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  • #31
    The 82nd would not have fared any better. They would still have faced the same problems the British 1st Airborne faced; drop zones too far from the objective, and effective German resistance.

    As was mentioned on the other MG thread, and reiterated here by the Purist, the plan needed a second drop on the first day. I also believe that a glider landing close to the southern edge of the bridge should have been used to capture the bridge at the opening of the operation.

    As for using the "best" division at the end of the road - maybe they did. However, shouldn't the "best" division be used to take the hardest or most critical objective?

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    • #32
      They should have sent a more unsed unit like the 17th Airborne Division (United States)
      Last edited by ace; 11 Jun 07, 20:50.
      "The people never have the power, only the illusion of it. And here is the real secret: they don't want it. The responsibility is too great to bear. It's why they are so quick to fall in line as soon as someone else takes charge."
      "

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      • #33
        82nd Airborne robbed for fame again.....

        Originally posted by michammer View Post
        As for using the "best" division at the end of the road - maybe they did. However, shouldn't the "best" division be used to take the hardest or most critical objective?
        Perhaps the "Best" was used against the "Hardest" in the division sense, being that the 82nd AB's position was un-changed after Ridgway protested for a better plan. I think the plan would have faired much better if the division strategy had been thrown out in favor of a Regimental organization for the plan, a less "divided" Airborne Corps, more like a "Special Forces" drop, using the most "crack" regiments and battalions at the farthers end of the road.
        "This life..., you know, "the life." Youíre not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you donít shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."

        BoRG

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        • #34
          Originally posted by michammer View Post
          However, shouldn't the "best" division be used to take the hardest or most critical objective?
          Indeed they should. Whilst German opposition was expected to be patchy at best, Arnhem should have been a cakewalk according to the planners. As I posted on the '101st to Arnhem' thread, XXX Corps cannot be expected to reach the Arnhem bridges on a faster schedule and had the US paras been concentrated in the town they might well have been cut off and destroyed piecemeal. At least 1st Airborne could withdraw using the ferries.
          Signing out.

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          • #35
            Changing divisions would not have changed the outcome Here are (IMHO) some things that might have:
            (1)changing the Drop Zones The 1st Abn should have been dropped right on the southern end of Arnhem bridge. Yes, there would have been losses due to the flak at the end of the bridge, the 9th SS recon bn would have been there fairly quickly (as I recall they passed over the bridge, went to Nijmegen, came back and attacked the paras that now held Arnhem bridge). fighting would have been heavy, but I think the 1Abn could have pulled it off
            (2) committing a coup de main force with 1Abn like the operation to sieze Pegasus Bridge
            (3) Two lifts on the first day either attack at first light and come in again in the afternoon, or make a night drop on the evening of the 17th as the 2nd lift. Priority of lift space goes to the 101 and 82--Both these divisions needed more troops on the first day to capture thier widely spread out objectives-specially the 82nd-even Gavin recognized that the 82 was spread to thin
            (4) commit large portions of the 2nd TAF and 9th USAF to bombing/interdicting the areas leading to battle area
            (5) this is one is just for fun...put the Polish Armor division in the line instead of the Guards armored div--Tell them they can kill all the nazi's they want
            -maybe they would move fastere than the GA div

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            • #36
              British 1st airborne, 82nd airborne or 101st airborne, makes no difference. If a lightly armed force comes across the forces like they did at arnhem whilst being cut off for the length of time that 1st airborne was, it was always going to end badly.

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              • #37
                The only difference is that the americans had better anti-tank wepons such as the M9 Bazzoka while the brits and poles had the PAIT. A weapon said to be very hard to use.
                'where da potato at?'
                The Irishman said during the 1845 potato famine

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Parasocko View Post
                  Gavin recognized that the 82 was spread to thin
                  Where do you get this from? I have books with Gavin saying the 508th PIR was over stretched, not the 82nd AB as a whole. Further more, Gavin, post-war, contended that using the more experienced 504th PIR as the the forward unit for the 82nd AB would have been more prudent. The men of the 504th PIR had more jump time, combat time, and veteran soldiers than any of the other Airborne Divisions commited to Market Garden. In every book I have on the subject, Gavin laments his assignment of the Regiments to the tasks, not the over abundance of the tasks themselves. In "Ridgways Paratroopers" it says he felt that he assigned to many tasks to the 508th PIR, the Regimental commander (Lindquist, I think) was not prepared for this much work, and the troops weren't able to overcome their poor leadership. He also says "the 504th PIR should have had the 508th PIR objectives," that Tucker and his Glamour Boys could have taken the bridge themselves, and since in the end the 504th PIR had to take Nijmagen bridge anyways, (not on their schedule) why not just trust in the outfit you know can do the job.

