Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Market Garden

My favorite posts are the ones that have me digging to find my old college notes. No joke; I will literally get out the huge box that hosts my college supplies and look for the right spiral that hosts my notes from that particular class. It’s always fun visiting memory lane, and remembering those little things I choose to jot down during class (and even more fun when I have to pull from my memory to fill in what I didn’t write down!).

Today across my twitter feed I saw that it was the anniversary of the launch of Market Garden during WWII. So off I went to dig down and find these notes.

Market Garden was a strategy masterminded by General Montgomery. The advance consisted of two different advances. Market would consist of several airborne divisions being launched behind lines to secure the bridges. Operation Garden was then for ground support to charge north and cross the Rhine River, giving the Allies easy access east to Berlin.

However well thought out this plan was, there were many issues with it. First, the air troops were expected to hold the bridges for 48 hours after they were dropped. Second, the ground support was going to charging north on a two-lane highway, surrounded by low-lands that were impassible otherwise.

I decided to study the Battle of the Bulge on my own time, and I learned that during this time in 1944 Hitler was already planning on his operation. He pulled some of his most lethal and effective troops and retired them to one of the least volatile areas: Holland. So the US and British troops were up against some of the best German SS Soldiers. That coupled with the logistical problems, lack of support, a stretched supply line, and a really weird plan led to an unfulfilled operation.

While not an outstanding victory for the Allies, 1944 was a good year that saw good movement and serious strides forward against the Germans.