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Message
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 4806
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Continued
7/9/2023 7:18:37 PM
George, thanks for the post.

Many folks (including me)consider Bomber Command War Diaries, by Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt, the best one-volume source of RAF BC’s wartime activities. Here’s what that volume says about the attack (p. 539):
Quote:
7 July 1944

NORMANDY BATTLE AREA

467 aircraft – 283 Lancasters, 164 Halifaxes, 20 Mosguitoes – of 1, 4, 6 and 8 Groups in a major effort to assist in the Normany [sic] land battle.
The Canadian 1st and British 2nd Armies were held up by a series of fortified village strongpoints north of Caen. The first plan was for Bomber Command to bomb these villages but, because of the proximity of friendly troops, the bombing area was moved back nearer to Caen, covering a stretch of open ground and the northern edge of the city. The weather was clear for the raid, which took place in the evening, and two aiming points were well marked for
Oboe Mosquitoes and other Pathfinder aircraft. The Master Bomber, Wing Commander S. P. (Pat) Daniels of 35 Squadron, then controlled a very accurate raid. Dust and smoke soon obscured the markers but the bombing always remained concentrated. 2,276 tons of bombs were dropped.
It was afterwards judged that the bombing should have been aimed at the original targets. Few Germans were killed in the area actually bombed, although units near by were considerably shaken. The northern suburbs of Caen were ruined. No German fighters appeared and only 1 Lancaster, of 166 Squadron, was shot down by Flak. 2 further Lancasters and 1 Mosquito crashed behind the Allied lines in France. (For statistical purposes, Bomber Command aircraft which were recorded as having
crashed in France, and later in other reoccupied countries in Europe, will be considered as ‘lost’, as it was unlikely that the aircraft would be salvaged for later use, although the crews often returned safely to England.)
This pretty much matches the numbers and the general situation you present, which is not surprise at all. But it doesn’t touch on many of the issues you raise. It is bare of victim numbers, e.g., or of factories, businesses or civilian accommodation destroyed. Possible reasons for their exclusion might be many and complex, and I can’t offer reasons at short notice. But it seems to me this is a situation where Bomber Command performed perfectly on an imperfect target. War kills people. Collateral damage will always be a real problem, of course. But why Caen would have been a particular concern is beyond me. Caen had been a focal point of action since D-Day. If the way to drive the Germans back was by destroying Caen, then that was an unfortunate reality.

Was the raid effective? In terms of accuracy, it certainly appears so. All plaudits to Master Bomber Pat Daniels! But it was a totally ineffective assault in that it killed neither sufficient German troops to be seen as providing positive impact on Montgomery’s plans nor sufficient civilians to be considered an atrocity.

I would argue, in truth, that this was a misuse of an extremely powerful force – RAF Bomber Command – when better resources were better equipped to handle Monty’s bombing requirements. I think, e.g., some of the Special Ops Mosquitoes might have been more precise in their strikes with less bombast attached. Monty, IMHO, was always prone to overdo his artillery and air power. This was probably a screw-up that could be laid to him, but wasn’t.

But I’m an RAF kinda guy. And I consider the aircrew and the a/c Montgomery put at risk on the afternoon of 7 July in order to ease the hard fighting – if it as Monty’s decision. He put 2700+ air crew at risk. He put close to 500 a/c at risk. And then he didn’t have the balls to execute. But whether it was Monty or SHAEF, this appears to have been a poor decision. This may have been a SHAEF decision, and a SHAEF SNAFU.

Lots more to consider, as always.

Cheers
Brian G

----------------------------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/9/2023 7:21:01 PM
Interesting story about the response of the little French kids to another group of soldiers entering their city, Phil. One wonders whether the people accepted the destruction of their city as the part of the cost of liberation or were resentful of the tactics used to expel the Germans. Probably, a bit of both I should think.

Cheers,

George
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/9/2023 7:21:31 PM
Hello Brian,

I recall reading somewhere that Monty had spoken with Leigh-Mallory about destroying Caen at a meeting on May 29, before the D-day landings. He had asked whether the city could be bombed on June 6.

But Leigh-Mallory didn't have control of BC. He could only advise.

Both BC and US Strategic Air Forces were reluctant to use their heavies in this kind of support operation. They wanted to continue with their strategic bombing of Germany.

So I poked about and found this article that details the negotiations that took place between Montgomery and the other principals involved in the air war.

The RAF and the Campaign to Liberate Northwest Europe, 1944-45

[Read More]

Some insight into the behind the scenes fighting that took place by those entrusted with planning. But it seems to be more of a blog so I can't vouch for what has been written.

Cheers,

George
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/9/2023 10:07:28 PM
moved too new page, 7-8 in history, the following events happened, not yet commented on??

1497 Vasco da Gama sails to India! How did he do financially on this venture? Really weren't most explorations at this time about making money!? Anyone?

1889 John l Sullivan won the Heavy Weight Boxing Championship over Jake Kilerain in get this? 75 rounds!??? This has to be a misprint!? 75 Rounds! ? I would think they would hang it up, if they knew it would go 75 rounds? Anyone with the details??

1947 Roswell, NM extraterrestrial incident! Did they really have aliens body, and space craft? Or a hoax!? It sure helps Roswell with tourism!? What say you??

