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Master of the Battlefield,
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This review is from: Monty's Men: The British Army and the Liberation of Europe (Hardcover)
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.