Report on Operation Market

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
JKernwerk
Member
Posts: 1305
Joined: 23 Dec 2010 17:43

Re: Report on Operation Market

Post by JKernwerk » 15 May 2020 19:41

The "Pegasus" idea of landing "on" the bridge was proposed but on the North it was all buildings
and south of the bridge the ground was assumed to be to weak to land with a larger group of gliders.
Further more, on the Southside there were one heavy and at lest one light AA battery (for what we
found in Dutch resistance documents), so if the landing was succesfull they would have a hard time
holding the bridge if the AA batteries were not taken out, if these were destroyed it would probably
have been a different game, there was a new (pretty new) housing-estate so there would have been
cover and ways to defend the bridge from these houses, as said the ground was to weak because of
the waterlevel being high (later in 1944/45 the part South West of the bridge was flooded).
Around the houses there were polders so it would have been, a good target for tanks but not for
shooting from nearby because of the wet terrain.

I do not know what weighs more heavy on the plans not to land on the South side of the bridge.
One thing for sure, we will never find out.
JK

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 9307
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: Report on Operation Market

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 16 May 2020 00:27

Sheldrake wrote:
15 May 2020 09:05
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
14 May 2020 02:52
Richard Anderson wrote:
13 May 2020 17:30
...

Poor landing plan? Check.
...
I have a opinion on this, but am very curious about other opinions on better landing plans. Anyone have anything on this subject?
My favourite interpretation of Op Market Garden is based on some of the counter productive thinking that permeates organisations. The war was coming to an end. We were going to win. What would mattered would be personal survival and reputation. https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threa ... bs.166064/ NSFW through an extensive use of barrack room language
You can take this counter productive logic further. The landing plan was complicated by the refusal of air staff to risk aircraft with either landing or drop zones close to the bridges or more than one sortie per day per aircraft which resulted an a staggered arrival of troops.
Ok, theres one. Anyone else have a opinion?

Tom from Cornwall
Member
Posts: 2854
Joined: 01 May 2006 19:52
Location: UK

Re: Report on Operation Market

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 16 May 2020 08:59

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
16 May 2020 00:27

Ok, theres one. Anyone else have a opinion?
Carl,

Almost everyone who's seen A Bridge too Far has an opinion. They might not all be based on any historical evidence though! 8O

Regards

Tom

Aber
Member
Posts: 971
Joined: 05 Jan 2010 21:43

Re: Report on Operation Market

Post by Aber » 16 May 2020 09:38

Richard Anderson wrote:
13 May 2020 17:30
Sure, generals make mistakes...but so many of them, so soon, in a single operation?
On the other hand, he DID take his primary objective intact at Arnhem, unlike Nijmegen and Son. :wink:


EDIT: Drop zones away from targets was not an issue solely at Arnhem, but for all the divisions. 101st actually changed their plan to concentrate their drop zones, but this moved them away from their multiple targets.

IIRC the single lift per day was FAAA decision not RAF, although the lines of command were somewhat blurred.

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 5009
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Report on Operation Market

Post by Richard Anderson » 16 May 2020 14:36

Aber wrote:
16 May 2020 09:38
On the other hand, he DID take his primary objective intact at Arnhem, unlike Nijmegen and Son. :wink:
Getting parts of a single battalion to the Arnhem Bridge was not a huge accomplishment. Worse, the dispersal of effort planned meant that even if all three battalions got to the town they were almost guaranteed not to be able to keep it. In any case, because of Browning's interference the Nijmegan Bridge was not the primary objective of the 82d Airborne. And at least the reason the Son Bridge was not captured was not because they waited for orders to advance on it.
EDIT: Drop zones away from targets was not an issue solely at Arnhem, but for all the divisions. 101st actually changed their plan to concentrate their drop zones, but this moved them away from their multiple targets.
Yep, but it was not distance that prevented 1st Parachute Brigade from getting to Arnhem. It was dispersal of effort along multiple routes, combined with dispersed objectives at Arnhem.
IIRC the single lift per day was FAAA decision not RAF, although the lines of command were somewhat blurred.
Bill Buckingham lays out the conclusive evidence that it was the RAF Transport Wallahs and not the FAAA.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Tom from Cornwall
Member
Posts: 2854
Joined: 01 May 2006 19:52
Location: UK

Re: Report on Operation Market

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 16 May 2020 15:47

Aber wrote:
16 May 2020 09:38
On the other hand, he DID take his primary objective intact at Arnhem, unlike Nijmegen and Son.
Except 1st Airborne Division never "took" its primary objective as assigned by 1 Airborne Corps Op Instr No. 1 of 13 Sep 44:
13. 1ST BR AIRBORNE DIVISION
Will land to capture the ARNHEM bridges, with sufficient bridgeheads to pass formations of Second Army through.
What 1st Parachute Brigade did do was deny the Arnhem road bridge to the enemy - at no point could it be considered that they had "captured" it, as traditionally bridges have two ends. :wink:
Richard Anderson wrote:
16 May 2020 14:36
And at least the reason the Son Bridge was not captured was not because they waited for orders to advance on it.
Who waited for orders to advance on Arnhem bridge? I didn't think either 2nd or 3rd Bns waited for orders - only to assemble.