Gen.. Douglas MacArthur is named Allied Commander in Korea! How was he able to secure this position? Did he do a good job?? Anyone?

2011 last Space Shuttle mission! Why did they cease?? Safety ? cost? Or what? Comments??

New events, anyone??
MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/9/2023 10:08:49 PM
Also moved to new page,

Today, 7-9 a couple of events.

1540 Henry VIII's 4th wife Anne of Cleves has a religious ending to her marriage! It has to be a little more complex than this? Why?? Anyone??

British Gen Braddock in the battle of Monogahela, 2/3 rds of his army is killed by French & Indians, lucky for America, George Washington survives! What say you?? What really happened in this battle??

Surely more happened on this day? Anyone got anything else?

Help me out here?
MD

Also today I am attending the funeral of my Brother in law, David A. Barry, USN Submarine Corps, he served on the USS Ethan Allan during the Cold War 1970's he was a great guy, my sister was lucky to latch on to. So helpful to everyone, never a bad word, not a bad bone in his body! I was honored to know him! He passed away after a long battle with cancer. He almost beat it, his doctors were amazed how it almost disappeared from his body by his use of experimental diet! What a fighter he was! He loved life so much!! Like Thomas Jefferson, John
Adams, & James Monroe, A great American, he also passed away on The 4th of July!! , Good journey Dave!!

----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6498
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Continued
7/10/2023 3:02:10 AM
Quote:
Interesting story about the response of the little French kids to another group of soldiers entering their city, Phil. One wonders whether the people accepted the destruction of their city as the part of the cost of liberation or were resentful of the tactics used to expel the Germans. Probably, a bit of both I should think.

Cheers,

George


“Horizontal Collaboration” : that was the phrase used to condemn French women who had consorted with German occupiers.

There is a theme here that might be developed in regard to warfare through the ages.

I think it behoves us to reflect on the way that women have suffered as they have been subjected to the rapacious pressures that wars have subjected them to.

They need to protect themselves and their families, and to provide food and shelter, and if that entails sexual compliance, then it’s all too understandable that they comply. There’s obviously a coercive element, but there’s also a willingness that is hard to discount.

The case of France in WW2 is painful for posterity.

There had been a demographic deficit in France prior to 1939, a low birth rate and a desperate awareness of the awful ravages of 1914-18, which had compounded an already fragile demographic prospect.

The birth rate deficit was adjusted significantly in the years of the German occupation, with a boom in births, despite the fact that two million Frenchmen were prisoners of war and kept away from their womenfolk.

It’s an unpalatable thing to contemplate, but I’m convinced it would have happened in other places too, in the circumstances of fear and hardship that war engenders.

Let’s discuss this in relation to other wars in history.

Examples come to mind, but I reckon I’d be timed out before I could get my points across.

In the hope of continuing…..


Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/10/2023 6:59:40 AM
Today, 7-10 in history, these events happened!?

1553 Lady Jane Grey becomes Queen of England for only 9 days!? How can this be?? Anyone??

1925 the famous Scopes Monkey trial in Tennessee occurs!. What happened & what does this say about many religious people in the US & its legal system? at this time? & maybe even today? Anyone!?

1965 the Rolling Stones have the #1 hit, I can't get no satisfaction, what effect did the Stones have on rock music!? What say you??

1973 the Bahamas become independent from the British Empire! How could the Brits let go of this tropical paradise!? Comments??

1985 Why don't the Japanese Whaling vessels like Greenpeace?? & why would the French sink their ship the Rainbow Warrior!? Who's side are you on in this conflict of monetary gain verse conservation of saving a species?? Anyone?

Cheers,
MD
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/10/2023 8:28:30 AM
Quote:
Hello Brian,

I recall reading somewhere that Monty had spoken with Leigh-Mallory about destroying Caen at a meeting on May 29, before the D-day landings. He had asked whether the city could be bombed on June 6.

But Leigh-Mallory didn't have control of BC. He could only advise.

Both BC and US Strategic Air Forces were reluctant to use their heavies in this kind of support operation. They wanted to continue with their strategic bombing of Germany.

So I poked about and found this article that details the negotiations that took place between Montgomery and the other principals involved in the air war.

The RAF and the Campaign to Liberate Northwest Europe, 1944-45

[Read More]

Some insight into the behind the scenes fighting that took place by those entrusted with planning. But it seems to be more of a blog so I can't vouch for what has been written.

Cheers,

George





Hi George,

Great "read more" the pictures of the bombed out damages, is especially revealing!

Thanks,
MD
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 4806
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Continued
7/10/2023 7:58:21 PM
Quote:
1553 Lady Jane Grey becomes Queen of England for only 9 days!? How can this be?? Anyone??

The simple explanation is that she was proclaimed Queen but didn’t have the backing. But that doesn’t really tell the story.

Henry VIII died in 1547, leaving three children. Mary was eldest, and war born of Catherine of Aragon, Henry’s first wife). Next came Elizabeth, born of Anne Boleyn (Henry’s second wife). Youngest was Edward, born of Jane Seymour (Henry’s third wife). Following the custom of the time, Edward was proclaimed King, though his coronation did not take place until 20 February 1547. This would have included the anointment, an act of great significance at the time, though now transformed by time into a rather obscure ritual.The proclamation would come on his father’s death, to maintain the legitimacy of he rule and make known his father’s wishes. At his coronation, he was 10 years old.

