Was General Montgomery really overrated in WW2?

godofthunder9010 said:
Yeah, that's the one! Anyways, Allied commanders vs German commanders ... well the Germans are at a whole different level. If you had a brutally honest list of the top 20 battlefield commanders in World War II, you'd be hard pressed to get any allied commander to land on that list.

EDIT: Allow me to elaborate on the above. Take the best and brightest generals from wherever you like in World War II and give each of them 100,000 men, 1,000 tanks, 1,000 aircraft and 3,000 artillery pieces. The following Generals would never lose to ANY allied commander under such circumstances:
Heinz Guderian
Eric Manstein
Fedor von Bock
Erwin Rommel
Sepp Dietrich
Walter Model
Herman Hoth
Hans von Kluge
Ewald von Kliest

naw, there's just too many to list, I give up.

What a ludicrous thing to say.
Show me some evidence that my statement is "ludicrous" if you don't mind. Or at the very least, elaborate a little bit.

I'm willing to concede that Montgomery was likely within the top 10 battlefield commanders of the Allied powers. As I say, he's not a BAD commander. I'm more than happy to concede that D-day has to count as substantial points in his favor. The US and UK were very lucky to have pulled it off at all. Miraculous luck and Hitler were the giant factors in averting catastrophe. Otherwise the surviving remains of the defeated forces of a failed Overlord would have been swimming back to England. I was under the impression that he was not in command of all allied forces for Overlord, but perhaps I was mistaken.

Monty argued against Overlord though, and that's points against him to be fair.

In all of his victories that I am aware of, he always had numerical superiorty in all categories and usually a very substantial one. For that reason, I cannot see clasifying him as "One of the Greatest Generals of All-Time". He did what needed to be done ... usually later that I think he ought. Many people try to argue that he IS one of the greatest ever. That's a point I'm not willing to concede as I can't think of anything to be overwhelmingly impressed over.

Much discussion around European theater. What about Pacific/Asian Theater?

I just kind of tripping that most of the WWII action, atrocities or battles were not mentioned. I mean not just this topic but many others. In the end, I still think soldiers made the differences.

But I do agree, the German Generals did possess great talents, Sepp and Erwin are my top choices.
I'll always admire Heinz Guderian. I consider him unequalled in implementing his own creation: Blitzkrieg. For the fact that is was his concept to begin with. The fact that he trained the Panzergruppen from the early 1930's with whatever he could lay his hands on. Like many great geniuses in history, he was never given his full dues for everything he accomplished.

But all of this is Off-Topic. The thread is about Montgomery. I'm working on researching more about the Sino-Japanese front - one of the the most important and one that is given the least press unfortunately.
I wonder why should Sepp Dietrich be ranked amongst those great german generals/field marsharls... Unless you consider a great commanding ability to destroy pacific italian villages as Marzabotto, setting them on fire and killing all his inhabitants (the only ones spared were those who didn't were there), or the losing of Vienna a daring tactic, or getting stuck on Ardennes just because tanks are not the best racers on snowy and muddy roads...
We are discussing talent, not attrocities. In talent, he's better than anything the Allies had. If you want to decide who is a brilliant military commander and who is not, attrocities don't enter into it, but certainly reflect on the person's moral character. Moral character is not the topic at hand.
By point was, if someone wants to rate Field Marshall Montgomery as "One of the Greatest Military Leaders of All-Time", then its pure nonsense. There is a very large list of German generals that, all things being equal, would have beat the crap out of him. So ... how is he "One of the Greatest Military Leaders of All-Time" then? He's not even one of the 10 best of his own era!
Exactly when did Monty argue against OVERLORD?
The only time he opposed OVERLORD was because he felt it needed enlarging. He took the plan and declared it unsuitable, and reformed it on a grander scale. In many ways, Monty was the architect of the success on 6 Jun; he was the Land Commander that day
Churchill said of Montgomery something like:

"In defeat, unbeatable; in victory, insufferable."

Yes, that says it....
godofthunder9010 said:
Like I said, that's points in is favor. His push to delay, it is argued, could have been disastrous.

