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Old Yesterday, 07:58 AM
 
Location: London
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoPro View Post
Well then, I guess the US didn’t do much according to John, so we might as well have stayed out of the Big Fight.
The US did do much for sure, but a lot less than what history (may I say propaganda) has portrayed since WW2. The problem was the U.S.'s poor high command. Some great corps commanders for sure: Collins, Ridgway, Truscott come to mind. The U.S. high command foolishly thought they only needed one tank, the 75mm Sherman, to fight the Nazis, knowing what the Nazis possessed. The British had a whole range of tanks for various functions. For e.g., the Churchill had the same armour as a Tiger 1, plus using APDS shells it could penetrate a Tiger, then a very fast low profile tank like the Cromwell, faster big gunned tanks like the Comet. Subsequently Montgomery when in charge of U.S. armies would not allow them to engage massed German armour. He gave them primarily roles in which infantry would be paramount.

The U.S. casualties under their own command was horrific in NW Europe. Over 50,000 in the Lorraine, 34,000 at the Hurtgen Forest (both German defensive victories) and around 95,000 in the Bulge, then the casualties in Normandy and elsewhere on top. U.S. troops destined for the Far East were redirected to Europe the attrition was so bad. The British and Canadian generals had nowhere near that level of casualties, as they valued the lives of their men. The Canadians invented the armoured personnel carrier during the Normandy battle. They stripped out Churchill tanks, removing turrets, etc, making space for troops, calling it the Kangaroo (it jumped troops over ground quickly and safely). They used it to great effect in Normandy and the Scheldt. The casualty rates dropped substantially.

Stay out of the Big Fight? That was considered a number of times. The French of the British & French purchasing commission in 1939/40 suggested that the UK and France do not increased manufacturing, keeping their men as fighting men, not working in factories, then relying mainly on the U.S. to provide materials. It never went far. One reason was that they did not like the design of U.S. guns, etc, with the U.S. not prepared to bend. Churchill was prepared to use empire troops and the US stay mainly with manufacturing, supplying the equipment free. The U.S. after being attacked wanted to get involved with their own men.

 
Old Yesterday, 08:19 AM
 
Location: London
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane_in_LA View Post
John-UK, I am not going to quibble over nominating Montgomery - it's like trying to decide if a pole vaulter or a marathon runner is the best athlete, there's no settling it.
Montgomery's record is outstanding. In Normandy Monty was in charge of all armies planning the operation. The British were in command of the land, sea and air aspects of the operation. The forces directly in control of Monty took on the German heavy armour and destroyed 90% of it.

Monty never suffered a reverse moving 1,000 miles through nine countries from Egypt to Denmark taking all in his path. He was a general over generals. Montgomery was by far the most successful western allied commander of WW2. Monty fought more battles, took more ground and engaged more elite German divisions than any other general. Monty was the man the Americans ran to after their retreat during the Ardennes offensive. No other general in the western allied armies possessed his experience or expertise in dealing with the Germans. Rommel's forces were about to annihilate U.S forces after Kasserine in Tunisia, with Montgomery coming up their rear forcing them to turn 180 degrees.

Monty stopped the Germans in every event they attacked him.
  • August 1942 - Alem el Halfa
  • October 1942 - El Alamein
  • March 1943 - Medenine
  • June 1944 - Normandy
  • Sept/Oct 1944 - Holland
  • December 1944 - Battle of the Bulge
Not on one occasion were Monty's ground armies, including U.S. armies under his control, pushed back into a retreat by the Germans. He took the surrender of all German forces in NW Europe on Lüneburg Heath.
 
Old Yesterday, 08:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John-UK View Post
Montgomery's record is outstanding. In Normandy Monty was in charge of all armies planning the operation. The British were in command of the land, sea and air aspects of the operation. The forces directly in control of Monty took on the German heavy armour and destroyed 90% of it.

Monty never suffered a reverse moving 1,000 miles through nine countries from Egypt to Denmark taking all in his path. He was a general over generals. Montgomery was by far the most successful western allied commander of WW2. Monty fought more battles, took more ground and engaged more elite German divisions than any other general. Monty was the man the Americans ran to after their retreat during the Ardennes offensive. No other general in the western allied armies possessed his experience or expertise in dealing with the Germans. Rommel's forces were about to annihilate U.S forces after Kasserine in Tunisia, with Montgomery coming up their rear forcing them to turn 180 degrees.