EDIT: Oh, I was wrong... :thumbsup:

Just found this in 1 Para Bde Narrative of Events:
1510 … Bde Comd ordered 2 & 3 Bns to advance & order sent out over wireless.
Richard Anderson wrote:
16 May 2020 14:36
It was dispersal of effort along multiple routes, combined with dispersed objectives at Arnhem.
In hindsight, it would have been better for 1st Bn to follow either 3rd or 2nd Bn - but then, with hindsight it would have been better for them all to follow the river route, but that is surely only hindsight?

I do agree about "dispersed objectives" though. Not enough to have to split up your two first-lift brigades so that they cannot support each other, but then to splinter 1st Parachute Brigade up across too many objectives was a mistake. Let's all meet on the bridge and then decide what else to take?
Richard Anderson wrote:
16 May 2020 14:36
Bill Buckingham lays out the conclusive evidence that it was the RAF Transport Wallahs and not the FAAA.
The RAF wallahs must have got at the FAAA wallahs quickly then as at the 10 September FAAA meeting:
General Stearley stated that the question of two lifts was important; that it was necessary to have good preparation by the Eighth Air Force on the routes and area; that we could not drop at daylight and get good effective preparation; that if we went in in the evening we would have the whole day to prepare.
and that at a 1 Airborne Corps meeting on 12 September:
On 12 Sep morning at a British Airborne Corps conference Major General Williams, Commander IX US Troop Carrier Command, pointed out that “owing to the reduced number of hours of daylight and increase of distance, it would not be possible to fly more than one lift per day”.
Rich,

I know - read Bill Buckingham's book... :thumbsup:

I'm waiting for the library to open...it was sat on the shelf last time I was in there before "Lock down" but I went for an Italian cook book instead. 8O

Regards

Tom

Aber
Member
Posts: 971
Joined: 05 Jan 2010 21:43

Re: Report on Operation Market

Post by Aber » 16 May 2020 16:24

Richard Anderson wrote:
16 May 2020 14:36
Bill Buckingham lays out the conclusive evidence that it was the RAF Transport Wallahs and not the FAAA.
Where?

Page 82 of Arnhem 1944 attributes the decision for a single lift per day to Paul L Williams of 9th Trop Carrier Command; plus the RAF were only providing 332 aircraft for the pathfinders and glider tows; the US were providing 1243.

On page 84 he blames the RAF (Hollingsworth) for ruling out landings on the polders immediately south of the bridge. Whether this was because of flak, or unsuitable terrain for gliders (half the first lift) is less clear.

I'm not sure Buckingham is the final word; he's light on primary sources and some of his analysis does not make sense eg supposition that 101st's landing zones were carried over from Comet.

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 5009
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Report on Operation Market

Post by Richard Anderson » 16 May 2020 17:07

Aber wrote:
16 May 2020 16:24
Richard Anderson wrote:
16 May 2020 14:36
Bill Buckingham lays out the conclusive evidence that it was the RAF Transport Wallahs and not the FAAA.
Where?

Page 82 of Arnhem 1944 attributes the decision for a single lift per day to Paul L Williams of 9th Trop Carrier Command; plus the RAF were only providing 332 aircraft for the pathfinders and glider tows; the US were providing 1243.
Not in his earlier Arnhem 1944, A Reappraisal, but in his more recent and more complete Arnhem, The Complete Story of Operation Market Garden, Chapter 3, which ismuch more extensively sourced.

However, I did miss-recall. It was Maj. Gen. Williams of 9th TCC who recommended to Brereton that two lifts not be attempted. So sort of FAAA. The RAF Transport Wallahs stonewalled on the landing zones.
On page 84 he blames the RAF (Hollingsworth) for ruling out landings on the polders immediately south of the bridge. Whether this was because of flak, or unsuitable terrain for gliders (half the first lift) is less clear.
My bad memory...and here I just read it over Christmas. He makes it much clearer in his recent work.
I'm not sure Buckingham is the final word; he's light on primary sources and some of his analysis does not make sense eg supposition that 101st's landing zones were carried over from Comet.
Indeed, and the sourcing in Arnhem is much more thorough.

