Operation Market Garden failed because of three major Allied leaders making bad mistakes and three German leaders reacting fast and furious

I would like to start this topic by recommending my fellows brothers and sisters in arms in this great army of Timeghostwisdom to read these two books:
’A Bridge too Far’ by Cornelius Ryan
(I’ll admit, the movie also is a must see but does not represent the truth as far as I am concerned, especially concerning this topic).
Moreover I highly recommend a very good book by:
Robert Kershaw: ’It Never Snows in September’, the German View of MARKET-GARDEN and the Battle of Arnhem, September 1944.

Now, let’s start with the biggest issue first: I believe that the whole operation has mostly been a failure because of Browning’s vision and orders from the get go. As soon as Montgomery came up with his great idea to “end the war before Christmas” (I will discuss that later on), Browning jumped at the opportunity like a cow that is being released for the first time into a meadow as spring finally arrives.
Therefore he didn’t put too much effort into sound intelligence (understandably because already over 9 planned drops had been cancelled, due to the rapid advance of both Dempsey [2nd British/Canadian Army, including XXX-Corps, heading operation Garden] and Patton [3rd US Army, probably causing all this because of his rivalry with Monty] ), although Dutch resistance reported the presence of multiple Panzerdivizionen near Apeldoorn and also an SS Rekrutenschule in the proximity of Ede-Wageningen.

Without him realizing he was about to unleash an attack doomed to fail if but only one shackle in this chain of bridges would break, Browning ordered Gavin (US’ youngest brigadier-general, 82nd airborne division) to NOT (I repeat: NOT) immediately go with full force to the bridge of Nijmegen (his prime objective) but only to send a recon force to the bridge: first put all his efforts into seizing the high ground near Groesbeek. The Allies were affraid at least 1,000 German Panzers were hiding there to attack the flank, which was the biggest fear of both Gavin and Browning, due to poor intelligence…ooh! by the way: Browning also had his eye set on a very luxurious castle on the Groesbeek hights for his HQ!

Both 9th and 10th SS Panzerdivisionen Hohenstauffen and Frundsberg were refitting and recuperating north of Arnhem at the Veluwe, not in the Reichswald, as Browning was assuming, not by any means on solid evidence. The real threat as history has shown us, eventually came from those two SS Panzerdivizionen, as the 10th blocked out Gavin, busy setting up HQ for Browning, whilst the city of Nijmegen and both bridges over the Waal were firmly reinforced by10th SS PZ, causing the demise of countless unnecessary casualties on both sides, eventually.

As a Dutchman I am very much emotionally involved in this dramatic part of history and I would like to give this topic the respect it deserves…

Never forget

to be continued


IMHO, there was some serious delusion very early on.

This was a huge operation, and to have it both attack AND support via one major road was not all that smart. Especially ignoring the obvious if the attack gets bogged down anywhere, the entire attack is in jeopardy.

Then again, that lesson was ignored quite a few times during the war, lol…


As always, I very much appreciate your input.
I firmly believe that taking the Groesbeek hights was the deathblow to the whole operation. Imagine Gavin first swiftly taking the roadbridge, and only after that securing his flanks by taking both the railroadbridge on the left and the groesbeek hights on the right, 10th Panzer SS wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get into Nijmegen and defend the citycentre, ultimately delaying the whole advance for days and causing the 82nd to wait for boats to cross the river Waal and die by the
dozens while trying!
Let’s face it: Montgomery, Browning and Gavin have a lot to account for in this horrendous debacle.
A stark reminder of what can happen if some brass fails his or her duty: the Dutch railwaycompany went on strike to support the Allied effort during the attack and due to the failure of Market-Garden, many Dutch civilians died of hunger as a reprisal by the Germans.

Never forget


To be fair though both SOE and Dutch goverment in exile insisted to Dutch underground not to perform large scale resistance activities that would cause large scale German retaliation but Dutch resiatance , elated by Allied advance from Normany to Antwerp and Dolle Diesentag on September 1944 when German Army was in disarray , prematurely initiated railway strike on their own. (“SOE” accordinfg to MR. Foot , its official historian) They should have waited.

