Late start Market Garden and time schedule

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EwenS
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Re: Late start Market Garden and time schedule

Post by EwenS » 26 Oct 2021 13:21

But just how much armour was available on the north bank of the Waal at Nijmegen on the evening of 20 September? Not much seems to be the answer from reading The Story of the Guards Armoured Division. Excerpts available on Google Books on your browser (or some at least given my past experience.
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=CP4 ... &q&f=false

Unlike the movie the first troop of 4 tanks only got across the road bridge as dusk was falling due to the hard fighting going on in the town itself, south of the river. It immediately lost one, had another damaged and gained a fifth plus a troop of M10 17pdr. Next across were two companies of infantry on foot, having to leave their vehicles on the south side due to enemy fire. The first priority was to clear the remaining Germans from the bridge structure itself and remove the explosives. During the night there was fighting at both ends of the bridge and Dutch civilians coming in passing warnings of counter attacks that never developed. Things were quieter by dawn.

The north side of the rail bridge was only reached by infantry early in the morning.

The Grenadier Guards had to be relieved by the Irish Guards to continue the advance from midday on 21st. But they only got a couple of miles before running into heavy opposition. Ammunition, artillery support and air support were all in short supply and tanks couldn’t deploy of the roads. At that point it became an infantry battle and 43rd division were called up.

Reading that portrays a different picture from the one laid out above. Just what tank strength did get across the bridge in the early part of the night that would have allowed a risk to be taken by the Guards? Doesn’t sound like much and it doesn’t sound as though it was organised sufficiently to push forward towards Arnhem.

Gooner1
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Re: Late start Market Garden and time schedule

Post by Gooner1 » 26 Oct 2021 14:24

EwenS wrote:
26 Oct 2021 13:21
But just how much armour was available on the north bank of the Waal at Nijmegen on the evening of 20 September? Not much seems to be the answer from reading The Story of the Guards Armoured Division. Excerpts available on Google Books on your browser (or some at least given my past experience.
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=CP4 ... &q&f=false

Unlike the movie the first troop of 4 tanks only got across the road bridge as dusk was falling due to the hard fighting going on in the town itself, south of the river. It immediately lost one, had another damaged and gained a fifth plus a troop of M10 17pdr. Next across were two companies of infantry on foot, having to leave their vehicles on the south side due to enemy fire. The first priority was to clear the remaining Germans from the bridge structure itself and remove the explosives. During the night there was fighting at both ends of the bridge and Dutch civilians coming in passing warnings of counter attacks that never developed. Things were quieter by dawn.
Realistically any push towards Elst on the night of the 20th/21st would probably have had to be led by one or other of the groups in 5th Guards Brigade. As far as I can make out the Coldstream group were near Mook, the Welsh group at Grave. Neither had seen much fighting so far, so both would have been comparatively fresh.

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Late start Market Garden and time schedule

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 26 Oct 2021 15:35

Gooner1 wrote:
26 Oct 2021 14:24
As far as I can make out the Coldstream group were near Mook, the Welsh group at Grave. Neither had seen much fighting so far, so both would have been comparatively fresh.
The Welsh Guards Group was occupying the Grave bridge and the Coldstream Guards Group was operating under 82 US Airborne Division command and had been fighting near Mook.

Regards

Tom

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Re: Late start Market Garden and time schedule

Post by Gooner1 » 26 Oct 2021 16:56

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
26 Oct 2021 15:35
The Welsh Guards Group was occupying the Grave bridge and the Coldstream Guards Group was operating under 82 US Airborne Division command and had been fighting near Mook.

Regards

Tom
They certainly weren't all needed at Grave or near Mook.
There was very little in the way of an advance on Elst or Arnhem.

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Late start Market Garden and time schedule

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 26 Oct 2021 17:50

Gooner1 wrote:
26 Oct 2021 16:56
They certainly weren't all needed at Grave or near Mook.
That’s easy to argue in hindsight? Given that there was considerable pressure against the 30 Corps axis in both 82 US Airborne Div and 101 US Airborne Div areas I think that would have been a big call.

Regards

Tom

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Sheldrake
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Re: Late start Market Garden and time schedule

Post by Sheldrake » 26 Oct 2021 21:46

Gooner1 wrote:
26 Oct 2021 11:10
Sheldrake wrote:
25 Oct 2021 23:36

BUT when pushed, British armour could and operate at night in pursuit. So the pursuit after El Alamein continued night and day. 30 Corps drove through the night to seize the crossings over the Somme. Op Totalize was a massed armoured night attack to penetrate the Germans positions south of Caen.

