The First Day of Operation Market Garden | BattleStorm 2/8

The largest airborne operation in history begins on a Sunday September 17th 1944 the first AI parachute was on gliders descended in Holland in the early afternoon thousands of men landed as many as 60 miles behind enemy lines and despite the fact that the battle ahead with last nine days it was in the first vital hours of the operation that the outcome of the whole battle and the lives of thousands of soldiers and civilians on both sides would be decided last time we saw how the Allied battle plan wasn’t without its flaws and how the Germans weren’t as ill-prepared as the Allies generals believed and as the battle begins the question we have to ask ourselves is did the Allies make efficient use of the first vital hours of the operation it’s the middle of the day and there’s plenty o lion despite a few accidents no serious casualties are sustained on the draw the element of surprise works in the Allies favor taking advantage of the German confusion most of the Allied objectives are taken quickly within a few hours most the American 101st Airborne Division lands north of Eindhoven and secures most of its target bridges but as the second Battalion of the 506 regimen which included Easy Company from the band the brother series approached the bridge at psalm an 88 and nearby German sentries managed to delay the paratroopers long enough to blow the bridge the Americans were just 50 metres from the bridge when it blew up in their faces the five hundred and second Regiment fought their way through to the bridge at best which the Germans also managed to blow before it fell into American hands so the hundred and first failed to capture a bridge on the canal at the southern end of their sector 30 Corps can’t cross the canal without a bridge so when they eventually arrive there’s gonna be delays while they build another one and if that wasn’t bad enough a glider from the hundred and first Airborne crash near students headquarters and plans for the entire operation operation Market Garden were in students hands by around p.m.

At the same day day one but one hundred and first we’re the only ones having trouble the 82nd landing near Nijmegen did secure the Heights a groupie the humming bridge and the bridge at Graff browning had also flown in and now set up his headquarters on the group’s beat heights I’m mentioning that because Gavin and browning had both decided that the group’s peak heights were the priority for the operation and had to be taken and they were taken because there were literally no Germans there as a result a good portion of the 82nd airborne would just sat on the group’s peak Heights shelling the nearby woods the Reich’s wold because a sizable German counter-attacking force was believed to be in there time was ticking down to take what was the real priority the Rowe bridge in Nijmegen now the 1st battalion commanded by leftenant shields Warren had been ordered to take the Nijmegen bridge that day however while was first ordered to secure some of the suburbs in Nijmegen and prepare them for the defense which took him most of the day so where Leon things weren’t looking so good at Nijmegen either if the 82nd failed to see the Nijmegen bridge there’s no way thirdly Corps can build a bridge over the wall Nijmegen bridge has to be taken but it isn’t an island the British landing field surrounded by woods this works in their favor as it prevented the Germans seeing exactly what the British were up to but it also didn’t work in their favor as they were 8 to 13 miles away from their main objective on and bridge but general aircar had prepared for this knowing that it would take several hours to fight their way through several miles of enemy-held territory he decided to send first Airborne’s reconnaissance squadron supply with jeeps ahead the idea was to send the jeeps to the Arnhem Road bridge in a coupe domain or surprise attack then wait for reinforcements from the rest of the divisions who arrived neither trained to use them nor were they meant to be used for anything other than reconnaissance this lightly armed and armored force wouldn’t last long in a major firefight but it might be able to slip behind enemy lines and may be able to get to the bridge quickly however set the crafts SS training and replacement battalion was one of the closest units to the British landing zones and seeing that the paratroopers were landing he decided to quickly form a blocking line near Wolfe phase and to scout out of the British positions to gain vital information because observation was obscure by the trees craft wasn’t sure what the British were trying to achieve but his line would cause the British some problems in those first vital hours it was the northern end of this blocking line that the British reconnaissance squadron drove into barely minutes after the line had been formed the small force jeeps was stopped by heavy machine-gun fire and even a flamethrower attack they didn’t try to advance by foot but they were driven back and so the first attack towards Arnhem had failed Fitch’s 3rd battalion marched along the all truths leg south and most of crafts positions towards Ireland unfortunately for Fitch general aircar accompanied the battalion and basically slowed things down leftenant Clemmensen spittoons freaked out a German car this one and it was only after the war that they found out it was general Friedrich Goosen alumns commandant who had only just finished briefing craft on the situation despite this success the battalion got embroiled in fighting craft battalion including an incident where general akai himself was shot at by machine guns and more fire dobby’s 1st battalion was to take the route that started along the eed Arnhem Railway bought hearing reports of tanks ahead Derby chose to circle north of the route instead this had the benefit of bypassing crafts blocking line pretty soon became caught in fighting in the wooded areas north of wolf phase the German unit here was a hastily formed camp group or battle group which we will explain later named after its commander Weber consisting of 90 or so Luftwaffe signalers and despite being poorly armed and inexperienced they attacked the powers as best they could and although they didn’t do a lot of damage they did cause a delay to the south leftenant Colonel John Frost 2nd battalion had been given the dual task of taking the Arnhem rail bridge and the main objective the Road bridge frost men got into combat almost immediately destroying a small calm vehicles probably in a reconnaissance company from craft battalion but was quick to get going towards the bridges bypassing the important even door Ferry which although capable of transporting troops across the Rhine was overlooked in the initial planning they reached us to beat by p.m.

