From the September 25, 1944 Edition of Stars and Stripes

German soil, already entered by American soldiers, has been invaded by the British. A flash from the British Second Army last night revealed that elements of Gen. Dempsey’s forces had crossed the frontier from southeast of Nijmegen, in Holland, and captured the German town of Beek, a mile inside the Reich.

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British Paratroopers in Holland

The dispatch described the situation in the Nijmegen-Arnhem sector last night as “much brighter.” The British were attacking everywhere along the front in an effort to reach the airborne forces at Arnhem in strength. Enemy resistance continued to be of the “last-ditch” variety, however, and a number of bitter German counter-attacks previously were repulsed.

A stubborn, five-hour German counter-attack in the Moselle Valley was smashed yesterday by the U.S. Third Army.

P47s Rake Enemy Tanks

While American and German tanks were locked in a bitter struggle near Nancy, Ninth Air Force Thunderbolts roared in at tree-top level to strike at approximately 100 enemy tanks and armored vehicles.  Returning pilots said many enemy vehicles were knocked out before the remainder fled into a near-by woods.

Meanwhile, the First U.S. Army cleared Stolberg, east of Aachen, of isolated German pockets. Southeast of the captured town, Lt. Gen. Courtney Hodges’ troops were meeting stiff resistance. In this sector the Yanks were within three miles of Geilenkirchen, five miles inside the Reich and 12 miles north of Aachen.

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General George Patton talks with men of his Third Army

In Holland, German Tiger tanks and self-propelled guns had counter-attacked in a vain effort to sever the Second Army’s lifeline, the road from Eindhoven to Nijmegen.

It was announced yesterday that small units of the Second Army had crossed the Lek River near Arnhem and established contact with the main body of airborne troops, confined in a bare 1,000 yards and subject to unceasing enemy attacks. The previous link-up, announced by the American Broadcasting Station in Europe, evidently was merely a meeting on the south bank of the Lek effected by a patrol of airborne troops.

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Paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division advance from their drop zones in Holland.

Posted on the south bank of the Lek were Gen. Dempsey’s main forces. A crossing of the barrier in strength would outflank the Siegfried Line and open the way to the heart of industrial Germany.

The airborne army operating in the Nijmegen-Arnhem region was reinforced Saturday by an armada of 1,500 transport planes, gliders and escorting fighters which flew in men and supplies. The Germans claimed that a major landing had been made north of Eindhoven.

Troops of the First Canadian Army, driving five miles northeast of Antwerp, have established a limited bridgehead over the Antwerp Turnhout Canal.

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  • Bill Getz says:

    My brother, six years older, was a medical officer with Patton’s Third Army with a battalion aide station, the units closest to the battle lines. He participated in the action described in this article. I was flying P-51s with the Second Bomb Division Scouting Force at the time.

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