Sunday, July 24, 2011

Operation #Pegasus .. Just ordinary men.

Operation Pegasus
The Escape of the Survivors of Arnhem

Overview :

Of the approximately 8,000 casualties of the British 1st Airborne Division (including the glider pilots and the Polish Brigade) not all were killed during the battle or taken prisoner by the Germans: quite a number of men evaded capture. At least 300 of these men managed to return to the Allied lines eventually, often with help from the Dutch resistance. One such attempt to reach friendly grounds was operation 'Pegasus I' on the night of 22 October 1944, were Major Allison Digby Tatham-Warter led 138 men safely across the Lower Rhine. The news of this successful escape soon reached the Germans, who reacted by strengthening their patrol on the river bank. As a result of this 'Pegasus II' on 18 November 1944 failed with only 7 men returning safely. Colonel Graeme Warrack, the Division's chief medical officer, who had arranged the evacuation of the British wounded during the battle of Arnhem, was one of those persons who didn't make it to the Allied lines that time. For him and many others more time of hiding and travelling would follow. Warrack returned safely on 6 February 1945, almost 5 months after the beginning of Market more