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Thread: Patton vs. Montgomery

  1. #1
    Senior Member Senior Member Longshanks's Avatar
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    Who was the better general in your opinion?

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    Isn't she pretty in pink? Member Rosacrux's Avatar
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    Both were mediocre commanders... but Patton was clearly better in a "mobile warfare" concept... Monty was good at static defence though.
    CHIEF HISTORIAN

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    Sideswipe feature king Member shingenmitch2's Avatar
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    Patton was better hands down

    Montgomery was a fool who was great at self promotion. He won at El Alemain because the table was set by Aukinlek (sp?) and a monkey could have won with the overwhelming material the British built up.

    Now look at his failings...

    Sicily -- couldn't get up the short side of the island.

    Caen -- couldn't break out and then claimed he was "drawing german armor" so that the Americans could break out later at St. Lo.

    Falaise -- Couldn't close the small pocket himself and he had the short end of the pincer. He also didn't want to take the "big bag" option of Patton and drive deeper than falaise and bag the entire German front.

    Market Garden -- that tragedy was another Montgomery stroke of genious...

    How Montgomery was ever considered a great general escapes me...

    Patton's attack in Sicily, by contrast was fast and effective. His drive across France ranks up there with deep operational maneuver of his great German counterparts --- Guderian, Rommel, Hoth, Manstein or Hausser. Patton's maneuver for the relief/counterattack on Operation "Wact am Rhein" was also inspired.
    Retreat? Hell, we're just attacking in a different direction...

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    Senior Member Senior Member Hakonarson's Avatar
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    Montgomery was a great logician and commander for set-piece battles, but wasn't all that flash at truely mobile warfare.

    Auchinlek is the name you're after Shingen, and one of the reasons Auchinlek set up the superiority was that Montgomery insisted upon having it before attacking. To say Monty only succeeded because of Auchinlek is to say that Patton only succeeded because of Eisenhower.

    Patton was almost exactly the opposite. Much of the success of his drives is down to other forces (US, Canadian, British) tying up most of the German army in France - he cocked up several operations big time in Africa.

    His personal relations weer even worse than Monty's. - I know of one instance where he put an Aide in a forward position for 2-3 days over the protests of his air commander, the Germans located the position and bombed it, killing Patton's aide. Patton then spent heaven and earth to blame his air commander (a British Group Captain - Conningham) for not providing sufficient cover, etc., etc., and the officer had to e moved out despite being completely blameless.




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    Member Member Nowake's Avatar
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    Guys, are those stories about Mafia helping the americans when landing is Sicily true? Just of curiosity ...


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    Saupreuss Member Stefan the Berserker's Avatar
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    Patton.

    Montgomery was defeated too often by Rommel in Africa, and to slow in France.

    Also Patton recognised the great ability of the M10 76mm mounted on an M4A3E2 Sherman Jumbo and was indeed the fastest american General in 1944/45 Showdown to crush the 3rd Reich.

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    AKA Leif 3000 TURBO Senior Member Leet Eriksson's Avatar
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    Patton was better,montgomery relied on the natives to help him.
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    Member Member Belisarius's Avatar
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    Patton was an aggressive general to the extreme, while Monty was almost at the other end of the scale, defensive until victory was a foregone conclusion.
    Who was better? Who can say, both had their strengths and weaknesses, myself if I were Commander-in-Chief, would go with Monty as he didnt want to waste his mens lives.

    Stefan???? AFAIK The first time Rommel faced Montgomery was at the first battle of El Alemein, and AFAIK Rommel got his arse handed to him (though to be fair he was outnumbered). You must be thinking of the earlier commanders Ritchie and O┤Conner.

    Faisal. What natives? The Arabs, Egyptians, Italians or the French?


    ...Market Garden was a bold move, that could very well have ended the war before christmas -44, if the 9th and 10th SS had been positioned elsewhere but around Arnhem.

    Dont diss Monty, I dare say that he would have whipped any of us armchair generals any day of the week.
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    Senior Member Senior Member Longshanks's Avatar
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    Belisarius, even the bad generals would kick the arses of us armchair generals.

