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Military history and past events only. Rants or inflamitory comments will be removed.
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Relieving Monty
ChrisDM
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: January 01, 2010
KitMaker: 717 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Monday, June 14, 2010 - 02:12 AM UTC
I think you're on to something there. Patton was fine once the breakthough had been made, but would have been completely the wrong choice for breaking out of the bocage

Going back to Monty, personally I think he didn't really make any huge mistakes throughout the campaign. He made some errors of judgement, but no more so than any other general in WWII.

The stick usually used to beat him with is the old 'Caen on D+2' thing. Monty liked to sound confident and grab headlines. In his plan it said the British would seek to threaten Caen on D+2. This did not mean 'take' but as he had used deliberately inaccurate phrasing, its understandable that people wiyld think he meant that, after all, in a way he wahted to hint at it I think without actually committing to it

In the end his own ego undid him here.

I don't like to call the Eastern sector British, as the command might have been british but the troops were a mix of British, Canadian, Polish and other nations, calling it British hides their sacrifice. The Eastern sector (as mentioned above) not only contained Bocage, but was also defended by much larger and more dangerous german formations

Even the Mortain counter attack was not as much as a threat as it could have been to the US sector thanks to losses inflicted on it by British and Commonwealth troops as it's constituent units moved from their positions in the Eastern sector to Mortain to make the attack

Replacing Monty would not have shortened the Normandy campaign, but may well have lengthened it

As for Market Garden, as with all things its hard to say how things might have been. It wasn't just the plan that was flawed but elements of the execution too (the British airborne being dropped so far from their targets, the Polish being committed after the battle was effectively lost etc).

I might be British, but on reflection I think it would have been better if the resources for MG had gone to Patton for his Eastward thrust after all

Just my 2p (3.2c)

Chris
McIvan
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New Zealand
Joined: November 18, 2009
KitMaker: 64 posts
AeroScale: 34 posts
Posted: Monday, June 14, 2010 - 10:28 AM UTC
Yeah I don't think Market Garden was really a starter......I see it as Monty giving in, really, in a last ditch effort to do something, anything, to try and exploit the Normandy victory instead of frittering it away with the silly broad front policy that was guaranteed only to have everyone run out of supplies and give the Germans a chance to regroup. In Monty's defence, he had already offered to subordinate himself to Bradley if only Ike would settle on one massive push into German through the Aachen gap, but Ike wouldn't hear of it (ostensibly for political reasons...but surely if the Brits had a problem with troops being under yank command they wouldn't have have agreed to Eisenhower taking land forces command on 1 Sept). That being rejected, and the southern option going nowhere...no decent road nets, no decent crossings over the Rhine, not really worth taking compared to the Ruhr, he felt compelled to come up with something and Market Garden was it.

Probly would have been better supporting a southern thrust...at least it would have gone somewhere....but I suspect Ike would have blocked it for the same reasons he blocked a northern thrust....he was fixated on his "broad front" policy and that was it.....the war lasted another six months.