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  • Originally posted by johnbryan View Post

    The Volksgrenadiers that the 3rd Army faced may have been the scrapings from the bottom of Germany's manpower barrel, but there was nothing wrong with Bittrich's Panzer Corps people. They were first rate Heer and SS troops.
    Right, so XXX Corps in Market-Garden had a harder job than did 3rd Army at the Bulge. Glad we got that sorted out.

    I still wouldn't compare Patton with either of them. He was a much better, more effective, combat general.
    Patton's record can be matched by both Clark and Hodges. Given that Clark wound up commanding 15th AG in Italy it could be argued his record is even better than Pattons.
    Signing out.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
      Except that 82nd Airborne CO. Jim Gavin said that had Matt Ridgeway been running the operation, he would have gotten the tanks moving immediately.
      Except that Gavin supports Browning on this issue and in any case it wouldn't have been Ridgway's call. Gavin states clearly that at the time neither he nor his men appreciated the difficulties the British were having. The only infantry available to accompany the tanks were Gavin's paras and he is adamant that he would not have allowed them to do so.

      Perhaps maintaining crucial contact with a battered enemy would have routed them and thereby saved the Paras at Arnhem.
      And how were the tanks alone going to do that?

      Even British Historian Max Hastings questions Horrock's standing down the Guards for 18 hours, saying that it reflected poorly on the British Military.
      Hastings doesn't have a good word for anyone in the British military, or the American for that matter. I like him but his opinion doesn't exactly carry a lot of weight.
      Last edited by Full Monty; 14 Nov 08, 15:42.
      Signing out.

      Comment


      • [QUOTE=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!![/QUOTE]

        Good description of the causes for the failure of the Market portion.

        The plan had several major flaws. The choice of landing zones for the British 1st Airborne was poor. The expectation troops could move quickly to Arnhem/Oosterbeek from 4-8 miles distant was unrealistic. Did the planners assume the force would move unhindered by any German opposition? Command had failed to acknowledge the prescence of the 2 SS divisions. The Allies assembled nearly 5000 transport and gliders but due to the numbers of troops and several objectives only half of the British paratroops landed on the first day. Half of these troops were required to hold the landing zones. Only 1 battalion had been able to advance to it's objective. Weather and problems with radios meant almost no air support for the British. Substituting a more experienced formation would have made little difference given the situation.

        Patton charging up the highway would have resulted in a larger failure. The Purist's description identifies the "why".

        The bottom line: The concept had merit but the planning was not up to the standard established by in previous operations.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
          Except that 82nd Airborne CO. Jim Gavin said that had Matt Ridgeway been running the operation, he would have gotten the tanks moving immediately. Perhaps maintaining crucial contact with a battered enemy would have routed them and thereby saved the Paras at Arnhem. Even British Historian Max Hastings questions Horrock's standing down the Guards for 18 hours, saying that it reflected poorly on the British Military.
          Yup. In Ridgway's Paratroopers it is made quite clear that Ridgway was frustrated with the delays, and he even went ahead of the entire column a couple of times to "check it out," but the Brits wouldn't listen to him when he said to move out.
          "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


          • Originally posted by BriteLite View Post
            Good description of the causes for the failure of the Market portion.
            Thank you

            Did the planners assume the force would move unhindered by any German opposition?
            More or less, yes. All they expected to encounter were a few rear area troops. Of course the Germans were expected to move in reinforcements but by that time the paras were supposed to have secured the bridges and commanding positions to cover the approaches to Arnhem.
            Signing out.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Full Monty View Post

              Except that Gavin supports Browning on this issue...
              I must have missed it, because in all of my reading on the 82nd I've never seen one time that Gavin supported Browning on anything.

              Frankly, I got the impression that Gavin did not even respect Browning.
              "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


              • Originally posted by Paul Mann III View Post
                Yup. In Ridgway's Paratroopers it is made quite clear that Ridgway was frustrated with the delays, and he even went ahead of the entire column a couple of times to "check it out," but the Brits wouldn't listen to him when he said to move out.
                I can't confirm that elsewhere but Browning did send a message to Urquhart stating explicitly that Guards Armoured would advance 'at first light' (just before midnight after the tanks had crossed). This had to be postponed when the lack of infantry became clear ('A Bridge Too Far' - p.356).
                Signing out.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Paul Mann III View Post
                  Frankly, I got the impression that Gavin did not even respect Browning.
                  Apparently he said 'There was no better soldier than the corps commander, General Browning'.

                  To be honest, I don't trust Gavin's opinions of anyone. He just seems slightly too polite. Maybe he just has too much respect for anyone who gets on with the job to say a bad word about them. And perhaps that's not a bad thing.
                  Signing out.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                    Right, so XXX Corps in Market-Garden had a harder job than did 3rd Army at the Bulge. Glad we got that sorted out.
                    Patton's record can be matched by both Clark and Hodges. Given that Clark wound up commanding 15th AG in Italy it could be argued his record is even better than Pattons.
                    Not hardly. Apples and oranges. Patton did all this in the middle of one of the worst European winters on record, with absolutely no aircover and at the ass-end of a long supply line. The time and talent that it took to pull this off is without compare. There were also a hellova' lot more SS Panzer and Heer troops facing the 3rd Army before Bastogne than were arrayed against the GAD at Nijmegen. I still say that those lost 18 hours made all the difference between victory and defeat at Arnhem, but then again, we will never know.

