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Best General of WWII?

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  • Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    Do you think Eisenhower sending his supplies and fuel to Montgomery might have influenced this as well?

    Pruitt
    This 'supplies and fuel to Montgomery' is a fairytale invented to excuse the poor command performance of the US 12th AG.
    If Montgomery had've got the supplies and fuel he requested and expected, Market Garden would have succeeded.

    If you want to find an almost criminal waste of Allied supply assets in a critical period look no further than the move of General JCH Lee's COMZ from tented luxury in Normandy to palatial extravagance in Paris during the first two weeks of September 1944
    https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA...istics2-2.html

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    • Originally posted by Gooner View Post

      This 'supplies and fuel to Montgomery' is a fairytale invented to excuse the poor command performance of the US 12th AG.
      If Montgomery had've got the supplies and fuel he requested and expected, Market Garden would have succeeded.
      Market Garden failed because of lack of supplies? That's the first time I hear this one, and I don't believe the argument 'holds ground'.

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      • That's a new argument. Is it the airborne forces that were apparantly out-of-supply .or XXX Corps ?
        "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
        Samuel Johnson.

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        • Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
          That's a new argument. Is it the airborne forces that were apparantly out-of-supply .or XXX Corps ?
          Not new at all. Neither the airborne forces nor XXX Corps were short of supply. XII Corps and VIII Corps were.

          Remember that Monty had signalled Ike "The large-scale operations by Second Army and the Airborne Corps northwards towards the Meuse and Rhine cannot now take place before 23 Sep. at the earliest and possibly 26 Sep." whereupon Bedell Smith promised 21st Army Group 500 tons a day by road and 500 tons a day by air

          David Belchem, then acting CoS 21st AG

          "The US convoys diverted to supply Second British Army did not begin to reach Brussels until 16 September. When the British offensive began on 17 September, 8 British Corps was still without sufficient transport and stores to enable it to advance: it was not until 19 September that its leading division moved north. On the eastern flanl 12 British Corps was away north on time, but as in the case of 8 Corps, it proved impossible to provide the customary scale of medium and heavy artillery [or tank] support to accompany it.
          The conclusion is that had the Supreme Commander made a very clear decision on 10th September, and had he imposed it upon his subordinates at all levels the result of the Arnhem operation might have been very different. The greater strength of ground forces which could have been made available, would have accelerated the capture of Nijmegen and carried reinforcements through to Arnhem in time."

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          • Originally posted by KapetanBrina View Post
            Market Garden failed because of lack of supplies?
            No, 21st Army Group lacked the supplies and this was one of the chain of events that led to Market Garden not succeeding.

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            • By "new" I meant new to me.
              "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
              Samuel Johnson.

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              • Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                . Patton was the darling of the US press every bit as much as Montgomery was fawned over by the British papers.
                Monty had very good press in The USA. It was partly because of this the US Generals were so ready to castigate him in Jan 1945.

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                • Originally posted by The Purist View Post

                  Regardless, they were no longer capable of stopping 1st US Army (later, 3rd Army) to the west from breaking free and driving into Brittany and around their centre and left. With German 7th Army exhausted and depth of the front penetrated the remaining reserves were no longer capable of successfully intervening. All the German reserves could do was block the British and Commonwealth armour from closing the trap from the north for another week or so.
                  Bradly thought otherwise. That is why he forbade Patton trying to 'cut off' the retreating Germans.
                  Also the Germans were attacking the flank of the 'British' pincer that was trying to close the gap. German Units outside the pocket were attacking west to help the trapped units escape.

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                  • Originally posted by Gooner View Post
                    .... <snip>...The conclusion is that had the Supreme Commander made a very clear decision on 10th September, and had he imposed it upon his subordinates at all levels the result of the Arnhem operation might have been very different. The greater strength of ground forces which could have been made available, would have accelerated the capture of Nijmegen and carried reinforcements through to Arnhem in time."
                    This is highly speculative and suspect. The failure by Gavin's to make Nijmegen bridge a priority was the item that delayed Guards Armoured from reaching the British paras before the bridge was retaken. In the fighting in Nijmegen south of the bridge it was not a lack of supplies in VII or XII Corps that caused the delay but the arrival of SS panzer troops.

                    Had the bridge been taken immediately after the US paras landed rather consolidating the heights east of town against phantom German troops, British armour may have reached Arnhem.

                    However, even that does not mean that Market-Garden would have worked and the war ended by Christmas. It would have spared 1st Airborne the extremely heavy losses during the siege and the Dutch civilian population a horrible winter and famine but 21st AG was not the instrument for breaking the final German strength in the west. British 2nd Army would likely have been brought to a halt by the nature of the terrain and restrictive nature of the route into Germany, lack of infrastructure as well as the fact that Eisenhower could not immobilise his centre and right in order to give Montgomery free rein.

