who was the best Allied general?

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Delta Tank
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Re: who was the best Allied general?

Post by Delta Tank » 11 Sep 2011 00:54

Michael Kenny wrote:Lets get down to basics.

Has anyone got an account where the so called disparagement of US Soldiers/Leaders/Generals/Tactics/US anything
can be read?

Instead of tilting at Windmills I submit that that we wait until we see such 'dispragement 'before making any more comments.
If no such evidence exists (and I have never ever seen any) then the matter is a dead duck.

It is up to the 'haters' to prove the case and 60 odd years is enough time to find the dirt-if any exists.
Michael,

As far as I can tell they do not exist, at least not from FM Montgomery, but what did the British press write?? From the above link that I posted it says:
Read in its entirety, the statement justified the New York Times's editorial comment: "No handsomer tribute was ever paid to the American soldier than that of Field Marshal Montgomery in the midst of combat."85 But it was his tone and what his chief of staff characterized as a "what
--387--
a good boy am I" attitude that offended General Bradley and his subordinates.86 Passages of the interview singled out by the 12th Army Group commander were these:
When Rundstedt attacked on December 16, he obtained a tactical surprise. He drove a deep wedge into the center of the United States First Army and the split might have become awkward; the Germans had broken right through a weak spot, and were heading for the Meuse.
As soon as I saw what was happening I took certain steps myself to ensure that if the Germans got to the Meuse they would certainly not get over that river. And I carried out certain movements so as to provide balanced dispositions to meet the threatened danger; these were, at the time, merely precautions, i.e. I was thinking ahead.
Then the situation began to deteriorate. But the whole allied team rallied to meet the danger; national considerations were thrown overboard; General Eisenhower placed me in command of the whole Northern front.
I employed the whole available power of the British Group of Armies; this power was brought into play very gradually and in such a way that it would not interfere with the American lines of communications. Finally it was put into battle with a bang and today British divisions are fighting hard on the right flank of the United States First Army.
You have thus the picture of British troops fighting on both sides of American forces who have suffered a hard blow. This is a fine Allied picture.
The battle has some similarity to the battle that began on 31 August 1942 when Rommel made his last bid to capture Egypt and was "seen off" by the Eighth Army.87
The 12th Army Group commander and his staff, already sensitive because of the shift in command, were exasperated, if not outraged, by the interview. Their feelings were further roused a few days later when a German station broke in on a BBC channel and, imitating a British broadcast, criticized the handling of the battle by U.S. commanders. Mr. Brendan Bracken, chief of British press affairs, immediately branded the broadcast as false and expressed British confidence in General Eisenhower and the U.S. forces. But much damage had been done to U.S.-British command relations.88
Mike

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Re: who was the best Allied general?

Post by Michael Kenny » 11 Sep 2011 01:50

I have an opinion.
The trouble was the ego's of the US Generals. They made a fuss and so Churchill was 'forced' to make a gesture to soothe their bruised sensibilities. Sort of a 'yes darling it was my fault and you were right all along kiss and make up.
One of the pains of being a junior partner.

Having taken part in many 'debates' on this subject I have to say I am now convinced there is no substance to the complaints.
It may be Monty was a bit too brutal for some but to take it further and say he tried to hog the credit or that he claimed he saved the day is too much of a stretch. The misunderstanding (if it was such) exist only in the mind of those who percieve the slight.
The whole issue is bogus.
Whatever was written in the UK papers has no real bearing on the issue but I dare say they (like US papers who played up their contribution)) gave undue prominance to UK soldiers in the the battle- who would have thought a nations newspapers would do things like that?

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Re: who was the best Allied general?

Post by Delta Tank » 11 Sep 2011 03:05

Michael Kenny wrote:I have an opinion.
The trouble was the ego's of the US Generals. They made a fuss and so Churchill was 'forced' to make a gesture to soothe their bruised sensibilities. Sort of a 'yes darling it was my fault and you were right all along kiss and make up.
One of the pains of being a junior partner.

