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View Poll Results: Who was the greatest general in American military history?
George Washington 13 22.03%
Nathaniel Greene 3 5.08%
Winfield Scott 13 22.03%
Zachary Taylor 1 1.69%
Ulysses S. Grant 22 37.29%
Robert E. Lee 16 27.12%
William T. Sherman 3 5.08%
John J. Pershing 2 3.39%
Douglas MacArthur 5 8.47%
George C. Marshall 10 16.95%
Dwight D. Eisenhower 13 22.03%
Omar Bradley 4 6.78%
George S. Patton 4 6.78%
Matthew Ridgway 6 10.17%
Other 3 5.08%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 59. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 27th, 2017, 08:52 AM   #91

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Originally Posted by mkenny View Post
The fact is the criticism of Monty is overwhelmingly late-war/post war and overwhelmingly from one nation. True you can find critics of any General but Tedder was not a General and was 'upset' because the Allies Armies in Normandy (Allied meaning US as well as Commonwealth) did not capture enough ground for his airfields. Tedder's criticism of Monty would have as much weight as Monty's criticism (if any was offered) about the tactics of bombing raids on Berlin.
Where can I find all the complaints about Monty in Italy?
The criticism is not overwhelmingly post war... and the issue in Supreme Command is NOT about field performance. For, even if we take Montgomery's criticism of Eisenhower as an, "unimaginative and overly conservative pencil pusher who was unfit to actually command armies in battle," we still have to remember that Eisenhower's plans WON. At no point from 1944 to 1945 did the Allied armies suffer a defeat that forced them back to England. So, even if one wishes to argue that Monty had the better plan to end the war, that is one thing... however, that isn't the same as convincing those in opposition to him to accept the plan. And it is THERE that Monty eventually fails.

Now, at times, Monty could be persuasive. The fact that Eisenhower would support the limited version of Monty's narrow thrust plan in Market Garden demonstrates this, but one also needs to remember that Eisenhower was also somewhat receptive to British needs and wants. In that sense, Eisenhower was predisposed to be receptive to Monty's arguments regarding Market Garden, and if that succeeded the full on thrust to Berlin. But that doesn't mean that EVERY American officer was so predisposed to agree. In fact BOTH Bradley and Patton sent arguments of protest over Market Garden to Eisenhower that the plan was another attempt by Monty to put himself in a situation where Monty could claim that HE won the war and that the Americans, despite having more troops in the field, were nothing more than support units.

Now, on some level, Patton being antagonistic to Monty is to be expected. Patton had the same drive for glory, and his actions in Sicily demonstrate that. In that campaign, Patton disobeyed Supreme Command's orders to protect Monty's flanks and turned the entire campaign into a race. Between Patton and Monty, Patton ultimately won... but it violated the original plan and was fueled by Patton's own ego. However, the fact that Bradley was complaining to Eisenhower and protesting about Market Garden REALLY says something. As Bradley is not known for his ego the way Patton was. And unlike Patton, who by the time-frame of Market Garden had switched roles with Bradley (in Sicily Patton was Bradley's superior and by late 44 Bradley was Patton's superior), Bradley's role in the Allied command structure was essentially EQUAL to Monty's. Both commanded army groups. As such, Bradley's criticism of Market Garden bears equal weight to Monty's arguments for it.

And while Monty may have "got along well with others" from time to time, a lot of that is ultimately when the situation was one sided in Monty's favor. He may not have noted differences with Bradley in Normandy, but one also has to remember that in the Normandy campaign, he was Bradley's superior. Monty commanded ALL the Allied ground forces and Bradley was only in command of First Army. Difficulties only began to arise on Monty's part when Third Army was activated and Bradley was promoted to command an American Army group and 1st Army was given to Hodges. It reduced Monty's perception as "Eisenhower's #2" as since Bradley now commanded an army group on the same front, his voice was EQUAL to Monty's.

And as the breakout from Normandy began and through the pursuit of the German armies, Monty spent A LOT of time arguing to reestablish his superiority in the Allied command structure. It wasn't so much an attempt to unseat Eisenhower, as Monty did accept that political concerns in America wouldn't allow for Ike to be replaced and loosely even accepted the potential for "officially" being under American command for the advance into Germany... but still at the core of his arguments for the narrow thrust, it would STILL put the British and Monty in the position to claim credit for the victory when it happened. If Monty was in command of ALL ground forces, he'd claim credit by the basis that it was his leadership that provided the victory, and if Bradley had command of all ground forces it would be due to the plan executed being originally Monty's idea and the principle strike troops being Monty's British and Commonwealth forces...