Market Garden was a good plan in theory but because the planning and preperation time were so short (only eight days between when Montgomery put the plan to Eisenhower in Granville and took his approval on 8th September 9th September , orders given to 1st Airborne Army and 17th September its launch) there were a lot of over optimist assumptions , mistakes , hasty improvisions and rough edges in operation planning that were ignored by both Browning (1st Airborne Corps commander) , Lewis Brereton (commander of US Transport fıorces and 1st Airborne Army) , Leigh Mallory RAF Transport Chief and SHEAF representative , division commanders Taylor , Gavin and Urqhuart.

Despite that and its tragic aftermath upon Dutch civilians and inability to capture a bridgehead over Rhine , 30th Corps advanced 59 miles from Dutch Belgian border to Elst , liberated all Dutch territory till Maas and plus Nijmegen island , captured buffer zone to cover Antwerp from any possible German counter attack from north plus Eindhoven airfields and Nijmegen salient which later proved a valuable launching pad territory for advance to Germany by overflanking West Wall during Operation Veritable and Granede and Blackcock in 1945. If you look into full half of glass that is better than nothing. Three weeks later 1st US Army would suffer twice as many more casaulties at Hurtgen Forest further south just to advance five miles in six weeks which later proved worthless and abandoned afterwards because they could not reach Roer River nor pierced West Wall. (Market Garden went on just for nine days) Of course they did not make an all United Star actors movie about Hurtgen Forest , nor about Battle of Metz where 3rd US Army stuck in Lorreine so…


Let’s agree to disagree on this matter, my friend. To assume the Dutch population brought it on themselves to be starved during the winter and also to think, as Montgomery did, operatie Market Garden was 90% successful, is a bridge too far for me.


So here’s a hypothetical question- what if they put the same resources to a more modest goal? Getting deep into Holland was not a bad result- just that it came at a pretty high cost because of the optimism.

I still have issues with such a fast plan over very little available roadway surface.


Thank you for your question,
I believe that there was simply no easy way out and I think the discussion between Montgomery and Patton was too much a burden on Ike and he was convinced by Monty to take the shot whereas in hindsight it would have been much more prudent to liberate Walcheren and Beveland first to free up the port of Antwerpen and thereby getting in more supplies to get Patton on the move again.
All in my humble opinion


I actually believe that the real goal of operation market garden not only was to get over the river Rhine to attack the rear of the Ruhr but also to push through to the IJselmeer to envelop the 7th army, thus denying them reinforcements as Dempsey attacked Walcheren to free up the Schelde estuary to open up Antwerpen


I have never said that :slight_smile: I said Dutch Resistance leadership ordered unions to start railway strike prematurely despite instructions from Free Dutch goverment not to act hastily. At the other hand who could blame Dutch resistance after more than four years of Nazi oppression their salvation seemed around the corner. ? I do not. On premature victory disease and over optimism SHEAF (Allied High Command) and Allied army group and army commands were also faulty as much as them

I have never said that either. But a lot of net gains and liberated ground were at side of Allies at the end of operation. Much better than following Operation Queen , Hurtgen Forest , Lorreine Campaign or first days of Ardennes Offensive during rest of 1944. Montgomery said that %90 of Operation Market Garden was sucess in an exegerrated manner but if you continue to read his memoirs even he accepts his own blame for its eventual failure and his own over optimism. At the other hand I think no one in Dutch side wished towns like Valkenswaard , Eindhoven , Helmond , Grave or Nijmegen (later enlarged to Tilburg , Breda , S’Hertogenbosch) remain occupied anymore. Market Garden despite its strategic failure had net gains for the Allies as I listed above.


