Hotel Hartenstein, Airborne Headquarters during Operation Market Garden, Oosterbeek near Arnhem – The Netherlands


Posted: , Last update: October 5 2016, in Museums & Collections, Operation Market Garden. 2 comments

Hotel Hartenstein Oosterbeek, Operation Market Garden

Hotel Hartenstein Oosterbeek, Operation Market Garden

Hotel Hartenstein

17 September 1944, Oosterbeek, near Arnhem. Hotel Hartenstein was the residence of the staff members of Heeresgruppe (Army Group) West, while Field Marshal Walter Model had taken hotel Tafelberg as his residence.

There had been reports coming in of Allied bombardments on the cities of Ede, Arnhem, multiple airfields, and anti aircraft positions, but nothing disturbing though (more than 1100 planes in two days). At least not disturbing enough to stop Field Marshal Walter Model and General Krebbs to  have lunch together at Hotel Hartenstein in Oosterbeek  just West of Arnhem.
Only when personal staff member Gustav Sedelhauser reported that gliders had landed at Wolfheze, just 4 to 5 kilometers away from the staff quarters of Heeresgruppe West, Walter Model assumed they came for him, and rushed off with General Krebbs. The staff cleared the hotel of maps, documents and other information while the British paratroopers closed  in, just  3 kilometers from the Hotel.

Sherman in front of the Airborne Museum German Flamethrower type M41p, Airborne Museum Hartenstein, Oosterbeek in Oosterbeek

Sherman in front of the Airborne Museum Hartenstein, Arnhem

Airspeed AS.51 Horsa Glider replica, Operation Market Garden

Airspeed AS.51 Horsa Glider replica, Operation Market Garden

Hotel Hartenstein had been transformed into a hotel only recently, in 1942. Before this it was a Mansion and even further back in history it started out as an inn with the name “The Red Deer”

Operation Market Garden

With operation Market Garden the Allies tried to jump deep into the German lines to get a foothold into Holland and bypass the Siegfried line in the hope to stop the war before Christmas. They mustered the biggest air armada ever seen, with 1051 troop carriers and 516 glider – tug combinations, they had a total of 2083 aircraft flying towards the Netherlands. The fleet consisted of two columns of aircraft, covering a 150 kilometers in depth and 5 kilometers in width in the skies over the channel.
The armada dropped their load on strategic targets to capture vital bridges and key locations for the cavalry and infantry planned to storm up from the Northern border of Belgium. Paratrooper units and gliders landed at Grave, Son, Veghel, Nijmegen, Eindhoven, and Arnhem for example. The cavalry, the  British 30th Army Core tried to rush towards the key objectives and relieve the paratroopers, with 50.000 men and 22.000 vehicles.

Airborne Museum Hartenstein, Oosterbeek

A diorama at the Airborne Museum Hartenstein in Oosterbeek, Arnhem

German Flamethrower type M41p, Airborne Museum Hartenstein, Oosterbeek

Portable British Flamethrower No2, Lifebuoy, Airborne Museum Hartenstein, Oosterbeek

The 1st British Airborne Division and the 1st Polish Parachute Brigade landed near Arnhem and had to secure the bridge and the road to Arnhem. The Division landed  with more than 12.000 men near Arnhem and tried to get to the bridge. Commander John Frost and his men were able to reach and secure the bridge with just 700 man. Unfortunately Major General Urquhart and his men were unable to reach them due to strong German opposition. After 7 days John Frost and the surviving men had to give in.

Airborne Troops Museum Hartenstein

Airborne Troops Museum Hartenstein

General Stanislaw Sosabowski, Commander of the 1st Polish Parachute Brigade

General Stanislaw Sosabowski, Commander of the 1st Polish Parachute Brigade

As operation Market Garden progressed the British Paratroopers near Arnhem needed a headquarters and a place to house and care for their wounded. For this location they chose Hotel Hartenstein, the same place Field Marshal Walter Model tried to have lunch some time before. The staff was housed on the upper floors and the wounded were tended in the basement.

Unfortunately the operation was not successful  and the war took another turn.

Airborne Museum Hartenstein

Today the former hotel is turned into a museum dedicated the brave men who fought at Arnhem and the Oosterbeek surroundings during Market Garden. It is a good museum, with 3 floors of information and lots of items and photos of this time. In the basement they have created the “Market Garden” experience, a cinematic display of Arnhem and Oosterbeek during war activities, with light and sound to make it even more vivid.

A photo of Hotel Hartenstein during or after Operation Market Garden

A photo of Hotel Hartenstein during or after Operation Market Garden

And of course there is a famous picture of Major General Roy Urquhart standing in front of the hotel during Operation Market Garden. Major General Urquhart also officially opened Aitborne Museum Hartenstein on 11th May 1978.

Wall Sign in Museum Hartenstein

A wall sign in Museum Hartenstein

Visit the Airborne Museum

Take an hour or two to walk through the museum, it’s quite impressive. Across the street from the museum there is a huge memorial square.
Close to the museum is a Commonwealth Cemetery with fallen soldiers from the operation.

Monument near Museum Hartenstein

The monument on the square near Museum Hartenstein

Plaque on a bench near the monument, Oosterbeek

Plaque on a bench near the monument, Oosterbeek

You can find the Airborne Museum Hartenstein, in Oosterbeek.

Address:
Airborne Museum Hartenstein
Utrechtseweg 232
Oosterbeek.

More information about opening hours can be found on the museum website.

An original piece of wallpaper from Hotel Hartenstein, with a warm greeting for the other side

An original piece of wallpaper from Hotel Hartenstein, with a warm greeting for the other side





2 thoughts on “Hotel Hartenstein, Airborne Headquarters during Operation Market Garden, Oosterbeek near Arnhem – The Netherlands

  1. The mentioned flametrower iss actually a British Lifebuoy flamethrower. Used by their engineers at the bridge. officially Flamethrower portable no2 mkI But it does look very similar to the ww1 german flamethrower, but the British used gun style grips, The Germans a longue tube.

Share your thoughts on this article



Recent Articles

We have been traveling to many places ever since 2009. Here you will find the latest stories of our trips so far. Looking for something specific? Use the Search bar or the "Search Locations" page to find what you are looking for. Still can't find the right info? Let us know!

The Kleines Kettenkraftrad designated Sd.Kfz. 2 was named short Kettenkrad. Besides use as a tractor the Kettenkraftrad saw intensive action in the Russian campaign...
LandmarkScout LandmarkScout