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Old 01-10-2012, 12:55 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Market Garden was a bold idea that Ike later stated he insisted upon do to the amazing chance it presented. Some British historians (most of whom consider it a total failure) frame it this way: "Operation Market Garden accomplished most of what it was designed to accomplish. Nevertheless, by the merciless logic of war, Market Garden was a failure."

Maybe Im quibbling. As I see it what MG was designed to do was to secure a bridgehead over the rhine, open a way to the Ruhr, and to deal with the V2 threat. it did NONE of those. Taking Eindhoven and nijmegen werent really goals of the operation, they were necessary prerequisites to accomplishing the goals. What monty SHOULD have said, I dont know. Neither calling it a success or failure seems like it would have been better for his reputation than calling it a success. As for what churchill would call a success, well hmmm. No one ever said churchill took a fair eye of oeprations he supported, if there was a way to argue otherwise, eh ?
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:15 PM
 
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M G MIGHT have worked IF Monti had listened to Dutch Underground about the arrival of Model and II Panzer Corp in Arheim area AND the photo's taken by aircraft of the area. BOTH Monti AND Patten were good , BOTH had faults. The Germans always prefered to fight Monti rather then Patten cause they knew he wouldn't be as agressive a Patten was. AND would take more time to get ready. Patten would blast away in a moment's notice and catch em off guard.

Montie like others wanted to go head to head, Patten would do sweeping endruns and catch a lot of German units and destroy and capture more then Monti could.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix C View Post
^^No. A discussion is only worthwhile if both parties bring information. You ignored many facts and probably need to read more or listen to those who are better read.

No I am not ignoring facts as I know them and have read more on this then you can imagine. Seems you are dead set on your view and dont want to hear others. Ron
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
No, I just don't see it that way. All of the sector commanders were arguing for a thrust in order to keep the pressure on the Germans and possibly end the war in 1944. The Allies had major supply issues and while they could continue the broad front advance it was going to be very slow going. They had enough supplies for one good thrust and it was decided that Monty's sector had the best shot do to its easier supply situation do to being along the coast and closer to the ports.

There were a couple other reasons the plan was utlimately chosen. Ike was under pressure to use the airborne troops again. They had performed very well in Normandy and were now sitting in England unused and represented a great expense to train and equip them. Both the American and British governments wanted to see them used. Monty was under pressure as well as the V2 rocket bases were all in his sector and Churchill wanted something done about it.

Monty had planned an earlier airborne strike, Operation Comet, that was smaller in scope and got called off do to bad weather and lack of readiness. Market Garden was an expanded Comet that everyone was under pressure to try. Even then Ike only gave it marginal priority for supply and continued the general broad front approach. Market Garden was not an Allied "all in" effort.



Monty inherited a disorganized American Army Group that was fighting piecemeal efforts across their sectors with no coherent plan of defense or attack. He stabilized the entire front, organized the units into an effective defensive front and began planning for an offensive. The Germans credit Monty with being the primary reason their offensive was stalled.

Monty also did not delay going on the offensive for a month, he delayed for 2 days. He was not ordered to begin a counterattack until January 1st, he waited until the weather cleared on January 3rd to launch the assault. Monty did not believe in attacking until he felt his troops were in the most advantageous position for doing so.



I've said it repeatedly on this board...a good commander works with what he has. Rommel threw away countless victories by going "a dune too far". Rommels position is what it is and Monty exploited every advantage he had to beat him.



Monty followed the plan for the Rhine crossings that was laid out at the Malta Conference. Operation Plunder and Varsity were to be the main crossings and led by Monty. Ike added additional southern crossings later and Monty had to wait until they were ready to launch. In the meantime, Patton gained a crossing in the south ahead of schedule and the Bridge at Remagen had been taken, so the Allies were across the Rhine before the major operations called for it. Monty executed Plunder and Varsity according to plan and the Americans were very much a part of the operation, even if Monty placed more importance on getting pictures of him and Churchill landing on the east bank of the Rhine.