    Criticizing a general is a bit like criticizing a professional sports player. We might say "Oh...he sucks" and to some extent its true, at least compared to his competition... however he would kick our @ss if we ever played against him.

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    Member Member Michiel de Ruyter's Avatar
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    Belisarius,

    with a little-bit more luck Market Garden might have succeeded. But 9th and 10th SS where there before the operation started... and the Brits knew it.

    And the march did last much longer then expected, even without the occurence of the SS troops.
    For a small country, we have kicked some really good (naval) butt...

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    Senior Member Senior Member Hakonarson's Avatar
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    I read somewhere that the reason British/commonwealth generals tended to be cautious was because those nations had:

    1/ fewer men to start with (ie smaller national population)
    2/ longer, more bloody and more recent military traditions
    3/ a generally conservative social background.

    eg in Sicily Patton charged off to Palermo, often ignoring his flanks, while Montgomery took on hte Axis forces over rough terrain by fighting a series of set-piece battles, pausing to ensure everything was in place before proceeding.

  12. #12

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    Belisarius,

    At 2nd Alamein Mongomery had massive superiority in men, guns and tanks. His troops were fresh, his supplies were close, he had command of the air, and Churchill had finally realised that he needed to give some thought to the Desert other than sacking generals for failing to achieve unrealistic goals, so Monty had his full backing.

    Rommel had almost no tanks, a couple of thousand decent German infnatry who were absolutely exhausted, lots of woefully equipped Italians who had had to walk 1,000 miles to get there, massively extended supply lines subject to attack all the way, a front of 40 miles to cover, and virtually no support from OKH because Russia was far more important.

    It still took Monty two weeks to force Rommel to leave his positions. Rommel did so in an orderly fashion, taking most of his material with him, whereas Monty had to stop for a couple of days as he had no formations fit to pursue.

    Yes, Monty won: but he won so badly that one cannot give him any credit. Almost anyone could have done better. Where was his vaunted "balance"? Brewing up with the tanks sent in through narrow and uncleared gaps in minefields on top of infantry they could only liase with through the Army HQ, being in an entirely different Corps, that's where.

    Auchinleck should have been left in command, but maybe (as Monty was) given reponsibility for only the Desert rather than the whole of the Middle East. He had just done a fine job making up for the errors of Ritchie and Cunningham (who he should never have appointed in the first place, to be fair). With Monty's resources, and a little moral support from Churchill (a worse general than Monty: it's a good job Hitler shortened the war by 3 years because Churchill lengthened it by 4) he would have finished Alamein far quicker, and probably destroyed Rommel in the pursuit. He would at least have conserved some formations for the pursuit, instead of (metaphorically) using his light cavalry to break the spear wall by head on charges while his swordsmen milled about like headless chickens.

    I can't speak for Patton, I've not looked at his campaigns. But Monty was a great self-publicist who wanted to be a general but didn't know how to.



    Pell.R.

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    Member Member Belisarius's Avatar
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    Yikes, thats some replies just for defending Monty and not even critizing Patton .

    Longshanks, If you want to I can name generals from WW2 much worse then Monty....

    Michiel, well luck always play a huge facor in any battle, but it was a bridge to far Monty tried to go.... but it could have ended the war by christmas.

    Pellinor, yes Monty had nummerical advantage so? He won. We dont say that Zhukov is overrated because he won against nummerical inferior foes.
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    True, the quality of enemies colours assessments of ability - look at the debates about Wellington/Napoleon: they didn't fight each other (until Waterloo, an off day for Bonaparte), so how to compare them? - but my point re: Monty is not that his enemy was weak, but that Monty almost lost to a weaker enemy.

    Failing to break through a weak and over-stretched enemy when you have all the odds in your favour is not exactly a feather in one's cap. It was touch and go for a while: if the battle had lasted a couple more days he would have had to give up - and where would his reputation have been then?

    Pell.R.




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    Member Member Michiel de Ruyter's Avatar
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    Well, Belisarius,

    I was unable to finish my answer, because I was suddenly called away. Here is the full answer.