Having taken part in many 'debates' on this subject I have to say I am now convinced there is no substance to the complaints.
It may be Monty was a bit too brutal for some but to take it further and say he tried to hog the credit or that he claimed he saved the day is too much of a stretch. The misunderstanding (if it was such) exist only in the mind of those who percieve the slight.
The whole issue is bogus.
Whatever was written in the UK papers has no real bearing on the issue but I dare say they (like US papers who played up their contribution)) gave undue prominance to UK soldiers in the the battle- who would have thought a nations newspapers would do things like that?
Michael,

I will bet a beer, that the problem is the press!! :lol: I can't find my copy of Eisenhower by D'este, but I have my copy of "Monty" by Nigel Hamilton out and I found the chapter, but it is too late to read it to night. I looked at Ambrose, but it did not seem to make sense after you read the notes from the conference, but will look at it again. More tomorrow, perhaps, start of the NFL season and the Pittsburgh Steelers play at 1300.

Mike

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Re: who was the best Allied general?

Post by Michael Kenny » 11 Sep 2011 03:36

It might be bestter to see if you could get a copy of Bradleys press release of 9 January 1945. From what I have heard this was where he exploded and called Monty a liar.
Monty gave his press conference on Jan 7th.

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Re: who was the best Allied general?

Post by Delta Tank » 11 Sep 2011 03:54

Michael Kenny wrote:It might be bestter to see if you could get a copy of Bradleys press release of 9 January 1945. From what I have heard this was where he exploded and called Monty a liar.
Monty gave his press conference on Jan 7th.
Okay, will look, but from what I read today, he did not acknowledge that Monty was commanding the north side of the Bulge.

Damn! You work the night shift?? It must be awfully late or early depending on how you look at it! :P

Mike

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Re: who was the best Allied general?

Post by Delta Tank » 11 Sep 2011 16:39

To all,

There is a much longer discussion in the book entitled: "Monty, Final Years of The Field-Marshal, 1944-1976" by Nigel Hamilton. ISBN 0-07-025807-4. Too much for me to type in, but I am sure a good number of you own these books.

Field Marshal Montgomery’s Press Conference 7 January, 1945.
From the book entitled: “Monty, Lonely Leader, 1944-1945, A Biography of Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery” by Alistair Horne, with David Montgomery. ISBN 0-06-017082-4
Page309.
Then, on 7 January, to mark the end of the battle, Monty, in his most disastrous venture in the 'special relationship' to date, held his famous press conference. Getting official clearance for it, he told Churchill that he hoped such a conference would put an end to the anti-American 'slanging match' in the domestic press. In fact, it had quite the opposite result. While conducting the battle before the enemy, Monty had been-as we have noted-at his very best; before the Allied press on the 7th he was at his insufferable worst. It was not so much what he said as the way he said it, and –above all that it was Monty saying it. He arrived wearing a new red airborne beret (rather tactless, in view of Arnhem), and, recalled Bill Williams, 'was like a cock on a dunghill'. He praised Ike and the fighting qualities of the American soldier at length and with patent sincerity. But it all came across as regrettably patronizing. When he described ‘a fine Allied picture. . . of British troops fighting on both sides of American forces who have suffered a hard blow’, this was hardly acceptable to Americans, who had done almost all the fighting and had paid with dreadful casualties. Worst of all, in American eyes, was his remark about it being, ‘a most interesting little battle’, which prompted Alan Moorehead to exclaim to Williams in the shocked aftermath, ‘Why didn’t you stop him?’ Both agreed it was disastrous, with Moorehead later reflecting soberly, ‘Looking back on the scene from a world at peace one might marvel that the generals could brawl so cold-bloodedly with one another at a time when so many thousands were exposing themselves to death, and dying.’ ‘Lightning Joe’ Collins for one, whom Monty so greatly admired and who was currently fighting under his command was outraged: ‘Monty got under my skin by downgrading the American troops . . . only one British division participated in the fighting. It left a sour note.’ Eisenhower claimed that it caused him ‘more distress and worry’ than anything else in the entire war.*
*Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe, p.356
Mike

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Re: who was the best Allied general?

