The troops of the British 1st Airborne division found themselves pinned in the village of Oosterbeek just west of Arnhem after German units had managed to surround their position on 18 September. A smaller force had become separated from the main body of British troops as they moved east in an attempt to secure Nijmegen Bridge. By 20 September the commander of the British forces in Oosterbeek, Major General Roy Urquhart, decided to arrange his men into perimeter defensive positions around their location, as they had already been weakened during attempts to break out of the encirclement. Urquhart set up his command centre at the Hartenstein Hotel and organized contact to be made with Polish reinforcements who had been dropped in the area on 22 September. The Allied soldiers in Oosterbeek were subjected to heavy shelling and enemy sniper fire from the surrounding woods but managed to pull off a withdrawal of some troops across the river on 25 September.
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