    Basic flaws IMHO in the plan:

    [*] Using one single road as the line of assault, and point of advance. This road was at some points no wider then say 15 ft. It crossed a high number of major rivers and canals (duh &#33), and was straddled by a number of towns and cities. At other points, there was no coverage at all. This was basically the wet dream for anyone with an 88mm, and a number of "Villers-Bocage" waiting to happen. The allies were damned lucky that all the German heavy armor was on the far bank of the river Rhine, and there was only one ferry, located about 25 km from Arnhem to put them across the Rhine). But even the ill-equipped rag-tag forces of the Germans between the Belgian border and Arnhem were able to breach the allied columns a number of times.
    [*] Dropping the 6th Airborne way too far away, (10 - 15 km) with a city in between them and the targeted bridge. The planning idiots ignored the info by the Dutch resistance. They could have dropped almost on to of the bridge at Arnhem (much like the Americans did at Grave) at that time (IIRC). Yet on the map the area looked water-logged, so they decided not to drop the troops there.
    [*] Way too strict rules about dropping of supplies, not even imagining the possibility that troops might loose control of the planned supply-dropzone. So, what happened ? The SS troops fought with weapons supplied by the Brits.
    [*] The planning-idiots ignored the railway bridge at Arnhem. It lay a lot closer to the drop zone, and was quite easy to defend, being dominated by two hills on one side, and with a flat open country-side on the other. Initially it was also ignored by 6th airborne. There apparently is a debate wether they could have captured it intact or not if they had gone for it immediately. According to most info I have heared, they could.
    [*] The lack of proper instruction for use of the radio. Apparently the radio's did work Yet they were set up in the improper way (at least that was a news item a few years ago... someone used one of the original radio's).
    [*] The total inflexibility/ignorance regarding info about the weather at the front.
    [*] Total lack of use of info supplied by the Dutch resistance, which told them that 9th and 10th SS were in the area to rest and refit, and that Walter Model had set up his HQ in Oosterbeek. They even ignored pics of camouflaged German tanks, taken by their own Spitfires..
    [*] The use of an insufficient number of troops. The Americans simply did not have the manpower too secure all the bridges in the Nijmegen area immediately, and secure the dropzone. So they could not send any troops to the Waalbrug at Nijmegen immediately. When they had troops to spare, those ran into the advance-guard of the Waffen-SS troops.
    [*] The total idiotic time-scedule. The planning-idiots seemingly did not even consider the option that one of the bridges might be unusable... Nor did they consider the reaction of the locals... the advance was also disrupted by overjoyed locals celebrating their liberation.
    Put it this way: The allies can count themselves lucky that the bridge at Grave was captured intact. If not, that would have possibly ment two destroyed divisions. The bridge at Nijmegen gone would have ment a vanished 6th airborne. The blown bridge was the smallest one along he route, and peanuts compared with the others....[/list]

    The reason the Allies came so far was partly because the Germans did not expect Monty to come up with a plan like this. Initially at least Model and a few others could hardly believe that it was the allied plan to capture the bridges (even, IIRC, after they captured the plans). Basically they could not believe the allies would be that stupid.

    Why Montgomery came up with this ? From what little I have heared, read and seen: Ego.

    Montgomery was heavily critisized for his conduct in North Africa, around Caen, and the fact that he stopped at the Dutch-Belgian border, letting the German 15th army escape destruction in Zeeland. Ironically these troops would hinder the allied advance sufficiently for the Germans to have them to be able destroy the 6th airborne, and hold on to the bridge at Arnhem. Also, all the glory was going to Patton and the Americans (though one can argue/dispute this was just), which was also to his disliking.

    Basically, had luck been a bit more with the Germans (ie bridge at Grave blown up, and Frost being stopped before he reached the bridge, then it could have had the exact opposite result:

    6th airborne (UK): vanished.
    82nd airbonre (US): vanished.
    Polish airborne brigade: vanished.
    30 Corps: Badly mauled.

    What this would mean: basscally no reserves, and probably even more serious trouble if the Germans had gone ahead with the Ardennes offensive a few months later. Also, the Allies would have lost any capability of large-scale airborne operations.
    For a small country, we have kicked some really good (naval) butt...