The initial landing zones discussed in the 11 September meeting were carried over from COMET. Both Gavin and Taylor objected to them. Or at least that's the interpretation, since the discussions of 9 September between Montgomery and Browning, of 10 September at FAAA HQ, and of 11 September at 9th TCC HQ were not transcribed that I am aware of?
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Aber
Member
Posts: 971
Joined: 05 Jan 2010 21:43

Re: Report on Operation Market

Post by Aber » 16 May 2020 17:56

Richard Anderson wrote:
16 May 2020 17:07
The initial landing zones discussed in the 11 September meeting were carried over from COMET. Both Gavin and Taylor objected to them. Or at least that's the interpretation, since the discussions of 9 September between Montgomery and Browning, of 10 September at FAAA HQ, and of 11 September at 9th TCC HQ were not transcribed that I am aware of?
82nd's were carried over from Comet, and I don't think they were changed, apart from dropping the coup de main LZ. They were also several miles from Nijmegen bridge.

101st's were new, as Comet's plan assumed starting from north of Eindhoven (which would probably need to include a bridgehead over the Wilhemina canal). The original plan was for multiple separate battalion-sized drop zones, but Taylor objected and got agreement from Dempsey to a more concentrated drop, but obviously further away from some of the objectives.

I'll have to look out for the new book to see what it adds.

User avatar
MarkF617
Member
Posts: 232
Joined: 16 Jun 2014 21:11
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Report on Operation Market

Post by MarkF617 » 24 May 2020 11:18

I've not read through this yet so forgive me if this has been covered.
I recall reading that a glider assault was included in Operation Comet but was removed for Market as there needed to be enough moon to light the landing area. The moon was right for Comet but had waned by the time of Market.

Thanks
Mark.
You know you're British when you drive your German car to an Irish pub for a pint of Belgian beer before having an Indian meal. When you get home you sit on your Sweedish sofa and watch American programs on your Japanese TV.

Tom from Cornwall
Member
Posts: 2854
Joined: 01 May 2006 19:52
Location: UK

Re: Report on Operation Market

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 24 May 2020 12:43

MarkF617 wrote:
24 May 2020 11:18
I recall reading that a glider assault was included in Operation Comet
Yes, a night landing near the main road bridge at Arnhem (at least - and I think for Nijmegen as well, but not too sure about that). Then followed by an early morning parachute landing.

There seem to be two issues with a coup-de-main for Market. One being the different phase of the moon and the other being the desire to land in the afternoon so that the air forces could attack the German flak during the morning. A decision that seems to have been made by Brereton's First Allied Airborne Army on advice by the air force chaps.

Regards

Tom

AllenM
Member
Posts: 92
Joined: 18 Sep 2018 04:01
Location: USA

Re: Report on Operation Market

Post by AllenM » 24 May 2020 21:44


Aber
Member
Posts: 971
Joined: 05 Jan 2010 21:43

Re: Report on Operation Market

Post by Aber » 25 May 2020 10:06

Aber wrote:
16 May 2020 17:56

I'll have to look out for the new book to see what it adds.
Had a quick look on the planning section in William Buckingham's Arnhem on Amazon preview. Still looks light, although he does a reasonable job of explaining the rationale for some of the key decisions.

In particular he seems to miss the larger context of FAAA and XVIIIth Airborne Corps longer term desire to rebase to France and support 12th Army Group's breach of the Westwall and Rhine crossings. In that context a certain amount of conservatism on aircraft losses and risks makes more sense.

Linkagain
Member
Posts: 454
Joined: 13 Apr 2021 18:04
Location: US

Re: Report on Operation Market

Post by Linkagain » 18 Aug 2021 00:13

One thing Ive been puzzeld about Market Garden was the careleeness of plans of Market Garden were found by the Germans in a wrecked glider...how in the world did this happen {Cornelius ryan "A Bridge too far}
PS for the revord in the movie based on Ryan book it shows a british paratrooper almost bring supply canister until he is killed {The canister is fullof paratroper berets. In fact a supply canister was found to be full of beters..but the soldier who carried it survived the war]

Linkagain
Member
Posts: 454
Joined: 13 Apr 2021 18:04
Location: US

Re: Report on Operation Market

Post by Linkagain » 26 Aug 2021 20:20

To answer my own query
See Operation Market Garden: The Legend of the Waal Crossing By Tim Lynch

Return to “WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic”