From: the Netherlands
Gents, I just finished re-reading A Bridge Too Far, which is truly a great book. Except one thing - it ends abruptly and never puts the campaign into context. A couple of questions that I know can get answered better here than trying to wade through the Internet to find them):
1. The Allies took the bridges up to Nijmegan but not Arnhem. I can tell from a couple of isolated sentences in the book that the Allies discontinued the campaign. Apparently, the ground units were shifted south to later continue the attack into Germany. Arnhem, for instance, wasn't finally taken until April '45 by Canadian engineers. Did the Allies continue to hold Son, Vegel, Nijmegan, etc., or did they pull back?
2. Cornelius Ryan doesn't give much casualty information. Near the end, he references losses of something over 1,000 for each side, but I can't tell if that's just the Arnhem sector or the entire campaign. However, it seems like the Allies gave a good account of themselves so that German losses were high and disruption to the German war effort was pretty steep. So, even though the Allies failed, could an argument be made that the campaign was ultimately pretty successful? For instance, did the confusion and losses allow the Allies to make good progress elsewhere? Or was it a failure no matter how you slice it?
The frontline shifted south to Nijmegen. Son, Veghel were held and the allies started to expand to the east and the west (the Market Garden operation left a really vulnerable salient). An example of an oktober battle in Holland is the Battle for Overloon, very bitter and heavy fighting... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Overloon. The objective was to push to the river "Maas" in the east, and to clear Antwerp to the west.
Casualties were much higher then what you are saying. The Arnhem sector (1st airborne) alone left 2000 KIA and only 2000 with no or minor wounds returning over the rhine leaving about 6000 of the division wounded and captured.
Here is a link to a thread I created a year ago after my visit to Oosterbeek (about 75 minut drive from where I live)..
I visited Margraten last summer and when I walked past the crosses (about 10.000 in total) a lot of the 101st and 82nd graves showed 17-25 september... Perhaps someone else has more figures for it..
EDIT: Can't call the sources reliable but here are casualty figures for the:
101st airborne: 373 killed, 1436 wounded and 547 missing.
82nd airbore: 1700 total
Polish 1st indep. brigade: 590 total
XXX Corps: 1700 total
< Message edited by Cannonfodder -- 11/12/2013 10:13:43 PM >
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