I think you are confusing Monty with Churchill. It was Churchill who was worried about launching an invasion of France, not Monty.

When Monty was made Allied Ground commmander for the landings he did alter the plans( i.e. landing 5 divisions on D-Day instead of 3), alterations which Eisenhower agreed with, but at no point did he argue for any delay.

Is Monty overrated ????
By the British, yes !
However, by the US he is underrated.

Monty was a very good general who knew how to beat the Germans at a tolerable cost to his own forces, it wasn't pretty and it wasn't exciting but it worked
redcoat said:
Is Monty overrated ????
By the British, yes !
However, by the US he is underrated.
We tend to love our own nation's commanders best, don't we? It tends to blind us to their faults.

Monty was a very good general who knew how to beat the Germans at a tolerable cost to his own forces, it wasn't pretty and it wasn't exciting but it worked
I'd call him good, but I'm not overwhelmingly impressed. Remember that I've already said, I'm not all that impressed with the vast majority of Allied commanders, so I'm not just picking on Monty.
For Gods sake you arm chair Generals
You want to start talking to vets not listening to to the brigade of ref buffs,and film makers "Patton" who have only ever seen any thing other than the sharpe end of a bloody pen not combat.
My father served under Montgomery as an Infantry man whose life Monty had in his hand.The Monty bashers have the wonderful hindsight of playing "Monday Morning Quarter back" which really ticks me off, as for the German Generals were they so great ? Brigade Field commanders who slid off and hid with the battle worn out front line troops,my god the man had his faults didn't drink did not smoke was egotistical, was he cautious because of his experience in the first world war yes he was.
What next blame him for Operation Market Garden.
If you are to condem be objective be honest and open the sights of deformation to include or at least list the ones who collectivly have the tag of bad commander. i.e.

US navel commander who failed to provide navel support for Guadacanal
The officers who failed to provide the intelegence for Pont-du hoc rememember no Guns/huge losses.
The officers failing to get 5th brigade off the Sir Galahad Falklands who became captains of industary.
The persons responsable for not putting the correct radio crystals in the radios for the air borne troops at Arnhem
The Generals who put British troops into combat in Iraq ie 6 military police man who die with crap radios which have been complained about for years (clansman system).
Where are there names in the ref books because the latest ones they will sue your a--- sadley the ones that had to make big decisions can not answer back as for the young man from Maryland Monty would have eatern you for breakfast...not slaped you.
Taff makes some good points.

Not all the German Generals were that great. Haven't heard von Paulus's name mentioned that much in this topic. If the 6th army had broken out of Stalingrad successfully he would have gone down in miltary history as a hero.
Go figure that there were German generals that weren't that great. Welcome to reality, no army has ever existed without a few useless commanders finding their way into positons of command.

So do we compare Montgomery to the worst of German generals? Not if we're trying to prove he was a great general we don't. Do we compare him to the very best German commanders then? This is also probably unfair since no Allied commander looks that good in that sort of comparison. So we are left with only one alternative: How does Monty stack up compared to other Allied commanders?

By the way, Paulus wasn't too bad. He gave better than he got throughout the Battle of Stalingrad but was flatly told he wasn't allowed to try to break out until it was much too late. It was his misfortune to have been Field Marshall over the force that rolled into the town with Joseph Stalin's name on it. He got to be the sacrificial lamb on the altar of stupid politics. I don't know if he'd have hung for it or not, but I think he should have disobeyed orders and backed out of Stalingrad when he was able. Would have saved a lot of men.
Getting off topic but read somewhere Field Marshall von Paulus was an excellent staff planning officer but was out of his depth at the head of the 6th Army. I agree that he was Hitler's "puppy dog".

He did have some excellent subordinate officers with him at Stalingrad.

For all his faults, Monty was his own man. Von Paulus definitely wasn't (and he eventually turned over to the commies!).
I have to agree with Aussie john on Von Paulus about his military capability but to say if he had broken out of Stalingrad he would have gone down as a great leader is a bit rich. If he had broken out he would have gone down as acoward and met a firing squad