Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery was the most famous, and arguably the most successful British general of the Second World War, commanding the Eighth Army as it pushed Rommel away from Egypt and eventually out of Africa, and then taking command of the D-Day landings, the single most important Allied operation of the war against Germany.
Moreman is willing to admit that his subject had flaws - Montgomery was arrogant, tactless, a poor diplomat and had an infuriating habit of refusing to acknowledge when he was forced to change his plans (perhaps most famously during the battle of Normandy, where although the basic idea of holding the Germans around Caen to allow the Americans to break out in the west remained in place throughout the campaign, the British failure to take Caen as quickly as expected forced Montgomery to revise his immediate plans. This habit made Montgomery look like a much less flexible commander than he actually was, and also weakened his position with his American allies.
Moreman is generally positive about Montgomery and his abilities, although he does include a section looking at the way his reputation had changed over the years, as it declined from its peak in the immediate post-war period before recovering in recent years.
This is a useful analysis of Montgomery as a military leader, giving a good idea of why he was successful, and why he annoyed so many people.
The Early Life
The Military Life, 1906-42
The hours of destiny
Inside the mind
When war is done
A life in words
Author: Tim Moreman