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Arnhem ( ) (South Guelderish: Èrnem) is a city and municipality, situated in the eastern part of the Netherlandsmarker. It is the capital of the province of Gelderland and located near the river Nederrijn as well as near the St. Jansbeek, which was the source of the city's development. Arnhem has 146,095 residents (per 30 June 2009) as one of the largest cities in the Netherlands. The municipality is part of the city region Arnhem-Nijmegenmarker, a metropolitan area with 728,500 inhabitants. Arnhem is home to the Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen.


The earliest history of Arnhem

Arnhem was first mentioned as such in 893 as Arneym or Arentheym, referring to the many eagles that inhabited the hills and forests of Arnhem back then. Traces of human residence date back much further, however.

The oldest archeological findings of human activity around Arnhem are two firestones of about 70.000 years ago. This comes from the stone age, when the Neanderthals lived in this part of Europe. In Schuytgraaf, tracks of a hunter's camp have been discovered from around 5000 BC. In Schaarsbergen, 12 grave hills were found from 2400 BC, which brought the so-called Neolithic revolution to the area of Arnhem, i.e. the rise of the farmers.

The earliest settlement in Arnhem dates from 1500 BC, where traces have been found on the Hoogkamp, where the Van Goyenstraat is currently located. In the inner city, around the St. Jansbeek, traces of settlement have been found from around 700 BC, while the first traces south to the Rhine have been found dating around 500 BC, in the Schuytgraaf.

Though the early tracks of settlements did show that the early residents of Arnhem descended from the forests on the hills, Arnhem was not built on the banks of the river Rhine, but a little higher along the St. Jansbeek. Arnhem arose on the location where the road between Nijmegenmarker and Utrechtmarker/Zutphenmarker split. Seven streams provided the city with water, and only when the flow of the Rhine was changed in 1530, was the city located at the river.

The old city hall

History of the city of Arnhem

The city of Arnhem had its real origins in 1233 when Otto II, count of Guelders from Zutphenmarker, conferred city rights on the town, which had belonged to the abbey of Prüm, settled in, and fortified it. Arnhem entered the Hanseatic League in 1443. In 1473, it was captured by Charles the Bold of Burgundy. In 1514, Charles of Egmond, duke of Guelders, took it from the dukes of Burgundy; in 1543, it fell to the emperor Charles V. As capital of the so-called "Kwartier van Veluwe" it joined the Union of Utrecht in 1579 and became part of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces of the Netherlands in 1585. The French occupied the town 1672–74; from 1795 to 1813, it was reoccupied by the French, by both revolutionary and imperial forces. In the early 19th century, the former fortifications were almost completely dismantled, to give space for town expansion. The Sabelspoort (Sabresgate) is the only remaining part of the medieval walls.

In the 19th century, Arnhem was a genteel resort town famous for its picturesque beauty. It was known as "het Haagje van het oosten" (The Little Hague of the East), mainly because a number of rich former sugar barons or planters from the Indies settled there, as they did in The Haguemarker. Even now the city is famous for its parks and greenery. The urbanization in the north on hilly terrain is also quite unusual for the Netherlands.

With the 6th Airborne Division still refitting after Operation Tonga, the task of securing the Rhine Bridgehead fell to the 1st Airborne Division under the command of Major General Roy Urquhart. The division was made up of three brigades of infantry (two parachute, one glider borne), supporting artillery and anti-tank batteries and substantial Royal Engineer units, as well as supporting elements such as Royal Army Service Corps and Royal Army Medical Corps units.[3] Most of the division had seen action in North Africa and Sicily,[4] particularly the 1st Parachute Brigade and 1st Airlanding Brigade.[4] This was however the first time the division had fought together as a complete unit.[5]

The division was also substantially reinforced by the addition of 1,200 men of the Glider Pilot Regiment, providing Urquhart with the equivalent of two battalions of infantry for the operation.[6] Smaller additions included a Dutch commando team and American communications teams.[7] Urquhart also had the 1st Independent Polish Brigade under his command, who would also be joining the British in the operation to seize the bridges.[8]

