Market Garden Plus

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
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bronk7
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Re: MARKET GARDEN PLUS

Post by bronk7 » 24 Oct 2014 17:45

let me check again Tom...I've been away for a while......what's Cornwall famous for..sounds familiar

RichTO90
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Re: MARKET GARDEN PLUS

Post by RichTO90 » 24 Oct 2014 17:48

Tom from Cornwall wrote:Will someone go along to the US archives and produce some documentary evidence that shows the logistic position of 12th Army Group during the first three weeks in September 1944? Then we can discuss whether any of the US operations during the period were sensible!
I thought I already had? :thumbsup:
Did those books of yours (titles would be useful) say that those US divisions were in Normandy, that they had been brought forward onto the continent ahead of logistics units, in which the Allies were already short, or, in fact, how they could have been supplied anywhere else in NW Europe? Not forgetting that "grounding" formations that couldn't be supplied further forward was an established practice in the British army and that two British divisions were "grounded" near Le Havre and their transport used for supply runs up to Brussels?
I thought I already addressed this long ago? For the US it was three divisions and a large number of AAA and FA battalions.

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bronk7
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Re: MARKET GARDEN PLUS

Post by bronk7 » 24 Oct 2014 18:09

Tom from Cornwall wrote:Hi,

Yet another Market Garden thread which ignores the fact that the operation was only one part of Eisenhower's overall theatre strategy at this time.

The implicit criticism of Market Garden often seems to be that not only did it fail but that because it was launched it caused other operations to fail. I have, however, never seen an attempt to quantify exactly how this is meant to have occurred. What is clear is that several German units were diverted from the Aachen front because of the threat that MG produced. Montgomery didn't want all the resources for himself (and yes, like all Generals, he had a bit of an ego!), he wanted all the resources to be concentrated north of the Ardennes - a completely different thing.

Will someone go along to the US archives and produce some documentary evidence that shows the logistic position of 12th Army Group during the first three weeks in September 1944? Then we can discuss whether any of the US operations during the period were sensible! :thumbsup:

Regards

Tom
without Antwerp operational, I thought the forces other than Monty would just receive around enough supplies to be ''static'' only, if Monty's forces were getting the supplies needed for MG??..he might not get all, but it would curtail operations away from MG...and instead of using MG forces/supplies to open Antwerp/Scheldt, it took an incommensurate amount of troops/supplies just to RE-supply the forces...so they were in fact wasting supplies supplying the front more so....?

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Re: MARKET GARDEN PLUS

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 24 Oct 2014 20:09

Bronk7,
without Antwerp operational, I thought the forces other than Monty would just receive around enough supplies to be ''static'' only, if Monty's forces were getting the supplies needed for MG??..
Well, if that is the impression that you have got from the two books that you mentioned I suggest you take them out to the trash and drop them in there! :cry:

Turning 21 Army Group totally towards clearing the approaches to Antwerp was an option that was available to Eisenhower. He didn't order Montgomery to do that until October, at which point Montgomery did so. Antwerp wasn't a panacea to the Allies supply problems though - the estuary still needed clearing of mines and road and railway bridges needed rebuilding. Even when Antwerp was finally opened, the stores soon stacked up within the port because they could not be cleared forward to supply depots quickly enough. This problem would have been even worse in Oct 44 than it was in Dec 44.

Cornwall is mainly famous for cider and pasties... :lol:

Rich,
Will someone go along to the US archives and produce some documentary evidence that shows the logistic position of 12th Army Group during the first three weeks in September 1944?

"I thought I already had?"
I don't recall that you actually provided detailed documentary evidence - not in terms of tons per Army/Corps per day, etc. For example, can anyone show me the difference in distribution of logistic support between the 3 separate corps in First Army or provide me with the admin plans at either army group, army or corps level for 12 US Army Group. I've found similar for 21 Army Group and am trying to understand them.

If you did post that sort of detail up and I missed it, I will plead forgiveness on the grounds of Austin K5 insanity... :lol:
For the US it was three divisions and a large number of AAA and FA battalions.
You did tell everyone about the grounded US forces in Normandy, but I was trying to spare Bronk7 the pain of going back to our mega-thread. :)

Regards

Tom

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Re: MARKET GARDEN PLUS

Post by RichTO90 » 24 Oct 2014 20:30

Tom from Cornwall wrote:I don't recall that you actually provided detailed documentary evidence - not in terms of tons per Army/Corps per day, etc. For example, can anyone show me the difference in distribution of logistic support between the 3 separate corps in First Army or provide me with the admin plans at either army group, army or corps level for 12 US Army Group. I've found similar for 21 Army Group and am trying to understand them.
You have a problem - "administrative plans" are just that, a plan or guideline for administrative functions. And for the U.S. the corps was a tactical entity and had little logistic function other than - again - administrative. Logistics was done by the army, which used its QM assets to establish supply points that the divisions drew from. There is very little available that I have found on allocations to corps, because that changed on sometimes a daily basis. About the only thing I find is:

