Very few soldiers could affirm that they finally won over Erwin rommel. But Bernard Law Montgomery is one of those that can. Although many people do not consider him a brilliant strategist, the truth is that he was a remarkable military man. Very strict when it comes to discipline, but hard-working and self-sacrificing. I would go down in history for win the "Desert Fox" and for commanding the British landing in Normandy.
Montgomery He was born on November 17, 1887 in London. But he spent most of his childhood in Tasmania, due to his father being assigned there. When he returned in 1897, he entered the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. In 1908 he was promoted to Second Lieutenant and was sent to India as Lieutenant until 1913.
His journey in the First World War it was quite short, since a sniper shot left him seriously wounded on October 13, 1914. As compensation he was awarded the Order of Distinguished Service and in 1916 he returned to the front line. Two years later, mainly thanks to his organizational skills, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and was in charge of the General Staff of the 47th Division.
At interwar period he remained in the army and played an important role in missions on the Rhine, Palestine, and Ireland. Especially in the latter, where he participated in 1923 to establish the State of Free Ireland, through harsh reprisals against the rebels in the Irish civil war.
In the middle of the decade he was posted to India, where he was in command of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. This position caused him several problems with his superiors due to the strict discipline he applied to his soldiers. However, in 1938 he won their approval with a great landing maneuver, for which he was promoted to Major General and sent to Palestine. There he put down an Arab revolt and, after returning to Britain, He was awarded the rank of General.
The WWII It's where Montgomery really built his military reputation. Although it is true that he was unlucky at first, he would eventually recover and show his good work. In 1940 he was sent to France to aid the Gallic armies. But he was defeated with the tactics of German Blitzkrieg. But not everything was negative: Operation Dynamo, by which allied troops should be evacuated by sea, was a resounding success.
From there and until 1942 he was in charge of different armies that served within Great Britain itself. But in 42, he obtained command of the British VIII Army in North Africa. Specifically, this division was prominent in Egypt. In two battles at El Alamein he defeated the German general Erwin rommel, known as the "Desert Fox”. It was quite a peculiar victory.
Montgomery knew that the British were superior in equipment and human troops, since the Germans suffered a blockade on the Italian coasts that prevented resupply. But he was also fully aware of Rommel's skill as a strategist. So instead of carrying out an attack on the Axis army, he chose to cede the initiative to Rommel by employing an extremely cautious and conservative military tactic. This was the key to his triumph, as the German general could not do much with the means he had.
After several bombings and combats, on November 4 Montgomery succeeded, not only in stopping the “Desert Fox", But to carry out an attack that led to total withdrawal of German troops. But it did not stop there, but continued the fighting until in 1943 it completely liberated Tunisia from German occupation.
With the war in his favor, he reached Sicily and Italy. With George S. Patton recovered the Italian peninsula and was commissioned to orchestrate the British part of the Normandy's landing. He maintained the leadership of the British army in the French and Belgian liberation, and was promoted to Marshal.
With Eisenhower devised a strategy called “Operation Market Garden" in Holland. It was a gruesome battle in terms of planning that ended in a humiliating defeat for the Allies and the loss of many elite soldiers. The consequences of this conflict haunted him for the rest of his life and showed certain traits of his personality, specifically, his inability to see the flaws in his plans.
At the end of the war, was the one who received the surrender of the German forces from the northwest. A few years later he was proclaimed Chief of the Imperial General Staff and between 1951 and 1958 he served as Deputy Commander of the Atlantic Forces in Europe.
Finally, on March 24, 1976 he died in Alton (Hampshire) for unknown causes. He left behind several works, among which his memoirs (1958) and “History of war”(1968). Was a notable military man who stopped the great Erwin Rommel and that he conducted one of the most important operations in history: the Normandy's landing. Very strict in the military plane and extremely stubborn, he excelled in his organizational tasks more than in the strategic ones.
Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was a child he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.