Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Operation Market Garden Battlefield Tour, The Netherlands

Operation Market Garden was the largest airbone offensive conducted by the allies and its biggest military defeat. Tha plan, devised by Montgomery, was to take the main bridges in the Netherlands (under German occupation) in order to cross the Rhine and reach Germany.

It was carried out from 17 to 25 September 1944. Despite that  the first bridges were succesfully captured they couldn't take the last one in Arnhem. On the map of the operation we can see the progress of Allied troops and the German defensive positions.


The operation was located in the Netherlands , near the German border. To visit the battlefields you can start from Arnhem . It is best to fly to any of the nearest airports and once there, rent a car or take a train.

View of the River Rhine at Arnhem.

The airports with the best access to the battlefields are the Amsterdam's and the Düsseldorf's .

  • From the airport of Amsterdam to Arnhem. There are direct trains for about 15 euros. The trip takes 1h15min.
  • From Düsseldorf Airport you can take a train changing at the Central Station in the city for about 30 euros. Travel time is approximately 1h20min.

Once in Arnhem you can rent a car or follow the route by train. To check the ticket prices and the train times:

Railway Network Netherlands: https://www.ns.nl/  
German Red train to get from Düsseldorf: http :/ / www.bahn.com/  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Relics of the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands

The so-called Battle of Guadacanal or Operation Watchtower was the first offensive launched by the Allies against the Empire of Japan on August 7, 1942 and lasted until February 9, 1943. It was one of the longest battles of the Pacific. 30,000 people died. U.S. forces landed on the islands of Guadalcanal, Tulagi and Florida with the main objective of taking the airport to break the Empire base of the islands. There were several attacks that culminated with the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal when the Japanese were forced to withdraw its troops after a failed landing.


Solomon Islands tourism is quite expensive if we start from Europe (about 1300 euros the entire trip by plane). There are direct flights from Brisbane (Australia) , where the plane transfer should be done to reach the airport from Honiara, the capital of the island of Guadalcanal. The Solomon Islands are tropical and full of wild vegetation. The islands keep a lot of war relics from the battle.

There are  companies that offer battlefield tours around the islands. Please note that the currency is the SBD (Solomon Islands Dollar) and 1 SBD = 0.10 euros.

Moving around Guadalcanal: accessibility to certain areas of the island is not good, if we want to do it by public transport. Honiara has a network of taxis and  buses but only goes through the main roads. Renting a car is almost essential if you want to explore the area. There are car rentals at the airport or at the city center.

More information about the islands: http://www.visitsolomons.com.sb

Image: Vvulto


These are some things you can find on the island.

Museum of World War II (Vilu War Museum): 
Location here .  
Normal ticket: 25 SBD (2.5 euros) 
It has not official website. 
This museum has many relics, such as vehicles, aircraft and weapons both Japanese and American, extending the land occupied by the museum.

Photo Gallery competence: https://www.facebook.com/VisitSolomonIslands

American Memorial in Honiara:

Location here .

Erected by the American Battle Monuments Commission to commemorate the Americans killed in the battle.

The remains of the Kinugawa Maru

Location here .

The Kinugawa Maru ship belonging to the Japanese Imperial Navy's mission was to land on the island of Guadalcanal in November 1942. It was discovered and sunk by American artillery fire. Today is only partially visible but can be seen in full scuba diving.

The Kinugawa Maru partially sunk.
It's remains today ( photo: http://www.diveshow.com.au )