And the narrow thrust plan demonstrates that. The plan focused most if not all the supplies going to Monty's army group. Token forces would clear France's northern coast and take Antwerp. The rest would run into Germany and enter north of the Ruhr and run for the Rhine. Hodges' First Army would be the ONLY American army to be allowed to join Monty on the rush into Germany, which would likely mean that Hodge's job would be to protect Monty's southern flank, which would be exposed to German counter-attacks. Patton was to move about as far as Rhiems and the Franco-Belgian border, but no farther. Devers Army Group would either only be given the supplies to make up to France's central massif or would be sent to Italy to support Alexander's hopes for an offensive to Vienna or into the Balkans. The only one who really stood to gain ANYTHING in this plan was Monty, and this idea was opposed...

Bradley opposed the narrow thrust because of the fact that the US would be providing more troops than the British and would be taking a role that would give them far less credit for the victory than the British and on the large scale Eisenhower opposed it over the potential risks in depending on a single narrow thrust. And Bradley's opposition is quite telling, in that Bradley's command experience in the European Theater began with supporting Monty in Africa, where Bradley served under Patton in supporting Monty's advances in Tunisia and then again in Sicily. Now, at that time, there were more British units in the field and the Americans were still rather green... but by late 1944 there were MORE US troops in the field and many of the units in the line were now experienced, with some units like the 1st Infantry and the 82nd Airborne having combat experience going back to Africa and Sicily... And yet, Monty was proposing and arguing for plans that were essentially keeping American units as support units. And the fact that Bradley was willing to argue on that issue over both the narrow thrust and particularly with Market Garden is telling...

So, the question remains, would Monty be able to persuade generals like Bradley to accept the support role had he been in Eisenhower's shoes... or would he have to depend on being the superior officer and hope that the coalition ACCEPTS British leadership? Given the arguments with Eisenhower over the narrow thrust and the fact that even Bradley was willing to argue over the more limited version of Market Garden... the answer is that Monty WOULDN'T be able to persuade men like Bradley to accept a support role and would have to depend on the Americans to accept Monty's orders and plans on the basis of a unified command... Monty wasn't going to be able to persuade them and thus needed them to act like dutiful subordinates and obey Monty's orders... and by late 1944, that seems ever more unlikely. Patton certainly wouldn't. He'd already demonstrated in Sicily that he wasn't going to follow a plan that didn't give HIM credit... and by late 1944... it's likely that Bradley wouldn't have simply agreed to it either. His arguments against Market Garden with Eisenhower would point that even he wasn't willing to follow a command that would have the largest army in the Western Allies play second fiddle to the British...

And as a result... Had Monty been in Eisenhower's place... more than likely you'd see the entire Allied command structure break down and essentially revert to the way it was prior to Foch's assumption of rule of Supreme Commander in 1918. The British and the Americans would be fighting two separate wars and about the ONLY cooperation seen between them would be that they would agree not to advance to the point where they became separated from each other, which would effectively beat what was intended in the narrow thrust, as Bradley wouldn't be sending troops to support Monty's intended offensive.
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Old July 27th, 2017, 08:52 AM   #92

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I asked for examples of 'complaints' against Monty in Italy. Your reply dodges this and wanders into a general 'Monty-bashing' tirade. How does asking for examples of complaints become a 'whitewashing of Monty'?
Your blatant dishonesty is astonishing. You were claiming Italy as an example of how Monty could have functioned in the role of Allied Supreme Commander. I pointed out that Monty was a mere army commander in Italy, underneath a British army group commander. Now you're the one dodging the issue. I didn't make any complaint about Monty's performance in Italy.

Quote:
Examples of the problems can be found where?
Per Weigley, their lack of communication in the later stages of Cobra, which yes, is on both of them. On pg. 216, Weigley criticizes both of them for their distrust and unwillingness to communicate. Which further goes to show the importance of Eisenhower at the head of SHAEF. Monty further aroused resentment amongst American generals by his constant and fairly obvious politicking to keep himself and the British at the forefront of the war effort so as to claim the greatest share of the credit.

