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Which begs the question. Are you a Napoleon or Patton man? The Manchester United of historys generals.
Or are you one of the few, the proud and the irretrievably commited who favour Mack, McClellan, Darius or Model? The historical equivelant of those few freezing fans huddled in the rain lashed stands to watch the Kiddiminister Harriers go down three-nil in the opening stages of the cup.
Over the last year I've done a lot of reading on WWII topics and found my admiration for Montgomery growing. That he seems to really annoy a sizable number of people also amuses me and adds to my respect of him. Mention of him is generally enough to get an animated discussion (vicious argument) started!
I like DH Hill, Baron Thiebault, Porter Alexander and those hard-working staff guys: Moxley Sorrel, Lejune, St. John Liddell, Jedidiah Hotchkiss, Horace Porter, George Scovell, Berthier, Bedell SMith, Caulaincourt, Walter Taylor, Pelet, and of course, Ammianus Marcellinus.
I'd say that most generals (like people) have their good days and bad days and some of their days are destined to be contentious, regardless of the complexity of the situation at the time.
However I must admit to being partial to Aetius myself! Now if only I could find a decent biography for him or a good history of his campaigns...
Myself, the men that stick in my mind are;
Grant racing to dictate his memoirs to support his family before his death from cancer.
Wellington in Goya's portrait of him immediately after Waterloo.
John Buford, fighting a desperate holding action at Gettysburg and riding himself into an early grave.
Garibaldi, terrible, mercurial, innocent.
I've always been partial to Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. I didn't like Montgomery much once upon a time, but I'm learning to understand him now. Montgomery and Patton actually had the same objective of advancing as much as possible with as little human cost as possible. They just differed in their methods. Patton was one to charge in and count on keeping his enemy off-balance enough to keep casualties light. Montgomery was one to build up overwhelming force to crush the enemy resistance before it could cause heavy casualties.