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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:58 am 
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Monty did nothing in reaction to Wacht am Rhein. Americans saved themselves, not that the 101 felt they needed saving.

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:09 am 
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It's all bullshit anyway, American and British units were under unified command in 1944. Hence why you had Commonwealth and American units intermingled at Normandy, Market Garden, and yes the Bulge. There was effectively no British Army in Europe in 1944, there was a joint Allied Army. That included the air support, logistics, and all the other stuff you don't tend to see that are critical to success.

If you want to look at individual units, it's not like there wasn't valour demonstrated by all nations involved.

And as for Monty's competence or lack thereof, he did have overall command of the ground forces of Operation Overlord which was probably the riskiest part of the WAllies fighting in Europe in 44. And that went pretty well. So he obviously wasn't a complete numpty. I imagine that was his sort of thing, a huge, essentially set piece operation, that played to his strengths.

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:30 am 
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Typically, Montgomery found unique means of irritating Eisenhower. A case in point was the infamous B-17 incident, which greatly embarrassed Eisenhower. Montgomery was fond of betting small sums on practically anything. The unwary that visited his field headquarters invariably found their names in his betting book and their wallets open. Montgomery’s best known victim was Ike’s Chief of Staff, Bedell Smith who foolishly agreed to provide him with a B-17 Flying Fortress, complete with an American crew, if his Eighth Army captured Sfax by April 15, 1943. Sfax fell on April 10 and a joyful Montgomery cabled a mystified Eisenhower demanding immediate delivery in payment of Smith’s bet. Unable to contain his glee, he sent a follow-up cable several hours later. Smith was unaware he had been hoodwinked until Montgomery began peppering Allied Force Headquarters (AFHQ) with demands the bet be honored immediately. Both Eisenhower and Smith were acutely embarrassed. Montgomery not only received his Flying Fortress, but a blistering rebuke from Brooke who had seen its negative impact on Anglo-American relations. Although Eisenhower never again brought up the matter after complaining to Brooke, the incident, which the CIGS described as "crass stupidity" in his diary, was the forerunner of future misunderstandings of a more serious nature. Montgomery viewed the incident as a delightful gambol in which he had tricked the Americans out of an aircraft he could just as easily had merely by asking for it.


The problem Monty had was that he was an absolute twat. It's not too surprising that history has been unkind when he went out of his way to piss off every peer he ever had. Literally nobody liked him. Even Churchill merely tolerated him, and he was a fellow eccentric.

He was quite short. I blame small man syndrome. :lol:

Bill Slim was at least as good as Monty and had the virtue of actually being a nice guy. You don't have to act like a fuckwit to be a good general.

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:51 am 
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1st Airborne performed tremendously well. So did the American divisions. The daylight river assault in canvas boats at Nijmegen was tremendously ballsy.

As for Montgomery, for all of the criticism of his caution in North Africa, the Market Garden plan was, in retrospect, too bold. It was exactly the kind of thing that airborne units were designed for. The problem was the German Army was, despite horrific losses in materiel ..."not dead yet" and they were veterans who needed little direction or planning from above.

Montgomery did seem to have the interpersonal skills of Bobby Fischer.

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:52 am 
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EUBanana wrote:
It's all bullshit anyway, American and British units were under unified command in 1944.


The British were however the weaker part in that "union".

If you take a look at Browning and his somehat crappy relations with the Americans it appears not to have been totally insignificant.


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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:11 pm 
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I imagine that was his sort of thing, a huge, essentially set piece operation, that played to his strengths.


That is a fair and probably accurate observation. He does seem to have performed well in set-piece operations.

And yeah, everyone hated him. Eisenhower wanted to toss Monty into an ocean and had to constantly push him back down. Most British Generals and Adms couldn't stand Monty. His habit of dismissing the successful achievements of British admirals with phrases like "Knows nothing about warfare" meant that he really had only one friend in the command structure of the British armed forces .. Brooke.

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:08 pm 
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wulfir wrote:
EUBanana wrote:
It's all bullshit anyway, American and British units were under unified command in 1944.


The British were however the weaker part in that "union".

If you take a look at Browning and his somehat crappy relations with the Americans it appears not to have been totally insignificant.


Oh I'm sure. I mean, look at this board, 70 years after the fact. Imagine what it was like then. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:47 pm 
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jack t ripper wrote:
1st Airborne performed tremendously well. So did the American divisions. The daylight river assault in canvas boats at Nijmegen was tremendously ballsy.


The courage of the allied paratroopers have never really been in doubt.

As for Nijmegen and the river crossing by parts of the US 504th - the issue is more that it should not have been needed because the low quality German defenders took off from Nijmegen in terror basically when they saw the first parachutes, i.e. the Americans could more or less have walked across the bridge on the first day (and did actually have small units present at one end twice) but Gavin gave priority to other crossings in the south and especially to establish defensive positions on Groesebeek heights against a possible threat from the Reichswald forrest. (A threat that did not really exist). To me it seems that Gavin had a bit of a set piece plan going, fortify the heights, get the southern bridges from where XXX. Corps will link up with his division, then get the Nijmegen bridge - sort of the thing Monty is blamed of.


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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:48 pm 
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mdiehl wrote:
Quote:
I imagine that was his sort of thing, a huge, essentially set piece operation, that played to his strengths.


That is a fair and probably accurate observation. He does seem to have performed well in set-piece operations.

And yeah, everyone hated him. Eisenhower wanted to toss Monty into an ocean and had to constantly push him back down. Most British Generals and Adms couldn't stand Monty. His habit of dismissing the successful achievements of British admirals with phrases like "Knows nothing about warfare" meant that he really had only one friend in the command structure of the British armed forces .. Brooke.


There's a suggestion that he had Aspergers.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21407912

It would explain a great many things. Love of set piece battles and complicated plans, prodigious skills at logistics and bean counting, having a certain amount of the autistic savant about him at least in certain specific areas, being a complete arsehole, not handling fluid situations that well, having various tics (collecting badges on his beret!).

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:20 pm 
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On one of the wargaming blogs that I read, can't remember which one off hand, the guy has designed a Command Ops 2 scenario where the Poles drop on Day 1 on the side of the Arnhem bridge opposite the town. He relates that he still hasn't been able to take the bridge with them but I'm pondering what would have been the outcome if they prevented that Panzer Recon battalion from making it to Nijmegen. Would have been much less of a fight for the bridge there. As to holding the Groesebeek Heights it's easy to say in hindsight that it really didn't need protecting but given the lack of intelligence about the whole area I would have said it was prudent to do so.

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