Post by Michael Kenny » 11 Sep 2011 17:25

Reading the US cuttings it seems the original remarks by Monty went down well in the USA.
Some US Generals took offence and it took a while for them to get the witch-hunt into gear.
If anyone Bradley seems to be the villian not Monty.
I would love to see his Jan 9th press release.

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Re: who was the best Allied general?

Post by Aber » 11 Sep 2011 17:26

It might be more enlightening to turn the spotlight on Bradley. On several occasions he talked about the need to defend the 'prestige of the US Army' eg in taking Brest; would it be fairer to say he was more interested in defending the prestige of Omar Bradley?

IIRC Bradley's promotion was under consideration by the US Congress in December 1944, and he may have also been concerned about any hunt for scapegoats for the Ardennes crisis.

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Re: who was the best Allied general?

Post by Delta Tank » 11 Sep 2011 20:01

Michael Kenny wrote:Reading the US cuttings it seems the original remarks by Monty went down well in the USA.
Some US Generals took offence and it took a while for them to get the witch-hunt into gear.
If anyone Bradley seems to be the villian not Monty.
I would love to see his Jan 9th press release.
Michael,

If you read the passage on this situation in "Monty" by Nigel Hamilton, cited above, you will see that the "witch hunt" was out the next day or so. Also, it was the British press from what I have read in these books I have stacked on my desk that did the damage, do you guys have access to British newspaper archives?

Mike

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Re: who was the best Allied general?

Post by Delta Tank » 11 Sep 2011 20:44

To all,

From a book that our own RichTO90 help write!

From the book entitled: “Hitler’s Last Gamble, The Battle of the Bulge, December 1944- January 1945” by Trevor N. Dupuy, David L. Bongard, and Richard C. Anderson JR. ISBN 0-06-016627-4.
Page 268
“The Monty Business”
Montgomery, however, saw in the situation created by the German penetration an opportunity finally to achieve the two objectives most dear to his hear: first, to become in fact, and probably in name, the overall Allied ground force commander on the western front, and second to put into effect his “narrow front” strategy in the north, under the 21st Army Group. This was undoubtedly on his mind when he spoke on the telephone to Maj. Gen. Jock Whiteley, the British deputy G-3 in SHAEF Headquarters, on 19 December to suggest that he should be put in command of all American forces north of the German penetration. There was of course, sound military logic behind that suggestion, and Eisenhower followed that course of action because of the logic.
It is not clear whether Monty was directly or indirectly behind criticism of Eisenhower’s leadership that began to appear in the British press about 20 December, shortly after the scope and dimensions of the German offensive and breakthrough became evident. British war correspondents, particularly those assigned to Montgomery’s headquarters, began attributing the German success and American failures to Eisenhower’s decisions, particularly to the fact that he retained personal control over the ground forces of the Allied Expeditionary Forces. . . .
. . .The press-induced tension in Allied relations was at its height on 28 December when Montgomery and Eisenhower had a conference on Eisenhower’s train at Hassalt, in Netherlands, near Monty’s Headquarters. The purpose of the meeting was to plan for an Allied counter-counteroffensive against the German Bulge in the Ardennes.
So, the British press???

page 271
In the matter of command I do not agree that one Army Group commander should fight his own battle and give orders to another Army Group commander. . . You know how greatly I've appreciated and depended upon your frank and friendly counsel, but in your latest letter you disturb me by predictions of "failure" unless your exact opinions in the matter of giving you command over Bradley are met in detail. . .
Mike

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Re: who was the best Allied general?

