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What went wrong with Operation Market Garden?

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by tovarisch, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    It wasn't compromised before the attack, but the German's managed to capture some plans for the operation off the dead body of an an American airborne officer who had carried them into battle against strict orders not to do so. This enabled the German forces to react to the attack in a much more efficient manner.

    ps; About the 2 'panzer divisions' in the area, they only had around a total of 50 operational tanks available, which was in line with pre-attack Allied estimates for the Arnham area.
     
  2. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    "Windy" Gale has said that he would never have agreed on landing so far from the objective. I beleive that that is part of the problems that ultimatly fell the plan.

    Personally I think that the Black Bull led by Pip Roberts would have done better than Adair's Guards on the roads. Adairs memoirs show an oldfashioned gentleman general in my mind, and any outfit that rely on breeding in the requirements for personell...
     
  3. Hilts

    Hilts Member

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    I don't know the rights or wrongs of the Operation but Mrs Hilts & I visited Arnhem a year or so back and nicer people you cannot meet!! Go there & visit, such a moving experience!!
     
  4. Spaniard

    Spaniard New Member

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    Yes this is true, but if I remembered correctly those plans were dismissed as being Fake.
     
  5. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    The Abwehr was itself a compromised unit. Many powerful anti-Nazi figures occupied high positions in the Abwehr and it is by no means a stretch of imagination to say that the poor quality of the intelligence it provided was intentional. I sometimes wonder how much of the alleged blindness of German intelligence officers about Overlord and other glaring errors was deliberate.
     
  6. Heinrich

    Heinrich Member

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  7. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    To get back to the what went wrong question.....Forget radios, resupply, weather, Brownings landing although this could have helped on day one immensly if landed with a bn on right side of river...The plan was what went wrong.

    1 fighting brigade or regt as yank cousins would know it...Was never enough when tested to get to bridge on day one. Simple...Majority of 2 para got there. Rest held up..one bn by kraft and dug in. Other bn moved slowly towards its original position...Even with raidos etc this would still have happened. They wouln not have been told to change their original route on frist contact report by a sister bn. Kraft ended the battle on night one.

    Paras learned a big lesson from that day.
    Goose green was the result of that lesson as was Egypt suez airport. Goose green, paras stopped in night fight, one under supported bn...got up and moved,,Dug in where necessary to assist in move forwards...but move they did...Under superior firepower, they had learned a hard lesson...Waiting to see doesnt work when you have to take an objective in a time limit. Get up and go through. Its what the paras now do.
    Krafts opposite numbers hesitated...waited...And the movement was lost...Notwithstanding plans for reinforcement, intelligence or whatever...The battle was lost when para bn one of only 3 fighting units tasked stopped on contact. They needed to move...They waited too long.

    Of course a coup de main on bridge would have changed matters but this is all irrelevent now...The 3 bns RACING for the bridge did not exactly race. Paras leared a lesson here not ever to be repeated.
     
  8. Flamer88100

    Flamer88100 Dishonorably Discharged

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    the plot of the operation was to drop paratroops behind german lines in france. the paratroopers were to then take control of and block main bridges into central france. ground troops at dunkirk would then advance forwards towards the bridges. if this had succeeded world war 2 may have been shortened by a year. only... it didnt. it was a complete shambles as the germans quickly took control of their bridges again and the troops at dunkirk were held up. what the brits didnt know was what a nearby panzer division was called in. also the paratroopers were lost and didnt know where to go. small boats were then sent up the river to rescue the paratroops from the shore.

    hope this helped.
     
  9. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Nope.....The plan was to secure a series of bridges accross the Meuse and Rhine rivers and tributary canals through the Netherlands in an area which is commonly referred to as "Holland". Effectively bypassing the "Siegfried Line"

    The Airborne asset would secure the bridges for the British Expeditionary Armor Corps (XXX Corps) who would provide the main thrust of the attack into southern Germany

    You might want to check this site for a brief discription:

    Remember September '44
     
  10. Gerard

    Gerard Member

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    Ok, I do agree that the Germans werent prepared initially but boy did they make up for it. On 17th September the Allies attained complete surprise when they landed, but by the 18th there were 10 to 11 German Battalions formed and ready in the Arnhem Area, thanks to the work of II SS Corps. In the Nijmegen Area there were only 2 equivalent battalion groups within 24 hours there were 13 battalions in the area forming and readying themselves for battle. By 23rd September there were 23 identifiable Kampfgruppen or battalion groups operating in and around the Arnhem Area. All this was achieved by improvisation. They got to the battlefield as quick as anyone could have and did as good a job defending as anyone could reasonably expect, given Allied Air Supremacy.