He was not of age to rule, and so an advisory counsel was established to assist him during his minority (which was determined at the time more by ability rather than age). He appears to have been an apt and passionate scholar, but perhaps somewhat easily swayed by his senior advisors. His senior regent was one John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. Edward was also a committed Protestant, believing that the Church of England (of which he was Head) should not retain connections (in ritual and structure) with Papism, but should become an official flag-bearer for a more militant Protestantism. In April 1552 he would fall ill with measles, which probably weakened his immune system and lead to his death (from tuberculosis?). At his death on 6 July, he was 15 years old.

He worried about the succession of the throne. He had three choices. Mary was both the child of an annulled marriage and a strong Papist in her own right. Was she even a legitimate birth, let alone a legitimate claimant to the throne? Elizabeth was the child of a discredited and adulterous mother, whose marriage to Henry was questioned through their brief marriage. Was her legitimacy legitimate? And there was Jane Grey.

Jane Grey was a great-grand-daughter of Henry VII, so she carried royal blood and had some faint claim to the throne. She was of an age with Edward, being born in either 1536 or 1537. She was, like him, scholarly and serious. She was a member of a prominent Protestant family. All of these might have made her appealing to Edward. But in fact she was also married to Lord Guildford Dudley, son of Edward’s chief advisor, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. In his will (written in the summer of 1553), he nominated Jane and – (Nota Bene – her male heirs successors to the English Crown.

I’m not sufficiently knowledgable to say whether Jane was aware of how she was being used. She was a bright young woman, and must have known the manipulations which occurred at court. She was also an adult, having taken the (largely political and dynastic) step into marriage. I’d like to think she was another child-woman used by the male elders of her family for advancement (see Anne Boleyn and the Howards; see Jane Seymour; e.g.). At any rate, on the death of Edward Anne was proclaimed Queen, only to see her support ebb in the face of soaring support for Mary, eldest of Henry’s children.

The Mary groundswell carried her through proclamation to coronation. One of her first acts was to confine Jane in the Tower, where Jane was waiting (by English ritual) before she was accepted as queen. There, Mary was content to let her stay – and at the time there were royal accommodation that would not make such imprisonment unbearable. But keep in mind that Mary was intent on returning England to the Roman Catholic fold. English protestants presented a real and present danger to her decision, and Jane was an icon for the various protestant movements. Mary ade the decision to execute the icon. Mary was lucky that Jane didn’t become a powerful martyr for the protestant cause.

Was her royal claim to monarchy a critical issue in England’s history. No. Perhaps it should have been, but the processes of the time worked as they were designed to do. Do I think Jane was a victim? Yes, but with some doubts. I have to accept she knew at least part of the Dudley family’s attempts to gain the Crown. But I don’t know if she was sufficiently strong to reject what the Dudleys were expecting her to do.

Nine days a queen. What a sad epithet for a 15-year-old child with a husband willing to use her as a pawn.

Cheers
Brian G
----------------------------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6498
Joined: 2004
This day in World History! Continued
7/11/2023 5:54:22 AM
What harsh times they were to be alive ! Even in the uppermost levels of society, life was dangerous: for a woman, especially so !

Thanks Brian.

Regards , Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/11/2023 8:25:22 AM
Quote:
Quote:
And last but not least, this happened!?

1962 Telstar communications satilite is launched! Any idea how many are up their today?? What is GPS anyway??

Surely some other important things happened? Anyone??

Stay tuned!
MD

----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/11/2023 8:25:52 AM

[Read More] ?

Current world satilites by country!? See Above's read more!
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/11/2023 8:29:23 AM
Hi MHO'ers,

Thanks for the read more, also in checking on 7-11 in history a few interesting history topics occured, check these out, & comment on the following, anyone??

1804, The duel between Aaron Burr & Alexander Hamilton ends in the death of Alexander Hamilton, yes the guy on US currency! What away to settle disputes!? I hear that Andrew Jackson may have been involved in over 100 duels!?
Even Mark Twain got invoved! Any good websites on the history of dueling?? What say you about this barbaric behavior? & they called themselves gentlemen!? What say you gentlemen!!??

1863 the New York Draft Riots occurred were they about the draft or racially motivated? Happening because of the Civil War's need for Union Troops, is it surprising this happened? Any websites or comments on it?? Anyone?

1914 Babe Ruth played his 1st game, was it a lively era to hit homers? What say you?? I recently visited Cooperstown, it was really cool! Anyone else visit it? Comments on the Babe!? Anyone?

1955 the US Air force Academy opens in Colorado, Can US and Canadian aircraft fly over each others airspace?? Anyone?

Summers about half over, to fast??
Hope your chilling!?
MD

PS thanks Brian, for your great post on Lady Jane Grey's 9 day reign as Queen, you must have majored, or at least taken University classes, on the British Monarchy? You sure know "all things British Crown History"!?
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 3309
Joined: 2007
This day in World History! Continued
7/11/2023 8:57:48 AM
The draft riots in New York City were the result of many complexities and issues. But, the chief causes were the anger among Irish immigrant workers who already feared loosing low-paying jobs to blacks....blacks were exempt from the draft....while mostly Irish immigrants were being recruited right off of the boats...also politicians were exempt...as were those wealthy enough to afford $300 dollars to provide a substitute.