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It is established that Tedder had a problem with Monty. He was backed by Conningham who it must be said seems to have had serious mental problems in Normandy. Who were the others engaged in this 'lot of talk'?
I'm disinclined to transcribe whole paragraphs from the book for someone with such a ridiculously biased agenda that you're railing away at someone who has never once criticized Monty as a soldier in this thread which isn't about him. In short, it was mostly the staff at SHAEF, at this time.

Quote:
I would reply that Tedder appears to be 'just plain unpleasant to work with'
Patently ridiculous. Tedder worked well with everyone but Monty. Monty, by his own admission, was a poor subordinate at times, testing even Eisenhower's patience, and had problematic relations with Tedder, Bradley, and others. Monty was difficult to work with, and his own patron Alanbrooke rebuked him at times for his sheer lack of tact. That shouldn't obscure Monty's real accomplishments of course, but it should certainly give pause to any serious historian before they uncritically decide to accept Monty's own view that he was entitled to lead the Allied war effort.

Quote:
Monty, despite claims to the contrary, was also 'well respected'. Everyone has detractors and cherry-picking just those who did not get along with him is in no way proof that he was universally unpopular.
On the whole, Monty was respected, but he also created significant problems for himself with the aforementioned lack of tact and created real antagonism towards himself; Eisenhower more than once had to tell him off for the manner in which Monty spoke to him. The idea that such a personality would have been a success in Eisenhower's position is patently ridiculous.

Quote:

Monty's problems stem from one thing. He had complete faith in his own ability and believed he was better than other UK Generals. He was not shy of criticising less able US Generals as well and this is the root cause of 90% his post-war vilification in US memoirs.
As pointed out, he had made himself enemies well before the end of the war, and yes, I absolutely agree that his problems all stemmed from the arrogance and lack of tact that led him to make grandiose promises and openly criticize his peers, not his abilities. The only difference is that I see that this fault made him unsuited to the role that Eisenhower filled, where you're content to parrot Monty's own sense of entitlement and ignore the key elements of modern coalition warfare and command relations.

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So that is an admission that political and ego issues determined leadership rather than who was the most able commander. Refreshing honesty.
Typical hackery from you, more like. Acknowledging the political realities does not change the fact that Eisenhower was far better suited to serve as head of SHAEF than Montgomery was.


Quote:
By the way he had his US fans. For example Gavin on the claimed 'resentment' of Monty taking command of Hodges during the Bulge:
I explicitly noted that Monty's problems were largely with peers and superiors; his subordinates generally did admire and respect him. He was a fine man to serve under and by his own admission he was a problematic subordinate. His personality made him unsuited to direct coalition warfare from the top, however, as Sam so eloquently laid out.

As the OP, I suggest you start a new thread for a Montgomery discussion, as Monty is not an American general. Your agenda is so one-sided that you're railing away about Monty's virtues and ultimately doing little more then uncritically repeating Monty's own viewpoints in response to someone who actually has a fairly high opinion of Monty as a soldier. I just view him as having been unsuited to the position of heading SHAEF, which his personality, own statements, relations with other commanders all support, and even his contemporary admirers would have conceded that point, due to the arrogance and lack of tact that even men like Alanbrooke rebuked him for.

Last edited by Viperlord; July 27th, 2017 at 09:04 AM.
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Old July 27th, 2017, 09:16 AM   #93

