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"Was Monty's finest hour just a pointless bloodbath?" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2017 4:11 p.m. PST

…Historians claim El Alamein – which began 70 years ago today – sacrificed thousands for the sake of propaganda

"The Sahara is cold at night, and for the young soldiers waiting to go into battle, it felt perishing. Many, such as those in the Durham Brigade, were only wearing shirts, shorts and flimsy pullovers, and shivered while they clutched their rifles.
Nearby were soldiers from an Australian battalion, one of whom, a Private Crawford, took pity on a youthful-looking private in the Durhams, and gave him his sweater.
Two hours later, an enormous barrage started up from the British guns, the like of which had not been seen since World War I. The soldiers, many now trembling more from fear than cold, advanced into what swiftly became a terrifying and chaotic inferno…"

Main page
link


Amicalement
Armand

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2017 6:29 p.m. PST

You know, I hate to say nice things about Montgomery, but would anyone care to imagine the Torch landings without an attack to pin or destroy existing Axis forces in North Africa? And it was about the only position held by either side which couldn't be outflanked and had to be fought through. Montgomery said repeatedly that "the dogfight" would go on for days, and so it did.

And he insisted his men be thoroughly trained and adequate supplies on hand? The horror! The horror! Worse yet, he used his army according to its training, organization and doctrine. The things some people won't do to win battles!

Yes, Britain and the Commonwealth paid dearly to dislodge a veteran and determined enemy, dug in with secure flanks. If someone knows the cheap way to do that, please PM me before my next game--and cc the Secretary of Defense, just in case.

goragrad14 Apr 2017 7:03 p.m. PST

Losing Egypt and the Suez Canal alone would have been serious.

Losing the Middle Eastern oil fields even more so.

North Africa was not a pointless campaign and 2nd Alamein was certainly not a pointless battle.

Revisionist history.

Piquet Rules14 Apr 2017 7:21 p.m. PST

"Historians claim"….

Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see any of these "historians" called by name in the article.

It might has well have said "Some guys claim"….

christot14 Apr 2017 11:51 p.m. PST

Well, it is the Daily Mail.
It might well be that Walter's book actually makes no such claim.

JARROVIAN Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2017 3:43 a.m. PST

Twaddle!

Andy ONeill15 Apr 2017 3:56 a.m. PST

El alamein was valuable both strategically AND for it's propaganda value.

Personal logo wrgmr1 Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2017 8:45 a.m. PST

+1 Robert P and Andy ONeill.

krisgibbo15 Apr 2017 9:45 a.m. PST

You lost me at Daily Mail.

Paint it Pink15 Apr 2017 10:10 a.m. PST

The stupidity of the article burns.

jdginaz15 Apr 2017 11:43 a.m. PST

"… but would anyone care to imagine the Torch landings without an attack to pin or destroy existing Axis forces in North Africa?"

The German forces facing the British at El Alamein were a long way from the Torch landings and wouldn't have been able to disengage and get there in time to have any effect on the landings.

With the Torch landings Rommel would have been forced to withdraw back to Tunisia in order to try and protect is source of supply with a fresh & undamaged 8th army in pursuit and the RAF having control of the air. It would have been a very good opportunity to do severe damage to the Afrika Korps with comparatively little risk to the 8th. So yes it's my opinion that the battle of El Alamein was unnecessary.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2017 12:35 p.m. PST

It's a very good "best of" the worst clichιs about WWII. It has everything :