Its a bit of a rock paper scissors game. If the armour presses ahead and the enemy is disorganised the armour win. If the armour presses ahed and hits an organised defence, the defenders win.
Probably the only night it would have been worth the risk Guards Armoured Division advancing was the night of 20th/21st September.
Too late for Frost's men at the bridge already though.
Thr late Colonel Christopher Newbould told me that one of his clients on a battlefield tour had been Adair's driver. This may had overheard the conversation between Adair, the diviisonal commander, the Armoured brigade commander and Vandeleur who commanded the Irish Guards battlegroup. The conversation took place in an upper gallery in the power station overlooking the assault driver crossing by the American paras. The gist of the conversation was that the push on to Arnhem was not worth the risks of losing guardsmen for a forelorn mission and the Guards Armoured division were not going to try too hard. Peter Carrington in the lead tank gets the blame, but this story rings true. All commanders have a pact with their soldiers to protect them fromm getting killed for no purpose.

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Re: Late start Market Garden and time schedule

Post by Gooner1 » 27 Oct 2021 12:13

Sheldrake wrote:
26 Oct 2021 21:46
Thr late Colonel Christopher Newbould told me that one of his clients on a battlefield tour had been Adair's driver. This may had overheard the conversation between Adair, the diviisonal commander, the Armoured brigade commander and Vandeleur who commanded the Irish Guards battlegroup. The conversation took place in an upper gallery in the power station overlooking the assault driver crossing by the American paras. The gist of the conversation was that the push on to Arnhem was not worth the risks of losing guardsmen for a forelorn mission and the Guards Armoured division were not going to try too hard. Peter Carrington in the lead tank gets the blame, but this story rings true. All commanders have a pact with their soldiers to protect them fromm getting killed for no purpose.
That doesn't ring true to me at all.
Reading through some of the Guards Armoured war diaries there appears a conviction that enemy resistance would weaken the further they advanced.
I think the Guards were also expecting a full level of artillery support for the mornings advance as well as a full-on Typhoon 'party' like on the 17th.
2nd Irish Guards reported "Every effort was made by us to get the Typhoon support, which had been promised. But first the control set broke down and then “Very high Sky Sunray” forbade then to fly for fear that they might shoot down Dakotas instead of rocketing guns on the ground."

Gooner1
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Re: Late start Market Garden and time schedule

Post by Gooner1 » 27 Oct 2021 12:43

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
26 Oct 2021 17:50
That’s easy to argue in hindsight? Given that there was considerable pressure against the 30 Corps axis in both 82 US Airborne Div and 101 US Airborne Div areas I think that would have been a big call.

Regards

Tom
Yes its hindsight but OTOH by 82nd Airborne not having taken Nijmegen bridge by the morning of the 19th, Guards Armoured had lost a day-and-a-half of daylight, 28-30 hours altogether. It might have occurred that the best way to make up the time was to try and push on through the night but I don't think it did.
The war diaries of Welsh Guards have little doing on the 20th and the Coldstreams little enough on the 20th and 21st.
Certainly I don't think Gavin or the 82nd would be too worried if they moved north leaving only a Squadron or perhaps a Squadron/Company group behind until relieved.

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Late start Market Garden and time schedule

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 29 Oct 2021 19:57

Gooner1 wrote:
27 Oct 2021 12:43
Certainly I don't think Gavin or the 82nd would be too worried if they moved north leaving only a Squadron or perhaps a Squadron/Company group behind until relieved.
Isn't that based on hindsight as well though? It would have been slightly embarrassing to say the least if the German cut of the "corridor" had happened further north in absence of Welsh and Coldstream Gds Groups and the Germans had then blown the Grave road bridge!

Incidentally, the 1st Bn Welsh Gds were already operating with only three rifle companies (and the strength return on 16 September 1944 shows they needed a total of 206 reinforcements).

Regards

Tom

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Sheldrake
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Re: Late start Market Garden and time schedule

Post by Sheldrake » 30 Oct 2021 12:35

Gooner1 wrote:
27 Oct 2021 12:13
Sheldrake wrote:
26 Oct 2021 21:46
Thr late Colonel Christopher Newbould told me that one of his clients on a battlefield tour had been Adair's driver. This may had overheard the conversation between Adair, the diviisonal commander, the Armoured brigade commander and Vandeleur who commanded the Irish Guards battlegroup. The conversation took place in an upper gallery in the power station overlooking the assault driver crossing by the American paras. The gist of the conversation was that the push on to Arnhem was not worth the risks of losing guardsmen for a forelorn mission and the Guards Armoured division were not going to try too hard. Peter Carrington in the lead tank gets the blame, but this story rings true. All commanders have a pact with their soldiers to protect them fromm getting killed for no purpose.
That doesn't ring true to me at all.
Reading through some of the Guards Armoured war diaries there appears a conviction that enemy resistance would weaken the further they advanced.
That's the point. Not everything is recorded in War Diaries, which reflect what the the commander would like posterity to think. There is also unofficial history sometimes captured in the language used in the link I posted.

