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  • Where did that come from?

    Montgomery's Operation Market/Garden seems totally out of character for the man. To shove a major offensive up a single two-lane road is something you might expect from Patton, but not from the careful Montgomery.
    If there are no dogs in Heaven, then I want to go where they went when they died-Will Rogers

  • #2
    1) Monty always favored a narrow thrust attack than a broad front.

    2) He envisioned a flanking attack against a weak German army.

    3) He looked at map vis-a-vis his position and the two American army groups.
    Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

    "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

    What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

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    • #3
      4) It was Montgomery's plan, it belonged to the 1st Allied Airborne Army. Montgomery gave his approval based on various military and political considerations of Sept 44.

      5) The allied high command (both AGs and SHAEF) still believed they were in a pursuit phase but didn't realise that it had past. The allies had over-extended themselves logistically just as the Germans recovered their balance.
      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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      • #4
        Tag

        Eisenhower had been encouraging the airborne planners to come up with an effective use of the force well before he officially took over as field commander. The airborne planners came up with several ideas, all of which were overtaken by events but Montgomery was quite taken with the concept behind 'Comet' and requested something similar, but larger. The result was 'Market-Garden', a plan that Montgomery may have overseen but had little input into. That it has none of his trademarks only reinforces this.
        Signing out.

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        • #5
          I definitely agree that Market/Garden doesn't bear the "trademark" of a standard Montgomery operation, but if it wasn't his, whose was it? There seems to have been such a rush to start it that the complete opening of the port of Antwerp was neglected. Both were major events in 21 Army Group's area of operations and as commander of that unit, I would think that Monty would be doing more than overseeing the planning.
          If there are no dogs in Heaven, then I want to go where they went when they died-Will Rogers

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          • #6
            The capture of Antwerp seems to have been the trigger for Monty's scheme to blast across the Rhine at Arnhem fuelled by supplies that would be pouring in at Antwerp.
            From 'The Struggle for Europe' by Chester Wilmot- "On the evening of September 4th, as soon as he learned of the capture of Antwerp, Montgomery sent a signal to Eisenhower suggesting that the time had come to make "one powerful and full-blooded thrust towards Berlin."

            But Ike had reservations. From the same book-"In his memoirs, Eisenhower says 'There was still a considerable reserve in the middle of the enemy country and I knew that any pencil-like thrust into the heart of Germany such as he [Montgomery] proposed would meet nothing but certain destruction"

            Nevertheless Ike, as Supreme Commander, allowed it to go ahead.

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            • #7
              Perhaps monty really was the pompous jackass that plenty of books made him out to be. Perhaps he drew satisfaction and some much needed ego stroking from the fact that HE and not patton was getting the lion's share of the supplies. Perhaps he suffered from short man syndrome so bad that he desperately wanted any chance at glory, no matter how ill conceived his military plan was. I'm just sayin.... perhaps.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Babbadoo11M View Post
                Perhaps monty really was the pompous jackass that plenty of books made him out to be. Perhaps he drew satisfaction and some much needed ego stroking from the fact that HE and not patton was getting the lion's share of the supplies. Perhaps he suffered from short man syndrome so bad that he desperately wanted any chance at glory, no matter how ill conceived his military plan was. I'm just sayin.... perhaps.
                Uh,... no.

                Montgomery, believe it or not, did not give Patton much thought. Patton was junior commander of an army in another army group while Montgomery was a full Field Marshall and commander of an entire army group. Montgomery was confident in his own abilities that he did not need to be envious of a general who was tasked with protecting Bradley's flank.

                The plan was 1st Airborne Army's, not 21st Army Group's. M/G was a re-working of the airborne's previous planned operations that kept getting cancelled because British armour kept overrunning the objectives before the paras could drop. As has been discussed at least a dozen times here on these threads, the allied command thought the Germans were still on the run and that MG could propel the allies forward over the Rhine that autumn.

                Unfortunately for all concerned the German's ability to recover was about to be experienced for the first time by the western allies, the allies were about to discover that they had more than out run their supplies and that the allies were just not strong enough yet to finish the Germans.

                For those who wish to learn more the search function works well. You will discover that some sort of operation was going to be attempted in Holland in the autumn of 1944,... politics alone decided that.
                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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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sherlock View Post
                  I definitely agree that Market/Garden doesn't bear the "trademark" of a standard Montgomery operation, but if it wasn't his, whose was it? There seems to have been such a rush to start it that the complete opening of the port of Antwerp was neglected. Both were major events in 21 Army Group's area of operations and as commander of that unit, I would think that Monty would be doing more than overseeing the planning.
                  Let's not forget that Montgomery had no authority over the drop schedules (they were decided by the Transport Corps) or over which units were dropped where (the responsibility of 1st Airborne Army which was directly subordinate to Eisenhower). The airborne operation was conceived and planned by Browning, the ground aspect by Horrocks, Dempsey and (probably) Montgomery. The latter was a compromise due to logistic constraints. It was rushed, although that didn't mean Antwerp was ignored. Montgomery underestimated the resources that would be required to clear the Scheldt, something that would have remained true even if Market-Garden had not taken place.
                  Signing out.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Babbadoo11M View Post
                    Perhaps monty really was the pompous jackass that plenty of books made him out to be. Perhaps he drew satisfaction and some much needed ego stroking from the fact that HE and not patton was getting the lion's share of the supplies. Perhaps he suffered from short man syndrome so bad that he desperately wanted any chance at glory, no matter how ill conceived his military plan was. I'm just sayin.... perhaps.
                    Well, just sayin', perhaps not.
                    Signing out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sherlock View Post
                      Montgomery's Operation Market/Garden seems totally out of character for the man. To shove a major offensive up a single two-lane road is something you might expect from Patton, but not from the careful Montgomery.
                      "Totally out of character?" Don´t agree.

