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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:40 pm 
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Any battle where you gained and the enemy lost is a success. Any battle where you lost and the enemy gained is a failure. MK: Allies gained, Germans lost.

Well-conceived complex operations have multiple goals ranging from minimal to maximal. MK achieved many minimal to intermediate goals and failed in its maximal goal.

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:11 pm 
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IIRC somewhere in Stephen Crane 's Red 'Badge of Courage' the hero's unit charges and sends the Rebs running, feeling proud of themselves they rest and a General comes up and chews them out for stopping, if they'd just gone a little further the battle would have been won. Don't remember the battle, but think the Union lost. It was a fictional tale in a real battle.

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:49 pm 
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Montgomery was a moron. A dull witted low IQ popinjay who knew nothing of how to wage war. His defeat in Market Garden was a classic example of multiple top level command failures. Failure to plan adequately for the logistical needs. Attacking on too narrow a front. Undermining his own attack by running the logistics along the exact same narrow one-road front. Formulating a plan that was fragile in the face of ordinary and anticipatable operational friction. etc.

The only reason why he is the SECOND worst general produced by the Anglophone world is that, unlike McClellan (the worst general produced by the Anglophone world), Montgomery could at least win a battle when he had a copy of his opponent's complete operational plan (2nd Alamein, courtesy of Ultra decrypts).

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:02 pm 
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abradley wrote:
Monty was, likely, the best commander for the Brits because he kept them in the fight with his slow but sure. A more aggressive leader like O'Connor and they may have broke.


I used to have a pretty negative opinion on Monty but now reading up a bit on Market Garden I think I'll have to change that somewhat. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:40 pm 
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abradley wrote:
IIRC somewhere in Stephen Crane 's Red 'Badge of Courage' the hero's unit charges and sends the Rebs running, feeling proud of themselves they rest and a General comes up and chews them out for stopping, if they'd just gone a little further the battle would have been won. Don't remember the battle, but think the Union lost. It was a fictional tale in a real battle.


Your thinking is too binary. Defeat and victory are two ends of a continuum, not 0 versus 1! :D

This principle has been acknowledged for eons as evidenced by the axiom of the Pyrrhic Victory.

MK was not a 100% success, but that is not the same thing as it being a "failure."

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:29 am 
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From It Never Snows in September by Kershaw:

Quote:
Securing the heights above Nijmegen . . . 82 Airborne Division Resistance to Brigadier-General James M. Gavin's 82nd Airborne Division drop was negligible - 7,277 paratroopers and 48 gliders were successfully landed. One of the main prizes, the bridge over the Maas at Grave, was secured within three hours, and the Heumen bridge over the Maas-Waal canal within six. Of particular tactical importance to the division was a successful occupation of the hill mass south-east of Nijmegen. This feature, triangular in shape, is roughly 300 feet high, 8 miles long, and
the only pronounced high ground for miles. It provided a natural escarpment, covering possible German approaches from the Reich border on its eastern slope, and in particular from the Reichswald. Allied intelligence had suggested this forest area might conceal a mass of German forces forming up. Occupation of this high ground therefore took precedence even over the capture of the main Waal bridges in Nijmegen. The feature, once taken, was occupied by two American regimental groups. Right forward, or south, was 505 Regiment sited on the high ground and woods west of Groesbeek as far south as Mook. On the left, or north, 508 Regiment occupied the heights up to Berg-en-Dal and overlooking Beek. Possession of this feature controlled the main roads converging on Nijmegen from Cleve and Mook. Because of the priority accorded to this operation, only companysize forays were mounted - unsuccessfully — against the Waal bridges in Nijmegen between 17-18 September.


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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:00 am 
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Quote:
World War II: Operation Market-Garden
A Bridge Too Far

by Kennedy Hickman
Updated March 17, 2017

https://www.thoughtco.com/world-war-ii- ... en-2361452

...

To the north, the 82nd secured the bridges at Grave and Heumen before taking a position on the commanding Groesbeek Heights. Occupying this position was intended to block any German advance out of the nearby Reichswald forest and prevent the Germans from using the high ground for artillery spotting. Gavin dispatched 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment to take the main highway bridge in Nijmegen. Due to a communication error, the 508th did not move out until later in the day and missed an opportunity to capture the bridge when it was largely undefended.

When they finally attacked, they met heavy resistance from the 10th SS Reconnaissance Battalion and were unable to take the span.

While the American divisions met with early success, the British were having difficulties. Due to the aircraft issue, only half of the division arrived on September 17. As a result, only the 1st Parachute Brigade was able to advance on Arnhem. In doing so they encountered German resistance with only Lieutenant John Frost's 2nd Battalion reaching the bridge. Securing the north end, his men were unable to dislodge the Germans from the south end.

The situation was worsened by widespread radio issues throughout the division. Far to the south, Horrocks commenced his attack with XXX Corps around 2:15 PM. Breaking through the German lines, his advance was slower than expected and he was only halfway to Eindhoven by nightfall.

