XXX Corps

#1
My son (aged 10) has to do a presentation at school on any topic related to WWII, he's chosen Op Market Garden (good lad) and I'm trying to give him some help. Does anyone know the approx strength of XXX Corps at the opening of this operation. I've checked a couple of books (The Devil's Birthday and Maj Holt's Op Market Garden battlefield guide) plus Google and cannot find the answer. Any help would be much appreciated.
 
#2
Wiki gives it as approx 50000 men at start of Market Garden but otherwise I dont know I'm afraid. Could possibly email Imp War Museum?
 
#3
Hmmm. I don't think you'll find the answer on THIS THREAD HERE, but there are folk who follow it who may well be able to answer. Post the question there.

Also, see if you can find "Corps Commander", Brian Horrocks auto-biog. That might help you.

Or (mebbe) the British Official History of the war. It has a number of detailed ORBATs for the formations making up the Brit Army, at different points in the different theatres. Whether it makes any estimate of total numbers at each of those points, I can't remember.

Other possibilities - Kershaw's German PoV account It Never Rains In September, or Peter Harclerode's account of Market Garden Arnhem - A Tragedy Of Errors

O - and there was a book published in the 60s titled XXX Corps, which I read, but it is out of print, although it looks - on Amazon - as though it might be available as 'Print On Demand'.


Good luck
 
#4
When's he got to deliver this epic? I used to have some MP3 recordings of veterans who fought there, recorded on a battlefield tour at Arnhem - if I can find 'em, they include a lot of stuff from the bloke who wrote The Devil's Birthday. Happy to upload to Drop Box or summat similar, if you want/I can find 'em.

Sadly, I cannot find the one tape I recorded at the bridge itself.
 
#5
I have the Book Corps Commander by Horrocks and the introduction gives an approximate figure of 200000 men during the Battle of the Reichswald. The content of the corps fluctuated as required. A very interesting book and Frankly I think that Horrocks is a very underestimated commander, with Montgomery stealing a lot of the lime light.
 
#6
Gents thanks for your comments and suggestions. GS I'd checked Wiki and found a page on XXX Corps but couldn't see any numbers, have you got a link? The presentation is for some time next week (no 10 year old ever seems to remember exactly which day). I'd have to say for a 10 year old he's shown a good grasp of the plan and more importantly why it failed.
 
#8
Gents thanks for your comments and suggestions. GS I'd checked Wiki and found a page on XXX Corps but couldn't see any numbers, have you got a link? The presentation is for some time next week (no 10 year old ever seems to remember exactly which day). I'd have to say for a 10 year old he's shown a good grasp of the plan and more importantly why it failed.
XXX Corps (United Kingdom) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia under the market garden section

"The XXX Corps which consisted of about 50,000 men would advance along the main axis of the British 2 Army's line of the offensive, and pass through Arnhem within 48 hours, and continue into Germany. This was to be the GARDEN part of the operation."
 
#9
That's a fcuking epic topic (as someone says above), don't these teachers advise students on which topic to pick?

XXX Corps (United Kingdom) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

useful starting points.

Not too happy with many f the reports on XXX Corps and their 'failure' to reach Arnhem. You have to read what they actually tried to achieve, and what they did achieve.

I have a feeling the awesome feat of the British Paras (and Polish) blots out the XXX Corps achievements, and the fact that they were both british units, with one not relieving the other, further condemns XXX Corps.

Operation Market Garden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
#10
If its any use to your boy, I have 'by air to battle'(sic) by Charles Macdonald, and 'airborne carpet' Anthony Farrar-Hockley, part of the Ballantine/Purnell/Pan history of WWII.

PM me if they're any use depending on the timescale, obviously they focus on the airborne element, but are about 150 pages each, and give a reasonable oversight, suitable for a short presentation, with other writings.
 
M

Mr_Logic

Guest
#11
For balance he should mention that the two SS Panzer Divisions we bumped into unexpectedly were the 9th Hohenstaufen and the 10th Frundsberg. They were on the winning side.
 