Thank you for your reply, let’s agree to disagree with mutual respect :+1:


For further and more non partisan look about Operation Market Garden I reccomend John Buckley’s Operation Market Garden 70 Years Later collected work from several authors , much better than Ryans A Bridge Too Far (written as a movie script narrative considering his previous book The Longest Day was also coverted to a movie) or Keshaw’s It Never Snows…which looks to operation from only German perspective. I agree though Generals Boy Browning , Lewis Brereton and Air Marshal Leigh Mallory are the main culprits for poor planning of Market airborne part of the operation.



Thank you, again, for your input and the read, I already assumed we were on the same page on a few issues and it is good to see you have the same interest on this matter so, cheerio!:+1:

1 Like

Market Garden failed because of a variety of reasons: First the supply lines were from the Belgian border all the way to Arnhem. This was primairly a single road which could be and was attacked by the germans from 2 sides. So the supplies going to Arnhem were under attacks, which is not something you want to have. Secondly the army on the ground had to cross 5 bridges to bypass the Siegfried Line in Germany to get into Germany. From the German perspective it is easy to understand why the attack would fail. When the Allies took the first bridge, they gave away their intentions of bypassing the Siegfried Line. And thirdly the Allies had bad luck of running into SS troops near their landing sides. The Allies thought that the SS division was not near the Rhine Bridge, which was an Allied Intel failure. Although the SS did not have any tanks anymore, they were still a fighting force against paratroopers. Later in the battle of Arnhem (September 19th, 1944), StuG IIIs arrived from Denmark causing further mayhem to the Allies. The battle ended with all Allied soldiers killed or captured and the entire part of northern Netherlands still being under occupation.


Thank you, my fellow countryman, I suspect, for your knowledgable contribution to this topic. I still would stress and recommend to read ‘It Never Snows in September’ by Robert Kershaw. This book really balances both Allied and Axis points of view by giving the German side of the story, all Kampfgruppen actions and even routing up a Dutch SS school regiment…Allied politics and rivalry made many casualties through ignoring outright clear intelligence reports of the presence
of Bittrich’s forces near Arnhem, which indeed were also equipped with panzers, even Tiger 2…


(ignoring the revive warning, as Market Garden will pop back up at some point … )

I can also add ‘Devil’s Birthday’ by Geoffrey Powell to the books to read when it comes to Operation Market Garden. I did read it a couple of years ago and will probably read it when Market Garden is approaching again in the timeline.

A couple of points to take away is that Arnhem could not have been the endpoint for the operation. You would have to cut off the German forces in the west of the The Netherlands to avoid being attacked from the back when continuing into Germany from Arnhem. Also you would need to cross the IJssel river, so it’s not just one bridge too far, but actually at least 2. This was later bypassed by going through the Reichswald, crossing the Rhine (of course this was done after the Rhein was already crossed at Remagen.

BTW not all soldiers were captured, there was a nightly retreat from the Oosterbeek perimeter to the other side of the Rhein near Driel. Greatly helped by the Polish Forces that would later got a lot of the blame from Monty for the failure. Besides that a couple of hunderd soldiers went in to hiding and another two crossings were organised during the winter (Operations Pegasus ! and II)

In my opinion the liberation of Antwerp and making the harbour should have been prioritised in September '44. Marker Garden was a bold plan that was hampered by the logistics on the ground. XXX corps couldn’t keep up the speed from Day 1 of the operation, but also the plans for Arnhem were flawed, the droppings were too far from the 2 bridges at Arnhem. It is a very interesting topic and as someone living in Arnhem I am curious how it will be covered.


There’s a thread of (British) analysis of the battle that declares that if only the 82nd had taken the bridge at Nijmegen with dispatch, everything would have worked. The implication is that the 82nd was badly led (or occasionally alleged to be just plain chicken.).

But the plan itself was, well, idiocy.

For Monty, absolutely everything had to go exactly right, or it was all for nothing. So did did what he usually did - he picked non-British troops for the dirty work, so he had somebody to blame if things went bad. The XXX Corps force was led by the Irish Guards. Three of four airborne units were non-British (two US divisions, a Polish brigade).

