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Monty's Men: The British Army and the Liberation of Europe Hardcover – 1 Oct 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (1 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300134495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300134490
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"This highly engrossing history is an outsatanding account of British actions in the post-D-day period." -Library Journal The Library Journal "A valuable addition to our understanding of the role of British forces during the final stages of the conflict."-Jonathan Eaton, Military History -- Jonathan Eaton Military History 'Taking forward his excellent work on the Normandy campaign, John Buckley's new book provides a well-grounded examination of the role of the British army in the defeat of Hitler, moving beyond earlier interpretations to offer an effective account of how the Germans were outfought. Ranging from soldiers to strategy, this is an exemplary study.' - Jeremy Black, author of World War Two: A Military History -- Jeremy Black "It is a worthy and ultimately convincing argument."-Alan Allport, Literary Review -- Alan Allport Literary Review Winner of the Society for Army Historical Research Templer Medal. The medal is awarded annually to the author of the book that has made the most significant contribution to the history of the British Army. -- Army Historical Research Society

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.

Customer Reviews

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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Nelson on 16 Oct 2013
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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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Challacommunist on 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dalgety on 17 Mar 2014
Format: Hardcover
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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By The Guardian TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 April 2014
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.

3.
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