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Market Garden succeeds

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by AntiWank, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    The alternative to Market Garden is the one no one ever mentions....

    WI Monty had rejected the MG plan and ordered the Canadian Army to clear the Scheldt Estuary imeadiatly, before the German 15th Army could complete its retreat into that area & set a defense? he could have caused all available resources to be used for that purpose.

    Worst case here is the Scheldt is not navigable until mid October, which is still a month earlier than as actually happened. Best case the Canadians catch the men of the Fifteenth Army on the move, round up anpther large bag of prisoners, advance further towards Breda, and have the approaches to Antwerp ready for the minesweepers and salvage crews in September.

    Either way having Antwerp open for business in early to mid October vs mid September easies the Allied supply crisis that much earlier and allows a larger scale attack in October/November than was possible then.
     
    macrusk likes this.
  2. eddie_brunette

    eddie_brunette Member

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    Sorry wrong section

    edd
     
  3. Lost Watchdog

    Lost Watchdog Member

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    Carl W has hit the nail on the head, its all about the Scheldt Estuary. Even if the Arnhem bridge had been taken, a drive into northern Germany would have been crippled by lack of supples. The Allies needed a deep water port.
    As for Market Garden, the lack of drive and urgency by the British armoured forces was a big factor but in reality which British commander could have done better? George Patton was probably the only Allied commander who could have pulled it off, but putting him in charge of British formations under Monty's command - they'd probably kill each other before the operation began.
    The idea of using special forces, put in place before the drop, to seize the bridges would probably not work because of the short time frame involved in executing the whole Market Garden operation. Think of the time it took to train Frost's Pegasus Bridge attackers.
    As others have said, issusing more SMGs would actually weaken the attackers because of their short range and high ammo use. A twist to the PIAT question would be what if the Allies had developed their own panzerfaust. If every man carried a single-shot AT weapon,with more airdropped in cannisters, they could have made the Germans pay a heavier price.
     
  4. AntiWank

    AntiWank Member

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    All the pictures and Videos I see show Infantrymen behind the Stugs using them as a moving shield, occasionally they rode on top.

    They don't necessarily have to destroy them to be effective. Standard German practice was to drive around in circles to avoid being hit, and if the Germans are doing that, they aren't advancing on the bridge.

    Once XXX Corp comes up, they can tango with the Panzers.
     
  5. AntiWank

    AntiWank Member

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    On the reverse side, why not have as a Market Garden Objective upon breakout at Arnhem, the Hague or Rotterdam. Both could serve as ports, and wouldn't require as much demining as Antwerp.

    If the 1st and Polish Airborne were held in reserve, and the Dutch Resistance told to revolt on D-hour, the Paras can help seize the city and port of Rotterdam. The Allied Navy can also help by scraping together an Amphibious Force to assist.

    As a matter of fact Rotterdam is a bigger port than Antwerp.
     
  6. RAM

    RAM Member

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    US Army!
    The british should have been embedded in the US Army under american officers and command.
    It would have given a more effective fighting force, without rivalry between commanders at top level.

    As an example we can take BS Montgomery, probably the most overrated allied commander during WWII.
    Behaving like an obnoxius brat he was a pain in the ass for the americans.

    RAM
     
  7. AntiWank

    AntiWank Member

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    Hobart's 79th Division would have change the situation greatly.

    Instead of Cook going by boat with two Companies in daylight after delays in getting boats and suffering 50% losses. Hobart's LVTs and DD Tanks would have forded the Waal River to take the North Side while Cook's entire Force followed in Higgins boats.

    Hobart's other Funnies such as the AVRE would have made short work of German held positions in Nimejin and allowed rapid seizure of the south side for the XXX Corp to continue on while the 82nd and 79th finished cleaning up Nimejin. That is a gain of 18 hours right there.
     
  8. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

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    You mean, in Nazi propaganda footage? STUGS were never used as the assault spearhead in urban areas, or even out in the open (like panzers). Without a turret, they were considered far too vulnerable.



    Where did you find that? The King tiger battalion usually had a battery or two of valuable armored quad 20mm flak cannons for support, and they were reputably quite effective at keeping fighter squadrons away. These quad flak units were spaced evenly between the advancing Panzer column.
     
  9. AntiWank

    AntiWank Member

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    Actual Combat Footage, although depending on the angles they were shot from, there may very well have been Germans in front that couldn't be seen.

    Peter G. Tsouras, who also provides quite a few pictures from the Normandy Campaign of German Tanks that drove around in Circles to avoid aircraft.

    In any case giving fighter bombers strict instructions to go after the Flak Guns will solve that problem. Yes they will suffer high causalities, but it is vital that the Germans be kept back. Its why we give flight crews silk sheets.

    Also since the revise plan has the 6th holding a far more defensible perimeter and secure drop zone, they can break up the German Assault with Artillery fire.

    Also because I brought Hobart into the revised plan and enough Higgins Boats and MPs to clear the road, the 6th will be relieved on the second night or early third day before the Tigers come to play.
     
