In the summer of 1944, General Bernard Montgomery came up with a plan to cross the River Rhine and advance deep into northern Germany to shorten World War II. General Montgomery named his two-part plan Operation Market Garden; Market was the airborne operation employing three divisions: the U. Army's 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, the British 1st Airborne, and the 1st Polish Parachute Brigade. This group formed the first Allied Airborne Army, and their objective for this mission was to seize key bridges in the Netherlands after landing by parachute and glider. Once the airborne troops landed, the British XXX Corps would advance over the bridges and cross the Rhine and its tributaries (the Garden portion of the operation).
The bridges were at Eindhoven (around 13 miles from the start line), Nijmegen (53 miles away), and Arnhem (62 miles away), as well as two smaller bridges at Veghel and Grave that were between Eindhoven and Nijmegen. If successful, the plan would open a route into the German industrial heartland, the Ruhr Valley, and liberate the Netherlands- ending the war early.