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    Sideswipe feature king Member shingenmitch2's Avatar
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    Speed and concentrated force ultimately saves lives in war --- slow grinding engagements prolong the fight and the war.

    The Germans understood this (at least Guderian and some others like Rommel). It was the essence of Blitzkreig. What if Guderian were as slow and deliberate as Monty during the drive to Dunkirk? Would his caution have saved lives? OR would it have allowed the French and British armies more time to maneuver out of the bag to fight another day?

    That Patton left his flanks open was a calculated risk... virtually every great operational encirclement that I can think of had risk to "open flanks" at one point or other during the operation: Smolensk 41, Viasma 41, Bialystok 41, France 40, Blau 42... of course it is a balance of just "how open" are the flanks as the Soviets found out at Kharkov twice But clearly Patton struck the propper balance on more than one occasion.
    Retreat? Hell, we're just attacking in a different direction...

    THE DEADLY SHINGEN



  17. #17
    He who controls Arrakis.. Member 71-hour Ahmed's Avatar
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    On market garden: Montgomery never got his arse into gear and opened up the canals he had already captured for the landings. The ports were taken undamaged due to dutch resistance (at amsterdam I think, or rotterdam?) and so they could have used them instead of normandy, allowing much more troops into the area. Maybe if he had done as he was meant to instead of pushing market garden he might have ended the war much earlier.

    Patton is mildly better imho but not brilliant. in defensive situations i'd prefer montgomery even if I didn't like him. But for the hard fast drive against an enemy patton would be brilliant.

    perhaps a general with montys stage setting and caution before the offensive and pattons breakout abilities for afterwards but not one or the other if possible.
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    AKA Leif 3000 TURBO Senior Member Leet Eriksson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Belisarius @ June 12 2003,15:51)]Faisal. What natives? The Arabs, Egyptians, Italians or the French?
    I would'nt say egyptians,but mostly those of northwest africa,you know arabs of morroco,libya,algeria and tunisia(well not tunisia,they hated the allies for some reason).
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    Member Member Theodoret's Avatar
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    So what if the British made use of the 'natives' (as you so charmingly call them). The British used forces from all over the Empire - and if they hadn't, they would probably have lost.

    After all it was the Indian Army which prevented the Japanese from advancing into the Middle East, as well as providing much needed manpower for the war in the Middle East itself. I don't think that is some sign of bad stragegy on the part of the British.

    In fact it would have be an exceedingly bad strategy not to use the the sort of resources provided by controlling a quarter of the Earth's land surface and a third of its population. If anything the British didn't make nearly enough use of their Empire.

    As for using non-Imperial 'natives', again its good strategy. One of the biggest mistakes of the Germans was to turn the Ukranians, who had originally welcomed them as saviours, against them with their atrocities and enslavement.

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    Member Member Qilue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Theodoret @ Aug. 19 2003,14:59)]After all it was the Indian Army which prevented the Japanese from advancing into the Middle East, as well as providing much needed manpower for the war in the Middle East itself. I don't think that is some sign of bad stragegy on the part of the British.
    General William Slim and the 14th Army were there too.
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    Dark Knight Member Dramicus's Avatar
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    Rommel beats the crap out of all the allied generals...

    The Germans not only had him but many others which were commended and praised by both sides after the war...
    Repent For tomorrow you die -Battlecry of the Dark Angels

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    Member Member DBS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Quote (Theodoret @ Aug. 19 2003,14:59)
    After all it was the Indian Army which prevented the Japanese from advancing into the Middle East, as well as providing much needed manpower for the war in the Middle East itself. I don't think that is some sign of bad stragegy on the part of the British.

    General William Slim and the 14th Army were there too.
    14th Army was predominantly Indian Army in composition. The Indian Army in WW2 was the largest volunteer army in history. But frankly it is important to understand the very close relationship between the British and Indian Armies - they are essentially Siamese twins, with many organs shared.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Rommel beats the crap out of all the allied generals...

