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Abstract

In September 1944, the allies undertook the largest ever airborne operation, apparently in an effort to capitalize on the German withdrawal from France and Belgium and end the war in the west by encircling the Ruhr. But what really lay behind this most audacious and daring attempt to finish the war in 1944? Inter-allied rivalry, at the highest levels of military command, and the pursuit of personal ambition, will be discussed to reveal some of the reasons for failure and the post-war bitterness it engendered.