Highway to the Reich: Operation Market Garden and the Battle for the Low Countries 1944: Seventy Years On

Conference to be held 10-11 September 2014

In September 1944 the Western Allies mounted an audacious attempt to seize a crossing over the Rhine into Germany in a bid to end the Second World War quickly. Yet despite the deployment of thousands of American, British and Polish airborne troops, in conjunction with the efforts of ground forces to link up with them, ultimately at Arnhem in the Netherlands, the plan failed spectacularly and the war continued well into 1945.

Famously depicted in the blockbuster film ‘A Bridge Too Far’ (1977) the operation, codenamed Market Garden, has attained iconic status and is the subject of countless books, documentaries and articles, and is subjected to more speculation than almost any other Allied operation of the war.

After seventy years it is time to re-evaluate the importance, impact and outcome of Market Garden, alongside a wider reappraisal of the fighting in the Low Countries in the autumn of 1944.

  • Why did Market Garden take place?
  • Why did it fail?
  • What were the consequences of the operation?
  • How did it impact on the experience of war in the Low Countries in 1944?
  • How and why has it been depicted, studies and commemorated in the years since 1944?

Such questions and issues form the basis of this major international conference to be held at the University of Wolverhampton in September 2014, hosted by the University’s Department of History, Politics and War Studies.

The conference will lead to an edited collection to be published by Helion.

Conference details

Date:10-11 September 2014
Conference subject:Highway to the Reich: Operation Market Garden and the Battle for the Low Countries 1944: Seventy Years On
Call for papers:Please send a brief outline of your paper c.200 words along with a short CV to John Buckley or Peter Preston Hough by 31st May 2014. We welcome individual papers on any aspect of Market Garden or the campaign in the Low Countries in 1944. We especially welcome panels of three papers on a joint theme. All papers will be allocated 20 minute slots for presentation, and this should allow some time in each panel for questions and discussion. If you wish your paper to be considered for inclusion in the edited collection please let us know
Keynote speakers
  • Sebastian Ritchie author of Arnhem: Myth and Reality
  • Robert Kershaw author of It Never Snows in September
  • James Holland author and BBC TV historian
  • Peter Caddick Adams author of Monty and Rommel: Parallel Lives 
Conference format:
  • Keynote speakers
  • Veterans questions and answers
  • Panel discussions
  • Conference dinner

The conference will be held at the University of Wolverhampton, a short walk from Wolverhampton’s bus and train stations.

University of Wolverhampton
Wulfruna Street
Wolverhampton WV1 1LY

Map and directions for City Campus

Fees£75 which includes two lunches, teas and coffees.

Concessions and those presenting will have a reduced fee of £65.

Conference Dinner: Details TBA 

For conference organisation and administration please contact:Dr Phylomena Badsey - P.Badsey@wlv.ac.uk
Academic organisers:

Prof John Buckley - J.Buckley@wlv.ac.uk00 44 (0)1902 323388

Dr Peter Preston-Hough - Peter.Preston-Hough@wlv.ac.uk