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Market Garden and Hurtgen Forest

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by Riter, Apr 20, 2020.

  1. Riter

    Riter Active Member

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    Anybody read Ike's Crusade in Europe? If so, was it envisioned that the two offensives was viewed as a pincer operation to seal off the Ruhr industrial region?
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    After getting out of Normandy and pretty much destroying the German tank power and the Germans running though France I thought the allied believed the war was won in a couple of weeks. Rundstedt managed to create a defensive belt from the remaining troops.
     
  3. Class of '42

    Class of '42 Active Member

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    Wasn't also the Hurtgen Forest a staging area for the Germans for the upcoming Battle of the Bulge??..if so...no wonder the Americans took heavy casualties trying to punch thru.
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    According to litterature it was a staging area for the battle of the bulge.
     
  5. Riter

    Riter Active Member

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    Kai-Petri is right.

    I read Crusade in Europe and Ike does mention it twice in his book that he envisioned capturing the Ruhr via a pincher movement.
     
  6. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..a long time ago.....
    ..I thought the Hurtgen operations were to get control of the dams/areas, so they couldn't flood the troops once they got over the Roer.....not so much as part of a pincer operation directly for the Ruhr
    from Three Battles by MacDonald and Mathews page 251:
    ''''..V Corps was to launch a limited flank operation.''''
    bold mine

    ''''in enemy hands the Roer dams remained a constant threat to any major drive across the Roer downstream to the north''''
     
  7. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ...from what I've read, the casualties/defeats were not so much attributed to units staging for the Bulge--if at all
    ..Hurtgen basically from September
    ..advance to Schmidt around 3 November
    ..withdrawal across the Kall around 8 November
    ..so, many casualties and much fighting long before the Bulge = the difficulties/problems were:
    1.dense forest
    ---tree bursts deadly
    --easy to defend
    --air support not as effective as say in a desert/open terrain
    2.MSR Kall Trail [ main supply route ] not only very poor--but was partially blocked/blocked at times [ logistics!! ] hard to bring up armor/supplies/reinforcements/etc -they lost tanks because of the terrain and very shoddy roads
    --road from Vossenack to the Kall was partially blocked/blocked--this is not the only blockage
    ..a. leaders not realizing/knowing the conditions of the MSR
    --much trouble with the MSR= Kall Trail
    3. Germans held the key Brandeberg-Bergstein Ridge
    4. weather conditions

    page 416:
    ....'''a number of factors had combined to bring failure, not the least of which were the violent German reaction, adverse weather conditions, and inadequate and unprotected main supply route.....and the inability to neutralize the Brandenberg-Bergstein ridge.''

    ''page 313:
    '''Misinformation throughout the day of 4 November kept division headquarters ill informed about the condition of the vital main supply route.....''''
    bold mine

    ....allow me to include that the Germans also ''violently'' reacted to MGarden,etc.....from my readings, counter attacks were a ''rule''/policy.....once an Allied unit took an objective, the ''rule'' was to dig in/fortify/etc because the German policy was to counter attack--generally speaking

    here's a great site:
    The Battle of the Huertgen Forest - Scorpio's Website
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
  8. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    .....at least 5 tanks were initially disabled on the Kall Trail--only one by a mine..the others throwing tracks/etc...mucho and various problems on the Kall Trail .....
     
  9. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    No and No.

    MARKET GARDEN was an operation intended to gain a bridgehead on the lower Rhine. Full stop.

    The operations in the Huertgen Forest were to gain control of the Roer dams, facilitating a crossing downstream of the Roer River. Full stop.

    The Huertgen Forest was never a "staging area" for WACHT AM RHEIN. The "staging areas" began roughly 10 miles (15 kilometers) south of the forest...and that was just for the assembly areas of the 326. VGD for the subsidiary assault on Hofen-Monschau, the main assembly areas for 6. and 5. Panzerarmee and 7. Armee were mmuch further south.
     
  10. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..I thought I just read that it was a '''staging''' area/etc for the Ardennes operation
    ..also page 257:
    '''Facing the planned American attack was an enemy determined determined to hold the Huertgen....area for several reasons now apparent:...the threat to plans already made for an Ardennes counter offensive......'''''
     
  11. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Eisenhower's "broad front" strategy envisioned closing up to the Rhine along its entire length before crossing it. Only at that point would a pincer movement on the Ruhr or other specific operations come into play. The attempt to snag a bridgehead across the lower Rhine at Arnhem was a deviation from strategy, based on an apparent opportunity.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2021
  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Was it not the idea to end the war by X-mas? The Allied even had a plan if Germany collapsed by the Market Garden or the war in autum in the west, I think.
     
  13. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    When I face criticism for offering an explanation for the logic of Op Market Garden from Americans my response is to see their Market Garden and raise them with Heurtgen Forest.

    Both operations was mounted on the assumption that the Germans were finished and one push would see us over the border after which the Germans would give up as they did in 1918. Of course the only way to find out was to try it and see. Aachen fell surprisingly quickly to `1st US Division outnumbered by the defenders and the idea of slipping through the Huertgen Forest seem ed like a short cut on the way to the Rhine.

    The US Army had worried a great deal about the implications of fighting in cities. Less so about fighting in forests.
     
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  14. Domobran7

    Domobran7 Member

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    I always saw Market Garden as a strategic variant of a "hasty attack": massive dividents if it succeeds, limited damage if it fails. So while Market Garden was definitely a failure, it was not a mistake.
     
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  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Yes, perhaps,

    I think as the usage of the paratroops had not taken place after some plans to show their usability in battles, and I think I read that there was a need for some top officers to put the paratroopers in "use" before the war was over, they decided to plan an operation where the paratroops would be used. I could be wrong but there are several explanations in books why the operation was started and why it was a failure in a sense.....
     
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  16. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    That's it. The Allied high command, all the way up to Marshall and Hap Arnold, wanted to see the new airborne army used in some decisive operation. At that time, it would have to be from bases in England, so most likely in Montgomery's sector. Something like seventeen potential operations were conceived, but the rapid advance of the armies on the ground made them unnecessary (the planning for all the cancelled ops did help when it came time to mount M-G in a hurry). People seem to have been thinking "How can we use the airborne?" more than "What's really the best way to carry on the war?"

    One impact was that the transport planes were constantly being stood down to prepare for airborne operations that never happened. It might have better to keep them carrying supplies, mostly fuel, to the advancing troops.
     
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  17. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    The Huetgen Forest was some way to the north of the main concentration areas for the Autumn Mist ardennes offensive.
     
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