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Old June 16th, 2013, 02:12 AM   #111
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Has to be General Percival of Singapore infamy for me , with Lord Chelmsford of Zulu Wars notoriety thrown in for good measure . P.S, I'd better throw in General von Paulus as well , for his lack of courage when it was really needed .
Have to agree so very much on Percival. Sort of a mini example of Navarre imo. We basically did what the Japanese did but via "unpassable" desert (well...the arabs did) instead of jungle in WWI. Even without that it showed such arrogance, ignorance and complete lack of regard for your enemy that it sticks out like a sore thumb when listed next to some of the other mistakes listed here. Due to context partly but also due to the pure facts of the matter.

Bit unfair on Paulus, he did alright until he was basically caught between being a national coward and hero to his soldiers or faithful to the man he had sworn allegiance to and following his orders. Remember they took that very seriously.

I know i know, we'd ALL chose to be a hero to our soldiers sitting here in our armchairs and not knowing what it is like to live in a dictatorship and knowing you're going to be hung by piano wire if you're lucky AND blamed for everything that ever goes wrong from that point onward. Trussed up as THE national coward who wouldn't stand firm against the grubby Russians just as we were about to win and so on. Plus he was very much a staff officer and totally out of his depth. If Hurrying Heinz hadn't been removed (the first time round) by this point he'd have most likely been in charge and broken out and due to his charisma probably dodged the noose.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 02:27 PM   #112

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Montgomery was a treacherous little weasel who was ironclad in his own sense of his own destiny, without any capability to obey the orders of anyone else. Along with Alexander and Alanbrooke, he deliberately sought to undermine the orders of American superiors as much as it was in him to do. In Sicily and in Market Garden he won the strategic battles in the first case for no gain whatsoever and in the second case for the worst defeat of his career. Montgomery, as a subordinate, would have been drummed out in most armies, as he again had no sense of respect whatsoever for American generalship, and his comments on the USA in public are belied by his view privately, especially where Eisenhower was concerned. Insofar as Alanbrooke egged him on with this, the two collectively set out to sabotage that coalition aspect of the coalition war.

All this being said, Montgomery's record of success, including Alam al-Halfa, El Alamein, Medinine, Overlord, and his advances up to Market Garden and after it are consistent enough that he doesn't deserve ranking on a worst generals ever list. Now Douglas MacArthur 1,000% does, but not Monty.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 02:55 PM   #113
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Insofar as Alanbrooke egged him on with this, the two collectively set out to sabotage that coalition aspect of the coalition war.
Under Churchill's direction.

Yet all in all I think you've been too kind to Montgomery. The dissertation he gave on how he won the battle of the Ardennes was enough to win the enmity of every thinking American.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 02:59 PM   #114

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Under Churchill's direction.

Yet all in all I think you've been too kind to Montgomery. The dissertation he gave on how he won the battle of the Ardennes was enough to win the enmity of every thinking American.
That's true, but nonetheless his role in the victory was crucial, and the Allies did win. Next to people like Mekhlis or MacArthur, he has no place.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 03:05 PM   #115

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Under Churchill's direction.

Yet all in all I think you've been too kind to Montgomery. The dissertation he gave on how he won the battle of the Ardennes was enough to win the enmity of every thinking American.
He was actually extremely well liked by the American GI's that served under him. Before anything, he was a soldiers man.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 03:25 PM   #116
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He was actually extremely well liked by the American GI's that served under him. Before anything, he was a soldiers man.
The American GI in Europe was in an information blackout, they were exposed to nothing that hadn't been vetted.

If what you say is true, all it proves is that the American commanders held to the goal of maintaining unity among the allies.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 03:27 PM   #117

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The American GI in Europe was in an information blackout, they were exposed to nothing that hadn't been vetted.

If what you say is true, all it proves is that the American commanders held to the goal of maintaining unity among the allies.
No, i've read some journals of Americans who served under him during the Bulge. They had nothing but good things to say. Monty was never one for following the chain of command, he was too much of a showman (as his crossing of the Rhine demonstrates), but he knew how to appeal to the soldiers and win their respect.

If you have a grudge, that's fine. Putting him on a list of "the worst generals" is absurdity to the nth degree, imo.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 03:34 PM   #118
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That's true, but nonetheless his role in the victory was crucial, and the Allies did win. Next to people like Mekhlis or MacArthur, he has no place.
What do you see as his role in the battle of the bulge?

AFIK he only contributed to command disunity at the top level, and on the ground the British became engaged in a battalion sized action against an out of gas German column just short of the Meuse river.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 03:43 PM   #119

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What do you see as his role in the battle of the bulge?
AFIK he only contributed to command disunity at the top level,
and on the ground the British became engaged in a battalion sized action against an out of gas German column just short of the Meuse river.
I'm not disputing to the fact that his press conference was vain. What I'm saying, is that he was popular with the soldiers. He spent time them, gave them rations, comforted them, appealed to them, told them they were doing well, and drilled them well. All these things are key to keeping an army morale high. That and winning, though winning can often come from the former.

I'm not talking about British roles in the battle. It was largely an American battle with 90% of the allied forces being American.
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Old June 16th, 2013, 03:46 PM   #120
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No, i've read some journals of Americans who served under him during the Bulge. They had nothing but good things to say. Monty was never one for following the chain of command, he was too much of a showman (as his crossing of the Rhine demonstrates), but he knew how to appeal to the soldiers and win their respect.

If you have a grudge, that's fine. Putting him on a list of "the worst generals" is absurdity to the nth degree, imo.
He screwed up the campaign in Sicily turning what should have been a 10 day campaign into a 40 day bloodbath. He botched his end of the invasion at Normandy and led to the almost 2 month stalemate in the hedgerows, in the end the US First Army broke out (the British had been planned to lead the advance.) Then his animosity with the American Command caused the huge blunder at Falaise where 60,000 or so Germans escaped the pocket, (the ones the Americans later had to fight in the Ardennes) then came Market Garden, then came the Bulge, then for his final screw up the US First and Third armies beat him across the Rhine and the 9th Army would also have beaten him across had it not been under his command at the time and told to hold in place. Need I mention that the whole theater had been held back so Monty could be the first to cross the Rhine?

Allied unity meant that all this should be hushed up. It's now almost 70 years later, I believe we should call it like it really was.
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