Parachutists jump over Dutch heath to mark WWII operation

Ginkel Heath, September 21

Hundreds of parachutists have floated out of clear blue skies in the eastern Netherlands to commemorate the 75th anniversary of a daring but ultimately unsuccessful World War II mission that Allied commanders hoped would bring a swift end to the global conflict.

Operation Market Garden was British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery's ill-fated plan to drop some 35,000 paratroopers deep behind enemy lines in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands to capture and secure key roads and bridges, so that Allied forces massed in Belgium could pour into Germany's industrial heartland and bring World War II to an end.

On Saturday, military aircraft flew low over Ginkel Heath and parachutists leaped out as thousands of spectators looked on, applauding as the soldiers walked past after landing. — AP