                  Originally posted by MajorSharpe View Post
                  The only difference is that the americans had better anti-tank wepons such as the M9 Bazzoka while the brits and poles had the PAIT. A weapon said to be very hard to use.

                  All the more reason to hand over jumping on Arnhem to the 82nd Airborne, whose veterans had fought Armored troops in Sicily and Italy, unlike the newly blooded 101st, most whose opponents in Normandy had been of "questionable" quality. The 82nd AB would go on to prove the Armor doesn't scare Paratroops in the Northern Shoulder of the Bulge, leading me to believe they should have been the lead outfit in the Airborne Carpet, followed by the 101st AB, and then the British 1st AB, near the back, the best place for "green" troopers.
                  Last edited by Paul Mann III; 12 Jul 07, 11:39.
                  "This life..., you know, "the life." Youíre not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you donít shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."

                  BoRG

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by P.V. Mann III View Post
                    All the more reason to hand over jumping on Arnhem to the 82nd Airborne, whose veterans had fought Armored troops in Sicily and Italy, unlike the newly blooded 101st, most whose opponents in Normandy had been of "questionable" quality. The 82nd AB would go on to prove the Armor doesn't scare Paratroops in the Northern Shoulder of the Bulge, leading me to believe they should have been the lead outfit in the Airborne Carpet, followed by the 101st AB, and then the British 1st AB, near the back, the best place for "green" troopers.
                    I think this is flawed logic. For an operation like M-G it's essential that the roads and bridges leading up to the final objective are secured to allow passage for the relieving ground forces. 82nd, arguments over their relative performance aside, were presented with the most difficult task of the three airborne divisions. Given that they struggled to achieve their objectives in the historical battle it would have been foolish to send them to Arnhem and have one, or both, of the other divisions fail so condemning 82nd to a extremely costly breakout attempt or an ignominious surrender.

                    Very basically, the operational deployment of the three divisions was correct even if it was tactically flawed.
                    Signing out.

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                    • #40
                      [QUOTE=P.V. Mann III;724548]Where do you get this from? I have books with Gavin saying the 508th PIR was over stretched, not the 82nd AB as a whole. Further more, Gavin, post-war, contended that using the more experienced 504th PIR as the the forward unit for the 82nd AB would have been more prudent. The men of the 504th PIR had more jump time, combat time, and veteran soldiers than any of the other Airborne Divisions commited to Market Garden. In every book I have on the subject, Gavin laments his assignment of the Regiments to the tasks, not the over abundance of the tasks themselves. In "Ridgways Paratroopers" it says he felt that he assigned to many tasks to the 508th PIR, the Regimental commander (Lindquist, I think) was not prepared for this much work, and the troops weren't able to overcome their poor leadership. He also says "the 504th PIR should have had the 508th PIR objectives," that Tucker and his Glamour Boys could have taken the bridge themselves, and since in the end the 504th PIR had to take Nijmagen bridge anyways, (not on their schedule) why not just trust in the outfit you know can do the job.