- The magical German MG that cuts down endless hordes of hapless allied troops.
- The worst tank in history, the Sherman who burned when Germans gave it an angry look, unlike the indestructible panzers with their fire-proof diesel engines that could destroy anything they pointed their guns at.
- Anything from WWI is an abysmal failure, a time where every general was utterly incompetent, hiding miles behind the front lines instead of standing on a tank, waving their sabre and leading their men to victory, the tactics were designed to murder as many of your own men as possible and were repeated endlessly until the Americans joined in.
- The only good general in WWII is the one who deals in spectacular tactics.
- The only good tactics in WWII were all about maneuvers which could defeat anything, including heavily fortified positions with protected flanks.
- Every allied soldier in WWII is both a hero of the greatest generation and a complete victim and cannon-fodder, because they had to fight invincible Teutonic demigods, ten foot-tall superhuman Nazi warriors bred for war since the dawn of time.
- Churchill is the ultimate argument, you can always find something in his writings to either damn him for the being the worst human being in history or the greatest war-leader in history.
- Montgomery, the pissing boy of WWII, yes he was a complete dick, an habitual liar with a poisonous personality who was promoted at least half a level above his actual competence, but at least he never hid the fact that he didn't believe in crazy stunts and standing on top of tanks waving your sabre without any regard for the larger picture and had a methodical and pragmatic approach to warfare.
- The use of personal anecdotes without any broader reference to make stupid points,like "The Allies were really nasty thugs who murdered their opponents, unlike those evil nazis who though part of one of the most repulsive regimes in history we can't stop admiring in the most onanistic way possible."
- A completely stupid headline designed to draw all attention, a half-baked opinion piece that ends on an utterly vacuous end note so as not to upset the reader.

And so many more fallacies and stupidity tossed about …

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Apr 2017 12:50 p.m. PST

"Pointless?"--NO!

Monty's finest hour? Only to Monty!

The criticisms of his conduct of the battle started at least in the 50's, and the same evidence available then has only been augmented by more that has come to light since (e.g. Ultra), so this is NOT a case of modern "Revisionism," which certainly does exist and is largely reprehensible.

Not so here.

TVAG

doublesix6615 Apr 2017 9:44 p.m. PST

An article that is over 5 year's old by a author who's just slap dash approach and anti Monty bashing shine's through and rather disrespectful to those commonwealth troops who took part

Navy Fower Wun Seven16 Apr 2017 1:05 a.m. PST

I'll stand behind no-one when it comes to rubbishing Monty's ill-garnered reputation. As has been pointed out, he was a liar and a cheat and a bully. But he was about half as good as he said he was, which is still pretty good. Of course he had complete knowledge of German intentions and supply states, and 2:1 superiority in material and about 5:1 in logistics. But, after Auchinleck stabilzed the situarion at First Alamein, Second Alamein had to be fought to clear the DAK away from the Suez Canal, the UK's jugular vein…

Its just a damn shame Rommel managed to outwit him with his masterful retreat to Tunis – that's when allied lives were wasted…

Fred Cartwright16 Apr 2017 3:17 a.m. PST

With the Torch landings Rommel would have been forced to withdraw back to Tunisia in order to try and protect is source of supply with a fresh & undamaged 8th army in pursuit and the RAF having control of the air. It would have been a very good opportunity to do severe damage to the Afrika Korps with comparatively little risk to the 8th. So yes it's my opinion that the battle of El Alamein was unnecessary.

Don't see it. What would have happened would have followed much as it did, but with Afrika Korps still sat on the road to Alexandria. Hitler would send additional forces to hold Tunisia and forbid Rommel from retreating. Pretty much SOP for Hitler by 1943. Without the 8th Army in Tunisia the Americans would have been held or at worst defeated. The only way to get Afrika Korps off the Egyptian frontier was by a battle. A battle where there are no options to outflank and where the enemy is well dug in with extensive minefields is going to be one of bloody attrition. For another example see what happened to the Germans at Kursk a few months later..monty made sure he had the resources for such a battle. Not very glamorous for sure, but it won the battle.

mkenny16 Apr 2017 7:28 a.m. PST

I find it odd that no one seems to know thet TORCH was meant to land forces that would pitch up in Rommel's rear and attack him on 2 fronts. Didn't exactly go to plan and in the end it was Monty who came to the rescue of TORCH!
There is no reasoning with Monty-haters. Their deep rooted hatred is a product of years of reading of (mainly) US based authors, memoirs of inferior Generals and Hollywood revisionism that has to show (for ticket sales) only 1 nation mattered in WW2.
Monty's biggest fault in the eyes of these deluded jingoistic believers in exceptionalism is that he dared offer the opinion that he was better than other General-even US ones!

mkenny16 Apr 2017 7:47 a.m. PST

Of course he had complete knowledge of German intentions and supply states, and 2:1 superiority in material and about 5:1 in logistics.

