With their troops on the borders of Germany and Holland by late summer, the Allies decided to attempt a breakthrough in southeastern Holland toward the Ruhr, Germany's industrial center. On Sept.17, a massive fleet of airplanes and gliders staged an aerial invasion behind German lines, with U.S., British and Polish parachutists and glider troops landing at Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Arnhem. The Germans launched strong counterattacks, particularly against the British at Arnhem, assisted by poor weather which delayed aerial resupply to Allied ground troops and hampered the effectiveness of supporting fighters. The enemy forced a British withdrawal from Arnhem on Sept. 23, and although the breakthrough to the Ruhr was not achieved, the Allies held a salient deep into German territory.
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