Delta Tank
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Re: Late start Market Garden and time schedule

Post by Delta Tank » 15 Nov 2021 18:01

Gooner1 wrote:
26 Oct 2021 11:10
Sheldrake wrote:
25 Oct 2021 23:36

BUT when pushed, British armour could and operate at night in pursuit. So the pursuit after El Alamein continued night and day. 30 Corps drove through the night to seize the crossings over the Somme. Op Totalize was a massed armoured night attack to penetrate the Germans positions south of Caen.

Its a bit of a rock paper scissors game. If the armour presses ahead and the enemy is disorganised the armour win. If the armour presses ahed and hits an organised defence, the defenders win.
Probably the only night it would have been worth the risk Guards Armoured Division advancing was the night of 20th/21st September.
Too late for Frost's men at the bridge already though.
They should of never of voluntarily stopped!! They stopped on the first day for no reason. Their first stop should of been at the destroyed bridge, stopping before that put them behind by xx hours! William F. Buckingham’s book on “Arnhem 1944” (the first book, small about 150 pages, can’t find it on Amazon) estimated how many hours were lost due to the leading elements stopping the first night. Currently away from the vast majority of my books.

Mike

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Late start Market Garden and time schedule

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 15 Nov 2021 18:23

Delta Tank wrote:
15 Nov 2021 18:01
They should of never of voluntarily stopped!! They stopped on the first day for no reason
Just like on D-Day then really? How many units continued to attack all night of 6/7th June? Any tank units?

How about the 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment coming south into Eindhoven that night - they didn’t though did they? They voluntarily stopped! Or 4th Parachute Brigade on night of 18th when they ran up against a German stop line - oh yeah, they stopped too.

BTW did you enjoy your conference - you never said what it was about.

Regards

Tom

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Re: Late start Market Garden and time schedule

Post by Delta Tank » 15 Nov 2021 22:11

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
15 Nov 2021 18:23
Delta Tank wrote:
15 Nov 2021 18:01
They should of never of voluntarily stopped!! They stopped on the first day for no reason
Just like on D-Day then really? How many units continued to attack all night of 6/7th June? Any tank units?

How about the 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment coming south into Eindhoven that night - they didn’t though did they? They voluntarily stopped! Or 4th Parachute Brigade on night of 18th when they ran up against a German stop line - oh yeah, they stopped too.

BTW did you enjoy your conference - you never said what it was about.

Regards

Tom
Tom,

I am sorry, I thought the subject was Arnhem, please forgive. It was crucial to the success of this operation for the ground forces never to stop, NEVER STOP. But, they did stop, unnecessarily. Even a stupid plan like this could possibly succeed if violently executed.

I will respond about the conference later, have to find the handout on the speakers and their topics.

Mike

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Sheldrake
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Re: Late start Market Garden and time schedule

Post by Sheldrake » 16 Nov 2021 13:42

Delta Tank wrote:
15 Nov 2021 18:01
Gooner1 wrote:
26 Oct 2021 11:10
Sheldrake wrote:
25 Oct 2021 23:36

BUT when pushed, British armour could and operate at night in pursuit. So the pursuit after El Alamein continued night and day. 30 Corps drove through the night to seize the crossings over the Somme. Op Totalize was a massed armoured night attack to penetrate the Germans positions south of Caen.

Its a bit of a rock paper scissors game. If the armour presses ahead and the enemy is disorganised the armour win. If the armour presses ahed and hits an organised defence, the defenders win.
Probably the only night it would have been worth the risk Guards Armoured Division advancing was the night of 20th/21st September.
Too late for Frost's men at the bridge already though.
They should of never of voluntarily stopped!! They stopped on the first day for no reason. Their first stop should of been at the destroyed bridge, stopping before that put them behind by xx hours! William F. Buckingham’s book on “Arnhem 1944” (the first book, small about 150 pages, can’t find it on Amazon) estimated how many hours were lost due to the leading elements stopping the first night. Currently away from the vast majority of my books.

Mike
That is with the advantage of hindsight and without the partisan pressures on the armoured commanders. At the time, after four weeks, the breakout had become a bit if a victory parade with a lot of people thinking that the war would be over in '44 if not in a few weeks. Attitudes to risk may have changed with that thought. Do you want to go down in history as the gung ho commander who lost your men to pointless casualties as the war was about to end?

This is not what should have happened in Op Market Garden, but is an insight into why things don't always happen.

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Late start Market Garden and time schedule

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 16 Nov 2021 19:07

Delta Tank wrote:
15 Nov 2021 22:11
Tom,

I am sorry, I thought the subject was Arnhem, please forgive.
Which was why I mentioned the airborne forces stopping at night. The reference to operations in Normandy was to show that we could complain about the fact that forces often STOPPED AT NIGHT!

I am afraid you appear to be obsessed by MARKET GARDEN which was, after all, just one of many operations on the way from the Normandy beaches to the Elbe/Baltic, etc.

The mission of the airborne forces was to aid the ground forces to gain their objectives; NOT to desperately need help.

Look forward to hearing about the conference.

Regards

Tom

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