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  • Why USA hates Montgomery?

    Let me remiss. He came and took over a demoralized army.
    in two weeks he turned the morale of the eight army. one man!
    He beat rommels last bid for egypt with a one to one ratio in tanks(no shermans yet). then he waited, anyway, both sides were exhausted from the previous couple of months fighting.
    Then at alam halfa, he totally outguessed the desert pattern making olding stressed out wretch. And placed the new six pounders(firs weapon in history to fire sabot round, followed by the leathal 17 pounder, best anti tank gun allies had in ww2 and grandfather of what the abrams and challenger 2's mount).
    He was the first allied general who truly integrated the desert airforce to be a part of eight army, and the german support collums shure did fear the hurrican 'tin opener' verisons with two 40 mm bofors fitted on them. At night no rest royal navy albacores would scout the coast for axis traffic, and when fixed they wold call in the co-ordinates, and start dropping flares, then the wellington medium bombers who had been cruising to the west came and did a higway of death on the axis support collums. Ahead of time his time even? perhaps. The desert airforce's chief Cunningham at first resisted being a 'subordinate to monty', but when he understood he was just being intergrated into this machine called the eight army, that would be the way ahead in this and future wars he did everything asked of him with gusto.
    and then he did a one two punch on the german dug in positions suprising them by crossing over his own mine fields, the second counted and The Afrika korps started their retreat to Tunisia, being harried by the desert airforce which were now becoming experts at ground attack.
    They enjoyed a brief reneissance with the still inexperienced americans in what some soldiers called 'zippo valley' a gruesome name for the kasserine pass.
    Then the germans dug in, Ike taunted monty that he couldnt get through the mareth line before a certain date.
    But the skinny man had survived the grinding attacks of ww1 and he got through before schedule. Ike was forced to give monty whatever he asked for. The eccentric wanted his own b-17!
    Proof of his sanity, so would I! Actually after flying around for some time Monty got fed up with the workmanlike uncomfort of the fortress and changed it to a dacota c-47.

    He performed almost identically as Patton timewise in Sicily, although the brits had the harder route to go, they came to the end of the island two hours after the americans, something always mentioned by American books and documentaries, quite ridiqulous when the battle lasted for six weeks. I dont think any of the troops felt winners or loosers of a race, probably amazement that after a month and a halfs fighting they should clear the end of their approach virtually simultaneously.
    He did well in Italy proper, I believe that the commanders at Salerno were quite happy to see the eight army coming to their aid.
    And Normandy, well, people (mostly Americans) have insinuated that he was too cautious about his troops casualties.
    First of all, he had ww1 western front experience, and much longer than any American, and he would have seen a hell of a much more british casualties than any American commander did see Americans on the western front.
    Still what does the guy do? Puts up the brits and canadians against the ss panzer divisions, keeps them busy by attacking almost suicide style at places like tilly sur mer, verier ridge.
    and he lets the americans do the brakethrough, would Patton have acted had he been in reverce places? I wonder.
    And as for Arnhem, Well he bloody well tried to save as much of europe from stalin, because after the warsaw uprising in the summer of 44, the brits realized that stalin wasnt going to let free elections happen in the territories the brave russian soldiers liberated,...at first. A lot of russian veterans were pissed off when they saw poland and chekoslovakia ect, not given free elections.
    And Churchill told Monty to get as much of europe under the western allies, it was a desperate situation, and it was just pot bad luck, that the only intelligence success the germans had against britain was in holland from 42 to 44 they infiltrated the dutch underground, and lured soe operatives for two ýears.
    It was called der england spiel (the england game).
    Anyway after a dutch informer for the nazis called 'king kong' Lindemans had been found out and was out of the picture, the underground in holland was ok, again, but this happened only a couple of weeks before Market Garden was planned.
    So any info the brits got from them they assumed tainted.
    And thus the seeds of failure were sown. Monty tried at least.
    and he accepted the surrender of the then head of state for germany, Admiral Döeniz. I dont get comments like in the film 'saving private ryan' they say: montgomery is overrated!
    A damn captain thinks on d plus three that he can pass judgement on the man who delivered the stated aim of operation overlord: to be on the seine by d+90 and Montgomery delivered, and gave command of the forces away, and consetrated on the brits and canadians.
    Ok, he was an eccentric, so what? He said rash statements, but appologized. Kind of a british Patton huh? And look at the alliance that arrose from those days, without the brits standing alone an year, and then accepting to give away the empire as one of roosewelts postwar demands, because they saw that the only other alternative was a nazi or stalinist future for all of us!
    Even today, who stands with the U.S.?
    So, Please find the will to see through some old isms and see Field Marshall Bernard law Montgomery for what he was. A great ally.
    Last edited by 17poundr; 25 Feb 06, 07:15.
    "SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM" - " If you want peace, prepare for war".