Can you look up the force ratio for COBRA and post it here? Monty's 'superiority' looks pathetic beside Bradley's supperior numbers.
Bradley had access to ULTRA and Rommel was reading Monty's signals as well.

willlucv16 Apr 2017 12:04 p.m. PST

Back to the original Daily Fail story….

They're a right wing reactionary newspaper, who rely on selling papers by riling up their right wing reactionary readers. They've basically created a false historical report in order to get their Little Englander readership all worked up then returned to the generally accepted view that it was a much needed military victory that gave hope to the beleaguered British public. It's a complete and utter non story.

As to the real character and ability of the man, I'm not well informed enough to offer an opinion. That said he seemed no more egotistical than say Patton or Macarthur, I'm assuming generals need outrageous levels of self belief in order to do their job.

jdginaz16 Apr 2017 6:02 p.m. PST

"Second Alamein had to be fought to clear the DAK away from the Suez Canal, the UK's jugular vein…"

After First Alamein the Suez Canal was no longer under threat. The DAK didn't have enough supply to go on the offensive and not likely to get enough anytime soon so was forced to go on the defense and dug in. Rommel was back in Germany recovering from illness & exhaustion. So no threat to the canal before Torch which would force the DAK back to retreat back to Tunisia to defend it's supply base.

jdginaz16 Apr 2017 6:15 p.m. PST

" Hitler would send additional forces to hold Tunisia and forbid Rommel from retreating."

Then the DAK would have withered and died in their defenses because they wouldn't be receiving any supplies they would all be going to the troops being landed in Tunisia.

"Without the 8th Army in Tunisia the Americans would have been held or at worst defeated."

That statement is so far off it's not even worth commenting on.

jdginaz16 Apr 2017 6:18 p.m. PST

"in the end it was Monty who came to the rescue of TORCH!"

LOL never heard anybody make a statement like that before but I'm willing to be enlightened. So how did Monty "rescue TORCH"?

Blutarski16 Apr 2017 9:31 p.m. PST

"in the end it was Monty who came to the rescue of TORCH!"

23 Jan 43 – Rommel's retreat reaches the Mareth Line in Tunisia.

04 Feb 43 – Montgomery's 1200 mile pursuit reaches the Libya/Tunisia border 93 days after the Alamein breakthrough: 8th Army rate of advance approximately 13.3 miles per day. By comparison, the rate of advance of Rommel's 16 day 350 mile pursuit of 8th Army after PAK's breakthrough to the coast at Gazala on 15 Jun 42 and launching his attack upon Alam Halfa averaged about 22 miles per day. During that time Rommel also stormed and captured Tobruk and seized Mersa Matruh from a defending force of two divisions.

14 Feb 43 – Axis force attacks at Sidi Bou Zid. Axis force includes 21st Panzer Division transferred from DAK.

19 Feb 43 – Axis force, including DAK, attacks at Kasserine Pass.

06 Mar 43 – Axis spoiling attack upon 8th Army position at Medenine is defeated.

16 Mar 43 – 8th Army frontal attack upon Axis Mareth line position meets heavy resistance. This is the 8th Army first offensive action in Tunisia – 40 days after reaching the Tunisian border.

23 Mar 43 – US 2nd Corps reaches El Guettar and Maknassy, about 80 miles behind Axis Mareth Line position, threatening Axis supply line between Mareth Line and Tunis. Heavy Axis resistance.

23-25 Mar 43 – Mareth Line position outflanked to the south by 8th Army.

28 Mar 43 – Axis forces withdraw after Mareth Line defenses outflanked.

Early May 43 – Axis resistance finally collapses.

Montgomery and 8th Army certainly made a full contribution to the success of the Tunisian campaign … not sure that necessarily qualified as "rescuing" Operation Torch.

My opinion.

B

Fred Cartwright17 Apr 2017 1:14 a.m. PST

Then the DAK would have withered and died in their defenses because they wouldn't be receiving any supplies they would all be going to the troops being landed in Tunisia.

