PDA

View Full Version : Montgomery



hi8ha
09-26-2008, 08:58 PM
Thanks for your observations Nickdfresh.

Does Montgomery deserve to be in a high pedestal together with the great commanders of WWII?
Don’t think he can be compared with Eisenhower, Patton, Rommel, Guderian, McArthur, Zhukov, Nimitz, Donitz, etc.; although I don’t have that much knowledge of WWII I think he was just at the right place and at the worst time for Rommel. Together with de Gaulle they are way too overrated.

Nickdfresh
09-26-2008, 09:18 PM
No offense, but I'm not sure as to what you are saying or asking...I kind of have an idea what you're getting at. But can we work on our diction and spelling when starting threads like this?

aly j
09-26-2008, 11:36 PM
Hu guys:

How great/good was Monty?

I think he was not that great as the Britts want him to be, same thing with de Gaulle, he was even less of a leader/commander than Monty.

Monty was a good leader,being in charge of an british unit,he should of done better though.

Rising Sun*
09-27-2008, 04:54 AM
Thanks for your observations Nickdfresh.

Does Montgomery deserve to be in a high pedestal together with the great commanders of WWII?
Donít think he can be compared with Eisenhower, Patton, Rommel, Guderian, McArthur, Zhukov, Nimitz, Donitz, etc.; although I donít have that much knowledge of WWII I think he was just at the right place and at the worst time for Rommel. Together with de Gaulle they are way too overrated.

This is comparing apples with oranges.

How does one compare those land and sea commanders with all their different operations?

Why attempt a comparison of Montgomery with MacArthur , let alone Nimitz and Doenitz and leave out Spaatz, Harris, Le May and even Goering, and countless others? What about the Japanese commanders, and others?

WTF did de Gaulle do as an operational commander at the level of an army, corps or even divisional commander that puts him in the same class as any of the English speaking Allied or German commanders mentioned, let alone Zhukov?

With the possible exception of Guderian as a theorist, none of the German land commanders mentioned were of unique significance in real military operations as distinct from in the popular mind nowadays, when viewed against the scale of German operations and campaigns during WWII. Rommel's activities in North Africa provided plenty of impressive propaganda footage for the Nazis, but North Africa was a sideshow compared with the Eastern Front and, for that matter, the U boat war under Doenitz as far as Germany's strategic aims and weaknesses were concerned.

If the comment "I think he was just at the right place and at the worst time for Rommel" refers to Monty in North Africa, the only reason it was the worst time for Rommel was because Rommel was a gambler and gambled badly beyond his LOC capabilities, which shows he was either a bad general or less lucky than O'Connor who did rather better in similar circumstances of a calculated gamble against the Germans. O'Connor would run rings around de Gaulle and would have done a lot better than MacArthur in defending the Philippines, as would just about anybody else who didn't spend the first day of the war in the Philippines in a funk, MacArthur being the only commander among American, British, and Dutch forces who managed that.

These sorts of comparisons are impossible and silly.

Particularly when dismissing Monty as not at least as good as Patton when Patton was running an imaginary army in Britain while Monty was commanding in the field in Normandy.

Rising Sun*
09-27-2008, 04:54 AM
Monty was a good leader,being in charge of an british unit,he should of done better though.

How?

In which campaign?

redcoat
09-27-2008, 05:09 AM
Hu guys:

How great/good was Monty?

Not the greatest commander of his time...but he was very good.
His main drawback was his personality, there wasn't anybody he couldn't offend ;)

aly j
09-27-2008, 05:26 AM
Not the greatest commander of his time...but he was very good.
His main drawback was his personality, there wasn't anybody he couldn't offend ;)

I know he was too soft,They should of put Rising sun as commander
He have the time of his life,hes a bullie and he suits being commander and hes dominate,and hes rude,and hes not scared of offending people.
:D

aly j
09-27-2008, 05:31 AM
How?

In which campaign?

Well he was good,he had too go against the germans with crapper equitment,
and he did and all right job.
And wast he in charge with an unit at one point in the desert and lost too rommel,when rommel was powerful at the time.

Rising Sun*
09-27-2008, 06:44 AM
Well he was good,he had too go against the germans with crapper equitment,
and he did and all right job.
And wast he in charge with an unit at one point in the desert and lost too rommel,when rommel was powerful at the time.

What about Europe?

hi8ha
09-27-2008, 11:02 AM
I know I missed other commanders and was not my intention to forget the Japanese; but a great commander is a great commander regardless if he belonged to the air force, army or navy.
In regards to Rommel in Africa, it is my understanding; he did not get the backup he really needed from Berlin, which did not help him in the North Africa Theater.
If Rommel was just a gambler, why was he so respected even by his enemies? Guess they all swallowed the German propaganda.
According to the comments in regards to Patton running an imaginary army in Britain, how do you explain it was difficult to supply Pattonís army because he was always ahead of were he was supposed to be. In a political move, the high command restrained Patton from entering Berlin before the Russians.

GREAT COMMANDERS > montgomery, de gaulle

aly j
09-27-2008, 11:36 AM
I know I missed other commanders and was not my intention to forget the Japanese; but a great commander is a great commander regardless if he belonged to the air force, army or navy.
In regards to Rommel in Africa, it is my understanding; he did not get the backup he really needed from Berlin, which did not help him in the North Africa Theater.
If Rommel was just a gambler, why was he so respected even by his enemies? Guess they all swallowed the German propaganda.
According to the comments in regards to Patton running an imaginary army in Britain, how do you explain it was difficult to supply Pattonís army because he was always ahead of were he was supposed to be. In a political move, the high command restrained Patton from entering Berlin before the Russians.

GREAT COMMANDERS > montgomery, de gaulle
I know all this.......Rommel was respected on both sides,seen it on the history channel so many times,I actually know more about him than english commanders. You can learn alot about german army ww2,then any other army.

Rising Sun*
09-27-2008, 11:45 AM
I know all this.......Rommel was respected on both sides,seen it on the history channel so many times,I actually know more about him than english commanders. You can learn alot about german army ww2,then any other army.

Perhaps, but who won in North Africa?

Not Rommel, but most people would be struggling to name one, and certainly two Allied commanders who defeated Rommel.

There is a whole range of reasons for Rommel losing, and not all of them his fault.

How about using this as an exercise to start to get a grip on thinking like a serious military historian?

Think what some of the reasons for Rommel's failure might be.

Starting with why the Germans went there in the first place.

Then what problems they faced in being there for a while.

And why they didn't stay there.

Ignore the Allies and the battles etc in considering those aspects. Many battles are lost outside the battlefield.

aly j
09-27-2008, 11:55 AM
Perhaps, but who won in North Africa?

Not Rommel, but most people would be struggling to name one, and certainly two Allied commanders who defeated Rommel.

There is a whole range of reasons for Rommel losing, and not all of them his fault.

How about using this as an exercise to start to get a grip on thinking like a serious military historian?

Think what some of the reasons for Rommel's failure might be.

Starting with why the Germans went there in the first place.

Then what problems they faced in being there for a while.

And why they didn't stay there.

Ignore the Allies and the battles etc in considering those aspects. Many battles are lost outside the battlefield.
I knew that rommel lost, but why did the germans go to south africa?