    If acted upon in time, ww2 could have been stopped without a single bullet being fired. - Sir Winston Churchill

  • #2
    Re: why USA hates montgomery?

    Originally posted by 17poundr
    Let me remiss. He came and took over a demoralized army.
    in two weeks he turned the morale of the eight army. one man!
    He beat rommels last bid for egypt with a one to one ratio in tanks(no shermans yet). then he waited, anyway, both sides were exhausted from the previous couple of months fighting.
    and then he did a one two punch, the second counted and The Afrika korps started their retreat to Tunisia, they enjoyed a brief reneissance with the still inexperienced americans in what some soldiers called 'zippo valley' a gruesome name for the kasserine pass.
    Then the germans dug in, Ike taunted monty that he couldnt get through the mareth line before a certain date.
    But the skinny man had survived the grinding attacks of ww1 and he got through before schedule. Ike was forced to give monty whatever he asked for. The eccentric wanted his own b-17!
    Proof of his sanity, so would I! Actually after flying around for some time Monty got fed up with the workmanlike uncomfort of the fortress and changed it to a dacota c-47.

    He performed almost identically as Patton timewise in Sicily, although the brits had the harder route to go, they came to the end of the island two hours after the americans, something always mentioned by American books and documentaries, quite ridiqulous when the battle lasted for six weeks. I dont think any of the troops felt winners or loosers of a race, probably amazement that after a month and a halfs fighting they should clear the end of their approach virtually simultaneously.
    He did well in Italy proper, I believe that the commanders at Salerno were quite happy to see the eight army coming to their aid.
    And Normandy, well, people (mostly Americans) have insinuated that he was too cautious about his troops casualties.
    First of all, he had ww1 western front experience, and much longer than any American, and he would have seen a hell of a much more british casualties than any American commander did see Americans on the western front.
    Still what does the guy do? Puts up the brits and canadians against the ss panzer divisions, keeps them busy by attacking almost suicide style at places like tilly sur mer, verier ridge.
    and he lets the americans do the brakethrough, would Patton have acted had he been in reverce places? I wonder.
    And as for Arnhem, Well he bloody well tried to save as much of europe from stalin, because after the warsaw uprising in the summer of 44, the brits realized that stalin wasnt going to let free elections happen in the territories the brave russian soldiers liberated,...at first. A lot of russian veterans were pissed off when they saw poland and chekoslovakia ect, not given free elections.
    And Churchill told Monty to get as much of europe under the western allies, it was a desperate situation, and it was just pot bad luck, that the only intelligence success the germans had against britain was in holland from 42 to 44 they infiltrated the dutch underground, and lured soe operatives for two ýears.
    It was called der england spiel (the england game).
    Anyway after a dutch informer for the nazis called 'king kong' Lindemans had been found out and was out of the picture, the underground in holland was ok, again, but this happened only a couple of weeks before Market Garden was planned.
    So any info the brits got from them they assumed tainted.
    And thus the seeds of failure were sown. Monty tried at least.
    and he accepted the surrender of the then head of state for germany, Admiral Döeniz. I dont get comments like in the film 'saving private ryan' they say: montgomery is overrated!
    A damn captain thinks on d plus three that he can pass judgement on the man who delivered the stated aim of operation overlord: to be on the seine by d+90 and Montgomery delivered, and gave command of the forces away, and consetrated on the brits and canadians.
    Ok, he was an eccentric, so what? He said rash statements, but appologized. Kind of a british Patton huh? And look at the alliance that arrose from those days, without the brits standing alone an year, and then accepting to give away the empire as one of roosewelts postwar demands, because they saw that the only other alternative was a nazi or stalinist future for all of us!
    Even today, who stands with the U.S.?
    So, Please find the will to see through some old isms and see Field Marshall Bernard law Montgomery for what he was. A great ally.
    Last edited by 17poundr; 25 Feb 06, 07:15.
    "SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM" - " If you want peace, prepare for war".

