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II SS Panzer Corps


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#1 airborne medic

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 05:51 PM

After just watching a few scenes from A Bridge too Far last night I was wondering about why Arnhem was picked for a refit for the II SS Panzer Corps.....or was it just like the film a relatively large town with reasonable links to Germany and a fair way behind the front line and a quiet sector?????

Any thoughts anyone???
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#2 sapper

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 02:14 PM

If ever there was a film designed to anger the real Market Garden vets? it is this!
It is pure BULL and had very little connection with the truth.

it certainly annoys old vet. Some of it is downright insulting to our men.
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#3 Gerard

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 03:16 PM

Well the film not withstanding, I believe that the 9th and 10th SS divisions were sent to Arnhem as it was a "quiet" sector. It was most unfortunate but it should also be stressed that the Allies did not jump right on top of a full strength SS PanzerKorps, 9th and 10th SS were nowhere near their full complement of troops or vehicles.
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#4 GPRegt

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 03:53 PM

If ever there was a film designed to anger the real Market Garden vets? it is this!
It is pure BULL and had very little connection with the truth.

it certainly annoys old vet. Some of it is downright insulting to our men.
Sapper



I'm afraid I'm the voice of disagreement. I think William Goldman did a pretty good job in compressing a book, which covered nine days fighting, into a (basically) three-hour film. Yes, there was some licence: examples are composite characters - Maj Harry Carlyle's was a mix of Majs Digby Tatham-Warter ('A' Coy and who carried an umbrella), Doug Crawley 'B' and Victor Dover 'C'; name changes - Maj Fuller, who broke the news of the Panzers to Browning was, in reality, Maj Brian Urquhart (presumably not to confuse the audience with having two Urquharts to manage!). The CO of 506th PIR was Col Robert Sink, but in the film he was Col Stout.

Goldman gave a solid overview of three of the main parts of the operation: landings, XXX Corps' breakout, stalemate at the bridge. Vignettes like 'Myrtle' the parachick are true and the incidents of S/Sgt Eddie Dohun and his Captain and Maj Julian Cook reciting the 'Hail, Mary' as he crossed the river at Nijmegen are also true. I appreciate that the fighting in and around Oosterbeek, amongst other sections, was not covered, but this was a cinema film not a TV mini-series (something I would very much like made).

My father-in-law, who was an ALO with XXX Corps and was interviewed by Ryan, enjoyed the film. He thought it was a fair representation.

Steve W.

Edited by GPRegt, 05 August 2008 - 06:35 PM.
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#5 airborne medic

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 06:22 PM

Steve,
Agree with you and it's a shame that a serious question was tried to be hijacked into a debate of the accuracy of a film......the story of Kate ter Horst's house, having spoken to people who were both there as a medic and wounded is pretty accurate.....

Just one of those unfortunate incidents of war that they were moved to a perceived quiet area.....

See you soon......
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#6 GPRegt

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 06:37 PM

Niall,

I was going to give you the answer to your question but I felt I must answer the points made about the film. Sorry to have continued the hijacking of your thread.

Steve W.
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#7 Tom Canning

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 07:01 PM

It would appear that we are discussing the version of " A Bridge Too Far" - for British audiences....then I would advise you to get a copy of the American version - it's a hoot - with the Guards being denigrated as cowards etc and not willing to move until after tea - without Infantry was not a problem.....they were way too slow to go anywhere in a hurry - typical Monty stunt ....I would therefore agree with Sapper .....

The biggest laugh is near the end when the main characters i.e Lt Gens. Horrocks and Browning in company of Lt Col. Joe Van DeLour of the Irish Guards( what was he doing there ?) on the Church Tower - are "ordered" by an American MAJOR General (sic) of their paratroops to " get them out" - that always cracks me up - but most American lap it up as being only right and proper !

But then - there are more of them to pay for the film !
Cheers
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#8 Gerard

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 09:49 PM

It would appear that we are discussing the version of " A Bridge Too Far" - for British audiences....then I would advise you to get a copy of the American version - it's a hoot - with the Guards being denigrated as cowards etc and not willing to move until after tea - without Infantry was not a problem.....they were way too slow to go anywhere in a hurry - typical Monty stunt ....I would therefore agree with Sapper .....

The biggest laugh is near the end when the main characters i.e Lt Gens. Horrocks and Browning in company of Lt Col. Joe Van DeLour of the Irish Guards( what was he doing there ?) on the Church Tower - are "ordered" by an American MAJOR General (sic) of their paratroops to " get them out" - that always cracks me up - but most American lap it up as being only right and proper !