In October, Third Army revised its fuel rationing system, the 304,870-man army with 3 armored and 9 infantry divisions required 400,000 gallons/day but received on average 266,690 gallons/day, which was found to be barely sufficient to meet minimum requirements in a static situation. Third Army rationed according to the formula (gallons/day):

Army Troops 105,030
XX Corps Troops 17,500
XII Corps Troops 15,475
6 infantry divisions 39,000
3 armored divisions 37,500
attached USAAF units 33,390
attached COMZ units 11,000
miscellaneous attached units 7,255

Meanwhile, ammunition was rationed according to either army or army group directives, depending on the situation, and became stricter especially WRT 105mm. Rations weren't so much "rationed" as much as they were simply the same thing day in and day out (luxury, well recalled by my Dad in late 1944, was when his battalion was bivouacked in a Luxembourg ice cream factory - they pooled their powdered eggs, milk, and sugar and started producing ice cream, which was great even in winter because it wasn't canned :D ). So that was regulated simply according to manpower.

I'll see if I can dig out anything else, but there may not be a whole lot more. The daily allocations and fluctuation by army is probably as illuminating as you will find.

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bronk7
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Re: MARKET GARDEN PLUSbronk

Post by bronk7 » 25 Oct 2014 03:08

Tom from Cornwall wrote:Bronk7,

Did those books of yours (titles would be useful) say that those US divisions were in Normandy, that they had been brought forward onto the continent ahead of logistics units, in which the Allies were already short, or, in fact, how they could have been supplied anywhere else in NW Europe? Not forgetting that "grounding" formations that couldn't be supplied further forward was an established practice in the British army and that two British divisions were "grounded" near Le Havre and their transport used for supply runs up to Brussels?

By the way, welcome to the forum! :)

Regards

Tom
"Arnhem a Tragedy of Errors'' by Peter Harclerode..says Ike would halt Patton, and 3 more US divisions would be halted and their transport used to move supplies to 21st Army Group..pages 28 and 29...doesn't say which divisions, but says they would be 'halted'
Last edited by bronk7 on 25 Oct 2014 03:24, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MARKET GARDEN PLUS

Post by bronk7 » 25 Oct 2014 03:21

Tom, do you mean the thread on logistics?? that is a good read..it is very interesting....wish I could visit England some day....I have the highest respect for the English...if Ike had ordered Monty to clear the Scheldt and Antwerp in September, wouldn't that have been better [ for everyone ] than doing MG?...and no matter what, supplies in Antwerp are a whole lot better than supplies coming from the beaches.......

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Re: MARKET GARDEN PLUS

Post by Aber » 25 Oct 2014 10:13

The problem with cancelling Market Garden and attempting to open Antwerp instead is simply that the Scheldt cannot be opened quickly, due to the defences in place.

The key problem is Walcheren Island, which is an Atlantic Wall fortress, with heavy coastal artillery and anti- aircraft batteries, and a garrison. The Allied airborne commanders ruled out an airborne assault, the naval landing forces were tied up at Le Havre, and the only land approach was a narrow mile long causeway. Taking it was possibly the most challenging tactical problem in the European campaign.

Even after taking Walcheren and the other defences to the south of the Scheldt, the river needs to be swept for mines taking several weeks. Choosing to do this would have made no difference to supplies before the end of October while removing the threat of action by the British 2 nd Army in any other direction.

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Re: MARKET GARDEN PLUS

Post by ljadw » 25 Oct 2014 10:37

Aber wrote:The problem with cancelling Market Garden and attempting to open Antwerp instead is simply that the Scheldt cannot be opened quickly, due to the defences in place.

The key problem is Walcheren Island, which is an Atlantic Wall fortress, with heavy coastal artillery and anti- aircraft batteries, and a garrison. The Allied airborne commanders ruled out an airborne assault, the naval landing forces were tied up at Le Havre, and the only land approach was a narrow mile long causeway. Taking it was possibly the most challenging tactical problem in the European campaign.

Even after taking Walcheren and the other defences to the south of the Scheldt, the river needs to be swept for mines taking several weeks. Choosing to do this would have made no difference to supplies before the end of October while removing the threat of action by the British 2 nd Army in any other direction.

:thumbsup:

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Re: MARKET GARDEN PLUS

Post by ljadw » 25 Oct 2014 10:39

In december 1944,only 73.8 % of the goods which arrived at Antwerp,were leaving the port.

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Re: MARKET GARDEN PLUS

Post by RichTO90 » 25 Oct 2014 14:46

ljadw wrote:In december 1944,only 73.8 % of the goods which arrived at Antwerp,were leaving the port.
Indeed, port clearing, which had been a problem in Normandy, was just as much a problem on the German frontier.

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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by Delta Tank » 26 Oct 2014 20:28

To all,

I just finished "Logistical Support of the Armies, Volume II" by Roland G. Ruppenthal, it was a page turner. . .okay it wasn't but it damn sure is interesting!! Read Chapter I, very interesting, it is on line here:
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA ... cs2-1.html

Make sure you read what I highlighted in red! It backs up another posters post.
Although exasperated by the increasing difficulties over supply, field commanders did not immediately appreciate the full implications of the worsening logistic situation. A heady optimism still pervaded the Allied forces in the first days of September, and in at least two of the major field headquarters--Third Army and 21 Army Group--there were strong convictions that the war could be shortened if they were afforded priority in supply.5

The possibility of a quick drive across the Rhine by the Third Army was carefully investigated at Supreme Headquarters late in August. At the time there appeared little in the way of enemy forces to prevent such an advance, and it was believed by some that a bold thrust would induce an immediate surrender.