    The Germans not only had him but many others which were commended and praised by both sides after the war...
    And the Axis were equally complimentary about O'Connor - his successes against the Italians match those of the Wehrmacht during Barbarossa (if not exceed) when you scale up the relative force strengths. They were mightily relieved to capture him one suspects, in a very unlucky accident out in the desert.

    Both Montgomery and Patton had aspects of character that made them, on occasion, exceedingly unpleasant. It is relatively pointless trying to say who was the better general. Patton should have been sacked for slapping wounded soldiers. Montgomery seriously miscalculated on Market Garden. But they both got results.

    What was so brilliant about the German generals? I am not suggesting Rommel, for example, was not very talented. But his successes also owed a lot to the skills of the German panzer formations in combinmed arms warfare, using tanks, anti-tank guns and infantry together to good effect, while British tanks tended to operate too independently, as a single arm. Credit for that goes to battalion / regiment / divisional commanders. The Germans won huge victories in Barbarossa - but one might almost ask how could they not, when the Soviets had deployed a mass of troops in a forward echelon, had stripped out the Stalin line, had left troops in peacetime locations, and then refused to allow tactical withdrawals?

    The German generals were professionals. But so were the British, the US (albeit lacking in practical experience), the French, the Italians and the Soviets (those not purged).

  23. #23
    Dark Knight Member Dramicus's Avatar
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    not wanting to be disrespectful to the Italians but it is well known that their forces were not of the best quality (dont even mention their equipment)

    I think that the british successes against the Italians dont even come close to what the germans accomplished in russia... Now before you start saying how disorganized and malequipped the russian forces were at the time, keep in mind that when the invasion begun, the germans had inferior tanks when compared to the russians (armor and cannon wise, the germans were leaps and bounds ahead in other areas) where at one point, the only way to damage the russian KV tanks was to land a shot right inside the barrel... which was accomplished once...

    If the allied commanders were so brilliant then tell me why they nearly failed in the west when confronted with Old men and children while they themselves substantially outnumbered the german forces (who were by normal german standards considered to be completely unfit for combat) in man power, equipment and vehicles... The allies had almost complete air superiority and practacly unlimited hordes of tanks and men... Tell me why the only thing which stopped the german offencive in the ardennes was the lack of fule and ammo...

    The allied commanders had nearly endless resources when compared to the german forces, their production facilities were completely out of danger of constant bombing, they had complete control of the air and sea and there people were very motivated... Why did the german forces which were undersupplied, under manned, under trained, and of poor moral manage to last as long as they did?



    Patton slapped wounded soldiers? WTF was wrong with him?

    Sure market garden was a complete faliure but it was not completely monty's fault, during the day of the attack many things which he had requested were not delivered to his forces, this inturn lead to a series of events which ended in total defeat, wether or not monty is responsible for supply problems is up to you...

    The alternitive to market garden was an assault planned by patton to breach the sigfried line, although it was not chosen, if it were it is very possible that it could have ended in a much greater faliure than monty's operation... Patton wanted to do an all out strike and force his way through, but the germans were ready at the line and would have most likely fought off the attack and would have held the line untill they ran out of ammo, thus leading to massive allied losses...



    but I dont know what im talking about...





    Repent For tomorrow you die -Battlecry of the Dark Angels

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    Default Re: Patton vs. Montgomery

    In the movie Patton and A Bridge Too Far, Patton is feared by the German High Command and Montgomery is thought of as a joke. Is this a well-documented point of view or just some American filmakers particular viewpoint (Hollywood)?

    I did see a very detailed documentary on how Montgomery beat Rommel at El Alamein (which confirm Pellinor's post about Rommel's orderly retreat which allowed the Germans to move men and resources out of Africa). Rommel was already beaten because he had very few tanks and supplies. The documentary suggests that even with his back against the wall and with defeat a certainty, Rommel held on. I think at one point he had only 30 working tanks!

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    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Patton vs. Montgomery

    Woah! That's a serious thread necromancy! 2003
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    Member Member Greyblades's Avatar
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    Default Re: Patton vs. Montgomery

    Well it's happened and it's allways interesting to see how the board operated before I joined.

