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Main 1st AIrborne force reaches Arnhem Bridge

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by Jet, May 11, 2003.

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  1. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Crazy - 'Dolle Dinsdag' ( I think I've got it right - maybe Stevin can correct me ! ) was 'Mad Tuesday' which you see at the beginning of 'A Bridge Too Far' - when German troops retreated en masse through belgium and the Southern part of Holland.

    Best books - I have a whole shelf-full published between 1945 and 2003 ! Jet is absolutely right - the 'Corridor' fighting is overlooked. My own recommendations would be : -

    Ryan's book - still gives a very good overview of the whole operation.

    'The Devil's Birthday - The Bridges To Arnhem 1944' by Geoffrey Powell ( who was there ).

    'Arnhem 1944 - The Airborne Battle ' by Martin Middlebrook. OK, it's the British angle but it's a superb book by an excellent historian - I must have re-read it at least four or five times.

    'Arnhem' by Maj.-Gen. R E Urquhart.Subsequent research has proved details wrong but still an important book by one of the key 'players'.

    Finally a personal favourite - 'The Cauldron' by 'Zeno'. A novelised account of a platoon of the 21st Independent Company ( 'Zeno' was Platoon Sgt Ken Allerton ). This is a harsh, unsentimental and in places shocking regular soldier's view of the fighting. Definitely in the 'once read - never forgotten' category.

    All except the last are still in print / easy to find. The last is hard to find but if you do - buy !
     
  2. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    I just looked it up in Ryan's book.

    I was right - 'Dolle Dinsdag' was 'Mad Tuesday' - September 5th, 1944. Just for a short while, the German withdrawal from Northern France, Belgium and Southern Holland took on the appearance of a rout ; the German columns were apparently swollen by large numbers of civilian 'Nazi sympathizers'.
     
  3. Stevin

    Stevin Ace

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    Martin, you are spot on concerning Dolle Dinsdag. The Allies advanced so quick nobody knew when they would be in southern Holland. Then the (false) news broke that they had entered, I think Breda. Germans and Dutch colloborators fled en masse to the north and Germany. The Allies, however, where nowhere near were everybody thouight they were.

    Martin, I have also Powell's Men At Arnhem, which seems a different book than Bridges to Arnhem. Any thoughts on this one? This book was also origanilly published under a psydonym/anonymously.
     
  4. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Great book !

    ' Men At Arnhem ' was first published in 1976 under the pseudonym 'Tom Angus'. It was quickly recognized ( not least by General Hackett ! ) that this name concealed Geoffrey Powell who commanded a Company of 156 Battalion The Parachute Regiment at Oosterbeek.

    Names were changed to avoid any potential embarrassment; but in 1998 the book was republished under Geoffrey Powell's own name, and included a very interesting introduction which 'revealed' the true identities of the personalities in the book.

    It is very much a close-quarter view of the fighting and as such is considered a minor classic ; as Powell says in his introduction ; -

    'When writing this book I did not try to depict or analyse Market Garden....This I attempted later in 'The Devil's Birthday : The Bridges To Arnhem'. .

    [ 14. May 2003, 12:55 PM: Message edited by: Martin Bull ]
     
  5. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Found a bit on German armored stregths during Market Garden. not sure how accurate this info is, but...

    from http://www.marketgarden.com/new/statis2frame.html
    (main site www.marketgarden.com)

    German armour in the Arnhem area at the time of 'Market Garden' (155)
    9 SS-Panzer-Divison "Hohenstaufen"
    (operational theater: Arnhem - Oosterbeek - Nijmegen - Elst)

    42 Armoured cars (most half track)
    2   Jagdpanzers
    3   Mobelwagen (mobile FLAK full track)
    1   FLAK half track
     
    10 SS-Panzer-Divison "Frundsberg"
    (operational theater: Arnhem - Elst)

    8   Panzer Kampf Wagen V (Panther)
    12 Panzer Kampf Wagen IV
    4   STUG III
    7   armoured cars, half track
    1   Panzer Spee Wagen P204
    1   FLAK (vierling) half track
     
    Panzer Ersatz Regiment "Bielefeld" (Panzer Kampfgruppe Mielke)
    (operational theater: Arnhem - Elst)

    2   Panzer Kampf Wagen IV
    6   Panzer Kampf Wagen III
     
    Schwere Panzer Kompanie Hummel
    (operational theater: Arnhem - Elst)

    12  Panzer Kampf Wagen VI (Tiger 1)
     
    Schwere Panzer Abteilung 506
    (operational theater: Oosterbeek - Elst)

    28  Panzer Kampf Wagen VI (Tiger 2)
     
    Sturmgeschutz Brigade 280
    (operational theater: Arnhem - Oosterbeek)

    7    STUG III
    3    STUH 42G
     
    Panzer Kompanie 244
    (operational theater: Oosterbeek)

    1    Panzer Kampfwagen 35S
    2    Panzer Kampfwagen B2
    14  Flammpanzer
     

    Total of armoured cars:  51
    Total of tanks:                   104

    These look accurate?
     
  6. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    The figures look right, Crazy - confirmed in Marcel Zwarts' excellent pamphlet, ' German Armored Units At Arnhem ' .

    Where it gets tricky is when the vehicles arrived : for instance, the eight Panthers of 10.SS-Panzer-Divn 'Frundsberg', 1./SS-Panzer Regiment 10 arrived from Germany only at the very end of the fighting for the Bridge on the 21st September.
     
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