Proposal of Market garden

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During World War II, the market garden operation was a joint military effort. To put an end to the conflict, this mission planned to attack Germany. There was a strategic plan in place to carry out the mission, but it was deemed unsuccessful because both soldiers and civilians died during the operation. Airborne (market) and ground forces were used in the operation (garden). German soldiers attacked the airborne units before they could complete their mission. This was a significant setback for the ground troops which contributed to the failure of one of history's largest operations. The market garden operation was formulated by people at high levels of command; therefore, the failure of the strategy raises questions about what might have gone wrong. Much of the literature on market garden operation identifies alternatives that would have assured the success of the mission. This paper aims to provide an overview of the operation market garden, examine the strategic plans deployed and determine what might have led to the failure of the mission.


Recently there have been questions about what happened in the fateful operation market garden launched in 1944. Until now, there are issues about what went wrong when the Allied forces went to Germany. By August 1994, allied assaults against the Germans had failed due to the high resistance by the Nazi government. It was apparent that a new plan was needed to break through the German defenses. This led to formulation and initiation of operation market garden. This activity was characterized by the largest airborne operation to ever occur in history. It was the most daring plan proposed by General Bernard Montgomery, a British officer. He was the mastermind behind Operation Market Garden. According to the plans for the operation, which the allied forces were to invade Germany and secure bridges in the lower parts of Netherlands. This would allow the forces to advance into German through the northern plains. It was a strategic attempt to use airborne forces to launch assaults against the German troops.

The decision to implement operation market garden was driven by the need to keep retreating German troops pressurized. Market garden was divided into two operations; the market which comprised of airborne forces and the garden which was made up of ground units. There were over 30,000 soldiers from various divisions under the market sub-operation. This was to become one of the most extensive airborne operations ever undertaken in history. The operation was for the airborne troops to secure bridges and drop bombs allowing the ground troops to advance into the heart of Germany and end the war, this was done via parachutes and gliders. However, the German troops attacked the airborne forces before they could secure the bridges. The overstretched supply lines caused shortages which forced armored soldiers to halt their operations. This allowed time for the German troops to reassemble and reinforce their defense. The action became a costly failure which resulted from undermining the German defense. The failure of operation market garden is believed to have delayed European efforts to end the war within the stipulated period. The Germans emerged victoriously, and it was clear that they were still superior.

This study analyzes a range of existing literature on the subject. Articles by Ian Carter, Reinier Salverda, and Clark Lloyd thematize the role of army officers in the Allied forces and the impact of the failure to the people of Netherlands. Ian carter's article ‘The story of Operation Market Garden in photos' expounds on the operational planning and implementation. Tony Gosling's article ‘A betrayal too far' talks about the miscalculation and failure of the strategists which underestimated the Nazis. Reinier's article ‘Beyond a Bridge Too Far' highlights on the aftermath of the Arnhem battle. There is also an article by Daily History organization which highlights the reasons as to why operation market garden failed. Based on the arguments proposed by the mention contributors to this subject, this paper will study the plans deployed during operation market garden and why they failed.

Research Questions

1. What was wrong with the plan?

2. What was the role of the Generals?

3. What tactics were deployed?

4. Why did the strategists not design an emergency plan if the operation went wrong?

5. What contributions have the authors of these articles made in case of World War in the future?

Objectives of the Study

1. To understand the operation Market Garden that occurred in 1944.

2. To examine the tactics deployed during this operation.

3. To determine why the operation failed

Justification for the Research

This research seeks to contribute to the vast existing literature on post-war analysis. The research will provide new information on the reasons for the failure of the market garden operation. The findings from this study are to assist army officers to deploy useful combat skills during military operations. If the commanders strategize effectively, future military forces will have a better chance of conquering the rivals. Army Generals should create effective combat approaches by considering the enemy's skills. This research is designed to root out any complications in the strategy and be clear about the necessary guidelines to be followed, so that past mistakes are not repeated in the future in case of war.

Literature Review

Market and Garden

Operation Market Garden was a risky affair ever to be attempted in history. It involved men, roads, and bridges. The 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions directed the war by organizing assault teams and drop zones. The Allied forces were planning to take over Germany and end World War II. This war led to the coordinated efforts by countries engaging in military operations, this was known as the Allied Forces. The two opposing sides are the Allies and Axis which comprised of several nations. World War II made countries consolidate all their resources towards military operations. The economy and industries suffered during this war leaving civilians hopeless. It was the deadliest war ever in history involving over 100 million people from different countries fighting on each side. Civilian fatalities were rampant due to starvation, massacres, and bombing. Germany conquered states such as Poland and Finland through treaties. This triggered other countries to war by forming military alliances, the Allies, to fight the Germans. The operation market garden was a perfect plan until the Germans counterattacked the enemies.