    As for the argument; well it realy depends on the situation, when attacking patton was superior, always pushing ahead never letting up, and montgomery was better in defense, making the Germans and Italians pay dearly for each inch taken. The impression I get from them is that patton was as good at attacking as monty was at defending and it seems a little pointless to argue the superiority of specialist generals unless they actually fought against each other, and I dont think the anglo american relations were quite that bad at the time.
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    Default Re: Patton vs. Montgomery

    Quote Originally Posted by rnollman View Post
    In the movie Patton and A Bridge Too Far, Patton is feared by the German High Command and Montgomery is thought of as a joke. Is this a well-documented point of view or just some American filmakers particular viewpoint (Hollywood)?
    Welcome to the .org rnollman!

    It is very true that the OKW had a minor obsession with Patton - even rearranging troop strengths in preparation for Overlord based on his movements and actions. It can be accurately stated that the German military, as well as Hitler himself, viewed Patton as the best high level Allied commander, and the most likely to be tasked with leading major offensives.

    (Interestingly, Eisenhower and the top Allied leadership felt very differently, ranking Patton below many other American commanders and never giving him a critical command after Sicily. That disparity highlighted the differing emphases placed on logistics and battlefield prowess between the Allies and the Germans.)

    However, the Germans also had a healthy respect for Montgomery, who was widely viewed up until Market Garden as a very competent commander (which is more than could be said for the German opinion of most British officers). Remember, Montgomery delivered the first decisive German defeat in the West and followed it with a competent (if not wholly inspired) campaign that dislodged the Axis forces from Africa and later delivered a similar performance in Sicily.

    It should also be noted that in Normandy the Germans concentrated most of their forces against Montgomery's offensives towards Caen, allowing the Americans, including Patton, to break out in the South. (Montgomery was nominally in control of the whole Allied ground force and participated heavily in the planning of the invasion, but had more direct involvement with operations of the Anglo-Canadian forces after the campaign had commenced.) This was largely due to the German assessment of the strategic situation and not any preferences toward Patton or Montgomery.

    After Market Garden, Montgomery's reputation among Allied and Axis commanders alike was severely tarnished.

    I did see a very detailed documentary on how Montgomery beat Rommel at El Alamein (which confirm Pellinor's post about Rommel's orderly retreat which allowed the Germans to move men and resources out of Africa). Rommel was already beaten because he had very few tanks and supplies. The documentary suggests that even with his back against the wall and with defeat a certainty, Rommel held on. I think at one point he had only 30 working tanks!
    This is also true. El Alamein was certainly no Gazala and was practically already decided before it commenced. However, the overwhelming nature of the British numbers is a credit to Montgomery, who ensured that the battle would be fought on British terms. There is no shame in doing everything one can to guarantee victory before battle. In fact, it should be the aim of every commander.

    Montgomery did neglect to take advantage of many opportunities that presented themselves in the German retreat. He never had the flare for risk taking, speed, and manuever that Rommel (or Patton) enjoyed. When he attempted it, the results were disastrous (Market Garden). His strengths were in logistics and planning, but he often had difficulty transitioning from the planning stage to execution, and was less capable of dealing with the fluidity of a rapidly changing battlefield situation than Patton and many of his German counterparts.

    And yes, Rommel did have a serious deficit in tank strength, among many other things, which severely compromised his operations. His strategic sense was questionable, but he was an excellent battlefield commander, very much the opposite of Montgomery.
    Last edited by PanzerJaeger; 02-27-2011 at 07:27.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Patton vs. Montgomery

    Good points! And your comments jogged my memory about one point I forgot to mention from the El Alamein documentary. The British forces were disheartened and Montgomery came in with the express purpose of rebuilding his command from top to bottom. He had the charisma necessary to build confidence among his men and the materials to back that up pouring in through his open supply lines while Rommel's line of supply had been choked off. Old Blood and Guts (Patton) was feared and hated by his men for his bravado at their expense, ready to charge forward (" never retreat -- I am never willing to pay for the same real estate twice"). His answer for tough situations was to continuing driving forward no matter what the cost while Mongomery and Bradley were very carefully about how best to spend their human resources and reduce unnecessary casualties.