Nickdfresh
09-27-2008, 06:13 PM
Thanks for your observations Nickdfresh.

Does Montgomery deserve to be in a high pedestal together with the great commanders of WWII?
Donít think he can be compared with Eisenhower, Patton, Rommel, Guderian, McArthur, Zhukov, Nimitz, Donitz, etc.; although I donít have that much knowledge of WWII I think he was just at the right place and at the worst time for Rommel. Together with de Gaulle they are way too overrated.

Thank you for improving the quality of your posting. I hate to be the nanny-***** here, but I think we have the right to expect a certain quality level as we take ourselves way too seriously as a history site.

Nickdfresh
09-27-2008, 06:19 PM
Not the greatest commander of his time...but he was very good.
His main drawback was his personality, there wasn't anybody he couldn't offend ;)

Or didn't seem to hate...

A lot of American warbuffs sadly think that Monty was anti-American. The truth seems to be that Monty loved Americans, as long as he outranked them. Monty also dearly loved his Tommies; but he was Anglophobic regarding his superiors.:)

Firefly
09-27-2008, 06:22 PM
Ah Monty. What you have to do is separate the man from the myth. Sure, he was a pain in the Arse for many. Sure he was self promoting and bombastic.

However, his achievements stand for themselves.

Monty was given D-Day, he took a plan and expanded it, tweaked it, changed it. Determined the strategy and plan of attack for the first 90 days.

The Dday campaign from 6 Jun until 31 Aug was Monty and he didnt make many mistakes. His biggest mistake was his big mouth, but his planning and execution was well thought out and throughout the campaign he didnt lose sight of his goals.

Would others have done as well, possibly, but his plan beat the Nazis and this is what counts in the end. Eisenhower wasnt so much a great commander as a great diplomat, gelling the Allies together. Is very easy with hindsight to forget that Monty was in charge of all Allied strategy from D day and credit Ike. Patton couldnt have done what monty did at that time and although Monty didnt do himself any favours and made some stupid statements at times, he was the architect and winner of the battle for Normandy.

Nickdfresh
09-27-2008, 06:23 PM
Well he was good,he had too go against the germans with crapper equitment,
and he did and all right job.
And wast he in charge with an unit at one point in the desert and lost too rommel,when rommel was powerful at the time.


Monty had plenty of good equipment and was receiving a lot of American stuff just prior to the US entry into the War. He, largely due to the efforts of his RAF commander Air Marshal Tedders, gradually had complete air superiority and enjoyed a huge logistical advantage as Rommel's supply lines were ground down by the Royal Navy and RAF during the Battle for the Mediterranean...

Monty was a very good field commander, and he had great strengths as an intricate planner and someone that was able to reform and retrain his army to increase their overall effectiveness. No one can take that away from him. He was indeed pompous, self-promoting and a bit of an *** at times. He also, like MacArthur, had a penchant for taking credit from others.' I often think that Claude Auchinleck would have made a fine 8th Army commander if he had been demoted to the position and Alexander placed in his position, effectively removing the great weakness in his command, which was drama. I'm not sure how possibly this was, but I do think Monty gets some credit for the very changes that Auchinleck began instituting as such and it is virtually forgotten that it was Auchinleck that won the First Battle of El Alamein and was able to instill a confidence in his troops and exposed Rommel's key weaknesses such as overrunning his supply lines and exposing his Afrika Korp to counterattack and battles of attrition...

I once read on Wiki that Eisenhower's second, RAF Air Marshal Sir Aurthur Tedders, really didn't like Monty and lobbied for his removal from command during the Normandy campaign after the two butted heads during the Normandy planning prior to D-Day (Tedders is responsible for much of the excellent tactical air support planning and for forcing the US and UK "bomber generals" to use their assets in support of armies and the strategic air campaign was temporarily halted.) Does anyone know any specifics on this? Anyone have any good reading on Tedders?

aly j
09-27-2008, 10:10 PM
Monty had plenty of good equipment and was receiving a lot of American stuff just prior to the US entry into the War. He, largely due to the efforts of his RAF commander Air Marshal Tedders, gradually had complete air superiority and enjoyed a huge logistical advantage as Rommel's supply lines were ground down by the Royal Navy and RAF during the Battle for the Mediterranean...

Monty was a very good field commander, and he had great strengths as an intricate planner and someone that was able to reform and retrain his army to increase their overall effectiveness. No one can take that away from him. He was indeed pompous, self-promoting and a bit of an *** at times. He also, like MacArthur, had a penchant for taking credit from others.' I often think that Claude Auchinleck would have made a fine 8th Army commander if he had been demoted to the position and Alexander placed in his position, effectively removing the great weakness in his command, which was drama. I'm not sure how possibly this was, but I do think Monty gets some credit for the very changes that Auchinleck began instituting as such and it is virtually forgotten that it was Auchinleck that won the First Battle of El Alamein and was able to instill a confidence in his troops and exposed Rommel's key weaknesses such as overrunning his supply lines and exposing his Afrika Korp to counterattack and battles of attrition...

I once read on Wiki that Eisenhower's second, RAF Air Marshal Sir Aurthur Tedders, really didn't like Monty and lobbied for his removal from command during the Normandy campaign after the two butted heads during the Normandy planning prior to D-Day (Tedders is responsible for much of the excellent tactical air support planning and for forcing the US and UK "bomber generals" to use their assets in support of armies and the strategic air campaign was temporarily halted.) Does anyone know any specifics on this? Anyone have any good reading on Tedders?
I knew allies commanders were fighting amongst each other more than the axis.
No sorry ,no good readings on tedders,im sure the other members will give you a whole page full.
Why did other allied commenders dislike monty?

ptimms
09-28-2008, 01:10 AM
I think you will find that the Axis commanders were just as good at bitching, backbiting and complaining about each other, their Commander and Allies as anyone on the other side. Read Panzer Leader by Guderian, he had plenty of gripes about his superiors in France and Russia.

aly j
09-28-2008, 03:51 AM
I think you will find that the Axis commanders were just as good at bitching, backbiting and complaining about each other, their Commander and Allies as anyone on the other side. Read Panzer Leader by Guderian, he had plenty of gripes about his superiors in France and Russia.

Yes but i said the Allies fought amongst each other MORE than the Axis.
Meaning the Axis fought amongst each other but less.
And comanders being Jealous of each other-Monty and Einsinhower,im not sure about other comanders being jealous.:)

Nickdfresh
09-28-2008, 08:11 AM
I knew allies commanders were fighting amongst each other more than the axis.

No, not really. It was a collection of egos and there were pissing contests at times. But Eisenhower was the right man at the right time as he was able keep everyone reasonably happy...


No sorry ,no good readings on tedders,im sure the other members will give you a whole page full.

I'm not shocked...


Why did other allied commenders dislike monty?

For reasons already stated, he could be an arrogant *** that seemed to enjoy pointing out the mistakes of others, while making a few himself. Some very, very major ones... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Scheldt)

He was also an excellent field commander that defeated Rommel, finished modernizing British forces and doctrine, and kept casualties reasonably low as not to overtax Britain's limited supply of military aged men...And he did this with with imposed limitations of a nation that put a premium on the technology aspect of the war and strategic bombing, and left the building of armored vehicles to the Americans and centered their best and brightest personnel in the air war...

