Book 'V2-VERGELTUNG' from The Hague
The British Marshal Montgomery wanted to cross, by surprise, the large rivers Rhine, Waal and Meuse and so clear the road to Berlin. The German troops in the west of the Netherlands and also the launching installations of the V2-rockets would thus be cut off from their homeland and their source of supply. Barely 24 hours after the first V2s were launched against London on 8th September 1944, Montgomery received the urgent message to liberate the Netherlands. In France he decided that the only way to stop the V2 launchings was by capturing the sites with Allied ground troops.
The German army made a fast withdrawel from France and Belgium in the summer of 1944. Thanks to the Allied invasion of 6th June 1944 in Normandy the German army in the West was nearly wiped out. Now the Allies could make a decisive strike into Germany.
During a meeting on 10th September 1944 Montgomery raised the subject of the V2 and the victims in London12 with Eisenhower. This was one of the reasons why Eisenhower gave the green light for operation 'Market Garden', which began on 17th September 1944 with parachute droppings and glider landings in the region of Arnhem and Nijmegen.
‘Anglo-Americans landed in the Betuwe’, so wrote an unknown NSB functionary on 17th September in his party-diary of 1944. The result was that on that day the last two V2s were fired, after which the launching equipment with all its material was hastily withdrawn by the Germans from The Hague, to prevent being captured by the advancing Allies. However, the advancing Allies stranded in Brabant, whereby the British, American and Polish airborne troops, who had landed near the bridge over the Rhine, couldn’t be relieved. These troops were encircled by German troops, including the SS Panzer Division Hohenstaufen. After heavy fighting, a number of airborne troops escaped but most of those who survived were taken prisoner. The operation 'Market Garden' was a failure. The V2-launching units returned to The Hague and on 3rd October 1944 the first V2-rockets were again fired in the direction of London.
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First English edition, Almere – The Hague, August 2005
Translation: Dily Damhuis, Paul Fowlie, Sylvia en Johan van Oosten en Trees Teunissen.
Original Dutch version published, Almere – The Hague, September 2003 (2nd edition)