It was no accident that the attacks by the mobs were directed against politicos...wealthy residents...and blacks.

Respects, Morris
----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/11/2023 1:34:04 PM
Quote:
1955 the US Air force Academy opens in Colorado, Can US and Canadian aircraft fly over each others airspace?? Anyone?


Civilian aircraft based in either country may fly to the US if the aircraft passes the flight worthiness standards for the target country. Pilots must also be qualified.

As for the military, NORAD effectively creates one airspace for security purposes and with permission a US or Canadian plane could and do enter the other's airspace. In February, many Canadians were perplexed as to why a US fighter was assigned to shoot down one of China's balloons over Canadian airspace. The Canadian government responded to the query by saying that the response was exactly as to NORAD protocols, whatever that means.

RCAF and USAF jets have jointly intercepted Russian planes in Alaskan airspace.

Since WWII, the defence of North America has become more and more integrated with interoperability a key. Clearly the US is the much larger military power with Canada assuming similar responsibilities as appropriate albeit with fewer assets. The grand days of a large fleet of aircraft that Canada used to operate just post WWII and into the Cold War were not sustainable economically. Hopefully, with the acquisition of new fighter aircraft and new surveillance aircraft, Canada's ability to respond will be improved.

There is a good deal of discussion of total integration of the air forces but I don't believe that either side wants it to be complete.

And so we read often of exercises like this:

[Read More]

[Read More]



Cheers,

George
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/12/2023 7:19:36 AM
The allied invasion of Sicily took place on July 9, 1943. Operation Husky was the start of the campaign to seize this island from the Italians and the Germans and was followed by the invasion of the Italian mainland.

British, Canadian and US troops made an amphibious landing on the ninth and then engaged in a six week slog through the mountainous interior of Sicily and along its flatter shoreline.



The Sicilian and Italian campaigns would continue until 1945. The soldiers of the British 8th Army including the CDN 1st Division called themselves the "D-day dodgers in sunny Italy" partly because of the lack of interest in what proved to be brutal and costly fighting, after the D-day landings in France.

I recall a story that my Dad told me about the transfer of his unit from Italy to NW Europe in Feb. of 1945. He said that they were all impressed with the different weaponry and supplies evident in NW Europe that had not been available in Italy. He wasn't specific but intimated that he and his mates felt that they had been ignored for many months.

Cheers,

George
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/12/2023 7:50:32 AM
George,

Isn't Sicily where the famous race between 2 egotistical commanders, Monte, & Patton took place!?

What about that??
MD
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/12/2023 7:54:46 AM
Hi Guys,

7-11 events, not yet commented on??

1804, The duel between Aaron Burr & Alexander Hamilton ends in the death of Alexander Hamilton, yes the guy on US currency! What away to settle disputes!? I hear that Andrew Jackson may have been involved in over 100 duels!?
Even Mark Twain got invoved! Any good websites on the history of dueling?? What say you about this barbaric behavior? & they called themselves gentlemen!? What say you gentlemen!!??

1863 the New York Draft Riots occurred were they about the draft or racially motivated? Any websites or comments on it?? Anyone?

1914 Babe Ruth played his 1st game, was it a lively era to hit homers? What say you?? I recently visited Cooperstown, it was really cool! Anyone else visit it? Comments on the Babe!? Anyone?

& George, Thanks for not shooting down USAF fighters over Canadian air space! ☺

Today's, 7-12 in history includes the following!?

1543 Henry VIII marries his final wife Catherine Parr! Gee Henry should have gone for eight, like his title!? Comment?

1862 US Institutes it's famous "medal of honor" do other countries have something similar!?? What say you??

1920 Lithuania beats the Russians, in warfare! Say what?? Hopefully Ukraine can do the same? Anyone?

1979 the Chicago White Sox have a demolition of disco records promo on their BB field! Badly damaging it, so my Detroit Tigers were given a forfeit victory!? These days the Tigs will take a victory anyway we can get it!? BTW did you hate disco too??

Lets go disco!! 😎
MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Lightning
Glasgow  UK
Posts: 1064
Joined: 2005
This day in World History! Continued
7/12/2023 10:10:35 AM
Quote:


I recall a story that my Dad told me about the transfer of his unit from Italy to NW Europe in Feb. of 1945. He said that they were all impressed with the different weaponry and supplies evident in NW Europe that had not been available in Italy. He wasn't specific but intimated that he and his mates felt that they had been ignored for many months.

Cheers,

George


Hi George,

I heard similar stories from veterans of the 14th Army out in the Far East, who felt they got the worst food, crummiest weapons and rustiest ammunition available. It seems the Normandy theatre got the plum pick of kit and everyone else got what was left.

Cheers,

Colin
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"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/12/2023 10:47:21 AM
Quote:
George,

Isn't Sicily where the famous race between 2 egotistical commanders, Monte, & Patton took place!?

What about that??
MD



Supposedly, but I am not sure that Monty was aware that a race was on. Patton however seemed obsessed with being the first army to reach Messina.