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I'm not an American historian, but with my limited knowledge of each man I went with Patton. He was exactly the kind of General the US needed during WWII.
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Old July 27th, 2017, 10:07 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by Sam-Nary View Post
The criticism is not overwhelmingly post war... and the issue in Supreme Command is NOT about field performance. For, even if we take Montgomery's criticism of Eisenhower as an, "unimaginative and overly conservative pencil pusher who was unfit to actually command armies in battle," we still have to remember that Eisenhower's plans WON. At no point from 1944 to 1945 did the Allied armies suffer a defeat that forced them back to England. So, even if one wishes to argue that Monty had the better plan to end the war, that is one thing... however, that isn't the same as convincing those in opposition to him to accept the plan. And it is THERE that Monty eventually fails.
It was not 'Eisenhower's' plan. Further I did not say or even hint that 'Monty's plan' existed or was better. What you are doing is introducing totally spurious 'Monty-bashing' rhetoric for no other reason than to link 'Monty' with the word 'fail' .
Further I have to smile about the claims Monty was the only commander pushing for a narrow front attack. All the Generals wanted the resources concentrated in their Armies so THEY could lead a 'narrow thrust' into Germany.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam-Nary View Post
In fact BOTH Bradley and Patton sent arguments of protest over Market Garden to Eisenhower that the plan was another attempt by Monty to put himself in a situation where Monty could claim that HE won the war and that the Americans, despite having more troops in the field, were nothing more than support units.
Bradley and Patton complained because they wanted the resources of 21 AG redirected to their Armies. It had nothing to do with superior judgement (that the attack would fail) on their part and was just self-interest. The baseless and ill-informed claim ' Monty could claim that HE won the war and that the Americans, despite having more troops in the field, were nothing more than support units ' is absurd Jingoistic claptrap.



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Originally Posted by Sam-Nary View Post
However, the fact that Bradley was complaining to Eisenhower and protesting about Market Garden REALLY says something.
Link or post Bradley's complaints.

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Originally Posted by Sam-Nary View Post
As Bradley is not known for his ego the way Patton was.
Bradleys hysterical over-reaction to Eisenhower placing Hodges under Monty's command during the Bulge is proof positive Bradley had a huge ego. In fact he felt so slighted by this sensible action and from then on he never missed a chance to disprage Monty rather than tackle the man responsible, Eisenhower. I guess it is much easier to blame the devious Brits than someone who can harm your career.

During his own morning staff conference Eisenhower telephoned Bradley and emphatically stated, "Where is the line you can hold the best and the cheapest? I don’t care how far back it is." Bradley was in no position to supply answers to Eisenhower. What had convinced Smith that a changeover was vital was that 12th Army Group had lost communications with First Army for more than forty-eight hours. Moreover, Bradley had no idea whatsoever if Hodges had the situation under control, which, as has been conclusively shown, he did not during the crucial, first days of the battle. The truth was that Bradley had nothing under control and was in no position to influence the outcome of the battle from his headquarters in Luxembourg. Smith called it "an open and shut case.......................Both Smith and Eisenhower would have preferred to leave Bradley in command. The reality of the situation that existed the morning of December 20 dictated that the shift of command was necessary, and Eisenhower immediately communicated his decision to Bradley by telephone. During the confrontation between the two, Strong could hear the other end of the conversation. Bradley was shouting, "By God, Ike, I cannot be responsible to the American people if you do this. I resign." Eisenhower pointed out that it was not Bradley who was responsible, then curtly noted, "Your resignation therefore means absolutely nothing." Bradley’s protests continued vehemently until Eisenhower felt compelled to end the matter with, "Well, Brad, those are my orders." Once off the phone, Bradley reacted with uncharacteristic cold fury, pacing back and forth while cursing Montgomery, startling even his aide, Lt. Col. Chester Hansen. ...........................For the rest of his life Bradley bitterly (and erroneously) blamed Montgomery for inciting the order, and refused to admit there was ample justification for SHAEF’s (and later Montgomery’s) loss of confidence in the exhausted, taciturn Hodges who lacked Patton’s flair "at a time when we needed Pattonesque bravado." It was a bad beginning to reversing a battle brought about by the abysmal failure of Allied intelligence and Bradley’s uncharacteristic unwillingness to exercise leadership when it was most needed. Bradley’s behavior in the aftermath of Eisenhower’s decision, which he deemed a loss of confidence in his leadership, was ample justification for the supreme commander’s order to shift First Army to Montgomery. Bradley’s insistence he could control the battle by telephone from Luxembourg was probably the last straw, for Eisenhower.


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Originally Posted by Sam-Nary View Post
, it would STILL put the British and Monty in the position to claim credit for the victory when it happened. If Monty was in command of ALL ground forces, he'd claim credit by the basis that it was his leadership that provided the victory, and if Bradley had command of all ground forces it would be due to the plan executed being originally Monty's idea and the principle strike troops being Monty's British and Commonwealth force..............he wasn't willing to follow a command that would have the largest army in the Western Allies play second fiddle to the British...
.
Yep that right them there devious Brits were planning to take all the credit for everything.

