Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Zmflavius, Oct 9, 2013.
What would be necessary to make it so that Operation Market Garden is a success?
Not happen in the first place?
Well for first listen to your Intelligence Sources, do better recon, and by damn make sure all the radios work. Get more transports and gliders to deliver your troops. Use more fighters and bombers to take out pockets of tanks and anti tank guns. Again use better recon.
Pretty much this. It would be in everyone's interest, Monty included, to open up the Scheldt Estuary first.
That being said, I would add the following to zert's list:
1. Drop a brigade right on top of Arnhem Bridge, on the south bank (and keep that as main LZ) - seriously, having your LZ 13km away from your main objective is stupid
2. Send one more division for Nijmegen - Jim Gavin recalled it being a two-division job which he had to do with one
3. Make sure the infantry keeps up with the Guards Armored Division AT ALL TIMES
THIS!! I had forgotten that little tidbit but if they had cleared the estuary when they could have for the cheap, it opens up Brussels all the sooner and allowed for better resupply.
Your other points are spot on as well. If you are going in for the bridges, then by damn, GET the bridges. The troops left hanging at Arnhem was criminal, but then so were so many other factors for the Campaign.
Even assuming the Allies manage to capture and hold the bridge in Arnhem that doesn't give them that much. German forces in the area are alerted, reinforced and capable of containing most probably small bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Rhine. If Allies manage to break through German lines there they are still at the end of a single road - IMHO it is simply impossible to supply really significant force (bigger than an infantry division) with only a single road. Therefore a triumphant march on the Ruhr region in most probably put of the question, and that was what M-G was supposed to make possible. The Allies would need to clear some more territories on the western bank of the Rhine which would take time Germans might well use.
Two things, One.More airlift. Two. do it in August when the Germans were scrambling back. At that time siezing the Scheld estaury and Walchren island to open the supply ports might have been a more viable option. Also if you go in August there is a chance of stepping stone drops. IE, all your lift on day one for the first couple of Bridges advance to those, then and only then go for Arnhem and hope to catch the Germans in disarray between the two rivers. Oh, Also drop on top of the boody bridges not 10 miles away, that was maddness, in August the southern landing zone by the dridge should be drier and therfore less likely to cause concerns over glider use.
That is true. I am a fan of a well exectured and successful Market Garden, especially since I (living right on the Northern rim of the Ruhrgebiet) realized after a few trips to Arnhem, that it is just a strategical stone-throw from here to there. But I don't see a conquest of the Ruhr in 1944 as a possibility.
-how much could it speed up operations in early 1945 if the crossing at Wesel is not necessary, instead the British can work from the (gradually expanded) bridgehead at Arnheim?
-assuming that it is a conditio sine qua non for a successful MG to secure Antwerpen when it was early and easy:
how much would this allow the Anglo-Americans to have even more logistical- and supply-aces up their sleeves for the rest of 1944? Could this speed up the drive for the Rhineland just going straight East from Antwerpen? It is less than 180km from Antwerpen to Duisburg's steelworks. With the capture of Eindhoven during MG, more than half of this distance is covered. This is not the Eifel, Ardennes or Hürtgen. It is open, flat farmland and the smallish river Maas on the Dutch-German border is the only halfway significant natural obstacle.
-on top of that, how would that change the situation in the Netherlands?
If the Germans need to put up a defense between Arnhem and the river Lippe on the top of their priority list; how much attention can they pay on keeping the Netherlands?
From Arnheim, it is 50-60km to get to the beach of the Zuiderzee which would cut off all German garrisons in the Randstad-area (which again is just around the corner).
No delays in the airborne drops
Pushing on immediately after taking the Nijmegan bridges.
Model captured or killed on the first day
Frost holds out longer
British airborne not delayed by crowds of cheerng Dutch on the march to Arnhem getting more battalions to the bridge before the Germans reeacted
Radio crystals that worked
On this issue: has anybody got any thoughts as to how the Germans respond to Market-Garden, and how the rest of the war goes with Model dead or a POW?
The point mentione above is spot on.
Antwerp and its vital port was captured by the British nearly intact. However to use this port you need to capture bothe river banks of the Scheld. For some resons the British troops were not alowed to advance into Norh Beveland and Walcheren ( Northe shore of the Scheld estuary)
Furter a very arge group of German units was surrounded at the Sothern shore. Since the British did not advanced furhter North, German troops managed to cross the(very wide) Scheld to Walcheren. Many of this troops attacked the Garde troops on their advance to Arnhem.