                      Montgomery, early in the Normandy campaign, proposed dropping 1st Airborne Division south-west of Caen , behind the German lines, in an attempt together with 7th Armoured and 51st Highland to "rope off" and trap the German Panzer troops in the Caen area.

                      The plan was vetoed by Leigh-Mallory, Air C-in-C, as being too hazardous for the air transport involved. (maybe one "Butcher" in the RAF was enough).

                      In a letter to de Guingard on 12th June, Monty vented his spleen at this decision, in describing Leigh-Mallory as a "gutless bugger, who refuses to take a chance and plays for safety on all occasions. I have no use for him." (WO205/5B, cited by Hamilton).

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GreenTiger View Post
                        "Totally out of character?" Don´t agree.

                        Montgomery, early in the Normandy campaign, proposed dropping 1st Airborne Division south-west of Caen , behind the German lines, in an attempt together with 7th Armoured and 51st Highland to "rope off" and trap the German Panzer troops in the Caen area.

                        The plan was vetoed by Leigh-Mallory, Air C-in-C, as being too hazardous for the air transport involved. (maybe one "Butcher" in the RAF was enough).

                        In a letter to de Guingard on 12th June, Monty vented his spleen at this decision, in describing Leigh-Mallory as a "gutless bugger, who refuses to take a chance and plays for safety on all occasions. I have no use for him." (WO205/5B, cited by Hamilton).
                        Are you referring to Bomber Commands leader, Arthur Harris? He wasn't a butcher and besides, his nick name was 'Butch'.

                        I dont want to sound pedantic (even if it comes over like that), but Harris, for all his faults, was no Butcher despite what many of his critics (both then and now) would have everyone believe. You can argue the pros and cons of the way Harris prosecuted the Bomber War until the cows come home, but he and (more importantly) his men did the very best they could with the forces available to them. Revisionist historians and 'experts' together with those who should have known better (Churchill and Portal amongst them) have done much to tarnish the efforts and reputation of Harris and his Command.

                        Apologies if this sounds a bit like a soap box rant, its just something I feel strongly about.
                        HONNEUR ET FIDÉLITÉ

                        "Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won." - Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.

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                        • #13
                          There had been problems finding meaningful employment for the so called First Allied Air Army.

                          The air assault soldiers had cost billions of dollars and pounds to train to knife's edge and equip with the best gear. Theater commanders were under a lot of pressure to deploy them in a spectacular operation in a critical sector but coming up with an acceptable plan was challenging because of the risks. Prior to Market Garden 16 consecutive drops had been canceled for various reason.

                          I think Montgomery had a good plan for the deployment of airborne troops. With so many other plans rejected before, the only alternative was to truck them to the front line and use them as ordinary infantry which was a waste. I don't know if you are aware, but the presence of the German panzer troops bivouacked at Arnhem was pure chance and incredibly bad luck. They could have been garrisoned anywhere in Holland.

                          "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
                          --Frederick II, King of Prussia

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MonsterZero View Post
                            There had been problems finding meaningful employment for the so called First Allied Air Army.

                            The air assault soldiers had cost billions of dollars and pounds to train to knife's edge and equip with the best gear. Theater commanders were under a lot of pressure to deploy them in a spectacular operation in a critical sector but coming up with an acceptable plan was challenging because of the risks. Prior to Market Garden 16 consecutive drops had been canceled for various reason.

                            I think Montgomery had a good plan for the deployment of airborne troops. With so many other plans rejected before, the only alternative was to truck them to the front line and use them as ordinary infantry which was a waste. I don't know if you are aware, but the presence of the German panzer troops bivouacked at Arnhem was pure chance and incredibly bad luck. They could have been garrisoned anywhere in Holland.
                            Exactly - the forces deployed in MG were an asset burning a hole in SHAEF's pocket, they had to be used in order to justify the cost and effort into raising these formations. You could also argue that this was the reason for deploying Airborne forces on such a scale during Montgomery's Rhine crossings in March '45, they had to be used before the war came to an end.
                            HONNEUR ET FIDÉLITÉ

                            "Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won." - Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dogsbody67 View Post
                              Are you referring to Bomber Commands leader, Arthur Harris? He wasn't a butcher and besides, his nick name was 'Butch'.
                              No slur/attack on Harris intended.

                              I was attempting to underline Leigh-Mallory´s squeamishness and lack of boldness, a very different attitude to that of Harris and his single-minded determination to carry out the directives he had been given by his superiors, whatever the cost.

                              Incidentally, he was apparently nick-named "Butch" by Bomber Command crew members, but as Middlebrook and Hastings, among others, have pointed out, this was an abbreviation of "Butcher".

                              I agree, that victory won, Harris and Bomber Command were treated shabbily.

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