The Irish Guards led XXX Corps up a narrow (usually one) highway attack route, and got creamed. But they weren’t pulled out of the line for a fresher unit for three weeks. XXX Corps’ supply was repeatedly interdicted by “bypassed” German artillery and infantry; XXX Corps units repeatedly had to turn back to clear the road the trucks had to drive on.

The bridge at Nijmagen would have been dynamited before anybody could take it except for the heroic efforts of a Dutch resistance member (Jan van Hoof) who cut the ignition wires on the 18th. But for this one man, M-G would have been two bridges too far.

Intent on avoiding casualties in the (British) 1st Airborne, he had them dropped eight miles away from the bridge that was the whole point of the exercise. The result that of the 12,000 men of the 1st, only 800 made it to the objective (less than 7 percent of the division.). And they were able to seize… half the bridge. John Frost’s battalion was left to die in Arnhem.

Monty had been warned by Ultra Intelligence (September 16th, the day before the operation began) that the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions were right in the path of the operation. He just didn’t care.

Monty had come up with this entire grandstanding (“first across the Rhine” and all) scheme despite continuing to ignore the critical value of the port of Antwerp, which he had been put in charge of taking and clearing the waterway of. This was not completed until November 28th, 10 weeks after Market-Garden. If he had done what he should have (what he had been repeatedly ordered to), supply issues for the entire Western Allied military force would have disappeared. Of course, that would mean Monty could not be the man who won the war. (When my supplementary timeline on reddit gets to the fall of 1944, you’ll hear all about it.)

The bridge was destroyed on October 7th, 1944… by US bombers. Arnhem wasn’t taken until April 14th, 1945… by Canadians.

(Can you tell I’m not a big fan of the Viscount of Alamein?) :slight_smile:


No doubt in my mind Market Garden was too bold a plan from Montgomery and the ignored Intelligence I hope haunted Allied Commanders, especially Montgomery, Browning and other British commanders for the rest of their lives. Stronger German forces than originally thought were resting and recuperating in Holland and the Allies had grown too confident in their Airborne forces. Now one thought I’ve had was the had one more Airborne Division in reserve at the time of Market Garden. I wonder if the 17th Airborne division was included in the Operation, maybe to aid the British 1st Airborne division at Arnhem, would the Allies have been able to pull it off. If this division had been used it certainly would have meant more casualties and maybe two butchered airborne divisions. Does anyone think Market Garden could have been pulled off had the 17th Airborne aided the British 1st Airborne at Arnhem?

1 Like

Market Garden was a high risk operation but judging an entire career for just one operation is easy , I can do the same for Patton (had entire Task Force and POWs destroyed to save his son in law a few weeks before end of war) , Bradley (suffered twice as many casaulties in Hurtgen Forest for no advance) , Hodges (Hurtgen Forest then , caught suprised and lost control at Battle of Bulge , leaving 8.000 men to be captured at Schnee Eiffel alone) , Halsey (Battle of Leyte Gulf antics of getting entire Third Fleet after Japanese decoy and then putting his fleet in the path of a typhoon later) and Auchinleck (let both Tobruk and Mersa Matruh captured with 40.000 prisoners and vast supply depot captured by enemy) etc

Market Garden was only sensetionalised because of Hollywood history with United Artist movie production that was designed to humiliate British military effort in 1970’ies when US Army public credits in comparison was low but was designed to be increased with DoD funding after Vietnam War. (Hurtgen Forest , Lorreine Campaign or Schnee Eiffel did not get a Hollywood treatment) And no Montgomery did NOT have ULTRA intelligence. Read John Buckley’s “Operation Market Garden” : The ULTRA intelligence and air recon information was sent directly to 1st Airborne Army HQ in England that was tasked with planning of airborne drops but its commanders (Browning , Brereton and Leigh Malory ) ignored it within seven days of hasty planning constraint because SS Panzer units in the Oosterbeek were indeed in low strength (they had only few tanks and in total 8.000 men dispersed over Netherlands) but German ability of reorganisation and creating temporary battlegroup formations in emergencies was ignored by Browning and Brereton.

