Nicolaylaan 49 in Leopoldsburg is a double house in a special place. In the war there was the small cinema "Splendid". The building would eventually burn down in 1979. It is at this place that Lieutenant-General Horrocks, on the morning of September 16, told his sub-commanders about operation Market Garden. There aren't any photos, but everyone remembers the scene from the movie A Bridge Too Far: "This is a story you will tell your grandchildren; and mightily bored they’ll be."
Horrocks writes about it himself: "The residents must have wondered what the hell was happening when they noticed that the British military police occupied their village early in the morning and from about it 9:00 am a colorful stream of officers in cars and jeeps of every description came in." The goal for the ground troops was "to conquer the Nunspeet-Arnhem area and advance north towards the IJsselmeer". The operations officer of the Guards Armored Division described the plan as: "It's like getting seven needles with one piece of cotton, we only have to miss one to get into trouble."
Since April 22, 2006 there is a memorial plaque of the Leopoldsburg History and History Circle that reminds us of this.
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- Text: Jeroen Koppes
- Photos: Joris Nieuwint, The Battlefield Explorer
- ADAIR, A., A Guards' General, Hamish Hamilton, London, 1986.
- HORROCKS, B., Corps Commander, Magnum Books, 1979.
- MARGRY, K., Operation Market-Garden.