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Monty and Rommel : parallel lives / Peter Caddick-Adams.

By: Caddick-Adams, Peter, 1960-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York, NY : The Overlook Press, 2012, c2011Description: xxvi, 614 pages, [16] pages of plates : illustrations, maps, portraits ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781590207253 (hbk.) :; 1590207254 (hbk.) :.Subject(s): Montgomery of Alamein, Bernard Law Montgomery, Viscount, 1887-1976 | Rommel, Erwin, 1891-1944 | World War, 1939-1945 -- Biography | World War, 1914-1918 -- Biography | Marshals -- Great Britain -- Biography | Generals -- Germany -- Biography | Military biography | World War, 1939-1945 | World War, 1914-1918
Contents:
Prologue. Baptism and fire. The Irishman -- The Swabian -- First combats-- Cheating death -- Learning the trade -- Bloody red tabs -- The mountain lion -- Mud and mountains -- The last year -- Interwar: preparations. Coping with peace -- Preparing for war -- The making of modern major generals. Phoney war -- Blitzkrieg -- Duel in the desert I -- Duel in the desert II: the battles of El Alamein -- Once more unto the breach. Two return to France -- Defending Normandy -- Britain's last Hurrah! -- Where is Rommel? -- Exploiting the beachhead -- Plots and breakouts -- Beyond the Bocage -- The final duel: reputations. How will history judge me? -- The desert fox reborn -- Afterword.
Summary: Two men came to personify generalship in the Second World War: Bernard Montgomery for the British and Erwin Rommel for the Germans. In the span of a few years, they fought a series of extraordinary duels across several theaters of war. Ever since, historians have assessed their leadership, personalities, and skill. Born four years apart, the two men followed a remarkably similar trajectory. Military historian Peter Caddick-Adams explores their lives, beginning with their provincial upbringing and the brutal trench fighting of World War I--where both nearly died. Obsessed with fitness and training, the future field marshals emerged with glowing records. They taught in staff colleges, wrote infantry textbooks, and fought each other as divisional commanders in 1940 before taking charge of their respective armies as the war raged on. This first comparative biography of these two soldiers explores how each was "made" by their war leaders, Churchill and Hitler, and how their strategies permeate down to today's armies.--From publisher description.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

They fought a series of extraordinary battles across several theaters of war that established them as two of the greatest generals of their age. Born four years apart, their lives were remarkably similar--from their shared provincial upbringings to each nearly dying in but emerging from the first World War with glowing war records. They would begin to fight each other as divisional commanders in 1940 and as they came to prominence, first in North Africa, then at the Normandy D-Day allied invasion. Caddick-Adams tracks and compares their military talents and personalities in battle. Monty and Rommel explores how each general was raised to power by their war leaders, Churchill and Hitler, and how the innovative military strategy and thought of both permeate down to today's armies.

Includes bibliographical references (p. [545]-576) and index.

Prologue. Baptism and fire. The Irishman -- The Swabian -- First combats-- Cheating death -- Learning the trade -- Bloody red tabs -- The mountain lion -- Mud and mountains -- The last year -- Interwar: preparations. Coping with peace -- Preparing for war -- The making of modern major generals. Phoney war -- Blitzkrieg -- Duel in the desert I -- Duel in the desert II: the battles of El Alamein -- Once more unto the breach. Two return to France -- Defending Normandy -- Britain's last Hurrah! -- Where is Rommel? -- Exploiting the beachhead -- Plots and breakouts -- Beyond the Bocage -- The final duel: reputations. How will history judge me? -- The desert fox reborn -- Afterword.

Two men came to personify generalship in the Second World War: Bernard Montgomery for the British and Erwin Rommel for the Germans. In the span of a few years, they fought a series of extraordinary duels across several theaters of war. Ever since, historians have assessed their leadership, personalities, and skill. Born four years apart, the two men followed a remarkably similar trajectory. Military historian Peter Caddick-Adams explores their lives, beginning with their provincial upbringing and the brutal trench fighting of World War I--where both nearly died. Obsessed with fitness and training, the future field marshals emerged with glowing records. They taught in staff colleges, wrote infantry textbooks, and fought each other as divisional commanders in 1940 before taking charge of their respective armies as the war raged on. This first comparative biography of these two soldiers explores how each was "made" by their war leaders, Churchill and Hitler, and how their strategies permeate down to today's armies.--From publisher description.

