Talk:Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein

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Former good article nominee Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein was a Warfare good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Source/location of the colour photograph[edit]

The colour photo of Monty with location unknown; have a look at the black and white photo of him with Simonds, Horrocks et al. His dress is exactly the same down to the folds in his scarf, and the buckle of his belt being offset to his left. The same buttons on his Denison smock are shiny, and so on. I'd bet a few quid they were taken as part of the same shoot. Anyone else got any views? Mungo Shuntbox (talk) 12:54, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

American divisions count[edit]

The divisions numbers given in this article : "The increasing preponderance of American troops in the European theatre (from five out of ten divisions at D-Day to 72 out of 85 in 1945) " contradict the numbers given in this Wikipeida article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Allied_invasion_of_Germany#Allied_forces which says "At the very beginning of 1945, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, General Dwight D. Eisenhower had 73 divisions under his command in Northwestern Europe, of which 49 were infantry divisions, 20 armored divisions and four airborne divisions. Forty-nine of these divisions were American, 12 British, eight French, three Canadian and one Polish. Another seven American divisions arrived during February,[3] with continual further reinforcement of the other Allied powers′ divisions, " — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.217.24.133 (talk) 05:00, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: ErrantX (talk · contribs) 22:38, 20 February 2013 (UTC) I'm failing this article for GA as it needs sigificant, and obvious, work. In addition the nominator appears to have conducted no work on the article. Some examples of things that would need looking at:

  • Lead needs expanding
  • There are numerous prose issues from a brief scan (for example; the Legacy section is basically a list and needs work to make it flow).
  • Image placement may need review
  • Section headings may need review (some "blank" sections etc.)
  • Many issues from the first GAR still exist

I hope this will help going forward. --Errant (chat!) 22:38, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Reputation in proportion[edit]

I think there should be a section on how his strengths and weaknesses are now perceived, since his reputation had been largely inflated for propaganda reasons, and later demolished by critics with their own agenda. The consensus among younger, unbiased historians would usefully complete the picture. Valetude (talk) 14:05, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

That's a good intention but it's not sure it will be achieved one day. Per example, some years ago there was a kind of controversy in Germany about the real Rommel and the image we had of him after WWII. As Montogmery, he was used heavily for propaganda meanings. Montgomery will stay as the favorite British general of WWII and so it will always be controvertial into trying to complete the picture of the guy used to boost the British morale during the second world war, especially after Dunkirk, Tobruk, Singapore, Hong-Kong, etc. Let's take the second battle of El Alamein, during years historians and public perception ignored the fact that Monty enjoyed the defensive line made by Auchinleck (in his memoirs, Monty lied in saying Auchinleck wanted to retreat) but also thanks to ULTRA he knew the battle plan of Rommel (in a propaganda use, Monty had a portrait of Rommel and was able to decipher his enemy's intentions from it). Does that reduce the ability of Montgomery as a general, not at all. It just puts more reality than myth. 82.122.183.120 (talk) 17:42, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

How come the story of Montgomery and the Flying Fortress isn`t in this article ?[edit]

How come the story of Montgomery and the Flying Fortress isn`t in this article ? It`s well authenticated and accepted as fact by all students of WWII. In fact there seems to be hardly any mention of Montgomery`s infamous ability to upset people including his allies and superiors.--JustinSmith (talk) 12:59, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

Do we get any clues as to what story you are talking about, I suspect it is not mentioned because it is probably unheard of and not notable. MilborneOne (talk) 14:06, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

I would say it`s very notable. Not only would a brief web search bring up loads of results but the last two books on WWII which I read (World War 2 by Gordon Corrigan and Alanbrooke`s war diaries) both mention it. However, in an article purporting to be all about Montgomery, its significance is even greater because anyone who knows anything about him also knows he was a very flawed character. Even his "patron" CIGS Alanbrooke himself states (e.g. his war diaries pages 418/9, 516, 531, 550 & 638) he is liable to commit untold errors in lack of tact + I had to haul him over the coals for his usual lack of tact and egotistical outlook which prevented him from appreciating other people`s feelings.
Anyway, the infamous Flying Fortress incident :
Monty bet Walter Bedell Smith that he could capture Sfax by the middle of April 1943. Smith jokingly replied that if Monty could do it he would give him a Flying Fortress complete with crew. Smith promptly forgot all about it, but Montgomery didn`t, and when he did in fact take Sfax on the 10th of April he sent a message to Smith "claiming his winnings". Smith tried to laugh it off, but Montgomery was having none of it and insisted on his FF. It got as high as Eisenhower who was said to be absolutely furious, but his usual skill at diplomacy meant he ensured Montgomery did in fact get his FF, though at a great cost in ill feeling. Even Alanbrooke thought it "crass stupidity" (war diaries p418).--JustinSmith (talk) 21:18, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

