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Operation Market Garden

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by Knarf, May 10, 2004.

  1. Knarf

    Knarf New Member

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    As you say was Operation Market garden a high risk operation. But if the allaied had succed the war should had been over in christmas 1944 i think but they underrated the germans.
     
  2. Zhukov_2005

    Zhukov_2005 New Member

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    Yes the war would have ended much sooner, with a bigger chance for the western Allies to capture Berlin. This goes back to the "take it easy" strategy which worked well enough for the western Allies, but as soon as they try something big, such as Operation Market Garden, they fail some what miserably.
     
  3. Anton phpbb3

    Anton phpbb3 New Member

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    Maybe there is another factor in the game; if I am correctly informed it is said that (part of) the plans were changed so many times that commanders had different versions before and at the time of the operation.

    Personally it seems to me that Monty planned without any failure possibility. The operation would have only succeeded if almost every part was executed how it was planned.

    The operation execution itself is another part. Landing zones were shifted constantly for the british para's. First it was the objective to land near the bridge, then it was considered too small and too dangerous and the lz was changed two or three times before coming to the lz in the Ginkelse heide.
    The lz is situated in wooded surroundings so difficult to advance with speed. Also it meant for the british para's to cross the city of arnhem before reaching the bridge.

    The second is the fact that the british commander wanted to land the whole division on one lz, suggestions to drop a batallion or even a compagnie right on the grassfield on the north side of the bridge to secure it were ignored, by claiming that the enemy could not stop them in the 7 mile walk to the bridge.

    The third is the lack of air transportation, and the bad weather, for the polish follow up para division. So in the end the polish para's were dropped in three large groups, on the wrong side of the river, and got scattered around.

    The fourth is in my opinion the fact that communication between troops in the field and the advancing groundforces was almost non-existing.
    Consider that a few years ago, in an interview, one of the radio communication teams commander explained that it was more the fault of the himself and the other teams rather then the story about the crystals.
    He told that they didn't slide their antenna's because they were afraid german observers would see them.

    Ofcourse there is much more to be said, but one thing I like to note is, that if Urquehart was of the same calibre as John Frost was as leader for his troops, the Brits might have had the bridge taken.
     
  4. canambridge

    canambridge Member

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    Monty had a dress rehearsal for Market-Garden on Sicily, Primasol bridge, Col. Frost was once again left on his own due to Monty's inability to understand airborne forces and react when things didn't go according to plan.
    Monty was supposed to have cleared the Scheldt estuary before launching Market-Garden. had he done so he would trapped elements of the German 15th Army that were used against market-Garden. And opening Antwerp to shipping would have done more to end the war quickly than Market-Garden. Canadian troops ended up having to fight a nasty amphibious campaign to clear the Scheldt.
    One the factors limiting the air drop was that the Air Lords didn't want to lay on additional lifts, they felt the troop carrier pilots would be too fatigued.
    As has already been pointed out, the only hope for success with Market-Garden would have been if the Geramns were as bad off as the Allies believed. Only in that case would Market-garden have been a knockout blow.
     
  5. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    All in all, Market/Garden has to be one of the worst planned airborne operations in history, if not THE worst! And I believe that it just proves how overrated Bernard Law Montgomery was as a general.
     
  6. GP

    GP New Member

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    Although the British airborne had to travel 7 miles, which in military terms is nothing, the reason it wasn't a complete success, or complete failure depending on your view point was they Brits couldn't be supplied. If they could have been then they would probably have lasted long enough to be relieved.

    Looking at the invasion of France the germans did a similar action with tanks in the Ardenne. had they been cut off then WW2 would have taken a whole new meaning.

    I'm not saying it was a good plan or that it was a bad plan, but in war of that era gambles had to be taken and both ike and Monty though it was risk enough.
     
  7. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    The distance really is much if you count the fact that the entire 7 miles ran through built-up areas, the troops almost entirely on foot, and therefore it would take them at least three hours to reach the objective after landing. That would mean that there's always enough time for the Germans to react, even if there hadn't been two divisions basically on those 7 miles. It was something Gavin immediatley recognized as a mistake; he said that if his 82nd Airborne would have gotten the task of taking the Arnhem bridge, he would rather have 'taken the chance of 10% loss by dropping in a city than to have to march there for three hours.'

    Preparation for this operation only took one week, because of the narrow schedule; this is probably the shortest time of preparation for any operation of the war.
     
  8. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Absolutely, especially when you consider that the planning for D-Day took two years. I wonder what would have happened if James Gavin and the 82nd Airborne had dropped on Arnhem instead of Roy Urqhuart and the 1st Airborne? Gavin had a lot more experience than Urqhuart did, and was without a doubt one of the finest division commanders in the US Army.
     
  9. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Ceetainly, but Monty was in charge... How could you expect an American to get the prize objective? :lol:
     
  10. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Yes, I know: Not with Monty's ego as the major factor! Still, having Gavin in command at Arnhem might have enabled the operation to succeed, despite its flaws.
     
  11. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Perhaps, but I'm not sure if the American paratroopers would be so much more effective that they could hold off a two-division armoured thrust against them. Remember, because of Frost's batallion on the bridge the Germans had to divide their forces; with all the troops stacked neatly in the bridge area, all artillery and tanks could be concentrated against one spot.
     
  12. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Given all the "ifs" involved in the Gavin scenario, it's not an easily answered question.
     
  13. GP

    GP New Member

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    Market Garden.

    The distance to travel was 10 mile. This is why p company (the entrance test for the para's) has the p company 10 miler.

    The glider with the anti tank kit on board was lost.

    The radios didn't work.

    The weather didn't allow for any more drops.

    With these concideration I don't think any force would have succeded at arnhem.

    Although the plan was monty's it was ike who ok'ed it, so surely the blame is his as he turned down pattons plans.

    Not listening to the Dutch resistance was also a big screw up,

    Had the AT kit arrived, had the Radios worked, had the weather been kinder this would prbably been different.

    A lot of if's but that is war.

    Even with the german armour where it was.

    The fact that after been screwed from the start and surviving 2 weeks (correct me if I am wrong) is testament that bad luck was to blame.

    The radios was just bad planning from the signalers or signals sections.
     
  14. GP

    GP New Member

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    They would have been killed too, given the same deck of cards.
     
  15. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    September 17th through September 26th is nine days.

    The radios were horrible, and for some reason they were also obsolete; I don't know whether this is because better ones weren't available or because someone favoured the old ones. Can anyone provide some info on 1st British airborne division's radios?
     
  16. GP

    GP New Member

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    Thanks Roel. nine days not fourteen. they still held out well considering they were mauled straight away, as I said if they had been re-suplied. They could have held out a little more, a lot of if's but the plan wasn't bad just unlucky.

    Also not heeding the local Dutch resistance therefore underestimating the enemy, now that was bad.
     
  17. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    And failing to spot the ferry at Oosterbeek both on recce maps and airplane photos. This ferry, if considered in the plans, could have brought British units to the south of the river and back up the bridge where the Poles were supposed to land. It could have made things a lot harder on the Germans in clearing the bridge.
     
  18. GP

    GP New Member

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    Good point I didn't know about that, if it is true.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  19. canambridge

    canambridge Member

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    Yes, it's true. One reason the 1st paras didn't land nearer the bridge was concern over the soft polder in the area. The Polish Airborne Brigade was dropped there after it was too late.
     
  20. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Actually, the drop wasn't made into the marshy ground south of the bridge because the British paras didn't want to repeat the losses suffered when landing in marsh as they did on D-Day.
     

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