The Division was required to secure the road, rail and pontoon bridges over the Lower Rhine at Arnhem and hold them for two to three days until relieved by XXX Corps.[9] From the beginning however, Urquhart was severely restricted in how he could prepare and deploy his troops for the upcoming battle. The (US) IX Troop Carrier Command were limited in their availability - with two more major drops taking place at the same time, there were insufficient carrier aircraft available to fly the entire division to the Netherlands in one lift. Additionally Major General Williams, commander of IX Troop Carrier Command decided that it would only be possible for one air lift per day,[10] meaning it would take three days to deliver the entire Division and Polish Brigade to the area. A limited amount of areas suitable for glider landings and a reluctance from troop command to fly too near to Arnhem, exposing them to flak from Deelen airfield after the drop,[11] meant that Urquhart was forced to pick drop zones (DZ) and landing zones (LZ) up to 8 miles from Arnhem itself, on the north side of the river.[12] With the need to secure the bridges, towns and drop zones for subsequent supply drops, the 1st Airborne would need to defend a perimeter of some 18 miles whilst waiting for XXX Corps.[12]Major General Roy Urquhart shortly after returning to his Divisional HQ at the Hotel Hartenstein, 19 September.

Urquhart decided to land Brigadier Gerald Lathbury's 1st Parachute Brigade and Brigadier "Pip" Hicks' 1st Airlanding Brigade on the first day of the operation.[12] The Airlanding Brigade plus Royal Artillery, Royal Engineer and medical units and Divisional HQ would land on LZs 'S' and 'Z' and move to secure the drop zones and landing zones for the following days drops, whilst the three battalions of the parachute brigade would arrive at DZ 'X' and follow three separate routes into Arnhem to secure the bridges.[13] The 2nd Battalion, under the command of Lt Colonel John Frost would follow the riverside roads to the centre of Arnhem (codenamed the Lion route) and secure the main road and railway bridges, as well as a pontoon bridge between the two. The 3rd Battalion of Lt Colonel Fitch would head through Oosterbeek to Arnhem (Tiger route), assist in the capture of the road bridge and take up positions in the east of the town.[13] Lt Colonel Dobie's 1st Battalion would follow Leopard route north of the railway line to occupy high ground north and north west of Arnhem.[13] The whole advance would be led by a troop of Reconnaissance jeeps from the 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron, under Major Frederick Gough on Leopard who would attempt a coup de main on the road bridge.[14] On the second day Brigadier 'Shan' Hackett's 4th Parachute Brigade would arrive at DZ 'Y', accompanied by extra artillery units and remaining elements of the Airlanding Brigade on LZ 'X'. Hackett's three battalions would then reinforce the positions north and north west of Arnhem.[12] On the third day, the Polish Parachute Brigade would be dropped south of the river at DZ 'K'.[12] Using the road bridge they would reinforce the perimeter east of Arnhem, linking up with their own artillery who would be flown in by glider to LZ 'L'. 1st Airlanding Brigade would fall back to cover Oosterbeek on the western side of the perimeter and 1st Parachute Brigade would fall back to cover the southern side of the bridges.[12] Once XXX Corps had arrived and advanced beyond the bridgehead, the 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division would be flown into Deelen airfield to support the ground forces north of the Rhine.[15] The remaining units of the division would follow XXX Corps on land in what was known as the sea tail.[12] The whole operation would be re-supplied by daily flights by No's. 38 and 46 Group RAF[16] who would make the first drop on LZ 'L' on day 2, and subsequent drops on DZ 'V'.[17][edit] Intelligence

