Volume 1 covers the mounting of the operation and the crucial first two days of the battle. The story opens with the planning and preparation of the double undertaking - of "Market" by the newly created First Allied Airborne Army in the UK and "Garden" by the British Second Army on the Belgian-Dutch border. The scene then switches to describe the German military situation in the Netherlands on the eve of battle. The massive initial airborne landings of September 17, 1944, are then recounted with equal attention to each of the three airborne divisions involved. The break-out battle by the Guards Armoured Division, spearhead of the ground army, is likewise illustrated with a wealth of photographs. The second day of the operation, September 18, sees the Guards reaching the 101st Airborne at Eindhoven, making their first contact with the airborne army.