What if Montgomery was wrong about Market Garden?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by McPherson, Sep 24, 2019.

?

Was Gavin to blame for the failure of Market Garden?

This poll will close on Apr 11, 2020 at 10:13 AM.
  1. No. he cleared his decisions to delay the assault on the bridge with GEN Browning

    6.6%
  2. Yes. he should have known the bridge was the immediate objective to be seized at all costs.

    16.3%
  3. Failure to take Nijmegen Bridge was just 1 mistake of many and blame goes to several people and fac

    60.2%
  4. How about blaming the Germans, since they put up one heck of a fight?

    34.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    Rommel & other German commanders complained or commented emphatically on the effects of the 35 cm naval gunfire support around those two locations. How much difference would a battalion or two of 24cm artillery weapons make?


    I'm wondering how those are transported to the river banks. Getting the assault boats actually used to the river on time was problematic.
     
  2. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    I honestly don't know. Anyone know how Sevastopol fared? Caen could have been similar.

    [​IMG]

    Monty Python: "Thou shalt ask Uncle anon, and he shall reveal to thee a marvel, and then thou, Brave Canuck kaniget, shall take the holy alligator of the Florida swamps, Uncle reveals to thee, and thou shalt cause the Killerkaninchen to snuff it."
     
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  3. Look More Closely Later Gone fishing means 'responses unlikely'

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    Did the Market Garden salient have any effect at all on the German supply routes for getting V2s to place like Walcheren and the like to launch, or were they still able to get them and other stuff (ammunition, food, etc, for their troops) to positions to the west of the salient with no problem?
     
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  4. HJ Tulp Vice Admiral, Eutopian Navy

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    AFAIK the installations were mostly at the Holland part of the Netherlands (The Hague and such) sor probably not.
     
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  5. Aber Well-Known Member

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    US forces were based in the west of England. Strangely enough Devon has similar terrain to Normandy - small fields surrounded by stockproof hedges. There is little excuse for lack of preparation.

    A "siege train" would have made little difference at Caen as there were no significant fortifications. Ports (apart from Brest) were not a serious problem - Le Havre was taken in 3 days after a week of preparations.

    Although there is no evidence that there would have been logistics issues - the British had moved their supply base east of the Seine.
     
  6. Aber Well-Known Member

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    The operation was based on the concept of a rapid advance "on a carpet of airborne troops". If the airborne troops do not capture the bridges intact, then the delays caused by having to build bridges allows the Germans far too much time to react.

    If the Germans had blown the Nijmegen road bridge when XXX Corps seized it, then post-war analysis of the operation would look very very different.
     
  7. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    My question was how the LVT were to get to the river bank from the UK? The transport ships can get them to the Belgian coast, after that? The tracks were not designed for roads, drive them up the Belgian canals at 3-4 mph ? The Belgian railways were not a option in early September, so were there enough automotive tank transporters on hand for 21 AG?
     
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  8. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

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    Your not wrong (and yes I got the date completely wrong - corrected in the original post - thanks) - but he did very carefully choose the army's leaders for the course of the war rather than simply use the next person in the list

    This lecture puts it far better than I could

     
  9. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    As near as I can tell the assumption was the Germans would withdraw into the interior, with a series of delaying actions. Not deeply entrench in the coastal zone. So it appears they only expected to fight a few days there. The idea the enemy would fight a disadvantageous defense on the coast seemed stupid to the Allied leaders & was not perfectly prepared for. But, it did give the Allies a large advantage in a attritional battle, massive naval gun support, sitting right on top of the beach side supply dumps, short sortie time for air support, and the Germans suffered the same problem of the bocage when they counter attacked.

    I suppose in that context not understanding Rommels strategy and Hitlers preference for forward defense was a intel failure.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
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  10. Aber Well-Known Member

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    IIRC LVTs were used early in October by the Canadian Army for the Breskens pocket. I have not looked up details of the earliest date they could be available, but believe they were moved on tank transporters. A further potential issue is what sort of exit slope they could deal with as there were embankments on the rivers.
     
  11. TonyA Curmudgeon like, but nastier

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    Really good question! I've always had it in the back of my mind that the TO&E of a really boss 79th type formation would, of necessity, include a shitpot load of tank transporters. Quite necessary for all the vehicles using alligator chassis as basis, or painfully slow Churchill-based stuff, or the truly whacky stuff like DD tanks, flails, etc. The DUKWs and Kangaroo's would be on their own; the more normal guys, combat engineers and the Cromwells and Humbers of the Recce outfit would serve a sort of Fusileer function when the formation was in travel mode.
     
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  12. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    The siege of Sevastopol lasted a couple of months. Cherbourg was in Allied hands in less than three weeks from D1, the actual siege was a week. Caen was held for some six weeks. That had more to do with the Brit inability to flank and envelop it.

    21 AG had near 200 naval cannon of 20cm or larger. Capable of reaching 20,000+ meters inland, highly mobile, and well protected from counter battery attacks. With that sort of fire power adding some slow to reply siege guns seems inefficient.
     
  13. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    Fairly steep, they were originally built to crawl over impassible terrain, including piles of fallen trees. The tracks were designed to grip soft mud and loose vegetation deeply. Uneven coral reefs could be crossed with the LVT. As always operator skill counted for a lot.
     
  14. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    Reply to various.

    1. LVTs were designed to climb coral reefs and or/swampy mud flats. Slick mud banks "could" be a problem; but not really as their use here in this fashion attests.

    [​IMG]

    2. How were "canvas boats" supposed to climb river banks?

    CAEN and other situations like it.

    3. Tank supported infantry could not get past the direct fire guns the Germans dug in because the tanks were picked off by AT guns and enemy tanks on the ridges outside Caen. German naval artillery, mobile or not, cannot survive siege guns properly employed. The PROBLEM is that the assault infantry has to pay a bloody price to get forward during the bombardments (WWI type of assault) which means that the tanks have to suffer as well while enemy artillery is suppressed or dislocated. Bloody awful. Think Iwo Jima on steroids. On the ground it resembles a right hook assault moving around Caen isolating it as a pocket, and sealing it off and pushing contact beyond it. Difficult to do given the Northwest to southeast ground slope and the road net. (See map.)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  15. Dave Shoup Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough. Yes, Marshall was the exemplar of a chief of staff and was an incredibly gifted individual, whose selection and promotion showcases FDR's brilliance.
     
  16. viperjock Well-Known Member

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    I believe if XXX Corps had crossed the Rhine at Arnhem in September 144 they still would have stalled out. They could have still ended up clearing Arnhem of Germans into October. The British still have to defend Hell’s Highway from probes coming from across the German/Dutch border. I still see the American Paratroopers stuck on the defensive in Holland. The British 1st Airborne probably spends a miserable winter in the Arnhem
    Area on the defense as well.
     
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  17. Dave Shoup Well-Known Member

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    That's pretty much my take. A motorized corps sustained by one highway is not an army group, which is what it took - historically - to get across the Rhine in the spring of 1945 (VERITABLE, GRENADE, LUMBERJACK, UNDERTONE in February and March) and in enough breadth to cut off the Ruhr and transition into the full offensives that ended with the German surrender in May.
     
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  18. Mr Carrot Well-Known Member

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    Someone make this happen!
     
  19. Aber Well-Known Member

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    But that Corps is over the Rhine in September 1944, which greatly complicates German defensive plans, especially if it can be reinforced. It also means that Allies offensives are not tied to river levels - late March was considered the earliest date for an assault crossing of the Rhine.
     
  20. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    Unless you capture a bridge intact...
     
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