Patton’s generalship?

Nov 2019
127
United States
In addition Italiam Navy or Air Foce could always sortie or go on merchant raiding in Mediterraean as long as Pantelleria , Sicily , Naples and Taranto bases were at service of Axis and I am not adding the main Luftwaffe base at Otronto. Mind you Italian Navy and Air Force stocked (by reserving from previous year) quite a bit fuel in 1943 and began to perform much better than expected in 1942-1943 winter. Their sorties in 1943 July and 1943 September to surrender in Malta proves that.
I think that there was literally no possibility that the Italian Navy was going to sail against British or United States Naval fleets. Their ships were not designed effectively to defeat the Navies of either of those powers as the Admirals of the Italian Navy admitted. Also keep in mind that the Navy wasn't under the command of Mussolini, they were under the command of the King, and he had no intention of helping Mussolini who he hated.
 
Nov 2019
127
United States
There was strong communication ongoing between the Allies and the King and others well before the invasion of Sicily. The bifurcated control of the military in Italy allowed a lot of sway in how the forces could be used; especially the Navy and any naval aircraft.
 
Nov 2019
127
United States
Allied Shipping using the Suez canal on route to India had to travel passed Sicily and Italy, close to the Italian navy and the German and Italian air fleets based in Sicily and Southern Italy
Once the Allies had control of the North African shoreline, the ability of any airpower projected from Italy having success was essentially suicidal. This as a basis of reasoning for an invasion of Sicily or Italy is imaginary.
 
Nov 2019
127
United States
Excellent posts Merdiolu



Monty didn't command the Market Garden operation.
The only officer who was "In command" of the operation was an American fellow by the name of Dwight David Eisenhower.
Monty commanded "Garden"
Brereton commanded "Market" and was subordinated to IKE, not 21st Army Group. (as per Glaantz)



?
Falaise was a major Alied victory, and the destruction of the bulk of the Panzer forces in the west.


It wasn't Montys choice to prioritize useless operations by two armies in Sept 1944, rather than secure the Scheldt.

Ike assumed command Sept 1st
In early September Eisenhower ordered Market Garden to proceed.
Antwerp was captured Sept 5th (surprisingly) intact.
It wasn't until Sept 19th that SHAEF discovered that they'd badly miscalculated, and now urgently needed Antwerp.




Then why didn't Ike cancel the completely useless assault on Brest, to prioritize clearing the Scheldt?
I am always amused a the selective reasoning used here, but this example beginning with the Market Garden question certainly takes the prize. Was in fact the entire Market Garden plan Monty's idea? The answer is a definitive yes. Brereton might have loosely been commanded by Eisenhower, but the overall commander of Market Garden was in fact Montgomery, who as commander of the 21st Army Group was in charge of the Market Garden plan.

What portion of Market Garden as a whole was successful? The attacks were intended according to Monty's description of the plan to Eisenhower; to capture the bridges over the Rhine and march in the Ruhr. That plan failed entirely. Now if you are insisting that their was a "smaller plan" that had been proposed and APPROVED please provide the evidence.

Thirdly, the advance that the British and Canadian forces made, was one that was a peculiarly unique one for Monty. It was an ill-prepared attack that did not support its flanks effectively, and would have been better planned by many other commanders of the European theater. Simpson or Devers, for two, would certainly have done a better job.

Regarding the Scheldt are you insinuating that in order to have Monty complete a mission that he was verbally given by Eisenhower early in August and reiterated to him in September on numerous occasions, that Eisenhower would have been required to have supplied a written order? Because the mission had, and was, clear to all prior to the forces even arriving in Belgium, even Monty had spoken of it.

There actually wasn't a delay on the part of SHAEF, there was in fact many long term evaluations of the importance of the Scheldt, what was clear was that Monty had decided that this would be a long slog that he didn't want to be responsible to accomplish. Monty when he had lost Market Garden, and after his insubordination had resulted in him being finally admonished by Eisenhower, FINALLY like a child who had been corrected, did what he was told.

If Eisenhower has one major weakness, it was that he kept Monty for so long. What finally made Monty change his attitude was when he had so infuriated Eisenhower that a plan was put in place to replace Montgomery with Alexander, and it was disclosed to Monty that he had no real options. He should have removed Monty when he first begin his obdurate behavior.
 