Without an attack no one is going to wither and die. I'm sure the Germans would have been happy to tie up 200,000 allied troops who were going to sit there and do nothing. Not a sensible long term strategy of course. The allied build up in Tunisia would have eventually overwhelmed whatever reinforcements Hitler sent despite the Americans ineptitude. But Hitler was well past sensible by then and his hold at all costs order would no doubt have been issued. A fighting withdrawal to Tunisia trying to maul 8th Army in mobile ops on the way would seem to have been the Germans best strategy, followed by an evacuation of North Africa.

mkenny17 Apr 2017 7:30 a.m. PST

LOL never heard anybody make a statement like that before but I'm willing to be enlightened. So how did Monty "rescue TORCH"?

TORCH was planned to land an army that would quickly occupy Tunis and advance on Rommels rear. It did not go to plan and another German Army was landed to block TORCH.
Rather that attacking Rommels rear the Torch Armies got bogged down and in the end Monty came to Tunisia.
It really is very simple.

mkenny17 Apr 2017 7:40 a.m. PST

04 Feb 43 – Montgomery's 1200 mile pursuit reaches the Libya/Tunisia border 93 days after the Alamein breakthrough: 8th Army rate of advance approximately 13.3 miles per day. By comparison, the rate of advance of Rommel's 16 day 350 mile pursuit of 8th Army after PAK's breakthrough to the coast at Gazala on 15 Jun 42 and launching his attack upon Alam Halfa averaged about 22 miles per day. During that time Rommel also stormed and captured Tobruk and seized Mersa Matruh from a defending force of two divisions.

Rommel effectively destroyed his armour in that campaign. He ended up blocked and lacking enough men and supplies to move any further forward. He was a sitting duck when Monty planned his offensive. Once Rommel broke and ran Monty was determined not to allow any chance of a quick riposte by Rommel or advance at breakneck-speed and and lose his armour to breakdowns.
That is the difference between Monty and Rommel. Rommel was someone who gambled and whilst sometimes he won big in the end he ended up losing his shirt. The difference between a 'lucky' General and an extremely competent one.

jdginaz17 Apr 2017 11:01 a.m. PST

"Without an attack no one is going to wither and die."

You are when your supply base is 1700kl away and you have to use old worn-out trucks over a single poor quality road to get those supplies. Even in defense a army uses a lot of POL not to mention food and especially water in the desert.

Also if you examine Rommel's record I believe you'll find that he wasn't above disobeying Hitler's orders when he felt it was necessary to do so.

"… in the end Monty came to Tunisia.
It really is very simple."

So Monty eventually made it to Tunisia three months after the landings where the Allies (remember there were British & French troops not just Americans with a British General in overall command) were well established and fighting and winning battles in no danger of being defeated.

There is no explanation in your reply of how Monty "saved" Torch.

mkenny17 Apr 2017 11:57 a.m. PST

So Monty eventually made it to Tunisia three months after the landings where the Allies (remember there were British & French troops not just Americans with a British General in overall command) were well established and fighting and winning battles in no danger of being defeated.

There is no explanation in your reply of how Monty "saved" Torch.


Though they were 'well established' they certainly did not accomplish anything as quickly or as easily as they had hoped.
There are a Few posters here who gleefully work out Monty's advance rate to 10 decimal places so can I ask the same people to work out the TORCH armies advance rate from Landing to surrender of Tunis?

foxweasel Supporting Member of TMP17 Apr 2017 12:15 p.m. PST

I often find it strange that people hate Montgomery or (insert favourite allied leader) more than Rommel. He was an enemy general who's sole aim was to destroy allied troops at all opportunities. I've no doubt the next reply will be something along the lines of "he wasn't a real Nazi, he was a very nice man" Montgomery haters, remember what side your relatives fought for. German gamers reading this, it's ok to hate him!

mkenny17 Apr 2017 12:17 p.m. PST

I think Macdonald summed it up pretty well with :

The Allied plan to defeat Rommel by converging attacks having been foiled, General Eisenhower had no choice but to dig in to defend in the Tunisian mountains until he could accumulate enough strength to attack in conjunction with a renewed strike by Montgomery against the Mareth Line

link

Fred Cartwright17 Apr 2017 12:18 p.m. PST

You are when your supply base is 1700kl away and you have to use old worn-out trucks over a single poor quality road to get those supplies. Even in defense a army uses a lot of POL not to mention food and especially water in the desert.

