Operation Market Garden: Case Study for Analyzing Senior Leader Responsibilities

Topics: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Operation Overlord, George S. Patton Pages: 2 (383 words) Published: August 3, 2013
Operation MARKET GARDEN was a strategic plan proposed by British Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery and approved by Supreme Allied Commander General (GEN) Dwight D. Eisenhower. Considered a gamble, especially coming from the cautious Montgomery, its level of risk and probability of success were questioned by leaders and staffs of all effected echelons before it was conducted. And in the end, it was an overall failure. Between 17 and 26 September 1944, there were over 11,000 casualties among three participating Allied airborne divisions. This casualty count represented just under one third of the committed airborne force; it was more than among all Allies on 6 June 1944, the first day of Operation OVERLORD. 1 There were

over 17,000 Allied casualties, when the ground force numbers are included. More than one Allied division was lost in the 10 days of Operation MARKET GARDEN. This paper will examine responsibilities in senior leader decision making, using Operation MARKET GARDEN as the case study. While understanding hindsight is 20/20, it will consider what senior leaders said and did about the operation before it launched to determine if those responsible did what they were charged to do. It will also consider whether the plan was sound, or if it should have been conducted at all.2 Overview of Situation - Western Europe - Early September 19442 After significant Allied ground gains following the breakout from Normandy until early September 1944, both Montgomery’s 21st Army Group (United Kingdom (UK)) and Lieutenant General (LTG) Omar N. Bradley’s 12th Army Group (US) were grinding to a halt due to a lack of supplies. The 21st Army Group was generally along the BelgianDutch border, with fighting continuing in pockets along the coast, mainly around major port cities. The 12th Army Group had crossed the Moselle River and was closing in on the German border south of the Ardennes Forest. LTG Jacob L. Devers’ 6th Army Group (US) was moving northeast through France...
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