Operation Market Garden Case Study

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The Largest Airborne Operation Operation Market Garden, was the largest airborne operation to date. This operation consisted of thousands of paratroopers from the United States Armed Forces as well as the British Armed Forces. An operation this large scale needed an abundant amount of coordination in order to be successful. Paratroopers on the ground were required to be able to operate by themselves with little to no support. The goal was to overwhelm the enemy and end the war early. Although the intended plan was unsuccessful, it still delivered a significant blow to the Germans. Artillery played a vital role in Operation Market Garden by giving several paratroopers on the ground the will to face, what seemed to be, impossible odds.…show more content…
The 82nd Airborne Division was tasked with the stretch between fields and the city of Nijmegen. This included the road and bridge that went over the Mighty River Bar at Arnhem. More importantly, the British First Airborne Division’s main goal was to capture and hold the last bridge over the lower Rhine River or the entire mission could fail. More than 10,000 British and Polish troops were charged with holding the bridge for 48 hours, regardless of how the enemy retaliated. The operation also called for the armoured relief division to rapidly move onward and was spearheaded by 30 Corps. If delayed, the paratrooper forces would be left to be slaughtered by the German army. By the morning of September 25, the British 1st Airborne Division at Arnhem was significantly overwhelmed. Their armoured divisions remained miles away near the Nijmegen Bridge. Near the Waal River, the British paratroopers had been headed off from the rest of the Market-Garden operation for over a week. By this point, the survivors began surrendering. This defeat compromised the entire reason for Operation…show more content…
Operation Market Garden required the use of many different observers. They implemented the use of scouts, snipers, and forward observers all trained to call for fire and bring artillery to the enemy. The 82nd Airborne used all assets available in delivering its powerful artillery. One group of observers that did not receive much recognition, but played a vital role, was the aerial observers. These aerial observers were greatly used and were an undeniable force of the overall mission. The aerial observers, also known as “Flying Eyes,” came from the 82nd Airborne Division Artillery. These observers called for fire, giving target locations and battlefield intelligence, from the back seat of a small airplane, L-4 Cub. They used a SCR-300 FM radio to maintain communication with the units on the ground. Any time the enemy saw the L-4 Cub airplane, they knew a barrage of artillery was sure to follow. From a German Prisoner of War: “When the Cub flies over, all things cease. All we move is our eyeballs” (Varangis 2017). This weakened the morale for many German soldiers and gave allied soldiers hope. Although the decisive point of the operation wasn’t artillery related, it was related to key terrain. Arguably, if proper implementation of fires were utilized, it could have changed

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