Patton was upset that Monty had convinced their commander Harold Alexander to allow the 8th army to use certain highway leading to Mt. Etna. Monty's force was moving slowly along the coastal plain and he wanted the highway so that he could flank Mt. Etna.

Patton felt that the highway in question was originally his and his nose was out of joint. Montgomery's objective was to take Messina as quickly as possible to prevent the Germans from crossing the strait to the mainland. This objective was not met.

Patton got permission from Alexander to expand his area of operations. We know the story of the action at Palermo and that Patton did get to Messina first. What is not often acknowledged is that when Monty realized that the 8th was moving too slowly to get around Etna, he approved of a plan to have the US 7th army to quickly proceed to the east to take Messina.

Montgomery takes a lot of heat, some justified, as an egotistical character but I don't think that he can hold a candle to Patton in that department.

Cheers,

George



OpanaPointer
St. Louis MO USA
Posts: 1968
Joined: 2010
This day in World History! Continued
7/12/2023 11:39:15 AM
Monty got a lot of shit for claiming to have "saved the Americans at the Bulge". So there's enough for everybody.
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 3309
Joined: 2007
This day in World History! Continued
7/12/2023 12:27:29 PM
I would say this...Patton never imagined or conceived of a plan to drop 30,000 paratroopers behind enemy lines...(knowing there was a post D-Day shortage of available transport aircraft and the drops could not occur at the same time) and trying to link up with an armored column advancing on a single road open to constant harassment on the flanks along the way.

Market Garden wasn`t just an operation that failed badly, but an operation that badly effected the logistical support for other military operations, choking off an already tenuous supply line.

In my opinion, and it is just that, Market Garden stands as a bloody testament to the ego of Montgomery.

Patton was an egotist to be sure, but I don`t think he blanked up the works at anything the way Monty did.



Respects, Morris

----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/12/2023 3:43:49 PM
If Market Garden had worked, Morris, Monty would be feted as a hero and brilliant strategist. He managed to convince Eisenhower that it was worth a shot.

My feeling is that it would have been better to have trapped the German army retreating northward before they had a chance to set up defensive positions along the Scheldt Peninsula. That would have opened the port of Antwerp much sooner and could possibly have saved a lot of the lives lost in defeating the Germans in the Battle of the Scheldt, many of them Canadians. But I am applying the wisdom of hindsight, I am sure.

Cheers,

George
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 3309
Joined: 2007
This day in World History! Continued
7/12/2023 5:06:31 PM

Hi George. Yes. "if Market Garden had worked...Monty would be feted as a hero and brilliant strategist....."

Market Garden was a high reward-high risk plan...and I have no doubt that Monty was shooting for being hailed as that hero and brilliant strategist. His ego prevented him from seeing the giant flaws in his plan. It is surprising to me that Eisenhower, given his attention to logistical planning, signed off on the operation...but I sense the political side of Eisenhower outweighed his instincts on the counter arguments for the gambit.

Respects, Morris
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 8302
Joined: 2006
This day in World History! Continued
7/12/2023 7:46:18 PM
Hey MHO,

Checking 7-13 in history here's a few! Comments??

1713 A treaty giving Gibraltar to Great Britain! What a mistake by Spain!? They will never get it back!! What say you about The Rock! Anyone have how this occurred???

1787 The NW Ordinance is Instituted, did they even consider what would become British Canada!! Unfair? Anyone??

1861 Gen George B McClellan wins in what's now West Virginia! How did WV break off from Virginia!? & did this victory propelled Mac to be the top Union General??

Anyone have any other events from 7-13??

What say you??
MD

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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 3269
Joined: 2010
This day in World History! Continued
7/13/2023 6:13:06 AM
Quote:
I would say this...Patton never imagined or conceived of a plan to drop 30,000 paratroopers behind enemy lines...(knowing there was a post D-Day shortage of available transport aircraft and the drops could not occur at the same time) and trying to link up with an armored column advancing on a single road open to constant harassment on the flanks along the way.

Market Garden wasn`t just an operation that failed badly, but an operation that badly effected the logistical support for other military operations, choking off an already tenuous supply line.

In my opinion, and it is just that, Market Garden stands as a bloody testament to the ego of Montgomery.

Patton was an egotist to be sure, but I don`t think he blanked up the works at anything the way Monty did.



Respects, Morris


Morris and George,

Way back in the last millennium I´m no great fan of Monty, but giving him his due, he was known in the Desert for his punctilious logistics and build up. This was the opposite. May have looked good on paper but wishful thinking considering the terrain and completely underestimating the german will to fight back.

Trevor

Edit. I forgot to mention that the flat land on either side of the road is criss-crossed with irrigation canals. Completely impassable.

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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 3309
Joined: 2007
This day in World History! Continued
7/13/2023 8:33:39 AM
Thanks for that insight Trevor. I have never been to Europe but I know that the study of terrain and topography, and it`s effect on a battle plan is a crucial point of any battle plan. The importance of a battlefield walk is critical in any understanding of what takes place.

Respects, Morris
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Lightning
Glasgow  UK
Posts: 1064
Joined: 2005
This day in World History! Continued
7/13/2023 9:43:38 AM
I think we can safely say without the benefit of hindsight that 'Market Garden' is an operation that should never have left the brainstorming stage, let alone actually be put into action. As referenced above, I can only imagine Ike signed off on it as a sop to the British to get the war-winning campaign underway. Too many good soldiers died trying to boost egos.

