Airborne Carpet Operation Market Garden by Anthony Farrar Hockley

World War Ii

By Anthony Farrar Hockley

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As a secondary aspect, should permit allied troops to capture the V2 sites from which Hitler was launching freethe second of his flight rockets, 'secret' bombing weapons, against the south and east of England. But most important of all, Market Garden would free the estuary of the Scheldt of the German troops infesting its right bank. Their presence prevented the allies from making use of Antwerp, the third largest port in the world, one fortuitously placed to accept every form of supply they needed.

In the absence of the divisional commander, lying wounded in hospital, the 9th Division was commanded by its chief of staff, the young and capable Walter Harzer. He was ordered by Bittrich to pass all his armour - about fifteen Mark IV and V tanks armoured and scout cars, half-tracked armoured infantry carriers, artillery, mortars and supply trucks to MajorGeneral Heinz Harmel's 10th Division. Troop carrying and supply transport was to be handed" over progressively 61 Major-General Heinz Harmel, commander 10th SS Panzer Division 62 as the 9th left by rail for Germany, the first trains being scheduled to depart on 13th September.

At this time, Model's apprehensions of a strong British advance from Antwerp were diminishing. On the coast, Zangen had been ordered to send eastward whatever troops of Fifteenth Army he could spare from the defence of the Scheldt estuary. The First Parachute Army had several further canals and the rivers Maas, Waal and Rhine on which to deny the approach to Germany through Holland. Behind these, the military commander in Holland had been ordered to improvise further defences. A cause of continuing anxiety was the front in the area of Aachen.

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