Was General Montgomery really overrated in WW2? - Page 2




 
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July 22nd, 2004  
Young Winston
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maciste
Can a man be overrated just because he never were always succesful? I don't think so.
Montgomery was a great defensive commander, and also a good offensive one, but, unlike Rommel, he liked to build up carefully every inch of power he could gather to unleash them all at once against the enemy.
Remember his division was the one which retreated to Dunkirk on perfect formation and carrying all his equipment, because he trained them hard all along the "phony war". He was a good commander, but their colleagues weren't so.
On Africa he managed to rally the demoralized british troops, to train them and to gather anything which could be throw to Germans... and if he didn't destroyed them on Alamein was because of his "neverdaring" nature, which lend him not to run risks at all, and becouse of the mastery of Rommel moving his poor forces (the German ones, 'cos' the Italians were left behind as useless pieces).
Maybe not the best, but much better than some others.
Monty has a disputed connection with the disastrous Dieppe Raid in 1942. Many Canadians were killed but it did help later planning for Normandy.

Operation Market Garden seemed to be a great idea of Monty's on paper but bad intelligence did not pick up the German Panzer Division refitting at Arnhem. Monty was way too overconfident in this regard. He was just so obsessed with getting Eisenhower to give him the go ahead for the Operation (to the dismay of Patton!)
July 22nd, 2004  
Uncle_Sam
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maciste
Can a man be overrated just because he never were always succesful? I don't think so.
Montgomery was a great defensive commander, and also a good offensive one, but, unlike Rommel, he liked to build up carefully every inch of power he could gather to unleash them all at once against the enemy.
Remember his division was the one which retreated to Dunkirk on perfect formation and carrying all his equipment, because he trained them hard all along the "phony war". He was a good commander, but their colleagues weren't so.
On Africa he managed to rally the demoralized british troops, to train them and to gather anything which could be throw to Germans... and if he didn't destroyed them on Alamein was because of his "neverdaring" nature, which lend him not to run risks at all, and becouse of the mastery of Rommel moving his poor forces (the German ones, 'cos' the Italians were left behind as useless pieces).
Maybe not the best, but much better than some others.
It's not just one operation.
What do You wanna say? That Monty was better General than Romell?, the only ones who could beat him on equal terms is Eisehower, Patton, and a few more.
Probably there were some worse than him(Italian...)...

Romell was the greatest German general of WWII with a few others, (Ewald von Kleist, Guderian, ....)
Monty, first overrated himself(maybe he would be better as a drill sgt, as you pointed), than he pursued others to overrate him, 'cause of his carisma, and his steadyness. Those best generals he couldn't fool(Eisenhower, etc.), so he went to chiefs... and than, it was, like, May God help us all!
July 22nd, 2004  
SHERMAN
 
 
Now now....The main reason the Americans did not like was not purely professional...They wanted to be encharge and he was somewhat in their way.
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August 6th, 2004  
David Hurlbert
 
I think that Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery was Great Britain’s counterpart to America’s General Douglas MacArthur. And for my thoughts and feelings about General Douglas MacArthur, please go to Who was the worst American general or battlefield tactician? in this forum.

In other words, he was extremely egocentric and was very likely a narcissistic personality disorder. Despite these personality flaws, his wartime failures, and need for the spotlight, for the troops he commanded [like in the case of General MacArthur], he was the best. In short, his warriors loved him. Although most narcissistic personality disorders can sell themselves very easily and are well liked (and the press also love them as much as they love the limelight), the significance of a leaders connection to his troops on the battlefield should never be overlooked.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower was an excellent diplomat [though not a good strategist] and devoted a great deal of his time constantly protecting many of the ally generals like Montgomery from bruised egos, but I am sure that Eisenhower’s efforts were fruitful as he saw the rewards in having commanders like Montgomery in general and Patton in particular. With this being said, on the battlefield I do not think Field Marshal Montgomery was nearly as clever as Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, dashing as Field Marshal Harold Alexander nor half the motivator as General George Patton. Although I do think he is still to this day overrated on the battlefield, Field Marshal Montgomery planned all his battle assignments very well [and especially wanted those that would bring him the most success] and his troops loved him – two factors that may be just as important on the battlefield as a leader’s tactical abilities.
August 7th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Let's see, in my opinion, the true test of a truly great World War II general is to have beaten the odds and/or pulled off something brilliant. Montgomery continually got his ass handed to him by a numerically inferior force, but managed to come out victorious in the long run. He had all the advantages that Rommel didn't in terms of numbers and supplies. Much like General Meade in the Civil War, he was an able defender but lacked the ability to take decisive action when it was necessary. Turning a defensive victory into an offensive route is something that he didn't do very well.

Much the same can be said of nearly all of the Allied commanders, they were never truly put to the test against overwhelming odds. We remember them as great because the Allies were the victors, but we aren't talking greatness of the caliber of Hannibal or Alexander the Great or Napoleon (all of whom won repeatedly against all odds). Often, they are brilliant like General Ulysses S Grant; they have the numbers, they know it, and they win by sheer overwhelming forces and by just not backing down.
August 13th, 2004  
GuyontheRight
 
The last two posts hit the point. Monty was too arrogant, wasnt a team player, and was unimaginitive when it came to running an offensive. In the final assult on Tunis, he litterally ran his forces into the ground against stiff Italian resistance (You dont here that everyday).
August 26th, 2004  
Bellerophon
 
hello,
Please name one battle General Eisenhower won.one that he can call his own.
August 26th, 2004  
GuyontheRight
 
General Eisenhower wasn't commanding on the same level as General Monty. How's D-Day sound for your question?
August 26th, 2004  
Bellerophon
 
Well he commanded nothing on D-Day.
August 26th, 2004  
GuyontheRight
 
As I said, he was the overall Allied Commander, and Monty was Commander of first an Army and Army Group, so the two had different responsibilities. BTW, the strategic plan for Normandy was Eisenhower's.