11 151

KO-BOP, WWI

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Maps (p. ix)
  • Prologue (p. xxi)
  • Part 1 Baptism and Fire
  • 1 The Irishman (p. 3)
  • 2 The Swabian (p. 15)
  • 3 First Combats (p. 30)
  • 4 Cheating Death (p. 48)
  • 5 Learning the Trade (p. 62)
  • 6 Bloody Red Tabs (p. 87)
  • 7 The Mountain Lion (p. 95)
  • 8 Mud and Mountains (p. 103)
  • 9 The Last Year (p. 128)
  • Part 2 Interwar: Preparations
  • 10 Coping with Peace (p. 155)
  • 11 Preparing for War (p. 173)
  • Part 3 The Making of Modern Major Generals
  • 12 Phoney War (p. 203)
  • 13 Blitzkrieg (p. 220)
  • 14 Duel in the Desert I (p. 243)
  • 15 Duel in the Desert II: The Battles of El Alamein (p. 268)
  • Part 4 Once More Unto the Breach
  • 16 Two Return to France (p. 311)
  • 17 Defending Normandy (p. 338)
  • 18 Britain's Last Hurrah! (p. 363)
  • 19 Where is Rommel? (p. 381)
  • 20 Exploiting the Beachhead (p. 394)
  • 21 Plots and Breakouts (p. 417)
  • 22 Beyond the Bocage (p. 442)
  • Part 5 The Final Duel: Reputations
  • 23 How Will History Judge Me? (p. 453)
  • 24 The Desert Fox Reborn (p. 470)
  • Afterword (p. 487)
  • Notes (p. 501)
  • Bibliography (p. 545)
  • Acknowledgements (p. 577)
  • Chronology (p. 580)
  • Guide to Ranks (p. 589)
  • List of Illustrations (p. 591)
  • Index (p. 593)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Of the World War II leaders who have been examined over the years, few have had careers that so closely mirror each other as British general Bernard Montgomery and German general Erwin Rommel. Caddick-Adams (lecturer, Cranfield Military Academy, UK) chronicles Monty's and Rommel's lives from birth until death, occasionally in alternating chapters but more often woven seamlessly within one narrative. Both men served in World War I; both were ambitious; both needed to adjust their modes of communicating and reacting in order to be successful leaders, but each paid a price, Rommel all the more. Fans of dual World War II biographies such as Alan Bullock's Hitler and Stalin and Jon Meacham's Franklin and Winston will enjoy the juxtaposition of the generals' careers, which parallel each other in both great and minor ways. Caddick-Adams uses his own professional expertise in detailing and analyzing each man's leadership strategies in wartime. Verdict Behind-the-scenes descriptions that place the reader directly in the action of World War II, the character analysis, and the biographical context are sure to satisfy all curious readers in military biography or World War II history.-Melanie Mitzman, Triumph Learning, New York (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Bernard Law Montgomery and Erwin Rommel are ideal subjects for a comparative military biography. These two WWII generals confronted each other directly over a significant period of time, under different conditions: the deserts of North Africa and Normandy's woodlands. Their styles were fundamentally different. Rommel was a master of maneuver; Montgomery excelled in the set-piece battle. Rommel was an improviser; Montgomery was a planner. Rommel was a gambler; Montgomery possessed an infinite capacity for avoiding risk. But Caddick-Adams, a distinguished British military writer and defense analyst, demonstrates as well that the two commanders had much in common. Each understood the strengths and limitations of the armies in which he served and the forces he commanded. Montgomery knew British soldiers could not be made to fight like Germans. Rommel was aware that the Third Reich was waging war on a shoestring and had to take risks for victory. Both lacked political sophistication. Montgomery faced dismissal by Winston Churchill in the war's final months. Rommel's misjudgment of Hitler cost him his life. But each was a master of the battlefield, feared and respected by his opponents. Without choosing between them, Caddick-Adams compares Rommel to a bold "modernist painter" and Montgomery to a painstaking "seventeenth-century minimalist." It is a striking, appropriate conclusion to an excellent book. 40 b&w photos; 10 maps. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Book Review

Infantry Attacks, in 1937. Montgomery trained fledging divisions in the Territorial Army, including six years in India. Rommel was put in charge of Hitler's military escort in 1936, then a panzer division in the blitz of France in 1940. Though he had no armored experience, he was spectacularly successful, and again in North Africa. The Normandy invasion caught Rommel "tending his wife's roses in the garden at Herrlingen," while Montgomery led as the highly effective Allied land-force commander. Caddick-Adams emphasizes Rommel's ethical behavior as a war commander, urging Hitler repeatedly to cede a "political situation" in the face of Armageddon, with fatal consequences to his own life. The author considers at length the postwar mythmaking regarding both generals. An accessible, well-honed study of two fascinating characters.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.