From memory the plane crashed some time later, and Monty was not allowed to claim a replacement.Paulturtle (talk) 04:04, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
The incident may not be that notable to this article. Does it feature significantly in biographies that are solely about Monty? And is it only illustrative of Monty's character rather than affecting his life or work? And what to reliable sources say that it shows about Monty - that he took things very seriously, that he pursued matters even when "diplomatically" unwise? GraemeLeggett (talk) 19:10, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
This blog (sketchy referencing) suggests the story is more complex. That Monty's predecessor William Gott was killed as a result of his aircraft being attacked by German aircraft could be seen as a valid reason for taking the opportunity to lay hands on something a bit better protected. But in covering Monty's nature, it would be better to hear what his biographers had to say in general on the matter. GraemeLeggett (talk) 19:33, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Whether or not a story features in an article, or whether or not commentators on the talk page have heard of it, does not usually have much bearing on its notability - it usually just means that the article has grown up piecemeal and that nobody has ever really taken it in hand and transcribed a précis of the contents of some good biographies.
It's mentioned in Nigel Hamilton's triple-decker biography, which I read back in the 80s but do not have to hand (I may have misremembered the story of it crashing). Alastair Horne (p60 of "The Lonely Leader") mentions his acquiring the B-17, and how it rubbed the Americans up the wrong way. In his own memoirs Monty claims that Bedell Smith had originally intended it as a joke, that it was useful for flying around large distances in Tunisia, that the RAF had refused to supply him with a plane despite requests, that he made a trip to England and back in it in May 43, and that he swapped it for a Dakota with a jeep on board as airfields in Sicily were too small. Neither Monty nor Horne mention anything to do with Strafer Gott.Paulturtle (talk) 01:10, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Basically, if even Allenbrooke (Montgomery`s patron) though it worthwhile mentioning it in some detail in his war diaries, that says it all. How could falling out with Bedell Smith and Eisenhower at the same time not be very notable. In fact if Allenbrooke hadn`t been such a supporter of Montgomery I suspect Monty would have fallen out with the CIGS as well ! The incident is very notable, not only in itself but as an indication of Montgomery`s flawed character. There are a few references to the latter throughout the article, I personally think they`d be better off all in the same section. --JustinSmith (talk) 07:59, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

It would appear the B-17E was serial "41-9082" that was loaned to Montgomery. MilborneOne (talk) 10:17, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm a late comer to this conversation. A couple of things.
1- The B-17 was wrecked in the summer of 1943
2- I have all three of volumes of Hamilton's biography of Monty. Haven't read them in about a decade.
If this was deemed notable, Hamilton did go into it in some detail about the B-17. I could source something in the article about it....William 10:36, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Feel free. When you're done, I can add some stuff from Monty's memoirs (if there's anything not covered by Hamilton). One suspects he is telling a selective version of the story.Paulturtle (talk) 10:45, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

"It's mentioned in Nigel Hamilton's triple-decker biography, which I read back in the 80s but do not have to hand (I may have misremembered the story of it crashing). Alastair Horne (p60 of "The Lonely Leader") mentions his acquiring the B-17, and how it rubbed the Americans up the wrong way. In his own memoirs Monty claims that Bedell Smith had originally intended it as a joke, that it was useful for flying around large distances in Tunisia, that the RAF had refused to supply him with a plane despite requests, that he made a trip to England and back in it in May 43, and that he swapped it for a Dakota with a jeep on board as airfields in Sicily were too small. Neither Monty nor Horne mention anything to do with Strafer Gott.Paulturtle"
Allenbrooke`s war diaries (p418) = "When I accused Monty of crass stupidity for impairing his relations with Eisenhower for the sake of an aircraft which might have been provided from our own resources". I`m sure that inter service rivalry would mean the RAF wouldn`t be happy to provide a plane unless they were "encouraged" to do so but I find it hard to believe that the CIGS couldn`t ensure Montgomery got a suitable British sourced plane without the need for the whole sorry episode, which may have had untold effects later in the war as the Americans took over more of the positions of higher command.--JustinSmith (talk) 11:15, 10 August 2014 (UTC)