He neither smoked nor drank and had a mania for physical fitness. [153] At the same time, Montgomery noted that "one good Pas de Calais port" would be insufficient for the American armies in France, which thus forced Eisenhower, if for no other reasons than logistics, to favour Montgomery's plans for an invasion of northern Germany by the 21st Army Group, whereas if Antwerp were opened up, then all of the Allied armies could be supplied. Half smiling, he replied, "The other two were Alexander the Great and Napoleon." [150] The British journalist Mark Urban writes that Montgomery seemed unable to grasp that as the majority of the 2.2 million Allied soldiers fighting against Germany on the Western Front were now American (the ratio was 3:1) that it was politically unacceptable to American public opinion to have Montgomery remain as Land Forces Commander as: "Politics would not allow him to carry on giving orders to great armies of Americans simply because, in his view, he was better than their generals. The British general wanted to go at the industrially essential Ruhr with 40 divisions, operating on a relatively narrow front, with himself, presumably, in command. [18] Maud Montgomery took little active interest in the education of her young children other than to have them taught by tutors brought from Britain. But it is pretty well agreed that General Montgomery's essential point was that General Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander, did not give him suffcient support in the part of his “Market‐Garden” strategy that called for going straight for, and in the end controlling Germany's Ruhr Valley, over Europe's northern rim. It was reported to the War Office that "Montgomery has to be very careful of what he does on his eastern flank because on that flank is the only British Army there is left in this part of the world". The loveless environment made Bernard something of a bully, as he himself recalled, "I was a dreadful little boy. He got his outfit out through Dunkirk in such relatively good shape that the Third Division was selected to receive reserve equipment, of which there existed in Britain at that time just enough for one division. [153], On 9 September, Montgomery wrote to Brooke that "one good Pas de Calais port" would be sufficient to meet all the logistical needs of the 21st Army Group, but only the supply needs of the same formation. Malo. Montgomery ordered all contingency plans for retreat to be destroyed. Later, when this plan had clearly failed, Eisenhower wrote that Montgomery had "evolved" the plan to have the US forces achieve the break-out instead. [97] Broadly, there has been a "British school" which accepts Montgomery's post-war claim that he never intended to take Caen at once, and instead the Anglo-Canadian operations around Caen were a "holding operation" intended to attract the bulk of the German forces towards the Caen sector to allow the Americans to stage the "break out operation" on the left flank of the German positions, which was all part of Montgomery's "Master Plan" that he had conceived long before the Normandy campaign. [102] Air Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder complained that it was impossible to move fighter squadrons to France until Montgomery had captured some airfields, something he asserted that Montgomery appeared incapable of doing. [213] He was threatened with legal action by Field Marshal Auchinleck for suggesting that Auchinleck had intended to retreat from the Alamein position if attacked again, and had to give a radio broadcast (20 November 1958) expressing his gratitude to Auchinleck for having stabilised the front at the First Battle of Alamein. [189], On 4 May 1945, on Lüneburg Heath, Montgomery accepted the surrender of German forces in north-west Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. By 1931, he was a lieutenant colonel and was given command of the 1st Battalion. [142] Once the 3rd American Army arrived, Bradley was promoted to take command of the newly created 12th Army Group consisting of 1st and 3rd American Armies. "[77]) He was determined not to fight until he thought there had been sufficient preparation for a decisive victory, and put into action his beliefs with the gathering of resources, detailed planning, the training of troops—especially in clearing minefields and fighting at night[78]—and in the use of 252[79] of the latest American-built Sherman tanks, 90 M7 Priest self-propelled howitzers, and making a personal visit to every unit involved in the offensive. Although he still wore a standard British officer's cap on arrival in the desert, he briefly wore an Australian broad-brimmed hat before switching to wearing the black beret (with the badge of the Royal Tank Regiment and the British General Officer's badge) for which he became notable. [153] The Canadian historian Terry Copp wrote that the commitment of this much firepower and men to take only one French city might "seem excessive", but by this point, the Allies desperately needed ports closer to the front line to sustain their advance. "[116] The French Resistance had launched Plan Violet in June 1944 to systematically destroy the telephone system of France, which forced the Germans to use their radios more and more to communicate, and as the code-breakers of Bletchley Park had broken many of the German codes, Montgomery had—via Ultra intelligence—a good idea of the German situation. [171] As it was, Simonds made only slow progress in October 1944 during the fighting in the Battle of the Scheldt, although he was praised by Copp for imaginative and aggressive leadership who managed to achieve much, despite all of the odds against him. Montgomery's contribution to restoring the situation was that he turned a series of isolated actions into a coherent battle fought according to a clear and definite plan. Even his "patron", the Chief of the Imperial General Staff Lord Alanbrooke, frequently mentions it in his war diaries: "he is liable to commit untold errors in lack of tact" and "I had to haul him over the coals for his usual lack of tact and egotistical outlook which prevented him from appreciating