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"Monty's Gamble: Market Garden" Topic

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281 hits since 10 Mar 2020
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Mar 2020 9:31 p.m. PST

" The Wehrmacht had been rocked back on its heels several times during World War II. In late 1941 the Russian winter and Soviet counterattacks had caused it to stumble backwards. In late 1942 the Soviet surrounding of Stalingrad brought it again to the brink of disaster. Now it is 1944, and the Allied invasion of Normandy, followed by the breakout and then the Falaise Gap, had caused it to almost cease to be a fighting force on the Western front. The Allies had them on the run and it did not look like it would stop until Berlin was taken. Most Allied intelligence had the Wehrmacht in the West as a spent force and that the war would be over by Christmas. The only thing that stopped the Allies were supply problems. The Allied Armies had to stop and take a breather right then at the most inopportune moment. They were poised on the Netherlands border, waiting for their precious supplies to catch up. At this same moment the German Field Marshal von Rundstedt was put back in charge of the German forces on the Western front. He was given the Herculean task of trying to make the streaming refugees that were now the German forces into a fighting machine once again. That he succeeded was a testament mostly to the average German soldier during the war. At the same time, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery was in command of the northern area of the Allied Armies poised in Belgium. Montgomery, who was a master of the set piece battle, decided to break free of his mold and devise an uncharacteristically bold plan. He would drop three Allied Airborne Divisions in a line, described as a 'carpet', to capture bridges in the Netherlands, with the British First Airborne tasked with taking a bridge over the Rhine at Arnhem. The Rhine was the last natural barrier between the Allied Armies and Germany itself. The British First Airborne would be landed more than sixty miles behind enemy lines! The topography of the Netherlands, with it being mostly land reclaimed from the North Sea, made the task for the British land forces to connect with all of the Airborne troops that much more difficult. The stage is set for you to fight for 'Hell's Highway'. You are put in the shoes of von Rundstedt or Montgomery to refight this epic battle…."


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