After giving strategic orders to 1st Airborne Army on 9th September , Montgomery was in Belgium , leading the operations of 21st Army Group in Northwest Europe. He had nothing to do with operational or tactical preperation or planning of airborne drops. ULTRA information about location of 2nd SS Panzer Corps reached only on 16th September to 21st Army Group HQ , too late to halt the momentum of operation. He ordered “do your best planning” to Browning , Brereton , Taylor , Gavin , Urqhuart and Leigh Mallory on 9th September and all of them dropped the ball. Gavin , overracting to the news of 1.000 (non existent) panzers awaiting in Reichswald forests , neglected to capture Nijmegen bridge on first moments of landing with a Coup de Main landing instead reinforced Groesbeek heights. Urqhuart bowed to the pressure of RAF Chiefs Lewis Brereton , Arthur Teddler and Leigh Mallory to transport 1st Airborne Divison to Arnhem in three different airborne drops for three days instead of one single drop to maximise the suprise and speed advantage (due to lack of transport aircraft excuse RAF and USAAF chiefs objected one single drop and got away with it , the paratroopers paid the price) On top of that entire 1st Airborne Division landed 15 km away from main target , Arnhem bridge , forfeiting any suprise or speed advantage due to RAF chiefs Arthur Teddler and Leigh Mallory’s pressure to stay away from German anti aircraft zones and minimise pilot and aircraft losses (again paratroopers paid the price) , not to mention 1st Airborne Division was issued with malfunctioning radios.

Montgomery had nothing to do with these operational blunders of 1st Airborne Army in England , only after post war revisionism (after Monty’s death to villify him with aid of Hollywood) he was declared responsible while Browning (who became liason officer in Buckingham Palace after the war , who had used 30 idle gliders to transport his entire HQ to Nijmegen and not sparing one to capture Nijmegen or Arnhem bridge on first hours of landing with a coup de main operation when the example of sucess in Pegasus Bridge was plain to see in coup de main suprise operations) , Lewis Brereton (same US Army Air Force general who let MacArthur’s airforce and B-17 bombers destroyed in Phillippines in 8th December 1941 and got promoted after that) were forgotten and Urqhuart (due to played by Sean Connery in the movie) lionised when in actuality he was an infantry general not airborne officer and should not be commanding an airborne unit. Teddler and Leigh Mallory being RAF officers and enemies of Montgomery twisted the whole history and buried their own responsibility in the resulting failure.

despite continuing to ignore the critical value of the port of Antwerp, which he had been put in charge of taking and clearing the waterway of. This was not completed until November 28th, 10 weeks after Market-Garden. If he had done what he should have (what he had been repeatedly ordered to

Again falsified revisionist history from Cornelius Ryan era. Capture of Scheldt and opening of Antwerp was NOT ordered by SHEAF (Eisenhower , Bedell Smith) to 21st Army Group till end of September because as General Horrocks 30th Corps commander admitted everyone was fixated on Rhine , crossing the Rhine and ending the war quickly once it was crossed in f September. One could blame Montgomery of neglecting Antwerp approaches (which was fortified by 90.000 or so German troops from 15th German Army that had Hitler orders to hold it to the last to deny Antwerp opening so it would be a long delay to first ships to pass through Scheldt till German batteries in Walcharen silenced and minefields were cleared anyway regardless of cutting Scheldt peninsula from east when Germans had route retreat from north anyway and pulled most of the 15th Army from Scheldt in first three weeks of September) but he is not alone on that mistake. Eisenhower’s decison for a broad front on advancing German frontier also played havoc on supply issues.