Monty stopped the Germans in every event they attacked him.
  • August 1942 - Alem el Halfa
  • October 1942 - El Alamein
  • March 1943 - Medenine
  • June 1944 - Normandy
  • Sept/Oct 1944 - Holland
  • December 1944 - Battle of the Bulge
Not on one occasion were Monty's ground armies, including U.S. armies under his control, pushed back into a retreat by the Germans. He took the surrender of all German forces in NW Europe on Lüneburg Heath.
Montgomery was not as great as you portray him.

He won in the El Alamein Battle only because he had vastly greater forces than Rommel had. He was given many of those "awful" Sherman tanks you speak of. I doubt he could have won El Alamein without them.

In Sicily, it took him far longer to capture Messina than it should have.

Than there was Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands. Montgomery told Eisenhower that if was given priority that he could march through Holland into Germany and end the war quickly. Making such a commitment showed poor generalship. Holland is absolutely full of canals and waterways that make a natural defensive perimeter. The British and American forces that participated in Market Garden had their heads handed to them by the Germans. After vicious fighting, it was necessary to withdraw from Arnhem. Market Garden was probably the most serious allied setback in the campaign following D-day. I would argue it was a greater setback than the Battle of the Bulge.

While Patton rolled through France in two months, Montgomery behaved in the same cautious manner he always did. Caution isn't always a bad quality on the part of a military commander, but in Monte's case it held the allies back in the recapture of Europe.

Eisenhower was appointed commander of SHAEF and had much difficulty with Montgomery. At one point, he came close to asking Churchill to relieve him of command and appoint someone else. He finally decided to not make this request and Montgomery served out the war in his position. There is no question that Montgomery had difficulty working with the head of SHAEF and cooperation between allies is critical in a coalition of nations.

In the end, Monte was certainly a solid military commander. However, he was no genius. He simply took advantage of the superior resources he had (often as the result of American assistance) and used that to prevail.
 
Old Today, 09:00 AM
 
Location: London
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Montgomery was not as great as you portray him.
Where do I start with your ramblings? I will have separate posts for each point.

I underestimate Montgomery, his factual record is cast in stone. The American generals castigate him through shear jealousy as he made them look like they were - inexperienced amateurs for many of them. U.S. history and Hollywood have constantly sniped at him since WW2, so much many believe he was incompetent when the opposite is true as his record shows.

One problem that has bedevilled any objective study of Anglo-US military history since WW2 is the tendency of some U.S. commanders and many U.S. historians to play the ‘British’ or ‘Montgomery’ card to conceal some glaring American blunder. Omar Bradley’s disastrous failure to provide adequate armoured support for the US divisions landing on Omaha on D-Day, with the high losses caused to the infantry companies of the 1st and 29th Divisions, have been largely expunged from the U.S. public mind. By constant harping about the British or ‘Montgomery’s’ failure to take Caen on D-Day facing quality German armour - a failure that turned out to have no strategic significance whatsoever. Yet failing to note the failure of U.S. forces to take strategically important St.Lo - with little German armour around. U.S. forces seized St.Lo a month late.

Omaha and St.Lo are not the only examples, such as harping on about the ‘slowness’ of XXX Corps (who were not slow) or the ‘flawed’ plan of General Urquhart (who did nor plan Market Garden) at Arnhem, has successfully diverted criticism from the screw-up in command that prevented the U.S. 82nd Airborne from either taking the Nijmegen bridge on the first day of the attack or avoiding a frontal attack across the Waal in borrowed boats three days later. It appears that all that was necessary to avoid critical press comment in the U.S. and any unwelcome Congressional interest in the competence of any American commander, was to murmur ‘the British’ or better still, ‘Montgomery’. Then critical comment in the U.S. either subsided or went unvoiced.

The U.S. effort to denigrate Montgomery since WW2 has been highly successful. Even Tom Hanks had a snipe at Montgomery in the fictitious film Saving Private Ryan. It is unrelenting. Americans should wise up to their own history, not brush it under the carpet.

