Patton’s generalship?

Nov 2019
78
United States
Eisenhower did not involve command of Normandy Land Campaign except giving "Go" order on 5th June 1944 and vague directives after landings suceeded , his job was coordinating and managing heads of various services from Royal Navy , US Navy , RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force , RAF Strategic Bomber Command , US Army , US Army Air Force , British Army , US Army 8th Tactical Force , Allied Supply Admin etc , making their resources available for entire Normandy Campaign and managing diplomatic political aspects of SHEAF. Allied Land Command was totally given Montgomery on 12th January 1944 who revised the existing plan and enlarged the planned beachead from three beaches to all the way to Cotentin to Orne River and added airborne element. Strategic master plan was implemented according to Montgomery's 18th May 1944 briefing at St. Paul's where he opened up strategic idea and vision of landings and how things proceed from Allied perspective afterwards to Allied Chiefs of State and service commanders and once landings started Montgomery commanded it with support of other services and Eisenhower's backing...It was Eisenhower and US commanders who reaped political benefits of that (D-Day) after the war by entering in US politics and presenting himself conquerer of Germany on US electorete.
What absolute balderdash. Monty didn't leave his command of Eighth Army in Italy until 12/23/1943. By which time planning for Normandy was already months advanced, and who was that overall commander? Eisenhower. At each step, Eisenhower had ultimate authority.
 
Apr 2014
404
Istanbul Turkey
What absolute balderdash. Monty didn't leave his command of Eighth Army in Italy until 12/23/1943. By which time planning for Normandy was already months advanced, and who was that overall commander? Eisenhower. At each step, Eisenhower had ultimate authority.
If you insist to quote nonsense like bal..." that is your choice. What I am writing are historical facts. Eisenhower came into London and took command of SHEAF on January 1944 (he was not involved in planning at all before that he was the commander of AF Mediterranean) , Montgomery came back to England on January 1944 too ( a few days earlier than Eisenhower) and took command of 21st Army Group AND he reviewed the existing plans made by Fredrick Morgan since May 1943 (you can check any basic D-Day invasion history from Hastings , Beevor , Ryan , Ambrose about that) and with consent of Eisenhower he revised and enlarged three beach landing plan to five beaches from Cotentin to Orne river and added an additional airborne landing on Orne. (that is one of the main reason why D-Day was delayed from May to June 1944 , to gain more landing craft and airborne transport assets for enlarged operation) After that Eisenhower's involvement aside from decision of launching Neptune and landing on June 1944 was minimal. He had bigger fish to fry like putting and coordinating all commands in SHEAF and setting up all political and personality infighting in his new HQ and with political leaders like Churchill or De Gaulle straight plus ironing out staff and administration issues. You just need to read "Crusade in Europe" or Bedell Smiths biography about that.

Eisenhower was Supreme Commander true but he left planning of land campaign and landing schemes and waging of operations to Montgomery. Before saying "bal..." again , check out a basic history of D-Day please. Eisenhower did not clone himself so he commanded both AF Mediterranean in Italy during 1943 AND planning Operation Overlord. (Eisenhower was not even aware he would command Overlord until December 1943 after Teheran Conferance , he had no idea what plans were like , he was expecting to return to US to replace Marshall as Chief of Staff) Initial Overlord scheme Montgomery worked with was just a framework taken over from Brigadier Morgan's plans over a year ago but he revised it and put it into final form in January 1944 with Eisenhowers approval and put into final briefing in 18th May 1944. Then they were distributed to necessary army commanders (Bradley , Dempsey and air force and naval commands of Teddler , Leigh Mallory , Ramsay etc) and Montgomery commanded strategic implementation of that plan of land forces at Normandy. Although he was Supreme Commander , Montgomery commanded Bradley's forces on strategic level till 1st August 1944 and even after that his strategic direction over 12th Army HQ went on. (long hook after Seine river or short hook before Seine river was again Montgomery's strategic schemes , Bradley opted for first breaking out Britanny to capture ports as agreed by Montgomery and SHEAF during planning stage and then short hook before Seine and Montgomery approved these initiatives) Not Eisenhower who was stuck in his HQ on Portsmouth till August 1944. He knew better to mess or meddle operational commands from far away (unlike Hitler who loved micromanaging from far away)