                    Hodges was good, but Patton was better. Both he and Patton jumped the Rhine at a time when it was supposed to be virtually impossible to do so without the aid of carpet bombing, parachute assaults, massive artillery prep, assault troops riding in landing craft and more importantly, having an army of correspondants to witness and record it all.

                    Clark couldn't carry Patton's jockstrap.
                    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                      Apparently he said 'There was no better soldier than the corps commander, General Browning'.

                      To be honest, I don't trust Gavin's opinions of anyone. He just seems slightly too polite. Maybe he just has too much respect for anyone who gets on with the job to say a bad word about them. And perhaps that's not a bad thing.
                      Gavin was certainly more respectful than most. Even his "big fight" with Ridgway amounted to little more than a few gruff words and a diary entry critical of Ridgway's confidence in Gavin (which Ridgways said was always high).

                      Gavin might have suffered from being so surrounded by great professional soldiers that he was unable to directly confront any of them. He had back-channel squabbles, but not much more..., a touch more of the flamboyant Pattonesque style may have done him good.

                      However, on tactical matters, his Gavin is rarely questioned..., oddly enough, only Chenuex, my favorite battle, is questioned by some of the books I've read. MacDonald called it "brave but foolish" in his book, and blamed Tucker for the plan and Gavin for giving the green-light.
                      "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


                      • Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                        Not hardly. Apples and oranges. Patton did all this in the middle of one of the worst European winters on record, with absolutely no aircover and at the ass-end of a long supply line. The time and talent that it took to pull this off is without compare. There were also a hellova' lot more SS Panzer and Heer troops facing the 3rd Army before Bastogne than were arrayed against the GAD at Nijmegen. I still say that those lost 18 hours made all the difference between victory and defeat at Arnhem, but then again, we will never know.

                        Hodges was good, but Patton was better. Both he and Patton jumped the Rhine at a time when it was supposed to be virtually impossible to do so without the aid of carpet bombing, parachute assaults, massive artillery prep, assault troops riding in landing craft and more importantly, having an army of correspondants to witness and record it all.

                        Clark couldn't carry Patton's jockstrap.
                        If you quibble over 18 hours, how late was Patton at Bastogne?

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Aber View Post

                          If you quibble over 18 hours, how late was Patton at Bastogne?
                          Considering the tight schedule for Market Garden, 18 hours seems worthy of quibbling over. It's a fair portion of the total timeframe...
                          "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


                          • Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                            Not hardly. Apples and oranges. Patton did all this in the middle of one of the worst European winters on record, with absolutely no aircover and at the ass-end of a long supply line.
                            No air cover? I beg to differ. If supplies were dropped in to Bastogne before Patton got there then he had ample air cover. And if Patton had the supplies to move his whole army he was in a better position than Dempsey who had barely enough for a single corps.
                            The time and talent that it took to pull this off is without compare.
                            Ah yes, with no opposition in front of him and his G3 telling him that the Germans were definitely going to attack in the Ardennes he could afford to make a few contingency plans.
                            There were also a hellova' lot more SS Panzer and Heer troops facing the 3rd Army before Bastogne than were arrayed against the GAD at Nijmegen.
                            Well, GAD is one division, 3rd Army is, well, an ARMY. So what are you saying? What did Georgie-Porgy actually face as his men cruised up to Bastogne?

                            I still say that those lost 18 hours made all the difference between victory and defeat at Arnhem, but then again, we will never know.
                            Frost was already off the bridge. It made no difference.

                            Hodges was good, but Patton was better.
                            Hodges was good! He cracked at the Bulge and was responsible for the mess that was Huertgen. Clark may have been an egotistical maniac but he wasn't that incompetent.
                            Signing out.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                              No air cover? I beg to differ. If supplies were dropped in to Bastogne before Patton got there then he had ample air cover. And if Patton had the supplies to move his whole army he was in a better position than Dempsey who had barely enough for a single corps.

                              Ah yes, with no opposition in front of him and his G3 telling him that the Germans were definitely going to attack in the Ardennes he could afford to make a few contingency plans.
                              Differ all you like, but there was no aircover possible between the start of the Battle of the Bulge on 16 December through the 23rd of December. The whole Ardennes was socked in with a massive arctic weather front that reduced visibility and grounded all aircraft. The foggy weather finally began to clear and the first airdrops of supplies into Bastogne occurred on the 23rd of December. Allied fighter bomber attacks began savaging German supply lines at the same time.

                              Re: "No Opposition in front of him." Pattons 3rd Army was shooting at somebody and not just burning up ammunition. You seem to be unable to grasp or come to terms with the fact that the 3rd Army successfully disengaged from actively fighting on one front, in order to attack in a wholy different direction within 48 hours of Patton's issued order.

                              Small wonder that you guys lost your empire.
                              "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by johnbryan View Post

                                Small wonder that you guys lost your empire.
                                Can we leave the nationalistic ego behind and just debate based on facts?
                                Last edited by DingBat; 14 Nov 08, 18:26.

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