Was General Montgomery really overrated in WW2? - Page 25




 
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March 10th, 2006  
zander_0633
 
 
I heard that Patton had quite alot of casualties!
March 10th, 2006  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Bones
Thanks for pointing out the obvious......by the way ... Patton kicked Rommel's ass and then went on to kick the German's butts all the way back to the sea ...
Just to balance things out here I think that Patton was a good mobile tactician, understanding the correct use of armour, with supporting elements, to punch through the enemies weak spots and penetrate to his rear area. He understood the need for constant forward thrusts and the vital need for momentum to be maintained once it had been established. But when you examine his achievements in WW2 it must be mentioned that he was fighting from a position of strength against an enemy with very little air support and, in late 1944/1945, very little mobility as well. Not to mention the fact the Germans in 1944 were running very low on trained combat replacements, with men over and under the normal service age, previously wounded men and ex Luftwaffe pilots being amongst those replacements.

Moreover, Patton was largely responsible for keeping the M4 Sherman in service when it was clearly no longer up to the job. Thousands of US and UK serviceman were killed and wounded needlessly as a result. Patton must have realised that extra deaths would be caused as a result of his recommendation, yet he chose to recommend that the Allied Armies retain an inferior tank in service when a markedly superior one, the M26 Pershing, was available. Patton argued that tanks should not fight other tanks, instead bypassing them. This IMO is a flawed argument as no matter what tactics are used, tanks must at some point engage other tanks on the battlefield. Faced with the situation of an enemy on the defensive, often in good defensive terrain with comprehensively superior tanks and the best AT gun of the war in the famous '88, the M4 was literally a death sentence in waiting for many thousands of Allied tankers.

I'd argue that Patton's lust for glory, and his drive to beat the Soviets to Berlin, overrode the concern for the men under him that every good General should have. Patton was not stupid and knew full well what the implications of keeping the M4 in service were. I'd contend further that his own personal ambition won out over the concern he should have had for his own men. At least with Monty it can be argued that whilst he was less flashy and had less raw talent than Patton, he cared more about the men under his command. The mark of a good commander I'd say.
March 10th, 2006  
zander_0633
 
 
Well, I would say that Patton is a Ambitious General!
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March 10th, 2006  
Chief Bones
 
 
Doppleganger
I definitely can't argue that Patton wasn't ambitious ... for sure he was ... but ... so was Monty - just not as flashy.
March 10th, 2006  
sven hassell
 
 
Off topic I know but my sister (a U.S. resident and married to an American) has named her latest baby Montgomery due to the American propensity to degrade Monty.
Ha! HA! well done sis.
March 10th, 2006  
redcoat
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Bones
Thanks for pointing out the obvious......by the way ... Patton kicked Rommel's ass and then went on to kick the German's butts all the way back to the sea ...
No.
Patton did not fight Rommel. He fought his replacement, General von Arnim.
By March 8th 1943, Rommel was back in Berlin on sick leave.
March 10th, 2006  
redcoat
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Bones
I guess 'prig' 'pompous' and other terms are terms of respect ... these descriptions and much worse were used by many junior enlisted men under 'dear old Monty' ... his butcher's bills did not sit well with many British soldiers (and not just the officer corps) ........... read some of the biographies written by senior and middle grade enlisted and officers who served with and under Monty.
OK.
Name some biographies which state that the majority of rank and file men serving under Monty hated him.
March 10th, 2006  
LeEnfield
 
 
Redcoat....Rommel did return to north Africa and did take charge of several of the Battles that were fought there.
Mongtomery.... got his job in North Africa by the fickle finger of fate, when the person who got the job was shot down on his way to take the post, and Montgomery was his number two stepped in and took his place. Now Montgomery was a bit of weird bird but he did stand up to Churchill and refused to attack until he Montgomery was ready. He adopted a positive attitude in North Africa with clear and crisp orders which every one could understand. He made sure that all his men were well trained and well armed and he enough men and materials to finish the job once it had been started. The Battle at Al Alemien last the exact length of time that he predicted. Now both Patton and Montgomery understood the power of publicity and they loved the Cameras, now any one that is even moderately successful will have there critics and there were a lot of people around with Montgomery who thought that they could have done better, well with hind sight so could Hitler. Yes Montgomery did have failures in Europe and operation Goodwood was one of them when they tried to take Caen and took a right drubbing, but there again when you look at the size and type of forces he was attacking then there were going to be heavy casualties and it worked out to be an old fashion war of attrition. Patton would take heavy casualties to get what he wanted, but he would exploit any opening that he got to the full never allowing the enemy a chance to reform which made him a very effective leader.
March 10th, 2006  
Chief Bones
 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by redcoat
Patton did not fight Rommel. He fought his replacement, General Von Arnim.
By March 8th 1943, Rommel was back in Berlin on sick leave.
You are correct as far as you have gone ... by the time Arnim took over Rommel's forces (because of Rommel's illness), the plan of battle was already set and all Arnim did was to implement the plans laid out by Rommel. Arnim using Rommel's plans, tried a combined tank and troop 'slash' attack that had worked every time it was used before and was 'bushwhacked' by Patton's forces who were waiting in ambush.

As far as the biographies - I no longer have access to them ... they were checked out from the library and I no longer remember the titles or the author's names ... sorry.
March 10th, 2006  
Reiben
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
At least with Monty it can be argued that whilst he was less flashy and had less raw talent than Patton, he cared more about the men under his command. The mark of a good commander I'd say.
Different types of Generals. I would say that they both had qualities and flaws, perhaps complementary flaws. Monty was a master of the set piece. Britain couldnt afford to take sustain casualties, which affects strategy. Britain had manpower shortages following D-Day.

Britain had been fighting the war since 1939, when it was not well prepared.

The more interesting question is was Patton overrated!