    At one point, in the movie Patton, he complained when asked by Bradley to curtail his operations because of a need to provide for other more critical priorities (a la Churchill), that if he were given the fuel and not Monty that he could push through the Siegfried Line (" a monument to the stupidy of man") into Germany and be in Berlin in 10 days). The movie also made the point that he felt that if he had the support of the Allied command and could sieze this moment in history and he could shorten the war dramatically. It would seem, from the movie he correctly determined that the Germans would counterattack and asked his staff to draw up contingency plans to do an about face with his troops if necessary. No one else among the Allied Command seemed to have that insight (Eiesenhower chided him for "bragging"). The allies, Bradley took a full 24 hours after hearing initial reports of the Ardennes incursion to take it seriously, were caught flat-footed. One wonders if Patton were involved seriously in the Market Garden planning that the mistakes in planning and wishful thinking and fear of rocking Monty's boat would have been tolerated by Eisenhower.

    I have often wondered whether given that chance, Patton could have averted the Bulge incursion and seriously moved the war in Europe to a close. With the Russians bearing down on Germany from the East, cooler heads in the German High Command, may have seen an opportunity to usurp Hitler and avoid the retribution by the Ruskies, take control and surrender to the allies avoiding a nasty protracted fight with the Russians for Berlin.

    Patton, who ruthlessly drove his men more akin to the German commanders than his fellow Allied counterparts, seemed insensitive to the suffereing of civilians and troops under his command. I believe that is the basis for the German fear of his leadership and a disdain for Montgomery. For Patton expediancy seemed to be the key. He did not hesitate while Bradley, Montgomery, and Eisenhower were very careful to ponder the affects of their decisions on their own men and the civilian population. Patton seemed to take the attitude, "keep driving, driving, driving, we will fix things as we go". Bradley and Montgomery seemed to miss valuable opportunities by stopping to regroup. There always seemed to be other priorities also.

    The movie A Bridge Too Far makes the point that the Dutch Resistance was reporting that the Germans were fleeing in panic prior to Market Garden. Then General Model arrives and jokes that the reason the Allied advance is slowing is that they "cannot keep up with our retreat". Within a short-time Model rebuilds the German positions and that window is closed. Had Patton been in charge and been given the resources, he might have been able to deal a decisive blow that might have accomplished the same end.

  29. #29
    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Patton vs. Montgomery

    From the two, Patton is definitely more of a character. It's easier to admire him than Monty. He was a proponent of offensive, mobile warfare and always pushed his men on, but if I were in Allied high command at the time, I would have preferred more cautious approach. Being superior in manpower, firepower, resources etc... the Allies had no need to undertake risky maneuvers.

    Just how good Patton was it is difficult to assess. Unlike some German and Russian commanders, he never had to deal with huge enemy formations and face top quality troops under top quality commanders. He would have been probably in a better position to show his skills had he been a Russian or a German general.

  30. #30
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Patton vs. Montgomery

    Old Blood and Guts (Patton) was feared and hated by his men for his bravado at their expense
    Not so. Actually, it was quite the opposite.

    I wouldn't put too much stock in the Patton movie as to historical accuracy. The Allies did not have the logistics to drive on Berlin in the fall of 1944, so the question of who should've recieved supplies is moot.

    Patton, who ruthlessly drove his men more akin to the German commanders than his fellow Allied counterparts, seemed insensitive to the suffereing of civilians and troops under his command.
    On what do you base this on? Once again, quite the opposite is true.

    I have often wondered whether given that chance, Patton could have averted the Bulge incursion and seriously moved the war in Europe to a close.
    The Ardennes campaign was an Allied intel failure, and there wasn't much Patton could've done to prevent the German buildup prior to the start of the offensive. As I stated earlier, the Allied logistical situation was in no condition to pursue a campaign into Germany in late 1944. In fact, the original planning for operations didn't even consider it until sometime in early to mid 1945.
    High Plains Drifter

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