Our Salvation: The 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment's Legendary Fight at Altavilla | Spearhead of the Fifth Army: The 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment in Italy, from the Winter Line to Anzio | D DAY Through German Eyes - The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944 | The Fighting 30th Division | Strike and Hold | Blocking Kampfgruppe Peiper | September Hope | September Hope | The Sword of St. Michael
On September, 17, 1944, the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, floated down across the Dutch countryside, in the midst of German forces, and proceeded to fight their way to vital bridges to enable the Allied offensive to go forward. The 101st Airborne was behind them; the British 1st Airbourne was far advanced. In the 82ndâs sector the crucial conduits needed to be seized.
The Germans knew the importance of the bridge over the Waal River at Nijmegen as well as James Gavin and his 82nd troopers did. Thus began a desperate fight for the Americans to seize it, no matter what the cost. The Germans would not give, however, and fought tenaciously in the town and fortified the bridge. On September 20 Gavin turned his paratroopers into sailors and conducted a deadly daylight amphibious assault in small plywood and canvas craft across the Waal River to secure the north end of the highway bridge in Nijmegen. German machine guns and mortars boiled the water on the crossing, but somehow a number of paratroopers made it to the far bank. Their ferocity thence rolled up the German defenses, and by the end of day the bridge had fallen.
This book draws on a plethora of previously unpublished sources to shed new light on the exploits of the âDevils in Baggy Pantsâ by Dutch author and historian Frank van Lunteren. A native of Arnhemâthe site of âThe Bridge too Farââthe author draws on nearly 130 interviews he personally conducted with veterans of the 504th, plus Dutch civilians and British and German soldiers, who here tell their story for the first time.