Seriously?! Just how long are you going to wait for that to happen? Bear in mind Afrika Korps had been at the end of an increasingly long supply line for months, fought a battle after arriving at El Alamein and then been sat there for 4 months and not only maintained supply, but also shipped thousands of mines to the front, and still managed to put up a very hard fight at the end of it. I think that is a big dollop of wishful thinking on your part if you reckon the army is going to disintegrate through lack of supply.

mkenny17 Apr 2017 12:23 p.m. PST

I often find it strange that people hate Montgomery or (insert favourite allied leader) more than Rommel. He was an enemy general who's sole aim was to destroy allied troops at all opportunities. I've no doubt the next reply will be something along the lines of "he wasn't a real Nazi, he was a very nice man"

Overwhelmingly the anti-Monty crowd are Anglophobes. Ill-informed people who get their facts from Hollywood films or the post-war hatchet-job on Monty by Bradley who was still smarting over Hodges being placed under Monty's command during The Bulge.

Andy ONeill17 Apr 2017 12:56 p.m. PST

I think the focus on Tunis is perhaps somewhat misleading.

During the relevant period Rommel's main supply port ( until he lost it) was Tripoli.
Anyone questioning whether El Alamein was worthwhile ought to consider which force was first to Tripoli.

Whilst considering logistics.
These were a big problem for the forces involved in Torch.
That and the terrain caused them problems.

christot17 Apr 2017 1:40 p.m. PST

Is it coincidence, or does a Monty thread always seem to crop up during the school holidays?

jdginaz17 Apr 2017 7:35 p.m. PST

Well I can see that we aren't going to get a honest discussion of the original question. Due to those who seem to feel the need to react to perceived attacks on Monty and take their usual shots at Americans.

mkenny18 Apr 2017 5:33 a.m. PST

Well I can see that we aren't going to get a honest discussion of the original question. Due to those who seem to feel the need to react <U>to perceived attacks on Monty and take their usual shots at Americans.


Lets have a look at these 'perceived attacks on Monty':


Monty's finest hour? Only to Monty! The criticisms of his conduct of the battle started at least in the 50's, and the same evidence available then has only been augmented by more that has come to light since
As has been pointed out, he was a liar and a cheat and a bully…………Rommel managed to outwit him with his masterful retreat to Tunis – that's when allied lives were wasted

The problem (as always) is the usual rag-bag collection on Monty Haters infect every thread where he is mentioned. Their views are not the product of any rational study of the many because they just 'know' he was the Devil incarnate. Rather then keeping their childish insults to themselves they simply have to parade their ignorance in open forum.
No one here 'insulted' Americans and I have to laugh that such sensitive souls who can not stand the tiniest criticism of their Military have no qualms about posting the basest of insults about other Nations Generals.
Wimps!

Blutarski18 Apr 2017 7:13 a.m. PST

….. mkenny, when you finish with your energetic exercise in demagoguery and mass character assassination, I would be pleased to read any intelligent commentary you might wish to offer about Monty's merits as a WW2 army commander.

B

mkenny18 Apr 2017 7:40 a.m. PST

when you finish with your energetic exercise in demagoguery and mass character assassination

Yes silly me. I forgot that character assassination is only welcome if directed at Monty.

As you wrote this snide Monty disparagement earlier earlier:

Montgomery's 1200 mile pursuit reaches the Libya/Tunisia border 93 days after the Alamein breakthrough: 8th Army rate of advance approximately 13.3 miles per day. By comparison, the rate of advance of Rommel's 16 day 350 mile pursuit of 8th Army

Might I ask if you considered doing the same for the advance of the TORCH Armies so we could compare them with Monty's advance rate?

christot18 Apr 2017 7:43 a.m. PST

He came up with (and then executed) the plan which saw Allied armies able to successfully invade and then complete rout the German army in France….?

daler240D Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2017 11:03 a.m. PST

Funny, and I mean odd, how some people are personally affronted when a dead historical figure gets criticized or even discussed in any objective manner that is not following the conventional rah, rah narrative. Monty and Haig seem to be the front runners for inciting this peculiar behavior followed in a close third by Napoleon.