I suggest you read his Wiki page, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Law_Montgomery,_1st_Viscount_Montgomery_of _Alamein) then go to your local library and pick up some books on the Desert War and the Normandy Campaign...

aly j
09-28-2008, 08:51 AM
No, not really. It was a collection of egos and there were pissing contests at times. But Eisenhower was the right man at the right time as he was able keep everyone reasonably happy...



I'm not shocked...



For reasons already stated, he could be an arrogant *** that seemed to enjoy pointing out the mistakes of others, while making a few himself. Some very, very major ones... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Scheldt)

He was also an excellent field commander that defeated Rommel, finished modernizing British forces and doctrine, and kept casualties reasonably low as not to overtax Britain's limited supply of military aged men...And he did this with with imposed limitations of a nation that put a premium on the technology aspect of the war and strategic bombing, and left the building of armored vehicles to the Americans and centered their best and brightest personnel in the air war...

I suggest you read his Wiki page, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Law_Montgomery,_1st_Viscount_Montgomery_of _Alamein) then go to your local library and pick up some books on the Desert War and the Normandy Campaign...
Hey nickdfreash.........I dont go to the libary to nerdy for me,i own alot of ww2 books,i suggest you go and get cable tv and get the history channel.
Its got alot of documentries and you dont have to go to the libary.;)
P.S Im not having a go at you at all:D

ptimms
09-28-2008, 12:32 PM
Sorry to disillusion you, but if you base your research on cable and the History channels you'll come up sorely wanting. I wouldn't believe anything on there without corroroboration by another source (and that's the good shows).

redcoat
09-28-2008, 02:54 PM
I often think that Claude Auchinleck would have made a fine 8th Army commander if he had been demoted to the position and Alexander placed in his position, effectively removing the great weakness in his command, which was drama.
A major fault of Auchinleck was his total inability to pick good subordinates, he was also unable to stop a 'trades union' mentality from forming within the 8th Army where the various branches would not co-operate with one another. By the time Monty took over Auchinleck had lost the trust of the majority of his officers.

and it is virtually forgotten that it was Auchinleck that won the First Battle of El Alamein
The First Battle Of El Alamein lasted a month, and while the British Commonwealth forces held Rommel, their counter attacks had been costly and unsuccessful ( casualties approximately 13,000, interestingly almost exactly the same number of casualties it took Monty to break the Africa Korps in the second battle Of El Alamein)

nd was able to instill a confidence in his troops .
All the sources I have point to the battle of Alam Halfa as the battle which restored a lot of confidence into the 8th Army. As this was the first battle which they had fought which had gone exactly like their commander said it would.

ww11freak34
09-28-2008, 09:40 PM
he lost alot of men becuase he but them into fierce battles but he was still a ok leader

aly j
09-29-2008, 12:21 AM
[QUOTE=ptimms;136224]Sorry to disillusion you, but if you base your research on cable and the History channels you'll come up sorely wanting. I wouldn't believe anything on there without corroroboration by another source (and that's the good shows).[/QUOTE
Hey all of the information on the history channel is exactley the same in the ww2 books.Ive checked it out. All the information that comes from History channel comes from historians,historians are well trained and most went to university.history channel was spot on with the ww2 books.:cool:

32Bravo
09-29-2008, 03:52 AM
I often think that Claude Auchinleck would have made a fine 8th Army commander if he had been demoted to the position

I have to disagree with that, Nick. One of the major problems with the Eighth Army at the time when Monty took over was one of morale. The soldiers had lost faith in their commanders. Their 'winning' general (Richard O'Connor) having been captured, and they had adopted a 'loosing' mentality (sweeping generalisation).

One of the complaints of the front line officers of the trenches of WW1 was that the staff were too far back and out of touch with the conditions of their forces. Auchinleck (The Auk) was very aware of this and, when he took command of the Eight Army, he insisted his staff sleep on the ground the same as the forward troops had to do. This is all very well in a junior officer, sharing the hardships of his troops, but an Army commander should be working to improve the lot of his troops, not sharing it. Monty recognised this immediately and addressed the problem. Another factor which limited the success of the Eighth Army, was the interference of Churchill. This was something which Monty would not tolerate, refusing to go on the offensive until his troops were trained and ready.

Naturally, winning generals, like winning politicians, have a number of qualities which make them both good generals and good leaders, charisma not being the least. Some may envy this charisma, while others recognise its value and exploit it.

There is a clip on one of the D-Day 'docus' frequently aired on the History Channel etc. where a British veteran relates to Monty's speach before they go. Something in the vein of "... and good hunting in the fields of France!" to which the teller says "What a load of codswallop". This may be so, but it was the same codswallop which inspired the Army in North Africa especially as he began to improve their training and conditions, and allow them R&R in Cairo. And, no doubt, he inspired a lot of the junior leaders on D-Day, if not the troops. But for the most part, the troops did like Monty, particularly after the success of El Alamein (as did the British public for decades later, which would not have been the case after the troops had returned home if he had been so disliked). Where the troops at EL Alamein lacked the tactical experience, particularly among the armoured units, they made up for it with fighting spirit (e.g. Kidney Ridge), it didn't come from nowhere, and it too can be listed as a decisive factor.

Speaking of 'Others'
One of the winning factors for both Richard O'Connor at Bedda Fomm and the Auk at the First battle of EL Alamein, was their staff planner, Brigadier (acting Major General) Eric 'Chink' Dorman Smith. It was said of him that he would draw up ten plans for every operation, three of which were workable and one of which was a winner. If one reads a little in-depth on both the above mentioned operations, the strategy and tactics employed (the command, control, communcations and coordination of forces) and the success of his partnership with the Auk at El Alamein, and the way in which they absolutely trounced the Afrika Korp offensive, then, one can be left in no doubt that he is one of the unsung heroes of the Western Desert Campaign - a very clever chap indeed.

32Bravo
09-29-2008, 04:03 AM
All the sources I have point to the battle of Alam Halfa as the battle which restored a lot of confidence into the 8th Army. As this was the first battle which they had fought which had gone exactly like their commander said it would.

Agree with most, but the above in particular.

And, it had '...gone exactly...' on account of the Allies ability to break the German Enigma codes.

aly j
09-29-2008, 04:39 AM
Sorry to disillusion you, but if you base your research on cable and the History channels you'll come up sorely wanting. I wouldn't believe anything on there without corroroboration by another source (and that's the good shows).

And i must add the History channel found fake WW1 war footage,
and run a program too teach viewers how too spot fake WW1 footage.
They ran the fake footage and points out what too look for,and ran the real footage to point out what too look for.
Its a real history channel,dont let pay tv fool you.;)

redcoat
09-29-2008, 06:51 AM
And, it had '...gone exactly...' on account of the Allies ability to break the German Enigma codes.
The British had been reading the German Enigma codes from the start of Rommel's North African campaign, and most of the battles hadn't gone the way the British commanders expected or wanted it too.
In fact, one of the major reasons for Rommel's success in his first offensive, was the fact that the British had been able to read his signals to Berlin, full of complaints about the state of his army, lack of equipment, troublesome Allies (Italians) etc, etc, This lead the British to think that there wouldn't be an Axis attack in the near future, so when Rommel did attack it took them totally by surprise.