But then - there are more of them to pay for the film !
Cheers

Can we please get back on topic? Please read the first post - Airborne Medic wanted to know why 2 SS Panzer Corps were stationed near Arnhem. Whilst the film was mentioned it is not a thread about the film.
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"The Eastern front is like a house of cards. If the front is broken through at one point all the rest will collapse."
- General Heinz Guderian

 

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#9 Owen

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 10:03 PM

I haven't read the book but if "It Nevers Snows In September" is the German view of OMG, doesn't it mention why in there?
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#10 Slipdigit

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 12:22 AM

I haven't read the book but if "It Nevers Snows In September" is the German view of OMG, doesn't it mention why in there?

I don't remember fully if it did or not, Owen, but I am leaning toward no.
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Warmest Regards,
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#11 airborne medic

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 07:05 AM

Gotthard,

Many thanks for your words!

I can't recall a reason being found in the Kershaw book.......
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#12 von Poop

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 11:54 AM

That excellent 'Defending Arnhem' site has an upcoming area, sadly 'under construction', relating to "The German Situation in Holland during September 1944".
Defending Arnhem © 2007
It's empty at the moment but might be worth keeping an eye on for more info on the specific question.
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#13 airborne medic

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 12:19 PM

Von Poop.....thanks aware of this site and under my real name I'm credited with helping constructing this site......
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#14 von Poop

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 12:25 PM

:D
As I wrote that I had this strange feeling you were going to say something like that :unsure:.

Top site anyway.
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#15 airborne medic

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 02:25 PM

I'm due to meet Scott this year too!
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#16 Tom Canning

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 02:58 PM

Gotthard -
Little use you selecting me to remind all that we have wandered off topic - have a look at # 2 and 4 - the question was tenuous at best inasmuch as I doiubt it was Hitler - Keitel - Rundstedt - Blumentritt - Model or Bitterich - more than likely some low down Colonel staff wallah who was asked to "look into it "

Regarding a full strength Tank Corps -or with only Two Tank battalions didn't have to be - ONE squadron of Panthers / Tigers could have held off any spread out lightly armed Para Div. in defending the only Bridge still standing - don't you think ?
Cheers
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#17 Gerard

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 10:38 AM

Gotthard -
Little use you selecting me to remind all that we have wandered off topic - have a look at # 2 and 4 - the question was tenuous at best inasmuch as I doiubt it was Hitler - Keitel - Rundstedt - Blumentritt - Model or Bitterich - more than likely some low down Colonel staff wallah who was asked to "look into it "

Regarding a full strength Tank Corps -or with only Two Tank battalions didn't have to be - ONE squadron of Panthers / Tigers could have held off any spread out lightly armed Para Div. in defending the only Bridge still standing - don't you think ?
Cheers

Tom in relation to me selecting you, it was the most recent off-topic post, no more than that.

I think the second part of your quote is a bit simplistic dont you think? You have the benefit of experience that I dont but 1 squadron of Panthers/Tigers in an urban environment might encounter a bit of trouble dont you think? Travelling in narrow streets might be a bit of an issue.

Here is a link to a webpage with a fairly extensive history of the SS division "Hohenstaufen" which faced the Paras at Arnhem. The site is apolitical as far as I know:
WWW.WAFFEN-SS.NO "9. SS-Panzer-Division Hohenstaufen"
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#18 Tom Canning

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 04:30 PM

Gotthard -
accept your reasoning about being nearest post on off topic - however as you say - you do not have the experience in Tank warfare as others do - I shall expand on my "simplistic" idea -
When Pte "Smokey" Smith of the Canadian Seaforths killed off one Panther with a PIAT - he forced another into a ditch - the crew bailed out recognising that life was preferable to Valour - and another one retreated - "Smokey"
was awarded the V.C. for his Valour - quite rightly as we all agreed as it was raining very heavily at the time !
The following morning the ditched Panther was duly recovered - checked - cleaned up - and presented to my "A" squadron of Churchill tanks of the 145th RAC which was a part of 21st Tank Bde supporting the Canadian 1st Division in Italy.
We then utilised this Panther in shooting up it's makers - much to their disgust - my friend Walter Pollard was the gunner - who sadly died after stepping on a schhu mine while re fuelling this Tank.
The biggest problem with any Panther is that it is quite wide in the beam and crossing a Bailey bridge has less than a two inch clearance - which makes this action a real pain in the - er - ankle!
The Bridge at Ahrnem - I am led to believe - is almost a four lane highway and thus getting just a squadron of them over that bridge in order to set up a barrier to anyone trying to cross it - would be very simplistic indeed - as we in our turn did at the three bridges over the Muese with 31st Tank bde during the Battle of the Bulge - no one crossed those bridges !
Cheers
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#19 Gerard

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 04:42 PM

Cheers for the response Tom and thanks for that info.

