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Bernard Law Montgomery

1887-1976

// Biography of General Bernard Law Montgomery.

He received a Spartan education

Raised by a father and a mother Anglican Bishop of iron, Monty, as was known from Alamein, was a man of Spartan habits, which never abandoned. The first time I dined with Churchill, this wine and offered him a cigar. Never drink or smoke, answered the astonished premier, who smoked pure and was a heavy drinker. It is known that Monty only eat boiled food and pie. 

Bernard Law Montgomery was born on November 17, 1887 in Kennington, a suburb of London. Still very young, he accompanied his parents to Tasmania, an island south of Australia, compared to Melbourne. The brothers considered him a pest, and his mother gave him a slap ever saying a word with Australian accent. 

In 1901 the family returned to Britain. Montgomery was sent first to school Sao Paulo for a little while, and when he discovered his vocation military at age 19 (1906), could join the Royal Academy of Santhrust. From a total of 177 applications to join it, got the number 72, not very bright. Always lacked oratorical skills, in addition to its shrill voice does not help. But in return, quickly became an expert in electromagnetic communications, on which he wrote his first book, and when he left the Academy had already gained a certain prestige.



Wounded in the First World War

The December 12, 1908, Montgomery, as an officer of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, is sent to India to Peshawar, where he was until 1911. By clicking the First World War was twenty-six years and was sent to France. Participates in the Battle of Ypres brilliantly, where it is badly wounded in the chest and a leg, but recovered well and returned voluntarily to the front, shortening the period of leave granted to him had to convalesce. Do not want to miss anything of the war, covered with decorations and finishing with the rank of captain. 

Until 1927, when he was already in his forties, did not think to marry, but this year fell in love with a war widow named Betty Hobart, with two children, and married in London on July 29, 1927. Years after the wedding, Monty was placed back in India, this time in Quetta, where Betty died of a venomous bite of a mosquito on 19 October 1937. Monty did not come back to marry. As she had had a son, David, who would not hear of a military career of his father, as Monty had wanted to speak so little of his ecclesiastical career. 

By clicking the Second World War, Montgomery takes command of a famous 8th Division, in what was called the Division of Ferro, which came to form part of the Expeditionary Corps British envoy to France and had to be reembarcado at Dunkirk, saving more than 300 thousand men, but with an enormous loss of material. Churchill would say that this was the worst time to England.


 

Important mission in the desert


 

The great opportunity in the military command of Montgomery's Eighth Army, the most celebrated fighting unit of the British Army. There had been serious problems with it: they had succeeded in his command men like Wawll, Ritchie and Auchinlek three generals who criticize severely Monty in his memoirs. The Eighth Army was the one who stood between the Afrika Korps of Field Marshal Rommel, Cairo and Alexandria, which had fallen on the power of the Axis would open the doors of the Middle East and perhaps Asia. 

Rommel had reached a certain forcefulness with the Eighth Army, and hoped to build you a definitive blow to August 30, 1942, the day that Montgomery was appointed its commander. It was a terrible battle, a giant battle between marshals, German and British tanks involving one thousand, three hundred and thirty thousand men, which included several Italian divisions, two thousand planes and hundreds of artillery pieces. 

The Battle of Alamein ended November 4, lasted twelve days and the Afrika Korps was virtually out of combat, giving him 30,000 prisoners. From that time did nothing more than to retreat - against Hitler's orders - to Tunis, where they surrendered their weapons to the enemy in May 1943. When the battle ended, Monty was a person almost legendary, a national hero on which the British turned their gratitude and honor.



The defeat of Rommel

What is certain is that the Eighth Army had more means that the Afrika Korps, because while he received all sorts of human and material reinforcements, it had to be content with what was on the ground, as he approached the end, Rommel had very few operational tanks. Of course, none of this takes Monty the merits. Ably move masses of men and material against a formidable enemy with Romell ahead and dodge all his traps, tricks and ambushes, was a great feat, Monty was consecrated, that battle in the desert as one of the great strategists of the Second World War, and when it came time to give him top honors, the King did so Par as Viscount of Alamein. Viscount Why only when the general himself Alexander, named after Viscount in 1946, was made ??Count in 1952? Monty must not have liked, because he was very jealous of their merits and almost never had a good opinion of others. 

At large North African victories Eighth Army followed those of Sicily and mainland Italy, to Monte Cassino. The Allies had agreed on opening a second front in Europe, and Montywas called to London by Churchill, to take charge of Allied troops who were involved in Operation Overlord, the Normandy landings.


 

Temperament impossible

Almost from the first moment that Monty had problems with the American generals, who undoubtedly underestimated. As Eisenhower supreme commander, had to put up their orders. Their relations were strained and bitter on some occasions. The success and fame had not sweetened the character of Monty, and when he wrote his Memoirs criticized many decisions Eisenhower, who stopped writing to him, as usual, to congratulate him. This surprised Monty, who regretted that serious judgments contrary. 

The clash between two generals was inevitable because both had a completely different concept on how to conduct the war was already on European soil. Monty, the campaign that ended with the surrender of the Third Reich, has not been as bright as in North Africa . Made mistakes, like the Battle of Arnhem, which stopped the progression ally and which decimated the British I Airborne Division. Monty never recognized this defeat, said he had been a success in 90 percent. 

In May 1945, after advancing on Germany with fire and sword, in Lüneburg Monty received the German general Friedenburg to discuss terms of surrender of Germany. 

At the end the conflict and virtually until the end of his life, the Viscount of Alamein received all the high offices and honors, from Chief of Staff of the Imperial British Army, by the vice-admiral of the supreme NATO, through the Committee Commanders of the Organization for the Defense of Western Europe. NATO sentenced to one sentence: It is a stupidity. 

In 1958 he went to the reserve and retired to his home in Islington Mill, near London. There he lived surrounded by memories of his who died on March 23, 1976. Was eighty-eight years.



The english version of this article will be available soon. In the meanwhile, the text above was the result of a Google translation from portuguese version to english.




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