The finest general in WW2 was Montgomery. His factual record speaks for itself.
 
Old Today, 09:04 AM
 
Location: London
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Montgomery was not as great as you portray him.
Montgomery's first battle was Alem el Halfa, in which he totally out foxed Rommel. Rommel had equal men, aircraft (700), equipment, superior tanks (The Panzer Mk IV with the longer, KwK 40 L/43 gun was fielded) with enough fuel to reach the Suez Canal. British bombers aimed at the German supply trucks, smashing up 400 of them.

All other generals, British and Germans in the desert, outran their supply lines constantly, hence the yo-yo of back and forth. Montgomery said he wanted all the supplies and transports in place to supply a fast moving army, so it never ran out of supplies. He did that. When he rolled he took all before him driving the Axis out of North Africa and then Europe.
 
Old Today, 10:02 AM
 
Location: London
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Montgomery was not as great as you portray him.
In Sicily Alexander was in command not Montgomery. Monty had the Eight Army while Patton had the U.S. Seventh Army. Bradley was under Patton as a Corps commander. Patton was fired for hitting two sick men in hospital beds. The race to Messina? You have been taking too much notice of that poor 1970 Hollywood film, Patton, of which most was fiction.

There was no race to Messina at all. Here is what Montgomery wrote to Alexander on July 19th 1943 in a letter in regards to Patton and Messina in Sicily:
"..when the Americans have cut the coast road north of Petralia, one American division should develop a strong thrust eastwards towards Messina so as to stretch the enemy who are all Germans and possibly repeat the Bizerte (Tunisia) manoeuvre (I.e cut them off)"

Monty also wrote in his own diary:
"the Seventh American Army should develop two strong thrusts with (a) two divisions on Highway 120 and (b) two divisions on Highway 113 towards Messina. This was all agreed"
Monty sent a message to Patton inviting him to come and discuss the capture of Messina. He offered, “Many congratulations to you and your gallant soldiers on securing Palermo and clearing up the western half of Sicily.” Privately Monty believed Patton’s Palermo escapade had been a completely wasted effort.

Patton met Monty at Syracuse airfield. Mistrusting Montgomery's intentions, Patton was astounded when Monty suggested that the Seventh Army should use both the major roads north of Mount Etna (Highways 113 and 120) in a drive to capture Messina. Monty went even further and suggested to Patton that his right hand, or southern, thrust might even cross the inter-Army boundary and strike for Taormina, cutting off the two German divisions facing the Eighth Army, with the Eighth Army taking a back seat.

‘Montgomery was heading for Messina too, but the German forces still on the island threw up a tough defence line and it was late July before Montgomery worked his way through them and resumed his advance. Fans of the movie ''Patton'' think they know what happened next. Montgomery marched into Messina at the head of his triumphant troops - to find a smirking Patton waiting for him. Mr. D'Este assures us it didn't happen that way. Patton was indeed trying to beat Montgomery to Messina, but Montgomery would not make a race of it. He wanted only to keep the Germans from escaping and realized Patton was in the best position to accomplish that. In fact he urged Patton to use roads assigned to the Eighth Army.’
http://www.nytimes.com/1988/11/27/bo...s-messina.html

In Sicily Patton was moving in the west over ground the Germans had abandoned and still made heavy going of it. It was arranged that Patton gets to Messina first. His troops did taking the easy route while the British slogged it out with the Germans, reaching Messina only a few hours after Patton.

General Taylor, the artillery commander of the 82nd Airborne, described the advance into north western Sicily as “a pleasure march, shaking hands with Italians asking, ‘How’s my brother Joe in Brooklyn?’ Taylor said it was the nicest war he had ever been in. It was extremely unpleasant for many of the U.S. troops who had to march over 100 miles through very rugged country in stifling heat and swirling dust.

John Ellis author of Brute Force described Patton's dash as a “much overrated” pursuit through Sicily as more of “a triumphal procession than an actual military offensive.”

