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You've probably beaten Market Garden to death here

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by squidly the octopus, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Man, this blew up quick didn't it :) I thought bash Monty day wasn't till Patton's birthday in November!
     
  2. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Indeed - 'Market-Garden' seems to have turned into another Dresden on this Forum.
     
  3. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    It seems like the intelligence that was given to the commanders for Market Garden regarding the German forces, was similar to the kind of intelligence before the battle of the Bulge. Intelligence had reported that the German forces had been badly beaten up and were most likely not to offer much resistance, but they failed to realize the build up that the Germans were starting. However before Market Garden had begun, intelligence did notice that two SS Panzer Divisions were making their way towards Nijmegen and Arnhem, which gave Eisenhower an alarm. And yet when Montgomery was given word of this he ignored the report and did not want to alter the plans. Intelligence wasn't just a factor in the failure of Market Garden, it was also ignoring the intelligence that was another factor. And the idea of driving a narrow line of advance into Germany also seems like too much of a risky plan. It was a bold and daring plan, but not all bold and daring plans are likely to succeed.
     
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Sigh!

    I was using "glory" as a figure of speech...But, for you I shall rephrase.

    Montgomery would have gotten all the "credit" had Market Garden succeeded, and he would take all the blame if it failed. Market Garden failed, thus Montgomery gets all the blame.

    Hopefully, "credit" is a more acceptable term to you than "glory."
     
  5. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Mentioning Montgomery is like pulling the pin on a hand grenade. It will blow up. You know it will blow up. But, your never quite sure exactly when...

    Just like mentioning MacArthur, Patton, Rommel, Halsey, or any other general/Admiral people "put on a pedestal."
     
  6. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    It is just that you can not find these people who you claim you ' judged on their remarks'.
    That is clear enough.





    The German 'sweeping arrows in NWE 1944-45 were indeed huge and spectacular. It is just that instead of pointing west all their arrows pointed east.






    The traffic was overwhelmingly the other way and anything but sly. Indeed one can say this irrational disparagement of every Monty action has become de rigueur for US authors.






    Suprise me and give the newspaper quotes that lead you to this conclusion. I suspect you just put that in because you 'know' it must be true.
    If you are interested then a fuller picture of the grossly overplayed 'Bulge' kerfuffle can be read here starting with my posts at the bottom of the page. This is the actual NYT reporting of the time rather than third-hand accounts in axe-grinding memoirs.

    http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=35518&p=1628422




    The biter is bit. You wilt at the first hint of a challenge.





    I know the feeling.


    The amount of hyperbole posted by the Monty Bashers is a matter of some puzzlement. The way they all 'row back' when challenged is gratifying








    Hopefully you will pause in the future before casting aspertions






    You do not lessen the gravity of your original comment by introducing this type of argument. It is factually incorrect anyway because you never see the amount of approbium dumped on these other Generals than you do on Monty. I am sure you can find a thread denouncing the others but I believe that the attacks on Monty dwarf them all by a factor of 10.

    Just to be clear. The issue here is the off-hand patently absurd and malicious motives attributed to Montgomery and by extension the Commonwealth Armies (think 'tea breaks'). If this calumy could be referenced then I can be silenced. It is the lies and distortion that are being challenged but I have no doubt this will be countered with the spurious argument that the poster is 'just trying to address the claims of those who think Monty was the most perfect General ever to walk the earth'.

    For far too long I sat idly by while this type of casual slander was posted. Not any more. If you want to attribute ulterior motives to Montgomery then you better make sure your facts are in order.
     
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  7. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

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    So here is my shot at putting this thread back on task. K Kids?

    I am a tad let down at the lack of depth of critical analysis of Market Garden. Notably University Lectures etc online.
    (The Lecture that got me locked into this learning avenue was the one on the Kursk Tank Battle.) See: http://www.ww2f.com/topic/47645-best-documentary-on-the-eastern-front/page-2
    This is an area I am very interested in, but NEHD for me to research all on my own. Not Enough Hours in the Day = NEHD

    Likewise the books that I have read on the subject. I have read many revues wherein "paid minions" have extolled the virtue of a book
    only finding that what I get is (exaggerating) what it was like to sleep in wet fields one night vs in a forest the next day... whing whine wank wank...

