Monday, December 13, 2010

Military History Lesson of the Day

I finally got around to transcribing my notes from a conversation with the Dutch Ambassador to Canada, as I prepare my trip to the Netherlands next month.  I met with the Ambassador and the Defense Attaché last month, and spent this morning typing my notes into my computer.

Anyhow, I was very much struck when the Ambassador referred to a particular policy option as "A bridge too far."  This phrase comes from a failed WWII effort, Operation Market Garden,* that took place in the Netherlands to seize a series of bridges across the Rhine. It was an audacious plan.  Which is code for a wildly unrealistic plan since it relied on a single road for the armor advance while airborne troops held the bridges.  The ground advance fell short of the bridge at Arnhem, which was referred to as "a bridge too far."  

I plan to see that bridge and perhaps drive that road during the free time I will have in between interviews next month.  I also hope to get to Bastogne and Vimy.  Do my readers suggest any other stops along the way (as I will be driving between Mons, Brussels, and The Hague)?

*  The operation was depicted in a movie as well as parts of it in the Band of Brothers.

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