YMMV / A Bridge Too Far

  • What an Idiot: A British tank officer tells an incredulous American paratroop commander that they won't immediately press on to Arnhem after taking Nijmegen because of some trivial reason. Note that this is Hollywood History. XXX Corps needed time to marshal their forces and resupply their leading elements when Nijmegen bridge was secured.
    • Hardly trivial. The tank officer clearly states that they couldn't advance without infantry support, which was tied up in Nijmegen.
      • Actually they had infantry support. The American paratroopers were raring to go (American and British Airborne troops shared a great deal of mutual respect, and the men of the 82nd in Nijmegen had no doubt that the British 1st Airborne would move Heaven and Earth for them if their positions were reversed) and they could have easily provided the necessary support. The reason the Brits didn't advance was because Montegomery was an inflexible general who ordered the tanks to wait for SPECIFIC support rather than using available resources. The guy was the military equivalent of an old maid, refusing to go on the offense without a significant advantage in men and material. In fact many people believe that if Patton (Monty's opposite in almost every way) had been in command of Market-Garden then it would have succeeded.
        • The British Paratroopers who survived Arnhem agreed with the American assessment and utterly despised XXX Corps in General and the Guards Armored in particular for not continuing the advance, with "fucking cowards" being the nicest thing they'd say. Even seventy years later, it's a very sore subject among Paras.
        • Indeed, even proposing something as audacious as Market Garden was completely out of character for Monty. It's not surprising that when it came to the actual execution of the plan he reverted to form and failed to be sufficiently aggressive.
    • A more appropriate example is an Allied officer bringing the entire plans for Market Garden to Holland with him, where they fall into German hands. Field Marshal Model then dismisses the plans on the grounds that they're obviously a ruse.
      • Note though that two previous Allied offensives on the western front — the Normandy and Sicily invasions — had disinformation campaigns the Germans fell for hook, line and sinker. The Sicily deception even specifically included the corpse of a (fake) British officer with the (fake) battle plans falling into German hands, tricking them into thinking the target was Sardinia rather than Sicily. Model would have been aware of this.
    • General Sosabowski points the holes in the operation plan, only to be ignored by the rest of the staff.
    • Maj. Fuller receives intelligence from the Dutch resistance that there is a panzer division in the area. He corroborates this with aerial photos. No one listens.
    • Field Marshal Model actually says this of the British. General Bittrich asks him if they should ready the bridges for destruction, but Model laughs this off. "They're not after the bridges! If they were, do you think they'd land eight kilometers away from them?"
    • Montgomery or Monty being "very proud and pleased'' with the result as he apparently believed Operation Market-Garden was "90% successful." Urquhart (Sean Connery) is appalled, offended, incredulous and anything else you can think of upon hearing this from Browning (Dirk Bogarde).