Now as to who ordered SS Panzer Corps to Arnhem check out this from a Hohenstaufen history article:

The 9th Waffen-SS Panzer Division had fought continuously and without replacements in Normandy since its arrival there in late June until its withdrawal on August 21. The divisional commander, SS Oberfuhrer Sylvester Stadler, who had taken over upon Bittrich's promotion on June 28 to command the II SS Panzer Corps, was wounded in late July, and being left behind in a hospital was temporarily replaced by SS Oberfuhrer und Oberst der Schutzpolizei, Friedrich Wilhelm Bock. Commander of the 6th Panzer Army, Field Marshall Walther Model, of Army Group B, ordered the division northwards to join him in Holland on September 3 for rest and refit. The division arrived at the Veluwe area north of Arnhem on September 7.
It would appear that it was Model who ordered them to Holland.
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"The Eastern front is like a house of cards. If the front is broken through at one point all the rest will collapse."
- General Heinz Guderian

 

"There's no "i" in team, but there's four in Platitude Quoting Idiot" 
 


#20 Tom Canning

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 04:54 PM

Gotthard -
so it was all Model's fault-the Rotter !
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#21 sapper

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 06:24 PM

I must insist that film is an insult to brave men that gave their lives trying to reach Arnhem. That those here that never saw action, but rely on Hollywood, fills me with disgust. The drive North on the Market garden operation was a two pronged attack, the other thrust was to the East, between the main drive and the Germans.

In that thrust Northwards many men died, and gave their all to reach their goal. This film made a mockery of the sacrifice of brave men's lives......

I know this will fall on deaf ears. The perceived truth, and the Hollywood truth, always outweighs what actually did happen.

But for the memory of those that fought like tigers to reach Arnhem. I remember. For I lost many good friends on the Market Garden Op. Some of the battles were the very worst, and certainly the most violent.

The night Assault crossing of the Escaut Canal put Dantes Inferno to shame....But that matters little to those that want to believe the Hollywood version.
I remember !
Sapper
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#22 airborne medic

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 07:17 PM

My question had nothing to do with the film and would prefer comments about the actual question of why the II SS Panzer Corps was moved to Arnhem?

Please start your own thread about the film and stop hijacking a serious question!
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#23 Tom Canning

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 08:05 PM

Airborne medic -
it would appear that your initial question of "who ordered the 11 Panzer Corps to Ahrnem" was answered from a history of the combatants by Gotthard in his message #19 and directed to me for general information - so technically your thread was now redundent -whether you prefer the direction of the subsquent thread's life or not- your intial question did raise the subject of that film and so prompted Sapper's response - and even now he repeats his displeasure as some participants do give the impression that they have absolutely no idea of what warfare is all about and are dependent on the propaganda issuing forth from Hollywood in buckets full.

My own contribution of viewing the American version of that film speaks volumes to their lack of integrity as the truth is a constant casualty.

In my personal - view - as a similar veteran to Sapper - your message #22 is totally uncalled for - but then I'm old and crotchety !
Cheers
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#24 sapper

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 08:42 PM

Cheers Tom, When this film is discussed, it invariably gets me on my high horse. For the USA version is designed to denigrate the efforts of the British,,,,And that makes me angry. Not only for the loss and sacrifice of my good friends. But also for the life I have had to live as a 100% war disabled pensioner, (Wounded twice) and with the severity of my injuries, that put me in the "exceptional severe injuries" class and classed as "Very severely disabled"
My contribution to Market Garden. A life time of paying the price for freedom....I do get angry. I expect for the same reason. I am also old and very crotchety.
But perhaps with a right to be so, for at the end on the long road from Sword Beach to Bremen....there were not enough men left to have a reunion.
So yes I am old Tom and a grumpy old man...hopefully I shall become an even older grumpy old man.
As a matter of interest,Tomorrow the 8th of the 8th, there is small entry in the RE archives. All it says is: Three casualties on the Vire Vaudrey Ridge on a "S mined Road Block" Wass Thomas myself and one dead. I still carry the shrapnel
Cheers Sapper

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#25 Tom Canning

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 10:03 PM

Sapper - know what you mean as I've "been there - done that" still carry a few bits of shrapnel from the Gothic Line 17th september '44- and stiil careful how I sit down on a hard surface - like you I hope to make it to 150 years - as this is the only wayto get my money back from the government !
Cheers
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#26 Gerard

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 08:09 AM

I must insist that film is an insult to brave men that gave their lives trying to reach Arnhem. That those here that never saw action, but rely on Hollywood, fills me with disgust. The drive North on the Market garden operation was a two pronged attack, the other thrust was to the East, between the main drive and the Germans.