And overwhelm the token German resistance their detaching leftenant berries at ninth but soon supported by the 8th platoon with or is to take the rail bridge bury let a section of nine men on to the north end of the bridge itself he thought he could take the entire bridge but as he got to the sense of the bridge above the water the bridge exploded luckily none of his men were killed by the explosion but the rail bridge was destroyed no matter this wasn’t the main objective the main objective was the armed robbery now it had taken three hours to to power to get to this point the German guards of the rail bridge had had plenty of time to prepare their explosives so the chances of the road bridge being there when they got to it they had to go on shortly before the destruction of the rail bridge however Field Marshal Morrel German commander of Army Group B let his headquarters at the heart and stein hotel for fear of being captured interestingly it’s claimed that modal wrongly came to the conclusion the British landed in Holland purely to capture him there is no evidence of that but it is true that he fled the hotel and having assessed the situation at 1730 hours he and the staff of ii ss-panzer corps issued the first and perhaps most important order to the germany it’s in the island and Nijmegen areas immediate counter-attacks were to take place a ninth SS Panzer Division to concentrate against the British at Arnhem and then 10th SS Panzer Division was to drive to Nijmegen secure the bridges there and prevent any relief and get into the British at Arnhem at the same time students first volscian major army was to come out thirty cause advance in the Eindhoven area this was a significant order the Germans had decided to halt the relieving forces at Nijmegen if they did that the British at our land will be trapped miles behind enemy lines and doomed at 1800 hours craft suspected that he’d been outflanked he had ferrying the possibility of encirclement he withdrew his force which in turn allowed elements of thir battalion to continue towards the bridge having delayed third power crafts force retreated to the drains vague and helped reinforce a new battle group that had been hastily set the camp group Spindler the Germans were practicing a new type of unit organization called camp crouppen this was an ad-hoc formation which could be created or disbanded depending on circumstances it’s basically a makeshift unit which is usually cobbled together with bits from other units and then given a leader and the task experienced and decorated in both the Iron Cross and the German crossing gold SS leftenant Colonel Spindler commander of the ninth SS Panzer divisions Artillery Regiment pulled in as many units under his command as possible even units without guns but he managed by the evening of the 17th to assemble force of inventory half-tracks and self-propelled guns and possibly even some tank destroyers of mark four tanks he decided perhaps of his own initiative to form a blocking line to prevent the British from getting to the center of Arnhem Spindler is a very significant figure in this operation who will see again and again as the battle progresses frost and 2nd battalion were looking off to bypass Spindler’s line before it solidified following the bend of the line and despite having to detach a company to deal with the machine guns at them brink 2nd battalion marched into Arnhem as they moved through the streets German vehicles screeched across Ireland row bridge heading south commanded by SS captain Victor Graebner the 9th SS reconnaissance battalion headed towards Nijmegen Victor Graebner was another significant figure at Arnhem and will return to him again next time the point is that only a handful of guards were guarding Arnhem bridge frost reached the bridge at about 8 o’clock following shortly by 1st brigade headquarters they had covered seven or eight miles in about five hours the bridge guards were in a pillbox and the bridge itself so to power dog into positions beneath the bridge and wait for 3rd battalion and the reconnaissance squadron which ominously hadn’t arrived that’s because facing kampfgruppe Spindler’s determined defensive line the battalion had decided to dig in noose to beak and no further progress was made that evening only C Company which had gone north a crass position managed to fight their way to the bridge after a violent clash in Arnhem itself resulting in only 40 or 45 men from reaching frost position 1st battalion commander Dobby received word via radio that 2nd battalion had reached the bridge and needed reinforcements he decided to abandon the idea of fighting to reach the northern end of and just get to the bridge he turned south and fought throughout the night losing over a hundred men it only got halfway to their objective before well they would stop by Graham group Spindler vanilla had stopped two of the three battalions from getting to Arnhem Road bridge on day one and his achievement is even more ignorant that his force hadn’t existed that morning by the evening of the 17th another camp group named harder after its commander who was the slightly complicate things was under the command of Spindler moved into Western Arlen and caught frost troops off from the rest of first airborne there was now no way that any other british paratroopers were getting to Arnhem that evening in all around 750 men reached the Road bridge in Arlen almost all of 2nd battalion 45 man unit from 3rd battalion Brigade head HQ as well as a few more men from all the smaller units and yeah they’d made it they were now surrounded and they had only limited stocks of food and ammunition they’d gone unnoticed by the 20 or so Germans manning the pillbox on the bridge and a couple of attempts to knock it out and failed a 6 pounder and a flamethrower brought up and took it out missing the bunker the flamethrower actually hit the ammunition of petrol storage hot behind the pillbox and a large explosion covered the bridge in flame that would burn throughout the night later a convoy of German lorries carrying ammunition supplies attempted to cross the burning bridge yeah the flames exploded the ammunition that they carried and this only added to the inferno another convoy a v2 rocket unit was also ambushed on the Arnhem side and several men were taken prisoner although the British didn’t realize they were v2 rocket operators which meant that the v2 rocket operators survived the battle but overall part of the British power trooper force was at the bridge and they just had to wait for relief by 30 Corps so where were the tanks so do I have to go what 13 miles between their star point and city of I know vert between I know Vern and them was the German front why after an artery bomb bomb and German infantry and guns hit them from the wards and either side of the road nine tanks in the immediate ambush the British deployed infantry and typhoons from the re have to deal with the Germans and the infantry went in to clear the enemy positions finally allowing 30 Corps to continue by this point the Germans were reacting to the attack sending in five battalions try and halt the advance the whole day was spent fighting one new regiment after another that the British intelligence officers were even surprised existed and by this point of the day thirty Corps had only gone eight miles from their starting point there were another 56 miles to go to Arnhem bridge to peel the Sun and many more Germans between them at least all the bridges were taken on day one and those that weren’t could be rebuilt except for one no Megan bridge was still in enemy hands and the 82nd airborne had yet to make an attack on it finally at 8 p.m.

