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Bernard Montgomery (Command) Paperback – November 23, 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Whether you are a historian or modeler, Bernard Montgomery exposes a fascinating view of, 'this brilliant but deeply flawed man.' I certainly recommend this book to both fans and critics of Field Marshal Montgomery...” ―Frederick Boucher, www.armorama.com

About the Author

Tim Moreman is a freelance writer and academic. For several years he lectured in the Department of War Studies at King's College London, from where he obtained his PhD. He also held a six-month appointment as Resident Historian at the Army Staff College at Camberley. His primary interests include the British-Indian Army during the 19th and 20th centuries, counter-insurgency, and the British and Commonwealth armies during World War II. In addition to a significant number of articles and papers, Tim has written two major books: a study of the Indian Army on the North-West Frontier 1849-1947, and a book on the war in Burma and Malaya 1941-45. In recent years he has also worked for the new Dictionary of National Biography and the Australian War Memorial, as well as acting as a historical adviser for the BBC and Carlton Television. He is based in Somerset, UK. The author lives in Somerset, UK.
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Product Details

  • Series: Command (Book 9)
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; First Edition edition (November 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849081433
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849081436
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.2 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,197,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on November 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
I doubt that there is any issue more likely to separate American and British historians into squabbling, adversarial factions than an assessment of the career of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery in the Second World War. American opinion, influenced by the U.S. army officers who worked with him during 1943-45, was generally hostile and negative. On the opposite side, British opinion generally favored Montgomery up through the mid-1960s and compared him favorably with the Duke of Wellington, but then became very critical afterwards based upon revisionist accounts by authors such as Correlli Barnett. Only recently has Montgomery's reputation begun to be viewed on both sides of the Atlantic in a more balanced fashion and Tim Moreman's biography of him in Osprey's Command series is part of that process. In this volume, Montgomery still does not come across as a very admirable officer (or even human being), although his military competence is assessed favorably upon its own merits. The author concludes that, "Montgomery was not a Great Captain as he fervently believed himself to be, but was without doubt the best and most successful general fielded by the UK against Axis forces in Europe based upon his successful wartime performance in North Africa and Northwest Europe." On the whole, this volume is successful in depicting Montgomery as a professional soldier, although one bereft of basic social skills (I guess we might call him a "military nerd" today). However, the volume is structured around well-known and set-piece battles (El Alamein, Normandy, Arnhem and Ardennes) and fails to cover large chunks of Montgomery's wartime operations. Thus, the author arrives at a conclusion for which he fails to show "the math" that led to this answer.Read more ›
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A welcome entry in the Osprey "Leadership-Strategy-Conflict" series. Here, we learn more about Bernard Montgomery, a key British leader in World War II. The volume begins by noting that *(Page 4): "Field Marshall Bernard Law Montgomery of Alamein (1887-1978) is probably the best known and arguably the most controversial British general of World War II."

This work outlines (briefly) his early years and (in a bit more detail) his military career into the early years of the Second World War. The center of the work begins with his assumption of command in northern Africa, his leadership in Sicily, and, of course, his role on D-Day. His role against the Afrika Corps and Edwin Rommel at Al Alamein brought him to renown. The British victory made his name.
The book outlines his work, warts and all (quite prickly and unhappy with Eisenhower's role as commander in chief). His leadership in the Sicilian campaign is not told in as much detail as would be desirable. More detail is provided for his work leading up to and including D-Day.
The book does a nice job illustrating his leadership--both successful and unsuccessful (the latter spectacularly illustrated by his botched offensive, Operation Market Garden).

This work ends with a fair assessment of Montgomery's body of work
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Bernard Montgomery is a particularly difficult general to cover in a short biography, and author Tim Moreman does a nice job. This title is all a reader could ask for its price and length (62 pages). As a consumer, I wanted a basic summary of Montgomery, including some up-to-date background information on where to go for further study. This title not only fulfills that role, it exceeds it.

Author Moreman points to some of Montgomery's strengths, especially his rigorous attention to detail, that proved vital at 2nd Alamein and perhaps indispensable during the Normandy landings. Monty's showmanship was just what the 8th Army needed after a string of desert defeats, although his treatment of command predecessors, especially Auchinleck (to whom he owed much, as the author admits) was shabby. Montgomery's speech-making charisma, and ability to show interest in the common soldier, did much good for a war-weary Britain in 1944.

It is true, as Dr. Forczyk mentions in his review, that the author left gaps, especially during the Sicilian and Italian campaigns, but I think this was a necessary sacrifice to give sufficient coverage to all aspects of this complex, even tortured man. By focusing primarily on Montgomery's time in the North Africa and the Normandy campaign, the author is able to give adequate depth into Montgomery's strengths and weaknesses as a battlefield commander. There is also enough background on Montgomery's private life, including his difficult childhood and happy but sadly shortened marriage, to help the reader see inside the man. A historian must tread gently in the controversial field of psycho-history.
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Format: Paperback
This book, as part of Osprey's "Command" series, is relatively short. It is only 64 pages in length (about a quarter to a third consisting of illustration of one type or another). This Osprey series, in this reviewer's opinion, is the weakest of Osprey's different series. This particular series, in general, does a decent job at providing a basic biography regarding its subject (i.e., where the subject studied, his early combat or staff experience, etc.) albeit where many of the books (or most, in this reviewer's experience) fall flat is in their discussion of the subject's command "style', in particular in how it was unique vis-à-vis other contemporary military leaders. Tim Moreman's book though, covers both of these bases well though. A decent discussion is provided regarding both Montgomery's military career (the biography) as well as the idiosyncrasies of this leader's personal command "style". It should be emphasized, however, that there is not much in the book that would not be known to the greater than novice reader. Also there is nothing new in the book in terms of analysis, perspective or research (the bibliography consists of nothing but secondary sources). The book is geared to the novice on the topic. In that it succeeds.

Mr. Moreman starts off with a decent biography. The reader learns that his mother was very disciplinary and controlling, he did not have much of a life outside of the military and how he had trouble relating to people, among other things such as where he studied, his experiences in combat in the First World War and his experience in staff positions. The background on the mother and his problems with associating with people were of considerable importance considering, at least in Mr.
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