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Airborne Carpet Operation Market Garden by Anthony Farrar Hockley

By Anthony Farrar Hockley

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Covering the northern flank, the left of the (British) Army will close to the Waal at Nijmegen and thereby create the basic conditions necessary to cut off German forces in the Dutch coastal area. ' This was a reasonable guess at allied Meuse-Escaut canal intentions - Dempsey had considered just such a plan - though it committed General Brereton's force to a depth far greater than any airborne operation envisaged by the allies. Both Model and Rundstedt agreed with its general premises, which they now used to endorse their demands for properly formed and equipped divisions from the Reich.

Then, referring to a file he had brought in which were copies of all his letters and signals to the Supreme Commander on strategic policy since the break-out began, detailed analysis of the opportunities they had had, the Montgomery made a subsequent events which confirmed these and, hence, the mistakes which the Supreme Commander had made. The Field-Marshal's manner was di- dactic and, as the review expanded, it began to assume the character of a master reproaching a pupil. Eisenhower, a great heart, leaned across to put a hand on Montgomery's knee.

The commander of the 82nd was Brigadier-General Jim Gavin, a former enlisted man, a graduate of West Point and a rising star in the allied forces. Aged 37, he had been a captain in 1941, a volunteer member of the Provisional Parachute Group at Fort Benning, Georgia. When the 82nd jumped into was with them, commanding a regiment. In Normandy, he was deputy to Matt Ridgway, then commanding the 82nd; and understandably he had succeeded him when Sicily in 1943, he to command Corps. Maxwell D Taylor, his colleague in the 101, was a gunner, former artillery chief of the 82nd in Sicily and in command of the XVIII Airborne 101st in Normandy.

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