32Bravo
09-29-2008, 07:03 AM
I guess they got their act together, in translating what was useful and worthless intelligence by the time Monty came on the scene, and, of course, Monty would have been aware of the previous cock-ups. Don't get me wrong. I think Monty both a pukka chap and a pukka general, and wouldn't want to detract from his achievements. But I tend to 'try' to take a balanced view.

Rommel was also able to read dispatches from the US Military Attach'e to Cairo, giving a daily run down on British units, strengths, deployment etc. etc. That was how he was able to keep a step ahead, and it wasn't until the leak was discovered that things began to go wrong for Rommel.


Incidentally, I used to know a lady that worked at Bletchley Park. She had some wonderful pencil drawings of sail ships which she had copied from ha'penny pieces during the quiet hours on shift.

ptimms
09-30-2008, 12:42 PM
Aly J,

But I could quote you a hundred mistakes from their programming. Their use of stock footage of Panzers is a F***ing disgrace. Whenever Panzer footage is required out come the King Tigers and Panthers. This is particularly disconcerting in a programme on France 1940 !!

aly j
09-30-2008, 08:32 PM
Aly J,

But I could quote you a hundred mistakes from their programming. Their use of stock footage of Panzers is a F***ing disgrace. Whenever Panzer footage is required out come the King Tigers and Panthers. This is particularly disconcerting in a programme on France 1940 !!

Thats youre opinion ptimms,and i respect it.It is a real channel.
I understand what you saying fake films cause you cant trust WW1 film,even im not going to defend it, or even trust WW1 film.
WW1 is prone with Fake film.
I do trust ww2 film though, it all adds up too me.
But i respect youre opinion.
Cheers;)

mkenny
10-01-2008, 08:57 PM
When I ws in The IWM Film Archive I asked them why we always see the same old film clips on TV. They explained that the makers simply ask them for say 10 seconds of Panzer footage. They had lots of 'standard' sections that they can easily locate. They are rarely told what it is for and thus you get the errors. Whilst I know the UK has a complete record of every foot of film shot by their cameramen I think the German 'raw' footage is missing. Nearly all German scenes are taken from their edited weekly cinema footage and thus it is much more limited in scope than the Allied stock. The Grerman 1944-45 film available is around 6 hours in total.

aly j
10-01-2008, 11:20 PM
When I ws in The IWM Film Archive I asked them why we always see the same old film clips on TV. They explained that the makers simply ask them for say 10 seconds of Panzer footage. They had lots of 'standard' sections that they can easily locate. They are rarely told what it is for and thus you get the errors. Whilst I know the UK has a complete record of every foot of film shot by their cameramen I think the German 'raw' footage is missing. Nearly all German scenes are taken from their edited weekly cinema footage and thus it is much more limited in scope than the Allied stock. The Grerman 1944-45 film available is around 6 hours in total.

Do you really think that THE German govenment is going to give bad evidience to to the whole world what thet did.
Of cause there not going to give all there ww2 film to media, only the good pionts of there film,even if its only 6 hours.
On the other hand,since uk where the good guys theres no shame on them, of cause they will show all there ww2 film.cheers:cool:

Rising Sun*
10-02-2008, 01:40 AM
Do you really think that THE German govenment is going to give bad evidience to to the whole world what thet did.


Yes.

After the war Germany faced up to what it had done, which is more than might be said for some of the Allies, and took steps to prevent it happening again.

The German government has no interest in protecting the Nazi regime's actions from exposure and has no difficulty with acknowledging what is now Germany's reasonably distant past, as demonstrated by Germany's approach to Holocaust denial http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?p=136814#post136814

mkenny
10-02-2008, 07:55 AM
At the wars end the Germans loaded all their photo Archive on 3 lorries. One was found by US troops, The other two 'vanished'.
The US eventualy returned their part to the Germans in the 1950's and the 'vanished' trucks never were traced The French ECPA seems to have aquired a substantial number of German photos-it seems they got one truck.

32Bravo
10-02-2008, 08:01 AM
A lot of American warbuffs sadly think that Monty was anti-American. The truth seems to be that Monty loved Americans, as long as he outranked them. Monty also dearly loved his Tommies; but he was Anglophobic regarding his superiors.:)


Seems reasonable to me.

But who can truly say who or what he liked or disliked besides himself?

aly j
10-02-2008, 09:20 AM
Yes.

After the war Germany faced up to what it had done, which is more than might be said for some of the Allies, and took steps to prevent it happening again.

The German government has no interest in protecting the Nazi regime's actions from exposure and has no difficulty with acknowledging what is now Germany's reasonably distant past, as demonstrated by Germany's approach to Holocaust denial http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?p=136814#post136814

Um do you know what i was talking about?
I was talking about ww2 films [ not movies],you see alot of allied ww2 films and not axis ww2 films.
Meaning german govenment is not protecting nazis ,there probelery protecting the next poor germans to be born.

boxerrick41
10-04-2008, 01:27 PM
i think Montgomery was a fine leader. he was a bit of a strutting bantam rooster, but every good general has to have that. He was a heady fellow, who tried to user maneuvere more than slaughter to accomplish a goal .he acted a little superior, but i think that was an illusion he created. a lot of the english boys i met came off that way,
but they werent after getting to know them

pdf27
10-04-2008, 01:44 PM
He was a heady fellow, who tried to user maneuvere more than slaughter to accomplish a goal.
Ummm... is this the same guy we're talking about here? About the only time he attempted something on a major scale that wasn't a set piece and involved manouver (Arnhem) it was a bloody shambles.


he acted a little superior, but i think that was an illusion he created.
Nope, he genuinely believed that he was a strategic genius, the only decent general in the war and the US should cede supreme command to him. "On another planet" would be a better description.

redcoat
10-04-2008, 05:58 PM
Ummm... is this the same guy we're talking about here? About the only time he attempted something on a major scale that wasn't a set piece and involved maneuver (Arnhem) it was a bloody shambles.
Not quite true. In the attack on the Mareth Line, when Monty's frontal attacks had been held he sent part of his army on a wide flanking maneuver which took the German's by surprise (they had used up all their mobile reserves holding the frontal attacks) , and caused them abandon the strong defensive position.

32Bravo
10-07-2008, 07:09 AM
Difficult to maneuvre an army between the confines of the Med coast and the northern boundary of the Quatara Depression. Having said that, he did switch his axis of attack from the north to the south.

Just as difficult to maneuvre his army up the Italian peninsula, particularly with its steep mountainous spine.

32Bravo
10-09-2008, 06:41 AM
I suppose that I'm the product of a generation that saw Monty as a hero. Yes, he courted the limelight, but the country needed an Icon.

Up until El Alamein, the Nazi forces had seemed unbeatable. Of course, there were minor victories by commandos and the like. And there was the victory in the skies over britiain, but that hadn't initially stopped the bombing.

MonTgomery delivered a victory over german land forces and, in doing so, he defeated a man who was considered to be their best general (if not most the famous, who led a force of great repute), where all others had failed. So, I would say that regardless of what is said of Monty through the benefits of hindsight, he delivered - cometh the hour, cometh the man!