The next day saw the advance halted at Nijmegen until the afternoon when the boats finally arrived. Making a hasty daylight assault crossing, American paratroopers were ferried in 26 canvas assault boats overseen by elements of the 307th Engineer Battalion. As insufficient paddles were available, many soldiers used their rifle butts as oars. Landing on the north bank, the paratroopers sustained heavy losses, but succeeded in taking the north end of the span. This assault was supported by an attack from the south which secured the bridge by 7:10 PM.

Having taken the bridge, Horrocks controversially halted the advance stating he needed time to reorganize and reform after the battle.

At the Arnhem bridge, Frost learned around noon that the division would be unable to rescue his men and that XXX Corp's advance had been halted at the Nijmegen bridge. Short on all supplies, particularly anti-tank munitions, Frost arranged a truce to transfer wounded, including himself, into German captivity. Throughout the rest of the day, the German systematically reduced the British positions and retook the north end of the bridge by the morning of the 21st. In the Oosterbeek pocket, British forces fought through the day trying to hold their position and took heavy losses.
...

Aftermath:

The largest airborne operation ever mounted, Market-Garden cost the Allies between 15,130 and 17,200 killed, wounded, and captured. The bulk of these occurred in the British 1st Airborne Division which began the battle with 10,600 men and saw 1,485 killed and 6,414 captured. German losses numbered between 7,500 and 10,000. Having failed to capture the bridge over the Lower Rhine at Arnhem, the operation was deemed a failure as the subsequent offensive into Germany could not proceed. Also, as a result of the operation, a narrow corridor in the German lines, dubbed the Nijmegen Salient, had to be defended. From this salient, efforts were launched to clear the Schledt in October and, in February 1945, attack into Germany. The failure of Market-Garden has been attributed to a multitude of factors ranging from intelligence failures, overly optimistic planning, poor weather, and the lack of tactical initiative on the part of commanders.

Despite its failure, Montgomery remained an advocate of the plan calling it "90% successful."
and:
Quote:
Why did Operation Market Garden in 1944 fail?
https://dailyhistory.org/Why_did_Operat ... 44_fail%3F
...
Consequences of Market Garden

The operation was not a total failure as it did lead to the liberation of large areas of southern Netherlands and gained hold of several strategic bridges. However, it failed to secure the key bridge at Arnhem, that would have allowed the Allies to cross the Rhine. The failure at Arnhem meant that any planned invasion of Germany had to be delayed. The Germans, although they had lost ground, were able to establish a strong defensive line. In total, the Allies had suffered some 15,000 casualties and had many thousands more taken prisoner. The Germans had also lost equipment and vehicles that they could ill-afford to use. An unintended consequence of the offensive was a serious famine in the Netherlands. The Dutch railways stopped during the battle, to stop German reinforcements from getting to the front line. In revenge, the Germans forbade the transportation of food, by train and in the following winter there were serious food shortages throughout the Netherland’s and thousands died of starvation or malnutrition.[21]

Conclusion

Operation Market Garden was a tactical defeat for the Allies, as it failed to achieve all its objectives. It failed to secure the key bridge at Arnhem and this meant that they were halted at the Rhine. This probably delayed the eventual Allied victory in western Europe. The operation failed because of a failure in planning, intelligence, and a lack of understanding of the nature of the terrain. There was also a mistaken belief that the Germans had been all put defeated. Market Garden was moreover fundamentally flawed as it mistakenly believed that airborne forces could resist heavily armed troops for an extended period. While not exclusively to blame, many of these failures were a result of Montgomery and his over-optimistic ideas and his arrogance. The failure of Operation Market Garden was largely the result of the poor leadership and tactics of General Montgomery.

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:24 am 
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I don't buy that last comment, abrad. Airborne troops in actuality lasted a lot longer than the plan required them to.

The unrealistic bit was how far XXX Corps could advance in 2 days.

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:54 am 
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EUBanana wrote:
I don't buy that last comment, abrad.


The author of that piece is Kennedy Hickman.

Quote:
Kennedy has worked at the US Military History Institute, the US Merchant Marine Academy, as well as the USS Constellation Museum. During this time he has appeared in several History Channel programs and has published on various related topics.


https://www.thoughtco.com/kennedy-hickman-2360124




Some claim the negative opinion of Monty comes mainly from Americans. Christer Bergström thinks it is because the Americans can not forgive Monty for saving their bacon at the Bulge which is I imagine a pretty toxic opinion. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:04 am 
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Operation Berlin, to rescue 1st Airborne, happened on Day 9. So they held out over a week, despite everything going tits up. They were supposed to hold for 4 days, clearly that was eminently feasible even with the panzer troops in the area.

1st Airborne far exceeded expectations. But for naught, as other parts of the plan turned out to be unrealistic.

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