Mike Target18 Apr 2017 11:57 a.m. PST

Had a crack at working out the Rate of Advance for the Operation Torch forces- They were deployed on a front of about 800 miles, so the furthest had 1200 miles to go, the nearest about 400+!

Start date of 9th Nov, arrival in Tunis around the 6th May. so 178 days. Not sure if that actually invlved any of the 1st army units. Certainly I doubt it would inclde Pattons mob, who started as far away as possible.

Assuming though somone got there though, the answer must lie somewhere between 2 and a bit miles per day for the nearest (easternmost)units, and 6and a bit miles a day for those at the westernmost end.

Not exactly speedy in either case.

mkenny18 Apr 2017 12:27 p.m. PST

Funny, and I mean odd, how some people are personally affronted when a dead historical figure gets criticized or even discussed in any objective manner that is not following the conventional rah, rah narrative.

A common retort. The implication being that Monty is overwhelmingly lauded as the finest General in WW2 etc etc and those who think otherwise are just trying to introduce some balance to the conversation.
It is fiction.
I have never ever seen a thread on any Forum that has as its aim the promotion of Montgomery. I have never seen this legion of devoted Monty admirers who do nothing but post positives about him.
They do not exist and the claim the 'convention is a rah rah narrative' is a lie.
A fiction created simply to provide the critics with an excuse when challenged about their behaviour.
If anyone says I am wrong then just post the links to all the threads that sing his praises.
Note replies to attacks on his record are not the same as threads that laud him.

Had a crack at working out the Rate of Advance for the Operation Torch forces- ……………..Not exactly speedy in either case.

It is a meaningless calculation that takes no account of the myriad of problems on the ground. A pointless exercise for any General but just one of the standard tactics when dealing with Monty. Absurd meanlingless trivia created for no other reason to insert a note of criticism in an otherwise positive list of Monty's record. It adds nothing to the paragraph that included it other than to sneak in the implication 'Yes he won but he did it more slowly and with less success than Rommel in the same situation..
I am not criticising you for working out the TORCH' miles per day' and thanks for the effort. I knew none of the Monty critics would be the slightest bit interested in tackling it.

Blutarski18 Apr 2017 12:37 p.m. PST

MT wrote – "Not exactly speedy in either case."

I purposely selected the Gazala pursuit versus the Alamein pursuit to provide a like to like comparison, i.e., the pursuit of a decisively defeated opponent over more or less similar terrain.

B

Blutarski18 Apr 2017 12:57 p.m. PST

mkenny wrote – "As you wrote this snide Monty disparagement earlier"

… i.e., presentation of a factual comparison of performance under approximately similar operational conditions is considered by you to constitute "snide disparagement" and is therefore inadmissible.

- – -

mkenny wrote – "Might I ask if you considered doing the same for the advance of the TORCH Armies so we could compare them with Monty's advance rate?"

and

mkenny then wrote – "It is a meaningless calculation that takes no account of the myriad of problems on the ground. A pointless exercise for any General but just one of the standard tactics when dealing with Monty. Absurd meanlingless trivia created for no other reason to insert a note of criticism in an otherwise positive list of Monty's record. It adds nothing to the paragraph that included it other than to sneak in the implication 'Yes he won but he did it more slowly and with less success than Rommel in the same situation..

… which is to say that after specifically bringing it up as a point of performance comparison in an implied defense of Montgomery, it is a very short time later dismissed as "absurd meaningless trivia".

mkenny is, to be fair, unintentionally correct on that point. The circumstances under which the Torch advance rates were achieved against an undefeated resisting opponent bear no relationship to advance rate achieved by a victorious pursuer of a beaten enemy.

- – -

I still await cessation of the demagoguery and character assassination program and a clarification from mkenny as to how, in the absence of actual facts, any reasonable discussion of Montgomery's performance as a military commander might be conducted.

Strictly my opinion, of course.


B

jdginaz18 Apr 2017 1:03 p.m. PST

"He came up with (and then executed) the plan which saw Allied armies able to successfully invade and then complete rout the German army in France….?"

He participated in the planning of the operation but didn't come up with it by himself.

