Talk:Operation Market Garden

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Former featured article Operation Market Garden is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.

Obscure references maligning brave soldiers[edit]

Removing some of the bias against minor figures involved in the operation. It was an English operation, and a mess at that. Responsiblity for the mess is being passed to others such as the Poles and Americans who are not even listed in the commanders section. You can be sure that had it been a victory, the English would have taken full credit. Wallie (talk) 19:13, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

That's correct. But this is nothing new.. Another example: Everybody knows the battle of Waterloo, Wellington and the british victory. Nobody remembers Blücher, his prussian troops and the decisive role they played in that battle. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:04, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Please learn the difference between "English" and "British". Also, please become aware of the fact that the First Allied Airborne Army, the USSAF, and RAF planned the airborne element of this operation. That is several multinational forces all playing a major role in the planning and carrying out of drop zones, objectives, flying troops in, and conducting the actual fighting. 21st Army Group, who conducted the ground portion of the advance, was also multi-national with British Second Army comprised of Belgian, English, Irish (both from the north and those who had crossed over from the Republic to fight against Nazism), Scots, Welsh, and Germans (see So drop the sarcastic racist attitude, and bring a constructive and sourced argument to the table.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 21:51, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
LOL, racist. British is a race now, is it? <ignore> Both of you, knock it off. This is a controversial article, not at all aided by the massive amount of American vs. British finger-pointing that has dogged the topic for more than half a century. You both look very embarrassing in the year 2014 when you spout 1940s nationalism.
That said, I would note that the general historical consensus has now turned against the plan itself, while retaining a secondary appreciation for the smaller impact created by bad tactics: the American 508th PIR and the British XXX Corps both now come out of the mess looking quite crappy due to their lack of aggression compared to the other airborne units that were desperately fighting to make good on their parts of the plan. Even Gavin was regretful he didn't send his A-team to handle the bridge at Nijmegen, and Monty hated Adair (commander XXX Corps) and had wanted him replaced months ago. BUT....neither of these units decided the battle. The battle was lost before it was started. Regardless of what Patton (all tactical and 0% strategic) thought, it takes a hell of a lot of good tactics to rescue a bad strategy, but any good strategy includes an expectation of a certain amount of bad tactics. Monty's plan had zero wiggle room for bad tactics, bad weather, bad intel or bad anything else. It was a bad plan because it was a tightrope walk based on unverified expectations and unresearched assumptions. If he had not been stomping his feet so hard for a chance to rehabilitate his image as strategic master after Caen and the Falaise Gap, Ike would have rejected it and they would have done something else. He even admitted as much in his post-war writings. But Monty had pull and a flair for the dramatic and Ike had a soft spot for politics, and THAT is why current historical consensus stands where it does. No need to make the matter personal. Vintovka Dragunova (talk) 04:35, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Adair commanded Guards Armoured Division, not XXX Corps (which was commanded by Brian Horrocks). And Market Garden wasn't 'Monty's plan', it was a plan wished on him, mostly by Washington, where Marshall and Hap Arnold wanted to see their 'star' airborne divisions in dramatic action (see for instance Stephen Badsey, Arnhem 1944: Operation Market Garden, Osprey, 2003, p.9). And it failed because the only possible breakthrough route was too vulnerable, because Browning and Brereton weren't very good and Brereton in particular did nothing, because British 1st Airborne were dropped too far from the target and because US 101st and 82nd Airborne failed to secure the bridges at Son and Nijmegen on time or, indeed, to secure them at all. After Normandy, there was also a rather arrogant expectation by planners that the enemy wouldn't do anything, which, given the enemy were the Germans, was less than clever. (talk) 19:53, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Have we got a reliable source for Operation Market Garden being planned in Washington? I am not aware of any ETO operation being planned by OPD. Hawkeye7 (talk) 04:12, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

