A summary of the events of day 1 of the play-by-email campaign.
14:00. Allied parachute drops and glider landings north of Eindhoven, east of Nijmegen and west of Arnhem. Guards Armoured Division moved north from the Belgian border, but was ambushed south of Valkenswaard. Irish Guards armoured group lost several light tanks in the breakout.
14:30. German infantry attacked from the Groesbeek area against 82nd US Airborne. This attack was repulsed with heavy casualties on both sides. 9th SS Recce Battalion and 16th SS Training Battalion attacked British airborne forces east of their landing area.
15:00. 505th PIR, 82nd Airborne Division discovered that the railway bridge and a minor road bridge across the Waal-Maas Canal had been blown. 101st Airborne Division secured Uden, Vehgel and St Oedenrode.
15:30. 9th SS Panzer Division elements fought with British gliderborne and parachute troops between Arnhem and the landing area north-east of Oosterbeek. The British Airborne Recce Squadron captured the Arnhem road bridge from the south end. 101st Airborne secured Schijndel. The German garrison at Helmond was ordered to Eindhoven.
16:00. 82nd US Airborne reported Groesbeek was secure, and turned their attention to the road and rail bridges across the Waal. 101st US Airborne secured the bridges over the Wilhelmina Canal.
16:30. The fight for the British landing zone was won by the British. The German forces concentrated on re-taking the road bridge at Arnhem.
17:00. 59th Infantry Battalion of 15th Army arrived from the west at Best and split. One battalion attacked St Oedenrode, the second moved to take the bridges on the Wilhelmina Canal north of Eindhoven. 82nd US Airborne took the Grave Bridge intact.
17:30. 10th SS Armoured Recce Battalion attacked the Arnhem road bridge from the north. They suffered casualties on the approach but one company managed to charge across the bridge despite the mines laid by the British advanced forces. A fight began around the north end of Arnhem bridge as both sides moved up reinforcements to the area.
18:00. The Americans approached the Nijmegen bridges from the south while 10th SS Recc Bn raced to reinforce them from the north.
18:30. The fight developed around the major bridges at Arnhem and Nijmegen. These battles would continue until after dusk, with neither side gaining a firm advantage. St Oednrode was attacked and both sides fought to a standstill.
19:00 59th Infantry regiment attacked 502nd PIR of 101st Airborne on the Wilhelmina Canal rail bridge. The attack was defeated.
19:30 3rd Battalion, 9th SS Panzer Grenadiers attacked the Arnhem rail bridge and took it from 2nd and 3rd Battalions Parachute Regiment.
By 21:00 the situation was that 101st Airborne held all their first day objectives. 82nd division held the Nijmegen rail bridge while the Germans still controlled the road bridge. At Arnhem the Germans had captured the rail bridge while the British had the northern approaches to the road bridge.
It started to rain.
Just before midnight the lead elements of Guards Armoured Division, ordered to push on through the night, reached the southern outskirts of Eindhoven, where the Dutch underground informed them the Germans were occupying the town.
To be continued…