Bradley:
“Patton was developing as an unpopular guy. He steamed about with great convoys of cars and great squads of cameramen … To George, tactics was simply a process of bulling ahead. Never seemed to think out a campaign. Seldom made a careful estimate of the situation. I thought him a shallow commander … I disliked the way he worked, upset tactical plans, interfered in my orders. His stubbornness on amphibious operations, parade plans into Messina sickened me and soured me on Patton. We learned how not to behave from Patton’s Seventh Army.”
Bradley's reference to "amphibious operations" was in relation to three landings on the north coast of Sicily during the advance to Messina. Patton did not interfere in the first successful landing, but he ordered the second to take place earlier than Bradley and Truscott wished, ending in a minor disaster. He ordered the third to take place despite the fact that the 3rd Division had already advanced beyond the landing site!
 
Old Today, 11:52 AM
 
Location: London
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Montgomery was not as great as you portray him.
Patton was an average US general, like Simpson, Patch, Hodges, etc. No more.
The Allied armies closing the Falaise pocket needed to liaise, with those held back giving way to any Allied force that could get ahead, regardless of boundaries, provided the situation was clear. On August 16, realising that his forces were not able to get forward quickly, Canadian General Crerar attempted to liaise, writing a personal letter to Patton attempting to establish some effective contact between their two headquarters and establish army boundaries. He received a very unhelpful answer. Crerar sent an officer and some signal equipment to Patton’s HQ, asking for details of Patton’s intentions and inviting Patton to send an American liaison officer to the Canadian First Army HQ for the same purpose. The Canadian officer could not find Patton, relaying the letter via the U.S. First Army HQ to Third Army HQ. Patton’s response was ‘Direct liaison not permitted. Liaison on Army Group level only except corps artillery. Awaiting arrival signal equipment before returning.’ The officer returned to Crerar’s HQ on with nothing achieved. Patton refused to liaise with other allied armies, exasperating a critical situation at Falaise.

Patton’s sped away to the east, heading for Dreux, Chartres and Orléans with none of these laying in the path of the German retreat from Falaise going off across territory empty of Germans, gaining ground rapidly and capturing a quantity of newspaper headlines rather than Germans. This was another whirlwind Patton advance – against negligible opposition – but while Patton disappeared towards the east in empty territory the Canadians were still heavily engaged in the battle for Falaise – Operation Tractable. Instead of moving east to cut retreating Germans at the Seine, Patton ran off to Paris to parade in front of cameras - Montgomery did not go to the victory celebrations in Paris being too busy fighting a war. American author John Ellis in Brute Force described Patton's dash across northern France as “a triumphal procession than an actual military offensive.”

After the Normandy breakout Montgomery's 21st Army Group reached Brussels and Antwerp, taking the port intact, within days. Montgomery wanted a forty division thrust into Germany not a limp wristed broad-front. Patton's XX Corps was halted at Metz in The Lorraine about the same time that Montgomery reached Brussels, with his XII Corps stopped by a German counter-attack at Luneville. Patton’s glory days of rapid advances against slight opposition were over, the Germans were starting to fight back, with a very costly struggle for Lorraine about to begin, one which resulted in a German defensive victory and 52,000 U.S. casualties. Patton never went into Germany via Lorraine, he moved north and went through via Luxembourg. A 1985 U.S. Army report castigates Patton, and indirectly Eisenhower for allowing Patton to do what he did.

Patton at Metz advanced 10 miles in three months. The poorly devised Panzer Brigade concept was deployed there with green German troops. The Panzer Brigades were a rushed concept attempting to plug the gaps while the proper panzer divisions were re-fitting and rebuilt after the summer 1944 battles. The Panzer Brigades had green crews with little time to train, did not know their tanks properly, had no recon elements and didn't even meet their unit commander until his arrival at the front. These were not elite forces filled with eyes & ears battalions.

17th SS were not amongst the premier Waffen SS panzer divisions. It was not even a panzer division but a panzer grenadier division, equipped only with assault guns not tanks, with only a quarter of the number of AFVs as a panzer division. The 17th SS was badly mauled in Normandy and not up to strength in The Lorraine.

