been held. The current record turn-out stands at 36,000.

Operation Market Garden, staged in September 1944 in and around the city of Arnhem, aimed to seize a number of key bridges close to the German border to pave the way for the invasion of Germany. It was one of the largest airborne operations ever. The operation, which failed, claimed the lives of at least 15,000 Allied soldiers and more than 25,000 German troops.

The walking tour is one of the world’s largest such events. Its proceeds are used to help British and Polish war veterans travel to the Netherlands to attend the yearly commemoration of the bloody battle.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

1 Comment To This Article

  • osita posted:

    on 3rd September 2011, 19:30:32 - Reply

    While a WW2 commemoration draws larger than expected crowds, yet the masses shun Wilders German 'rally', even with 95% discounted tickets, it is reassuring to see that the overwhelming majority of Europe still has a bitter distaste for dictators who wish to 'whitewash' Europe once more.

    Bless these people for raising funds, enabling elderly war veterans to return here and remember their fallen comrades.