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A Bridge Too Far


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#1 Ron

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Posted 31 October 2000 - 02:17 AM

What was that paratrooper operation after Normandy that the movie "A Bridge Too Far" was based on...was it operation CROSSROADS?
Anyway, had the operation been a success...how do you think it would have altered the conflict?
Also if it was this GREAT way to get to germany fast...why wasn't it supported better?
On another note...WHERE IS EVERYBODY! no one has posted ANYTHING for like a few days...this place is getting boring!

#2 COMET

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Posted 31 October 2000 - 08:19 AM

I supose you are talking about Market Garden operation!
This operation was a very risky operation,but nevertheless very audacious and brilliant.

the fact is that the main point on this operation was THE TIME! Guards division had to run from belgium to Arnhem in three days or something like that. And they never succeed on it. Specialy because allied forces underestimate the german threat.

A lot of american movies or american authors blamed Monty's plan. But I think that was a british fault as well as american and specialy tha way in using the 101th d 82th airborne... Well that's my opinion!

And that's not a boring place!

COMET




#3 Mussolini

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Posted 31 October 2000 - 05:16 PM

Operation MarketGarden could have been a success if there had been more Paratroopers and if they had been dropped closer to their proposed landing zones. It was almost impossible at the time to land any armor (which was greatly needed) as the German Lutwaffe (if it was still around) would have gone cherry picking in the middle of the day. It was also impossible to land gliders with a tank each in the middle of the night, without the risk of landing amongst germans, crashing into a house/lake, or into their own sleeping troops.

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#4 Yankee

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Posted 01 November 2000 - 10:38 PM

And if they hadnt landed ontop of 3 German panzer divisions.

#5 COMET

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Posted 03 November 2000 - 10:39 AM

I not agree with mussolini. I don't think the problem was on the paratrooper divisions. Actually most of the jumps were almost perfect (a least the jump of the 101 was a perfect jump cf: Band of Brother book.)

I really think that the problem was to put the guards division on a so narrow route to join Arnhem. On he other hand the US paratroops had never fight together with british tanks troops...and that caused a lot of troubles.

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#6 Mussolini

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Posted 03 November 2000 - 08:13 PM

Despite the act that the jumps might have been perfect, they couldnt have been done at a worse time. Why where the jump sites choosen if they would land amongst Panzers and the like, making it Inf vs Panzers??

The Para's should have done some training w/ the british forces before hand, so they had a feel for eachother when it came time for battle - trust is a majot plus on the battle field. wasnt the weather also bad so that no Air support could be provided?


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Mussolini

"Blood alone moves the Wheels of history." Benito Mussolini.

"What the proletariat needs is a bath of blood." Benito Mussolini, speech in Milan, July 22, 1919

"Liberty is a duty, not a right"
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#7 CoWBoY MoRoN

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Posted 04 November 2000 - 02:41 AM

Operation CROSSROADS was the name of the nuclear bomb tests in Bikini (1946)! Posted Image http://www.fas.org/n...ts/Crossrd.html


Market Garden could have been a great plan, if only the Germans have been more cooperative... They were not, so Market Garden was a failure (at least in its Arnhem part).

#8 C.Evans

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Posted 01 December 2000 - 02:36 AM

Operation Market Garden was insane to begin with. One road for Armor, and poor at best. Plus all the snafus that should have been forseen, like with the long rangr radios and their correct crystals. Then also not having enough aircraft and gliders to send everyone in in one to two drops. Monty, a great general-not!

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#9 Peppy

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Posted 01 December 2000 - 02:42 AM

Yeah Monty was crappy, he held up the armies at Normandy and then the bastard has the gall to claim responsibility for the Falaise pocket!!

#10 C.Evans

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Posted 02 December 2000 - 09:16 PM

In agreement with you. Plus Monty tried to take all the credit for helping out in the Battle of the Bulge. I wonder what Pattons reaction was when he heard, I bet he wanted to beat-the-living-**** out of Monty. Montys main problems were: After winning ground, he would "tidy" up his lines by, pulling back and vacating captured ground. He was too cautious, and he thought he was a great fieldmarshal. I admit, Monty didnt do too bad a job on the DAK, in Africa but, without the boys from the USA, I dont think his success would have lasted very long. He too would have eventually been sacked by Churchill.

#11 mart

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Posted 19 December 2000 - 01:43 PM

hmmmmm. I reckon that although the plan was not perfect, it showed great potential. Mistakes were made, but the real reason that the plan failed was simply that the Germans put up a hell of a fight. The SS Panzer division in Arnhem was strongly undergunned, undermanned, and very very combat tired. Still they managed to hold back all attempts by the allies to take the bridge. Same goes for the german units on "hells highway" which did a suberb job in delaying 30 corps advance. Germans had no aircover, no significant reinforcements and little faith already in the outcome of the war.
Still they put out and whooped allied butt on this one.

