Caen?? - Page 2




 
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February 2nd, 2016  
lljadw
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Why shouldn't Montgomery take some of the heat?

I am somewhat conflicted in my opinion of the guy as my father and uncles served under him in North Africa and some of Italy and they thought highly of him so who am I to argue with them however he also claimed a lot of credit for El Alamein which really wasn't his plan and he completely ballsed up Caen, Market Garden then tried to pretend that it was all part of his "plan".

There is no doubt he was liked by his troops and that must count for a lot but at the same time he was a vain, egotistical, show boater who's inability to think of anyone but himself got a lot of men killed needlessly.

About Normandy : the whole story is as usual full of clichés : Montgomery did send his tanks : nothing special : that's why tanks are for . Besides, he was economical with the lives of his men (he knew he could receive only few replacements) . Tanks were lost : yes, but, there were only few Panthers and 88 mm guns on German side,and only few tanks were lost ,of which most could be repaired .Operation Goodwood was a success: the Germans could not afford their losses, Monty could afford his losses.

Other point : meanwhile : the Americans did not better than Montgomery . Something which is wisely not mentioned .

But the biggest objection to the story is that it fails to understans the allied strategy in Normandy : Montgomery would attack direction Caen to tie the majority of the German tanks and to make possible a US outbreak in the bocage (Cobra) ,Montgomery never had the ilusion that he could break out and march to Paris . And this strategy was approved by Eisenhower .Thus,it is more than unfair to claim that Montgomery failed in Normandy .

Till 31 august, US losses were 125000 men (21000 deaths), British,Canadian and Polish losses: 83000 (16000 deaths),at this price, the German army in Normandy was destroyed .


That Montgomery was vain and egotistical is a fact, but ,soldiers love such generals, and so was Patton, so was MacArthur . And there is no proof that
this resulted in the needless dead of his soldiers . We have already discussed
Arnhem and I stick to my point that this was a reasonable gamble (approved by Eisenhower) : if it failed ,thousands would die ,if it succeeded,millions would be saved .
February 2nd, 2016  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lljadw
About Normandy : the whole story is as usual full of clichés : Montgomery did send his tanks : nothing special : that's why tanks are for . Besides, he was economical with the lives of his men (he knew he could receive only few replacements) . Tanks were lost : yes, but, there were only few Panthers and 88 mm guns on German side,and only few tanks were lost ,of which most could be repaired .Operation Goodwood was a success: the Germans could not afford their losses, Monty could afford his losses.
Yeah unfortunately this is the post war "it was really my plan all along" Montgomery story yet the reality remains that Caen was supposed to be taken on D-Day.

Now I can understand a hold up along the way and maybe even a couple of days and I would sing Montgomery's praise but to held up for 3 months tells me that it was the German defense that stopped him not some grand scheme to bleed the Germans dry before marching off to Berlin.

Also the 50,000 casualties were not something the British or Commonwealth could afford.

Quote:
Other point : meanwhile : the Americans did not better than Montgomery . Something which is wisely not mentioned .
All true but the Hedgerows of the Bocage provided the ideal defensive position for troops that knew how to defend.

Quote:
But the biggest objection to the story is that it fails to understans the allied strategy in Normandy : Montgomery would attack direction Caen to tie the majority of the German tanks and to make possible a US outbreak in the bocage (Cobra) ,Montgomery never had the ilusion that he could break out and march to Paris . And this strategy was approved by Eisenhower .Thus,it is more than unfair to claim that Montgomery failed in Normandy .
Yet we have seen how well Montgomery worked with the Americans in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Market Garden and even the Battle of the Bulge where it was always a race to be the first however it is your contention that he was happy to sit on the beaches of France for 3 months taking casualties just so the Americans could break out and sweep off through Europe.

Quote:
That Montgomery was vain and egotistical is a fact, but ,soldiers love such generals, and so was Patton, so was MacArthur . And there is no proof that
this resulted in the needless dead of his soldiers . We have already discussed
Arnhem and I stick to my point that this was a reasonable gamble (approved by Eisenhower) : if it failed ,thousands would die ,if it succeeded,millions would be saved .
Arhnem was a poorly thought out mistake that overlooked both intelligence reports and logistics that lead to the effective loss of the 1st Airborne Division.
Nothing useful was gained from it and it boosted German morale.
February 2nd, 2016  
JOC
 
 
The allies planned to take Caen on D-Day. The area around Caen was open, compared to the bocage country in the west of Normandy and was valuable land for airfields, making it more suited for tank warfare. The battle didn’t go as planned and lasted for 2 months instead. As stated the British and Canadians under Montgomery took on the lion’s share of the German armor (8 panzer divisions) and reserves at Caen. Note: As a result the German forces facing the Americans further east were spread more thinly. Here the Germans depended highly on the terrain to slow – stop the Americans in a defensive war.

The tank battles were epic with the allies far outnumbering the Germans. The Battle for Caen actually consisted on many allied offensive struggles such as Epson, Jupiter, Goodwood, … and a few German counter attacks.
At the battle of Goodwood the allies fielded some 1,300 tanks which battled against 377 German tanks. By and far the largest tank battle ever for British army. Not all went as planned for the British, however, with the Germans preventing a complete breakthrough. However the British advanced a further seven miles to the east of the city

The allied leadership was greatly concerned with Montgomery’s behavior (falling in-line with allied command) and his results on the battlefield. For a while they were unsure if they would be able to keep up with his losses, particularly after the loss of the Mulberry. Yes he did well enough in N Africa and Sicily. But not in Normandy and would throw caution to the wind in operation Market Garden.
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