Selecting Units

A single factor that led to the failing of Market Garden is over-optimism by the Allies. In August 1944, the British force failed to gain control of the Antwerp port allowing 80000 German troops to slip in the location. This is referred to as the ‘Great mistake.' Operation Market Garden consisted of ground forces advancing to Arnhem, drop zones and encompassing Ruhr. From my point, this is an excellent strategy which would enable smooth takeover of Germany. But this was not the case since the Germans acknowledged brutality and speed was the best tactic. From the onset, the operation was disastrous due to inadequate air plan. Shortage of aircraft led to using of combat planes to transport officers to drop zones leaving the 1st Airborne Division lacking the primary weapon in battle.

Some historians argue that if the aircraft were fitted with high-level pressure equipment, a single aircraft could carry the airborne division to battle. The possibility is open to speculation since the operation was launched in seven days from conception hence restructuring could not be possible. General Williams; the commandant of IX Troop Carrier Command, stated that one lift per day is enough for the operation to be efficient . Previously, with the aid of moonshine aircraft transportation took place during nighttime. America provided the majority aircraft with well-trained soldiers. Although it was possible for the aircraft to transport the troops three times a day, the ground and aircrews would have faced a difficult experience. Historians argue that the Arnhem situation could be different if they conducted three trips on that fateful day. Major General Williams rejected this proposition from his British counterparts citing an insufficient number of crews, and American troops could not keep up with a fast pace.

If the commanders could have put effort, they could borrow aircrews from other divisions during the first phase of airlift or not stop the British from making the three trips. Since the crew is lightly armed, they use the element of swiftness and surprise to attack the foe. However, this was not the case due to a surprise from the Germans which forced the troops from the first lift to secure the drop zones for the second pull. The 1st Parachute Brigade was the only ones who could get into town. This raises the question of how did the German blocking lines prevent the assault troops from advancing onwards . On 24th March 1945, the Air Force decided to implement the axiom of ‘everyone in at once or not at all.'

The Operation

On 6th June 1944, the Allied forces arrived in Normandy and started pushing the German troops. At first, the Germans fought hard not to leave the place. However, the Allied strategy prevailed by encircling a group of Nazis in Falaise Pocket. This forced the Germans to retreat due to incurring massive losses. This shows that the Allied forces became optimistic of winning the war by 25th of December which turned out wrong. By undermining the Germans; the Allies thought winning the war was an easy task. However, its successes resulted to problems. The problem of overstretching supply lines started affecting their operations causing them to stop advancing. For example, the shortage of food supply caused problems among the soldiers. Lack of oil made the armored division to halt their operations.

Marshal Hollinghurst, organized the drop zones to be a distance away from Arnhem fearing that his troops would suffer at Deelen Airfield due to no ground troops. Hollinghurst feared losing more aircraft hence he made decisions regarding drop zones to be far away from the battlefront. He was in charge of organizing provisions to the battlefront and transporting the injured to the infirmary. Even though it was not his responsibility to arrange to land, Brigadier Hackett believed that the air planners were only good at designing strategies of taking airborne troops to the war but forgot about fighting the Germans. This was another mistake leading to the botched operation.

The drop zone of the 4th Parachute Brigade was different from the 1st Lift due to congestion. It is strange that paratroopers who are experts in landing anywhere were commanded to land at another location. It remains a mystery as to why the commanders chose a different zone. The topography of Arnhem made it impossible for the Polish gliders to land hence had no other choice than some miles away from the town. The Division's planners spotted an open ground near the Bridge and pinpointed it as an advantageous location to defeat the Germans. However, Royal Air Force declined the request citing high hostility in that area. The whole operation was put at threat by this rejection as the 2nd Battalion marched for several hours t reach the Bridge. On the contrary, the Germans demolished the Bridge before the Battalion could seize it. Due to the superiors' plan of dropping the paratroopers far from the Bridge, the Germans had enough time to destroy the Bridge.

