Field Marshal Montgomery Writes About Eisenhower & The Battle of The Bulge
In late 1942, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt selected Dwight Eisenhower, a soft-spoken, intelligent Kansan, as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe. He picked Eisenhower over more experienced generals partly because of Ike's ability to work with enormous egos. In Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, Ike got one of the largest. A brilliant, bombastic commander Winston Churchill once called "insufferable," Monty was already famous in Britain for his victories in the African desert when Ike arrived to take command. Their relationship got off to a rocky start in their first meeting in 1942 when Monty reprimanded Ike for smoking. The two would famously butt heads over the next three years. Ike approved Monty's plan for Operation Market Garden, a daring thrust through Holland widely seen as a failure. Eisenhower assigned Monty American divisions to help repel the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge, only to have Monty take credit for the victory. Monty once said of Ike, "Nice chap. No soldier." After the war, Eisenhower proved he was a skilled politician by winning two terms in the White House.