Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein quotes

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Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein

Birthdate: 17. November 1887
Date of death: 24. March 1976

Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, , nicknamed "Monty" and "The Spartan General", was a senior British Army officer who fought in both the First World War and the Second World War.

He saw action in the First World War as a junior officer of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. At Méteren, near the Belgian border at Bailleul, he was shot through the right lung by a sniper, during the First Battle of Ypres. He returned to the Western Front as a general staff officer and took part in the Battle of Arras in April/May 1917. He also took part in the Battle of Passchendaele in late 1917 before finishing the war as chief of staff of the 47th Division.

In the inter-war years he commanded the 17th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers and, later, the 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment before becoming commander of 9th Infantry Brigade and then General Officer Commanding 8th Infantry Division.

During the Second World War he commanded the British Eighth Army from August 1942 in the Western Desert until the final Allied victory in Tunisia in May 1943. This command included the Second Battle of El Alamein, a turning point in the Western Desert Campaign. He subsequently commanded the British Eighth Army during the Allied invasion of Sicily and the Allied invasion of Italy. He was in command of all Allied ground forces during Operation Overlord from the initial landings until after the Battle of Normandy. He then continued in command of the 21st Army Group for the rest of the campaign in North West Europe. As such he was the principal field commander for the failed airborne attempt to bridge the Rhine at Arnhem, and the Allied Rhine crossing. On 4 May 1945 he took the German surrender at Lüneburg Heath in Northern Germany.

After the war he became Commander-in-Chief of the British Army of the Rhine in Germany and then Chief of the Imperial General Staff . From 1948 to 1951 he served as Chairman of the Commanders-in-Chief Committee of the Western Union. He then served as NATO's Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe until his retirement in 1958.

Quotes Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein

„There were many reasons why we did not gain complete success at Arnhem. The following in my view were the main ones. First. The operation was not regarded at Supreme Headquarters as the spearhead of a major Allied movement on the northern flank designed to isolate, and finally to occupy, the Ruhr - the one objective in the West which the Germans could not afford to lose. There is no doubt in my mind that Eisenhower always wanted to give priority to the northern thrust and to scale down the southern one. He ordered this to be done, and he thought that it was being done. It was not being done. Second. The airborne forces at Arnhem were dropped too far away from the vital objective - the bridge. It was some hours before they reached it. I take the blame for this mistake. I should have ordered Second Army and 1st Airborne Corps to arrange that at least one complete Parachute Brigade was dropped quite close to the bridge, so that it could have been captured in a matter of minutes and its defence soundly organised with time to spare. I did not do so. Third. The weather. This turned against us after the first day and we could not carry out much of the later airborne programme. But weather is always an uncertain factor, in war and in peace. This uncertainty we all accepted. It could only have been offset, and the operation made a certainty, by allotting additional resources to the project, so that it became an Allied and not merely a British project. Fourth. The 2nd S. S. Panzer Corps was refitting in the Arnhem area, having limped up there after its mauling in Normandy. We knew it was there. But we were wrong in supposing that it could not fight effectively; its battle state was far beyond our expectation. It was quickly brought into action against the 1st Airborne Division.“

—  Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein

Concerning Operation Market Garden in his autobiography, 'The Memoirs of Field Marshal Montgomery' (1958)

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