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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thorough examination of Falaise, May 21, 2012
This review is from: Eisenhower & Montgomery at the Falaise Gap (Hardcover)
Most people who have studied the history of the Normandy invasion are aware of the great error at the Falaise Gap that allowed the German armies to escape and prolonged the war. The reasons for the error have been shrouded in speculation since the war. Eisenhower and Bradley did not discuss the details and their biographers have not clarified the matter. George Patton, who would have expounded on this topic, never got the chance to write his biography. Mr Weidner has done a meticulous job of recreating the story from original sources and has done us all a favor by writing this book. It is exhaustively researched and the references are provided. Field Marshal Montgomery is still a national hero in England and a visit to the Imperial War Museum will show the visitor the shrine which includes his command car and an extensive exhibit. The D-Day museum in New Orleans, home of the Higgins Boat that made it all possible, before the hurricane, was devoted to the men who landed on the beaches, not the generals. I have spent days touring Normandy by car and have seen many of the locations of the battles. I wish I had had this book at the time. The author makes it clear what the problem was, the field marshal. He was insubordinate and Eisenhower, in the interest of pacifying the British and Prime Minister Churchill, gave way far too many times to "Monty." I have friends who are retired from the British Army and they will not be pleased at that comment but we need to understand that Montgomery and Churchill realized that Britain was running out of men. They were fearful of severe losses that would devastate their remaining army. They had persevered when alone and they deserved some consideration for this fact. Montgomery was such an insufferable character that he made it hard to be sympathetic. The fact remains that the failure at Falaise prolonged the war and cost many thousands of lives. The author makes it clear how costly this was and who was at fault. It is very helpful to have this clear and thorough account, even if it is fifty years later.
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