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Re: Brad

Posted by Geoff Winnington-Ball from Zephyr ON Canada on April 21, 1999 at 09:10:46:

In Reply to: Re: Maj/Gen R Rohmer/Monty posted by Brad Sallows on April 20, 1999 at 20:52:15:

Great summary, Brad! The fact is, I‘ve never seen so much controversy generated by one man. Most of it is, in addition, split along U.S. vs U.K. lines. I personally think Montgomery was the right man for the times, although, like Patton, he definitely had clearly demonstrable strengths and weaknesses. One of his great strengths was in motivating his men, which considering the level of exhaustion in the British Army by 1944, was significant. One of his weaknesses of course, was a tendency to be a little too careful in planning and executing set-piece battles, but most of this comes from hind-sight.

One of the factors which one must consider when appraising the performance of any general officer on the continent that summer is that of politics. There were many pressures to bear on British, Canadian and American leaders from their own governments, and the resulting rivalries and attendant publicity tended to muddy the waters of command more than a little. Eisenhower was picked because of a perceived ability to moderate between these forces, and mostly he did a good job with some noteable exceptions.

I think we must be very wary of the tendency of post-war biographers and historians to adopt the original biases of one side or another. Their background research comes from documents and interviews with the various players of the time, and these of course echo sentiments prevailing in each of those camps. Certainly, no one can deny that after the Germans moved into the Caen sector, the whole game changed. Whether the "Hinge" theory was planned or not is irrelevant, because that‘s precisely the way it worked. Those Panzers could easily have ended up on the American front, and very possibly, the whole history of the Normandy campaign might have ended much differently.

Oh yes, and regarding the gap... everything I‘ve read suggests the Americans stopped Patton because their line of advance was stretched far too thinly, and they didn‘t want to risk his leading units getting cut off and chopped up.

My 2 cents, with regards to all,


Maple Leaf Up!
Re: Brad

Posted by Jules Deschenes from Canada on April 21, 1999 at 13:16:08:

In Reply to: Re: Brad posted by Geoff Winnington-Ball on April 21, 1999 at 09:10:46:

Excellent points sir. But I still dislike the bugger.
Checked your web page. I‘m trying to wipe the drool away! Mike D. you have to see this if you haven‘t already. Some of these vehicles are very near and dear to me. Thank you for sharing.
Re: Brad

Posted by Rob Thompson Broker - AB ret‘d from Toronto ON Canada on April 22, 1999 at 01:42:23:

In Reply to: Re: Brad posted by Jules Deschenes on April 21, 1999 at 13:16:08:

Having read the previous posts re: Monty - Hero or Goat - I have to agree with Jules.
This is based on reading military history, studying military history to a degree and having access
to some really interesting documents prior to declassification. You‘ve all been pointing out that Monty
did choose the fight at Falaise, it was forced upon him. I‘d like to add a couple
of things to this discussion.
The first centers around personalities. On scene interviews with the people who served with them all
confirm that Patton Montgomery had a definite distinct personality conflict. It was made the worse because it
turned out that Patton was by far the better tactician and strategist. This isn‘t just a US
opinion, but one voiced by Brooks-Alexander and Mountbatten. Monty wasn‘t part of Overlord planning
and Patton was Bradley ran plans by him because Patton, despite his temper - had a grasp of
what had to be accomplished.
That said, Montgomery when given his task for Normandy - pushed to expand
his role - he assured Eisenhower Brooks-Alexander he could beat the timetable to Caen and be
there in 10 days. He got there in 34 and ground up the Canadian Division in order to do
that - against all advice from higher headquarters. If you were to discuss this with some of the veterans who
were part of that battle - when Monty‘s name is mentioned - they will spit in disgust.
Montgomery, like MacArthur Halsley are over-rated WWII commanders who were great spin-doctors. They presided over
disasters and made people think they were tremendous victories. The real heroes were the troops on the ground, moving
forward one foot at time, sometimes because of their orders, other times, despite their orders.
Finally, yes, we‘re all entitled to opinions - but let‘s remember, opinions are like arseholes - everyone has one
and none are better than the other.
Keep going Jules- I‘ll vote for you!

Ready, Aye, Ready
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