other people's feelings". Eisenhower. He then served as NATO's Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe until his retirement in 1958. On 4 May 1945, Montgomery accepted the surrender of the German forces in north-western Europe at Lüneburg Heath, east of Hamburg, after the surrender of Berlin to the USSR on 2 May. Usually he wore an old turtleneck sweater, To his men, and to a good part of the world, he became “Monty.”, His complete self‐assurance, the touch of showmanship that appealed to the Tommies and, above all, his way of taking them into his confidence gave them faith in themselves and in their commanders. [192], The fewer the number of combat-experienced divisions the British had left at the end of the war, the smaller Britain's influence in Europe was likely to be, compared to the emerging superpowers of the US and the USSR. Unable to advance further, and running out of petrol, the Wehrmacht abandoned the offensive.[177][181]. That being so, I consider that Lloyd George was right in what he did, if we had gone on we could probably have squashed the rebellion as a temporary measure, but it would have broken out again like an ulcer the moment we removed the troops. [22] Montgomery was hit once more, in the knee. He was educated at St Paul's School and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and commissioned into the … The 21st Army Group would attack north from Belgium, 60 miles (97 km) through the Netherlands, across the Rhine and consolidate north of Arnhem on the far side of the Rhine. [11], After the death of Sir Robert Montgomery, Henry inherited the Montgomery ancestral estate of New Park in Moville in Inishowen in Ulster. The casualties were 5,500 with 7 miles (11 km) of ground gained. Wounded twice, he received the D.S.O. In June, 1964, in a radio broadcast linked with commemorative ceremonies in Normandy on the 20th anniversary of the D‐Day landings, he said that General Eisenhower, who had been in overall command of the operation, “never understood the Normandy strategy at all” and that “he got the whole thing muddled up.”, Lord Montgomery returned to this refrain in a supposed tribute on the death of General Eisenhower, referring again to the latter's alleged lack of understanding of the Normandy situation. Remains: Buried, Holy Cross Churchyard, Binsted, Hampshire, England. [211], He was also President of Portsmouth Football Club between 1944 and 1961. [83] Rommel, having been in a hospital in Germany at the start of the battle, was forced to return on 25 October 1942 after Stumme—his replacement as German commander—died of a heart attack in the early hours of the battle. Hitler waited too long to order his soldiers to retreat from Normandy, leading Montgomery to write: "He [Hitler] refused to face the only sound military course. [56] Early in the campaign, when the 3rd Division was near Leuven, they were fired on by members of the Belgian 10th Infantry Division who mistook them for German paratroopers; Montgomery resolved the incident by approaching them and offering to place himself under Belgian command. [177], SHAEF believed the Wehrmacht was no longer capable of launching a major offensive, and that no offensive could be launched through such rugged terrain as the Ardennes Forest. Despite this, Cunningham and Portal were strongly in favour of Montgomery succeeding Brooke after his retirement. Again he would appear in a big Australian campaign hat covered with badges. The Scheldt was wide enough and dredged deep enough to allow the passage of ocean-going ships. [174] Simonds, now reinforced with British troops and Royal Marines, cleared the Scheldt by taking Walcheren island, the last of the German "fortresses" on the Scheldt, on 8 November 1944. His mother, the former Maud Farrar, was a daughter of the Very Rev. One son, David, was born to them. He survived only because one of his men who had come to help him was fatally shot and fell across him, thus protecting him from further bullets. [126] By contrast, the American historian Stephen Power argued that Goodwood was intended to be the "breakout" offensive and not a "holding operation", writing: "It is unrealistic to assert that an operation which called for the use of 4,500 Allied aircraft, 700 artillery pieces and over 8,000 armored vehicles and trucks and that cost the British over 5,500 casualties was conceived and executed for so limited an objective". General Montgomery bade farewell to his Eighth Army and went to England, where he exercised field command over the British and United States armed forces during the Allied landings in Normandy in 1944 and in the early stages of the fighting in France. [188], By the war's end, the remaining formations of 21st Army group, First Canadian Army and British Second Army, had liberated the northern part of the Netherlands and captured much of north-west Germany, occupied Hamburg and Rostock and sealed off the Danish peninsula. O'Connor, at the cost of about 4,000 men, had won a salient 5 miles (8.0 km) deep and 2 miles (3.2 km) wide but placed the Germans into an unviable long-term position. [87], Montgomery was an Honorary Member of the Winkle Club, a charity in Hastings, East Sussex, and introduced Winston Churchill to the club in 1955. 