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View Diary: Death in September (123 comments)

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  •  D-Day (none)
    was about the last time Monty wanted to go anywhere. He dithered and putzed his way across northern France, across the Rhine, and across Germany thereafter. They should have retired him in disgrace after Market Garden.

    The problem was not that he went too fast. It's that he wrote an ops plan that required action at a pace that was unsupportable in terms of men, matériel, and the transport available to him. After those great bloody parachute drops that were still too big to be accomplished at once, his plan called for all his armor to move at double-quick lightning speed up a narrow, virtually one-lane road  just to prevent the advance paratroop units from getting slaughtered--as happened, predictably, when his armor, predictably, got bogged down on the road.

    Excessive haste is just as bad in a general as is excessive delay. Trying to end the war before Christmas was exactly the same problem that McClellan and other Union generals had faced (with the same results) a century previously.

    •  Not arguing tactic (none)
      Just you cant claim Monty as a procrastinator while ignoring d day and market garden.

      but as you said, not getting the armor there in time was a killer. If they could have accomplished that, i think the war would have been over sooner  - and we would have beat the russians to germany - completely changing the complexion of Europe. that is something to think about - that was what Monty was thinking about.

      •  Exceptio probat regulam (none)
        The exception proves the rule. He sat on his hands in the Caen offensive, and even worse, when he was supposed to be clearing the Scheldt estuary so the Allies could use the port of Antwerp instead of having to run the Red Ball Express 400 miles from the Normandy beachhead to the front lines. I'm sure there are other instances I'm forgetting, but those two stand out in memory.

        Moreover, while Market Garden might mitigate his general reputation as a procrastinator, it should also brand him as complete idiot when it comes to strategy.

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