MEN BEHIND MONTY


MEN BEHIND MONTY

RICHARD MEAD    Book Number: 86246    Product format: Hardback

Early on the morning of 12th August 1942 Lieutenant General Bernard Montgomery arrived in Cairo by plane from England, in response to an urgent summons. It was considered there were serious deficiencies in the command of the British and Empire forces in the Western Desert. Few military histories and biographies dwell at any length on the staff surrounding great war leaders, but the standard of staff work would have inevitably affected great decision making. Monty as he was familiarly known was fortunate to have inherited a talented group of individuals at Eighth Army HQ. This book examines the role played by staff in the victorious campaigns of Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery, Britain's most successful field commander since the Duke of Wellington. Monty inherited the staff of his predecessor and retrained all the key members. Most stayed with him not only from El Alamein to Tunis, but also in Sicily and Italy. When he took command of the 21st Army Group in January 1944, many accompanied him to take up the most prominent positions on the HQ staff and the majority remained until the German surrender in May 1945. Freddie de Guingand, his long-standing Chief of Staff, was a friend of many years' standing and was particularly outstanding. He was surrounded by talented young men who acted as ADCs and Personal Liaison Officers and were key to the idiosyncratic way in which Monty ran his battles from a Tactical HQ. In this way it is an inciteful and revealing addition to this complex character and throws fresh light on his controversial relationships with Allies, superiors and subordinates. At its peak the Eighth Army contained over 200 officers and 1,200 other ranks and had highly complex administrative requirements for Communications, publicity and psychological warfare, airfield construction and survey among activities of constructing and running long pipelines to carry petroleum and aviation fuel and operation of its own general hospitals. The logistical side made a huge contribution to victory. If Monty ruffled feathers, de Guingand smoothed them, and on at least one occasion saved Monty from the potentially disastrous consequences of his actions. They made a formidable team. 290pp, ten maps.
Published price: £25
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ISBN 9781473827165
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