I would think the cited author, Stephen Badsey, is himself a reliable source in Wikipedia terms, as he's a reputable author and a lecturer at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and his Arnhem book is in the article's bibliography. What he says, and the article seems to reflect this, is: 'Under pressure from Washington, where Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall and General Henry "Hap" Arnold, commanding the Army Air Forces, both wanted a major airborne operation mounted in Europe before the end of the war, Eisenhower placed First Allied Airborne Army under 21st Army Group control.' (Eisenhower had himself created that formation under Brereton a few weeks earlier.) 'As the Allied supply crisis and dispute over strategy worsened, it was from this tangle of conflicting interests that an airborne solution, Operation "Market Garden", started to emerge.' The suggestion is not that people in Washington did the detailed operational planning, but that Washington indicated to Eisenhower that an airborne spectacular was favoured, so if Monty wanted resources from Ike for his 'northern thrust' then an airborne spectacular with the 82nd and 101st involved was what he had to do. Don't know what Badsey's sources are, but, if they're primary documents, those are not considered 'reliable' by Wikipedia -- you have to go with the published secondary sources. The airborne part of Market Garden, the 'daring' part which was supposed to win plaudits, was mainly American in terms of troops and aircraft and was under an American commander, Brereton, who has become almost invisible due to the blame-shifting game: you could be forgiven for imagining that it was Browning's show and that his US superior never existed, even though it was Brereton's order to ground the Allied tactical air forces during the resupply lifts that conceded air superiority over the battlefield to the enemy for the only time in the Northwest Europe campaign, a fairly astounding achievement for an Allied commander, and this may have had at least as much influence on the battle as the well-known problems with the weather and 1st Airborne's radios.

Considering the controversial subject, the article doesn't seem too bad at the moment, and someone has kindly headed off an attempt to blame Capt Lord Carrington MC, as if he could actually have taken on the whole of Bittrich's II SS-Panzer Korps with four Shermans. Khamba Tendal (talk) 18:17, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

As an instance of the American input on the planning, there is Eisenhower's directive of 29 August to Bradley and Montgomery, the relevant parts being:--

'The Commander-in-Chief Northern Group of Armies [i.e. Monty at 21st Army Group], in conjunction with the Commanding General First Allied Airborne Army, will plan and direct the employment of the entire Airborne force which is made available to the Northern Group of Armies to expedite the accomplishment of its assigned missions... The First Allied Airborne Army, in conjunction with the Northern Group of Armies, will plan and prepare for launching an airborne assault to insure the destruction of the retreating enemy forces. Planning and initial employment, in co-ordination with the Allied Naval and Air Commanders concerned, will be as directed by the Commander-in-Chief Northern Group of Armies. After their employment as indicated above, the airborne troops must be rapidly assembled in preparation for future operations to the north.' (Shaef SGS file 381, ff 338-361 [HS/SHAEF/297/3], cited in Ellis, Victory in the West Vol. I, Cabinet edition, pp.475-6.)

Eisenhower agreed with Monty that the northern thrust by 21st Army Group should have priority, and the Airborne Army's transport aircraft in England had limited range and could only be committed to 21st Army Group, so Monty was assigned the Airborne Army and was expected to do something with it. As to what he should do... on 29 August the plan was to drop Airborne Army on Tournai in Belgium, just across the French border, and this was cancelled because of the speed of the British armour's advance, 200 miles in a week, with Horrocks making 30 miles to Amiens on the night of 30-31 August and reaching Antwerp on 4 September.

Monty then had the problem of the Scheldt estuary, where the Germans were digging in on Walcheren island and South Beveland to stop the Allies opening Antwerp to shipping. So he proposed Operation Infatuate, with Airborne Army dropped on Walcheren and South Beveland and Horrocks hooking left to follow on. Brereton at Airborne Army refused to do that because of the flak on Walcheren and South Beveland, plus he said the terrain was too boggy, so that was off. Then, since Antwerp wouldn't be so important if the war could be won in the next few weeks, Monty proposed a right hook to Cleve, Goch and Wesel, with Airborne dropped in advance and Horrocks following on again, and Brereton refused to do that because he didn't like the flak in the Ruhr, so that was off too.

Since Brereton wouldn't let Monty go either left or right, Monty could only go up the middle, and there was only one road he could use, from Joe's Bridge to Eindhoven, Grave, Nijmegen and Arnhem. So he proposed -- economically, without trying to burn up the whole Airborne force at once -- Operation Comet, a drop by British 1st Airborne and 1st Polish Para Brigade on Nijmegen and Arnhem, with Horrocks and XXX Corps (who'd proved they could advance at shattering speed) to follow on. That was on 7 September, and Sosabowski of 1st Polish said, 'But the Germans, general! The Germans!' and on reflection Monty had to take into account the Germans' amazing powers of recuperation, even though Ike said they were finished, so instead he proposed Market Garden, with the whole of Airborne Army in play the way Ike wanted. From 8 September there was added urgency, because the first V-2s landed on London, and on 9 September Brooke as CIGS signalled Monty that he'd need to overrun those rocket sites soonest, and that was agreed by Ike and Monty at their infamous 10 September meeting at Brussels airfield. So Market Garden was on.