--8--

Planners of 12th Army Group admitted that it could be carried out only by sacrificing the mobility of other forces, for transportation was already sorely strained. The Third Army by this proposal would be given priority on all available supplies. With a strength of not more than ten or twelve divisions, it was argued, this force could be maintained if other armies were held inactive; if bombers, in addition to troop carrier planes, were used for the transport of supplies; and if British forces were held at the Seine or shortly beyond that river. Even by these measures the advocates of the plan agreed that the force probably could be supported only a short distance beyond the Rhine, possibly as far as Frankfurt.

From both the strategic and logistic standpoints the plan had several weaknesses. A force of 10 or 12 divisions constituted but a small portion of the Allied forces then on the Continent (47 divisions at the end of August). It was also a relatively small force compared with the still-existing German Army in the west. A narrow thrust to the Rhine would not have impaired the strength of that force materially, and an advance in the center of the western front would have created exposed flanks of great length to both the north and south. In the north this flank would have extended approximately 300 miles through enemy territory, and would have rendered the Third Army lines of communication especially vulnerable to attack, particularly in view of the forced immobility of "quiescent" Allied divisions operating at reduced maintenance scales in the rear. Fighter cover would also be difficult to establish as far forward as the Rhine, for the establishment of advance fields required precious supplies and transportation.6 Furthermore, Frankfurt was not an objective of prime importance, and the area which the advance would have occupied included neither the political nor economic heart of Germany.

Most important of all was the great gamble which such an undertaking would have entailed from the point of view of future logistic support. The concentration of all resources into a single thrust in the Third Army area would certainly have required indefinite postponement of any attempt to capture Antwerp. Without this port there was little hope of receiving, staging, and employing the new divisions arriving each month, and no possibility that the logistic potential would be great enough to allow the extension of the Third Army's operations beyond Frankfurt.

Finally, the entire proposal was predicated on the conviction that the enemy could be frightened into immediate capitulation. Herein lay the crux of the whole matter. Such a result was by no means assured at this time. While the enemy was badly disorganized at the moment, there was no certainty as to what was transpiring inside Germany despite the attempted assassination of Hitler in July. Should the enemy refuse to be shocked into immediate surrender, the operation, in the view of the logistic planners, would bring the Allied forces to the brink of administrative disaster.
Mike
Last edited by Delta Tank on 26 Oct 2014 20:41, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by Delta Tank » 26 Oct 2014 20:39

bronk7 wrote:even if they got Arnhem, would they have had the necessary logistics to continue??
This is also from "Logistical Support of the Armies, Volume II" by Ruppenthal, page 15:
It was in accord with the above decisions that the 21 Army Group was given preference in the allocation of the available administrative means for the combined US.-British airborne operation known as MARKET-GARDEN, which was launched on 17 September with the intention of winning a bridgehead over the Rhine and turning the flank of the enemy's fortified defense line in the north. MARKET-GARDEN was a limited objective operation, however, as General Eisenhower later found it necessary to re-emphasize. At a meeting with his principal staff officers and top commanders held on 22 September he took pains to make clear his desire that all concerned "differentiate clearly between the logistic requirements for attaining objectives covered by present directives, including the seizure of the Ruhr and breaching the Siegfried Line, and the requirements for the final drive on Berlin." In this connection he demanded general acceptance of the fact that the possession of an additional major deepwater port on the north flank was an indispensable prerequisite for the final drive into Germany.20 Even the present operation in the north, he noted in a separate communication to Field Marshal Montgomery, was a bold bid for a big prize in view of the current maintenance situation. The Supreme Commander considered the operation amply worth the risk. But he took this additional opportunity to stress once again the conviction that a large-scale drive into the "enemy's heart" was unthinkable without building up additional logistic potential. He indicated that this desideratum was now taken for granted in his own mind by closing with the remark, "Of course, we need Antwerp."21
What is meant by a "limited objective operation", I don't know, but I have a feeling that establishing a bridgehead over the Rhine was going to be the end of it for a while. Did not have the logistical capabilities to support a large enough force to envelop the Ruhr from the north, and secure the lines of communications.

Mike

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bronk7
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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by bronk7 » 27 Oct 2014 18:00

ok, Mike, that seems to make sense...they didn't have a northern port <>Ike knew they could not do too much ''more'' without that port....? correct? much thanks all replies....

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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by bronk7 » 27 Oct 2014 18:05

yes, Mike, how many times in how many wars, revolutions/coups/etc have you seen that, ''with this battle/incident/etc, the masses will surrender, or fall in with the revolution....''?? and it fails!...many! I read somewhere , where you don't act on what you THINK the enemy will do as much as what are they CAPABLE of....

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