What was he supposed to say? We wasted the lives of countless thousands in a failed attempt or just focus on the objectives that were taken. To his credit he admits that he failed to anticipate the level of German resistance. He also states that the Allies overall did not devote enough resource to guarantee the success, all of which are true. He then goes on to state that "90% of the objectives were meant". In reality they were. All of the objectives of Market Garden with the exception of the bridge at Arnhem were achieved.

Wow you are dead set that Monty did nothing wrong. Ron
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Miami, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 383man View Post
No I am not ignoring facts as I know them and have read more on this then you can imagine. Seems you are dead set on your view and dont want to hear others. Ron
Not at all but one cannot discuss points with someone who has the basic facts wrong as with the Bulge posts above.

The Falaise/Argentan controversy appears as a debatable point if one does not consider fog of war, topography and the condition of the soldiers involved. I tend to think it is very difficult to criticize battles at a later date unless working with the same information the contemporaries had at the instance events were unfolding.

I do agree MG was a failure and that M developed massive and deluded ego as his successes increased. MG also shows how deep thrusts can be unhinged by local counterattacks and the allied measure of superiority at the point of the attack was not, in 1944 and to about March 1945 , as clearcut to warrant that type of attack.

The subjective issue in my posts is that he was the most capable Allied army commander in the ETO/MTO. He made mistakes and the Scheldt(sp?) estuary campaign is the most significant one. But I would need to read further as to what the Canadian Army had been designated with to confirm that point.

Last edited by Felix C; 01-11-2012 at 07:02 AM..
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:36 AM
 
14,781 posts, read 38,466,718 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
Maybe Im quibbling. As I see it what MG was designed to do was to secure a bridgehead over the rhine, open a way to the Ruhr, and to deal with the V2 threat. it did NONE of those. Taking Eindhoven and nijmegen werent really goals of the operation, they were necessary prerequisites to accomplishing the goals. What monty SHOULD have said, I dont know. Neither calling it a success or failure seems like it would have been better for his reputation than calling it a success. As for what churchill would call a success, well hmmm. No one ever said churchill took a fair eye of oeprations he supported, if there was a way to argue otherwise, eh ?
I agree with you 100%. If someone came up and asked me if Market Garden was a success I would answer with a flat out no. The reasons they failed are numerous and most of them have already been touched on. In the case of Monty it was an odd affair all around. The one time the cautious planner fails to thoroughly plan the operation fails. The entire operation was not his forte and it was never really supported 100%. I think the plan itself in terms of concept was solid, but it was the execution that was lacking and that is Monty's fault.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 383man View Post
Wow you are dead set that Monty did nothing wrong. Ron
I'm not deadset that he did nothing wrong, I just feel the need to defend him against peoples perception of him that is often very wrong and formed by reading only one version of events. Monty wasn't popular with the American commanders and they criticized him every chance they got, but that doesn't mean he was a bad commander as people imply.

Monty has a far better record than Rommel, yet people hold Rommel up as the poster child for great commander and excuse his defeats based on a lack of supplies.

People criticize Monty for being "slow" and not "aggressive" enough, yet when they talk about Bradley they comment on how much he cared about his troops and didn't want to risk them needlessly.

People talk about Monty's ego as if it was some great liability and undeserved, yet they smile and nod when we mention Patton wearing polished boots and a helmet driving around the front in a staff car with his siren blaring, ivory-handled (only a New Orleans pimp would have a pearl handled revolver ) nickle plated pistol at his side; boasting that he could "drive the British back into the sea for another Dunkirk."

Often overlooked is the role that Monty played in planning some of the largest allied operations of the war. Yes, the guy who failed at Market Garden, just also happened to be the primary architect of the Normandy invasion and the overall commander of that operation.

Overall, I personally feel that the two best field ETO commanders the Allies had were Patton and Montgomery. They both had their strengths and weaknesses and they both had egos that could only rival each others in terms of size and they both had their successes and failures.

A UPI reporter wrote this about Patton...

Gen. George S. Patton believed he was the greatest soldier who ever lived. He made himself believe he would never falter through doubt. This absolute faith in himself as a strategist and master of daring infected his entire army, until the men of the second American corps in Africa, and later the third army in France, believed they could not be defeated under his leadership.