    No Kampfgruppe to fight well? Lets take for example the actions of Kampgruppe Spindler. Because of hius actions holding off the 1st and 4th Parachute Brigades, Frost's Brigade was isolated at the bridge. I cant understand the attitude that the Germans had nothing to do with the failure of the Allies to succeed with Operation Market Garden. It was nothing short of a miracle that the Germans were able to put together some sort of a Defensive line out of the masses of fleeing troops from France. That is not to say that the Germans were supremely organised - most of the defending was through improvisation and initiative, something that the Germans were well experienced with from their battles in the East. It wasnt just the Allies failure at Arnhem - the enemy had a say in the battle too.
     
  11. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    i reckon brererton was out of his depth.i also agree with jim gavin....it was njimegen.cheers.
     
  12. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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  13. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    no,i stick with jim gavin.
     
  14. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    Simple...Normandy took years of planning and Market Garden was a rush job. We bit off more than we could chew, bold plan but flawed.
     
  15. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    It was the road....leading to Njimegen....
     
  16. Gerard

    Gerard Member

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    Absolutely. what everyone seems to forget was that the enemy might have been a factor, even if they were old men and boys.......... ;)
     
  17. sample

    sample Member

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    From what i've read from various sources, with the Operation Market Garden it was hoped to end the WW II in the same way as the the Allied counteroffensive, known as the Hundred Days Offensive, ended World War I. After the rapid liberation of France and Belgium, many Allied commanders, both American and British, believed in this prospect and decided to carry on the operation despite the warnings. It was the realization that the Germans were not beaten and will not give up the fight as closer the operations moved to Germany that forced to end the Operation Market Garden.
    Many things were not planned well or went wrong and i will mention, at first, the RAF refusal to mount 2 drop and supply missions per day, at least in the first day and for the most exposed sector, the Arnhem area; second, the crucial error made by 1st British Airborne Division in their vain efforts to link up with 2nd Parachute Battalion trapped at Arnhem after the initial advance of 1st Parachute Brigade was halted in the first day; it would have been more easily to form a bridgehead across the river Rhine and hold it with 4th Parachute Brigade, which arrived 2n day, and the 1st Airlanding Brigade (which arrived at first); the forming of a bridgehead option was indeed ordered to the 1st Ariborne Division but it was too late.

    I apologize for possible errors regarding grammar or spelling, however English is not my native language and best regards.
     
  18. Machiavelli

    Machiavelli Member

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    Hello Guys,

    I´m new in this forum. Perhaps my comments are redundant, To read every post in a long thread like this, my poor eyes. :)

    The problem with Operation Market Garden was, when they dropped the airborne forces, the XXX corps used only one prong. The road to the north made it impossible to solve it. It could have been solved by diverstion. To attack in another place to foul the Germans, every major military operations during and after WWII used what we can call the main attack and supporting attacks, the supporting attacks occurs normally of two reasons, to lock the enemy and drain his resources so he can not know what the goal of the attack is. He must respond to all prongs. The other reason is to get the enemy to look in another direction. Second reason for the failure, the airborne forces back then and still today have a huge problem if they face mech forces. The Airborne forces are not mobile after the drop, their anti-tank weapons are short range. With the apperance of II SS-Panzer corps, they were gone. Airborne forces during WWII and now cannot stop mech forces, they can delay them, but not stop them.

    Its a funny forum this, I participate in a few forums, all military, go figure. The other fourms are about modern warfare and reaching into the future with the doctrines, the combined warfare, yes I have a military background. WWII is the reference, very valid still, in particular the logistical and supplies studies in military academies around the world.

    If you are in the service go and participate in the march in Njimegen every summer, I have done it, its so funny, not so long march, only 160km in four days. You can visit many interesting sites around Arnhem, Njimegen, and Eindhoven. If you are Canadian, we past by their war semetary. The 1st Canadian Army fought in Holland, you know. Emotional, the Canadians are playing the last post and place flowers on the monument.

    Take care guys and have a nice weekend

    Machiavelli
     
  19. Richard.Z

    Richard.Z Member

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    I think the panzer divisions in Arnhem is just a coincidence event. They are not expect the 1st. British Airborne Division will landing near by that city. The preparation of war are rushed.

    But the dutch underground menbers already transfer the information to british intelligence.Why they didn't buy it. That's one of the main problem in Operation MG.
     
  20. General Patton

    General Patton recruit

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    There are many things that caused the failure of operation market garden
    1.there were elite ss german panzer divisions in the arnhem area which kept all but one battalion from getting to the bridge.
    2. the germans put up stiff resistance against the advancing british armoured columns which delayed there advance and the germans also blew up the son bridge which was another delay the british were held up for nine days before they reached the outskirts of arnhem then the 1st airborne had to be evacuated from its pocket on the rhine.
    3. the allies only had a single road to support there advance which made it a prime target for german counter attacks. the 101st and 82nd airborne divisions pretty much spent most of the battle ,after capturing there objectives and linking up with the british armor, defending the perimeter from these counter attacks.

    all in all the montgomery had a good plan but many things conspired to stop the operation from succeeding but the allies still got across the rhine but not before christmas of 1944.
     

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