Market-Garden White Washing History

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Delta Tank
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Re: Market-Garden White Washing History

Post by Delta Tank » 04 Sep 2011 15:07

Aber wrote:
Tom from Cornwall wrote:Mike,

Yeah, I've seen the Bedell Smith "visit" mentioned in the MacDonald book and also in "A Bridge too far" - but I've not been able to track down any primary sources to reflect the visit.
Tom
Crosswell's latest biography of Bedell Smith is quite clear that Smith did not make a second visit to discuss the intelligence reports.
Aber,

Did he cite a source for coming to this conclusion, there should be plenty of documents stating where he was.

Mike

Aber
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Re: Market-Garden White Washing History

Post by Aber » 04 Sep 2011 22:18

No source cited for Smith's location, but there are also no sources for the second trip happening, apart from post-war interviews several years after the events.

Delta Tank
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Re: Market-Garden White Washing History

Post by Delta Tank » 05 Sep 2011 14:18

Aber wrote:No source cited for Smith's location, but there are also no sources for the second trip happening, apart from post-war interviews several years after the events.
Hmmm, so it is still a bit of a mystery? Flight logs, control tower logs, visitor's book at Monty' HQ, staff logs, personal diaries, appointment books, etc. I would think that some of those documents would posses the information and would of survived to make it into some box in the archives somewhere.

Just a thought. So the controversy is over if Smith went to Monty's HQ to warn him about the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions?

Mike

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Market-Garden White Washing History

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 05 Sep 2011 15:03

Mike,
So the controversy is over if Smith went to Monty's HQ to warn him about the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions?
Yes. He did go on the 12 September to talk logistics as stated in Montgomery's nightly Sitrep to the War Office and in a note from Montgomery to Eisenhower of that date:

"Source: BLM 76 IWM

To: SHAEF FWD 12 Sep 44
M197. TOPSEC. Personal for Eisenhower from Montgomery
Thank you for sending Beddel to see me. As a result of the guarantee of 1000 tons a day and of fact that Hodges will now get all the maintenance he needs I have investigated my own problems again. Have now fixed D Day for Operation Market for Sunday 17 Sep."

But I can't [yet :lol: ] find anything to corroborate a second visit to discuss intelligence warnings. If I wanted to court controversy, which would obviously be out of character :lol: , I have a feeling that Smith remembered making a visit to 21 Army Group and, in the context of when the interview occurred, went with what he rather hoped had happened rather than what did happen. BTW I also feel that Brian Urquhart's whole low-level photo recce memories were sourced in the same way, but that's an argument for another day.

Of course we could also argue whether it was true that "Hodges will now get all the maintenance he needs", as he certainly didn't; perhaps that's a discussion for the other thread.

Regards
Tom

Delta Tank
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Re: Market-Garden White Washing History

Post by Delta Tank » 20 Oct 2011 14:30

Tom from Cornwall wrote:Mike,
So the controversy is over if Smith went to Monty's HQ to warn him about the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions?
Yes. He did go on the 12 September to talk logistics as stated in Montgomery's nightly Sitrep to the War Office and in a note from Montgomery to Eisenhower of that date:

"Source: BLM 76 IWM

To: SHAEF FWD 12 Sep 44
M197. TOPSEC. Personal for Eisenhower from Montgomery
Thank you for sending Beddel to see me. As a result of the guarantee of 1000 tons a day and of fact that Hodges will now get all the maintenance he needs I have investigated my own problems again. Have now fixed D Day for Operation Market for Sunday 17 Sep."

But I can't [yet :lol: ] find anything to corroborate a second visit to discuss intelligence warnings. If I wanted to court controversy, which would obviously be out of character :lol: , I have a feeling that Smith remembered making a visit to 21 Army Group and, in the context of when the interview occurred, went with what he rather hoped had happened rather than what did happen. BTW I also feel that Brian Urquhart's whole low-level photo recce memories were sourced in the same way, but that's an argument for another day.

Of course we could also argue whether it was true that "Hodges will now get all the maintenance he needs", as he certainly didn't; perhaps that's a discussion for the other thread.

Regards
Tom
Tom,

I am reading a book entitled: "Armageddon, The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945" by Max Hastings. On page 34 it states this:
"Release of the files of German signals intercepted by Bletchley Park has conclusively demonstrated Allied knowledge that 9th SS and 10th SS Panzer Divisions were refitting in the Arnhem area. Commanders had no need of the aerial photographs which were the focus of thirty-five years' post-war controversy. . . . Yet when Bedell-Smith raised with Montgomery the issue of the panzers, the field-marshal ridiculed his doubts."
And of course no footnote!! :x :x
Now my question, did FM Montgomery or his staff receive this intelligence in message traffic??

I have other questions about this operation from this book and I will post them later.