And it should have worked, except that Brereton made that strange order to ground 2nd Tactical Air Force during his lifts and cede air superiority to the enemy, and his sidekick Brig Gen Paul Williams of IX Troop Carrier Command insisted on only one lift per day instead of the two that the British wanted, because Williams said American pilots and ground crew weren't used to working that hard and it might be too much for them. The Germans rapidly identified the inexplicably lazy single-lift policy, forcing the Airborne to fight at half strength for days and nullifying the shock effect, as the Allies' greatest mistake. Khamba Tendal (talk) 18:42, 27 April 2016 (UTC)


What is wrong with it? Well other than pretty much no other article does this and there is a dedicated article for this, per Template:Infobox military conflict: "A military conflict infobox (sometimes referred to as a warbox) may be used to summarize information about a particular military conflict (a battle, campaign, war, or group of related wars) in a standard manner" (my emphasis).

The template also highlights "units1/units2/units3 – optional – the units or formations involved. If a large number of distinct formations is present, it may be better to reference an order of battle in the body of the article than to include the entire list in this field. The units3 field can only be used if the combatant3 field is set" (my emphasis). EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 22:37, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

I agree - this is much too detailed, especially as we also have an Operation Market Garden order of battle article. Nick-D (talk) 22:54, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
that's where i got the details, which are vastly more expansive. i only added the main units SyriaWarLato (talk) 23:15, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
The main units (ignoring several incorrect divisional titles) included VIII and XII Corps, who played only a peripheral role? The main units included most of the German divisions in the Netherlands, most of whom - on the list - are not mentioned within the article and their own articles mentioned practically nothing on the operation?EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 23:37, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
then that's an issue with the OOB that has to be corrected on the page and infobox. SyriaWarLato (talk) 23:55, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
No. Your argument was you have only transposed the main units into the infobox. My argument is that you have copied the entire order of battle over for several armies, which is way to detailed. Your own response acknowledges a level of ignorance on what the main units actually were for this battle (that is not an issue for the detailed OOB page).EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 00:25, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Infoboxes are not meant to have anything like the current level of detail: please note that the guidance for this field at Template:Infobox military conflict says that "If a large number of distinct formations is present, it may be better to reference an order of battle in the body of the article than to include the entire list in this field". I've reverted your change pending further discussion here. Nick-D (talk) 00:01, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

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Possible copyright violation[edit]

I have removed a paragraph from Il Silenzio (song) and Operation Market Garden because of possible copyright violation. This paragraph seems to be originally added to these articles in this and this edit in 2014. I was unable to find (using a web search) the original source, but this content has been around the Internet at least since 2010 and it's clear that this removed paragraph was copy pasted from unknown source (maybe from this?) Politrukki (talk) 14:48, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

Too much detail in a couple of the Nijmegen sections[edit]

I have tagged two of the Nijmegen sections to be summarized. Although the extra detail being added is well sourced, it's too detailed for this article. (Hohum @) 15:51, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

I have concerns regarding the whole tone of the Nijmegen sections, there seem to be a number of quotes implying that the failure by the 82nd Airborne to immediately seize the Nijmegen Bridge instead of the Groesbeek heights was the cause of XXX Corps' delay and hence the failure of the operation. Having just returned from there and read up on the battle in preparation for my visit, I understand that the Groesbeek Heights were highly strategic and failure to secure them would have made capture of the Nijmegen bridge tenuous as was shown by the repeated German attacks on Groesbeek over the following days.Mztourist (talk) 08:29, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

The failure of the 82nd Airborne at Nijmegen was indeed, and indubitably, the prime cause of the failure of Market Garden. They needed to put men on the Groesbeek heights, but their objective was the road bridge on the Waal. To put two whole regiments at Groesbeek and do nothing about the bridge was an obvious and culpable failure. At 15:00 on 17 September, by Badsey's account, 'Model and Bittrich agreed that the key to the battle was not Arnhem, but Nijmegen road bridge. If the Allied drive could be stopped on the Waal, any success farther north became irrelevant.'