In that thrust Northwards many men died, and gave their all to reach their goal. This film made a mockery of the sacrifice of brave men's lives......

I know this will fall on deaf ears. The perceived truth, and the Hollywood truth, always outweighs what actually did happen.

But for the memory of those that fought like tigers to reach Arnhem. I remember. For I lost many good friends on the Market Garden Op. Some of the battles were the very worst, and certainly the most violent.

The night Assault crossing of the Escaut Canal put Dantes Inferno to shame....But that matters little to those that want to believe the Hollywood version.
I remember !
Sapper

Brian, first of all your posts do not fall on deaf ears. Far from it. We more than appreciate the work you put in to your posts and I am very aware that you dislike (maybe that is too light a word!) this film. HOWEVER, there are very few people on this board who use this film as a primary source of research. Most of us know that its fiction, its based on a book and a very subjective one at that. Having read "A Bridge too Far" and other books such as "It never snows in September" you can see that Cornelius Ryan had an axe to grind. It should be remembered lads that the book is the area with issues, the film is merely following the book. Not trying to excuse the film (cant stand the scene where Robert Redford is screaming at the British tanker to keep going) but it was an adaptation of the book and followed its angle. Again this is not a defence of the film but that is a point that should be borne in mind.

Now as to Airborne Medic's question, it has nothing to do with the film. I know he refers to it in his initial post, but his question is a very valid one. Who indeed ordered the Panzer Corps to Arnhem. This isnt Hollywood, someone did send them up there. And he's not asking about the film, which I would imagine explains his frustration when it keeps being brought up. I cant read his mind but I would have imagined that he was thinking more of a thread about the German dispositions than about "A Bridge too Far" !!!! If he had only posed the initial question without mentioning that pesky movie this thread would have taken a slightly different tack.

So valid points all round lads :D
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"The Eastern front is like a house of cards. If the front is broken through at one point all the rest will collapse."
- General Heinz Guderian

 

"There's no "i" in team, but there's four in Platitude Quoting Idiot" 
 


#27 sapper

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 08:30 AM

Cheers, Point taken!
But British Officers do not scream at anything.
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#28 Gerard

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 09:03 AM

Cheers, Point taken!
But British Officers do not scream at anything.
Sapper

LOL!! They most certainly do not! :lol:
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"The Eastern front is like a house of cards. If the front is broken through at one point all the rest will collapse."
- General Heinz Guderian

 

"There's no "i" in team, but there's four in Platitude Quoting Idiot" 
 


#29 airborne medic

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 06:12 PM

Brian, first of all your posts do not fall on deaf ears. Far from it. We more than appreciate the work you put in to your posts and I am very aware that you dislike (maybe that is too light a word!) this film. HOWEVER, there are very few people on this board who use this film as a primary source of research. Most of us know that its fiction, its based on a book and a very subjective one at that. Having read "A Bridge too Far" and other books such as "It never snows in September" you can see that Cornelius Ryan had an axe to grind. It should be remembered lads that the book is the area with issues, the film is merely following the book. Not trying to excuse the film (cant stand the scene where Robert Redford is screaming at the British tanker to keep going) but it was an adaptation of the book and followed its angle. Again this is not a defence of the film but that is a point that should be borne in mind.

Now as to Airborne Medic's question, it has nothing to do with the film. I know he refers to it in his initial post, but his question is a very valid one. Who indeed ordered the Panzer Corps to Arnhem. This isnt Hollywood, someone did send them up there. And he's not asking about the film, which I would imagine explains his frustration when it keeps being brought up. I cant read his mind but I would have imagined that he was thinking more of a thread about the German dispositions than about "A Bridge too Far" !!!! If he had only posed the initial question without mentioning that pesky movie this thread would have taken a slightly different tack.

So valid points all round lads :D

Thanks...Gotthard.....so I'll start a new thread without the dreaded words that I'll not mention!
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#30 airborne medic

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 12:40 PM

Wonder if the forum moderators would consider just for Market Garden threads deleting any posts that bring in the film I'm not going to mention when the question is nothing to do with said unmentionable.......??????
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