Mike

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Market-Garden White Washing History

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 20 Oct 2011 18:32

Mike,

I think they did - I found these excerpts of the signals in my old files - can't remember the exact source now, either Bennett's book "Ultra in the West" or the British Offical History about intelligence:
2 September 1944 , XL 8994

A decrypt signalled on 2 September covered orders by C-in-C West for 9th Panzer, 21st Panzer, Panzer Lehr, 3rd Panzergrenadier and 15th Panzergrenadier Divisions to refit in the area ST.AVOLD-SAARBRUCKEN, 2nd Panzer and 116th Panzer Divisions to refit south of LIEGE and 1st, 2nd, 9th, 10th and 12th SS Panzer Divisions to refit north of NAMUR-ST.TROND.

5 September 1944

A decrypt signalled on 5 September reported that those elements of 2nd and 116th Panzer and 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions that were not still operating were to rest and refit in the area VENLO-ARNHEM-S’HERTOGENBOSCH.
(DEFE 3/221, XL 9188 of 5 September). German Army Group B order sent pm, 4 September, Xl 9188 sent 1152, 5 September.

6 September 1944

(DEFE 3/221, XL 9245 of 6 September)
“Army Group B Order quoted by FLIVO 1730 hrs 5th. [1] Stab Panzer Army Five with subordinated headquarters 58th panzer Corps to transfer beginning 6th to area Koblenz for rest and refit by C-in-C West. [2] Headquarters 2nd SS Panzer Corps subordinated Army Group B, to transfer to Eindhoven to rest and refit in co-operation with General of Panzer Troops West and direct rest and refit of 2nd and 116th Panzer Divisions, 9th SS Panzer Division and 217th Heavy Assault Abteilung. [Comment: Elements these divisions and 10th SS Panzer Division ordered 4th to area Venlo-Arnhem-Hertogenbosch for refit in XL9188].”


HP220 150752Z/9/44 DEFE 3/225
New location FLIVO ARMY GROUP B 0700 Fourteenth OOSTERBEEK: 4 km WEST of ARNHEM.

15 September 1944
HP242
“Allies in German reports: [A] addressed to unspecified on evening 9th. 30th British Corps (2nd Br Army) between Antwerp and Hasselt. Bringing up further Corps possible. Eleven to fourteen divisions with eight to nine hundred tanks. Photo recce tasks [COMMENT: presumably known from intercepts] indicate probable intention is thrust mainly from Wilhelmina Canal on both sides of Eindhoven into Arnhem [COMMENT: further specification of area incomplete but includes “west of Nijmegen” and “Wesel”] to cut off and surround German forces western Netherlands.

HP499 DEFE 3/226
Gruppe West Reports: Since 1230 hrs, 17th Allied Airborne landing area Arnhem, Nijmegen, Emmerich

HP706 DEFE 3/227
According C-in-West on 17th. Assault Gun Brigade 280 to be brought up on 16th to Aachen from Denmark, to be subordinated to Army Group B.

HP691 DEFE 3/227
C-in-West ordered 18th that Wehrkreis 6 alert at once 4000 men of 2 Parachute Corps as well as elements of 6 Para Div at troop training area Wahn and send them to Para Army.
Having said that, I went to look at the DEFE 3/227 files in the UK National Archives and they are a huge number of signals there and it was about 10 years ago so I can't remember exactly what I did or said that day!

Regards

Tom

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Market-Garden White Washing History

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 20 Oct 2011 19:34

Mike,

Another thought is that Hastings is wrong here as well - both divisions were not refitting in the Arnhem area - 10 SS Pz Div (or its remnants) were being moved back into Germany from Arnhem - I guess because it was proving difficult to refit them there. Both formations also had units fighting on the Escaut Canal.

Regards

Tom

Juha
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Re: Market-Garden White Washing History

Post by Juha » 20 Oct 2011 22:03

I wonder what is unclear? Even Roy Urquhart in his book Arnhem wrote ”…Browning told me that we were not likely to encounter anything more than a German brigade group supported by a few tanks…” add some StuGs and you have fairly accurate picture what was against 1st Airborne Div initially. What went wrong was that the plan wasn’t very good and Germans were tougher and reacted faster than British had expected.

Juha

Delta Tank
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Re: Market-Garden White Washing History

Post by Delta Tank » 20 Oct 2011 22:59

Juha wrote:I wonder what is unclear? Even Roy Urquhart in his book Arnhem wrote ”…Browning told me that we were not likely to encounter anything more than a German brigade group supported by a few tanks…” add some StuGs and you have fairly accurate picture what was against 1st Airborne Div initially. What went wrong was that the plan wasn’t very good and Germans were tougher and reacted faster than British had expected.

Juha
Hastings also points out that the Germans had vehicles that could not be penetrated by rifle fire and that alone gave them an edge. Tanks or no tanks, any armor vehicle gives an edge to the side that has it against very lightly armed airborne forces.