Because of poor intelligence the British were told to expect only limited resistance from German reserve forces. A serious challenge to their operation was not expected and many men believed that their work would lead to the ending of the war.[18] Some, anticipating a period of occupation in Germany, packed leisure equipment in their kit or in the sea tail.[19] The optimistic mood prior to the operation would have tragic consequences however. Browning's intelligence officer, Major Brian Urquhart (no relation to Roy Urquhart), obtained information from the 21st Army Group in Belgium and Dutch resistance that German armour was present around Arnhem. This was backed up with aerial reconnaissance that he ordered to be flown.[20] Browning however was dismissive and ordered his chief medical officer to have Urquhart sent on sick leave.[21] In fact SHAEF was aware that there were almost certainly two Panzer divisions at Arnhem but with the operation looming chose to ignore them.[20] Such information would have been gleaned from ULTRA intercepts that the Allied Airborne Army was not privy to and therefore could not act upon themselves.[20][edit] German forcesGerman Self-propelled guns of the 9th SS during the battle. The presence of the II SS Panzer Corps would have a significant effect on the battle

The Allied drive toward Antwerp on Monday 4 September had caused a rout of German reserve troops in Holland, nicknamed ‘Mad Tuesday’.[22] However the Allied pause at the Dutch border gave the Germans time to regroup and re–organize,[23] although it would make subsequent attempts to clarify the exact German forces opposing the Allies extremely difficult.[22]

Feldmarschall Walter Model, commander of Army Group B had moved his headquarters to Arnhem and was re–establishing defences in the area and co-ordinating the reorganisation of the scattered units[24] so that by the time the Allies launched Market Garden there would be several units opposing them. To the west of Arnhem was Kampfgruppe Von Tettau, a force equivalent to seven battalions made up of all manner of German units (including Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, rear echelon and Waffen-SS troops) under the command of General Hans von Tettau at Grebbeberg.[25] This included the SS Non-commissioned officer school SS Unteroffizier schule Arnheim and the 16th SS Training Battalion under the command of SS Sturmbannführer Sepp Krafft whose unit would play a crucial role in the opening phases of the battle. Within Arnhem itself the town garrison was under the command of Major-General Friedrich Kussin.[26]Walter Model and Heinz Harmel.

Additionally Obergruppenführer Wilhelm Bittrich's II SS Panzer Corps, comprising the remains of Walter Harzer’s 9th SS Panzer Division and Heinz Harmel’s 10th SS Panzer Division, had moved into the area north of Arnhem to refit and reorganise.[27] Although badly mauled after escaping the Falaise Pocket the Corps was made up of seasoned veterans and made available significantly more forces to the Germans than the allies had been led to expect.[28] The divisions were also specially trained in anti–airborne operations.[29] During their formation, the divisions had undergone month-long anti airborne exercises whilst waiting for their heavy equipment and spent the last 15 months studying the best reactions to parachute attack in classroom and field exercises.[29] The 9th Division had a Panzergrenadier brigade, a reconnaissance battalion, an artillery battalion, two batteries of self-propelled guns and a company of tanks.[30] Exactly how many men were available after the withdrawal from Normandy is unclear. Some sources suggest that the 9th had up to 6,000 men,[31] others suggest that the combined total of the 9th and 10th was only between 6,000–7,000 men.[27][30]

There were also Dutch units allied to the Germans present at Arnhem. These formations recruited from Dutch nationals (mainly criminals, men wishing to avoid national service or men affiliated with the Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging) and were incorporated into the German Army.[32] At Arnhem the Dutch SS Wach Battalion 3 was attached to Kampfgruppe Von Tettau[33] and the 3rd Battalion, 34th SS Volunteer Grenadier Division Landstorm Nederland training at nearby Hoogeveen was quickly attached to Harzer’s 9th SS Panzer Division when they arrived at the battle on 20 September.[34]

As the battle progressed more and more forces would become available to the Germans. Adolf Hitler, stunned by the attack, agreed that the defence of Holland should receive absolute priority and over the course of the battle reinforcements would stream in – from Wehrkreis VI, the Wesel area and General Friedrich Christiansen's Armed Forces Command Netherlands.[35] Model arranged for units to be sent straight to the units in action in order to avoid long winded logistics, and rushed in specialist street fighting and machine gun battalions.[36] Each day of the battle the German military strength increased whilst the British supplies diminished. By Thursday 21st, the fifth day of the battle, German forces outnumbered the British by 3:1 and continued to increase.[37][edit] Battle

Names of Arnhem

Through the ages, the area of Arnhem has been known by various names, both official and unofficial.

