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The British 1st Airborne Division and the Polish Parachute Brigade encountered more than two SS Panzer Divisions when it landed outside Arnhem in September 1944. The Germans employed soldiers and equipment from the Waffen-SS, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Reichsarbeitdienst and the Heer. Some of the German units were in situ of the landings where others were brought in from as far as Germany, Denmark and current day Poland. The ability of the Germans to quickly react to changes at the front and commit all available reinforcements to battle was a skill mastered by them very early in the war and that ability was often underestimated by the Allies. These battle groups (sometimes known as Kampfgruppen) were made up from either refitting combat units, training and replacement battalions or sometimes soldiers from hospitals or on local leave. Commonly these battle groups were under command of an experienced leader. However this was not always the case and some German Kampfgruppen, especially later in the war, that lacked this experience would ultimately pay the price during battle with very high casualties.

There were four distinct areas where German soldiers were committed during the Battle of Arnhem. The first was at the Arnhem Bridge where around 700 British held a bridgehead on the northern bank of the Rhine river for four days against determined SS and Heer Kampfgruppen. The second was in Oosterbeek where the Germans were committed to stop the Allied Airborne forces advancing into Arnhem and ultimately form the eastern side of the pocket (Kampfgruppe 'Spindler'). The third area was the western side of the pocket made up of a mixture of Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe, Heer and Waffen-SS soldiers under the command of Kampfgruppe 'von Tettau'. The last area was south of the river Rhine known as the Betuwe. The Germans were employed in a defensive line (Sperrverband 'Harzer') in the north to engage the Polish Parachute Brigade and stop the Allied XXX Corps advancing from the south. The 10th SS-Panzer Division 'Frundsberg' had crossed the river at the Pannerden Ferry and held the area around Bemmel.

 

Order of Battle - Western Sector (Kampfgruppe 'von Tettau, Capture of Wolfheze, Attack on Glinkel Heath, Renkum, Heveadorp Ferry).

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Order of Battle - Eastern Sector (Sperrverband 'Spindler', Oosterbeek, 9th SS-Panzer Division 'Hohenstaufen', German units north of the perimeter).

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Order of Battle - Arnhem Bridge (Kampfgruppe 'Knaust', the charge by the SS Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 9, Commandpost 'Sonnenstuhl', Kampfgruppe 'Brinkmann', SS-Pz. Gr. Rgt. 21).

 

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Order of Battle - Deployment to the Betuwe Area (Sperrverband 'Harzer', 10th SS-Pz Div 'Frundsberg', Tigers Ambushed west of Elst, Polish landings at Driel, stopping XXX Corps).

 

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As a result of the Allied advance to Nijmegen as well as the Polish landing in Driel, the Germans had to set up a blocking line west of Driel between the Waal and Nederrijn rivers. It was an improved defense utilising any troops available using a canal as an obstacle to boost their defensive position. This defensive line is now covered in the section below. The other section is about German units or information that does not fit in the other 5 sections.

 

Order of Battle - Regiment 'Haenisch' (Defensive Line between the Waal and Nederrijn including the towns of Kesteren and Ochten)

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Order of Battle - General Information on other units during the Battle of Arnhem (War Correspondents, Medical Units, etc)

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