At Soviet Wastelands we’re big fans of history surrounding the Second World War. Large parts of our range of Soviet tours across the former USSR focus on Operation Barbarossa and the Great Patriotic War that raged through the lands of the Soviet Union between 1941 and 1945. Recently, we found a video of a British soldier throwing a brick at a German soldier in a close quarter battle. It demonstrates some of the intense urban combat that took place in the Second World War. Whilst it didn’t take place on the Eastern Front, it was too good not to share.
Whilst the original uploader was unaware of the backstory behind the video, Soviet Wastelands did some research and found out that the video took place in 1944 during the Battle of Arnhem. The British soldier belongs to the famous Parachute Regiment and is likely out of ammo or has lost his weapon in the intense battles that raged during the Battle of Arnhem.
As a German soldier, likely Waffen SS, closes on a building to kill or capture the soldier he is met with a large flying brick as the British soldier attempts to make his getaway. The whole incident is caught by a nearby German cameraman. Unlike modern warfare, capturing such a prime piece of a close quarter battle on camera was not easy to do in WW2.
The Battle of Arnhem, otherwise known as Operation Market Garden, was a catastrophe. Designed to end the war by Christmas, it ended in the loss of life and capture of thousands of British troops who were airdropped into Holland. The British airborne forces landed some distance from their objectives and faced heavy, unexpected resistance from SS squads. Allied units and resupplies were unable to link up with each other and after nine days of intense fighting, the shattered remains of the Airborne were dead, captured, or withdrawn in Operation Berlin. The British 1st Airborne Division lost nearly ¾ of its strength and did not see combat again.