Quite right, and the Germans knew that, but the 82nd Airborne, whose prime objective was that very bridge, weren't interested. At the time of that conference between Model and Bittrich the paratroopers had been on the ground for two hours and, though they'd got the canal bridge at Heumen, they'd let the Germans blow the other two canal bridges and they'd done nothing about Nijmegen or even apparently thought about it, because they were busy 'consolidating' (minding their own backs) at Groesbeek. The whole point of using airborne troops was the speed and suddenness of their arrival, and the bridges had to be taken at once by coups de main, but the 82nd just didn't do anything.

Only after dark was one company of 1st 508th sent to look for the Nijmegen bridge. They were driven off by Kampfgruppe Henke, 'an improvised battalion of soldiers, airmen and railway guards' which the Germans had drummed up while the elite paratroopers were just not doing anything. The article is quite wrong to say (in a conveniently unsourced paragraph) that the 82nd were stopped by SS. There were no SS in Nijmegen that night. The SS could not get through because John Frost's 2 Para had correctly secured their objective, the north end of the Arnhem bridge, and it took many hours for the SS to improvise a ferry at another point. The 82nd were essentially stopped by a bunch of railway ticket collectors.

The next day, the 18th, the 82nd did use two battalions, the 1st and 3rd 508th, and three times they claimed they had taken the bridge, but they hadn't. The SS, up at Arnhem, were still dealing with the ferry problem, and the US paratroopers had, again, been seen off by ticket-collectors. And it just didn't get any better after that. Khamba Tendal (talk) 19:18, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Apologies. Looking it up, I'm reminded that some SS did visit Nijmegen that night, but they didn't fight there. The recce battalion of 9th SS, with about 400 men in 40 Schwimmwagens, motorcycles, armoured cars, half-tracks and trucks, had just crossed Arnhem bridge in the evening as Frost's 2 Para were arriving. They were scouting on behalf of 10th SS (as the rest of 9th SS was being sent off for a refit), and were told to check as far as Nijmegen for more Allied landings. A while after they went by, the advance guard of 10th SS itself tried to cross and got into trouble with Frost. The 9th SS recce battalion, under Viktor Graebner, who had won the Knight's Cross in Normandy, probed south to Nijmegen, where Graebner found that the scratch Kampfgruppe Henke, the battalion of local odd bods organised since the 82nd Airborne touched down at Groesbeek, was holding the great bridge on the Waal all right and nothing much was happening. Graebner then heard on the radio of his captured British Humber armoured car that 10th SS had a problem back at Arnhem, so he headed off. (Meaning that the 82nd weren't presenting any problem at Nijmegen that the SS even needed to worry about.)

Graebner left some of his cannon-armed half-tracks as a picket at Elst, halfway back from Nijmegen, took the remaining 22 armoured vehicles and trucks to Arnhem and waited for daylight. He then tried to force a passage north across the bridge. Famously, this attempt came to grief, and 2 Para destroyed almost all the vehicles with a 6-pdr and PIATs and killed 70 of the 300 SS including Graebner. This gives a practical illustration of what would happen to even a well-equipped, well-trained, highly experienced SS unit if it ran into an Allied paratroop battalion with the advantage of position.

Which is why the 82nd, who had just been easily seen off by Kampfgruppe Henke (not literally ticket-collectors, but just railway sentries and suchlike), should have moved sooner. The reason they didn't was partly due to Browning's poor orders -- he told Gavin only to move on the Waal bridge when the Grave bridge, the canal bridges and Groesbeek were secure -- and partly due to Gavin's slowness to modify those orders in the light of circumstances. At least one battalion should have been detailed to the bridge in advance, but Gavin only sent one company when the humble second-line local Germans had already reacted, organised and got ready. So the article's still wrong to say that the 82nd were stopped by SS, even though some sources mistakenly make that claim. Khamba Tendal (talk) 17:55, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Edithbridge ?[edit]


At 09:50 the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment was going forward to Wijchen, to attack the Edithbridge from its south end. The bridge was secured. After this fierce engagement they pushed on to the traffic bridge south of Wijchen. Another fierce engagement followed and this bridge was secured. "

Where/what is Edith bridge? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:16, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

It's the railroad bridge over the Maas between Ravenstein and Niftrik. Fnorp (talk) 09:34, 11 April 2016 (UTC)