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Jun 2015
1,253
Scotland
I am always amused a the selective reasoning used here, but this example beginning with the Market Garden question certainly takes the prize. Was in fact the entire Market Garden plan Monty's idea? The answer is a definitive yes. Brereton might have loosely been commanded by Eisenhower, but the overall commander of Market Garden was in fact Montgomery, who as commander of the 21st Army Group was in charge of the Market Garden plan.

What portion of Market Garden as a whole was successful? The attacks were intended according to Monty's description of the plan to Eisenhower; to capture the bridges over the Rhine and march in the Ruhr. That plan failed entirely. Now if you are insisting that their was a "smaller plan" that had been proposed and APPROVED please provide the evidence.

Thirdly, the advance that the British and Canadian forces made, was one that was a peculiarly unique one for Monty. It was an ill-prepared attack that did not support its flanks effectively, and would have been better planned by many other commanders of the European theater. Simpson or Devers, for two, would certainly have done a better job.

Regarding the Scheldt are you insinuating that in order to have Monty complete a mission that he was verbally given by Eisenhower early in August and reiterated to him in September on numerous occasions, that Eisenhower would have been required to have supplied a written order? Because the mission had, and was, clear to all prior to the forces even arriving in Belgium, even Monty had spoken of it.

There actually wasn't a delay on the part of SHAEF, there was in fact many long term evaluations of the importance of the Scheldt, what was clear was that Monty had decided that this would be a long slog that he didn't want to be responsible to accomplish. Monty when he had lost Market Garden, and after his insubordination had resulted in him being finally admonished by Eisenhower, FINALLY like a child who had been corrected, did what he was told.

If Eisenhower has one major weakness, it was that he kept Monty for so long. What finally made Monty change his attitude was when he had so infuriated Eisenhower that a plan was put in place to replace Montgomery with Alexander, and it was disclosed to Monty that he had no real options. He should have removed Monty when he first begin his obdurate behavior.
I know it,s off topic but the criticism of Montgomery and Market Garden is a bit over blown. It was an extremely ambitious plan which was not completely followed in execution.

1. The plan was under resourced, particularly in the air component which was of course critical
2. Some of the decision making during the operation was extremely poor (Gavin and Browning). Had they stayed on task there is every chance the operation could have still succeeded despite its shortcomings.
3. The resourcing of the Air component and subsequent Air support was not Montgomery's decision to make.

A valid criticism of Montgomery would be to say he showed a lack of moral courage in not insisting the operation was adequately resourced or did not go ahead.

There are some comparisons with the Galipoli Campaign. A plan that is viable in concept but only if adequately resourced and if not a likely disaster.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,257
Sydney
" the criticism of Montgomery and Market Garden is a bit over blown. It was an extremely ambitious plan "
it was wildly ambitious

in military affairs a plan which has more chances to fail than to succeed is only attempted in the most dire circumstances
there was no such circumstances then
 
Sep 2012
1,155
Tarkington, Texas
Montgomery got Eisenhower to give him Simpson's Army, the Airborne Corps and all the supplies he asked for. If he would have asked for control over the Air resources, he would have got them. If the Air Force Generals had been told to make all the Airborne Drops in two days instead of three, the plan had a chance. Weather was bad on the third day and the drops lasted into the fourth day. The British had no fresh, rested divisions, so they moved slow. The Guards Armour Division was only in combat since June and they had taken heavy losses coming out of Normandy. They were slow to push through.

Pruitt
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,865
Stockport Cheshire UK
The British had no fresh, rested divisions, so they moved slow. The Guards Armour Division was only in combat since June and they had taken heavy losses coming out of Normandy. They were slow to push through.

Pruitt
Sorry but that is incorrect.
Advanced units of the Guards Armoured division got to the Nijmegen Bridge 9 hours ahead of schedule, but they were then fatally delayed for over 36 hours because the US 82nd Airborne Division had not yet captured the bridge.
By the time the 82nd captured the bridge with support from the Guards it was too late.
 
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Nov 2019
6
The Arctic
I've seen this video before and I highly recommend it. However when finger pointing to those responsible for the failure there is always someone who goes unnoticed and that's Lewis H. Brereton. I'm not saying for a second it's all his fault but in the video above TIK explains that the RAF wouldn't fly the two drops a day which was the initial plan. It was Brereton who was in command of the First Allied Airbourne Army and the 'Market' part of the plan. He made significant changes to the original plan including only authorizing one drop per day. On a different note I would've loved to have known from James Gavin just how he came to have the exclusive knowledge about the 1000 Axis tanks in the Reichswald.