Military history, like so much else, is prey to the dictates of fashion. There was a time when El Alamein and the desert war loomed large in British historiography. After all, it had all the classic ingredients of a good story.

In the person of Montgomery, we had a charismatic British commander, matched by Rommel, one of the most striking German generals. The theatre of war was both harsh and romantic, the classic tactician's paradise and quartermaster's nightmare. A British rifleman told a chum that it was:

'A different kind of war. There were no civvies mixed up in it. It was clean. When we took prisoners we treated them fine and they treated us fine. We had a go at them, and they had a go at us. Then one of us f***ed off.'

The late Ronald Lewin, both a veteran of the campaign and a distinguished military historian, acknowledged his own compassion when Axis forces eventually surrendered in North Africa in May 1943, for '...this had been a good enemy.' And, of course, there was a famous victory: El Alamein, which encouraged Winston Churchill to declare that we had neither a victory before it nor a defeat after it.

CliSwe
11-15-2008, 12:44 AM
Little-known about Montgomery, is that he was closer to the front line than any of his contemporaries in the US Army Groups. 21AG HQ didn't wait for a convenient chateau in which to set up shop - Monty himself lived in a caravan towed behind a gun-tractor. He was also a genius at picking the right men for his staff: if people showed ability, he'd back them to the hilt. OTOH, the worst criticism he could direct at an officer was one word: "Useless!" With that adjective ringing in his ears, the unfortunate officer would be reassigned within hours. Monty kept in touch with operational units through a network of hand-picked, highly-motivated young liaison officers. These young dashers would tour the divisions and sub-units, and report back to Monty's HQ at the end of the day. This meant that subordinate commanders couldn't put their own spin on any bad news - Monty's trusted messengers brought back the unvarnished truth. All of these features of Monty's style of management, far more than any brilliance as a tactician or strategist, were what made Montgomery a success. Also contrary to popular belief, there were American commanders he admired. One such was Lt Gen Lawton (Lightning Joe) Collins; Generals Courtney Hodges & Bill Simpson were two more. All three served under him when he asked Eisenhower to transfer their cut-off US 1st and 9th Armies to his command during the Battle of the Bulge. All three returned to Bradley's US 12AG with some reluctance, having developed a deep respect for the way Monty ran his outfit, and the way he'd treated them. He never earned any kudos as a diplomat - but his soldiers knew that he valued them; they were made to feel part of an elite, and they fought accordingly. And that's what it's all about, isn't it? As long as the troops will fight for you, you'll win battles.

Cheers,
Cliff

32Bravo
11-15-2008, 04:52 AM
Little-known about Montgomery,...
Cliff

Why do you feel this is little known, Cliff?

CliSwe
11-16-2008, 02:53 AM
Why do you feel this is little known, Cliff?

What I should have said was, "little-noticed, or at least not often discussed". Everyone seems to want to compare Monty with Patton (who Montgomery dismissed as "a good Corps commander" - ouch!) or Bradley, who Montgomery at least respected as a good Army commander (not Army Group - Army. Ouch! again). If you study the tasks these men were given, you then realise that Eisenhower knew the strengths and weaknesses of his subordinate commanders, and employed them accordingly. As I pointed out, Monty's main focus was looking after his troops and getting the best possible performance from them - not throwing them at the enemy without thought or planning, as Patton did in the Ardennes.

Cheers,
Cliff

32Bravo
11-18-2008, 02:37 AM
As I pointed out, Monty's main focus was looking after his troops and getting the best possible performance from them - not throwing them at the enemy without thought or planning, as Patton did in the Ardennes.

Cheers,
Cliff


And as had other British commanders in N.A. before Monty arrived (e.g. 'Strafer' Gott).


It was only towards the later years of the war, with the invasion of the European mainland, that the Allied Armies began to become more effective in armoured warfare. In 1942 and 1943 , the Allies consistently lost armoured battles in the North African desert due to improper tactics; in particular, running armoured formations into opposing anti-tank positions.


Monty had no choice but to conserve his troops, but he could be ruthless with them when necessary, sacrificing numbers of tank units in frontal attacks, as he did at times at El Alamein, as they hadn't the tactical skills to deal with the A.K.

Gen. Sandworm
11-18-2008, 04:13 AM
What I should have said was, "little-noticed, or at least not often discussed". Everyone seems to want to compare Monty with Patton (who Montgomery dismissed as "a good Corps commander" - ouch!) or Bradley, who Montgomery at least respected as a good Army commander (not Army Group - Army. Ouch! again). If you study the tasks these men were given, you then realise that Eisenhower knew the strengths and weaknesses of his subordinate commanders, and employed them accordingly. As I pointed out, Monty's main focus was looking after his troops and getting the best possible performance from them - not throwing them at the enemy without thought or planning, as Patton did in the Ardennes.

Cheers,
Cliff

Im sorry but crazy ppl like Patton and Monty are the perfect ppl you need in a war. This is all true before 195?. They are commanders of the old style IMO. They both were brilliant in how they conducted themselves. (Yes im even talking about Patton) They both did our countries a service by winning the war.

OK. Honestly ...... They both should have been dismissed by todays standards. Both of them lost alot of men on the grounds of arrogance.

Some ppl just become alive in a crisis and these are both typical examples.

If we are going to argue Patton v. Montgomery the we should do it in another thread.

I would point out that ....... yes it is surprising that Eisenhower became the supreme allied commander........... not an easy job. ( I would not want it)

Lets try to keep this one on Monty for this thread.

Nickdfresh
11-18-2008, 07:27 PM
What I should have said was, "little-noticed, or at least not often discussed". Everyone seems to want to compare Monty with Patton (who Montgomery dismissed as "a good Corps commander" - ouch!) or Bradley, who Montgomery at least respected as a good Army commander (not Army Group - Army. Ouch! again). If you study the tasks these men were given, you then realise that Eisenhower knew the strengths and weaknesses of his subordinate commanders, and employed them accordingly. As I pointed out, Monty's main focus was looking after his troops and getting the best possible performance from them - not throwing them at the enemy without thought or planning, as Patton did in the Ardennes.

Cheers,
Cliff


Well, let's be fair then. How much "planning" did Monty engage in when he essentially by-passed German positions in the Scheldt Estuary thus denying Antwerp to the Allies and possibly prolonging the War?

While Patton could be a sanctimonious *****, and Bradley was relatively unassuming general easily tagged as a "good corp commander," Monty was notorious unpopular with his contemporaries, and not just the American ones (Eisenhower's second, RAF Air Marshall Tedder wanted him fired for his performance in the early stages of the Normandy campaign). With the folly of Market Garden which left Britain's finest trapped behind German lines, and the fact that Monty couldn't have gotten out of the Italian campaign fast enough (a brutal, war of attrition where Monty was in his element) leaves some skepticism over his arrogant dismissal of his contemporaries...

BTW, I do not hate Monty, and I think overall he was a very good general. But he was no one to run around making critical statements about his contemporaries...