"I have never ever seen a thread on any Forum that has as its aim the promotion of Montgomery."

LOL, You've got to be kidding me, I can't beleive you posted that with any seriousness.

mkenny18 Apr 2017 1:16 p.m. PST

"I have never ever seen a thread on any Forum that has as its aim the promotion of Montgomery."

LOL, You've got to be kidding me, I can't beleive you posted that with any seriousne

All you need to do now is post the links………….

Remember my caution that threads where people react to posters who get their history facts from the mouths of former Cheers barmen is not the same thing as threads that promote Monty.

mkenny18 Apr 2017 1:27 p.m. PST

The circumstances under which the Torch advance rates were achieved against an undefeated resisting opponent bear no relationship to advance rate achieved by a victorious pursuer of a beaten enemy.


'Beaten enemy'? They performed quite well at Kasserine I seem to remember.
cue but….but….but….but………..

Blutarski18 Apr 2017 3:37 p.m. PST

mkenny – Your above response/retort is interesting.

Let's see now …..

> Rommel reaches the Mareth Line on 23 Jan 1943;

> Montgomery reaches the Tunisian/Libyan border on 04 Feb 1943, remaining offensively inactive until 16 Mar 43. The argument is that Montgomery was forced to suspend offensive operations until Tripoli could be re-opened as a supply base.

> The remnants of DAK re-fit over a period of about three weeks and are committed to battles of Sidi bou Zid / Kasserine Pass in mid-Feb 43, then attack 8th Army at Medenine on 6 Mar 43.

> The status of Tripoli be as it may have been, here is what Hinsley (via Wiki) relates about Montgomery's response when warned of German intentions to attack at Medenine – "On 26 February, the Eighth Army had only about one division at Medenine, most of its tanks were with X Corps (Lieutenant-General Brian Horrocks) at Benghazi, 1,000 miles (1,600 km) away and an attack on the Mareth line could not be ready before 20 March." Montgomery thought that XXX Corps at Medenine would not be able to withstand an attack before 7 March but over three days and nights, reinforcements were rushed forward and by 4 March, 400 tanks, 350 field guns and 470 anti-tank guns had been moved up."

Suddenly, the status of Tripoli was no longer of great moment. The winter rains had also ceased by mid-Feb (and in any case appear not to have greatly impeded German operational mobility prior to that time), so one wonders why steps had not been taken to resume an offensive instead of remaining static and granting invaluable respite to Rommel's forces.


My personal opinion is that Montgomery was a successful, but over-cautious, risk-averse and conventionally minded commander. In the above case, if good reasons indeed exist as to why Montgomery chose to remain static on the border for more than a month, I would be pleased to learn them. Unfortunately, you have so far confined your responses to bluster and personal attacks.


B

mkenny18 Apr 2017 4:03 p.m. PST

The funny thing is though you saw the hook you simply could not resist biting.


Fact is the Army you claimed was 'beaten' and thus should have easily been finished by Monty took the first Allied Army it encountered to the cleaners.

Montgomery was very well covered by American newspapers and this was a problem with some US Generals. His bad bad press in the US started after The Bulge debacle where Bradley lost control of Hodges and that Army was placed under Monty's command (by Eisenhower it must be stressed)in order to bring some discipline to it. Rather than a simple thanks we got a decade of lies and fabrication from Bradley and his sycophants who did everything in their power to falsify the record with made-up stories about Monty 'claiming credit' for the Bulge victory.

mkenny18 Apr 2017 4:22 p.m. PST

Let's see now …..

> Rommel reaches the Mareth Line on 23 Jan 1943.

> Montgomery reaches the Tunisian/Libyan border on 04 Feb 1943 and then remains offensively inactive until 16 Mar 1943.

What do you suppose the chances were that the Germans might have been resting and re-fitting during the intervening period of 52 days (nearly two months)?


Whilst the period 4 Feb-16 Mar is 52 days can you use your exceptional mathematical skills to work out the number of days from 4 Feb to 19 Feb-the start of the Kasserine Debacle?

One we have the answer we can correct your attempt to portray it below as '52 days'.

What do you suppose the chances were that the Germans might have been resting and re-fitting during the intervening period of 52 days (nearly two months)?

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