Post by Steen Ammentorp » 11 Sep 2011 22:11

Mike,
“The Monty Business”
... This was undoubtedly on his mind when he spoke on the telephone to Maj. Gen. Jock Whiteley, the British deputy G-3 in SHAEF Headquarters, on 19 December to suggest that he should be put in command of all American forces north of the German penetration. ...
This is not the way it is present in D.K.R. Crosswell's recent updated biography on Bedell Smith: 'Beetle : The life of General Walter Bedell Smith" 2010. ISBN 9780813126494.

On page 814 he writes
Whiteley thought long and hard about a command shift during his return trip to Versailles [returning from the Verdun conferrence 19th Dec. /my comment]. For Three and a half months, SHAEF had fought off Montgomery's resolute efforts to command First Army. How could turn around now at the peak of the ardennes cricis and give Montgomery what he had long coveted? And could a Britsih officer make the suggestion? When he arrived he put a call through to Montgomery and asked "If Ike ask you to take over First Army, when could you do it?" Montgomery needeed no time to think; he said he could take over command the next morning. Whiteley cautioned the field marshal that no such decision had been made, and Montgomery never pushed the issue
Sumerizing pages 814-815, Whiteley together with Kenneth Strong, G-2 at SHEAF, who was was worried as to whether Bradley was up to the situation, went to Bedell Smith (woke him up) suggesting that Montgomery take command of First Army. Bedell Smith at first angry came around and arrived at the same conclusion. Bedell Smith then talked to Bradley, who naturally opposed the idea, and asked him:
if the change in command would make more sense if Montgomery were an American. "Beetle" Bradley remember saying, "it's hard for me to object. Certainly if Monty's were an American Command. I would agree with you entirely
(this is p. 816)

Bradley's answer is repeated in both of his ghost written biographies. My copies:
http://www.librarything.com/work/91843/book/20878948 p.476
http://www.librarything.com/work/65074/book/20878932 p. 364

The next morning Bedell Smith recommended the change of command to Ike.

So according to Crosswell the idea of transferring command of First Army to Montgomery originated at SHAEF and was not pushed by Montgomery - though naturally he didn't have any objections to it :lol: It should be noted that neither Whiteley or Strong, though British, were cladestine supporters of Monty - none of the British officers at SHAEF were.
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Steen Ammentorp
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Re: who was the best Allied general?

Post by Delta Tank » 11 Sep 2011 22:23

Steen,

Yes, I have read that scenario also, involving LTG Walter Bedell Smith.

Mike

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Re: who was the best Allied general?

Post by Steen Ammentorp » 12 Sep 2011 07:44

I made an error in the above, when I assumed (should have reread pages 812-812 too) that Whiteley was returning from the conferrence at Verdun. In fact Whiteley was returning from a visit to Main HQ 21st Army Group where he had met with De Guigand. The day before (18 Dec.) he had visited Monty at his TAC HQ.

Monty had advocated the shift of command of First Army to 21st Army Group from 12th Army Group for weeks by then - still it doesn't seem that he (or De Guigand) exercised additional pressure on Whiteley on the matter on these two occations, and it seems that Whiteley reached the conclussion on advantages of the shift of command in the given situation by himself.

However I will look further into it later today.
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Steen Ammentorp
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Re: who was the best Allied general?

Post by Michael Kenny » 14 Sep 2011 01:48

NYT Jan 11 1945.


