Vitesse Arnhem’s new kit honours British paratroopers’ service and sacrifice

1908370_757562634301735_1282772226142461124_nArnhem released its new airborne kit over the weekend, and both the football club and the city of Arnhem still actively honour the service and sacrifice of the British 1st Airborne Division during the second world war in the Battle of Arnhem.

The kit reflects the claret and blue colours of the 1st Airborne and features a subtle image of the John Frost Bridge on the front of the shirt. The John Frost Bridge is named for John Dutton Frost, the British officer who led the 1st Airborne Division during the Battle of Arnhem.

While the Allied forces lost the Battle of Arnhem and the larger operation (Market Garden) was unsuccessful, the 1st Airbone held out much longer than expected, despite facing tanks, artillery, and mortars, and suffering heavy losses. As a result of the casualties, the division never saw combat again and was disbanded after the war ended.

During the eighth day of the battle, Alan Wood, a war correspondent embedded with the 1st Airborne in Arnhem, wrote “If in the years to come any man says to you ‘I fought at Arnhem,’ take off your hat to him and buy him a drink, for this is the stuff of which England’s greatness is made.”

It’s heartening to see that, seventy years later, both Vitesse and the city of Arnhem continue to raise a glass.

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