"Balder..." right ?
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,160
Sydney
on Goodwood ........" Goodwood cost the British around 5,000 casualties compared to at least 7,000 German casualties. "

This article match other texts I read on the battle , heavy emphasis on armor on point , with infantry support , this save a lot of lives , too bad for the tank crews

"The British suffered 3,474 casualties among the VIII and I corps, the Canadians another 1,965.
Two hundred and fifty-three tanks were destroyed, although a fair number of them were later repaired.
On the other hand, the Germans salvaged enough Shermans to equip an entire company of the 21st Panzer Division.
The heavy British and Canadian sacrifices extended the Allied bridgehead by only nine kilometers and failed to secure the vital crest of the Bourguebus Ridge.
Though the British and Canadians held most of the northern slope, only one of the five main tactical objectives, the village of Hubert-Folie, had been secured.

Goodwood also failed to “write down the German armor,” as Montgomery had phrased it.
The Germans lost only 75 tanks in the battle. And significantly, more than 40 of those were lost to Allied bombing.
German personnel losses were relatively light as well, though the continuing attrition was clearly wearing down the panzer divisions."
 

Lord Fairfax

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,422
Changing trains at Terrapin Station...
Excellent posts Merdiolu

Personally I have disdain for Montgomery and his waste of resources, I think Market Garden should forever stain his memory,
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)

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

and his insubordination regarding capturing the Scheldt.
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.


Antwerp's ports were critical to the allies having the logistical capacity to defeat the German's Western defense's. At the time the Allies were using 1.5 gallons of aircraft fuel to deliver one gallon of gas for tanks and trucks. Pluto supplied 10% or less of needed fuel, and destroying transport trucks at a rate nearly greater than those delivered.
Then why didn't Ike cancel the completely useless assault on Brest, to prioritize clearing the Scheldt?
 
Apr 2014
404
Istanbul Turkey
Personally I have disdain for Montgomery and his waste of resources, I think Market Garden should forever stain his memory,
I see. Then Bradley should be forever be remembered for bloodly landing on Omaha Beach for letting DD tanks sunk far away in shore and bad naval and air bombartment , slowly developing delayed advance to St. Lo with excessive casaulties over Bocage territory which went undetected despite existance of aerial photography , inability to capture useless Brest port before Germans destroyed harbour facilties , suffering heavy casaulties (33.000 killed or wounded , two times more than Allies suffered in Market Garden) just to advance five or six miles ( despite its eventual strategic failure , Allies advanced 58 miles at the end of Market Garden ) in two months (Market Garden went on just eight days) on Huertgen Forest at West Wall Roer sector , eventually couldn't even reach main objective , Roer Dams which did not even require entering and capturing forest in first place (the woods could be bypassed in this region) , and caught suprised off guard when Ardennes Offensive stuck despite all indications and warnings from all intel sources and not believing for initial 48 hours that this was a major offensive , lost communcation , control and command of half of his army group , let a full entire infantry division caught on Schnee Eiffel salient to be destroyed (more than 8.000 US troops surrendered there because of that decision , largest mass surrender of US Army after Phillipinnes) , let entire front in Ardennes cut to pieces and acting a spoiled rich brat because of that even threatening Eisenhower to resign when he learned 1st US Army would be assigned to Montgomery's 21st Army Group (Eisenhower called his bluff and replied your resignation does not mean anything to me)

