Lieut.-General F. A. M. Browning

Letter from Lieut.-General F. A. M. BROWNING, C.B., D.S.O.

26th September, 1944

Major-General R. E. Urquhart, D.S.O.,
Commander, 1st Airborne Division.

Commander, 30 Corps is sending you a letter from himself and his Corps expressing their unstinted admiration and gratitude for the gallant part played by the 1st Airborne Division in the 2nd Army’s drive to cross the Rhine.

He will explain to you, and in his expression of opinion I absolutely concur, that without the action of the 1st Airborne Division in tying up, pinning down, and destroying in large numbers the German forces in the ARNHEM area, the crossing of the Waal, the capture of the bridges at Nijmegen and, above all, the advance from the bridgehead, would have been quite impossible.

I am intensely proud of the magnificent fight put up by your Division. With you, I deeply regret the sacrifice that has been entailed in the Division which I had the honour to raise originally.

I do not hesitate to say that the operation, taken as a whole, has done more to speed up the war and further disrupt the already disorganised German Army than any other action up to date. In fact, none other than an Airborne Operation could possibly have achieved the result.

(Sgd.) F. A. M. Browning,
Commander, British Airborne Corps.