Montgomery: Lessons in Leadership from the Soldier's General

Overview

Bernard Law Montgomery was a dedicated battlefield tactician, though a controversial one. In North Africa in 1942, he commanded the Eighth Army to a great triumph against Rommel at El Alamein, which Churchill hailed as the beginning of the end of the war. During the planning stages for the invasion of Sicily, Montgomery proved himself to be a splendid organizer and a great believer in simplicity. But he was also known as a complicated man whose legacy remains tainted by his insensitive and boastful nature and ...

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Montgomery: Lessons in Leadership from the Soldier's General

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Overview

Bernard Law Montgomery was a dedicated battlefield tactician, though a controversial one. In North Africa in 1942, he commanded the Eighth Army to a great triumph against Rommel at El Alamein, which Churchill hailed as the beginning of the end of the war. During the planning stages for the invasion of Sicily, Montgomery proved himself to be a splendid organizer and a great believer in simplicity. But he was also known as a complicated man whose legacy remains tainted by his insensitive and boastful nature and desire for personal glory—all of which can have dangerous consequences on the battlefield. In the end, though, it was only due to Montgomery’s influence that the weight of the Allied attack at Normandy was increased, and the Allied success of D-Day owes much to his far-sightedness. In the field, especially during the planning stages, he was at his best. An inspirational commander whose self-confidence was legendary, Montgomery’s military life has proved to be a great lesson for leaders in the years since.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Royle, an editor at The Sunday Herald, curiously chose Bernard Law Montgomery for Palgrave's World Generals series. Monty had two big successes: he took over a disheartened British Eighth army in North Africa, binged them up—one of Montgomery's favorite terms—and gave the Allies their first major victories over the Nazis at El Alamein, defeating Field Marshal Irwin Rommel. Montgomery also played a key role in defeating the Nazis in the Battle of the Bulge. But Montgomery was also a highly flawed military leader. Few American generals could stand his arrogance and egotism and it took all of Eisenhower's tact to keep him in line. In Sicily, Montgomery overrated the capacity of his own troops and underrated that of the Americans. Montgomery's tendency to over-plan also led to lost opportunities. Royle races through Montgomery's life and battles, often trying to excuse Montgomery's bad behavior or bad press. Other than Montgomery's fame for inspiring his own soldiers, Royle finds few leadership lessons (aside from, perhaps, what not to do). Montgomery was a more fascinating figure than this volume can capture. (Dec.)
Library Journal
This is a short military biography of British Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, who first came to prominence in North Africa, earning a reputation as a brilliant general and leader despite a fractious and spiteful personality that set nearly every commander in Europe on edge. The much-published Royle gives a balanced account of him, not shrinking from the defects and giving full credit for the successes. Most useful to readers wishing to supplement their collection of more general histories; a good introductory biography.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230614895
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 11/23/2010
  • Series: World Generals Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 531,739
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Trevor Royle is a broadcaster and author specializing in the history of war and empire with a score of books to his credit.  His previous books include Civil War: The Wars of Three Kingdoms, Crimea: The Great Crimean War 1854-1856, a New York Times Notable Book, and Lancaster Against York. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a regular commentator on defense matters and international affairs for the BBC and an Editor at The Sunday Herald. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter One: An Uncertain Education

Chapter Two: Peacetime Soldiering

Chapter Three: The Drift to War

Chapter Four: Full of Binge

• Chapter Five: Desert Victory: the Battles of Alam Halfa and El Alamein

Chapter Six: Pursuit into Tunisia

Chapter Seven: Operation Husky

Chapter Eight: The Invasion of Europe

Chapter Nine: Normandy: From D-Day to Deadlock

Chapter Ten: A Lost Port and a Bridge too Far

Chapter Eleven: Falling Out in the Ardennes

Chapter Twelve: Crossing the Rhine

Chapter Thirteen: Cold War Warrior

Chapter Fourteen: A Soldier’s Soldier

 

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