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Subject: Operation Market Garden: the Legend of the Waal Crossing rss

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Severus Snape
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Pascal said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."
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"The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of."--Pascal
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My most recent read has been Tim Lynch's "Operation Market Garden: the Legend of the Waal Crossing." Though Lynch is totally daft when he suggests that the Americans wanted the operation to fail (and he seriously undermines his credibility with this "conspiracy theory"), I find much of his argument convincing, given his good use of supporting evidence.

Has anyone else read it?

The American Amazon reviews trash the book; Amazon UK is more favourable. Gee, no bias there on either side.

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Corporal Dave
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What is the argument?

What's the evidence?

Presumably he is daft on his conspiracy theory but otherwise convincing?
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K G
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Delafield
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From the author himself (presumably):

Posted 19 July 2011 - 11:34 AM
Just what the world needs, another OP MG book!!

Is there anything new to say? Well, yes there is.

This book looks at the story of the Waal Crossing during the battle for Nijmegen and at the legend that has grown up around it. It is a legend of slow, over cautious British tank crews failing to exploit the breakthrough so brilliantly gained by US paratroops - but is the story true? This book takes the evidence against 30 Corps and asks the reader to do the maths.

In 'A Bridge Too Far', Ryan writes that 30 Corps arrived in Nijmegen 36 hours behind schedule. There was no schedule to fall behind. Even if there had been, 30 Corps arrived in Nijmegen less than 46 hours after crossing their start line. In order to be 36 hours behind schedule they would have been expected to reach Nijmegen by midnight on D-Day - to do that they would have needed to cross Bridge 10 over four hours before the first American patrol even set out to capture it and almost 12 hours before it was secured. They would also have needed to pass up 'Hell's Highway' in just four hours after their planned link up with the 101st Airborne south of Eindhoven at 2000

In Nijmegen itself, Browning complained that 30 Corps had failed because he expected them to reach the city, take the bridge without any airborne input and be across the river by noon of D+1 - less than 24 hours after the start of the operation. Gavin, meanwhile, said that he would feel he had done a good job if the bridge were in Allied hands by the "end of the third day" before complaining that the tanks did not act with any sense of urgency - apparently expecting them to reach the Arnhem bridge in 48 hours but somehow arriving there before he believed the crucial Nijmegen bridge could be captured.

One famous account has an American Captain attending a meeting on the night of 19th September in which British Generals, awestruck by the heroic crossing planned the next day, made a 'solemn pledge' to race across the bridge and on to Arnhem. H-Hour was set for 0800 but had to be postponed time and again because of the British failure to provide the boats. It's a dramatic story but it begs a few questions:
Why was H Company allegedly given a solemn pledge on the night of the 19th to support an attack at 0800 the next morning when no-one even mentioned the crossing to I Company (who would also be in the first wave) until 0900 - thereby not issuing a warning order to them until an hour after they were supposed to have crossed the river? Why were the engineers told at 0600 to prepare for a crossing 'that afternoon'? Was it a British delay or the fact that the south bank of the river wasn't cleared until midday that meant the op was postponed? The story of British delays has been told so often that in one account, the airstrike began at 1430 and "forty minutes later" (ie at 1510) the boats arrived. That account, a very slim one, also tells us that the crossing began at 1500 and the second wave set out at 1515 - but still insists the boats arrived at 1510.

And it goes on. Delays to 30 Corps are routinely doubled, trebled or even worse. In one account a 12 hour pause becomes a halt of three days. For almost 70 years, the failure of 30 Corps to fight its way to Arnhem because of a poor performance has been an accepted fact but what is the evidence of 30 Corps' failure and does it stand up to investigation? This book shows how claims against the Garden forces fall apart when matched against the evidence but what really happened at Nijmegen?

More importantly, why, after the war, did West Point commemorate Arnhem as an American victory?

"Operation Market Garden: The Legend of the Waal" reappraises one of the most controversial incidents of the European war and throws new light on the relationship between the Allies in 1944 and its effect on the epic defeat at Arnhem.

Available from Amazon at £12.74

Operation Market Garden: The Legend of the Waal Crossing: Amazon.co.uk: Tim Lynch: Books

Apologies for the shameless self publicity but Op MG is always a popular topic on here

Tim
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Lee Trowbridge
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I don't know the details of 30 Corps plans and schedules, paratroop actions etc., but notable by its absence in the above USA vs. UK argument is any mention of the Wehrmacht.

This sounds similar to post American Civil War arguments about which Confederate general, or which Confederate action or inaction was responsible for the failure of "Pickett's Charge" at Gettysburg.

General Pickett, when asked to give his opinion on the matter is supposed to have said, "I always thought the Yankees had something to do with that."

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