Patton's Third Army was almost always where the best German divisions in the west were NOT.
  • Who did the 3rd Army engage?
  • Who did the 3rd Army defeat?
  • Patton never once faced a full strength Waffen SS panzer division nor a Tiger battalion.
In The Lorraine, the 3rd Army faced a rabble. Even the German commander of Army Group G in The Lorraine, Hermann Balck, who took command in September 1944 said:
"I have never been in command of such irregularly assembled and ill-equipped troops. The fact that we have been able to straighten out the situation again…can only be attributed to the bad and hesitating command of the Americans."
Patton was mostly facing a second rate rabble in The Lorraine.

Patton was neither on the advance nor being heavily engaged at the time he turned north to Bastogne when the Germans pounded through US lines in the Ardennes. The road from Luxembourg to Bastogne saw few German forces, with Bastogne being on the very southern German flank, their focus was west. Only when Patton neared Bastogne did he engage some German armour but not a great deal at all. Patton's ride to Bastogne was mainly through US held territory. The Fuhrer Grenadier Brigade was not one of the best German armoured units with about 80 tanks, while 26th Volks-Grenadier only had about 12 Hetzers, and the small element of Panzer Lehr (Kampfgruppe 901) left behind only had a small number of tanks operational. Patton did not have to smash through full panzer divisions or Tiger battalions on his way to Bastogne. Patton's armoured forces outnumbered the Germans by at least 6 to 1.

Patton faced very little German armour when he broke through to Bastogne because the vast majority of the German 5th Panzer Army had already left Bastogne in their rear moving westwards to the River Meuse. They were engaging forces under Montgomery's 21st Army Group. Leading elements were engaging the Americans and British under Montgomery's command near Dinant by the Meuse. Monty's armies halted the German advance and pushed them back.

On the night of the 22 December 1944, Patton ordered Combat Command B of 4th Armored Division to advance through the village of Chaumont in the night. A small number of German troops with anti tank weapons opened up with the American attack stopping and pulling back. The next day fighter bombers strafed the village of Chaumont weakening the defenders enabling the attack to resume the next afternoon. However, a German counter attack north of Chaumont knocked out 12 Shermans with Combat Command B retreating once again. It took Patton almost THREE DAYS just to get through the village of Chaumont. Patton's forces arrived at Chaumont late on the 22nd December. They didn't get through Chaumont village until Christmas Day, the 25th! Hardly racing at breakneck speed.

Patton had less than 20 km of German held ground to cover during his actual _'attack'_ towards Bastogne, with the vast majority of his move towards Bastogne through American held lines devoid of the enemy. His start line for the attack was at Vaux-les-Rosieres, just 15km southwest of Bastogne and yet he still took him five days to get through to Bastogne.

In Normandy in 1944, the panzer divisions had been largely worn down, primarily by the British and Canadians around Caen. The First US Army around St Lo then Mortain helped a little. Over 90% of German armour was destroyed by the British. Once again, Patton faced very little opposition in his break out in Operation Cobra performing mainly an infantry role. Nor did Patton advance any quicker across eastern France mainly devoid of German troops, than the British and Canadians did, who were in Brussels by early September seizing the vital port of Antwerp intact. This eastern triumphal dash devoid of German forces was the ride the U.S. media claimed Patton was some sort master of fast moving armour.

Patton repeatedly denigrated his subordinates.
  • In Sicily he castigated Omar Bradley for the tactics Bradley's II Corps were employing.
  • He accused the commander of 3rd Infantry Division, Truscott, of being "afraid to fight".
  • In the Ardennes he castigated Middleton of the U.S. VIII Corps and Millikin of the U.S. III Corps.
  • When his advance from Bastogne to Houffalize stalled he criticised the 11th Armoured Division for being "very green and taking unnecessary casualties to no effect".
  • He called the 17th Airborne Division "hysterical" in reporting their losses.
After the German attack in the Ardennes, US air force units were put under Coningham of the RAF. Coningham, gave Patton massive ground attack plane support and he still stalled. Patton's failure to concentrate his forces on a narrow front and his decision to commit two green divisions to battle without adequate reconnaissance resulted in his stall. Patton rarely took any responsibility for his own failures. It was always somebody else at fault, including his subordinates. A poor general who thought he was reincarnated. Oh, and wore cowboy guns.