    A total lack of REAL critiques.
    What I want and need to read is a treatise on Market Garden: The Big Picture.
    ===> Preferably by a Professor who got his PHD on the subject. <===

    So I am asking our experts out here to answer, one question per response, the full perspective on:
    1. Net Soviet Advances on the Eastern Front in the month or two leading up to Market Garden
    2. Net Soviet Advances on the South-Eastern Front " " " " " "
    - thinking that the Allies must have had as little trust for Stalin (as they did for Hitler) to live up to his word, re the "dirty handshake" Yalta Agreement to portion off Europe post war.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yalta_Conference

    3. The Net Picture of the Italian Front re Axis resources being tied up down there.
    4. The Net Picture of the southern French front re Axis resources " " " pre Market Garend
    5, The Axis Picture pre Arnheim in and around the target area.
    6. The Net Picture of the region from Arnheim north to the Coast pre Market Garden.
    7. The Net Picture the Allies must have thought out re: Success / Stalemate / Defeat at Arnheim
    8. Analysis of Allied "blitzkrieg" effectiveness and the likelihood of a repeat elsewhere in the coming months.
    9. What major changes resulted from Market Garden to Axis Divisional Strength that weakened other potential Allied thrusts anywhere along the entire front.

    Don't forget that the Chicago Convention had long discussed setting up the ICAO. http://www.icao.int/about-icao/70th-anniversary/Pages/default.aspx
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Civil_Aviation_Organization

    All Axis forces had evacuated France outside of Laurient. There were little of no saboteurs left behind, no infrastructure bombing raids were being made by the Luftwaffe...
    Thus with the road, rail and bridge damage in France and the Low Countries, the need for Commercial Aviation to step
    up to the plate and provide passenger and freight transportation was a critical asset that needed to be utilized to the fullest extent.

    in the back of their minds, the thought must have rested that if Stalin captured Berlin while the Allies were still ruffling the
    borders leading into Germany, the Soviets might well have pushed on west until they met the Allied front. Then what? Hmm?

    NOTE:
    I reserve the right to edit and add more questions later. K?
     
  8. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

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    Again. Apple Ologies.
    - I have lost all my links to Maps of Market Garden the eastern front, Soviet South front, Italian... not to mention Market Garden or I would have popped them in above.
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The Germans were able to keep practically all the harbour cities until the end of the war in northern France and higher. If there had been supplies delivered through that route I believe alot of things would have been different for the allies. Now the supply truck had to go high north or drive east to Patton.

    Also Ike was not happy when Paris was taken "in a way" as it "ate" a huge amount of supplies to help the people live. I recall he was even angry at the French units driving as fast as possible to Paris as he, as I recall, preferred to attack elsewhere as long as possible, and then take Paris.
     
  10. merdiolu

    merdiolu Member

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    Market Garden is a hot debated topic due to movie made about it in 1977 with all star cast and national chest beating jignoism between US ans Brits about which of their champions was Hitler killer.. Actually compared to D-Day , Bagration , Vistula Oder offensives or Battle of Berlin in 1944-1945 Market Garden was a medium even a small sized operation which concluded in eight days. Its critism after 70 years gives armchair generals like us pointing out what should be done after 70 years of hindsight distorted by concepts of modern warfare and nationalist prism.

