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However, Montgomery was later to claim far more credit for this victory than he was entitled to do, British forces having only played a minor part in the Ardennes campaign. Not surprisingly, this attitude infuriated the Americans. Montgomery now wished to claim the ultimate accolade of capturing Berlin itself, as did Patton, but Eisenhower decided that it would be politically expedient for that honour to fall to the Soviet forces that were advancing from the East.

No doubt he reckoned that for either man to have been able to claim that particular credit would have made them even more insufferable than they already were.


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  • Montgomery: D-Day Commander by Nigel Hamilton.

Patton died after a road traffic accident in Germany not long after the war ended, but Montgomery lived on into old age, dying in at the age of Bernard Montgomery had a remarkable talent for winning battles and planning campaigns, but along with that went the character flaws that made him a very difficult person to get along with, especially with regard to the military and political hierarchy.

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Montgomery D Day Commander by Nigel Hamilton

Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. Monty certainly had his flaws, as did Patton. However, despite criticism from certain quarters, Monty was not entirely to blame for Market Garden. Understandably perhaps, they went for a bold option The bridge too far since they were steamrollering their way across Europe and the German army was on its back foot after the Battle of Normandy. Afterwards, Eisenhower himself accepted some of the blame for the failure at Arnhem. It should also be remembered that the revised D Day plan was largely Monty's idea and is something he gets little credit for.

He was brilliant at strategic combined operations as was demonstrated in the desert and in Normandy. Sicily was a cakewalk for Patton compared to what the Commonwealth forces were facing. Palermo was never the target for Monty.

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Dempsey gave the orders that Patton was to take the west of the island. The "race to Palermo" is the product of TV documentary makers creative thinking. I need to read more from provenanced sources before I can comment on the realtionship between the two generals. I think too much is made of this. Patton's ability as a good attacking tactical general is not in doubt. Monty though time and again demonstrated a strategic nous that seemed to escape his American counterpart and in my opinion, while not perfect, he is unfairly criticized by certain interest groups.

Nice job, John. I always thought Monty was unfairly maligned by both the American press and public. When I defend him here, I get a lot of flak.

But he did his job with a lot fewer resources. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages and Hubbers authors may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others. HubPages Inc, a part of Maven Inc. As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things.

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Before World War II Montgomery did not come from a typical British officer class background, being the son of an Anglican bishop who was reasonably well-off but by no means rich. The Italian Campaign The next phase of the war was the invasion of Sicily, as the first step of the long Italian campaign.


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The Invasion of Europe During the invasion of mainland Europe that started with the D-Day landings in June , Montgomery was again conscious of the need to be one step ahead of the Americans. After the War Patton died after a road traffic accident in Germany not long after the war ended, but Montgomery lived on into old age, dying in at the age of Questions must be on-topic, written with proper grammar usage, and understandable to a wide audience. Sign In Join. Connect with us. This website uses cookies As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things.

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This is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. Britain and America were fighting highly complex, long-chain, industrialised war that harnessed air, land and sea power. It required a very effective operational commander, and Montgomery was certainly that.

Montgomery was appointed Allied land commander at the end of and so had a big say in how the overall plan for Overlord the battle for Normandy looked. He rightly insisted on expanding the invasion beaches to five from three and also insisted on using airborne forces to help secure the flanks.

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Montgomery: D-Day Commander (Military Profiles)

However, it was a combined team that actually worked out the plan — albeit under his overall direction — and this was approved at an early stage by Dwight D Eisenhower as supreme Allied commander, and his chief of staff, General Walter Bedell-Smith. Monty presented the main plan for Overlord to all the senior commanders on 7 April It had to be this early to allow enough time for the naval plan, Neptune, to be prepared and organised, and for the component parts of Overlord to be worked out.

Bradley cautioned against showing this; he felt it risked making them open to criticism if they did not achieve these predicted lines, which saw the Allies in Paris in 90 days. Monty brushed aside such concerns. There was a palpable sense of doom among many of the Allied leaders, and he correctly sensed the need to present the invasion plan with confidence and with a clear sense of what was achievable.

Based on German performance in previous campaigns in Tunisia, Sicily and southern Italy, his assumptions were entirely reasonable. It made no sense for the Germans to continue to fight close to the coast after a successful Allied invasion; their lines of supply would be over-extended and they would then remain within range of powerful and extensive off-shore naval guns. Arguments about phase lines aside, the plan was accepted by all and reinforced again on 15 May when Eisenhower asked his commanders to speak up if any had any concerns about it at all.

None did, because it was the best possible plan for the shipping available. Although there were 4, landing craft on hand, everyone wanted greater numbers, so that more men, more tanks, and more materiel could be delivered on D-Day. As it was, fewer men were to be landed on D-Day than on the Sicilian beaches the year before. Operations were ongoing in the Pacific, while a second planned invasion was to take place in southern France in August.

In this still global war, there was much competition for landing craft and shipping. Despite these constraints, the vagaries of the weather and the risks of mounting such a massive operation, D-Day was a huge success.

The absolute priority was to ensure Overlord did not fail. That trumped everything else. Montgomery deserves credit for this. Monty gave priority to securing the flanks, which was achieved, and to consolidating the bridgehead, which also followed in swift order.

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This obsession is, in part, the result of criticism at the time by the air commanders. By fighting close to the coast, they could indeed continue to benefit from the support of naval guns. And while it was true the bridgehead became congested by mid-July, the supply lines were shorter and a large number of airfields were swiftly constructed close to the coast. The Allies, and Monty especially, have been criticised for being heavy on their feet and risk averse.

Neither of these accusations are fair. The terrain did not favour rapid exploitation. When the well-equipped and highly motivated 12th Waffen-SS Panzer Division counter-attacked on 7 June, they made little progress, despite coming up against just two Canadian infantry battalions and a few tanks shorn of fire support.

It was the same story for the Panzer Lehr Division, arguably the best in the entire Wehrmacht, who threw themselves against British infantry and armour at Tilly, south of Bayeux and made no headway. Attacking in Normandy was tough. Replacements, ammunition stocks and reserves also had to be in place.

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The Germans, by contrast, shorn of air support, with no naval firepower and more limited resources, could organise themselves far more swiftly into the tactically agile battle groups that have so impressed historians. These were enabled by the freedom of their poverty, however, and fundamentally were a sign of weakness. Tactical chutzpah was not enough to win the battle, let alone the campaign — and certainly not the war.

During the battle for Normandy, they came under attack from one of the largest concentration of panzer divisions of the war, and almost entirely destroyed them in the process, while pushing them back.