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    Six of Monty's men plus Monty.

    This book does indeed trace the war time careers of six individuals who served under Monty. However, it's really about Monty, and, in practical terms, is an apology for him. All of Monty's foibles and bad behaviour are explained away. The phrase "In all fairness...", in various forms, appears a number of times, and always prefaces a phrase or statement explaining Monty's behaviour. The fact that the author even feels the need to explain this behaviour is in and of itself quite curious. In a number of cases the problem or mistake is some else's fault. Claude Auchinlek is blamed more than anyone, followed by Ike. This assigning of blame to the Auk tends to support Barnett's assertions in The Desert Generals that Auchinleck was treated very unfairly. And, of course, attacking Ike just follows the earlier complaints from Alan Brooke and Monty, without analyzing them. A reader without any particular knowledge of the invasion of France, or the breakout by the American forces from the Cherbourg peninsula might be convinced by this book that the entire business was planned to the last detail by Monty, largely executed by his direct subordinates, and that the Americans simply went where they were told, when they told and did what they were told. The reality is significantly different. This contention is supported by the exhaustive amount of detail available in the U.S. Army Official History of WWII . (The 'Green Books')
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