    Market Garden was aimed to put up an Allied bridgehead across Rhine on Lower Rhine. Strategic objective was to march towards Ruhr industrial valley which was the heart of German war production (%60 of German steel and coal was manufactured there. Without factories there Germany could not go on fighting anymore) Due to that factor Ruhr (which was at 21st Army Group sector that meant Montgomery had to be priortised due to simple military logic. Not Patton's 3rd Army or Devers 6th Army Group because Montgomery's 21st Army Group was the closest to Ruhr. Unlike claims of Field Marshall's fiercest critics it was the positioning of armies across whole front and 21st Army Group's proximity to Ruhr made Market Garden acceptable risk for Eisenhower and SHEAF not glory seeking by Montgomery) was top objective for Allies number 1 priorty. On top of that Eisenhower was under pressure from US Chief of Staff George Marshall to use airborne divisions sitting idly in England on anywhere. They became coins to be spent in Eisenhower's pocket. By 1944 autumn Allies were hurrying to end the war as quickly as possible (British especially because they have almost run out of manpower and their economy was in dire straits , nation was war weary since 1939 , V-2 attacks from Netherlands just started , not to mention Churchill was looking advance of Red Army in Eastern Europe with worry. Americans were also hurrying to end the war in Europe as soon as possible so they could deal with Japan in Pacific) They needed another sudden November 1918 style armistice when Imperial Germany suddenly gave up. A sudden dash to Ruhr could provide that outcome was the general assumption. (indeed once Ruhr basin was encircled and fallen in April 1945 Nazi Germany finished in two weeks) Sudden fast advance of Allies from Normandy to West Wall in 1944 summer also made everyone over optimistic , everyone in Allied side fueled by media and propaganda looking to situation with rose tinted glasses. In September 1944 general assumption was German Army was in rout and finished. One more push and war would be over by Christmas was everyone's wish to be true. Market Garden was prepared under these circumstances with hurry and mistakes and a baseless over optimism. It failed strategically of course but it is hardly a disaster as depicted by Cornelius Ryan in A Bridge Too Far. Near destruction of one airborne division (made of volunteers trained for these operations) was odious but not catastrophic at all. Failure of Market Garden just extended the war for mere six months and made defeat of Nazi Germany even more total. A negotiated peace with a militant Nazi Germany like 1918 would not make "German problem" to go away. Allies needed a total victory over Germany this time.
     
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  11. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    I'm not sure I'd agree it's all down to the film, Merdiolu; but on many of your other points I'd broadly concur.
    A touch disingenuous there, Martin. It's 'another Dresden' on multiple forums, and almost wherever it crops up. To the extent that many of the more committed amateur students now discuss it's details in a semi-private manner.

    The ongoing 'controversies' of the war sort of fascinate me, not so much for the history itself, more for the effect (good or bad) on historiography and how people are apparently so committed to certain points of view.
    Started a thread on Market Garden's associated strangeness over on 2T last year, following a substantial bit of handbags on the MG books thread. It got quite interesting:
    What is it about Arnhem etc.?
     
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  12. harolds

    harolds Member

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    To truly understand this battle I would recommend the book "It Never Snows In September" by Robt. Kershaw. It's about the German view of the battle from enlisted men up to the Generals. It's main point is that the German generalship was of a high order here. German casualties were high because much of what they had to throw at the thrust were men from the Luftwaffe and KM or rear-echelon troops that had just been transferred to the Heer. Their "training" was to have a rifle thrust into their hands and then be put into various ad hoc kampfgruppen where they suffered horrific losses but kept the main part of 1st Para from reaching Frost's men on the bridge. These untrained fighters, along with the bits and pieces of units (including the two armored Divs) that escaped the Falaise Gap were able to push the Paras back until reinforcements such as Assault Gun Brigade 280 tipped the balance. However, the battle around the Arnhem bridge could have gone either way as the fighting swayed back and forth with each side getting reinforcements, giving them a temporary upper hand. However, had the Nijmegen Bridge been demolished then 1st Para Div. might have been totally wiped out.

    Along with the fighting in Arnhem, the Germans had a second battle trying to interrupt the thrust from the south using forces that were totally unequal to the task. However, they were able to slow it just enough so that the Germans got the upper hand around Arnhem.
     
  13. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    Pretty much everyone in the Allied command from Browning's and Brereton's staffers up to Marshall and Hap Arnold in Washington wanted to conduct some sort of important operation with their new airborne army. They had conceived something like seventeen different plans, all of them forestalled by the rapid advance of the Allied armies on the ground. A lot of people were thinking more in terms of "How can we use the airborne army?" rather than "What's the best way to win the war?".

