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Monty's Men : The British Army and the Liberation of Europe [Kindle Edition]

John Buckley
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Historian John Buckley offers a radical reappraisal of Great Britain’s fighting forces during World War Two, challenging the common belief that the British Army was no match for the forces of Hitler’s Germany. Following Britain’s military commanders and troops across the battlefields of Europe, from D-Day to VE-Day, from the Normandy beaches to Arnhem and the Rhine, and, ultimately, to the Baltic, Buckley’s provocative history demonstrates that the British Army was more than a match for the vaunted Nazi war machine.
This fascinating revisionist study of the campaign to liberate Northern Europe in the war’s final years features a large cast of colorful unknowns and grand historical personages alike, including Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery and the prime minister, Sir Winston Churchill. By integrating detailed military history with personal accounts, it evokes the vivid reality of men at war while putting long-held misconceptions finally to rest.

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'His authority, blended with readability and a genuinely fresh, exciting and convincing thesis, makes this the finest account of D-Day and beyond for many, many a year.' -James Holland, BBC History Magazine -- James Holland BBC History Magazine ' A well-argued take on the role of the British army in the campaign in northwest Europe... a balanced study that stresses the British Army's effectiveness, both in using the resources at its disposal appropriately and in developing skills that made a valuable contribution to Allied success.'-Diane Lees, The Times. -- Diane Lees The Times

About the Author

John Buckley is professor of military history at the University of Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom and the author and editor of six books on the military history of the Second World War.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2095 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0300134495
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (15 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FOR55MM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #77,416 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, stimulating history 16 Oct. 2013
By Nelson
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I found this to be an outstanding history book - it is crisply written, challenges orthodoxy, it is not biased and, above all, it educates. Prof. Buckley has written a first class addition to the WW2 Canon.

Prior to reading this book, I have to say that it always troubled me how often and how intensely the German army continued to receive the sobriquet of "being the best army" in the war yet lost, while the British army, by contrast, has been denigrated quite viciously, yet won where required.

In this book, Prof. Buckley tries, and in my opinion succeeds, in objectively assessing the British Army's performance in Western Europe, post D-Day. His conclusions are that Britain in fact ended the war with a well honed, highly professional army equipped with excellent and innovative tactical skills and an operational doctrine which brought victories, large and small, in varied conditions and terrain against, in many cases, highly organized and motivated opposition.

Prof. Buckley fluently addresses the basic criticisms leveled at the British Army - First, German interpretations of various battles were best served by focusing on the preponderance of resources, air superiority etc of the allies rather than their own tactical and operational weaknesses.... so to state the obvious point, not to have used those resources and the advantages they conferred would have been negligent indeed, and this holds true for all the allies. But what is clear though is that, in most instances, the British managed those resources very effectively.

Second, the British adapted well and fast to tactical situations, Prof. Buckley gives many examples of this as well as examples of the dire consequences if lessons were ignored.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master of the Battlefield 1 Dec. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I enormously enjoyed John Buckley's latest offering, "Monty's Men". It gives a more positive outlook on the contribution of the British to the success of the North-West Europe Campaign of World War II, going somewhat against the grain of media which tends to portray the Allied push from Normandy to Luneburg Heath as an all-American adventure. This, of course, couldn't be further from the truth, and Buckley gets his point across convincingly without resorting to excessive praise of Field-Marshal Montgomery. Monty's motivation and the pressures he was under from the British political establishment are covered to give a much more balanced view of his command of 21st Army Group; Buckley is not afraid to admit that Montgomery was, to the say the least, a flawed character, and that interpretations of his command style and approach to the Normandy Campaign in particular tend to suffer in comparison the heroic status given to, say, Patton. Buckley does not shy away from reminding readers quite how hellish it was to be involved in close-quarters attritional fighting in Normandy and elsewhere, and to bring across the enormous difficulties that the fighting created for both the Allied attackers and the German defenders. Overall, the book is an excellent history of the campaign, and is a valuable study aid for anyone interested in the Second World War. It's well-written and highly detailed, with testimony from veterans and studious examination of the other literature on the topic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable Corrective. 17 Mar. 2014
By Dalgety
American historians and some British ones have long peddled a view which denigrates Monty as a General and indeed denigrates the entire performance of the British Army in the European campaign of 1944-45.Popular culture has also picked this up .In "Saving Private Ryan",the character played by Ted Danson says of Montgomery "If you ask me that guys over-rated."
This book provdes a valuable corrective to this view.The style is a little dry and academic but after about 100 pages it begins to grip you.Buckley de-constructs the myth of the British armys failure.You can also see that although Monty was not the great captain of history ,that in his vanity after the war he claimed to be, he was ,along with Slim(a nicer and more modest man) the best British general of the war and better than many of the Americanns ,including Ike, Bradley and Patton.
This book at last does justice to both Monty and his veterans!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Following-up on his excellent 2006 book `British Armour in the Normandy Campaign,' Professor John Buckley's latest work `Monty's Men' examines 21st Army Group's campaign in NW Europe during the last year of WW2, addresses some of the myths manufactured about its performance by detractors since the 1950s and offers us a radical reappraisal.