#12
50,000 seems very light to me. An infantry division had a little over 18,000 men, so the 43rd and 50th Divisions had 36,000 between them. Add the strength of Guards Armoured Division, 8th Armoured Brigade, the Prinses Irene Brigade (which was actually just a strong battalion group) and two attached armoured regiments and you're already well over 50,000, yet we haven't even considered at least nine (possibly more) artillery regiments, corps armoured car regiment, an attached brigade from 52nd Division, Belgian artillery and armoured cars and a shedload of corps troops of all different flavours.
 
#13
Ah, XXX Corps the premier British Armored formation, present at Tobruk, El Alamein, Tunisia, Sicily, Normandy, Market Garden, and the Ardennes

Commanded by the legendary Ed Fox ;)
A BRIDGE TOO FAR - 1977 clip 1 - YouTube
 
#14
For balance he should mention that the two SS Panzer Divisions we bumped into unexpectedly were the 9th Hohenstaufen and the 10th Frundsberg. They were on the winning side.
Second SS Panzer Corps - wiki thingy -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/II_SS_Panzer_Corps. IIRC British Intelligence had been told were in the area but disregarded the information.
 
#15
Dutch Resistance passed it back, but for balance, the DR was riddled with German Agents and double agents (Double Dutch Agents?) it was discarded.

The Y service of the Royal Signals (Sig Int chaps) also reported a 'known fist' (morse keyer) that had been tracked FROM N Africa, but because most of the Panzer units were NOT using their radios, the connection to how many Germans could be in the area was not made.
 
#16
I'm a bit of a WWII history enthusiast and when he told me he could pick any topic he liked and wanted to do Market Garden I was well chuffed, its an epic topic and therein lies part of the problem. Its limited to just 10 mins max therefore we are trying to do it on just 10 PowerPoint slides.

Allied units we’ve included are 1 BR Airborne Div, US 82nd and 101st Airborne Divs, XXX Corps and the 1st Polish Independent Para Bde. German unit included are the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divs and approx 10 divs of German infantry.

We've included a section on what happened and another on why it went wrong. This includes bad land plan, bad air plan, failure to make more than one drop on day one, poor comms, single road up which XXX Corps got delayed, some BR Airborne commanders lacking experience of airborne ops, failure to land near the bridges and attack them from both ends simultaneously and failure to act on intelligence on the location of German armour.

I think I'll go with 50K men as the strength of XXX Corps as it fits with my rough estimate of the manpower of x3 divisions (approx 45K to 60K).


The final slide manages to make reference to both Daphne du Maurier and Jeremy Clarkson which should add a little twist to the presentation.
Many thanks for all your helpful comments and suggestions, I will post something on here later this week on how it went. If he doesn’t come home with a “house point” for his efforts I’ll be disappointed.

 
#17
Second SS Panzer Corps - wiki thingy -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/II_SS_Panzer_Corps. IIRC British Intelligence had been told were in the area but disregarded the information.
CF is absolutely right in mentioning that the Dutch Resistance were riddled with informants. SOE had suffered catastrophic losses in the Netherlands earlier in 1944, due to Abwehr 'sting' operations utilising double-agents in the Dutch Reistance. The main bit of Dutch Resistance intelligence that was ignored for this reason was actually nothing to do with II. SS-Pz-Korps, but was rather the Dutch report identifying Panzer-Brigade 107 as being present in the Reichswald and presenting a clear and present danger to the right flank of the 'Corridor'.

In the event, no tanks from II. SS-Pz-Korps ever fought at Arnhem itself. Indeed, 9.SS had already handed what few tanks they had left over to 10.SS and these were lowly shipped across the Rhine by ferry to fight on the 'Island' between Arnhem and Nijmegen once the XXX Corps objective had been deduced. The German tanks fighting in Arnhem itself were actually shipped in by rail from Germany after the fighting started. Panzer-Brigade 107 meanwhile, caused havoc in cutting the corridor twice - at Zon and Veghel - and probably did more than any other German formation to delay XXX Corps.
 