    Simple geography made it inevitable that a major airborne operation would be in Montgomery's sector. The transport aircraft were all based in England, and the airborne divisions that had landed in France were pulled back to prepare for a new operation.

    The air transports were stood down on several occasions to prepare for paratroop operations that never happened. Another good question would be how the Allies might have benefitted from 1000 C-47 loads per day delivered to the advancing ground forces, plus 2500 gliders for when proper airfields were not available.

    p.s. if they were determined to do Market-Garden, it would probably have worked if they had landed a company or two on the key bridges at the outset, like Pegasus Bridge in Normandy. It was completely unrealistic to assume that such obviously vital targets could be secured several hours after landing.
     
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  14. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    I see Monty throwing the 1st Air out for slaughter [ out on a very far, long limb ].....far away from the front, behind many bridges to be crossed, unrealistic schedule [and the 1st held longer than called for ]...seems like he didn't take into account, that the land forces might be stalled, by --o, yes, the Germans! <>expect the best, plan for the worst!...he dumped them and hoped/dreamed the land forces could get there in time<>and they didn't, did they?? this proves it was against the odds.....
    if it's a bad plan, it's a bad plan....bold plan yes, but bad in details...let's stop tiptoeing<>airborne needs reinforcement, period...and not a week after the drop..if not, they are toast [ generally speaking ]
     
  15. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Monty and Ironside consistently tried to get Monty placed in command of all ground troops in Europe and kick Ike upstairs. All generals have egos so its not bashing Monty to say he wanted the glory, but he never accepted that Britain had become a 2nd rate power and he caused a lot more grief then he needed to trying to become overall commander. If not for Freddy De's intervention Monty would have been removed from command for his antics.
     
  16. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Re. General officer's egos: They can be a two-edged sword. In one sense they can propel him to do great things. On the other hand they can cause him to over-reach and get his forces in trouble. A good general knows when to reign in his ego before it gets him into trouble. I think Ike was very good at this. Lord knows he had a large ego but he was able to tamp it down for the greater good. A great general knows all this and makes sure his staff isn't a bunch of sycophants that will just feed his ego without giving any sort of reality check.
     
  17. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Market-Garden violated so many Allied tenants for conducting the war in NW Europe that in should not have been approved in the first place.

    Poor use, in some cases non use of intelligence, a requirement for all Airborne forces to reach and secure their objectives in a extremely limited time window (only one division did), lack of proper planning for the use of Massed Airborne forces, movement of ground forces along a single axis of attack which negated their best advantage of mobility and a failure to appreciate the logistical problems of leaving the approaches to Antwerp in German hands.

    If 21 Army group had reached the Rhine, how would Eisenhower find the supplies that would allow exploitation of such a feat?

    Bold yes, but more fantasy than reality.
     
  18. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    That in a nutshell is the problem some have with Monty. They are convinced they are the most important people and everyone else must fall in with that opinion.
    What Monty did was have the nerve to say he was just as good as them if not better. In short he had the temerity to think he was just as good as/better than any US General and that was not well received . Ability never was a consideration and it was all about politics.
     
  19. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Despite his ego, Patton never let his ambition affect his relationships. I think the problem Monty had is he really was Britain's only real hero and he let it go to his head. I do also blame Ironside for the problems because despite Britain failures against the German on land for two years, he felt that Americans could not understand grand strategy. I read that Ironside decided that since Marshall would not accept the British strategy of perimeter attacks it must mean Marshall was not smart enough to understand it and there fore not competent to be in his position.
     
  20. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Belesar's post above noted that the operation shouldn't have been approved in the first place. Agreed, but remember that this is the time when everyone thought that the "Hun" was pretty much down and out. Therefore, risks that otherwise wouldn't have a chance of being approved could be accepted. Thus, the Allied planners made the classic mistake of war: they underestimated their enemy. They also could have done worse by opening up Clausewitz's book and read the parts on "friction" and "War is the provence of uncertainty."
     

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