                    This was logistically impossible due to the nature of the supply route back to Normandy, physically impossible due to the placement of the allied armies and politically impossible since the US army was already approaching 2/3 of the allied division count and would eventually be the best part of 75%. There is no point in bemoaning this political consideration as it has always been (and remains) part and parcel of coalition warfare.
                    The Purist

                    Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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                    • Originally posted by m kenny View Post
                      Bradly thought otherwise. That is why he forbade Patton trying to 'cut off' the retreating Germans.
                      Also the Germans were attacking the flank of the 'British' pincer that was trying to close the gap. German Units outside the pocket were attacking west to help the trapped units escape.
                      Yes, they did but unlike the July battles west and south of Caen the Germans no longer had the strength to exhaust the attacking penetrations, even if they could slow them. Had the 3rd US Army not been operating in open country and against light opposition south of the pocket, but was instead still struggling in the bocage, it is possible (probable) the Canadian thrust on Falaise may have been stopped once again.

                      The allies (read US army) gained the ability to manoeuvre by exhausting the available reserves facing their centre and right. With the penetration of the operational depth and no reserves available to exhaust the attacking formations, the front came apart. The fact that Pz Group West still had a number of divisions available to slow the allied left meant nothing if the US armour was rolling free through Brittany and on towards Le Mans, the Loire and then driving north behind the German front.

                      The jig was up. Just as in the east, the Germans had no choice but to try and extricate their forces and reform a line far enough to the rear that the allied formations could no longer muster the density and weight of firepower necessary keep moving. That would mean a retreat to the canals of Holland and the German border.

                      The Purist

                      Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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                      • Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                        This is highly speculative and suspect. The failure by Gavin's to make Nijmegen bridge a priority was the item that delayed Guards Armoured from reaching the British paras before the bridge was retaken. In the fighting in Nijmegen south of the bridge it was not a lack of supplies in VII or XII Corps that caused the delay but the arrival of SS panzer troops.

                        Had the bridge been taken immediately after the US paras landed rather consolidating the heights east of town against phantom German troops, British armour may have reached Arnhem.
                        The failure to take Nijmegen bridge on time was not the only event to cause Market Garden to go wrong, of course. But I think you miss Belchem's point. Had XII Corps and VIII Corps been able to attack with their customary strength, on time with XXX Corps, the Germans would never have been able to move the bulk of their reinforcements to oppose the airborne landings and counter-attack the corridor.

                        Bradley and Hodges might also have had the brainwave to give all their resources to US XIX Corps, flanking British 2nd Army, who had been making good progress, until it was decided to 'reinforce success' in the Hurtgen.


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                        • The biggest failure of Market Garden was likely the 1st Airborne's loss of 5 out of 6 Rebecca transmitters either through the drop zone being overrun by the Germans or the transmitter failing. This meant that they got next to no resupply via air drops.

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                          • Originally posted by Gooner View Post

                            The failure to take Nijmegen bridge on time was not the only event to cause Market Garden to go wrong, of course. But I think you miss Belchem's point. Had XII Corps and VIII Corps been able to attack with their customary strength, on time with XXX Corps, the Germans would never have been able to move the bulk of their reinforcements to oppose the airborne landings and counter-attack the corridor.
                            While XII and VIII Corps may have been delayed, I think you've still failed to make the case that this was a decisive factor in the failure of Market-Garden. By the time Nijmegan bridge was taken, German strength south of Arnhem had built to the point where XXX Corps just did not have the strength or freedom of movement to make a material difference to 1st Airborne.

                            I believe this is what Pruitt was talking about.

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                            • Originally posted by DingBat View Post
                              While XII and VIII Corps may have been delayed, I think you've still failed to make the case that this was a decisive factor in the failure of Market-Garden. By the time Nijmegan bridge was taken, German strength south of Arnhem had built to the point where XXX Corps just did not have the strength or freedom of movement to make a material difference to 1st Airborne.
                              That's the thing about Market Garden, there were a lot of decisive factors that caused it to fail.

                              There's two points about XII Corps and VIII Corps attacking on time and in strength.
                              1. Does it draw away German reinforcements that would otherwise be deployed against the airborne troops or XXX Corps? Probably.
                              2. Would they have protected the flanks of XXX Corps making it less likely that German troops would have cut the highway north? Almost certainly.

                              One of the decisive events of MG was the movement South of 32nd Guards Brigade after Nijmegen bridge had been taken.




                              Even with everything else that had gone wrong, even after the loss of Arnhem bridge, if 1st Airborne Division had managed to make a firm hold of the north bank of the Neder Rijn the operation would still have succeeded. Once they had lost control of the north bank, it was impossible to feed the reinforcements and supply through.



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                              • Originally posted by Gooner View Post

                                That's the thing about Market Garden, there were a lot of decisive factors that caused it to fail.
                                Exactly, the operation was still-born; Montgomery and his staff could not see it in the planning.
                                Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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