21AG was composed predominantly of the British 2nd Army with Canadian 1st Army under command from summer 1944, significant American forces (US 9th Army as well as 82nd & 101st airborne divisions) attached from late 1944, plus Polish forces fighting on the allied side in the west. The focus of `Monty's Men' is predominantly the British and Canadian Armies in 21AG: how they were led, how they learned to fight effectively against their Wehrmacht/Waffen SS opponents by exploiting their own strengths and the inherent organizational weaknesses of the German Army, how ultimate allied resource superiority was utilised to best effect, and the political and doctrinal considerations underpinning 21AG's conspicuous - but often under-appreciated - victory in the field.

Rather than repeat the content of so many excellent reviews already posted, I'll offer some general observations about Buckley's book.

1. The style is entertaining and literate. Buckley tells the story so effectively his book is almost novelistic in format, gripping the reader right to the end: no mean feat for a non-fiction work founded on historical documentation.

2. Chapter organization is chronological and editing from Yale University Press first class with comprehensive notes, bibliography and index, and a good monochrome photo section.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb analysis of the Commonwealth Armies tactics in Europe 1944-45
John Buckley gets my vote as the most thoughtful and profound historian of Commonwealth armies in Europe in 1944. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Andrew Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Positive revisionist view of the British army in Europe 1944 to 1945.
Interesting history of the British army from Normandy 1944 to the end of the war in Europe. While not ignoring errors such as the ill fated Arnhem campaign Buckley rescues Monty... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Leonard A. Trim
5.0 out of 5 stars A really thorough and convincing re-appraisal of this campaign. ...
A really thorough and convincing re-appraisal of this campaign. Everyone who is interested in this period of history should have this work on their bookshelf.
Published 3 months ago by David Leeke
3.0 out of 5 stars Why was General Montgomery never sacked as better generals than him...
In writing about the performance of the British and Canadian forces the author ignores two key questions. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Desmond J. Keenan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A good read
Published 3 months ago by R. PETTS
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget what you thought you knew about the Normandy Campaign
Buckley has taken a new look at the performance of the British Army from D-Day to the end of WW2 and debunks many of the myths which have sprung up about Wehrmacht tactical and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Paul Burton
5.0 out of 5 stars MONTY THE ENABLER
This book is a description of Montgomery the enabler. The difficulties and pressures he faced as commanding officer in the Normandy campaign were almost as formidable as the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Stephen Goldsmith
5.0 out of 5 stars Proper Revisionist History - Superior to Beevor and Hastings
Excellent book. Proper revisionist history. Like a lot of commentators I've read many books on the fighting in Normandy and Europe including the 'classics' by Hastings and Beevor. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Brunel
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely NOT history by Max Hastings. Well worth a read especially...
Excellent, accurate revision of the British army performance during WW2. Tackles head-on right-wing journalist/pretend historian/question time panelists and occasionally makes them... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Gully Foyle
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
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