Warren was able to send two rifle companies from the first battalions of Ward’s of the bridge a and B company’s attacks into nijmegen bought B company got lost along the way so a company went on a loan yeah only one company was attacking one of the main objectives in the entire operation and it was many hours after the paratroopers had landed as they approached the bridge which at this point was still only guarded by a handful of Germans a German convoy of reinforcements from the north a ride and an entire infantry battalion from the 10th SS Panzer Division supported by a company of engineers and Victor graveness reconnaissance battalion from ninth SS Panzer arrived the fighting began but it was heavily in the Germans favored B company arrived later in the night but they too found the situation hopeless the Americans did manage to capture and destroy the firing mechanism for the bridge meaning the Germans weren’t able to blow the bridge not they were planning through anyway but they were outgunned and outnumbered now the Germans even managed to counter-attack and surround the unit in the post office who would stay there for the next three days we can safely say that the 82nd had failed to capture Nijmegen the entire operation depending on the capture of every bridge ssam had been destroyed but since it was over canal a Bailey bridge could be built in a matter of hours to replace it but the bridge at Nijmegen span a much larger body of water and a Bailey bridge couldn’t be built overlap now making bridge had to be taken on the first day and it wasn’t so things don’t bode well for operation Market Garden at this early stage but there is still hope if first airborne could fight their way to frost at the bridge or if 30 coal could make good their delay and reach and repair some bridge quickly and or if the 82nd could somehow capture Nijmegen Road bridge which at this point was still a possibility the battle could be won and the war over by Christmas the question is though did the Allies make efficient use of the first vital hours of the operation and who made the worst mistakes at this early stage let me know who you think it was in the comments below we’ll continue this fight tomorrow but before we leave it’s worth mentioning SS captain Victor greener one more time this guy went everywhere in the 17th first he had a Knight’s Cross pinned to his chest by divisional commander Hart sir early on the 17th unlike what wikipedia says which is why we don’t rely on it greener send units to scout out positions along the eed Arnhem Road he fought elements of first battalion and then he drove across the island bridge at about 6 o’clock an hour or two before frost men even reached it at 7 he was at Elst south of Arnhem and finally no power troopers there he raced to Nijmegen and found no Americans and Iomega neither yes within 24 hours of this picture being taken Greiner was dead we’ll find out why tomorrow thanks for watching thanks for subscribing bye for now

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