Market Garden

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Dpalme01, Sep 28, 2004.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Paul,
    Agreed, as I said it makes no difference.

    Guards had a captured map, showing enemy positions, but did not know if it was reliable. POW stated that orders were to guard the road. The road was high above ground, even with a lower profile, Cromwells would suffer the same fate.
    Rushing ahead at speed with WG would not mean any different outcome. They were not invisible. As for the air and artillery support, which I would argue was the most important aspect, would that have been any different?

    dbf
     
  2. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    As Sapper has every right to say - 60 years ago it was a brilliant move and as Monty says - it WAS 90% succesful inasmuch as it gave 2nd Army room to form up for the later battles - what is seldom mentioned is the American Major taking the plans into the air in disobedience of orders - 82nd US Ariborne landin g not on both sides of their bridge but on the heights ioverlooking the bridge so that the 43rd Div had to clear up too much ground making them late to support the Guards Armoured in the final push...which was only 6Kms - but then I don't suppose computer games add these small details - and Bradley's comments have absolutely no value !
     
  3. Philip Reinders

    Philip Reinders Very Senior Member

    Every has the right to do so, but as I always say with these questions, very easy after 60 years to say one should have done it so and so, now we have all the information and documentation and know all the inns and outs of Operation Market Garden.
    Then people thought when all went well the war would have ended months earlier and would have cost less lifes, it went the other way around, but this nowbody knew before the start

    The same will probably be said about nowaydays operations 60 years from now.
     
  4. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    What is so boring about these threads is that, especially with Market Garden, it always (without fail) degenerates into a "Blame Game" between the US and ritish/Commonwealth forces. Someone always has an axe to grind so the same aul myths arise about British or American performance in the operation. But two things cannot be disputed: The bravery of the Paras in Arnhem and the resilience of the German units. The Paras did far more than was originally asked of them and they endured terrible losses because of it. The Allies did NOT drop on top of 2 complete Armor Divisions, the Germans had to draw on scratch built kampgruppe and use second line units as well as the SS to repel the attackers.

    You know, its not just about if the British or the US were to blame although the way Market Garden threads go you would think that it was the only aspect of the campaign to discuss :(
     
  5. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Heinrici - not entirely a "blame game" but facts which are not always accepted by some and the facts should come out as you rightly point out - there is much drivel spilled on these hindsight actions - we have some "junior" members wondering why the commanders don't show up on the battlefelds ? -another asking why we didn't trust the Dutch Intelligence - others stating that "one of the few bold moves by Monty became a failure on such a grand scale" - he obviously has never heard of Alam Halfa - Medenine - Wadi Akirit - Mareth - El Hamma - Tunis - Caen and Falaise - but Ahrnem failed on a grand scale - really ! This is the result of not knowing All of the facts - ask Sapper - he was there !
     
  6. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hello all,
    I won't be participating any further on this thread or indeed on any further MG topic at all for that matter.
    I don't trust myself to explain further. I seem to be caught up in some old argument, present still, after [albeit obtuse] resurrection of an old thread.
    Pity.
    Regards,
    dbf
     
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  7. Philip Reinders

    Philip Reinders Very Senior Member

    Can fully understand you point of view DBF, the same I do with these questions as:
    as what if?

    As I said before easy talking for us, with all the WDs and books in front of our noses, we probably would have done the same, look at the mistakes made in Iraq and afghanistan even with all the high tech stuff we have it still up for the people to make decisicions
     
  8. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    In his book Arnhem (Penguin Book edition, 1995), Martin Middlebrook gave 10 reasons in chronological order:

    1. Over-optimism about German powers of recovery after the defeat in Normandy.

    2. Failure to warn 1st Airborne about Panzer divisions, thus denying them the opportunity to include more AT weapons in their loads.

    3. Decision of Lt. Gen. Browning to take a corps HQ to Holland, thus reducing the gliders available to 1st Airborne in 1st lift by 38.

    4. Failure of 1st Airborne's air plan, in particular limiting them to one lift on the first day and also failure to land at least a coup de main force close to the Arnhem bridge and covering both ends. (In my opinion, not making two drops on the first day, which was possible, also reduced the Air Landing Brigade - or that part of it which had landed - to the passive role of protecting drop and landing zones for too long and prevented the brigades from linking up to fight as a division)

    5. Failure of 1st Airborne commanders to sufficiently impress 1st Parachute Brigade with the urgency of pressing on to the Arnhem bridge on the first day.

    6. Failure to employ available help from Dutch civilians.

    7. Failure to use 2 TAF in the "cab rank" ground support role.

    8. Browning's failure to give US 82nd Airborne greater priority in capturing Nijmegen bridge. (Middlebrook rates this as second in importance after the air plan)

    9. Lack of push in 2nd Army and XXX Corps. (And I would single out in particular 2nd (Armoured) Battalion Grenadier Guards after Nijmegen, who did not seem to be prepared to accept losses to break through what was a very thin front)

    10. Failure of Urquart to appreciate the importance of the Westerbouwing height and the Rhine ferry below and the failure to accept the advice of Sosabowski that there was a better crossing downstream of where it was attempted by 4th Dorsets.

    I think I generally accept all of these.

