One could make the argument that the British Army wasn't very successful until almost into 1943 and even then, through the end of the war, had some serious deficiencies.yantaylor wrote: ↑24 Oct 2019 11:32Wow I just had a discussion with an ex-US Army Colonel who had been a battalion Co, and he wiped the floor with me and the British army, he said that the British never managed to combine infantry and armour and they couldn’t come close to the US Armies use of ‘Combat Commands’.
I said that I was fully aware of how the US armoured divisions had three battalions of infantry, three of armour and three of artillery, which could split into three groups three. I also said that the British got their act together, somewhat in 1942 and had more infantry per armoured division then the Americans, three US to four Brits. But he dismissed and said we couldn’t combine them. He said that an American army would not send tanks into the attack without infantry and artillery, which is what the British did in 1940-42.
Now I gave up, because this guy was more up on this stuff, so maybe he was right, but if he was how come we managed to be so successful.
He also dragged Monty through the mud, saying he was a rubbish, slow and out of touch with modern armoured warfare.
I thought I was lucky to get out of the discussion in one piece
The first British offensive of the war was in Norway. They landed a scratch force along with some French units near Narvik in Northern Norway in what amounted to an invasion of a neutral country. Germany's response was to invade Denmark then Norway and defeat the British - French forces decisively.
In France, the one serious British offensive attack was Arras. An unsupported tank brigade made what amounted to a cavalry charge into the 7th panzer division. The attack ended with the British losing a bit more than half their tanks and falling back to their starting position.
In North Africa against the Germans, the British suffered a string of nearly decisive defeats punctuated by costly offensives. It was only once the front became static, much like the Western Front in WW 1, at the Alamein position were the British able to really conduct an effective defense.
In between, there was a defeat in Greece including the destruction of a tank regiment sent, a defeat at Crete, and another in Malaya.
During this time Britain also went through like three major reorganizations of their armored divisions none of which proved particularly effective or competent.
There was the Dieppe debacle as well.
Monty was competent at the fixed piece battle but that plodding style was hardly what was needed much of the time. One might note of all the Allied armies on the Rhine in late 1944 early 1945, his was the last to get across and his operation had the highest cost in losses doing it. In Normandy, the British launched several very costly offensives that really didn't go anywhere like Hill 112 and Goodwood.