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Old 01-18-2012, 08:48 AM
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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.
Sicily is in operation that was hampered by a weak overall commander, Alexander. Alexander instituted no plan of his own and instead generally deferred to the whims of his commanders.

One thing you need to keep in mind though is that the British didn't exactly have a mountain of evidence to support the Americans being a truly effective fighting force. The American performance in North Africa was poor at Kasserine and Gaffa and the US divisions on Sicily consisted of the green 45th and the 3rd which had a small amount of combat experience. Using them as a force to bolster the British left while the British engaged the main forces was a solid choice.

Of course Patton wanted the chance to prove his troops abilities. The correct action at the time would have been for the Americans to strike northeast towards Etna to pin the Germans between the American and British armies and cut off their escape route through Messina. As it was, Alexander would only approve a movement to the west and Patton wanted to go to Palermo, not for glory per se, but to use his armies strength which was mobility. Monty actually agreed with Patton in principle that Patton should strike up the coast to Palermo to help break the stalemate and Alexander agreed.

The little remembered part of it is that Patton faced very weak and sporadic resistance as the Germans had already ordered the total evacutation of western Sicily before Patton made his move. Regardless, the operation was a success, the American troops proved their abilities and got to share in the glory.

I find Sicily interesting as it was the operation that the Allies studied in detail to work out issues prior to D-Day regarding command and control of the mixed armies.

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
I would quibble that Monty wasn't a dynamic commander. The type of bypassing, isolating warfare you like is exactly what Monty did in North Africa. Read about that campaign from Second El Alamein through to the fall of Tunis and you will see strong evidence of Monty's ability to wage a dynamic battle.

In later campaigns Monty really wasn't given the freedom to move like Patton was. Patton and Third Army were the right flank of the Allied advance and had a lot of room to operate over open ground. Monty was pinned in against the ocean with Bradley's army on his right. He was also advancing over more difficult terrain. I don't think his later battles lacked "Patton dash" for anything more than practical reasons given the situation.
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
It sounds as though several well argued and well written posts here weren't even considered by you. It seems you have a point of view and that's that.
This is characteristic of many.
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Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

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