                      Read AIRBORNE WARFARE and ON TO BERLIN by Gavin. In both books he says that the division was stretched too thin--In Airborne Warfare he says that the Corp Commander (Browning) gave him specific instructions on which tasks the 82nd was to perform and in what order, starting with securing Groosbeek Heights, because the 82nd was going to be too thin on the ground until the 2nd and 3rd lifts

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Parasocko View Post


                        Read AIRBORNE WARFARE and ON TO BERLIN by Gavin. In both books he says that the division was stretched too thin--In Airborne Warfare he says that the Corp Commander (Browning) gave him specific instructions on which tasks the 82nd was to perform and in what order, starting with securing Groosbeek Heights, because the 82nd was going to be too thin on the ground until the 2nd and 3rd lifts
                        I read "On to Berlin." I don't own it though, so I can't say for sure, but it seems to me it was much of the same from the two books I've mentioned, especially in the blaming of Lindquist and the 508th PIR (albeit indirectly) for any of the short-comings the 82nd AB may have experienced in Market-Garden. Also, even though Gavin came from the 505th he said that the 504th would have performed better in the place of the 508th PIR, I presume that's because he had to send the 504th PIR forward to get things done in the end. In "Ridgways Paratroopers" it says that Gavin set the orders per Regiment, so even if Browning gave him the target list, Gavin set it up, and likely that's why he took the blame for the 508th PIRs lack of progress in the first days.
                        "This life..., you know, "the life." Youíre not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you donít shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."

                        BoRG

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by copenhagen View Post
                          British 1st airborne, 82nd airborne or 101st airborne, makes no difference. If a lightly armed force comes across the forces like they did at arnhem whilst being cut off for the length of time that 1st airborne was, it was always going to end badly.
                          It sounds like you're discounting the value of experience. The 82nd A/B already knew about being cut off and and out gunned. They made the difference at Salerno and Anzio, and after MARKET-GARDEN they served Peiper and his SS a poop-hat for bringing his "heavily armed" force against their "lightly armed" force. If the 82nd performed that well before and after, I don't see why they wouldn't have a chance of out performing all these rookie outfits if they had been sent to the from of the "Airbrone Carpet."
                          "This life..., you know, "the life." Youíre not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you donít shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."

                          BoRG

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                            Not the SS divisions. 9th SS lost half of its remaining vehicles to Frosts force when they tried to cross the bridge!

                            Truth is that 1st Airborne was dropped too far from its objectives, did not move quickly enough when dropped and allowed itself to get caught up in pointless minor firefights when what SS troops there were in the vicinity set up blocking positions. After that the Germans were able to bring up reinforcements, prevent any further attempts to get more men to Frosts group at the bridge and eventually pin the lightly armed paras into a shrinking cordon around Oosterbeek where the artillery pounded them relentlessly. Even then they held out for much longer than they were supposed to as XXX Corps crept up to them. No wonder they took such heavy casualties!!
                            This has to be the kicker to any question about what unit would have succeeded. If, the Panzers were there, if the drop was missed, if the hook-up was delayed, it seems you are just changing the names of the causualties.
                            2 cents.
                            My Avatar: Ivan W. Henderson Gunner/navigator B-25-26. 117 combat missions. Both Theaters. 11 confirmed kills. DSC.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by holly6 View Post
                              This has to be the kicker to any question about what unit would have succeeded. If, the Panzers were there, if the drop was missed, if the hook-up was delayed, it seems you are just changing the names of the causualties.
                              2 cents.
                              Absolutely!

                              Originally posted by Paul Mann III
                              If the 82nd performed that well before and after, I don't see why they wouldn't have a chance of out performing all these rookie outfits if they had been sent to the from of the "Airborne Carpet."
                              Paul, let's go with the idea that 82nd did out-perform the other divisions during M-G. Now, we know that it was touch and go whether the key Grave bridge was taken during the battle at Nijmegen. One could reasonably assume therefore that with 101st or 1st deployed there the Germans would probably have blown the bridge. With the bridge blown the drive to Arnhem would be considerably delayed if not totally stymied. No matter how experienced 82nd were operating cut-off and out-gunned they could not have survived for long enough to allow for another suitable crossing to be found or constructed. Now the vagaries of warfare mean that we can't say for certain but in your scenario it's probable that 82nd would have been destroyed at Arnhem - lack of supplies being a major factor.
                              Signing out.

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                              • #45
                                (5) this is one is just for fun...put the Polish Armor division in the line instead of the Guards armored div--Tell them they can kill all the nazi's they want
                                -maybe they would move fastere than the GA div
                                Maybe this is the key ingredient!

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