Our violence is so much cleaner than their violence

SS-Brigadeführer Harmel of the Frundsberg refused to acknowledge after the war that the fires had been started deliberately by his own men, and tried to argue that it was simply an unfortunate consequence of battle. ‘After the violent street fighting, the whole of the north part of Nijmegen was seen to be on fire.’ At 21.30 that evening Harmel’s superior Ober­gruppen­führer Bittrich signalled to Model’s headquarters, ‘Commanding general II SS Panzer Corps emphasizes that the Nijmegen garrison is very weak.’ To conceal comparative weakness with extreme violence was a standard SS response.

Two pages later:

A few moments later the gunner also hit a German truck which, to judge by the explosion, turned out to be full of ammunition. Some thirty German dead were counted and fifty-three prisoners taken.

When Colonel Cassidy thanked Paddy McCrory for his contribution afterwards, saying that his tank had changed the whole course of the engagement, the Irish Guards sergeant replied simply, ‘When in doubt, lash out.’ Cassidy decided to make it his motto too.

—Antony Beevor, Arnhem, (London: Penguin, 2019), 202, 204.

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