Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.... sort of.

Discussion in 'General' started by jobee, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Owen -

    Now then Jobee -
    as I understand it - Brereton was NOT on the sick list - he was swanning around with another American General in viewing another potential operation - in other words as we called it - "dodging the column" knowing full well that there was an impending disaster about to happen !
    Owen made the point about the Blame Game, I rest my case with the above. Tell me, were the Americans and Commonwealth forces actually Allies?
    Drew5233 and Owen like this.
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    How on earth did we get onto OMG anyway, I've just read jobee's poem it's not even mentioned.
    The man himself then....


    I've never seent this one before...


    Corporal W English, batman to General Montgomery, cleaning the badge on the General's beret, in camp at Eighth Army Headquarters in Italy.
  3. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    Jobees fault see post 3:D
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Ah yes so I see, another lovely pic of Monty's batman.


    General Montgomery is handed a scarf by his batman, Corporal W English, in camp at Eighth Army Headquarters in Italy. Corporal English, from Erith, has been the General's batman since Alamein.
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I think I read somewhere he got a medal for being him Batman. Nothing listed online though.
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I suspect you probably earnt a medal for being Monty's batman. Can't have been an easy man to serve so closely.
    Slipdigit likes this.
  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Never seen this one either..
    from 1919.

    Military Service 1914 - 1939: Lieutenant-Colonel Montgomery, Commanding Officer of the 17th (Empire) Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers, with his officers outside a Bierstube in Durren during the occupation of the Ruhr.
  8. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    The more observant of my fellow forum members will have noticed that I normally steer clear of topics that are about the areas of WW2 in which I did not serve.

    Market Garden fitted fully into this category so I stayed resolutely out of sight.

    Then I realised that the actual thread title was Field Marshall (sic) Bernard Montgomery and I remembered writing on this subject before.

    For the benefit of newbies I repeat it below:

    Monty ?
    He scared the daylights out of me !

    I only saw him twice.

    The first occasion was at Sousse when he adressed 78 Div prior to the Div's landings on Sicily. We had spent what seemed like hours in a dusty field, all being lined up in our serried ranks, when he arrived in his jeep and in his distinctive nasel tone barked out "Break ranks and gather round me !"
    This, I must say, to the disgust of our superiors who had got us into beautiful parade ground formation in the first place !

    The second time was in Sicily when in some now forgotten village I had to pull our wireless truck sharply to one side to let his jeep through a narrow road. My fellow wireless-op threw him a cracking salute and he went flying past.

    We were to lose Monty after Cassino as he went off to handle the D-Day operations and the 8th Army lost a bit of its sparkle from then on.

    Showman? yes..... Good commander? yes...... Out on his own ?.......yes

    RIP Montgomery !
    Slipdigit likes this.
  9. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Nice post Ron :)
  11. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Ron, like this?

    DATE: 5 July 1943
    Personalities: The Commander of the Eighth Army, Lieutenant General Sir Bernard Montgomery, surrounded by a sea of forage caps as he addresses troops at a camp in Malta before they leave for Sicily.


    General Montgomery stops his car to talk to Royal Engineers working on a road near Catania, 2 August 1943.
  12. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    " you ask if the US and Commonwealth forces were allies ....? "

    There were times when many of us who had to suffer owing to the apparent lack of co-oporation of many of the US forces commanders - often pondered that same question.....
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    " you ask if the US and Commonwealth forces were allies ....? "

    There were times when many of us who had to suffer owing to the apparent lack of co-oporation of many of the US forces commanders - often pondered that same question.....

    Tom, I'm sure the French asked the same Q of the British too at times in 1940.
  14. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    Interesting comments regarding `Monty` I personally do not have an opinion.My late Father and Uncle however could`nt bear the fellow...I think it was something to do with his insistance that `Where ever he goes 50th Div goes too` and that was always at the sharp end!
    Some nice quotes attributed to him too ` Well, now I must go to meet God and try to explain all those men I killed at Alamein` is one I recall.
    My favourite quote was made long after the war and although it is not at all regarded as Politically correct these days it was his view at the time and I can almost hear him say it,I`ll not go in to detail but the quote ends "this sort of thing may be tolerated by the French, but we're British — thank God`

  15. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Drew -
    and equally the Germans might have said the same thing regarding the Italians -Cheers
  16. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Can well undertsand the feeling of members of 50th Div - always being at the sharp end - which they were - but Monty was addressing a unit of the 50th when he told them that they were the best and he would like to take them with him - wherever he went - this brought on the usual groans and cat calls - but - he continued - "AH - but I might be going to England" - the groans turned to cheers immediatey !
  17. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    " you ask if the US and Commonwealth forces were allies ....? "

    There were times when many of us who had to suffer owing to the apparent lack of co-oporation of many of the US forces commanders - often pondered that same question.....

    I am left to gather from this and most all of your posts that if the US commanders did not do as you imagine they were told, then they were not "cooperating?"
  18. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Jeff - with the best or worst will in the world - I cannot get around the fact that without the efforts of ALL the American forces - the British and Commonwealth could not have overcome the German and Axis forces against us in that period - for which we are eternally grateful to all Americans - and I am quite certain that many of my contemporaries would be inclined to state the same obvious conclusions and I do admit that - on occasion - I do come down sometimes heavily on some of your Commanders when they act - not according to MY thinking - but that of their own superiors and other Allied superiors by disregarding their instructions. In some cases through downright disobedience.

    Even you must admit that the actions of Fredendal at Kasserine - Patton at Gafsa - Patton at Palermo - Clark at Salerno -Clark at the Garilgliano - Clark at Cassino - Clark at Anzio - and finally Clark at Valmontone - Patton at Falaise - all added up to unnecessary casualties not only to the Commonwealth forces but your own American
    forces.....young people of to-day are much swayed by Hollywood's revisions of History which tends to obfuscate the object is to expound the truth - as I see it - which tends to be from a point of fact.
    I am by no means anti American - I live too close to them for that but I do wish they would open their minds a little - just now and again in admitting perhaps - just perhaps - they are NOT the greatest !

    with my best regards to you Jeff
    Cheers - Tom
  19. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Montgomery, of course, was to gain much prestige worldwide for his victory at Alamein and this included the civilians back home, wherever home was.

    I remember getting mail from home telling me how well he was thought of and I wrote a small piece on the BBC People's War Archives that illustrates this point:

    My other story concerns the same period of twenty-eight day’s leave (late 1945).

    My Dad was very proud of his soldier son and wanted to take me around to show to his cronies

    One of his regular weekly haunts was a local Solo Whist Drive where the prizes were quite substantial, about £50 pounds if I remember rightly.

    When we entered the hall he introduced me to all and sundry as one of General Montgomery’s veterans and mentioned that it was the first of such competitions that I had ever attended.

    I won’t say that his friends deliberately played badly against me…. let us just say that a combination of beginner’s luck and civilian good-will resulted in my winning the top prize and my father was ecstatic.

    The following Friday he was shocked to the core when I apologetically declined his offer to take me to the same place again. I was never a gambler whereas my Dad was, like many of his generation, the eternal punter and he shook his head in bewilderment at my inability to sense when I was on a winning streak.
  20. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I recall how Patton swanned around the French Countryside entirely empty of the enemy...All to please his gigantic ego.

    had he assisted in closing the Falaise pocket we could have killed or captured many thousands more of the enemy He chose not to obey the orders.

    On the whole we got on with the Americans very well indeed... For me Cheers Yanks.
    Bless Them. They came to our aid from the other side of the world. in 2 world wars they came to our aid....

    That Begs the question how could we refuse to help when requested by the USA in Iraq?


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