Writing Prompt #5

The movie “A Bridge Too Far” is based off Operation Market Garden in World War II. This movement was put together by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and present by Lieutenant General Frederick Browning. It was planned to bring 35000 men behind enemy lines in Netherland via paratroopers or landing in gliders along with equipment. The paratroopers were successful in making it to the ground and gathering under their commands. Their goal was to advance and secure the roads and bridges as far as Nijmegen. They were not expecting much resistance and predict it will be the surrendering of Hitler Youth member as well as old men. This was to be the airborne mission that will finally work and give the Allied forces a leeway straight into Germany for the following attacks. Previous airborne attacks have been cancelled due to unfavorable conditions. This was easier said than done as some of the gliders did not safely make it to the ground which took away men and equipment, they had to move fast in order to get to the bridges before they were destroyed , and also the road that they traveled on was narrow and risen making them and easy target to the Germans. The radio are also not in use so it make communication between command even more difficult. It was also unexpected that the Germans would blow up a bridge forcing the Allies to rebuild a bridge as other attempts of trying to cross the water were unsuccessful. All of this plan was under the watchful eye of General Browning.

When first presented with this plan many of the generals predicted that things would go exactly how it went down which was not how it was planned. They viewed the plan and had doubt in the low armed paratroopers and how long they would last before reinforcement would show. Also, with looking at the terrain and the road they had to travel on they had their suspicions with how things might go. Browning persuaded or convinced the majority of these generals that this plan will be successful as long as nothing were to get in their way to slow them down. One specific general, Major General Sosabowski, who led a Polish brigade of paratroopers saw this as a massacre and went to Browning in private to voice his opinions and express his want to ask for a signed document which would state that he was forced to lead his men into this faulty plan. Later that same general went up to a man who presented locations for the gliders to land and this landing site was so far from the target that he went up to the man and stared at him till he was bothered by the presence. Sosabowski then looked the man up and down to make sure he was on their side because of how bizarre this plan was. He was the only general that openly opposed the plan. Browning was also presented with reconnaissance photos that showed tanks in the targeted location and also got reports from the Dutch underground of their presence and disregarded them so that the plan will be followed through. Browning also gave reasoning to the messenger of these photos and reports that these could be false and that they couldn’t stop this whole production based on these reports. This is bad leadership because he only saw the outcome he wanted to see and disregarded all of the signs that said that this plan could fail.

Browning represent the path goal theory because he persuaded many generals and other Allied forces that Operation Market Garden is the best move to make to gain a leg up on the Germans. He even convinced himself by only focusing on the benefits that this mission could bring. His confidence towards this operation gave the Generals reassurance that this could actually work. They, at first, predicted that many of their men wouldn’t make it to the bridges. If they were to make it there in time before the German were to figure it out and blow them up. They also were skeptical of how fast their support would come and it turns out they were correct as the support was slowed by resistance and one bridge being blown. It was Browning’s path-goal theory that gave all the men confidence and motivated them to complete the goal with the idea that there would be great payoff if completed. This payoff would be one step closer to Germany and one more step closer to ending the war. With this payoff in mind the probability of turnover decreased, and the mission was set to start which is what Browning wanted. Browning wanted this mission or plan to happen because then if it was successful, he would look good for carrying out Montgomery’s plan. This selfishness was to blame for this plan going south and all the loss it caused.

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