I mean, I sort of dislike Patton's cult of personality, but for a "Good Army Commander," Patton reached his objectives on Sicily far faster than Monty did...

redcoat
11-19-2008, 06:23 AM
Well, let's be fair then. How much "planning" did Monty engage in when he essentially by-passed German positions in the Scheldt Estuary thus denying Antwerp to the Allies and possibly prolonging the War?

He didn't by-pass them. The German positions were on the northern side of the Scheldt Estuary, Antwerp was on the south side. Montys forces advanced on Antwerp from the south west.

Nickdfresh
11-19-2008, 06:39 AM
He didn't by-pass them. The German positions were on the northern side of the Scheldt Estuary, Antwerp was on the south side. Montys forces advanced on Antwerp from the south west.


Well, he failed to pay proper attention to Antwerp and clear and secure a vital port, and it is recognized as one of the larger Allied blunders of WWII...

No general is perfect, and there were many blunders committed by even the best in WWII....

I'm just saying that Monty seemed to have a bit of a big mouth and an overweening tendency to be hypercritical of others, but he conveniently ignored or minimized his own failings in his memoirs...

http://www.ww2f.com/information-requests/14883-scheldt-estuary-15th-army.html

redcoat
11-19-2008, 06:42 AM
But he was no one to run around making critical statements about his contemporaries...

...
Why not... everybody else did.
At least Monty never said anything uncomplimentary about the ordinary G.I. unlike Alexander, who everybody seem to think was a gentleman

Nickdfresh
11-19-2008, 06:46 AM
Why not... everybody else did.

Touchť :D


At least Monty never said anything uncomplimentary about the ordinary G.I. unlike Alexander, who everybody seem to think was a gentleman

Of course not, Monty loved everyone under his commands. In fact, I'd wager he simply couldn't have had enough GIs in his command. :)

And from what I've read about Alexander, he was considered to be somewhat of a dolt by those around him...He looked the part, but I think Atkin's wrote that many felt him too dull and that he was too enabling of Monty and Clark...

Rising Sun*
11-19-2008, 06:52 AM
I'm just saying that Monty seemed to have a bit of a big mouth and an overweening tendency to be hypercritical of others, but he conveniently ignored or minimized his own failings in his memoirs...

Isn't that true of most highly successful, or just highly ambitious and unsuccessful, people?

At Monty's level, they need enormous self-belief to do what they have to do.

That self-belief, which often verges on or crosses into self-righteousness, conceit, and contempt for their critics no matter how justifiable the criticisms may be, doesn't stop just because events turned out differently to the way the great man intended.

Objective insight doesn't go with unshakeable self-belief.

Like modern captains of commerce and industry, their successes are due entirely to their own magnificent qualities while their failures are due to incompetence and conspiracies by others and to various other circumstances beyond their control.

CliSwe
11-19-2008, 07:13 AM
Isn't that true of most highly successful, or just highly ambitious and unsuccessful, people?

At Monty's level, they need enormous self-belief to do what they have to do.

That self-belief, which often verges on or crosses into self-righteousness, conceit, and contempt for their critics no matter how justifiable the criticisms may be, doesn't stop just because events turned out differently to the way the great man intended.

Objective insight doesn't go with unshakeable self-belief.

Like modern captains of commerce and industry, their successes are due entirely to their own magnificent qualities while their failures are due to incompetence and conspiracies by others and to various other circumstances beyond their control.

Well - that just about puts the cap on the whole topic, wouldn't you say? I can't disagree with a single thing you've said there. Didn't he once make a bet with Eisenhower that, if he reached a certain objective in a certain time, Ike had to give him a B-17 (or was it a B-24 - cant remember) for his personal use? Ike laughed it off as a joke, but Monty insisted on claiming his bomber. I don't think that little escapade improved his image in American eyes.

Cheers,
Cliff

32Bravo
11-19-2008, 10:40 AM
Well - that just about puts the cap on the whole topic, wouldn't you say?

No, I wouldn't! RS is merely reflecting upon his own self-image and has lost focus on Monty. This comes to most when they achieve a certain age. :lol:

lance-private parts
11-21-2008, 12:00 PM
re:Eisenhower, Patton, Rommel, Guderian, McArthur, Zhukov, Nimitz, Donitz, etc.;
What a strange list.
Eisenhower had the singular distinction, in matters of high command, of never having operational command of a battle and never setting foot on a battlefield, so no-one will ever know if he made a good, bad or indifferent commander.
Patton was never more than a flamboyant cavalry commander. He was good at galloping across open spaces with little opposition but when he came up against stubborn opposition, he came to a halt, as in the Lorraine campaign. Without good armies on his flanks he would have been creamed.
The Germans always put their best men against the Brit and Commonwealth troops. Six Panzer divisions opposed the Brits and Canadians around Caen whilst there were just two remnants (Panzer Lehr was reduced to one tenth of its original complement), facing the Americans at the time of the breakout. None opposed Patton in Brittany and none on the way to the German border. A Panzer Division consisted of 22000 first rate troops, tanks, artillery and motorized supplies. The 'Statics' that the Americans took on consisted of 8000 second rate troops per division (often non-German) with few tanks and horse-drawn equipment. Even then, they were held up round St.Lo.
The British and Canadians had to contend with Panzers, river and estuary crossings and heavily fortified ports.
Of course you can't compare naval commanders to field commanders.

Nickdfresh
11-21-2008, 12:54 PM
re:Eisenhower, Patton, Rommel, Guderian, McArthur, Zhukov, Nimitz, Donitz, etc.;
What a strange list.
Eisenhower had the singular distinction, in matters of high command, of never having operational command of a battle and never setting foot on a battlefield, so no-one will ever know if he made a good, bad or indifferent commander.

He had operational command during the Battle of the Bulge for a time, and was key in strategic decisions and planning. There were a lot of Allied generals who had had experience in operational commands that never could have performed Ike's role...


Patton was never more than a flamboyant cavalry commander. He was good at galloping across open spaces with little opposition but when he came up against stubborn opposition, he came to a halt, as in the Lorraine campaign. Without good armies on his flanks he would have been creamed.

A rather silly and vast oversimplification. Patton's actions during Cobra precipitated a complete collapse of the Heer in France. While there was much hope that the Allies could storm into the Saar Industrial region, the Americans found it as the French did before, essentially a large bowl filled with natural obstacles and easily defended. The reason why there were few German troops there was because they HAD been largely annihilated during the slaughter of the Falaise pocket...

Also, the Eighth Army was running out of fuel and burning almost as much of it in trucks used to supply as it was at the front. So, large scale attack was impossible with the supplies being split between Patton and Monty, and the main objective was the Ruhr area anyways. The Saar was an after thought and was more Eisenhower's idea to pursue a retreating army to destroy as much as the German capacity as possible. A total invasion of Germany through the Saar was only a faint hope...

The Allies simply didn't have the logistical base (since they yet didn't have a port) to sustain such a long supply line...


The Germans always put their best men against the Brit and Commonwealth troops. Six Panzer divisions opposed the Brits and Canadians around Caen whilst there were just two remnants (Panzer Lehr was reduced to one tenth of its original complement), facing the Americans at the time of the breakout.

Yes of course, they put the Aryan supermen against the British only...

