The World at War


Montgomery, Bernard Law

Montgomery Montgomery, Bernard Law, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Al ‘Alamayn (1887-1976), British military leader who played a prominent role in the Allied victories in Africa and Europe during the second world war (1939-1945).

He was born in London and educated at the Royal Military College. He entered the British army in 1908 and served in the first world war 1914-1918) as a captain. In 1942, during World War II, he was appointed commander of the British Eighth Army in Africa; two months later he began an offensive at Al ‘Alamayn (El ‘Alamein), Egypt, which resulted in the expulsion of the German-Italian forces under the German General Erwin Rommel, first from Egypt and then from Cyrenaica and Tripolitania in Libya. In 1943 he gained another victory over Rommel at the Battle of the Mareth Line in southern Tunisia. As commander in chief of the British armies on the western front, he served under the supreme commander of Allied forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, from December 1943 to August 1944, when he was promoted to field marshal in command of British and Canadian troops. Montgomery was never popular with the majority of United States Generals with whom he had to work closely. In 1946 Montgomery was created viscount and made chief of the imperial general staff. He was deputy supreme commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces from 1951 to 1958. His writings include his memoirs, published in 1958, and The Path to Leadership

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