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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:26 am 
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Blame matters because a rotten operational plan was tendered and was known by Monty and Browning to be a rotten plan (courtesy of developing intel on German deployments near the drop zones and objectives) prior to the commencement of the operation. They knew it was a fault-intolerant plan, they knew about developing faults in the plan, but because it was MONTY'S operation, they did not pass the intel up to Eisenhower nor did they suspend or even substantially modify the operation. It was more important for Monty and Browning to make sure that Patton was NOT engaging in the south, by diverting all resources to Montgomery, than it was to have a viable plan. That is because having Monty thrash about purposelessly or on a desperate gamble likely to fail was better, in their minds, than having Patton succeed and draw the attention of the press corps.

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:55 pm 
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mdiehl wrote:
Blame matters because a rotten operational plan was tendered and was known by Monty and Browning to be a rotten plan (courtesy of developing intel on German deployments near the drop zones and objectives) prior to the commencement of the operation. They knew it was a fault-intolerant plan, they knew about developing faults in the plan, but because it was MONTY'S operation, they did not pass the intel up to Eisenhower nor did they suspend or even substantially modify the operation. It was more important for Monty and Browning to make sure that Patton was NOT engaging in the south, by diverting all resources to Montgomery, than it was to have a viable plan. That is because having Monty thrash about purposelessly or on a desperate gamble likely to fail was better, in their minds, than having Patton succeed and draw the attention of the press corps.


Well if the spirit, if not the letter, of what you are claiming is true, then seems clear to me: the blame lies squarely on Eisenhower's shoulders. Else Churchill and FDR.

If Monty was that big of a problem then he should have been sacked even before this operation was conceived. That was on Ike, if not Churchill/FDR.

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:13 pm 
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The problem is of course that even Eisenhower had to deal with the politics of it, rather than just the purely military solution. He had the nominal authority to sack anyone under his command. But in the case of top ranking British and French generals, and DuGaulle, he had to vet all decisions through the diplomatic corps and George Marshall. If Eisenhower could have sacked Monty on his own authority, he would have. Monty was the worst sort of undermining, backstabbing, blowhard subordinate that a commanding officer could have. So was Air Marshal Browning. Shit, Monty didn't just backstab his American superiors, subordinates, and parallel peers, he even backstabbed the Royal Navy officers that put his men ashore. "Knows nothing of warfare" "Is not a fit commander of troops" "Knows nothing of naval warfare" (.. that sort of vapor was the primary output from Monty's headquarters the instant the US landed in North Africa.... stealing Monty's "show" in Montgomery's view).

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:15 pm 
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mdiehl wrote:
The problem is of course that even Eisenhower had to deal with the politics of it, rather than just the purely military solution. He had the nominal authority to sack anyone under his command. But in the case of top ranking British and French generals, and DuGaulle, he had to vet all decisions through the diplomatic corps and George Marshall. If Eisenhower could have sacked Monty on his own authority, he would have. Monty was the worst sort of undermining, backstabbing, blowhard subordinate that a commanding officer could have. So was Air Marshal Browning. Shit, Monty didn't just backstab his American superiors, subordinates, and parallel peers, he even backstabbed the Royal Navy officers that put his men ashore. "Knows nothing of warfare" "Is not a fit commander of troops" "Knows nothing of naval warfare" (.. that sort of vapor was the primary output from Monty's headquarters the instant the US landed in North Africa.... stealing Monty's "show" in Montgomery's view).


Well then, it was on Churchill.

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:25 pm 
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Possibly. But Churchill too had to answer to the Parliament and the press.

Honestly, I think there was no good solution to the Montgomery problem except to hope that Montgomery and his staff would plan and execute competent operations. Ultimately, that hope was partially realized and partially not.

Market Garden was a case where no one in Montgomery's staff had the guts to stand up to Monty. And Monty wanted the operation to go off, because in the unlikely event that the operation achieved its objective, it would have put Monty in the driver's seat for the final conquest of Germany, and also very much in the spotlight of the press corps.

Before the operation ended, Monty's staff were already desperately looking to direct attention away from Monty's plan and away from the intel that showed the plan would fail. IIRC they started trying to blame Brig. Gen. Sosabowski (Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade), then Brig. Gen. Gavin (US 82nd [Airborne] Division). Deflecting attention away from the Bad Operational Plan and the Obvious Intel Regarding the Likely Failure of the Plan is still going on as some of the links in this discussion, and the edit warriors at Wikipedia, have demonstrated.