Final Conclusion

Over the years, historians have tried to make alternative plans at how the operation ought to be handled. However, these methods are negligible since they know the many German troops which the Allied forces were not aware of their existence. There is a book ‘A Drop Too Many' by John Frost who disputes the tactic deployed by the troops when capturing the bridge was irrational. John claims that the soldiers should have landed on both sides of the river first before attacking the bridge. He further argues that if the Polish were able to landing, then the 4th Parachute Brigade could also drop at the same point and the troops from the first airlift could move forward instead of guarding the zones .

The aftermath of the defeat was disastrous as the Germans looted and destroyed Arnhem. There is a different narration between Van Iddekinge and Van Meurs books. For the people of Arnhem, the aftermath was a catastrophe which dampened their spirits and was uncertain about victory. The battle in Arnhem was the toughest in history which halted the Allies operations in fighting the Germans . There is documentation of what happened during the battle explaining the reasons leading to the loss of the fight.


Research design

This study focuses on the activities leading to the botched operation Market Garden This study adopted an exploratory research design to get answers regarding the failure of operation market garden and meet the objectives of this paper. This design was preferred since it is more flexible which allows a researcher to make discoveries.

Target Population

The target population of interest for this research was historians from the learning institution. Historians are better placed and equipped to expound on the events of operation market garden. Their opinion of what should have or have not been done will be relevant to the purpose of this research.

Sampling Design

To get these answers, we shall require feedback from selected people. A random sample of 10 individuals is picked to allow capturing a variety of responses to analyze the difference. The respondents filled out questionnaires and gave their perspectives on the subject of research during interviews.

Data Collection

The primary data utilized during analysis was collected through interviews and structured questionnaires. The questionnaire method of data collection was preferred since it allows collection of data within a short period. This enables respondents to give their opinion without fear of being observed and therefore ensure confidentiality. Interviews allow more detailed questions to be asked. Also, clarification on responses can be made; this makes the interview method appropriate to this study. The researcher preferred this mode of collecting data since it consumed less time and strict policies when engaging with some respondents. Secondary sources of data were also utilized, this included; online databases and libraries, journal articles and reports.

Research Challenges

1. Selecting the precise topic for research.

2. Picking the right methodology

3. Getting the respective institutions to participate in my research was a tedious job. Some rejected my questionnaires making it hard to collect data.

4. Remaining positive throughout the research was a challenge due to obstacles and pressure to complete in time.

5. Manipulating of collected data was a challenge since different people have different choices.

Solutions to research challenges

1. Develop a topic that can be done. Determine resources such as people, time and money. Carry out extensive research on the issue.

2. Formulate research questions which will determine the appropriate methodology.

3. Never give up even after rejection. Track alternate venues which can provide solutions to different answers.

4. Pursue your passion no matter the obstacles. Consistently check your attitude, ask for assistance if the need arises.

5. Discover past similar researchers and connect with your research. Compare and contrast class notes on methodology.

Advantages of Carrying Out the Research

This research provided a learning opportunity. The interviews offered diverse perspectives on the operation market garden. This enabled a detailed and informed analysis of the various aspects that this study sought to discuss. This was also an opportunity to appreciate the precious historical knowledge possessed by the different respondents. Conducting this research enables one to understand the meaning and importance of history. This gives an in-depth understanding of military operations and the massive responsibility of those in command to ensure peace. This study identifies factors that failed one of history's most massive operations. This information can be used as a reference to avoid future failures of military operations.

The research was an excellent opportunity to put research skills learned into practice. Other than gaining knowledge about how past military mistakes are references to the future operation, this research helps to sharpen and acquire research skills. Operation market garden is a controversial subject which required careful evaluation of details. This is a contribution to the full range of existing literature on the subject.


Carter, Ian. "The Story Of Operation 'Market Garden' In Photos." 2011. (accessed October 2, 2017).

Clark, Lloyd. "Operation Market Garden Reconsidered." 2007. (accessed October 4, 2017).

Daily History org. "Why did Operation Market Garden in 1944 fail." September 2017. (accessed October 2, 2017).

Pegasus org. "Reasons for the failure." 2013. (accessed October 2, 2017).

Salverda, Reinier. "Beyond A Bridge Too Far’: the aftermath of the Battle of Arnhem (1944) and its impact on civilian life." In Discord and Consensus in the Low Countries, by Gerdi Quist, Ulrich Tiedau Jane Fenoulhet, 104-105. London,UK: UCL Press, 2016.

February 09, 2023

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World War II Military

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