Patton detested Hodges, did not like Bradley disobeying his orders, and Eisenhower s orders. He also hated Montgomery. About the only person he ever liked was himself.

Read:
Monty and Patton: Two Paths to Victory by Michael Reynolds
Fighting Patton: George S. Patton Jr. Through the Eyes of His Enemies by Harry Yeide
 
Old Today, 12:20 PM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
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Can we please get this thread back on topic and quit trying to make Montgomery out as being a saint?
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Old Today, 12:22 PM
 
Location: London
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Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Than there was Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands.
Eisenhower prioritized the northern thrust over other fronts and even seizing Antwerp and clearing the Schedlt. Clearing the Scheldt would take time as the German 15th SS army, highly experienced from the Russian front, had set up shop in the Scheldt and not retreated back into Germany, under Hitler's orders. All available supplies would be directed to this northern thrust.

Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander and Ground Force Commander, approved Market Garden rather than a push to clear the Scheldt. The choice in early September was the Rhine or Antwerp: to continue the pursuit or secure the necessary facilities to solve the logistical problem? The decision was made to go for the Rhine, and that decision was Eisenhower’s.

On 4 Sept, the day Antwerp fell, Eisenhower issued a directive, ordering the forces north-west of the Ardennes - 21st Army Group and two corps of the US First Army - to take Antwerp, reach the Rhine and seize the Ruhr. Eisenhower did not know Antwerp had fallen to British troops when he issued the northern thrust directive. Montgomery wanted a thrust up and over the Rhine prior to Eisenhower's directive, devising Operation Comet, multiple crossings of the Rhine, to be launched on 2 Sept, being cancelled due to German resistance and poor weather. Operation Comet was not presented to Eisenhower for his approval. Montgomery asked Brereton, an American, head of the First Allied Airborne Army, to drop into the Scheldt in early September - he refused.

Eisenhower's directive of 4 Sept had divisions of the U.S. First Army and Montgomery's view of taking multiple bridges on the Rhine from Arnhem to Wesel. The British Second Army needed some divisions of Hodges' U.S. 1st army and the First Allied Airborne Army (which Monty controlled anyhow). Hodges' would protect the right flank with the Canadians protecting the left flank from the German 15th army.

The northern thrust was to chase a disorganized retreating enemy preventing them from manning the German West Wall, gaining a footing over the Rhine, consolidating and then clearing the Scheldt to open up the port of Antwerp. A sound concept which even the German generals after WW2 agreed would have worked: von Rundstedt, Student, Blumentritt and Rommel’s former chief of staff, General Speidel. They were unanimous in declaring that a full-blooded thrust from Belgium in September would have succeeded in crossing the Rhine and might have ended the war in 1944, since Germany had no means of stopping such a thrust reaching the Ruhr. Largely due to the faulty command set-up by Eisenhower and lack of grip on his generals, a bridgehead over the Rhine before the winter was still a dream in September 1944.

Eisenhower’s reply of 5 September to Montgomery was clear that he believed that it was possible to cross the Rhine and take both the Ruhr and the Saar — and open the Scheldt — using the existing logistical resources and supply train.

Bradley was unable to control Patton, who persistently disobeyed Bradley and Eisenhower’s orders going his own way. Bradley did little to sop him. Hodges, the commander of the US First Army, was continually starved of fuel and ammunition in order to keep Patton’s divisions rolling, even when Eisenhower’s strategy required First Army to play a role in the British 21st Army Group’s activities.

Bradley was starving Hodges' First Army of supplies, against Eisenhower's orders, giving them to Patton who was running off into unimportant territory - again, and being bogged down - again. The resources starved First Army could not be a part of northern thrust as Bradley and Patton, against Eisenhower's orders, were syphoning off supplies destined for the U.S. First Army. This northern thrust over the Rhine, as Eisenhower envisaged, obviously would not work as he thought. A lesser operation was devised by Montgomery, Market Garden, eliminating the divisions of U.S. First Army, with only ONE crossing of the Rhine. Market Garden would also eliminate V rocket launching sites, of which London wanted eliminating ASAP, giving a 60 mile long salient buffer between German forces and the important port of Antwerp. This would only have one corps above Eindhoven, a disgrace considering the forces in Europe at the time. Eisenhower had no grasp of the situation as it was, no strong strategy to advance and no grip on his generals. Eisenhower should have fired Bradley and Patton for sabotaging the Northern Thrust operation.