    If acted upon in time, ww2 could have been stopped without a single bullet being fired. - Sir Winston Churchill

    Comment


    • #3
      Not just USA, but I also do and am from Canada. Not really hate him, but don't appreciate him as some do. You have to remember that yes he was in charge of 8th Army and turned the campaign around, but it would seem his success went to his head.
      In Sicily he wanted to beat the Americans to Massena.
      In Italy, he ordered Gen Vokes of the 1st Cdn Division to move and take Ortona regardless of the cost because he wanted to beat the Americans to liberate Rome. Well the Canadians bleed dearly and fighting in the Gully and Ortona cost thousands of Canadian casualties.
      D-Day was by far a success but objectives like Caen weren't taken as they were supposed to be.
      Market-Garden. Again wanted to be the one to beat the Germans before Patton. And we all know what happened in Arnhem, Nijmegen and Eidhoven. I wonder if we would take a poll on survivors of 1st Airborne and Polish Brigade what it would reveal.
      It seems to me he wanted to have all the glory at the expense of the combatants. I hope I answered a bit of your question.
      http://canadiangenealogyandresearch.ca

      Soviet and Canadian medal collector!

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      • #4
        Montgomery

        I can remember talking to my Father about this very issue many years ago. He thought that Montgomery's situation had a lot of parallels MacArthur's situation. Some people who worked with Montgomery absolutely loved him. They would go to any lengths to protect him and his reputation. The same held true for MacArthur.

        Montgomery took over at a bad time and got the 8th Army heading in the proper direction. Montgomery won a brilliant victory at El Alamein. MacArthur got things organized in the South Pacific. MacArthur's New Guinea campaign was a model for later island hopping in the Pacific campaign. Both generals benefitted from being able to read their enemy's mail.

        Montgomery had the habit of being somewhat disrecpectful to his superiors (Alexander and Eisenhower.) Montgomery was heard to utter some disparaging remarks about Americans. MacArthur was a loose cannon at time and didn't even listen to his superiors. MacArthur said some disparaging things about the Australian troops under his command.

        Montgomery got the Canadians to bleed for him at Gully and Ortona. Montgomery pretty made a mess failing to close the Falaise Gap earlier and Market Garden basically failed as an operation. MacArthur shoved the Australian troops into a meat grinder during operations in New Guinea. MacArthur's changing the plan for the defense of the Philipines early in World War II was costly.

        You will find people that think Montgomery was the best thing since sliced bread. You will find those that thing MacArthur was the cat's meow. Personally, I'm not fond of either.

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        • #5
          I think Montgomery did a good job in North Africa, but got increasingly caught up in his own image. By the time of the Normandy invasion I think he was more concerned with limiting British casualties than he was about rapidly ending the conflict.

          In fairness to him England had been fighting over two years longer then the US and his actions were probably what was demanded by the British population. Once he began to get criticism for the slow progress around Caen I think he wanted to do something that would be seen as daring and Market Garden was the result.

          Monty was not a great or a terrible general, though he was probably the best the Brits had in the second half of the war. His main failing was his atitude that just seemed to rub Americans the wrong way. A lot of this feeling coming from his attempts to take credit for victories that were obviously won by others.

          I think the comparison in his arrogance to MacArthur is a fair one. If anything he was less pompous than MacArthur.
          Lance W.

          Peace through superior firepower.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lance Williams
            I think Montgomery did a good job in North Africa, but got increasingly caught up in his own image. By the time of the Normandy invasion I think he was more concerned with limiting British casualties than he was about rapidly ending the conflict.

            In fairness to him England had been fighting over two years longer then the US and his actions were probably what was demanded by the British population. Once he began to get criticism for the slow progress around Caen I think he wanted to do something that would be seen as daring and Market Garden was the result.

            Monty was not a great or a terrible general, though he was probably the best the Brits had in the second half of the war. His main failing was his atitude that just seemed to rub Americans the wrong way. A lot of this feeling coming from his attempts to take credit for victories that were obviously won by others.

            I think the comparison in his arrogance to MacArthur is a fair one. If anything he was less pompous than MacArthur.
            Limiting the British casualties? Not the Commonwealth countries casualties. I agree that he did get caught up in himself.
            http://canadiangenealogyandresearch.ca

            Soviet and Canadian medal collector!

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            • #7
              I would concur that he was caught up with himself. Sadly there were probably officers better than he that didn't survive WWI. I believe England lost a LOT of the high end of its gene pool there.

              Montgomery was slow and wanted every thing just right before he would attack. He failed to rapidly exploit opportunities.

              He demonstrated an arrogance toward his American allies that was very un-becoming.

