Frases de Bernard Law Montgomery

Bernard Law Montgomery Foto
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Bernard Law Montgomery

Fecha de nacimiento: 17. Noviembre 1887
Fecha de muerte: 24. Marzo 1976

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Bernard Law Montgomery, 1.er vizconde Montgomery de El-Alamein , apodado «Monty» o el «General Espartano», fue un militar británico con el rango de mariscal de campo que tuvo un papel destacado en la Segunda Guerra Mundial.

Entró en acción como oficial en la Primera Guerra Mundial en el seno del Real Regimiento de Warwickshire. En la población de Méteren, cerca de la frontera belga en Bailleul, recibió un tiro de un francotirador que le atravesó el pulmón derecho durante la Primera batalla de Ypres, librada a finales de 1914. Regresó al frente como oficial del Estado Mayor y participó en la Batalla de Arrás y también en la batalla de Passchendaele a finales de 1917. Al acabar la guerra era jefe del Estado Mayor de la 47.ª División.

En el período de entreguerras estuvo al mando del 17.º Batallón de los Fusileros Reales y después del 1.º Batallón del Real Regimiento de Warwickshire, tras lo cual fue nombrado comandante de la 9.ª Brigada de Infantería y después Oficial Comandante General de la 8.ª División de Infantería.

Durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial estuvo al mando del Octavo Ejército británico desde agosto de 1942 en la Campaña del Desierto Occidental hasta la victoria final de los Aliados en la Campaña de Túnez. En este período venció al general alemán Erwin Rommel en la decisiva Segunda Batalla de El Alamein, un punto de inflexión en la campaña norteafricana. Después dirigió al Octavo Ejército durante las invasiones aliadas de Sicilia e Italia. En 1944 fue designado comandante de todas las fuerzas terrestres durante la operación Overlord desde los desembarcos iniciales hasta después de la batalla de Normandía. En lo que restaba de guerra, estuvo al frente del 21.º Grupo de Ejército durante el avance hacia Alemania, en el transcurso del cual fue el principal comandante de la fallida operación aerotransportada llamada Market Garden en la localidad neerlandesa de Arnhem, y también en el cruce del Rin. El 4 de mayo de 1945 aceptó la rendición incondicional alemana en el brezal de Luneburgo, al norte de Alemania.

Después de la guerra, Montgomery se convirtió en comandante del Ejército Británico del Rin en Alemania y entre 1946 y 1948 fue jefe del Estado Mayor Imperial. Hasta 1951 ocupó la presidencia del Comité de comandantes en jefe de la Unión Occidental. Desde ese año hasta su jubilación en 1958 sirvió como Subcomandante Supremo Aliado Europeo de la OTAN.

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Frases Bernard Law Montgomery

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„Monty' was the victor of the Alamein campaign which turned the tide in North Africa; he was enormously popular with the troops under his command and with the British public. Three years older than Eisenhower, his military career was fuller. The son of a clergyman, he followed a conventional path from public school to the British army academy at Sandhurst. In 1914 he was a lieutenant in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He saw fierce fighting on the Western front, was severely wounded, returned to the front and ended the war as a divisional chief-of-staff with the rank of major; two years later he saw combat again, against Sinn Fein in the struggle for Irish independence. Between the wars he was a successful staff officer; when war broke out again he was a major-general. As with Eisenhower, real responsibility came only in 1942 when Churchill chose him to take over the 8th Army in Egypt and turn back the Axis armies advancing on Suez. He was a good organizer and a careful strategist. His bloody baptism of fire in 1914 taught him not to gamble with the lives of his men. He suffered fools not at all, and had little respect for rank and distinction. He believed that officers should get close to their men, but with fellow commanders he could be prickly and arrogant. He possessed a strong self-belief which he communicated to those below him, but it was a quality that made him intolerant of allies and colleagues where Eisenhower was a model of appeasement. The eventual success of their awkward partnership owed more to Eisenhower's self-restraint than it did to any diffidence on the part of Montgomery.“

—  Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein
Richard Overy, Why the Allies Won (1995), p. 144-145

„There were many reasons why we did not gain complete success at Arnhem. The following in my view were the main ones. First. The operation was not regarded at Supreme Headquarters as the spearhead of a major Allied movement on the northern flank designed to isolate, and finally to occupy, the Ruhr - the one objective in the West which the Germans could not afford to lose. There is no doubt in my mind that Eisenhower always wanted to give priority to the northern thrust and to scale down the southern one. He ordered this to be done, and he thought that it was being done. It was not being done. Second. The airborne forces at Arnhem were dropped too far away from the vital objective - the bridge. It was some hours before they reached it. I take the blame for this mistake. I should have ordered Second Army and 1st Airborne Corps to arrange that at least one complete Parachute Brigade was dropped quite close to the bridge, so that it could have been captured in a matter of minutes and its defence soundly organised with time to spare. I did not do so. Third. The weather. This turned against us after the first day and we could not carry out much of the later airborne programme. But weather is always an uncertain factor, in war and in peace. This uncertainty we all accepted. It could only have been offset, and the operation made a certainty, by allotting additional resources to the project, so that it became an Allied and not merely a British project. Fourth. The 2nd S. S. Panzer Corps was refitting in the Arnhem area, having limped up there after its mauling in Normandy. We knew it was there. But we were wrong in supposing that it could not fight effectively; its battle state was far beyond our expectation. It was quickly brought into action against the 1st Airborne Division.“

—  Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein
Concerning Operation Market Garden in his autobiography, 'The Memoirs of Field Marshal Montgomery' (1958)

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„In defeat, unbeatable; in victory, unbearable.“

—  Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein
Winston Churchill, quoted in Ambrosia and Small Beer (1964) by Edward Marsh

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