#18
CF is absolutely right in mentioning that the Dutch Resistance were riddled with informants. SOE had suffered catastrophic losses in the Netherlands earlier in 1944, due to Abwehr 'sting' operations utilising double-agents in the Dutch Reistance. The main bit of Dutch Resistance intelligence that was ignored for this reason was actually nothing to do with II. SS-Pz-Korps, but was rather the Dutch report identifying Panzer-Brigade 107 as being present in the Reichswald and presenting a clear and present danger to the right flank of the 'Corridor'.

In the event, no tanks from II. SS-Pz-Korps ever fought at Arnhem itself. Indeed, 9.SS had already handed what few tanks they had left over to 10.SS and these were lowly shipped across the Rhine by ferry to fight on the 'Island' between Arnhem and Nijmegen once the XXX Corps objective had been deduced. The German tanks fighting in Arnhem itself were actually shipped in by rail from Germany after the fighting started. Panzer-Brigade 107 meanwhile, caused havoc in cutting the corridor twice - at Zon and Veghel - and probably did more than any other German formation to delay XXX Corps.
The value of ARRSE! It doesn't get any more comprehensive or detailed than that. No matter how much I've read about Market Garden there's always some new detail to the story.
 
#19
CF is absolutely right in mentioning that the Dutch Resistance were riddled with informants. SOE had suffered catastrophic losses in the Netherlands earlier in 1944, due to Abwehr 'sting' operations utilising double-agents in the Dutch Reistance. The main bit of Dutch Resistance intelligence that was ignored for this reason was actually nothing to do with II. SS-Pz-Korps, but was rather the Dutch report identifying Panzer-Brigade 107 as being present in the Reichswald and presenting a clear and present danger to the right flank of the 'Corridor'.

In the event, no tanks from II. SS-Pz-Korps ever fought at Arnhem itself. Indeed, 9.SS had already handed what few tanks they had left over to 10.SS and these were lowly shipped across the Rhine by ferry to fight on the 'Island' between Arnhem and Nijmegen once the XXX Corps objective had been deduced. The German tanks fighting in Arnhem itself were actually shipped in by rail from Germany after the fighting started. Panzer-Brigade 107 meanwhile, caused havoc in cutting the corridor twice - at Zon and Veghel - and probably did more than any other German formation to delay XXX Corps.
It Never Snows In September, by Col Kershaw, is well worth reading - although the author's prose is pretty turgid (I'm being kind) it is full of detail that cuts diametrically across the preferred Brit legend. Which is a real shame: the unadorned facts are breathtaking on their own right.

Not least among the detail, is that the Hermans - rightly (for the same reasons, I s'pose, that the Allies placed emphasis on lift capability for the op from bottom to top) regarded the Brit landing at Arnhem as their lowest priority: even if it had succeeded brilliantly, it was valueless to the Allies if it could not be reinforced.

Upshot of that is that the Huns who fought at Arnhem were not so much top-notch, as 'the best that could be pulled together'.

F'rinstance, they marched (on foot, I mean) the trainees from an Offizierschule in Bielefeld, to the Arnhem fight. Most of them had never fought with armour in close support, and those that had, never fought close alongside the armour that was supporting them, whose crews were newbies to street fighting.

As a consequence, Inf/Armour co-op at the most junior level was piss-poor. Combine that with the extraordinary aggression and determination of the AB troops in Arnhem/Oosterbeek, and you have (a) a truly admirable degree of Brit lethality, and (b) the beginnings of a myth - the one about lightly equipped Brit paras doing serious damage to an SS Panzer formation.

'X' Pz (SS) might have been what it said on the packaging, but what was in the bundle was a different beast altogether.

Trades Description Act, anyone?
 
#20
If its any use to your boy, I have 'by air to battle'(sic) by Charles Macdonald, and 'airborne carpet' Anthony Farrar-Hockley, part of the Ballantine/Purnell/Pan history of WWII.

PM me if they're any use depending on the timescale, obviously they focus on the airborne element, but are about 150 pages each, and give a reasonable oversight, suitable for a short presentation, with other writings.
Yes I have that one too- do you have the Bastogne and the Ruhr Pocket one?
 
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