I am glad those germans lost the war, but credit where credit is due guys !!



[This message has been edited by mart (edited 19 December 2000).]

#12 C.Evans

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Posted 19 December 2000 - 07:08 PM

Hello Mart: I agree with what you said. Give the credit thats due to who earned it. First of all, for whatever there is to give out, I would start with the spirited attack and defense that the Red Devils put up in Arnhem. Also to the abilities of the British Commander, John Frost, US General James Gavin and Battalion CO I forget his full name-Major-Julian ???, The Irist Guards Colonel, and Polish general Sosoboski(spelling?) or something like that.

On the German side, they too had excellent soldiers and leaders. A certain GFM Model, and others.

Then some of the local population, who did brave things for the allied soldiers.

I just do not believe the Monty is due any credit at all-except for practically getting the premier British Para Division-destroyed. Monty just got too big for his britches. Taking the credit for allied successes at the Battle of the Bulge, and the mentioned Falise Pocket. Monty was a has-been.

Sorry for rambeling on.

#13 J.Mahoney

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Posted 17 February 2001 - 11:30 PM

I am Irish and even I cannot stand what a waste of good british soldiers for such a stupid usless battle. I now dislike monty even more.

#14 Killjoy

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Posted 18 February 2001 - 02:35 AM

Monty didnt do too bad a job on the DAK, in Africa ...[/B]

Well, after waiting around for that HUGE buildup of materiel/troops and for a few more German supply convoys to be sunk, he should have been able to do even BETTER!
As for Market Garden...
Weren't the Allies always at their best when they just slogged along in a fairly "ordinary" manner?
They always seemed to goof the really ambitious stuff and get a lot more people killed in the process...
Guess it helps to have more in the way of men & materiel to expend...



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#15 mart

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Posted 19 February 2001 - 02:23 PM

exactly Killjoy. If German and Allied units confronting eachother would have the same strength, the Germans would win the battle 9 out of 10 times. Germans were better moraled, better equipped, and under better command. Seeing the scale of the theatre of war in Europe. Market Garden is a good example. Many people call it a unfair fight due to the SS panzer division present. What people forget is that this unit took a severe beating in France, and was only 1/5 of its original strength in both men, officers and equipment. Most other units of the Wehrmacht were inexperienced, hastily put together conscript formations. The allied (airborne)army however, was volunteer based, well equipped, and backed up by airforce, 30 corps and many many paratroopers.

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#16 Otto

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Posted 19 February 2001 - 08:12 PM

I agree with both Killjoy and mart. The germans were on the whole more effective man for man than than their Allied counterparts. I think however, that the "unfair fight" was in terms of paratroopers running into armor. Even though they outnumbered the germans the paratroops had no real heavy equipment to deal with a Panzer division, even a skeletal one. No matter how you add it up, Infantry versus Armour = a bad day at the office for the footsloggers.

#17 Wittmann

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Posted 25 May 2001 - 05:00 PM

I agree. If there hadn't been panzerdivisions the plan would have paid of, as the para's would have been able to hold the drop zones. But I must say the attack on Arnhembridge was suisied and de british command was responsable for the losses as they hadn't taken the tank reports by the dutch underground serious. If they had listened, the attack on this brigde might have been cancelled or changed to prevent an unnessesary slaughter.

#18 C.Evans

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Posted 25 May 2001 - 10:41 PM

Hello Killjoy: One of the main reasons Monty didnt do even better was because of his vanity. Then he always had a habit of pulling back some of his forces so he could "tidy up" his lines.

One of the biggest things that seperated him and patton, was the fact that Patton didnt want to have to pay for the same ground twice, Monty evidently was not concerned about that--or so it appears.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#19 Chris Ray

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Posted 28 July 2001 - 05:56 PM

What really did it was XXX Corps waiting at the Nijmegen bridge after it was captured on September 21st. Frost and 2 Para were still holding the northern end of the Arnhem bridge on the morning of the 22nd. From Nijmegen to Arnhem is only ten miles - if XXX Corps had got a move on during the 21st they could have taken the Germans on the south of the bridge in the rear.
Even after Frost was forced to surrender on the 22nd, the Germans were amazed that General Urquart evacuated his remaining 2500 troops across the river. If Sazobosky's Poles had crossed the river and XXX Corps came up the road in good time, they could have turned the German flank.

