Aber wrote: Michael Kenny wrote:
IIRC Montgomery's advance is described as 'pachydermal' in US Army histories. That's enough for many people.
Without looking into that I believe the original 'pachydermal' reference was nothing to do with the speed of the advance and was an alusion to how unstoppable the advance was.
Maybe, but that's not how I've seen it used.
The actual phrase is in Howe's Northwest Africa: Seizing the Initiative in the West
, pp. 521-522 and is in context, referring to the period in February leading up to the battles of Mareth.
The main test of Allied strength and Axis
power in March was the battle for the
Mareth Position. The British First Army
and the Fifth Panzer Army were contending,
to be sure, at several points in northern
Tunisia, where the aggressiveness of General
von Arnim was unremitting, but the basic
objective of each army there was simply to
pin down opposing troops and to prevent
their direct contribution to a victory or a
defeat in southern Tunisia. It became the
purpose of Fifth Panzer Army to free the defenders
of the Mareth Position as much as
possible from Allied pressure. The British
First Army, for its part, aimed at holding in
the north Axis men and materiel which
could otherwise be sent to reinforce the
Italian First Army at Mareth. During these
preliminaries, the Eighth Army proceeded
to the crucial battle with the majestic deliberation
of a pachyderm.
Its base was
shifted westward to Tripoli, where harbor
debris and port wreckage resulting from
Allied bombing and Axis sabotage was expeditiously
removed or repaired.