What is it about Arnhem etc.?

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by von Poop, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. Drusus Nero

    Drusus Nero Banned

    I do not for a moment believe that Arnhem is the most studied battle in history.

    That mantle goes to Napolean, and you can take your pick from the many battles he fought. Waterloo for one, or Borodino, or Austerlitz.

    Arnhem does not even come close to the amount of paper thats been generated by the Corsican. There are 500,000 plus books concerning him and things about him in the American Library of Congress ALONE. Napolean is generally known as history's Greatest Soldier.

    Arnhem was the last opportunity for something almost purely British to directly affect the course of military history. Oh sure, American units were involved, but it was British planned, a British general in charge. British units were at the point of the spear, and British units were to be the 'cavalry' that got them out of the poo. It was a tragedy in the most traditional sense, and a good old British 'cock-up' in a period of the war when everything was going the other way.

    What more can you ask of a story? How much more compelling does it have to be?

    The failure of 'Market-Garden' altered the end of ww2, and changed postwar history to the detriment of millions of people.

    No wonder people still argue about it. A last chance for the Lion to roar, but it came out as a 'meow' instead, because the Lion was a pussycat that did not know it was a pussycat. All the other fighting animals could see this, all but the Lion itself. King of the jungle no longer.
    stolpi and Drew5233 like this.
  2. Drusus Nero

    Drusus Nero Banned

    Oh...I see.

    My reputation here is entirely dependant on the veracity of my bootlicking?

    Somebody seems to feel that the truth about the British empire in WW2 should be censored. Facts are that without the help of the Dominions, plus The United States and Russia combined, it's difficult to see how Great Britain could have prosecuted WW2 to a successful conclusion.

    Reminds me of a line or two from Spike Milligan's war diaries. He talked about reading the paper one morning, just after the sacking of Ambassador Joe Kennedy. "Ambassador Kennedy says 'Britain is finished". If he meant after the war, he was spot on!"

    OK, ok. I see how it works now. Post only that which you can guarantee everyone else will agree with. I ask, humbly, how can you have a debate when everyone agrees?
    Drew5233 likes this.
  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Not at all ,everyone has the right to an opinion and people give out rep points based on their thoughts/interest.
    You have your opinion which you stated others have theirs.

    To like or not to like opinion/thoughts , simple as that.

    DPas, Lofty1 and dbf like this.
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Funniest thing I've read all month - Thanks for putting a smile of my face, You more than deserve a rep for that :D
    ClankyPencil likes this.
  5. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Same for me! B)

    Though I do not agree with the last three alinea's in Drusus post. The capture of the Arnhem bridge and an advance to the north of Arnhem would not have brougth about the collapse of the German Army. It rather would have worsened the situation of the already overstretched Allied Army.
    arnhem44 likes this.
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I knew it ! Meoooooww...

  7. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I don't easily give negative rep but I do feel that the new member who complains about a single incidence would be a rather good subject for an updated Bateman cartoon..."The chap who bemoaned his rep on WW2t..."

    A constructive debate is not entered into by deliberately offending the sensibilities of the majority. Whatever one's views on the prosecution of Market-Garden, it is not fair to refer by implication to those bloody brave men who jumped into or were landed at Arnhem as "Pussycats"...the term can also not be fairly applied to the hundreds of thousands of support troops or their families at home who had faced death from the skies since 1940 and who had suffered so much.

    I have seen nothing to suggest that anyone in Britain thought that it could defeat Germany and the resources of the all too quickly capitulating Europe alone. However, the failed empire which was denigrated here was the only part of the world with the moral and physical courage to stand up to totalitarianism in 1940 and had it not done so, it would be an understatement to say that it would have "changed postwar history to the detriment of millions of people."

    Rich (my real name).
    DPas, Steve Mac, Owen and 7 others like this.
  8. Drusus Nero

    Drusus Nero Banned

    Rich, you are personalising it.

    Did I mention that the First Airborne or Thirty Corps were pussycats.? No.

    Metaphors like the one I used abound in history, and unfortunately, like it or not, The British empire WAS a 'pussycat' compared to it's larger and more numerous allies.

    You cannot defend the indefensable. What you can do is make the same metaphor somehow apply to individual units. If you want cheap reputation points for waving unit flags and breastbeating about reputations of Brit fighting men, be my guest.

    I have a Brit passport like most of us here, and I'm not fooled for a second that the British Armed Services represented anything approaching the status of a major power in 1944. There were only two of those, and both on our side, thank Churchill/God.