As for 30th Corps and Irish Guards , you know they advanced 300 miles in less than a week from Normandy to Antwerp in seven days in August - September 1944. The nature of the terrain (lowlands with mudddy terrain) and single highway was not their fault and after first day of their advance on 17th September , getting through German ambush they advanced from Neerpelt to Grave and Nijmegen in two days (52 miles) in three days (17-19 September) despite 101st US Airborne Division failed to capture Son bridge (which was blown to their faces) at Wilhelmina Channel when its general Maxwell Taylor also neglected coup de main operation and capturing the bridge at first moments of landings (Taylor became Chief of Staff of US Army and ambassador to Vietnam and on of the first and most passinate advocates of US involvement in Vietnam in 1950-60 era) , they had to put a pontoon bridge and wait for 18 hours for that. If Browning and Gavin had not neglected to capture Nijmegen bridge on first day of airborne landings with a coup de main grab of main objective instead of focusing on Groesbeek heights , Guards Armored Division would probably reach to Arnhem within a few days) It was Gavin’s and Browning’s blunders that sabotaged Market Garden ground advance.

Only successful coup de main grab of bridge during Market Garden was accomplished by 504th US Airborne Regiment during the operation , that was independent of Gavin’s interdiction , landed on Grave bridge on Maas river and captured it in a few minutes after landing on 17th September. (ironically this regiment had not participated Normandy Landings , previously came from Italian Campaign but aware of shock and suprise advantage of airborne operations more than “veteran” units and commanders) I believe it was later named as John Thompson’s bridge , after US lietutenant who captured it on 17th September.

1 Like

Having visited the freedom museum in Groesbeek a few weeks ago as well as the Airborne museum Hartenstein in Oosterbeek a couple of years back, I have a few remarks on this topics. First off

I think quite frankly you’re wrong here. The counterattacks that were seen by the Germans in the days following the paradrops focused mostly on retaking the Groesbeek heights from the east. Had those not been prioritized by the allies and would they have sit firmly in German hands, they would have had unopposed crossings of the Waal in the east and could have launched counterattacks directly on Nijmegen in the 82nd’s rear. Fighting in Groesbeek was fierce and led to the diversion of resources from the crossings, but these were successfull nevertheless throught the heroism of the 82nd. Securing Groesbeek was a strategic necessity rather than a plunder and this strategic necessity only points out how failed this whole operation was from the start.

Sure and my gf’s grandparents living in Son en Breugel at the time were very greatful for that, but the liberation of territory here didn’t have any other strategic advantage. If you have the resources for a large offensive, you better make effective use of it. One could argue that M-G was by far the least useful thing they could have done with those resources.

This is not quite true, only a small corridor to Nijmegen was liberated during M-G. The fight for most of Noord-Brabant would continue for over a month. Places like Breda, Tilburg and 's-Hertogenbosch would only be liberated by Operation Pheasant at the end of October. This was not an achievement of M-G.

This became subsequently known as Hell’s Highway. Not a place I’d like to be carrying supplies over.

Many people talk about this Intel failure in the context of the M-G failure, but I don’t think you should focus on this as the main reason for the failure. The intel failure mainly made an already flawed plan a lot worse. As a side note, there was a lot of false intel going around as well, so it was not always easy to judge which intel was trustworthy and which was not. SOE and the Dutch resistance had been bamboozled for several years in the Englanspiel. With regard to that it is not surprising that any information coming from the occupied Netherlands was viewed with a dose of scepsis in Britain.

Thank you for highlighting this! The Poles under Sosabowski did the lord’s work out there.

In the end it all barely mattered though as the land between Nijmegen and Arnhem became a flooded no man’s land. Subsequent operations Veritable, Blockbuster, Grenade, Plunder and Varsity would all focus further to the east. The eastern Netherlands would later be liberated from German territory.

Another mistake that further emphasized the strategic disaster that was about to occur. Though the offensive would likely still have failed had they been closer to Arnhem. Dropping them at the Ginkelse Heide was maybe stupidly far from Arnhem, but the area around Arnhem is and was very forested. There were few open fields available for successful paradrops, most of them were to the south of the river or equally far away.

