At 14:00 hours, 17 September 1944, a massive bombardment of over 300 British guns shatters German anti-tank guns and leaves the enemy troops utterly bewildered. Between the exploding shells and screams of defenders,224 rockets shriek down from above as over thirty Typhoon attack aircraft join in the havoc.
Just behind the rolling barrage, Lieutenant Kieth Heathcote of 3rd Squadron, Irish Guards sits in his command Sherman tank. At 14:25 hours exactly he orders,Ã¢â¬ÂDriver Ã¢â¬â Advance!Ã¢â¬Â and his squadron lurches forward onto what would soon be well known as Ã¢â¬ËHellÃ¢â¬â¢s HighwayÃ¢â¬â¢.
The main forces included in HellÃ¢â¬â¢s Highway are an Irish Guards Armoured Squadron, a Welsh Guards Armoured Recce Squadron, a Guards Rifle Company, a 2nd Household Cavalry Squadron, US Parachute Rifle Comapny (both 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions) and a Fallschirmjäger company with two variants for the veteran 6th Fallschirmjäger Regiment and the battered and rebuilding 3rd Fallschirmjäger Division.