... the planning of Market-Garden

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by chipm, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. chipm

    chipm Well-Known Member

    I have only seen a few "short" videos and one Hollywood Movie about Arnhem.
    It always plays out that one or two, mild manner, Photo/Reconnaissance personnel, approach a General, and mention they have concerns about some photos that show a few tanks. They also mention recent reports by The Dutch Underground that there is a lot of Armour in the vicinity that The Allies are not aware of.
    The General(s) dismiss the photos as being "just a few tanks" ... or that the tanks are in a bad state and of no real threat.
    Regards the underground reports, those get dismissed as some kind of nervousness on the part of the underground.....as if they are "Always sending reports about a lot of tanks, and that the reports are exaggerated".

    Is that what happened.?
    Just a few photos officers, wiil a few photos of a few tanks..... and MORE exaggerated reports by The Dutch Underground.?
    In hindsight, is it understandable why the Market-Garden planners "ignored" these concerns, or did they really blow it by not heeding these warnings.?

    Thank you
    Dave55 likes this.
  2. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    I think that the Airborne Forces could see the War slipping away and after so many cancelled Operations were desperate to go .
    Nothing was going to stop them.
    The Dutch underground had been compromised earlier in the war and not trusted so reports easily dismmised.
    Ewen Scott likes this.
  3. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    From 'General Boy:The life of Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Browning' by Richard Mead (Pen & Sword, 2010 ISBN: 978 1 84884 181 9) pp. 122-23

  4. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    From 'Arnhem 1944: The Airborne Battle' by Martin Middlebrook (Pen & Sword, 2009 ISBN: 978 1 84884 075 1) pp. 64-67

    stolpi likes this.
  5. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    The following is part of the Intelligence Estimate of 13 September 1944 produced by Captain Willie Taylor, Intelligence Officer for 1st Parachute Brigade. Taylor later ended up spending a night in the attic on Zwarteweg in Arnhem with Roy Urquhart and Jimmy Cleminson. The bold highlight is my emphasis.

    Since June, however, it is likely that the training programmes have been thrown out of gear, and there has been considerable reshuffling of troops. Train movements in the last week or two have been mainly running West to East and NW to SE, indicating that some, at least, of the troops in North HOLLAND have moved into GERMANY, while others have come down to ARNHEM-NIJMEGEN area, if not further. Of the formations known to have been in the area, 347 Div from the Northern Tip have gone to the battle, in part at least, 70 Div is in the GHENT area, 719 Div is on the ALBERT Canal; the SS and HG units which were between them on the coast have been reinforced by a further SS intake, with a Div HQ, which however immediately went off again to the SE; the bulk of the other units seem to have gone in the same direction some apparently staying in NIJMEGEN or possibly ARNHEM, while the identification of SS Landsturm Regts LANGEMARCK and NEDERLAND in the battle gives a possible handle for others. Meanwhile, a reported concentration of 10,000 troops SW of ZWOLLE on 1 September may represent a battle-scarred Pz Division or two reforming, or alternatively the result of emptying the ARNHEM and EDE barracks to make room for fighting troops; though a likely role for the training units would appear to be digging the WAAL line.
    To sum up: There is no direct, recent evidence on which to base an estimate of the troops in the immediate divisional area. The capacity of the normal barracks in ARNHEM, VELP and EDE is nearly 10,000, and billeting possibilities are considerable; moreover ARNHEM itself, if the enemy’s main defensive line is on the WAAL, will be a vital centre on his Lines of Communication, and will inevitably contain a number of troops which are out of the line: it will be strongly defended as soon as the line is manned, but at present may be emptier while the available troops are digging trenches or conducting their fighting withdrawal from the ALBERT Canal

    The interesting point about Brian Urquhart's photos is that to the best of my knowledge these photos have never been found nor was a reconnaissance flight ever logged which would have taken the photos in question. That's in no way suggesting that it didn't happen but it is worth noting. That's possibly one for those who see a conspiracy behind everything...
    stolpi likes this.
  6. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Wasn't the 'Urquhart sortie' shot down in either the After the Battle books or one of their magazines?
  7. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    It was in the ATB Operation Market Garden Book Vol. 1 where it was stated that they had been unable to track down either the photos or details of the flight. I'm fairly certain that it remains the case that no evidence has come to light since it was published.
  8. chipm

    chipm Well-Known Member

    OK Guys..... thanks for the info. :)
  9. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    In 2015 Dr Sebastian Ritchie of the RAF Air Historical Branch published a document entitled "Arnhem - The Air Reconnaissance Story” which contained copies of these photographs. In addition Tony Hibbert who was the Brigade Major of 1st Parachute Brigade confirmed to me over 10 years ago that they had indeed seen the photographs before the operation commenced. Nothing would have stopped the operation going ahead. Browning had begged Montgomery to get his troops into action even offering that they would go to France by boat to fight.

    Attached Files:

    PaulE, stolpi and 51highland like this.
  10. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Thanks, I was going to post up a link to that article.

    Interestingly, it looks like those tanks didn’t belong to either 9 or 10 SS Pz Division, nor did they fight at Arnhem, but they were staging on their way down to the area between Nijmegen and Eindhoven and were training vehicles of Hermann Goring Regiment.

    In addition, there is absolutely no evidence that Beddell Smith warned Montgomery about their presence in Arnhem in a personal visit.


  11. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.


    To clarify, my original response was with regards to the oft-told story of the low-level oblique images that were supposed to have been obtained. I have a copy of the Ritchie book and indeed, the high-level photographs captured by the aircraft piloted by Flight Lieutenant Brian Fuge are not disputed.

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