We could change it slightly...

Field Marshal Sir Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount of Alamein believed he was the greatest soldier who ever lived. He made himself believe he would never falter through doubt. This absolute faith in himself as a strategist and master of daring infected his entire army, until the men of the 8th Army in Africa, and later the 21st Army Group in France, believed they could not be defeated under his leadership.

...and it would still be true.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbohm View Post
as patton once said, montys problem is that he was more concerned about not losing rather than winning. a few times during world war two, monty pushed for plans that allowed large parts of the german army to escape being cut off and destroyed. for instance at sicily had the allies gone with pattons plan, the germany army that was on sicily would have been cut off and destroyed. after the break out from normandy, there was another opportunity to cut off and destroy a large part of the german army, and again monty nixed the plan on the fear that british and american soldiers would be shooting at each other rather than at the germans.

monty was not a bad commander, but he was far from a good one.
If I can believe what I have read in books about the battle for Sicily the blame for allowing the German army to escape across the straights of Messina can be placed squarely on the the head of one insubordinate General who did not follow orders and went chasing the Germans to the east where he was not supposed to be. George Patton was that general.

Also in the battle for Normandy Patton again disobeyed orders and because of it allowed the Germans to escape the well laid trap set by Monty's plan. British historians write that if Patton had obeyed his orders and the plan had been followed the war would have been won in 1944 in the East. Imagine the different outcome the war would have had if we had won in the east while the Russians were still 500 miles from Berlin.
I consider Monty to be the best general of them all in WW2.

Did you realize that he completely redid the plan for D day. Ike and his staff wrote the original plan and Monty considered it complete crap and not in the least possible. The plan that was eventually agreed upon was Monty's creation.

I must add here that I consider Patton to be the worst general you could ever have commanding an army. He would have been good as a fighting general at the front, obeying orders. Insubordination is always a fatal flaw in any General.
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:17 PM
 
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Quote:
If I can believe what I have read in books about the battle for Sicily the blame for allowing the German army to escape across the straights of Messina can be placed squarely on the the head of one insubordinate General who did not follow orders and went chasing the Germans to the east where he was not supposed to be. George Patton was that general.
Pattons move to the west to take Palermo was actually agreed upon by Monty and Patton in order to help break the stalemate that they were in south of Mount Etna. The historical debate is whether or not Patton's original plan which was to split their forces or Monty's plan which was the one used would have met with more success. Ultimately, I think Monty's plan was more sound given the size of the forces in play. I don't think either one "screwed up" Sicily and the Germans would have most likely escaped no matter which plan was used. The only way to keep the Germans from getting off the island was to take Messina and control the straight. Neither plan did that directly.

Quote:
Also in the battle for Normandy Patton again disobeyed orders and because of it allowed the Germans to escape the well laid trap set by Monty's plan. British historians write that if Patton had obeyed his orders and the plan had been followed the war would have been won in 1944 in the East. Imagine the different outcome the war would have had if we had won in the east while the Russians were still 500 miles from Berlin.
I consider Monty to be the best general of them all in WW2.
Patton had nothing to do with the delay in closing the Falaise Gap. The decision to stop XV Corps at Argentan was that of Bradley, who was Pattons superior. Bradley was concerned for several reasons:

1. He did not want to overextend the American line to close the gap, instead prefering to allow the Americans to serve as the "lower jaw" with the Canadians acting as the "upper jaw" moving down to meet it.

2. He was concerned about the exposure of XV Corps to counterattack in the line. The French at Carrouges were about 25 miles away from 1st Division of XV Corps and this gap was a major concern of Bradley's. He believed the Americans could close the gap, but they would be so exposed that holding it would have been impossible.

3. Finally he was worried about massive freindly fire incidents if the US and Canadians advanced at each other.

Ultimately, it was left to the Canadians and Poles under Monty to close the gap and they encountered very stiff resistance from the SS units desperately working to keep the gap open. Overall, while the operation let around 100k German troops escape, the Germans still suffered massive losses in terms of equipment. I don't think the war would have been over in 1944 had those troops been taken, but it certainly would have made things harder for the Germans.

