Market Garden Plus

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 27 Oct 2014 21:33

Mike,
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.
In hindsight, of course, you are right but that isn't the way it was seen at SHAEF or either of the Army Groups at the time. In addition, the only way that Eisenhower could capture the Ruhr at this point was by an envelopment from both North and South. Before launching Market Garden, Eisenhower assured Montgomery that this latter thrust by Hodges would have sufficient logistic support:
“You have been concerned that HODGES’ army may not have adequate maintenance to continue its advance in conjunction with your own thrust towards the RUHR. The United States Communications Zone and General BRADLEY are responsible for this maintenance and I assure you that it will be adequate for the task assigned to the Army on your right." (13 Sep 44)
If you read this section from Ruppenthal again:
At a meeting with his principal staff officers and top commanders held on 22 September he [Eisenhower] 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."
Doesn't this suggest that on 22 Sep (i.e. almost a week into Op Market Garden), Eisenhower considered that, without Antwerp, he had sufficient logistic resources to seize the Ruhr and accomplish the other objectives laid out in the SHAEF directive of 13 Sep 44:
The general plan, already explained, is to push our forces forward to the RHINE, securing bridgeheads over the river, seize the RUHR and concentrate our forces in preparation for a final non-stop drive into GERMANY. While this is going on we must secure bases as follows: Northern Group of Armies must promptly secure the approaches to ANTWERP or ROTTERDAM so that one of these ports and the lines of communication radiating therefrom can give adequate maintenance to the Northern Group of Armies deep into the heart of GERMANY.
Montgomery admitted in his Memoirs that he made a "bad mistake" in thinking that 21 Army Group could capture the Ruhr and concurrently clear Antwerp.

My main contention, is that he wasn't the only member of the Allied High Command to make this mistake at this time.

Regards

Tom

Delta Tank
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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by Delta Tank » 27 Oct 2014 22:02

Tom,

I never mentioned Montgomery. I thought that it was interesting that the Western Allies believed that a bridgehead over the Rhine "would shock the Germans into capitulation". That I believe has been discussed numerous times on this Forum and I actually found it in print from a credible source, only purpose of my two posts. I also have asked on another thread about the logistic appreciation/estimate for Operation Market Garden, and I have seen none, but my belief of the "limited objective attack" was either in reference to logistic limitations for that attack or to make sure no one thought that that attack was going to Berlin, Ruhr only. Notice the name of the objective was not mentioned, I am assuming the Ruhr, maybe it was less than the Ruhr, don't know.

Mike

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 28 Oct 2014 18:21

Mike,

I know you never mentioned Montgomery but I was just trying to clarify what the excerpts you posted actually indicated.
I thought that it was interesting that the Western Allies believed that a bridgehead over the Rhine "would shock the Germans into capitulation".
I'm not sure that all the Western allies did? If you look at the excerpt from Ruppenthal again it tells us that:
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.
So Ruppenthal is in fact discussing the proposed plan by 12th Army Group for Third Army to advance alone in late August 1944, not the later plan for Second Br Army and First Army to envelop the Ruhr, which the remarks by Eisenhower at the 22nd Sep meeting tells us that he thought was logistically viable, although a "bold risk".

Didn't I post the 2nd Army logisitical appreciation for Market Garden on the other thread? I'll have a look.

On page 2135 of the Eisenhower Papers (which a very nice kind person sent me :thumbsup: ), there is a useful note which covers this well. It basically says that Montgomery made a mistake in assuming that he could clear Antwerp while advancing to Arnhem but that "insofar as SHAEF approved of MARKET-GARDEN, it must share whatever blame is attached to this mistaken view". It also goes on to quote Eisenhower as saying in 1966, "after reading the note", that "I not only approved Market-Garden, I insisted upon it. What we needed was a bridgehead over the Rhine. If that could be accomplished I was quite willing to wait on all other operations. What this operation proved was that the idea of 'one full blooded thrust' to Berlin was silly'.