    In my view, the operation was 90% successful, which is usually pretty good in war. The trouble is that this was one operation which needed to be 100% successful.

    Of course there was some "bad luck" like the narrow failure of US 101st Airborne to take the Son bridge before it was blown and the same with 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment at the Arnhem railway bridge, but these were secondary reasons in my opinion.
    I would like to repost Angie's post from earlier in the thread as it seems to contain a lot of sense. She also makes the valid point that it was 90% successful and that in most cases it would be looked at as a success. Unfortunately as she writes, it needed to be 100% successful.

    Tom whilst you are right about the misconceptions I still think that people tend to be very nationalistic when it comes to MG. whenever a criticism is raised which, for example, seems to question the efforts of the British Army, we get responses pointing out american errors. And vice versa, Monty being a particularly good target. I do notice Tom that you are not above having a pop at the US side yourself?? :) Its very hard but if a really good thread about Market Garden is to emerge then people have to be prepared to adopt a more "neutral" stance when talking about it. BTW, I too can lapse into this routine. Believe me, I'm not perfect either!! :lol:

    Philip I also understand your point of view and "what if" threads can be the most dangerous threads to start!!
     
  9. Philip Reinders

    Philip Reinders Very Senior Member

    I don't like Middlebrooks book anyway, he all took the stories for granted and although I have respect for the old guys, Tom and Sapper ( not personally to you but just for example as you are the Vets on this forum) , most probably know themselves that after so many years things are not too clear always, and I have found out myself with arnhem veterans that stories have changed troughout the years, but he is not a historian but just a "money" writer and didn't take the time to check out if the accounts were correct.

    9. Lack of push in 2nd Army and XXX Corps. (And I would single out in particular 2nd (Armoured) Battalion Grenadier Guards after Nijmegen, who did not seem to be prepared to accept losses to break through what was a very thin front)

    But who the hell is he too put out the above note, by now it was quite clear the germans had a good defence line, and yes NOW we know it was a thin front, but this was the same with the Oosterbeek perimeter a couple of days later,if the germans had concentrated all there armour and SS troops on one line the would have easly cut it in half, but again NOW thats know.

    10. Failure of Urquart to appreciate the importance of the Westerbouwing height and the Rhine ferry below and the failure to accept the advice of Sosabowski that there was a better crossing downstream of where it was attempted by 4th Dorsets

    I the orginal plan a company The Border Regiment was ordered to occupied the Westerbouwing which they did, when the operation all had go as planned this was enough, but now it when the other way, and Urquhart probably expected that 2nd Army had an easy trip reaching him, if he knew different that he probably made another plan.

    again and again it is al easy talking now, but if we are on this way anyway, what if Hitler never was born would there have been a WOII?

    I like the WOII history but would never "Blame" any decisions made during that period as people never knew what we knew now, and would we have done it different without all the knowledge of today?
     
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  10. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    dear all,i am interested in the units that took part in this endeavor,not what ifs,or blame.most people like me,a few months ago,thought op m.g consisted of just xxx corps,and 1st ab/div,101st u.s a/b div and 82nd u.s a/b div.forgetting the other units involved.this is what i am interested in.lee
     
  11. Philip Reinders

    Philip Reinders Very Senior Member

    understand it Lee, it was ofcourse a withd scale operation, beside Arnhem I am also interested in the Betuwe part, if you only see what kind of RA and canadian units were involved there, sometimes units only spent one or two days in that area but still.
    You should take up some Dutch lessons as there are some nice old dutch books around from that period.
     
  12. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    for example i know xxxcorps had the guards,43rd wessex and 52lowland available,but until not long ago that 8th armd bde was attached.i would also lke to know of any other units that took part,british or german and not just the 9th and 10th ss divs.yours,lee.
     
  13. Philip Reinders

    Philip Reinders Very Senior Member

    German units are hard to tell as loads of different small units took part, near Lent for example manning the french flak guns was a RAD unit and ofcourse the Kriegmarine units 10 and 14 Schiffstamabteilung that fought in Oosterbeek
    116 PAnzer Division fought in the Arnhem area
     
  14. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    The Germans were fairly adept at putting together "scratch" units which would then fight quite successfully for a specific purpose. Philip, do you know what was the strength of 116 Pzr at the time? That was the unit which Guderian's son served in.
     
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  15. Philip Reinders

    Philip Reinders Very Senior Member

    Have to get back to you on that one and ask my mate Peter who is more on the German side, I know they left the Nijmegen/Arnhem area on 8th October and went to outiside Arnhem, at Velp ,(were i live)
     
  16. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    thanks all,i would like to know about the 8corps and 12corps efforts as well if possible.cheers,lee.perhaps i am getting ahead of myself a bit,lee.
     
  17. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    It seems there is a huge amount of the Campaign around Holland that gets ignored with the focus on "Market Garden".
     
  18. Philip Reinders

    Philip Reinders Very Senior Member

  19. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    i believe sapper,3rd inf div,was involved in market garden as well.yours,lee.
     
  20. Philip Reinders

    Philip Reinders Very Senior Member

    And these guys ofcourse Unterfuhrer Schule Arnheim

    [​IMG]
     

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