Mike

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Re: Market-Garden White Washing History

Post by Juha » 21 Oct 2011 07:18

Hello Mike
Very true, but especially SPWs, being opentopped, vere vulnerable in woods and in built-up areas to grenades and everywhere to mortar fire. And I would not call 1st Airborne Div VERY lightly armed, it had at least 24 6pdr and 8 17pdr A/T guns and an arty regiment.. So they had also longer range A/T firepower besides their short range PIATs. Not want to ignore especially the effectiveness of the few armoured cars used against British , they were fast, rather silent with 20mm automatic cannon
Last edited by Juha on 21 Oct 2011 11:12, edited 1 time in total.

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Market-Garden White Washing History

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 21 Oct 2011 10:03

Mike,
Hastings also points out that the Germans had vehicles that could not be penetrated by rifle fire and that alone gave them an edge.
Thanks, Juha, your reply interrupted my laughing!! Hastings is clearly a genius :lol:

The intelligence gathered by 21 Army Group and that passed on to 1 Airborne Div was IMHO pretty accurate. The remants of II SS Pz Kps could well be described as about a brigade group with a few tanks. A very rough timeline suggests that armour support for the Germans in Arnhem arrived in something like the following order (by memory so please forgive some mistakes):

17 Sep - armoured cars of 9 SS recce, couple of tank destroyers, perhaps a couple of AA tanks
18 Sep - about a dozen Pz III and Pz IV from training company from Ruhr area.
18 Sep - about a dozen old French tanks from the West.
19 Sep - about a dozen StuGs from Assault Bde - diverted from en route to Aachen.
19 Sep - end of day, Tiger company 'Hummel'
20 Sep - Tiger II batallion (may have been 21 Sep - sorry I can't remember)

The problem for the airborne troops, therefore, until probably the 20 Sep at least, was not the number and quality of the German armour but that they were trying to attack into the face of it. When the tables were turned and the Germans tried to use their armour in an offensive role in the built up areas that the British held they suffered considerable casualties. If the British had been settled down into defensive positions by say midday 18 Sep, then at least until late on 20 Sep and perhaps later, they should have been able to handle the German armour to much greater affect.

For example, on 19 Sep, 11 Para were overrun by a few StuGs as they were in an offensive posture, their anti-tank guns were not deployed and, in one case, the company PIAT was on the back of a jeep that the padre had used to evacuate casualties.

Urquhart admits that by the time of Arnhem, his division was bored and desperate to get into action. IMHO even if they had been told the brigade group consisted of SS troops it would not have made much difference to their attitude or their plans.

Regards

Tom

Delta Tank
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Re: Market-Garden White Washing History

Post by Delta Tank » 21 Oct 2011 11:29

Tom,

Tom wrote:
Urquhart admits that by the time of Arnhem, his division was bored and desperate to get into action. IMHO even if they had been told the brigade group consisted of SS troops it would not have made much difference to their attitude or their plans.
That may be true, but the decision to go was a little higher up the chain I think. I said this before and I am now more certain of my opinion, this whole plan and operation was stupid!! Obviously, we took a gamble and hoped for the best! Hope is not a course of action!

Mike

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Re: Market-Garden White Washing History

Post by Juha » 21 Oct 2011 11:31

Hello Tom
I agree, IMHO the main problem was the plan, when Germans reacted as fast as they did, British were forced to be attackers and in build-up areas that meant for a light infantry attacker very difficult task, it meant high losses because there was not time for well-planned systematic attacks.

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Market-Garden White Washing History

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 21 Oct 2011 13:34

Mike,
That may be true, but the decision to go was a little higher up the chain I think. I said this before and I am now more certain of my opinion, this whole plan and operation was stupid!! Obviously, we took a gamble and hoped for the best! Hope is not a course of action!
You are right about the decision going higher up the chain:
13 September 1944
FWD-14764
6. The maneuver plan is to push hard over the RHINE on our northern flank with Northern Group of Armies, First US Army and the First Allied Airborne Army, with the Third US Army, except for limited advance below, confined to holding and threatening action until initial objectives, on the left are attained.

7. Northern Group of Armies, swinging generally northward from its present position, will advance promptly to seize a bridgehead over the RHINE and prepare to seize the RUHR. To enable it to accomplish this mission, additional maintenance will be provided until about October 1, if necessary, as indicated in my personal message of today’s date to the Army Group Commander. The First Allied Airborne Army will remain available, for the present, to Northern Group of Armies to seize the bridgehead over the RHINE.
Right to the Supreme Commander in fact. :)

Regards

Tom

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Re: Market-Garden White Washing History

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Oct 2011 15:15

Forgive me if I've posted this thought here before...

Wish I had time to umpire blind or limited intel games again. I'd present this situation with the identity masked & the enemy situation/logistics described as Monty & Ike saw it at the time, strip out the hind sight. It would be facinating to see how a sample of players judged the Allied situation at the moment & what course of action they took.

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