Hi again Tom It's from earlier, regarding September '44. "Looking back from the 9th November when the Canadian 1st Army took over in the Nijmegen bridgehead, and prepared for its watery northern role, the hopes of September and October are seen as extravagant fantasies, arising perhaps out of Montgomery's great anxieties. Yet there is, I believe, strong justification. In late August as his armies prepared to burst across the Seine it had not been unreasonable to hope for a miracle. But the Field Marshal had hoped for two miracles: a miracle on the left at Antwerp, and miracle on the right at Arnhem. When he was faced with the grim reality perhaps he bluffed--even himself--for if he once let slip his tenacious vision of the Rhineland and the Ruhr Eisenhower might deny it also. Had he permitted himself to admit the impossibility of fighting the Rhineland battle in October it would have been difficult to gain Eisenhower's consent for it in November. And it had to be fought. Without Montgomery's continual insistence the weight might have shifted south for good. Governing all of the Field Marshal's thinking and actions was the belief that the Rhineland and the Ruhr were the right roads for the conquest of Germany and the foreordained tasks of his armies. He could not act alone. If there could not be a single ground force commander he must have one of Bradley's armies under command, and the certain cooperation of the US's 12th Army Group on his right. Patton's 3rd Army must be curbed. That is, I believe, the basis of Montgomery's long struggle, and the basis of his nightmare. If he admitted the weakness of his position it would become true. He feared constantly that if the weight was thrown to the centre it would be an irreparable mistake, a strategic blunder of the first magnitude. In the last resort he would yield the command of "his" battle; but it must be fought." There are some shifting thoughts here. First Thompson describes the hopes of Sept/Oct as fantasies, then says there was "strong justification" to hope for a miracle, but then to point out that Montgomery hoped for two (Antwerp and Arnhem). Whereas... I mean, you could call Antwerp a hoped-for miracle with the push to reach it, but a squandered one considering the additional fighting that was required before it could be used as a port. If Arnhem had worked it would have been a miracle but that would have required EVERYTHING to go right. I don't think there was honestly strong justification for hoping it would succeed. And then it seems a little unclear whether Thompson is trying to convey the idea that Monty thought the Rhineland battle had to be fought, or whether Thompson agreed the battle had to be fought. Without going into any overall strategic analysis of whether that was actually true or not. And then there's the next bit, which makes me want to roll my eyes VERY HARD. I mean, the Allies had discussed and agreed that total victory was required. "But the battle was not only in the field. Vast political forces loomed as victory was in sight. The New World was fighting to destroy the German armies; the Old World is fighting to win a political victory, to make Europe a safe place to live in. "There is a point where these aims diverge, for war is not so much a political instrument to the Americans as an act of retribution. My purpose here is simply to draw attention to these factors, not to discuss them. An awareness that such factors exist may be helpful in the contemplation of the campaign in the field."