The name Arnhem comes from Arneym, much earlier Arentheem, and originally derived from Latin Arenacum. The Dutch name literally means "home of the eagle" (arend means eagle in Dutch) and stems from the many eagles that used to inhabit the hills and the woods of Arnhem. The name Arneym is first mentioned in 893 by the monastery Sint-Salvatorabdij. The name Arenacum, the first mention of the area which became known as Arnhem, comes from the Roman era and means "with eagles".

Èrnem is the name of the city in the local dialect, South Guelderish. In everyday life, the name is not often used by the inhabitants of Arnhem, who seldom speak with the Arnhemian accent/dialect any more. This accent is now mainly confined to the working class areas.

Arnheim is the German name for Arnhem; it more clearly refers to the origin of the name (heim = home).

Hague of the East (Haagje van het Oosten in Dutch)

In the second half of the 19th century, Arnhem was an elitist city and therefore was sometimes called The Haguemarker of the east of the Netherlands.

Green city on the Rhine or Park City

The image of Arnhem on the Rijn, with green forests in the background, has always been a much-loved theme of painters. Besides that, Arnhem has many parks. This has earned Arnhem the name Green city on the Rhine (from the 17th century) or Park City (from the 19th century).

Around 814 there is a written reference to Meginhardeswich, which is now, as the present-day Meijnerswijk, part of Arnhem. In 847 it was plundered by the Vikings.

Oppidium Arnoldi Villa
When the Romans came to the Netherlands c. 50 BC, the area around was called Oppidium Arnoldi Villa. The settlement itself was called Arenacum.

Population centres

The municipality of Arnhem consists of the city of Arnhem and the following surrounding suburbs and former villages:
  • Elden marker (former village, now totally surrounded by other Arnhem neighbourhoods )
  • Schaarsbergen

Places of interest

The Groote Kerk (St. Eusebius), built 1452–1560, lost most of its tower during World War II, of which a part has been reconstructed to a modern design and opened in 1964. Officially the tower is not part of the church and is owned by the municipality.

The house of Maarten van Rossum, a general serving Duke Charles van Gelre, has been the town hall since 1830: The satyrs in its Renaissance ornamentation earned it the name Duivelshuis ("devil's house").

The National Heritage Museummarker (Nederlands Openluchtmuseum) is located outside the city. It is an open air museum and park with antique houses, farms, and factories from different parts of the Netherlands.

Burgers' Zoomarker is one of the biggest and most-visited zoo in the Netherlands, featuring an underwater walkthrough, desert, mangrove, rainforest, etc.

The Gelredomemarker, the home field of Vitesse, the city's Eredivisie side in football, is a unique facility that features a retractable roof and a slide-out grass pitch. The concept has been fully duplicated since then by Veltins-Arenamarker in Gelsenkirchenmarker, Germanymarker, and University of Phoenix Stadiummarker in Glendalemarker, Arizonamarker, USmarker, and partially by the Sapporo Domemarker in Japanmarker (which has a sliding pitch but a fixed roof).

The KEMA Torenmarker (formerly known as SEP Control Tower) is the highest structure of the town. It is a 140-m-high TV tower.

Arnhem Railway Station, The Netherlands


Trolleybus in Arnhem
Arnhem has a main railway station - Arnhem railway stationmarker, which is serviced by several intercity lines and the ICE to Düsseldorfmarker and further on to Frankfurtmarker. Nowadays there are also trains departing all the way to Moscow, by NS HiSpeed. But only one train part makes it all the way to Moscow. The intercity lines provide direct connections to Utrechtmarker, Nijmegenmarker, and Zutphenmarker. It is also the terminus for several local railway services. Arnhem has three other stations, namely Arnhem Velperpoortmarker, Arnhem Presikhaafmarker, and Arnhem Zuidmarker.

Arnhem is unique in the Netherlands with its trolleybus system.

Notable people

See also People from Arnhem

Facts and Figures


See also


External links

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