Cheers,

Colin

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"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 3269
Joined: 2010
This day in World History! Continued
7/13/2023 9:49:18 AM
I don´t know what happened there but half my post disappeared.

Morris and George,

Way back in the last millennium I´m no great fan of Monty, but giving him his due, he was known in the Desert for his punctilious logistics and build up. This was the opposite. May have looked good on paper but wishful thinking considering the terrain and completely underestimating the german will to fight back.

Trevor

Edit. I forgot to mention that the flat land on either side of the road is criss-crossed with irrigation canals. Completely impassable.

It has happened again
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 3269
Joined: 2010
This day in World History! Continued
7/13/2023 9:52:55 AM
Quote:
I don´t know what happened there but half my post disappeared.

Morris and George,

Way back in the last millennium I´m no great fan of Monty, but giving him his due, he was known in the Desert for his punctilious logistics and build up. This was the opposite. May have looked good on paper but wishful thinking considering the terrain and completely underestimating the german will to fight back.

Trevor

Edit. I forgot to mention that the flat land on either side of the road is criss-crossed with irrigation canals. Completely impassable.

It has happened again


when I lived in Holland, I had a friend who lived in Arnheim so I frequently traveled by bus along that road. The south of the Netherlands is where the River Rhine turns into four smaller rivers flowing into the North Sea. They are narrow but deep and fast flowing. The land is as flat as a pancake and you have the feeling that the sky is pressing down on you. There is no natural cover. The only trees being those planted on the sides of the road as wind breakers. The road is narrow. Two buses traveling in opposite directions can just get past each other and large sections of the road are elevated above the surroundings ( so you can´t get off it ). This just isn´t tank country. Anything on that road, can be seen from miles away from a simple church tower and is a sitting duck and one anti-tank gun can hold up an entire army.
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 3309
Joined: 2007
This day in World History! Continued
7/13/2023 10:17:35 AM
Hey Trevor, I responded to your full post when you posted it. Now, I see that half of it is not showing up now. Can`t explain why that part just up and disappeared!

Your newer version is showing now. Again, good insights.

Respects, Morris
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6498
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This day in World History! Continued
7/13/2023 10:47:03 AM
Uncharacteristically bold of Monty to try that.

Indeed, we might wonder whether he was determined to dispel the image of him being a cautious plodder.

Was he out to refute the charge of excessive caution ?

How close did that thing get to being a success ?

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 3309
Joined: 2007
This day in World History! Continued
7/13/2023 1:15:21 PM
Quote:
Uncharacteristically bold of Monty to try that.

Indeed, we might wonder whether he was determined to dispel the image of him being a cautious plodder.

Was he out to refute the charge of excessive caution ?

How close did that thing get to being a success ?

Regards, Phil


Geographically, on paper, it looks to be a close thing. In reality it wasn`t close at all. The element of surprise by dropping in the paratroops was blown from the start, the Polish Paratroopers being delayed in their drop for three days. Because of concern over German AA fire, Most of the British 1st Airborne was dropped 8 miles from Arnhem Bridge...one battalion alone reached the key objective.

The 82nd Airborne sent much of it`s force to the heights above Nijmegen to fend off German counter-attacks, and did not have enough force to take the bridge at first. Once it was taken, British armor still had to secure the town before it could advance.

Constant counter-attacks on the flanks of highway 69 caused delay, and each hour that the 1st Airborne had to hold on at Arnhem , they lost supplies, ammunition, ...and men to defend their position. The rest of British 1st Airborne could not breakthrough to unite with the battalion stranded at Arnhem . The road was actually cut in two by German counter-attacks for a time back at the Son.

And all this mayhem was the result of 2 SS Panzer Divisions augmenting the other German Units in the area.....which allied intelligence had warned the British about being moved into position...there is also the matter of a Dutch double-agent who may have alerted the German command to the airborne operation which may have been the reason why the Panzer Divisions had been placed there for rest and refitting.

In essence, allied supplies coming from Normandy were too slow to continue to support the allied advance on a broad front. Montgomery argued that this bold plan could remove the supply problem by a leapfrog to the Rhine. But, as I said in my earlier post, Montgomery`s plan itself was hindered by supply problems and air transport problems, and vital supplies and equipment were diverted from the slow, broad-front advance to this fiasco.

There were some 16 to 17 thousand allied casualties in Market Garden. It was a hot mess.

Respects, Morris


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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
DT509er
Santa Rosa CA USA
Posts: 1521
Joined: 2005
This day in World History! Continued
7/13/2023 2:02:13 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Uncharacteristically bold of Monty to try that.

Indeed, we might wonder whether he was determined to dispel the image of him being a cautious plodder.

Was he out to refute the charge of excessive caution ?

How close did that thing get to being a success ?

Regards, Phil


Geographically, on paper, it looks to be a close thing. In reality it wasn`t close at all. The element of surprise by dropping in the paratroops was blown from the start, the Polish Paratroopers being delayed in their drop for three days. Because of concern over German AA fire, Most of the British 1st Airborne was dropped 8 miles from Arnhem Bridge...one battalion alone reached the key objective.

