Operation Comet Planning september 1944

Aan de oorsprong voor de Operatie Marketgarden was de planning van een kleinere operatie gepland door de staf van de Britse 1ste Airborne Divisie, met de codenaam Operation Comet. Deze operatie zou worden gestart op 2 september 1944. De operatie het beoogde gebruik van de 1e Airborne Divisie, samen met de 1ste Poolse Onafhankelijke Parachutisten Brigade, om een aantal bruggen over de rivier de Rijn voor een geallieerde opmars in de Noord-Duitse Laagvlakte.

The genesis for Operation MarketGarden was a smaller operation planned by the staff of the 1st Airborne Division, code-named Operation Comet which was to be launched on 2 September 1944.

Comet envisioned using the 1st Airborne Division, along with the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade, to secure several bridges over the River Rhine to aid the Allied advance into the North German Plain. The Divisional Headquarters for the 1st Airborne Division, along the 1st Airlanding Brigade and the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade were to land at Nijmegen, 1st Parachute Brigade was to land at Arnhem, and 4th Parachute Brigade was to land at Grave.

The driving force behind the creation of Comet was Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, who disagreed with the ‘broad front’ strategy favoured by Eisenhower, in which all Allied armies in North-West Europe advanced simultaneously.

Montgomery, however, believed that a single thrust should be launched against the German forces whilst they were still organizing their defences, and Comet was based on this principle; Allied forces under Montgomery’s overall command would be able to move through Holland over the river crossings captured by the airborne forces, outflank the Siegfried Line and enter the North German Plain, ultimately heading for Berlin.