NAZlS’ RADIO TRICK SEEKS ALLIED RIFT

London Warns of Foe’s Faking British Broadcast to Stir U. S. Rivalry Over Montgomery .
LONDON, Thursday, Jan. 11
The British Broadcasting Corporation warned last night that the Germans were trying to sow dissension among the Allies by broadcasting to American troops on BBC wave lengths.
The warning by the British Government': radio agency referred specifically to a German broadcast Monday morning praising Field Marshal Sir Bernard L. Montgomery and bellttllng the American forces. The enemy broadcast, which was heard on tho United States Third Army front, led to criticism oi Britain in some American newspapers.
The Nazis' faked broadcast. said BBC. was apparently part of a German propaganda service known as "Arnhem Calllng." which ai times masquerades as a. British program. BBC sald that "such attempts by the enemy to mislead listeners can generally be detected if the substance of the broadcasts are weighed with a. little common sense.
" The Germans’ fake broadcast Monday morning referred to Field Marshal Montgomery's appointment as Allied commander on the northern side of the Ardennes bulge. then added:
"Montgomery found no defense lines, the Americans somewhat bewildered, no reserves on hand and supply lines cut. He took over the scattered American forces, planned his action and stopped the German drive. The Battle ot the Ardennes can now be practically written off thanks to Montgomery.
" [A radio commentator of the German Transocean agency, as reported by The New York: Times from London Tuesday, used that day the same Goebbels divisive propaganda line of crediting to Field Marshal Montgomery the whole Allied strategy against von Rundstedt.]

Some U. S. Troops Disturbed
In a dispatch from the Third Army front yesterday . London Daily Telegraph correspondent said the enemy broadcast caused "considerabie comment" among our troops. Many of them dismissed lt as Nazi propaganda, "but many did not," the correspondent said, "and to those whn did not it left a very bad taste in the mouth." Two London Thursday morning newspapers commented editorially on the incident of the Nazis' fake broadcast. The News Chronicle labeled it a "warning‘ both to the public and to the authorities to be on their guard
." The Daily Mail said the enemy broadcast had been accepted in the United States as authentic "much too hastiiy,
" At the same time The Daily Mall in an editorial heeded "A Slur on Monty," criticized Lieut. Gen Omar N. Bradley'a statement to war correspondents Tuesday that Field Marshal Montgomery's new command, taking in American Ninth and First Army troops on the northern edge of the Ardennes bulge was temporary. Some things General Bradley said, The Daily Mail asserted, would be regarded by the British people as "unnecessarily offensive."
The Daily Mail, which has been fostering the idea that Field Marshal Montgomery should he Allied ground commander under Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, declared it would be unfortunate if a transatlantic "slanging match" were promoted about the names and achievements of the Allied military commanders.
Mail's "Defense of Monty”
Then, asserting that General BradIey's statement that the Montgomery command was only temporary, bore only one interpretation, the newspaper said:
"It is that Field Marshal Montgomery is good enough to be given the position of responsibility in an emergency, but when the danger is over and the ravages of the enemy are made good, his services are no longer required except in a. comparatively subordinate capacity.
"It can be said at once that the British people would view with dismay the relegatlon of this great soldier to the somewhat meager share of the front which he held before von Rundstedt's breakthrough. And this is no question of national pride or prestige."
Writing from Brussels. Alar Moorehead of The London Daily Express said that a story going around that Field Marshal Montgomery had insisted on his new command and forced General Eisenhower into it, was nonsense.
"General Eisenhower and `his staff themselves took the declsion early in the morning at the pitch of the crisis," Mr. Moorehead wrote. "Marshal Montgomery accepted briskly and had his plan ready within a few hours. The plan went before a meeting of field commanders and was immediately accepted."

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Bradley's Statement, Jan 9th 1945