I think US Political cycles might be the driving force here:

17 August 1944
MARSHALL TO EISENHOWER
"Stimson and I and apparently all Americans are strongly of the opinion that the time has come for you to assume direct command of the American contingent because reaction to British criticism has been so strong by American journalists that it could become an important factor in the coming Congressional Elections. The astonishing success has produced emphatic expressions of confidence in you and Bradley but this has cast a damper on public enthusiasm."

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Old July 27th, 2017, 10:39 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Viperlord View Post
Your blatant dishonesty is astonishing. You were claiming Italy as an example of how Monty could have functioned in the role of Allied Supreme Commander. I pointed out that Monty was a mere army commander in Italy, underneath a British army group commander. Now you're the one dodging the issue. I didn't make any complaint about Monty's performance in Italy.
No.
I never made any case for Monty being made Supreme Commander.
There is a well-worn path on any discussion about Monty.
a. Claims are made about Monty-usually negative.
b. Someone replies makes a case that Monty was not as bad as some claim.
c. Initial disparager enters full-on attack mode where a further torrent of negative claims are made about Monty and the poster who claimed the initial slanders might be wrong is attacked for 'saying' Monty should be supreme commander, Monty never lost a battle, Monty was the most perfect general and Monty was god when in fact he never said any such thing.
You are tilting at windmills and reply to arguments that no one made.



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Originally Posted by Viperlord View Post

Monty further aroused resentment amongst American generals by his constant and fairly obvious politicking to keep himself and the British at the forefront of the war effort so as to claim the greatest share of the credit.
Instead of the credit going where it really should go-to the USA?

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Originally Posted by Viperlord View Post
Per Weigley,
Yes why not the bit in Weigly where he records how Bradley would do anything to get one over on Monty:


Russell F. Weigley's claims that Bradley feared to emphasize Berlin as the main prize since that would continue to keep the U.S. 9th Army in Montgomery's. 21st Army Group for a drive on Berlin that would award "the final, crowning laurels to the insufferable British Field marshal." Weigley charges that, "in the face of strategic logic, Bradley persuaded Eisenhower to divert from the drive toward Berlin a huge slice of the American armies" — eventually some eighteen divisions, drawn from the 9th and 1st Armies best positioned to strike toward Berlin and to turn these divisions into the “jungle of the Ruhr . . . whose strategic significance was in fact essentially nil."
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Old July 27th, 2017, 10:48 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by Viperlord View Post
Your agenda is so one-sided that you're railing away about Monty's virtues and ultimately doing little more then uncritically repeating Monty's own viewpoints in response to someone who actually has a fairly high opinion of Monty as a soldier.
Should be easy for you to give me the quotes where I am 'uncritically repeating Monty's own viewpoints '
As a seasoned campaigner in Monty-bashing threads I can tell you I take great care never to make specific positive claims about Monty. I never said the things you accuse me off. Make very sure I do not and without fail those who reply to me always assume I say them. In short you are seeing things.
And for the record I do not believe anyone who makes several claims that in effect 'the British' were trying to claim all the credit for winning WW2' as a dispassionate observer. Perhaps you do not realise how offensive your claims are?
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Old July 27th, 2017, 10:56 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Viperlord View Post
Per Weigley, their lack of communication in the later stages of Cobra,
GOODWOOD and COBRA were meant to be a double-punch that would shatter the German line and deliver a breakthrough. However Bradley could not keep his end of the deal and reported that he could not make the start line of July 18. Monty accepted his excuse and went forward with his half of the attack.
GOODWOOD did not break through and tardy Bradley managed to start his attack a few days later. So Monty got to do the heavy lifting by attacking several Panzer Divisions and depleting them whilst COBRA hit mostly open space because the bulk of the Germans were around Caen.
I say there is a case to be made that Bradley deliberately held back so that he could attack the weakened Germans and he could claim all the credit.
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Old July 27th, 2017, 02:39 PM   #98

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we get it you think monty was competent. this thread's about yank generals tho m80
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Old July 27th, 2017, 04:54 PM   #99

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It was not 'Eisenhower's' plan.
Eisenhower's plan WAS the broad front and the one that was ultimately followed. The one that would be used. That was his plan, and it work. And in the end it DID balance credit out among the Allied powers.