Further the error not to advance to the Norht Shore mean that the Germans fortyfied their posistions in Walheren and Bevelnad making it impossible to drive them out from land. The British decided to bomb the Dykes, causing floods and attaked the North Shore from the South in a mini D-day amphibius assault. This operation caused numerous casulites and damage. By the time the North shore was clear the port of Antwepr lost its significance. Thousands of deaths and wounded due to a tactical error, or just ignorance of high brass.
Market Garden was doomed to fail.
Even if the Arnhem bridge was captured the allied troops need to cross the river Ijssel before advancing into Germany. The whole plan was a waste of men and material which could be better re-located to Patton.
The Dutch Queen said: My country can not afford an other victory of Field Marchal Montgomery.
Wheater is always a liability.
Pushing on after Nijmegen was nearly impossble since al available units were used to keep the corridor open.
A dead Model would not change anything, the Germans reacted as in the military cook books. An enemy andvance over a small front, so you try to break his line from the flanks. at all points with all effort.
Frost and his men did their utmost best, and hold out almost to the last man and bullet.
British airborne troops were not serious delayed by cheering civillians.
The radio crystal issue is an excuse, to cover the failure, since the British could use the ordinary telephone line, if they trusted or allowed the resistance or Dutch military attachee.
How slow would you react if your landing zone was ~ 13 km away from your target? And why could the Plish reinforcments land almost near the bridge on the South end?
By the way, Urqhart chose Hotel Hartenstein as HQ while just a bit to the West was a high ground, beter to defend which was overlooking a ferry (which was forgotten in the Alied planning)
It wasn't that they weren't allowed, it was that no-one with the authority to give the order realised the significance of needing to do so until it was too late.
As I understand it the key Nazi forces were there almost by accident, had the enemy simply not had such high quality troops on the groudn would it have changed things
Plus I believe the Nazis captured allied battle plans. Had that not happened early on?
The problem with the Scheldt estuary are numerous and it could not be taken on the cheap - Walchern Island was an Atlantic Wall fortress with fortifications, plenty of artillery and a permanent garrison. The airborne refused to attempt a landing, the naval forces required (as it was an island) were busy dealing with Le Havre and needed serious refitting, and even after clearing both banks you need to clear the mines (most of which were laid in June).
As for Market Garden as well as the points already mentioned, the 101st needs a drop plan to capture bridges and clear Eindhoven, instead of landing as a division; the 82nd needs a plan to capture its main targets the Nijmagen bridges; VIII and XII Corps need to attack at the same time as XXX Corps, etc
PMN1 is correct, nobody saw the significance of it and the whole tragidy of it all was, that the Walcheren Island could take for cheap if some one in the Brittish upper command saw the importance of it, to order the British troops to contunue their advance through Beveland and Walcheren.
I thouht the American airborne troops were severly hampered by the lack of air lift capacity. Since it was a British plan most of the capacity went to the troops around Arnhem.
Market Garden could be a succes if the Allies turned left after Grave or Nijmegen, if possible.
Originally posted by Parma
Turned left? To go where?
The goal of M-G was to clear the way for a quick strike against the Ruhr region by securing bridges on the Rhine and Waal rivers. Turning left after Grave wouldn't make it possible, since it wouldn't give the Allies any bridge on the Waal; turning after Nijmegen wouldn't give them a bridge on the Rhine (well, there was one west of Arnhem, but far away from any available bridge on the Waal, I believe). I do not understan why should the Allies turn left.
Unless you want to change the main goal of the operation.
Say the Estuary had been cleared and secured. Say that the airlift had been increased for better deployments. Say that the landings had been concentrated right by the bridges. Say that XXX Core had pushed on better than they did. In the end, do any think the mission could have succeeded? I have doubts but welcome more input and information.
Turn East woeps, lucky I wasn't a comander.
Well I personally figured it was a goof on your part. That or you were talking from the left from the German perspective.
Success would have been a British Corps across the Rhine, cutting off German forces in the Netherlands, outflanking the Siegfried Line and threatening to move on the Ruhr.
However Allied forces would still have been stretched logistically, and the German Army could probably have held the line of the Rhine elsewhere. So even a successful Market Garden is unlikely to end the war in 1944.
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