Regards

Tom

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 28 Oct 2014 20:59

Mike,



I also found this snippet in Vol IV of the Eisenhower Papers:
Note 2 page 2134: "At the September 10 meeting with Montgomery in Brussels, Eisenhower agreed that 21st Army Group could use the airborne troops for an operation designed to gt the Allied forces over the lower Rhine. The objective was a limited one; far from approving Montgomery's "full-blooded thrust" to Berlin, the operation was designed merely to get across the Rhine at - hopefully - a cheap price".
Regards

Tom

Delta Tank
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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by Delta Tank » 29 Oct 2014 00:18

Tom,

Great find! Okay, so it was just to get a bridgehead over the Rhine, no more at present. Now, another question, did Monty get permission to do Operation Comet? If not why not? and he needed permission to do MG from Ike because instead of using British Airborne assets, 1st Br Abn Division and Polish Abn Brigade, he now needed the Allied Airborne Army.

Is that correct?

Mike

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 01 Nov 2014 12:24

Mike,

Good questions! I'll go away and see if I can ferret some primary source information up about these. Off the top of my head, though:
Did Monty get permission to do Operation Comet?

I don't think he got "formal" permission for 'COMET' in the same way as happened for MARKET GARDEN, probably just told SHAEF what he was planning and then relied on silence as being acceptance.
If not why not?


Becuase COMET could be resourced from within 21 Army Group and 2 Tactical Air Force?
He needed permission to do MG from Ike because instead of using British Airborne assets, 1st Br Abn Division and Polish Abn Brigade, he now needed the Allied Airborne Army?
I thought that he had been assigned First Allied Airborne Army already. It may have been more to do with the level of support from the air forces (both in terms of air transport and also the need for more air support than 2nd TAF could provide on its own).

Cheers

Tom

Aber
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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by Aber » 01 Nov 2014 18:55

Wasn't the meeting on 10 September intended to cover wider issues, and Market Garden almost an afterthought covering what Montgomery would do with the forces already assigned to him?

Delta Tank
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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by Delta Tank » 01 Nov 2014 22:27

Aber,

I don't know, will look around for more information on that one. I have a small timeline that I wrote down and of course I did not write down which book I got the information from. 2 September Operation Comet initiated?, 4 September Antwerp captured, 10 September Operation Comet cancelled, 10 September Operation Market Garden approved. Is the timeline correct??

Mike

Aber
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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by Aber » 01 Nov 2014 23:14

Yes, although I think that Comet was effectively cancelled earlier, but I'd have to check some books.

Erwinn
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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by Erwinn » 17 Dec 2014 12:33

It was a very optimistic thought that Germans would capitulate after a bridge has taken over Rhine...

The Allied planners who thought that should be lucky to have weak German forces in front of them.

Germans just undergone a massive defeat on Eastern Front- Bagration. They lost 800.000 men and their entire Central Front force. They did kapitulate after something like that but they would capitulate for a lost bridge?

That's actually a very pathetic thinking on the Allied side. Like the "Germany army now consists of elders and kids" kind of thought.

nl11279
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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by nl11279 » 27 Dec 2014 09:10

The decision making process and Market Garden itself are prominently covered in my second book "Little Sense of Urgency".

See http://marketgarden1944-2014.pre-jump.nl

With regards,
RG Poulussen
Self-publishing author
Holland

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 31 Dec 2014 01:12

nl... I enjoyed reading the link to your books. One item caught my eye: "German knowledge of Montgomery's directive M.523". Would you comment on this? Specifically what was the Directive M.523, how did the Germans acquire it, what did they think of it and what action did they take.

Thanks for any information on this.

nl11279
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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by nl11279 » 31 Dec 2014 09:12

Image

Hallo Carl,

Glad you like the website.

On 9 September, on a German High Command map, Arnhem and Wesel are marked red and a note reads "direction Arnhem - Wesel". At Bletchley Park, the interpreter of ULTRA message HP242 of 9 September assumed that the Germans had intercepted Allied intelligence. The Germans would have prepared themselves, I guess.

dweb6
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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by dweb6 » 04 Feb 2015 23:19

Hello gents
After much study (boeree/Bauer and Middelbrook i still do not understand why Monty tried to cross the Rhine ending at the wrong side of the IJssel with few crossings. Cutting-off "Vesting holland" and later the V-sites were never mentioned.
Bauer already stated that the Germans expected the logical move directly from Nijmegen to Cleve. The II SS Pz corps after receiving new tanks whould have be ready for a flank attach southward. Hence their reluctance to blow the bridges. Did Monty really think of an easy second phase attack from the Veluwe into Germany? Still a quick crossing near Pannerden toward Cleve whould have been easier that Arnhem.

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Market Garden Plus

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 05 Feb 2015 21:39

Hi,

How big was the bridge at Pannerden?

Regards

Tom

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