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Further I did not say or even hint that 'Monty's plan' existed or was better. What you are doing is introducing totally spurious 'Monty-bashing' rhetoric for no other reason than to link 'Monty' with the word 'fail' .
You're inventing an issue where NONE really exists. Neither Viperlord, nor I, for that matter claimed that Montgomery was a bad or incompetent commander. In fact, I'd even argue that the ability to work with Monty and at times let Monty plan out Allied operations is part of what made Eisenhower a good contender for the best American general. Ike knew he had a good commander in Monty and wasn't afraid to use him as the situation demanded, be it in planning Overlord or giving Monty temporary command over American troops in the Bulge because Monty was better placed to take over the command of American units north of the Bulge.

What Viperlord and I have been trying to point out is that Monty wasn't going to be able to ultimately persuade others to accept plans that they disagreed with. The guy who ultimately persuaded Bradley to let Monty have control of the American paratrooper divisions for Market Garden... and the supplies for Market Garden to go to Monty rather than to Bradley's attacks toward Aachen and the Saar was Eisenhower, not Monty. Bradley heard Monty's arguments for Market Garden and argued that it was unfair and that Bradley wasn't getting the supplies Bradley needed. Monty didn't talk to Bradley and suddenly Bradley agreed with Monty's ideas. And the fact that Bradley DIDN'T want to go along with Monty's plan until Eisenhower essentially ordered him to emphasizes that point.

The point is not to knock the merits or plusses of Monty's plan. The point is to point to Monty's diplomacy... or lack thereof.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkenny View Post
Further I have to smile about the claims Monty was the only commander pushing for a narrow front attack. All the Generals wanted the resources concentrated in their Armies so THEY could lead a 'narrow thrust' into Germany.
And I don't deny that other generals had their own narrow front options. I'm sure if you went into France's archives, you'll find arguments from De Gaulle that emphasized that France's forces lead their own narrow thrust with British and American units playing second fiddle to the French, despite the fact that few of the French units raised in 1944 post Paris liberation had training in much more than the guerilla warfare practiced by the Maquis and the various French Communist groups.

The point, though, is that when Eisenhower decided that the plan to go into Germany would be HIS broad front, the only one who really argued with him at length and frequently brought his political leadership into the fray... was Monty. Bradley accepted the broad front well before Monty did. And in fact, Monty KEPT arguing for his plan even after the failure of Market Garden, despite the fact that prior to Market Garden and decision by Eisenhower to keep a 3 Army Group format, one British and British Commonwealth, One American, and One American and French, Monty promised Eisenhower that the commentary on the matter would be his LAST commentary on the matter.

It isn't about Monty's ability to command and plan. It's tact and diplomacy with either equals or superiors.

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Originally Posted by mkenny View Post
Bradley and Patton complained because they wanted the resources of 21 AG redirected to their Armies. It had nothing to do with superior judgement (that the attack would fail) on their part and was just self-interest. The baseless and ill-informed claim ' Monty could claim that HE won the war and that the Americans, despite having more troops in the field, were nothing more than support units ' is absurd Jingoistic claptrap.
Jingoistic claptrap?

Excuse me, but pointing to Monty's arguing that US army hand precedence over to the British and allow Monty to get the prize of taking Berlin is not a baseless accusation. That WAS what Monty's narrow thrust was all about. The fact that Bradley and Patton also had their own narrow thrust ideas is irrelevant to what Monty's plan would determine and accomplish. If Monty DIDN'T want credit, he would have backed Bradley's urge for a drive through the Saar and merely asked Eisenhower that the British get enough supplies to mount spoiling attacks into Belgium.

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Link or post Bradley's complaints.
Why? You did it for me. Bradley's complaints to Eisenhower in the passage you quoted PERFECTLY illustrates my point that Bradley had issues with Monty, regardless of whether or not the nature of the complaint was political...

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Originally Posted by mkenny View Post
Bradleys hysterical over-reaction to Eisenhower placing Hodges under Monty's command during the Bulge is proof positive Bradley had a huge ego. In fact he felt so slighted by this sensible action and from then on he never missed a chance to disprage Monty rather than tackle the man responsible, Eisenhower. I guess it is much easier to blame the devious Brits than someone who can harm your career.
Just about any general has one. I don't think you could rise so far through the ranks and NOT have a huge ego. My point is that when one mentions Omar Bradley, ego is NOT the first thing that comes to mind.

