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Monty's Men: The British Army and the Liberation of Europe - John Buckley

Discussion in 'ETO, MTO and the Eastern Front' started by merdiolu, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    OK, read it right through, and actually felt sorry when I came to the end ( always a good sign ).

    I shan't add too much to the reviews above : this is a serious book by an academic who has studied his subject long and hard ( definitely not a hack-job of purely secondary sources ). Prof. Buckley is I think quite even-handed ( and there is a lot of criticism of the British Army, especially in the Arnhem section). The reality of the not-inconsiderable politics involved is covered well, and I particularly appreciated the authors' citing of the achievements of the Royal Engineers. One snippet I hadn't realised - one Engineers column consisted of 366 vehicles......

    There is no shrill finger-pointing and I enjoyed the book also as a reasonable overview of the NW Europe campaign. Crucially, it is very well-written - certainly not a dry-as-dust recitation - my main gripe was at a rather high level of silly little typos ( almost as if the publisher used a predictive-text spellchecker ).

    It also has a superb bibliography which has already had me hitting the 'Buy It Now' button.

    One last criticism - about half of the book is devoted to Normandy ( understandable, as that is the author's specialist subject ) but it felt a little unbalanced and rushed toward the end. OTOH, I liked that many smaller incidents are woven into the book ( eg Wittmann's death, Moissy Ford, and so on ) which added to my reading pleasure.

    I liked the book a lot, and shall return to it I'm sure.
     
  2. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

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    How on earth can that be substanially up on Google Books Preview already??? Shame on them! It was published only last year!
    Disgraceful unless they honestly have the authors permission... and I find that hard to believe.
     
  3. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

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    .. it is easy to agree with Buckley too that the reputation of the British Army has suffered through a " disturbing" and very unflattering comparison with the German Army. You see it all the time on the net and in the literature - there is a sort of 'fan-boy' admiration for the German Army and its 'flamboyant' commanders - despite the ideological motivations, despite the racial and criminal undertones, despite harsh 'internal' terror - which is ultimately based on a very narrow definition of what constitutes military 'effectiveness'. Buckley argues that this image of German 'superiority'- largely based on the 'Blitzkrieg' of the early war years - conceals and ignores many many shortcomings and deficiencies. By repeatedly attempting to mount ad-hoc and unsupported operations post-1941 the German Army delivered some short-term success but lived under constant threat of potential near-disaster, which ultimately saw Montgomery accepting German surrender on the Baltic less than one year after the landings in Normandy..
     
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