Post by Michael Kenny » 14 Sep 2011 03:40

OUR 'RISK' MAY WIN BRADLEY DECLARES

War Could Turn on Calculated Chance Taken In Ardennes General Suggests

AREA HELD NOT STRATEGIC

12th Army Group Leader Hails His Men-Recieves Bronze Star From Eisenhower

12th ARMY GROUP HEADQUARTERS
Jan. 9-—Lieut. Gen. Omar N. Bradley, Twelfth Army Group commander, told the story of the Ardennes today, explaining for the first time the German breakthrough of Dec.16 When this battle is over and the salient closed events may prove, he said, that the German losses in men, matériel and morale may materially effect the enemy’s ability to resist on the western front.
He indicated, although he did not say it, that this breakthrough, which appears so disastrous at first, may be. the turning point in the war, shortening rather than prolonging it.
Discussing the actual breakthrough: and the steps leading to
it, General Bradley said that the attack was in direct result of the pressure exerted by the American First, Third and Ninth Armies along with forces of the Sixth Army group. This pressure was brought against a weakening German defense line and was threatening vital areas in the Reich. ' Some diversionary attack was indicated to curb these Allied offensives and give the Germans time to regroup. It was known that the Germans were building up their forces in the Cologne area some weeks before the counter-attack and the possibility of an attack at the spot where they later came through had been under study by General Bradley.
· "In leaving the Ardennes line lightly held. we took what is known in military terminology as a 'calculated risk' to strengthen our northern and southem drives," the General said. "In other words, instead of employing our surplus divisions in the then quiet Ardennes, we used them to attack in other sectors. This technique of striking boldly while taking calculated risks is what has gotten us to the German border." While General Bradley was praising the men who fought in the Ardermes, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was paying tribute to his generalship by awarding the Bronze Star to him. The citation follows:
On Dec. 16. when the enemy lauched his counter-offensive on the Ardennes front. General Bradley quickly appreciated the possible consequences and made arrangements within his army group. As the hostile attack drove forward in the center, General Bradley Instantly sensed the points at which principal defensive meuures should be concentrated. Realizing that the maintenance of communications with his northern flank would be difficult, he turned over to Field ` Marshall Montgomery temporary operational control of the Ninth and that part of the First Army on the north of the penetration while he devoted himself to the southern flank. With his tactical skill, clear in-sight, decision and unfaltering , determination, he not only made rapid counter-attacks to insure the integrity of key points of his position but eventually withstood the furious attacks of the main portion of the hostile forces and seriously disrupted the hostile plan of attack. [Prime Minister Churchill sent congratulations Tuesday to General Bradley on his receiving the Bronze Star, a, dispatch from Allied Supreme Headquarters. The Associated Press disclosed.]
===============================

BRADLEY STATEMENT ·
UNITED STATES TWELFTH
ARMY GROUP HEADQUARTERS

Jan. 9
General Bradley's statement:

The German attack was a direct result of pressure exerted by
the Ninth, First and Third American Armies-and the forces of
the Sixth Army Group—against a weakening German defense line.
Advances made during November and December were threatening vital German areas; It was necessary that the Germans launch some diversionary attack in suificient strength to cause the Allies temporarily to stop their
offensive against these vital areas—and to try to gain time. The build-up of German forces had been observed In the Cologne area for some weeks before the
attack, and the possibility of a German attack through the
Ardennes was thoroughly studied by me and my staff. ’
In leaving the Ardennes line lightly held, we took what in known in military terminology as a "calcuIated risk" to strengthen our northern and southern drives.
In other words, instead of employing our surplus divisions in
the then quiet Ardennes, we used them to attack in other sectors.
This technique of striking boldly while taking calculated risks is what has gotten us to the German borders. In my opinion, had we followed the more cautious policies, we would still be fighting west of Paris. We felt in the case of the Ardennes that we could take this risk because the territory contains no strategic objectives or large supply instalations and when [Field Marshal Karl von] Rundstedt sent his troops into action with orders to live on American dumps, they found slim picking: in the empty pockets.
Many of the prisoners we have captured have been hungry and we have now captured many tanks and vehicles stalled for lack of fuel.