Montgomery did not plan or was in involved in Market Garden's execution. Montgomery, after fixing the operations objectives with Eisenhower to the measly forces available, gave Market Garden planning to others, mainly USAAF generals, Brereton and Williams. General Brereton, who liked the plan, agreed to it with even direct input. Brereton ordered the drops will take place during the day and Brereton oversaw the troop carrier and supply drops schedules. Williams forbid fighter-bombers to be used. A refusal by Brereton and the operation would never have gone ahead; he earlier rejected Montgomery's initial plan of a drop into the Scheldt at Walcheren Island. Montgomery distanced himself to this under-resourced operation.

It was not until 9 October, more than a month after the fall of Antwerp, that Eisenhower told Montgomery to devote his entire attention to the clearance of the Scheldt. By that time the Canadians had already started to clear many of the Channel ports.
 
Old Today, 12:32 PM
 
Location: London
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Than there was Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands.
Market Garden.
The cause of it not being a 100% success was not seizing the Nijmegen bridge immediately. The landings and march into Nijmegen were unopposed. The first attack on the bridge was near 8 hours after being ready to march. The large bridge had 18 guards. The 9th SS infantry, with no armor, on hearing of the para drops went south into Nijmegen, over the bridge and reinforced the town and bridge. The 9th SS arrived at the bridge at 1900, 5 hours after the 82nd men were ready to march. If the 82nd had moved immediately to the bridge, as they were supposed to, they would have occupied the bridge, preventing the 9th SS from crossing the bridge and occupying the town. XXX Corps would have approached the bridge and crossed it running onto Arnhem facing only a few 88mm guns with the 9th SS infantry easily brushed aside.

Major-General John Frost, commander of the British 2nd Parachute Battalion at the Arnhem bridge:
"The worst mistake of the Arnhem plan was the failure to give priority to capturing the Nijmegen bridge. The capture would have been a walkover on D-Day"

The US Official History:
The European Theater of Operations
THE SIEGFRIED LINE CAMPAIGN
by Charles B. MacDonald
CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY
UNITED STATES ARMY
WASHINGTON, D.C., 1993

Page 161:
Colonel Lindquist's 508th Parachute Infantry and of Colonel Ekman's 505th Parachute Infantry had assembled within an hour after the D-Day drop.

Page 162:
General Gavin's understanding, as recalled later, was that Warren's battalion was to move "without delay after landing." On the other hand, Colonel Lindquist's understanding, also as recalled later, was that no battalion was to go for the bridge until the regiment had secured its other objectives, that is to say, not until he had established defenses protecting his assigned portion of the high ground and the northern part of the division glider landing zone. Instead of moving immediately toward the Nijmegen bridge, Colonel Warren's battalion was to take an "assigned initial objective" in the vicinity of De Ploeg, a suburb of Nijmegen a mile and a quarter southeast of the city astride the Nijmegen-Groesbeek highway.

Page 163:
Colonel Warren about 1830 sent into Nijmegen a patrol consisting of a rifle platoon and the battalion intelligence section. This patrol was to make an aggressive reconnaissance, investigate reports from Dutch civilians that only eighteen Germans guarded the big bridge, and, if possible, capture the south end of the bridge.

Colonel Warren directed Companies A and B to rendezvous at a point just south of Nijmegen at 1900

As the scouts neared a traffic circle surrounding a landscaped circular park near the center of Nijmegen, the Keizer Karel Plein, from which a mall-like park led northeast toward the Nijmegen bridge, a burst of automatic weapons fire came from the circle. The time was about two hours before midnight. (2200 hrs)

Page 164:
the chance for an easy, speedy capture of the Nijmegen bridge had passed. This was all the more lamentable because in Nijmegen during the afternoon the Germans had had nothing more than the same kind of "mostly low quality" troops encountered at most other places on D Day.

https://history.army.mil/html/books/..._Pub_7-7-1.pdf
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