The 82cd Airborne sent much of it`s force to the heights above Nijmegen to fend off German counter-attacks, and did not have enough force to take the bridge at first. Once it was taken, British armor still had to secure the town before it could advance.

Constant counter-attacks on the flanks of highway 69 caused delay, and each hour that the 1st Airborne had to hold on at Arnhem , they lost supplies, ammunition, ...and men to defend their position. The rest of British 1st Airborne could not breakthrough to unit with the battalion stranded at Arnhem . The road was actually cut in two by German counter-attacks for a time.

And all this mayhem was the result of 2 SS Panzer Divisions augmenting the other German Units in the area.....which allied intelligence had warned the British about being moved into position...there is also the matter of a Dutch double-agent who may have alerted the German command to the airborne operation which may have been the reason why the Panzer Divisions had been placed there for rest and refitting.

In essence, allied supplies coming from Normandy were too slow to continue to support the allied advance on a broad front. Montgomery argued that this bold plan could remove the supply problem by a leapfrog to the Rhine. But, as I said in my earlier post, Montgomery`s plan itself was hindered by supply problems and air transport problems, and vital supplies and equipment were diverted from the slow, broad-front advance to this fiasco.

There were some 16 to 17 thousand allied casualties in Market Garden. It was a hot mess.

Respects, Morris




It was a gauntlet run that should not have happened. The intel was there but ignored; heck, if Overlord could be pushed out a day or two, Market-Garden should have been cancelled altogether.

Dan

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"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." German officer, Italy 1944. “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 3309
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This day in World History! Continued
7/13/2023 3:02:40 PM
Dan, I came close to ending my last post about Market Garden by saying, "maybe Dan will weigh in one this one, it`s right in his ally."

I will just say that the allied troops, 82nd Airborne, 101 Airborne, British 1st Airborne, Polish Paratroop Brigade, and 30 Corps, all fought their guts out in Holland. But the entire idea of the enemy resistance being anything less than desperate was a pipe dream. The planners thought that the Germans were just back-bencher units...they had no appreciation for the fact that German forces would fight like angry hornets to defend against an invasion of their Fatherland, ( see Ukraine) and together with fought- out but still elite German Armored Divisions, the harsh counter-attacks showed the enemies metal as well.

Respects, Morris
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
DT509er
Santa Rosa CA USA
Posts: 1521
Joined: 2005
This day in World History! Continued
7/13/2023 4:18:09 PM
Quote:
Dan, I came close to ending my last post about Market Garden by saying, "maybe Dan will weigh in one this one, it`s right in his ally."

I will just say that the allied troops, 82nd Airborne, 101 Airborne, British 1st Airborne, Polish Paratroop Brigade, and 30 Corps, all fought their guts out in Holland. But the entire idea of the enemy resistance being anything less than desperate was a pipe dream. The planners thought that the Germans were just back-bencher units...they had no appreciation for the fact that German forces would fight like angry hornets to defend against an invasion of their Fatherland, ( see Ukraine) and together with fought- out but still elite German Armored Divisions, the harsh counter-attacks showed the enemies metal as well.

Respects, Morris


Thanks Morris, I have been following the thread and find the comments interesting indeed. Good comment about the Airborne troops fighting, heck had they had any strong armor support and/or anti-armor support things may have gone differently; maybe still not a victory but differently. There is a lot to this operation, ground troops moving up with armor but restricted in the ability to deploy and advance. The Para's Landing Zone's (LZ's) several miles away from the intended objective and then both Para's and Paratroopers fighting against armor and/or well equipped, led and motivated German soldiers.

I often wondered if Monty and/or Ike knew this was a bad plan but for some odd reason just could not tell themselves to call it off, as that would be possibly seen as a failure and the question of what should be done instead most likely was not their liking.

Dan
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"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." German officer, Italy 1944. “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 4806
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This day in World History! Continued
7/13/2023 10:47:36 PM
I’m not strong on the ground war in WW2, but a couple of comments have drawn me in.Quote:
Uncharacteristically bold of Monty to try that.

Indeed, we might wonder whether he was determined to dispel the image of him being a cautious plodder.

Was he out to refute the charge of excessive caution ?

How close did that thing get to being a success ?

Regards, Phil
Phil, I think your suggestions about Monty’s motivation might be dead on the money. IIUC, the attrition of UK and Commonwealth forces was becoming a major issue. Some of the blame hinged on the delays in the breakout from Normandy, which was under Monty’s command. Once Monty was succeeded by Omar Bradley, Monty’s armies were in the lead in a stab against Germany through the low countries and over the hump of the Ruhr towards Berlin, but the broad front strategy SHAEF seemed to be adopting worked against what were in effect Allied panzer strikes. This was, IMHO, Monty’s last chance to become the hero of the land war in Europe. How could he not promote it? A win would have downplayed the dramatic bleeding of UK/Commonwealth troops, and might even have redirected the axis of attack against Germany. IMHO, Monty had achieved a rank he had not yet earned; whether for ego or pride or commitment to his troops, he wanted to attain this victory. Of course, this only meant further questions arose over his capaabilities.