Or maybe Patton should be forever associated with inability to storm El Guettar hills during March 1943 at Tunisian Campaign despite immense manpower and firepower superiorty of his 2nd US Corps (side note two weak kampfgruppes one of them Italian and other German stopped four US divisions on there for three weeks before Montgomery's Eighth Army broke through Wadi Akarit and came to rescue , but that battle was displayed as a US victory in Hollywood movie produced at 1970) , inability to reach Messina in Sicilian Campaign before German evacuation complated (again just one German panzergranedier division stalled entire 7th US Army long enough) , Metz-Lorreine Campaign in September-November 1944 where he banged his forces on old Maginot line - West Wall fortresses especially at Fort Driant around Metz for no avail , wasting so much of his own infantry there he had to form temporary infantry replacement reserves with dubious quality from service-logistics troops from rear and during last weeks of war letting an entire task force to be destroyed along with many Allied POWs to be killed on a harebrained scheme to rescue his son in law then clumsily tried to hide whole affair from press.

Or maybe Mark Clark should be forever associated with his entire insubordination and bad strategic decisions during Italian Campaign. William Halsey should be associated with his controversial decisions that endangared 7th US Fleet during Battle of Leyte Gulf and one month later leading his fleet in middle of typhoon that led loss of three destroyers. Chester Nimitz should be forever disgraced with causing extremely heavy marine casaulties for unnecessary objectives during long and extended island hopping in Central Pacific or MacArthur who deserted his entire army in Bataan to be captured , coming into Australia and New Guinea like a Second Messiah or to insult his Australian hosts "They won't fight" he said about them while Australians repulsed Japanese on Kokoda track in Papua New Guinea.

Let's not pass over them shall we ?

and his insubordination regarding capturing the Scheldt.
Insubordination means literally deliberately disobeying orders. Before 29 September 1944 (26 days after capture of Antwerp and three days after Market Garden ended) no one from SHEAF neither Eisenhower nor Bedell Smith ordered , gave a direct or indirect order to Montgomery to capture Scheldt. As General Brian Horrocks said in his memoirs , back then everyone's eyes were fixed on Rhine river , to cross it and end the war victoriously before 1944 Christmas.
 
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redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,853
Stockport Cheshire UK
On the other hand, the Germans salvaged enough Shermans to equip an entire company of the 21st Panzer Division.
max 15 tanks?
Goodwood also failed to “write down the German armor,” as Montgomery had phrased it.
The Germans lost only 75 tanks in the battle. And significantly, more than 40 of those were lost to Allied bombing.
German personnel losses were relatively light as well, though the continuing attrition was clearly wearing down the panzer divisions."
"failed to write down" "clearly wearing down the panzer divisions"
Well, which is it ???????
Also define relatively light personnel losses, would around 7,000 qualify ?
 

Lord Fairfax

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,422
Changing trains at Terrapin Station...
Merdiolu said:
. As General Brian Horrocks said in his memoirs , back then everyone's eyes were fixed on Rhine river , to cross it and end the war victoriously before 1944 Christmas.
And SHAEF was expecting to capture Amsterdam and Rotterdam in Sept 1944, they would be much easier to utilize than Antwerp
 
Oct 2019
20
Near the dogbowl
Personally my favorite general of WW2 is this guy:

You get 20 of these guys and nobody else stands a chance.
Well, yes, Chesty truly is America's God of War. Alas we are discussing mere mortals, and Patton.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,787
USA
The breakout took place while Monty was still in command of all the Allied land forces in France, so Patton's breakout was his breakout as well.
Neither Patton nor the Third Army was involved in Operation Cobra, that was Bradley's First Army. Afterwards, Patton's Third Army was pushed through the breach, it was at that time, Aug 1, that Bradley assumed command of Twelfth Army Group.

So no. Monty was not at all responsible for anything involving breaking out of Normandy. He had nothing to do with Cobra or anything else.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,787
USA
They fail to take into account the strategic importance of the Mediterranean. Once Sicily was taken and Italy was out of the fight it opened up the Suez canal to shipping from and to India, a vital British interest.
Which exact Axis forces in Sicily in 1943 were preventing the Suez from opening? Which fleet? Which air fleet?