Looking for the most in-depth look at Operation Market Garden
Using animations and detailed maps, let us find out what happened and who was to blame for the failure at Arnhem, Nijmegen and Eindhoven. Was the plan really doomed to fail from the start? Was it really “A Bridge Too Far”? Let us find out. I originally created this series as eight separate videos. This video is all episodes of my series in one video for your viewing pleasure.
Sources: John Frost, A Drop Too Many. 2009.
Max Hastings, Armageddon. London, 2004.
Robert J. Kershaw, It Never Snows in September. Surry, 2007.
Martin Middlebrook, Arnhem 1944: The Airborne Battle, 17-29 September. 2009.
Robert Neillands, The Battle for the Rhine 1944. UK, 2014.
Poulussen, R.G. Lost at Nijmegen. 2011.
Cornelius Ryan, A Bridge Too Far. USA, 1974
Major General R E Urquhart, Arnhem. 1958.
Major General S Sosabowski, Freely I Served. Great Britain, 1982.
Public Comments …
Just wanted to say, at the very least, that I am very impressed by your presentation. I am knowledgeable about Market Garden and it’s clear that you are too. Your graphics do a great job at showing the progress of the engagement without relying on worn-out footage. I just wish our History Channel would produce documentaries half this good. I salute you sir – keep up the good work!
I was unaware that the 82nd had dawdled so much in the capture of Nijmegen Bridge early on when it was practically undefended. I always thought the reason it had not be captured early on was due to stiff German resistance from the start. I do however understand the 82nd worrying about their open flank; the allies were constantly worried about being outflanked while the Germans with experience of manoeuvre warfare on the eastern front were less concerned. Some German veterans by 1944 even bragged about how many encirclements they had survived, according to Max Hastings book Armageddon.
The plans for the entire offensive falling into German hands on day one certainly didn’t help matters, they knew the objectives of the operation and were able to organise their forces in such as a way as to delay the whole advance while they pounded the British paras into submission. However, with this in mind the Germans must have been thanking the Gods that they were handed a chance to hold Nijmegen for as long as they were able.
An excellent oversight and refreshingly not-hysterical. I have a great interest in this battle for several reasons. When I was a young officer in Germany a group of us walked and drove XXX Corps route and practiced map appreciation and reading ground by linking together several of the books on Market Garden. I know this ground quite well.
I also had two relatives involved in the planning and execution: Major Brian Urquhart the chap who raised the alarm about tanks at Arnhem is my Grandfathers cousin. My Grandmothers brother Major Bill Conran RE was sent to the staff of XXX Corps especially for Operation Comet and Market Garden as he was an expert on roads and bridges. I knew both well growing up and bent their ears for details of their service (uncle Bill had built a series of breakwaters at Dunkirk from abandoned vehicles, that enabled the little boats to load up in shelter).
Surprisingly given his role in warning of the dangers Uncle Brian always said the mission should have gone ahead regardless. He would argue that all intelligence is faulty as it only shows what was there when the pictures were taken and not what their intent was. His evaluation the tanks might be operational couldn’t have been any less accurate than Brownings assessment they weren’t. The truth turned out to be somewhere in between.
Many of the histories show him being removed from Brownings staff because of his intelligence assessment. This was one reason he had nothing to do with the film, and refused to allow his name to be used. He had injured himself in a parachute landing years before and was not rated A1 at the time of Market Garden. He, like many others tried in vain to be re-certified fit but remained in a back room until the end of the war. Thats why he didn’t fly into Holland, the doctors decision had been made the year before.
The biggest thing I learnt from them was that Market Garden had two purposes, one vital, one ambitious and it had been sold to Eisenhower on the first vital element. That is: the clearance of Antwerp was the biggest single item on SHAEFs to do list. This doesn’t just mean the city and port, but the Scheldt, Maas, Waal and Rhine delta that sits on its approaches. Until the Southern Netherlands from the Rhine to the Belgian border to the German Western wall was under the control of the allies, Antwerp – soon to be the allies major logistic head – was vulnerable.
Time to make-up your own mind … enjoy a small bit of our History
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