    I thought I would be shouted down for using the word 'cock-up' more than anything. Imagine my suprise to find that some posters here have delusions of grandeur on behalf of an empire in all but name.

    Remember, the British Army wasn't the only one 'cocking-up' at this point of the war. Omar Bradley was putting the Americans through the grinding machine of the Hurtgen Forrest, liberating no-one, and gaining ground on a scale that rivalled Passendeale. So, Monty wasn't doing too badly, liberating half of Holland. It just wasn't what he envisioned, in Brian Horrocks words, "Bouncing across the Rhine..."

    This thread has been a lesson. I'll remember to keep my comments at an appropriately jingoistic level from now on, so my reputation can be artificially inflated with "yes sirs". I don't hold it against you all.

    Just not what I expected from merely stating historical truths.
    stolpi likes this.
  9. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Wow, just wow.
  10. idler

    idler GeneralList

    I'd have thought that would have been Luneberg Heath. We've never been forgiven for that one.

    That defence is about as useful as the Ardennes - so have half of ISIS ;)
    dbf and Drew5233 like this.
  11. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    ding ding round 2
    Lofty1, kopite and dbf like this.
  12. Lofty1

    Lofty1 Senior Member

    Enjoying this immensely, hope it goes the whole twelve rounds, very likely it will, after all it does have ARNHEM in the title. LoL
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    That defence is about as useful as the Ardennes - so have half of ISIS ;)

    Ha...I'm laughing again :lol:
  14. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    I've read a bit about Market Garden but am nothing like an expert on the subject and it always amazes me how much debate and discussion it engenders. You would think that the US fought the British Army the way some people approach it. It seems to be very difficult to discuss it neutrally, there's always an angle. And its always about which unit or nation's army failed/overlooked something/werent aggressive enough (delete as appropriate). And in most cases no-one mentions the Germans (and I dont mean the SS PanzerCorps with its thousands of Tiger tanks). Perhaps, just perhaps, it wasnt as much a failure on the Allies part as a really desperate defence on the German's part. There are times when the discussions feel almost "Eastern Front" in their tone and attitude (Have a scroll through some of the Eastern Front threads. There are some choice discussion in there)
  15. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    For the German view.

    It Never Snows in September

    By Robert Kershaw.

    The German view of Operation 'Market Garden' and the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944. Based on extensive research and containing new material it uniquely chronicles that struggle through the eyes of the German soldier and analyses the reasons for the eventual outcome (Amazon)
  16. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    A good read, indeed.
  17. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    No thanks, Gerard. I haven't given up the will to live yet! :)


  18. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Market-Garden, like Gallipoli and Gettysburg, was a very dramatic operation with many "what ifs" and many supposed "turning points." Like those other battles, it often seemed to teeter on a knife's edge. Like Pearl Harbor, Singapore, and some other famous disasters, Market-Garden is also a study in How Not to Do It. (21 Army Group's operations were usually efficient, but Market-Garden was very much the reverse.) Market-Garden was Montgomery's baby, and Montgomery was of course one of the most controversial commanders in history even when he was winning. It wasn't the last big offensive by 21 Army Group (the Reichswald and the Rhine Crossing are forgotten too often), but it was the last time Montgomery and Britain could entirely write their own tickets in the European war and pursue an alternate strategy. While it was a mainly British operation, Market-Garden also featured very important Allied participation with all the national rancor such operations generate when they fail. Most of the leading participants (Montgomery, Gavin, Urquhart, Horrocks, Eisenhower) and many more of the lower ranks left vivid and opinionated accounts which were often full of finger-pointing. Given all this, the continued passionate discussions of the operation are not surprising. Every few years someone writes a new book about Gallipoli, Gettysburg, Pearl Harbor, or Singapore to stir those pots again, and Market-Garden is the same for many of the same reasons.
    Heimbrent likes this.
  19. Busty1959

    Busty1959 New Member

    Operation Market Garden, The battle for Arnhem was the worst planned operation of WW2 between the Americans and British because they were too busy trying to outdo each other, and sticking to the point of winning the war. the Americans have always been the ones to think their military were more superior than any other countries, and the British were just as bad this on the whole was bad
    as they should have listened to each other before the planned this part of the conflict that way there would not have been so many casualties including civilians. We lost an uncle in this battle and no matter what any person says this should have been planned better on all sides of the allied forces.

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