  10. AntiWank

    AntiWank Member

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    Having found a recon photo of the Arnhem Bridge, I noticed a few things.

    Photo in question

    Its just big enough for a Catalina Flying boat to land in and dock. That is one way to help the operation. Who ever couldn't be lifted by the Planes or Gliders, can simply hitch a ride in a Flying Boat, land in the river and embark on an inflatable rubber raft and paddle to shore.

    They can then run towards Arnhem or paddle towards and seize the Driel Ferry and hold that instead.
     
  11. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Do you think Catalina(s) would survive the Flak in what numbers?
     
  12. Skinny87

    Skinny87 Member

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    Just to butt in about the use of Tetrarchs. I just finished writing the article for the Tetrarch on wikipedia, getting it to FA-Class, and I've got to say that it was an awful vehicle. They performed poorly in Normandy - so much so that they were relegated to fire support only within days of the Normandy landings as their armour and firepower was so poor.

    However, thats kinda irrelevant as the Tetrachs were replaced by Cromwell's in August '44 and by M22 Locusts in December. If we go with this hypothetical and assume that a light tank unit is used in Market-Garden, it's a split between either the Tetrach or Locust being used. Either way. they're poor choices; the Tetrarch for the reasons above, as well as exceedingly poor armour, and the Locust was no better. Even worse armour that couldn't stop a .50 calibre round and a main armament so underpowered that during tests on Salisbury Plains, observers could barely see an HE round exploding on the test range because the gun was so underpowered.
     
  13. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Why stop at catalinas...why not go the whole hog....fly a few dozen sunderlans in....for Gods sakes, is this a what if or a what if no one was looking....
     
  14. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    As Sosabowskie would say...but the Germans....what of the Germans.....

    Its all good, but I'm off to the panto, they do the fairy tales much better.
     
  15. AntiWank

    AntiWank Member

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    According to reports on the Battle, it was largely ineffective. Some might be hit, but that is the cost of war and must be accepted.
     
  16. AntiWank

    AntiWank Member

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    Sunderlands are way too big for that river and wouldn't be able to get out.

    Bear in mind the Germans did land troops by Float Plane in 1940 to seize a few bridges. Arnhem is lightly defended at the Landing and no Artillery is zeroed in on the River, so the Cats can land, disgorge the men, and get out, though they won't be able to repeat it afterwards.
     
  17. AntiWank

    AntiWank Member

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    Combing through more Records, it appears General Browning's decision to bring his Corps HQ to the fight took up thirty-eight transports, enough to land 200 men give or take.

    Since Browning wouldn't be able to command the Divisions which were fighting independent actions, he should have instead served as a Liaison and took with him an Aide and a Lysander and roamed around to troubleshoot problems.

    So my plan is to give those transports to the 6th, which will enable them to bring more infantry.

    Also the Drops were planned as one per day. Urquhart asked for two drops a day but was turned down.

    It was possible for two drops to proceed. The First should have left in the night to arrive by dawn, then returned later in the Afternoon with a second lift.

    Also Horrocks started off at noon with Garden and advanced only seven miles, I would have ordered him and Hobart to start at dawn with an Infantry reconnaissance in Brens to survey the woods to ensure they were clear, then start forward, instead of waiting for noon.
     
  18. Miguel B.

    Miguel B. Member

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    so basically, you want Catalinas to land, unload, the soldiers in it paddle away at the shore and then the catalinas take off?? That's insane. The river might be large enough for some Catalinas to land at the same time but for the ammount of material you're asking, several trips had to be made. and, the reinforcements having to paddle unprotected across the river is crazy. Plus, due to the weight of some of the material, the only way to safelly assure that the men got safe to the shore, the catalinas couldn't land while there were still people on the river. And you need just half a dosen machine guns and 20mm to lay waste to the entire opperation. Even a lighly defended zone would turn such an opperation into a watery graveyard for allied soldiers PLus, the Germans could easilly concentrate some artillery fire in the river as soon as theyspoted the planes. You only needed one soldier to ask for fire support. All in all, I agree with Urqh.



    Cheers...
     
  19. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

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    A lot of these stuff is so theoretical, and it depends heavily on the Germans really messing up everywhere. It kind of reminds me of Hitler's view of the "Battle of the Bulge"...
     
  20. AntiWank

    AntiWank Member

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    Calm down and breathe. This is a one time stopgap to get a few more men in the first lift. Furthermore the Germans will be more concerned about the far bigger Airborne drop than the Cats.

    The Driel Ferry was undefended and using Catalinas to disembark a few Royal Navy Personal and Royal Marines to seize the ferry, about 80 men total is perfectly reasonable.

    With the 32 extra transports given to the 6th, those 200 men can then rush to the ferry and get off on the other side and ride on bikes to the south side of the bridge. When the second lift comes, the ferry can transport some men to hold Driel while others hold Heveadorp Ferry Docks.

    If worse comes to worse, Driel Ferry is my GOTH Plan where Hobart will cross should the 6th fail to hold Arnhem Bridge.
     

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