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#20 C.Evans

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Posted 28 July 2001 - 09:22 PM

Tha main proble like you mentioned was that they were too slow to move. Also with 3 airborn Divs, one Air Brigade and one Armored Brigade, could not have had enough to keep the Germans at bay for too long of a time. Mostly because of logistics and the resupply problems and communications, but also because there were simply many more German units there than allied.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#21 Stefan

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Posted 22 October 2001 - 08:32 PM

Why did Arnhem fail? It was too late, there had been numerous plans proposed to get the airborn divisions into action in Europe, mostly involving airborn troops dropping ahead of the advance and preparing the way for the foot sloggers and tanks. Most of the plans were canceled as the ground troops reached the target of the attacks before the airborn troops could get off the ground. The last canceled plan was COMET, which would have used the 1st British Airborn division to attack the main bridges in Holland. Comet may have succeeded if it had used a larger force but as it was it is a good job it was canceled before it was launched. The attack was supposed to take advantage of the apparent rout of German troops from Belgium. It was reasonable to assume that the ground forces could push up the road though originally it was intended for the infantry to continue along a normal front. There was no reason to suppose they couldent do this as the German front was already crumbling all over the place. When Market Garden was proposed it simply meant enlarging comet. Unfortunatly there were not enough aircraft to get the 3 and a bit divisions out in one drop so they would go over in 3 drops. The next problem was that the pilots had not had enough experience for pre dawn or post dusk flights and so ony one drop per day was authorised. Next problem, the corps command HQ was to be airlifted to the battle. It was decided to remove the 38 aircraft needed to take it to the battle were to be removed from those taking the British force. In addition to that the number of aircraft assigned to take the division and a half of British was smaller than that assigned to the 101st or 82nd division. Added to this the 101st were leaving their artillery behind, the 82nd wasnt taking much while the British had to take all theirs which took up a lot of space on gliders. This meant that the 101st would have their entire force on the ground on the first day, the 82nd would all be down by the second but the British would have to wait 3 full days before they would get down. Thsi combined with the fact they would have to fight the longest and the hardest seems to me to be the main reason Arnhem failed.

As for Monty, I think he was a good general. I hate it when people bring up Caen because it suggests to me they clearly are not thinking about it very hard. How about this for an alternative possibility, Monty takes Caen, the Germans realise they are not going to take it back and so forces who were defending the city (or is it a town) begin to attack the American lines, the American push inland begins to slow and much of the momentum is lost. Perhapse Cherbourg is not taken, supplies cant get through. Think about the possible concequences. If Monty had not pinned down 2 of Germany's best divisions imagine the harm they could have wreaked.
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#22 C.Evans

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Posted 23 October 2001 - 01:21 AM

A few other bad things.

The radios did not have the correct chrystals. The Red Devils, did not know that untill after they were dropped, so, they did not have much if any, outside communication.

Then the Brit Div Commander, was stuck behin the German lines and his Div had no contact with him for many precious hours.

Another part of this bad deal was, that Gen Sosoboski (Spelling?) of the Polish Air Bde. and his Bde, were constantly being delayed about chuting in, and had to go from one airfield to another due to shifting fog.

By the time heis unit was dropped, was too late to have any good effect, and his good men were slaughtered. :mad:
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#23 Smoke286

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 03:50 AM

I think that Market-Garden had a chance of success, but the one road thing was very risky, I've always wondered why they didnt also use the 6th Airbourne, might have made the difference, also was the US 17th Airbourne in Europe in Sept 44?
Ain't no rocket scientists in the firehall

#24 Smoke286

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 03:53 AM

Also I have never understood all the Monty bashing, of course he was ego-centric, its an occupational requirement for Generals, I think he was a much better general then many of you are giving him credit for. Many people discredit him for not being as audacious (spellng?) as Patton, but Garden was just the sort of Op Patton would have loved
Ain't no rocket scientists in the firehall

#25 C.Evans

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 05:30 PM

Im not sure if the 17th Para Div, was even aactivated at that time? Need to remember to research those guys.

Sorry to disagree with a bit of what you said on the Market Garden Op being in line of what Patton would love.

Actually, Patton would have been smart enough not to trust so much on Paras as Monty did. Patton would not have been that ambitious to have stuck his neck out that far. We know Patton did make a fauz paux, when he odered an operation to crack through the German lines--(I dont recall how far--possibly 50 miles??) and they were to rescue his Nephew of some relative from a POW camp. This operation was disasterous.

Patton unlike Monty--learned from his mistakes much quicker. I bash Monty, because he should have never been in command of an Army or Army Group, he should have been in command of nothing more than a Corps.

Patton would rely more on Mobile Inf, Armor, and Artillery and the USSAF. Im sure he would use Paras, but I really do not believe he would rely solely on Paras and an Armored Brigade as did Monty.

Im definately NOT saying Monty was a coward or anything like that, and not saying he wasnt a capable General--he just wasnt a great Fieldmarshall.

Pattons main fault was his ego, but one has to admit, he was one heck of a General. I dont admire Patton much more than Monty, and certainly not because he and I are Americans--simply because he was very brave--as was Monty, but because he WAS a great General. Also, im not giving Monty credit in this writing to appease anyone--but simply because he DID earn my respect and he deserves some.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
:snoopy: :ww1ace:
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