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During his own morning staff conference Eisenhower telephoned Bradley and emphatically stated, "Where is the line you can hold the best and the cheapest? I don’t care how far back it is." Bradley was in no position to supply answers to Eisenhower. What had convinced Smith that a changeover was vital was that 12th Army Group had lost communications with First Army for more than forty-eight hours. Moreover, Bradley had no idea whatsoever if Hodges had the situation under control, which, as has been conclusively shown, he did not during the crucial, first days of the battle. The truth was that Bradley had nothing under control and was in no position to influence the outcome of the battle from his headquarters in Luxembourg. Smith called it "an open and shut case.......................Both Smith and Eisenhower would have preferred to leave Bradley in command. The reality of the situation that existed the morning of December 20 dictated that the shift of command was necessary, and Eisenhower immediately communicated his decision to Bradley by telephone. During the confrontation between the two, Strong could hear the other end of the conversation. Bradley was shouting, "By God, Ike, I cannot be responsible to the American people if you do this. I resign." Eisenhower pointed out that it was not Bradley who was responsible, then curtly noted, "Your resignation therefore means absolutely nothing." Bradley’s protests continued vehemently until Eisenhower felt compelled to end the matter with, "Well, Brad, those are my orders." Once off the phone, Bradley reacted with uncharacteristic cold fury, pacing back and forth while cursing Montgomery, startling even his aide, Lt. Col. Chester Hansen. ...........................For the rest of his life Bradley bitterly (and erroneously) blamed Montgomery for inciting the order, and refused to admit there was ample justification for SHAEF’s (and later Montgomery’s) loss of confidence in the exhausted, taciturn Hodges who lacked Patton’s flair "at a time when we needed Pattonesque bravado." It was a bad beginning to reversing a battle brought about by the abysmal failure of Allied intelligence and Bradley’s uncharacteristic unwillingness to exercise leadership when it was most needed. Bradley’s behavior in the aftermath of Eisenhower’s decision, which he deemed a loss of confidence in his leadership, was ample justification for the supreme commander’s order to shift First Army to Montgomery. Bradley’s insistence he could control the battle by telephone from Luxembourg was probably the last straw, for Eisenhower.
This only serves to highlight my point that Bradley had differences of opinion with regard to Monty's placement and or ideas. And it would be something that Monty would HAVE to be able to overcome if Monty were to be in Eisenhower's post... And it is doubtful that Monty would be able to convince Bradley to agree. As per the reasons that Viperlord has mentioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkenny View Post
Yep that right them there devious Brits were planning to take all the credit for everything.
Monty's narrow front plan was precisely that. I don't know how you can look at a plan that reduces 1st US Army to guard unit, limits 3rd army's advance and pretty much stops Devers army group before it could even approach Germany... while the British get to take Berlin and NOT think that the intention was to get credit...

It's like saying that MacArthur never wanted credit...

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Originally Posted by mkenny View Post
I think US Political cycles might be the driving force here:

17 August 1944
MARSHALL TO EISENHOWER
"Stimson and I and apparently all Americans are strongly of the opinion that the time has come for you to assume direct command of the American contingent because reaction to British criticism has been so strong by American journalists that it could become an important factor in the coming Congressional Elections. The astonishing success has produced emphatic expressions of confidence in you and Bradley but this has cast a damper on public enthusiasm."

Political cycles may be part of it, but the nature of Eisenhower's command was to work through them and prevent there from being infighting to the point that cooperation is lost. It's a point that requires diplomacy and tact, something that Monty wasn't known for when working with those in theory equal or superior to him...

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernar...k_of_diplomacy

That sort of thing is NOT something that is indicative that he could persuade those in disagreement with him to do what he wanted. And the fact that officers like Bradley were throwing hysterical hissy fits over the issue shows the presence of the sort of rivalry that is not overcome by solely trying to rely on being the "superior officer."
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Old July 27th, 2017, 05:52 PM   #100
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Eisenhower's plan WAS the broad front and the one that was ultimately followed. The one that would be used. That was his plan, and it work. And in the end it DID balance credit out among the Allied powers.
You need to check that out because the offensive in France was planned long before an Allied soldier set foot on French Soil. Do some digging on the infamous 'Phase Lines' and see what was the target date for the Rhine being reached and the month penciled in for final victory. Suffice to say actual victory came before the 'planned' victory.