Timing and Strength s Surprise

The actual. timing of the attack and its strength were some-
what of a surprise. The attack was skillfully launched and
Rundstedts movement of his reserves from the Cologne area to the jump-off position in the Siegfried Line was masterfully
executed. This was made possible by a period of bad weather which restricted our air reconnaissance and in considering possibilities through the Ardennes we recognized that lt might meet initial success but we felt that the nature ot the terrain and the size in and mobility of our forces would justify our taking risks. They would enable us to meet and stop an attack before it could do much damage. This is exactly what happened. ·
The enemy's schedule tor his attack was upset by the heroic resistance of our troops and by the speed made by all three armies : in shifting divisions to meet the attack
The result was that wherever the enemy turned along the north flank. groping toward a place where h e could break out on the Belgian lowlands, he was met by troops of [Lieut.] Gen. [Courtney H] Hodges' First Army, He lound blocking his way the same American Divisions which had been soundly thrashing his best ever since the beachhead days of Normandy.
An even greater surprise to the enemy was the quick appearance of [Lieut.] Gen. [George S.] Patton's Third Army on the south flank. Matching the speed with which [Lieut.] Gen. [William H.] Simpson [United States Ninth Army commander] and General Hodges deployed their divisions from the north, General Patton’s forces first relieved Batogne, which was of course the key to the whole battle, and then attacked with such fury that the enemy was forced to slow his drive on the north. He had ln fact to move his best SS [Elite Guard] panzer divisions across the salient in an attempt to check General Patton's unexpected advance.
The German attack launched on Dec. 16 cut both our direct telephone communications to the First Army and the dlrect road over which personal contact was normally maintained. The weather prevented making of frequent personal contacts with the First Army by plane. It was therefore decided that the Twenty·first Army Group should assume temporary command ot all Allied forces north of the salient. This was a temporary measure only and when the lines are rejoined the Twelth Army Group will resume command of all American troops in this area. The soundness and flexibility of our Allied command is illustrated by the ease with which this change of command was made. Field Marshal [Sir Bernard L.] Montgomery has made a notable contribution. Even before he took this temporary command of the First and Ninth Armies at 13:30 hours on Dec. 20 the Field Marshal had moved to station his British and Canadian forces into position to protect Antwerp in the event of any unforeseen breakthrough. It can now be announced that British troops were at that time dispatched to the tip of the salient. These troops fought with distinction, engaging the covering forces of the Germans near their farthest advance. Whenever weather permitted. American and British Air forces have seized every opportunity to strike together and the effect ot their coordinated blows has been great importance.
German losses in this offensive have been enormous. Our artillery and air forces have been able to punish him much more severely in the open than had been possible while he remained in his fortifications. Even in the matter of prisoners, despite the fact that the enemy had taken the offensive the total number taken since Dec. 16 by the First and Third American Armies is much greater then the number ot United States troops reported missing in action or captured. His dead end wounded must be many times more than the number we have suffered. Events may prove that losses in men and material and in morale when the salient is finally reduced may materially effect the German's ability to resist on the western front.
I do not mean to imply by this that the Germans are on the verge ol collapse. They are not. We have known for some time that there will be considerably more fighting ahead. But we have never had any doubt about the outcome and we have none now. What the American soldier has done ln the Ardennes in the last three weeks is to my mind one of the greatest stories in the history ot fighting men. Most of our Army are veterans now and know every trick of the trade. but there were lots of men who stopped the Germans in the Ardennes who only joined us a short time ago and had only what they had been taught in their training-ln their native courage end character-to carry them through battle. These Americans. veteran and newcomers, fought against picked German soldiers specially trained and rested and equipped just for this offensive.
The Germans had thinned the Siegfried Line to make this force possible. Their soldiers were given a pep talk before the attack and told this offensive would take Antwerp in a few weeks and end the war. They believed what they were told and fought with skill and, in most places, with suicidal determination. So lt turned out that the American soldiers met the very best fighting force that German militarism had been able to put in the field and licked it to a standstill agaln and again.
In many places Panzer tactics temporarily split our troops into small isolated units. Our men fought even more determinedly than they had in the past. They used an enormous variety of weapons with deadly effect. The stories of individual heroism that you have read in our own Army paper. Stars and Stripes, and reported in the press, far from being overstated have been, to my certain knowledge. if anything, understated. Only a small minority of the things that went on out there could have been observed or reported. The American people can be deeply proud ot the achievement of their sons and brothers in this battle.


After reading the above and Monty's press conference I have to say the whole affair seems rather petty and hardly worth the 60 years of rancour it instigated.
Bradley (like Monty) was just trying to cover his bare arse!

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