Quote:
Did you realize that he completely redid the plan for D day. Ike and his staff wrote the original plan and Monty considered it complete crap and not in the least possible. The plan that was eventually agreed upon was Monty's creation.
I think you are going too far to say he "considered it crap and redid the entire plan". Monty adopted the plan in total prinicple from COSSAC. What he did was expand the scope of the operation to better ensure success. It originally involved 3 landing divisions and 1 airborne division. Monty expanded the plan to 5 and 3 respectively as well as the goals of these troops. He also spent a lot of time working on contingencies and planning for the same.

At the end of the day, Monty contributed more to D-Day then anyone, but he certainly didn't consider it crap from the start.

Quote:
I must add here that I consider Patton to be the worst general you could ever have commanding an army. He would have been good as a fighting general at the front, obeying orders. Insubordination is always a fatal flaw in any General.
Can you articulate on what you see as the moments of Patton being insubordinate in terms of carrying out his military orders during the war? Certainly there are examples post war while he was military governor of Bavaria, but what actions during the war rise to the level of insubordination? If anything Patton ultimately ended up as the man you see him being, "good as a fighting general at the front". That was certainly his role in Europe post D-Day when he was under Bradley.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Miami, FL
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^^Regarding Messina, it is the naval commander's responsibility to ensure no seaborne escape. There was no evacuation of Tunis due to the aggressive Allied naval forces. Blame ABC. The land advance would inevitably push the Germans towards Messina. It is the closest port of exit back to Italy and the natural destination for any intended withdrawl from the island.

Last edited by Felix C; 01-16-2012 at 03:07 PM..
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lucknow View Post
If I can believe what I have read in books about the battle for Sicily the blame for allowing the German army to escape across the straights of Messina can be placed squarely on the the head of one insubordinate General who did not follow orders and went chasing the Germans to the east where he was not supposed to be. George Patton was that general.

Also in the battle for Normandy Patton again disobeyed orders and because of it allowed the Germans to escape the well laid trap set by Monty's plan. British historians write that if Patton had obeyed his orders and the plan had been followed the war would have been won in 1944 in the East. Imagine the different outcome the war would have had if we had won in the east while the Russians were still 500 miles from Berlin.
I consider Monty to be the best general of them all in WW2.

Did you realize that he completely redid the plan for D day. Ike and his staff wrote the original plan and Monty considered it complete crap and not in the least possible. The plan that was eventually agreed upon was Monty's creation.

I must add here that I consider Patton to be the worst general you could ever have commanding an army. He would have been good as a fighting general at the front, obeying orders. Insubordination is always a fatal flaw in any General.


Actuallt Patton was not even in the battle of Normandy as he was still in England. He came over when they actvated the Third Army and the breakout in Cobra. I figure you mean the Falaise gap and I agree with what 'NJGOAT' said about that. I have read that Patton was mad that Bradley would not let him move on to close up the gap and as always he felt Monty did not move on it fast enough. But Patton and Monty did not agree on much of anything as they just have different idea's on fighting a war. I have also read that in Sicily Monty originally wanted Patton and the 7th army to move on his left and just cover his left flank. Course Patton did not want Monty and the Brittish to get all the Glory as he felt the Americans should get their share of the Victory. Thats also why he got Alexander to let him go east to Palermo and why he wanted to make sure he beat Monty to Messina.

I dont agree with everything Patton did but I would much rather have him leading my army then Monty. Patton believed in bypassing heavy resistance and going around it to isolate them and cut their supply lines to defeat the enemy and capture them rather then just waste a full frontal assault when you could do so. And he knew we had awesome tactical air power to help cover his flanks. I believe thats one of the reasons he liked it when they brokeout in opperation Cobra as he wanted his troops to slice deep in behind the enemy and encircle them when the opertunity was there. It just seems to me Monty never pressed his troops to do that kind of warfare. Ron
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