Born on 17th of November 1887
Died in Alton, Hampshire
Died on 24th of March 1976
Montgomery (Monty) led the first allied defeat of the German army in WWII. An outstanding strategist he was renowned for his meticulous planning although his outspoken views polarized opinion around him.
Bernard Law Montgomery was born in Kennington, London on November 17, 1887. The son of a bishop, he joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in 1908 and was severely wounded at the beginning of WWI: so badly indeed that a grave was dug for him. He survived to return to active service in 1916 and ended the war a Major General.
Montgomery was with the BEF in France and served with distinction during the retreat and evacuation from Dunkirk in 1940. When Churchill became deeply concerned about Rommel’s apparently invincible advances in North Africa Montgomery was the man he appointed to take over the British 8th Army. Montgomery’s preparations proved effective: the decisive battle of Alamein marked a turning point in the war and did much to improve British morale: in Churchill’s words: “Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat.” In May 1943 the Afrika Korps surrendered in Tunisia.
Promoted to General Montgomery played a major role in the Anglo-American invasion of Sicily and the Italian Mainland. In 1943 Montgomery was recalled to command the Allied land forces for the D Day invasion of Europe under Eisenhower. Montgomery confounded his critics with the speed of his advance but overreached himself at Arnhem where his plan to establish a forward bridgehead was a disastrous failure. Montgomery ended the war as Field Marshal but had not endeared himself to his colleagues being critical, outspoken and pompous, traits which became amplified in his post war years – legend has it he once stated in the Lords: “As god said in the bible - and I think he was right… Field Marshal the 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein died in 1976 at his home in Isington, Hampshire.
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