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Originally Posted by Sam-Nary View Post
Bradley heard Monty's arguments for Market Garden and argued that it was unfair and that Bradley wasn't getting the supplies Bradley needed. Monty didn't talk to Bradley and suddenly Bradley agreed with Monty's ideas. And the fact that Bradley DIDN'T want to go along with Monty's plan until Eisenhower essentially ordered him to emphasizes that point.
Which is why I asked you to link or reference Bradleys' objections. I am well aware that Bradley took exception to supplies going to Monty when he believed he deserved the lions share but that had nothing to do with Arnhem. Bradley was just trying his usual way of getting 'one-up' on Monty. Your claim Bradley had no ego is patently absurd and his melt-down with Ike over the transfer of Hodges to Monty's command says all there is about Bradley's inflated opinion about his own Generalship. Remember it was Ike who believed Bradley was not up to the job but Bradley blamed Monty.
21 AG was not short of supplies at this time. It could manage with the channel ports. It was the USA who miscalculated badly on the supply situation. It was running out of replacement tanks and had a severe ammo shortage. 350 M4 were transfered back to the USA from British stocks and complete 25 pdr batteries as well. It was the US 'failure' (see the much touted 'failure to take Caen on D-day' to get the meaning of failure in this context) to take Cherbourg or Brest to timetable that caused them problems. That and the decision to abandon the slow methodical occupation of France for the final push over the Rhine in early 1945. In effect they abandoned the 'broad front' in order to make a 'single thrust' into central France and the low countries.
Perhaps if the USA has stuck to 'Ike's Plan' and constructed the prefabricated port in Quiberon Bay (Look up Operation Chastity) they would not have been so badly supplied?



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If Monty DIDN'T want credit, he would have backed Bradley's urge for a drive through the Saar and merely asked Eisenhower that the British get enough supplies to mount spoiling attacks into Belgium.
As I noted earlier 21 AG was able to supply itself. It was the USA that was struggling, But anyway the point is all the rubbish about the dastardly Brits trying to grab the credit from the US is jingoistic claptrap. The US only became the dominant part of the Allied ground Armies in action in Europe in late 1944. Up till then the Commonwealth had far more men in the field and had seen far more action.

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My point is that when one mentions Omar Bradley, ego is NOT the first thing that comes to mind.
I believe you had no idea about the depth of Bradley's duplicity until I pointed it out. Fact is he was just as vain as everyone else. The sins you heap on Monty's head apply just as much to Bradley.

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Originally Posted by Sam-Nary View Post

This only serves to highlight my point that Bradley had differences of opinion with regard to Monty's placement and or ideas. And it would be something that Monty would HAVE to be able to overcome if Monty were to be in Eisenhower's post... And it is doubtful that Monty would be able to convince Bradley to agree. As per the reasons that Viperlord has mentioned.
I will point out once again I am making no pitch for Monty to assume command. What you seem to have lost sight of is my first post in this thread was to chide those heaping all the blame on big bad Monty. I just said perhaps he was not as bad as the claims. In reply I get a torrent of gossip, tittle-tattle and innuendo that some believe reinforces every lie about the man. I am not someone who can be buried under an avalanche of partial 'facts' I have my own store of counter-arguments and can parry every fictional charge with 'alternate facts'. Perhaps you could comment on why Bradley chickened out of the July 18 date for the start of COBRA and left Monty to battle it out on his own only for Bradley to attack the shattered Germans a few days later. I would say that looks very much like someone who is after stealing all the credit.
Check the US/German force ratios for COBRA and you might get an idea of how one-sided that battle was.

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Originally Posted by Sam-Nary View Post
And the fact that officers like Bradley were throwing hysterical hissy fits over the issue shows the presence of the sort of rivalry that is not overcome by solely trying to rely on being the "superior officer."
Why not try and see it from the view of someone not 100% certain everything that went wrong was Monty's fault?
How about castigating Bradley for behaving like a spoilt child and perhaps removing him from command for his sins?

Last edited by mkenny; July 27th, 2017 at 05:57 PM.
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