How close did it come to being a success? Not very, IIUC, though I continue to read the posts about the details. Close doesn’t apply in war: this is an either/or; you win or you lose. Okay, there are Pyhrric victories, but that’s another matter. Monty lost (or, if you wish, Ike lost; or SHAEF lost). It was a failed battle, and you don’t get points for coming close.Quote:
I think we can safely say without the benefit of hindsight that 'Market Garden' is an operation that should never have left the brainstorming stage, let alone actually be put into action. As referenced above, I can only imagine Ike signed off on it as a sop to the British to get the war-winning campaign underway. Too many good soldiers died trying to boost egos.

Cheers,

Colin
Colin, what caught me in your post is your “…we can say without the benefit of hindsight… .” I would argue that without the benefit of hindsight the attack must have looked conceivable, given military intelligence of the time. In fact, it might have looked like a once-only chance to cut through German defences. Like you, I can’t in hindsight imagine SHAEF being misled so fully, or Ike being keen to sign on for the assault. But SHAEF was sold and Ike did sign, and Montgomery’s dual hopes for an end to the war and personal glory came to nought.? What made Market Garden look like a potential success at the time?

Were there other projects where the commitment was made despite the risk or threat? How about the Manhattan Project? Nobody knew what an explosion using atomic fission might mean to humanity, but we pressed ahead with it. The British were mucking with an atomic program; the Germans seemed to be mucking with an atomic program; nobody knew about whether Soviet Russia or Japan was mucking about as well. As the potential for making a fissionable bomb came nearer, a host of scientists advised against weaponization, and nobody listened.

I would argue that the development of the A Bomb was riskier and more threatening and more potentially damaging than Market Garden. It’s possible to argue they were different issues entirely, of course. But when the Manhattan Project was given increasing financial and intellectual support to build a weapon which might destroy the world, why should we assume that Market Garden would be considered too dicey to go beyond the brainstorming stage.

Bit of a rant, perhaps. If so, please pardon!

Cheers
Brian g
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OpanaPointer
St. Louis MO USA
Posts: 1968
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This day in World History! Continued
7/14/2023 7:32:43 AM
The deep penetration with exposed flanks and a finicky time table makes the attack a candidate for the "don't do this" classes.

And I don't see the atomic bomb as being comparable. The bomb was produced "stateside" and delivered with planes of a type that were already in theater.
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13539
Joined: 2009
This day in World History! Continued
7/14/2023 8:36:24 AM
So does the failure to achieve objectives mark Montgomery as a failure as a general? I think that that would be incorrect. The man was successful in Africa and like it or not, his management skills at the Battle of the Bulge were important to the American success there. His plans during the battles for the Rhineland and the crossing of the Rhine proved to be effective.

Does Patton's failure to close the Falaise gap in 1944 define him as a general? I am aware that Bradley ordered Patton to stop at Argentan rather than to proceed a few more kilometres to close with the Canadians coming south from Falaise but it would have been more characteristic of Patton to bull ahead as he had in Sicily, wouldn't it? So did Patton prefer the second option to make for the Seine as quickly as possible? Was greater glory available with that option? Isn't Patton praised for the speed of that advance?

Note that I am aware that Monty did not order Bradley to order Patton to close the gap when he realized that the Canadians did not have sufficient numbers to close it quickly and were moving rather slowly. I think that Monty had his eye on the Seine as well.

The Americans and Canadians did meet at Chambois on Aug. 16 but by that time the US forces were already at the Seine and crossing it. The gap would not be closed for good until the 21st.

George
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 3309
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This day in World History! Continued
7/14/2023 9:18:20 AM
I love irony. And in this discussion about Monty`s Market Garden plan, there is an irony.

Eisenhower defended the plan, stating it was essential to get across the Rhine into the heart of German war production. He accepted the high risk in order to accomplish that vital foothold. It is ironic that Monty`s grand scheme came crashing down...and six months later the bridgehead across the Rhine was obtained when US forces were able to secure a badly damaged-but still intact-Ludendorff bridge at Remagen. And the first forces to get across....were Patton`s.

My neighbor just celebrated his 100th birthday back in May. I have listened with great interest to him tell his first-hand accounts of the Normandy operation, the bulge, and the battle of Remagen. With his 100th birthday approaching, he gave an interview to a local newspaper and related the following: His battalion of engineers, " had to disarm the explosives on the Ludendorff Bridge. We climbed on the girders and came across satchels full of dynamite. The wiring was different from ours and the wires were different colors. I had a feeling the red wire was the one to cut. On the count of three I cut it and no explosion." They crawled toward satchels at the end of the bridge, but they were exposed to sharpshooters. "We crawled back thinking that we could disarm the explosives at night." Just then a jeep drove up with a General on board. It turned out to be Patton. He said, " Whats the delay?" Hank replied, "we are going to remove the explosives tonight because of the fire we are taking.' Patton said, " Son, this is war. People die. I want to cross the Rhine. Get back on the bridge."

Patton arranged for some of his tanks to provide suppressing fire against the German fire as the men continued climbing along the girders to remove the charges.

For ten days, the engineers heroically kept that badly damaged bridge in service as armored tanks and support vehicles and soldiers got across, until it collapsed into the Rhine. 28 engineers were killed and over 60 injured. 18 of the dead were never recovered and most likely drowned in the Rhine.

Respects, Morris
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
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