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Market Garden Through The Eyes Of A German War Photographer


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#141 RETAC21

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 1306 PM

 

 

 

Rich wrote: Interestingly enough, no, he is an American in the Southwest, who likes to shoot rattlesnakes from his porch.  :D  Not sure where he got the hairshirt regarding Gavin, but he was really vehement about it. He also believed Gavin had a vendetta against the M1 Carbine and had all his troops armed with the Garand because of it, which somehow caused them to turn in a "poor performance". Oh, and in Normandy "everybody performed poorly" although he didn't blame Gavin directly for that, but rather the poor drops.   :D  It was truly all a bit surreal.   :DAnyway, here's a bit from the Admin History 21 Army Gp...

 

 

Well that's a surprise, assumed it would be a Brit as I've seen the same misguided criticism over Nijmegen & the Groesbeek Heights levelled at Gavin a few times by Brits. i suppose we have eccentrics & weirdos on both sides of the Pond, ours just tend not to be armed...  :) 

 

Cheers for putting up the stuff from 21st Army Group history, seen most of that but not in one lump like that. Ref the bit about 30 Corps need for speed, I note there is no mention of the 30 Corps order forbidding any vehicle movement whatsoever on the main axis during the hours of darkness, which reduced the window for movement to just twelve hours in every twenty-four hour period.  :wacko:

 

BillB 

 

 

Re your last, have you read Corps Commanders. Five British and Canadian Generals at War, 1939-45 by Douglas E. Delaney? has a shot bio on Horrocks but also compares him to other Corps commanders (mainly of Canadian persuasion).

 

One mistake that is repeated is trying to cram too much traffic through too few roads, and that happened on both sides at different times as a commander tries to put more combat power to achieve an objective as fast as possible creating massive traffic jams.

 

 

 

Er, somehow George Patton managed to put seven divisions in three corps through the Pontabault Bridge bottleneck - a single major road from Avranches feeding into it - over the course of three days, without major hiccups or traffic jams. I suspect it may have had something to do with high quality staff work and preparation, which is something a good commander needs to do if they want to put maximum combat power to bear to achieve an objective.

 

 

Indeed, but this is one aspect that is often overlooked when assessing a commander. 


Edited by RETAC21, 16 January 2019 - 1307 PM.

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#142 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 0843 AM

General Patton was an exceptional commander who had a fine staff even though they were regularly disparaged by First Army and General Bradley.


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#143 BillB

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 1433 PM

Sorry, been a bit busy. 

 

RETAC21 wrote: Re your last, have you read Corps Commanders. Five British and Canadian Generals at War, 1939-45 by Douglas E. Delaney? has a shot bio on Horrocks but also compares him to other Corps commanders (mainly of Canadian persuasion).

 

No mate not read that, might have to look it up. That said, I think Horrocks' problem was that he was unfit as he had't fully recovered from the effects of his wounding in Tunisia in June 1943. He got command of 30 Corps at the beginning of August 1944 by playing the Montgomery protege card with Alanbrooke, was taken ill at the end of that month, observers reported him not looking too good during MARKET GARDEN and he was ordered back to the UK on sick leave on 28 December 1944 where he remained for several weeks. I think his illness impaired his preparations for GARDEN and his ability to impress his will on his subordinate senior commanders; the commanders of the Guards Armoured Division and the 43rd Division repeatedly watered down or simply ignored his orders for haste without censure, which was in turn the primary reason for the failure of GARDEN.

 

RETAC21 wrote: One mistake that is repeated is trying to cram too much traffic through too few roads, and that happened on both sides at different times as a commander tries to put more combat power to achieve an objective as fast as possible creating massive traffic jams.

 

Actually I think this is only true of the very initial stages of GARDEN, and over the stage between the jump off point at Neerpelt and Eindhoven. The official records refer to bad traffic jams there on the night of 17-18 September, although that's not surprising given the proximity of the fighting and the Guards Armoured Division's failure to meet it's own timetable for progress. Thereafter the problem was the Germans temporarily cutting the Airborne Corridor between Eindhoven & Nijmegen on 22 & 24 September. By that point traffic was already flowing freely and reliably along the entire seventy-two mile length of the Airborne Corridor. 204 Field Company RE and 260 Field Company covered the entire length in c.16 hours on 20-21 September for example, while the 20th Field Company RCE did it in 8 hours 30 minutes on 21 September. IMO the traffic problems stuff is one of the red herrings subsequently manufactured to deflect blame for the failure of MARKET GARDEN, along with the single road (manufactured by the Guards Armoured Division to excuse not pushing on once the Nijmegen road bridge was secured and before anyone had seen the area north of the bridge due to it being dark) and the 1st Airborne Division landing on top of two SS Panzer Divisions...