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              • #8
                As an American I don't hate Monty, I don't think I would like to be around him much because of his personality, but heck I admire the fact he didn't want to get any more of his men killed than he had to. Hell, if I had been an American general during that time Monty might not of liked me either.
                "War is the remedy our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want."
                General William "Uncle Billy" Sherman

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                • #9
                  I admire men like Monty or Bradley that want to protect their men. Didn't the soldiers in Pattons division used to say, "Patton's nickname is 'blood and guts;' yeah, his guts (courage, fortitude) and our blood!"

                  btw...never read Patton's "War As I Knew It (?)" but was told that he never mentions Monty in his book! Is this true?
                  All your ACG posts are belong to us!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Patrocles
                    I admire men like Monty or Bradley that want to protect their men. Didn't the soldiers in Pattons division used to say, "Patton's nickname is 'blood and guts;' yeah, his guts (courage, fortitude) and our blood!"

                    btw...never read Patton's "War As I Knew It (?)" but was told that he never mentions Monty in his book! Is this true?
                    Patton had no use for Monty or the British.
                    "War is the remedy our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want."
                    General William "Uncle Billy" Sherman

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                    • #11
                      I think one of the reasons that alot of the American brass didn't like him was because Monty wasn't a very nice person. From what I read, after his wife passed away he became very cold and often downright rude to people. Not that this is very shocking human behavior, but it does make someone very hard to work with. Now people will say that Patton was just as obnoxious and this is very true, but I think Patton would have been easier to deal with because he was almost cartoonish in his behavior.

                      This may seem like ass kissing here, but Monty's rudeness may also have been more noticable simply because most British are INCREDIBLY polite. I've been to England and Scotland and my parents are friends with alot of Brits here in St. Louis and they are just the nicest people. (yeah, that was total ass-kissing):P
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Stage
                        This may seem like ass kissing here, but Monty's rudeness may also have been more noticable simply because most British are INCREDIBLY polite. I've been to England and Scotland and my parents are friends with alot of Brits here in St. Louis and they are just the nicest people. (yeah, that was total ass-kissing):P
                        Sob! Thanks man...

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                        • #13
                          Monty's Bad Rap in America

                          Methinks Monty's performance in World War II speaks for itself--he certainly deserves the laurels heaped on him. Anybody who criticizes him as a "plodder" should think again after contemplating OPERATION MARKET-GARDEN; it shows Monty had the ability to take sizeable risks with quite a bit of dash.

                          People forget what kind of straits the British Army was in. Manpower was scarce--Monty couldn't very well just throw units around...and sure, sometimes the Commonwealth troops seemed to take more than their fair share of casualties compared to the British units. Monty also knew the strengths and limitations of the forces he was handed...and took those into account.

                          As far as his personality goes, I'm sure that didn't help him either during the war or after it. We'd seen that in others as well (the comparison with MacArthur is a good one). The Patton-Montgomery "rivalry" is perhaps the most publicized, but even Ike had issues with him. Patton didn't exactly do a great job of winning friends and influencing people either!

                          --emw
                          Eric M. Walters,
                          Colonel, United States Marine Corps

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                          • #14
                            I agree that Monty got tied up in his own image, but even a blind dog would have won at 2nd El Alamein given the Allies Materiel advantages.

                            The general state of Allied generalship was pathetic lets be honest. Not one would have been left in command of a Division let alone an whole Army Group had they been on the other side.

                            This is not necessarily their fault however, more the fault of the state of the philosophical and theoretical doctrine of the Allies.

                            Put Rommel, Mannstein, or Guderian in Patton's, Monty's or Bradley's place and imagine the results!!!

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                            • #15
                              Actually, I knew a lot of folks didn't like him but didn't know why.

                              I'm just finishing Siegfried by Charles Whiting, who sheds some light on it.

                              After the Ardennes Offensive, Montgomery, without clearing it through Eisenhower, as was customary, went on worldwide radio (1945 equivalent of CNN) and said that he had commanded more Americans at the Bulge than any American had, and claimed the victor's laurels. Eisenhower said later that after that, he could barely speak to Monty. Bradley had already given up on him (since they were really rivals) and Patton never had anything good to say about him to begin with.

                              After the war, when these three were lionized, (two of them were 5-stars by then -- and one of them a president -- and the third one dead) public opinion and historians supported their views. Was it right? I don't know. There is more to it -- Monty was very vain and egocentric, but so were the others.

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