Actually, the Germans had deployed their panzers there because of the Palais de Calais feint. And there were few panzers inside Caen itself...


None opposed Patton in Brittany and none on the way to the German border. A Panzer Division consisted of 22000 first rate troops, tanks, artillery and motorized supplies. The 'Statics' that the Americans took on consisted of 8000 second rate troops per division (often non-German) with few tanks and horse-drawn equipment. Even then, they were held up round St.Lo.
The British and Canadians had to contend with Panzers, river and estuary crossings and heavily fortified ports.
Of course you can't compare naval commanders to field commanders.

Um, the Americans (along with the Canadians) had largely destroyed the panzers they faced and reduced the German Army. And there were in fact retreating German troops, and the Siegfried line was in fact defended...

The Allies simply couldn't sustain such a drive when they were landing supplies on the beach...

pdf27
11-21-2008, 01:39 PM
The Germans always put their best men against the Brit and Commonwealth troops. Six Panzer divisions opposed the Brits and Canadians around Caen whilst there were just two remnants (Panzer Lehr was reduced to one tenth of its original complement), facing the Americans at the time of the breakout. None opposed Patton in Brittany and none on the way to the German border. A Panzer Division consisted of 22000 first rate troops, tanks, artillery and motorized supplies. The 'Statics' that the Americans took on consisted of 8000 second rate troops per division (often non-German) with few tanks and horse-drawn equipment. Even then, they were held up round St.Lo.
You realise of course that the entire Allied battle plan for Overlord was for the British & Canadians to tie down as many German units as possible on the Allied left, allowing the US to break out on the right and encircle them. The number of German units facing the British/Canadians is not a reflection of tactical prowess but of the efforts put into making the Germans think this was the main axis of the Allied attack.

mkenny
11-21-2008, 03:38 PM
The Allies simply didn't have the logistical base (since they yet didn't have a port) to sustain such a long supply line...

A little bit of research into Operation Chastity and the reason it was not carried out might help you understand why the Allies planned to have their own port built on the Atlantic coast. It might also explain 'who' abandonned the plan and thus caused the shortages well before Antwerp.

Nickdfresh
11-21-2008, 04:11 PM
A little bit of research into Operation Chastity and the reason it was not carried out might help you understand why the Allies planned to have their own port built on the Atlantic coast. It might also explain 'who' abandonned the plan and thus caused the shortages well before Antwerp.

Yes well, the plan was abandoned for several reasons. Not least of which the fact that landing supplies directly onto the beaches using LSTs was far more effective than anyone envisioned...

Also, Antwerp was taken, but the facilities were made useless until November by the Germans holding onto the Scheldt Estuary were finally subsumed in November. It was assumed this was unnecessary...

redcoat
11-21-2008, 05:57 PM
The Germans always put their best men against the Brit and Commonwealth troops. Six Panzer divisions opposed the Brits and Canadians around Caen whilst there were just two remnants (Panzer Lehr was reduced to one tenth of its original complement), facing the Americans at the time of the breakout. None opposed Patton in Brittany and none on the way to the German border. A Panzer Division consisted of 22000 first rate troops, tanks, artillery and motorized supplies. The 'Statics' that the Americans took on consisted of 8000 second rate troops per division (often non-German) with few tanks and horse-drawn equipment. Even then, they were held up round St.Lo.
The British and Canadians had to contend with Panzers, river and estuary crossings and heavily fortified ports.
Of course you can't compare naval commanders to field commanders.
While I will defend Monty and the Commonwealth forces from baseless attacks from American posters, I will also defend the US forces from baseless attacks.
The reason the Germans put the vast majority of their Panzers on the British and Canadian sectors was mainly due to the fact that it was better tank country than on the US sector. The hedgerows prevented any practical deployment of armor, it was mainly a slogging match between infantry units.

ptimms
11-22-2008, 01:33 AM
I agree with Redcoat but also think it should be pointed out German Panzer Divisions did not have 22,000 men in Normandy as stated by the Lance Private. I'm not sure if they even did in their heyday. The five SS Divisions average about 17,000 with 1st being strongest at about 19,600. Das Reich had 17200 but was in the process of training 9,000 replacements. 9th and 10th were similar at about 15,800 and nominally strongest was 12th with 22,000 but the replacement and Panzerjager battalion arrived late so it arrives with 17,000. The Army units were slightly weaker with an average of 15,700 men. 2nd and 21st were at full strength, 21st had 16,900 men and 2nd had 16,700. Lehr had 14,700 and 116th was weakest at 13,600.

They were all powerful units but by 44 were short of wheeled transport particularly.

lance-private parts
11-22-2008, 06:30 AM
You realise of course that the entire Allied battle plan for Overlord was for the British & Canadians to tie down as many German units as possible on the Allied left, allowing the US to break out on the right and encircle them. The number of German units facing the British/Canadians is not a reflection of tactical prowess but of the efforts put into making the Germans think this was the main axis of the Allied attack.

Of course I do. The fact still stands that it was Brit and Cdn forces that did most of the serious fighting.

lance-private parts
11-22-2008, 06:47 AM
[QUOTE=Nickdfresh;142398]He had operational command during the Battle of the Bulge for a time, and was key in strategic decisions and planning. There were a lot of Allied generals who had had experience in operational commands that never could have performed Ike's role...



A rather silly and vast oversimplification. Patton's actions during Cobra precipitated a complete collapse of the Heer in France.


Why pick on my oversimplification? Brits have suffered some outrgeous oversimplifications and downright lies over the last 60 years.
Come on, name the Panzer divisions Patton took on. He cleared the Heer of second rate formations that were about one tenth as effective as the Panzer divisions, given their lack of tanks and motorized equipment. The Panzers were destroyed round Caen and the breakout was merely a mopping-up operation.
Command at the Battle of the Bulge is hardly is hardly a match for the immense undertaking of Overlord that Montgomery was chief planner and Op commander for. That battle was superbly planned and finished in exactly the time that Monty predicted. That is an incredible achievement. Ike was just a figurehead. Bradley had more to do with the tactical planning and has more claim to be the best all-round US general.

Rising Sun*
11-22-2008, 06:51 AM
Of course I do. The fact still stands that it was Brit and Cdn forces that did most of the serious fighting.

I'm not clear on where and during which periods you claim that the British and Canadian forces did most of the serious fighting.

Could you clarify that, and do so by contrasting it with what the Americans weren't doing at the same time?

Rising Sun*
11-22-2008, 07:12 AM
Eisenhower had the singular distinction, in matters of high command, of never having operational command of a battle and never setting foot on a battlefield, so no-one will ever know if he made a good, bad or indifferent commander.

'Commander' has different meanings and different functions at different levels of command, not all of which require operational command of units or formations in battle to produce a successful commander.

The American Commander in Chief during WWII was a cripple who had never served in the military let alone commanded in battle. Yet his strategic vision and decisions made a major contribution to Allied victory in WWII. If he'd lived, he'd have won, wouldn't he?

As for nobody knowing if Eisenhower was a good, bad, or indifferent commander: He won, didn't he?

Rising Sun*
11-22-2008, 07:34 AM
Brits have suffered some outrgeous oversimplifications and downright lies over the last 60 years.