 

BillB 


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#144 BillB

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 1439 PM

 

 

 

Rich wrote: Interestingly enough, no, he is an American in the Southwest, who likes to shoot rattlesnakes from his porch.  :D  Not sure where he got the hairshirt regarding Gavin, but he was really vehement about it. He also believed Gavin had a vendetta against the M1 Carbine and had all his troops armed with the Garand because of it, which somehow caused them to turn in a "poor performance". Oh, and in Normandy "everybody performed poorly" although he didn't blame Gavin directly for that, but rather the poor drops.   :D  It was truly all a bit surreal.   :DAnyway, here's a bit from the Admin History 21 Army Gp...

 

 

Well that's a surprise, assumed it would be a Brit as I've seen the same misguided criticism over Nijmegen & the Groesbeek Heights levelled at Gavin a few times by Brits. i suppose we have eccentrics & weirdos on both sides of the Pond, ours just tend not to be armed...  :) 

 

Cheers for putting up the stuff from 21st Army Group history, seen most of that but not in one lump like that. Ref the bit about 30 Corps need for speed, I note there is no mention of the 30 Corps order forbidding any vehicle movement whatsoever on the main axis during the hours of darkness, which reduced the window for movement to just twelve hours in every twenty-four hour period.  :wacko:

 

BillB 

 

 

Re your last, have you read Corps Commanders. Five British and Canadian Generals at War, 1939-45 by Douglas E. Delaney? has a shot bio on Horrocks but also compares him to other Corps commanders (mainly of Canadian persuasion).

 

One mistake that is repeated is trying to cram too much traffic through too few roads, and that happened on both sides at different times as a commander tries to put more combat power to achieve an objective as fast as possible creating massive traffic jams.

 

 

 

Er, somehow George Patton managed to put seven divisions in three corps through the Pontabault Bridge bottleneck - a single major road from Avranches feeding into it - over the course of three days, without major hiccups or traffic jams. I suspect it may have had something to do with high quality staff work and preparation, which is something a good commander needs to do if they want to put maximum combat power to bear to achieve an objective.

 

Indeed, and apart from the very initial stages 30 Corps managed to do pretty much the same up the Airborne Corridor from Neerpelt to Nijmegen over 4 days. Horrocks' staff were fine, see my reply to RETAC. It was his subordinate senior commanders that were the problem, specifically Major-General Allan Adair and Major-General Ivor Thomas. 

 

BillB


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#145 RETAC21

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 1433 PM

 

Sorry, been a bit busy. 

 

 

 

RETAC21 wrote: Re your last, have you read Corps Commanders. Five British and Canadian Generals at War, 1939-45 by Douglas E. Delaney? has a shot bio on Horrocks but also compares him to other Corps commanders (mainly of Canadian persuasion).

 

No mate not read that, might have to look it up. That said, I think Horrocks' problem was that he was unfit as he had't fully recovered from the effects of his wounding in Tunisia in June 1943. He got command of 30 Corps at the beginning of August 1944 by playing the Montgomery protege card with Alanbrooke, was taken ill at the end of that month, observers reported him not looking too good during MARKET GARDEN and he was ordered back to the UK on sick leave on 28 December 1944 where he remained for several weeks. I think his illness impaired his preparations for GARDEN and his ability to impress his will on his subordinate senior commanders; the commanders of the Guards Armoured Division and the 43rd Division repeatedly watered down or simply ignored his orders for haste without censure, which was in turn the primary reason for the failure of GARDEN.

 

 

 

Indeed, he suffered from a elongated stone in the liver caused by a piece of fabric that was left there after his wounding. it was only removed in 1947, but his health issues were significant enough that he retired from the Army shortly after WW2 and had to pay for his surgery in order to get the stone removed. In December it was noted that he was uncommonly grumpy and Monty sent him on leave. It could be that it wasn't in his character to stomp on subordinated as he had to thread lightly in Africa with Freyberg, being senior and NZ, who wasn't thrilled to have him as commander.


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