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:36 pm 
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mdiehl wrote:
Possibly. But Churchill too had to answer to the Parliament and the press.

Honestly, I think there was no good solution to the Montgomery problem except to hope that Montgomery and his staff would plan and execute competent operations. Ultimately, that hope was partially realized and partially not.

Market Garden was a case where no one in Montgomery's staff had the guts to stand up to Monty. And Monty wanted the operation to go off, because in the unlikely event that the operation achieved its objective, it would have put Monty in the driver's seat for the final conquest of Germany, and also very much in the spotlight of the press corps.

Before the operation ended, Monty's staff were already desperately looking to direct attention away from Monty's plan and away from the intel that showed the plan would fail. IIRC they started trying to blame Brig. Gen. Sosabowski (Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade), then Brig. Gen. Gavin (US 82nd [Airborne] Division). Deflecting attention away from the Bad Operational Plan and the Obvious Intel Regarding the Likely Failure of the Plan is still going on as some of the links in this discussion, and the edit warriors at Wikipedia, have demonstrated.


Sounds like it was a gamble that didn't really pay off.

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:57 pm 
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The blame I would attach to Ike is that he should have made opening Antwerp the objective of Market-Garden, rather than Nijmegen, by targeting the Scheldt.

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:22 pm 
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abradley wrote:
IIRC Frost and his men did their job to the bitter end, I would trust his input over anybody elses.

Frost was nowhere near Nijmegen, he was in Arnhem, the exact spot he was supposed to be. But if the first objective in Nijmegen was not the bridge, the high ground to the east of the bridge, that was a major fuck up. The idea would be first to take the objective, only after that take measures to protect it. Especially when time is imperative.

abradley wrote:
As for Eisenhower, he had to play politics balancing Brits, French, and Americans like a juggler, with prima donnas like Montie, De Gaulle, and Patton the balancing was difficult.



The whole show is worth a watch, shows him trying to control the egos.
https://www.cda.pl/video/59193977

Considering he did it, he must have been some kind of wizard.

I have a great respect for Eisenhower, both as a military commander and a president.

I have not read Eisenhower memoirs, so I can not refer to that. But what I have read from the other sources is that Ike was facing a dilemma. To support Patton's push to Germany, or to support Monty. In the same time the supply bottleneck could not support both, and probably not even Patton. And perhaps Ike was feeling that he owned Monty one because of Normandy; the Brits facing the bulk of German panzer, while Patton got his breakthrough because the Brits tied up the enemy.

And then there was indeed a window of opportunity open for a moment for the operation Market Garden. But the irony is when there was the possibility the Allied were not ready to exploit the opportunity. When they were ready, the window had already closed. But was there enough information to make the decision to cancel the operation? Who knows. :roll:

Fortune favours the bold. Military commanders take, and must take risks. The operation was mostly a success, only one bridge short total success. But one effect was success, isolating the Germans keeping Antwerp and Scheldt estuary.

Can anyone comment on how good read is Eisenhower memoirs, Going Home To Glory; Amazon gives it 4.4/5?

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:08 pm 
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nero wrote:
abradley wrote:
IIRC Frost and his men did their job to the bitter end, I would trust his input over anybody elses.

Frost was nowhere near Nijmegen, he was in Arnhem, the exact spot he was supposed to be. But if the first objective in Nijmegen was not the bridge, the high ground to the east of the bridge, that was a major fuck up. The idea would be first to take the objective, only after that take measures to protect it. Especially when time is imperative.

{Snip}
Frost and his men were waiting for 30 Corp that didn't come, IMO if I was in that situation I'd damn sure find out why they didn't come.

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 Post subject: Re: Operation Market Garden 1944
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:33 pm 
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abradley wrote:
nero wrote:
...
Frost was nowhere near Nijmegen, he was in Arnhem, the exact spot he was supposed to be. But if the first objective in Nijmegen was not the bridge, the high ground to the east of the bridge, that was a major fuck up. The idea would be first to take the objective, only after that take measures to protect it. Especially when time is imperative.

{Snip}
Frost and his men were waiting for 30 Corp that didn't come, IMO if I was in that situation I'd damn sure find out why they didn't come.

Certainly. Frost and his battalion received the worst of it.

But I am not completely convinced that what happened in Nijmegen was to blame. There were other delays all the way.

But certainly I can sympathize with Frost; while others are fighting to survive, others are more concerned about the wine they have on dinner. :twisted:

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