Sure, the land offensive could have proceeded a lot better, but do you really think there was the possibility for Market Garden to be executed successfully and if so, was it really the best way to spend Allied resources. Sure, there was a lot of fixation on the crossing of the Rhine, but you could have gone for the bridge at Moerdijk instead making an advance on Rotterdam and simultaneously securing the land surrounding the Schelde. Crossing successfully at Arnhem would only have led to the Germans further fortifying fortress Holland (the same strategy as the pre-war Dutch deffensive strategy that didn’t work thanks to succesfull paratrooper landings).

However, dropping the paratroopers in places like Walcheren or Beveland would likely lead to a much quicker liberation of those places. They would have faced more air defenses and defenses of the Atlantikwall, but contrary to popular depiction in movies like the Battle of the Scheldt (2020), Walcheren was flooded only after Market Garden by Allied bombing. Focusing on the Schelde earlier could have saved them from a lot of mud in the later autumn rains.

The more I learn about Market Garden, the more confident I grow that those resources were much better spent elsewhere.

The strategic aim of Market Garden was not liberation of Netherlands (though it was considered as a side benefit) but set up a bridgehead at Rhine then expanding the bridgehead either north or east (or both) to cut off and isolate Netherlands and V2 launch pads by advancing North Sea and advancing towards Ruhr industrial basin just east of river where %60 of German war related industrial production (chemicals , steel , coal , synthetic fuel etc) was concentrated. Once Allies thought they could enter Ruhr , Germans would no option and surrender (as if concept of surrender of asking for peace like 1918 would be acceptable for Hitler and Nazi regime which were anathema and violent reaction against concept of surrender or another “November 1918”)

This is not quite true, only a small corridor to Nijmegen was liberated during M-G. The fight for most of Noord-Brabant would continue for over a month. Places like Breda, Tilburg and 's-Hertogenbosch would only be liberated by Operation Pheasant at the end of October. This was not an achievement of M-G.

Thanks to Market Garden gains of airborne corridor between 17-26 September 1944 , Operation Pheasant and elimination of Maas salient at Venlo - Roermond were launched and concluded in October-November 1944 , without gains of Market Garden all the rest of territory south of Waal , Maas rivers would remain under German domination. Also equally importnt , capture and holding Goesbeek Heights (though a few US airborne or gliderborne companies could be spared first day of landings of 17th September to capture Nijmegen bridge before Major Grabner’s armored vehicles of 10th SS Panzer from Arnhem secured it. On first day of landings there was no German units organised in Reichswald forest) was vital since it was later used for Operation Veritable advance by 1st Canadian Army across Reichswald to Lower Rhine all the way to Wesel. Many German counter attacks to recover it in September and October proves its strategic importance.

And there was no where else to attempt to advance and cross Rhine in September-December 1944 , except maybe at 1st US Army sector at Roermond- Aachen and Eiffel sectors were possible where West Wall was penetrated in September but Bradley commanding 12th Army Group did nothing to exploit that but let Patton’s 3rd US Army roam free on secondary objectives at Lorreine further south only for him to bump off at Moselle river and Metz fortresses. The main primary strategic objectives Northern Germany ports ( Hamburg , Bremen , Kiel , Wilhelmshaven) , Ruhr indutrial basin , V2 launch pads , Northern Germany canal network vital for domestic transportation etc were all at north in front of 21st Army Group sector that meant Montgomery’s 21st Army Group (or at least Bradley’s 1st US Army) should have had the priorty not Pattons 3rd Army that came up against both Moselle river , Loreinne mud , Maginot line fortifications remanned by Germans and West Wall when Saar was a secondary objective. Instead Bradley could not halt Patton and diverted Allied logistics to south when it was needed north at Netherlands in September.

-“The one who controls Northern Germany , controls entire Germany” General Gunther Blummeritt , Field Marshal Von Rundstedt’s Chief of Staff

1 Like