24th March 2017 On this day in 1976 Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery died, aged 88. [141] Montgomery began his offensive into the Suisse Normande region with Operation Bluecoat with Sir Richard O'Connor's VIII Corps and Gerard Bucknall's XXX Corps heading south. It was originally to be one of the first cities taken after the Normandy landings, with a projected inland movement that would take the Allies to Paris within a week. [41] While serving as a GSO2[42] with Eighth Army, Dick Carver was sent forward during the pursuit after El Alamein to help identify a new site for Eighth Army HQ. [215] Montgomery was stripped of his honorary citizenship of Montgomery, Alabama, and was challenged to a duel by an Italian lawyer. The Battle of Medenine, "Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein", "The German Counteroffensive in the Ardennes", "Chapter V: The Sixth Panzer Army Attack", "HyperWar: The Last Offensive [Chapter 11]", "The U.S. Ninth Army's Breakout: Crossing the Roer and the Rhine", "Second World War Military Situation Maps 1944–1945", "Sir Winston Churchill Gets The Winkle In Ceremony at Hastings", "Pompey mentioned in Monty's despatches – The News", "Moshe Dayan Sounds the Alarm in Vietnam", "Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein", "Field Marshal Montgomery and Oscar Nemon", "Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band history", Montgomery and Anglo Polish relations during WWII, contributions in Parliament by the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, Newspaper clippings about Bernard Montgomery, Colonel of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bernard_Montgomery&oldid=993581029, British military personnel of the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, British military personnel of the Irish War of Independence, British military personnel of the Palestine Emergency, Companions of the Distinguished Service Order, English people of Ulster-Scottish descent, Foreign recipients of the Distinguished Service Medal (United States), Graduates of the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Graduates of the Staff College, Camberley, Grand Commanders of the Order of George I, Grand Crosses of the Order of the White Lion, Grand Officers of the Order of Leopold II, Knights Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, Members of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, People educated at St Paul's School, London, People educated at The King's School, Canterbury, Recipients of the Croix de Guerre 1914–1918 (France), Recipients of the Croix de guerre (Belgium), Recipients of the Cross of Valour (Greece), Recipients of the Order of Suvorov, 1st class, Recipients of the Silver Cross of the Virtuti Militari, Viscounts in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, Western Union (alliance) military appointments, Recipients of the Distinguished Service Medal (US Army), Pages containing London Gazette template with parameter supp set to y, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the ODNB, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CINII identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Semantic Scholar author identifiers, Wikipedia articles with TePapa identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Grand Cordon of the Seal of Solomon (Ethiopia, 1949), This page was last edited on 11 December 2020, at 10:19. [140] No notes were taken at the Eisenhower–Montgomery and Churchill–Montgomery meetings, but Montgomery was able to persuade both men not to fire him. [140] Brooke was sufficiently worried about the "sack Monty" campaign to visit Montgomery at his Tactical Headquarters (TAC) in France and as he wrote in his diary; "warned [Montgomery] of a tendency in the PM [Churchill] to listen to suggestions that Monty played for safety and was not prepared to take risks". [160] Montgomery refused Crerar's request to have British XII Corps under Neil Ritchie assigned to help clear the Scheldt as Montgomery stated he needed XII Corps for Operation Market Garden. [158], On 6 September 1944, Montgomery told Crerar that "I want Boulogne badly" and that city should be taken no matter what the cost. [169], Montgomery pulled away from the First Canadian Army (temporarily commanded now by Simonds as Crerar was ill), the British 51st Highland Division, 1st Polish Division, British 49th (West Riding) Division and 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade, and sent all of these formations to help the 2nd British Army hold the Arnhem salient. He would also be able to ensure that British units were spared some of the high-attrition actions, but would be most prominent when the final blows were struck. A memo summarising Montgomery's operations written by Eisenhower's chief of staff, General Walter Bedell Smith who met with Montgomery in late June 1944 says nothing about Montgomery conducting a "holding operation" in the Caen sector, and instead speaks of him seeking a "breakout" into the plains south of the Seine. [66], In 1942, a new field commander was required in the Middle East, where Auchinleck was fulfilling both the role of Commander-in-chief (C-in-C) of Middle East Command and commander Eighth Army. When he was 14, the family returned to England and settled in Chiswick, London. During this time, Montgomery faced serious trouble from his military superiors and the clergy for his frank attitude regarding the sexual health of his soldiers, but was defended from dismissal by his superior Alan Brooke, commander of II Corps. [126] Although the Eisenhower–Montgomery dispute is sometimes depicted in nationalist terms as being an Anglo-American struggle, it was the British Air Marshal Arthur Tedder who was pressing Eisenhower most strongly after Goodwood to fire Montgomery. They would then turn north to recapture the port of Antwerp. [126] Ultra decrypts indicated that the Germans now facing Bradley were seriously understrength with Operation Cobra about to commence. For the American general, see, harvnb error: no target: CITEREFMontgomery1960 (, a staff post, normally held by a major, although the account does not give his specific rank at the time, The Memoirs of Field Marshal Montgomery, p. 64, The Memoirs of Field Marshal Montgomery, p. 65. [107] The Canadian historians Terry Copp and Robert Vogel wrote about the dispute between the "American school" and "British school" after having suffered several setbacks in June 1944: Montgomery drew what was the indisputably correct conclusion from these events. [168] For his part, Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, the German commander of the Western Front, ordered General Gustav-Adolf von Zangen, the commander of 15th Army, that: "The attempt of the enemy to occupy the West Scheldt in order to obtain the free use of the harbor of Antwerp must be resisted to the utmost" (emphasis in the original). The Americans under General Eisenhower landed in North Africa to attack from the opposite direction. 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