Parachutists jump over Dutch heath to mark WWII operation

Spectators watch a parade of historic WWII military vehicles prior to a mass parachute drop at Ginkel Heath, eastern Netherlands, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, as part of commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, an ultimately unsuccessful airborne and land offensive that Allied leaders hoped would bring a swift end to World War II by capturing key Dutch bridges and opening a path to Berlin. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Spectators gather at the Dropzone Y monument prior to a mass parachute drop at Ginkel Heath, eastern Netherlands, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, as part of commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, an ultimately unsuccessful airborne and land offensive that Allied leaders hoped would bring a swift end to World War II by capturing key Dutch bridges and opening a path to Berlin. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Spectators watch a parade of historic WWII military vehicles prior to a mass parachute drop at Ginkel Heath, eastern Netherlands, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, as part of commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, an ultimately unsuccessful airborne and land offensive that Allied leaders hoped would bring a swift end to World War II by capturing key Dutch bridges and opening a path to Berlin. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

GINKEL HEATH, Netherlands — Hundreds of parachutists have floated out of clear blue skies in the eastern Netherlands to commemorate the 75th anniversary of a daring but ultimately unsuccessful World War II mission that Allied commanders hoped would bring a swift end to the global conflict.

Operation Market Garden was British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery's ill-fated plan to drop some 35,000 paratroopers deep behind enemy lines in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands to capture and secure key roads and bridges, so that Allied forces massed in Belgium could pour into Germany's industrial heartland and bring World War II to an end.

On Saturday, military aircraft flew low over Ginkel Heath and parachutists leaped out as thousands of spectators looked on, applauding as the soldiers walked past after landing.

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