Please specify them.

redcoat
11-22-2008, 10:57 AM
Of course I do. The fact still stands that it was Brit and Cdn forces that did most of the serious fighting.
Then please explain why the US forces suffered 5 casualties for every 3 the British and Commonwealth suffered in the Normandy campaign.

While some US posters do underplay the role their Allies played in the defeat of the German forces, your claiming that it was the Brit and Cdn forces which did all the 'serious' fighting is totally incorrect and insulting to all the US troops who fought there.

Today there is far too much focus on the bitching between the senior generals over who deserves the most credit for the victory, and not nearly enough on the fact that the co-operation and teamwork between the British and US was on a level never seen before between sovereign nations

Nickdfresh
11-22-2008, 05:17 PM
Of course I do. The fact still stands that it was Brit and Cdn forces that did most of the serious fighting.

As opposed to the Americans and Free forces doing all of the silly fighting!

Nickdfresh
11-22-2008, 05:38 PM
Why pick on my oversimplification? Brits have suffered some outrgeous oversimplifications and downright lies over the last 60 years.

So? So have the French, and to a lessor extent the Poles, Dutch, Russians, Ukrainians, Belgians, Finns, etc...

You're plan to remedy all this is too spread more distortions?

I suggest you read up on your Normandy hedgerow fighting...


Come on, name the Panzer divisions Patton took on. He cleared the Heer of second rate formations that were about one tenth as effective as the Panzer divisions, given their lack of tanks and motorized equipment. The Panzers were destroyed round Caen and the breakout was merely a mopping-up operation.

Um, the Panzers most assuredly were not all destroyed around Caen. And part of that destruction is due to the envelopment that the US Army executed! The reason why they didn't encounter more panzers was because they were mostly bypassed and cutoff. It was the pattern that sort of developed in Italy not long before. One where the German Army holds out to the bitter end offering fierce resistance, then suddenly collapses in a denouement during a hyperviolent, relatively short battle. Patton was in affect chasing the very same troops of mixed units escaping back the the Siegfried Line, many of whom had fought at Caen...

I seriously doubt the Germans really gave a damn who was bombing, shelling, and killing them at that point. But it was only AFTER Operation Cobra that the German forces in France were fully broken. And it was an Allied effort! No one's blood was any more important that anyone else's!


Command at the Battle of the Bulge is hardly is hardly a match for the immense undertaking of Overlord that Montgomery was chief planner and Op commander for.

He was far from the only planner! Air Marshal Tedders was key in forcing proper air support. Monty reported to Ike, and Bradley also planned. Not too mention many, many underlings who never have the luxury of being named...


That battle was superbly planned and finished in exactly the time that Monty predicted. That is an incredible achievement. Ike was just a figurehead. Bradley had more to do with the tactical planning and has more claim to be the best all-round US general.

Um, have you actually read about the Battle of Caen? But granted, Monty did achieve his objectives, but it was rather messy and involved precisely the kind of attritional fighting he was seeking to avoid I presume. And it took a lot longer than expected to actually take the city...

And while I think the world of Bradley -and Patton WAS vastly overrated- he was certainly more than just a "cavalry general." And as for the best generals, too often, it's the best generals you don't hear about because they've done much of the dirty work but are forced to relinquish credit to the press-whore generals like Monty, MacArthur, Patton, etc...

I think MacArthur's "fireman," General Eichelberger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_L._Eichelberger) is a prime example...

Saxon
11-23-2008, 04:12 PM
And as for the best generals, too often, it's the best generals you don't hear about because they've done much of the dirty work but are forced to relinquish credit to the press-whore generals like Monty, MacArthur, Patton, etc...


I think William Slim is an excellent example of this. He was likely the best WW2 General the British had. But the snobbish BBC didn't care for him because of his 'class', and he was situated in the less 'popular' SE Asian theater.

Nickdfresh
11-23-2008, 05:29 PM
I think William Slim is an excellent example of this. He was likely the best WW2 General the British had. But the snobbish BBC didn't care for him because of his 'class', and he was situated in the less 'popular' SE Asian theater.


Nobody did more with less than Slim. Probably the finest overall commander in WWII when you factor in the obstacles he had to overcome. At least from a personal leadership perspective. I'd also put US General Eichelberger up there as well. Overshadowed by MacArthur, the sort that would literally rip the plans out of his subordinate planning generals hands so that he could take complete credit for them, Eichelberger didn't have the command Slim did, but he turned around a demoralized US Pacific force merely by leading through example and with personal courage. He also never really "lost a battle" and was brilliant tactically speaking...

Lucian Truscott was another US soldier that never got his due publicity. He too took a demoralized US and British force at Anzio and helped consolidate them, and later used them to cut the Wehrmacht's throat. He should have been put in front of Clark...

Patton was far more than just a "cavalry general." He was excellent at instilling discipline and fire and certainly was very tactically adept at managing a battle...

He was also an enormous *****. Atkin's "An Army at Dawn" sort of relays what a complete ******* he could be, on one occasion essentially ordering one of his generals to his death (Orlando Pace - who survived personally leading his infantrymen in a suicidal, poorly planned night attack in the Italian mountains and would return to command in the final push into German after being wounded, then relieved in Italy) and would pass the buck for his failures onto subordinates.

Rising Sun*
11-24-2008, 06:48 AM
I think MacArthur's "fireman," General Eichelberger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_L._Eichelberger) is a prime example...

Definitely.

At the same time that Mac told Eichelberger to do or die (adding to Eichelberger's somewhat surprised chief of staff words to the effect "And that goes for you, too.") he also told Eichelberger along the lines "Bob, if you win, I'll release your name to the papers.". Eichelberger comments on this ironically in his book Our Jungle Road to Tokyo, I think quoting a letter he wrote to his wife at the time, to the effect that Mac thought he had offered Eichelberger an important incentive. In reality, publicity mattered nothing to Eichelberger and everything to Mac.

However, and I know this will be surprising ;) , the Wiki link is wrong in saying that "Eichelberger led the Australian-US Advanced New Guinea Force to victory over the Japanese at Buna, in early 1943.". This implies, as do many American histories which naturally focus on American activities, that Buna was the only event of consequence at the time in that area.

In fact, Buna was one of three elements of the Buna - Gona - Sanananda beachheads which were attacked and eventually conquered in a gruelling campaign in awful conditions in late 1942 - early 1943, but it was primarily an Australian operation on the ground with American forces on the ground being confined to the Buna area where, on one view they performed abysmally but, in my view, performed brilliantly when Eichelberger arrived and by personal example and great leadership converted a hungry, sick, dispirited, ill-equipped, unacclimatised, worn out, ineffective, poorly led, poorly trained and virtually routed if static division into a useful fighting force which played a major part in taking Buna when shortly before its men had virtually laid down their arms and were in many cases, literally, lying about the field refusing to fight. As I've said in several threads, Eichelberger's was an astonishing achievement with any unit in such poor condition, but to do it in the field in a very short time was almost miraculous.

Eichelberger's name is unknown in popular military history because he was an outstanding military commander who was neither a politician nor a self-promoter under a commander who was an outstanding politician and even better self-promoter who created the myth that he was a military commander the genius of which has visited earth but a few times in human history.