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As part of our Tragic Ambition series, b/w now & end of Friday we're giving you 2⃣0⃣ lessons for @USArmy leaders from Op Market Garden.

Here's Lesson 2⃣: An understanding of the op environment must drive any plan. The plan must NOT come first.
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Montgomery believed that his dramatic maneuver, a swift penetration deep into the heart of Germany, would win despite all the risks associated. Thus, he developed his plan without an understanding of environment [the environment serving as the context for that approach.]
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Here are 5 elements a clear-eyed study of the operational environment would have revealed:
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1. the marshy terrain, 2. the impact of weather on the terrain & the D+1 drops, 3. the psychological makeup of the German soldier, 4. the geographical imperatives of Antwerp, 5. the German 15th Army's commitment to the Scheldt Estuary.
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In addition, A REALLY thoughtful understanding of the environment would also have revealed Gustav Adolf von Zangen's [pictured] thinking about defending the approaches to Antwerp.

Alas, none of these were developed.
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Montgomery simply expected his own brilliance to allow victory, regardless of the geography, weather, or the machinations of a determined enemy.

No leader past or present has Grand Wisdom. Plans must be address the context, character, & emotion in which they will manifest themselves.

Develop an understanding of the environment. Then develop the plan.

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More from @18airbornecorps

4 Oct
1 of 4: OMG Lesson 1⃣: No plan should be so inflexible that it cannot be adjusted at the last minute.
[As we close out our commemoration of Operation Market Garden, we'll offer 20 lessons from that operation for today's @USArmy leaders. These lessons will run until Oct. 9.]

👇 Image
2 of 4:

The Market Garden plan was hastily developed in less than a week, one of 18 separate plans developed in a span of 40 days that swamped headquarters staffs. Prior to D Day, intel began to appear about the possible presence of Panzer units around Arnhem. Image
3 of 4: The Allied staffs were swamped with all the hasty planning, cancelled ops, planning, cancelled ops and were unable to respond to this new info. Furthermore, the Market portion was sufficiently rigid that there was really no way to alter the insertion based on this intel. Image
Read 4 tweets
4 Oct
1 of 9: Today, on the 27th anniversary of the Battle of Mogadishu, we caught up with Matt Eversmann, the @75thRangerOMST Staff Sergeant who lead the daytime raid. Eversmann, of course, is immortalized in "Black Hawk Down" (he's played by Josh Hartnett).

Here's what he told us:
2 of 9: "Back then, in 1993, the @USArmy hadn't seen that kind of combat since Vietnam. It was so unique, dramatic, & brutal for that age. It's an odd contrast with today. I was just on @FtBraggNC & now we have these young soldiers have led troops in battle 3, 4, 5, or 6 times."
3 of 9: "We have kids today who are what we were. The faces change. The names change. But that grit is the same. That valor is the same. That love for one another is the same."
Read 9 tweets
3 Oct
1/7: Today we’ve been discussing Hongerwinter as part of our analysis of OMG. But, 27 years ago today in Somalia, the 2-day Battle of #Mogadishu began. Tomorrow we'll review the fighting, but for now it may be important to understand the parallel to the Dutch winter of 1944-45.
2/7: In 1991, the Somali government fell amidst crippling poverty & starvation. A group of tribal warlords fought for control & influence. Just as WW2 devastated Dutch rail/roadways, in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, block-by-block fighting destroyed agriculture, homes, industry.
3/7: As in Holland in the winter of '44, the international community tried to help. However, aid was thwarted by warlords, fighting, & destroyed road networks. 300k+ Somalis starved to death b/w 1991 & 1992.
Read 7 tweets
3 Oct
1 of 24:

Hongerwinter: The Dutch Famine of 1944-1945

One horrific results of Operation Market Garden was the winter that followed and the pain it inflicted on the Dutch people we failed to liberate.
2 of 24:

Towards the end of World War II, both sides experienced challenges supplying the forces. In fact, Operation Market Garden was partly driven by the dire resupply issues the Allies were facing.
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But supplies were not just a military concern. The Nazi-occupied regions of the Netherlands, for example, faced food shortages which worsened after Operation Market Garden as Europe headed into winter.
Read 24 tweets
2 Oct
1/4: Let's continue w/ our discourse on OMG / cognitive bias. Objectivity is critical to useful intel assessments. By end of Aug, however, Allied intel officers were heavily influenced by their optimism, their desired outcome, & Ike's post-Normandy narrative of impending victory.
2 / 4:

Don't believe us? Check out this intel assessment from Aug 26, 1944:

“The August battles have done it and the enemy in the West has had it. Two and a half months of bitter fighting have brought the end of the war in Europe within sight, almost within reach.”

Seven days later, Sep 2nd, SHAEF intel assessment: “Organized resistance under control of the German High command is unlikely to continue beyond 1 December 1944.”

Intelligence leading into Op Market Garden amplified the notion of Allied triumph. The war was basically over
Read 4 tweets
2 Oct
1 of 4: A key lesson from OMG: the dangers of cognitive biases. Subconscious preconditions caused Monty to make terrible decisions. Complicated subject, so, we created a 4-part video tweet thread. First, we reached out to the @ArmyWarCollege for a definition of cognitive bias.
2 of 4: So, we've define cognitive bias. Now, in the 2nd video, our friend Charles Allen, Professor of Leadership at the Army War College, explains why cognitive biases are dangerous for @USArmy leaders.

What do you think, @TradocDCG
@ShaneMorgan_WF6, @PatDonahoeArmy?
3 of 4: Ok, that was a great theoretical explanation of cognitive bias and its associated hazards. What was the role of cognitive bias in the disastrous Operation Market Garden plan? What did Monty overlook? Sgt Major Mike Noggle from the 18th ABN Corps explains. @CsmBlaisdell
Read 4 tweets

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