Operation Market Garden also referred to “A Bridge too far” was an unsuccessful attempt to starve Hitler War Machine of supplies reducing the German’s will to fight ending the War before Christmas 1944. UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill, supported a “broad front” strategy for moving across Western Europe into Germany. British Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery with Churchill’s backing began to press for change a “single thrust” strategy. The new idea was for one augmented Army Group to Drive into German and on to Berlin with the other Army Groups defending with localized Advances. General Dwight Eisenhower the US Commander in Europe of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) believed it was time for a bold operation and approved the proposal: “Market- Garden” September 10, 1944. 1(COBLE 1984)
For the reason that the US contributed the greater part of machinery, manpower and finances to the Allied war effort, General Eisenhower's appointment ahead of Montgomery as the ultimate Allied Commander was logical. He was always sensitive to political and higher-ranking military bosses, above all Roosevelt, Churchill, and Marshall. His focus was completely on the Allies’ goal of "total surrender." A skilled professional, Eisenhower never allowed the egoistical and individual aspirations of any of his generals sidetrack him from trying to realize that goal. He took note and considered Montgomery's views and thoughts but remained the designer of the multi-pronged assault tactic. The approved plan consisted of two phases: The MARKET phase was to “lay a ‘carpet’ of airborne forces across the five major bridges or choke point which existed on the general axis of the main road through Eindhoven to Uden, Grave, Nijmegan, and Arnhem area.” The GARDEN phase was ground forces from the 2nd Army (UK), commanded by General Miles Dempsey. Three corps of the 8th Corps (UK) moved to the east axis of advance, the 12th Corps (UK) on the west, while LTG Brian Horrocks’ 30th Corps (UK) moved in the center as the main effort. Market-Garden was the single largest Airborne operation in war history, 34000 men, 1700 vehicles and 260 artillery pieces dropped from the sky by gliders or parachutes. The aircraft originated from 22 airbases across southern England. (COBLE 1984)
The success of Market- Garden hinged on significant Allied ground gains following the breakout from Normandy major port cities. The 12th Army Group had crossed the Moselle River and was closing in on the German border south of the Ardennes Forest. LTG Jacob L. Devers’ 6th Army Group (US) was moving northeast through France following its success in southern France. It was believed against “Hitler’s, German War machine” that was defeated and demoralized enemy, almost any reasonable risk was justified. When Major General Maxwell Taylor voiced his oppositions to the landing zone for his men, Montgomery replied that was too late for the plan to be changed. Major Gen...