Cover Image: The Commanders

The Commanders

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Member Reviews

This book is a triple biography of three famous generals of World War II. Each chapter is broken into three parts covering each of the generals which makes for interesting reading and easier to follow than individual chapters devoted to each. The author does a good job of relating how each developed their own unique leadership style. A good read for anyone interested in these three individuals.

I received a free ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook and my nonfiction book review blog.
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A superlative triple biography of three combat commanders of the Second World War. They had similar experiences in the 1914-1918 unpleasantness that preceded it:. Each was born in the closing decades of the 19th century to a middle- or upper-class family, with Patton's being the richest and most notable. The U.S. Army, however, offered him little in the way of leadership training or combat experience, while Montgomery was groomed by policing the frontiers of the British Empire and Rommel by immersion in the Prussian military tradition and Kaiser Wilhelm's ambitions for German expansion. Each began the First World War as a lieutenant, and each showed great courage in combat, with Patton and Montgomery being wounded while Rommel endured the most grinding warfare on the French, Italian, and Romanian fronts. The Second World War began with Rommel and Montgomery as two-star generals, while Patton was still a colonel in an army only beginning to expanded. Their paths did noT cross until 1943, in Tunisia, by which time Patton too was a major general.  

It was August before Monty broke out of Caen, while Patton's Third Army raged through eastern France. To show his contempt, Patton offered to swing left and "drive the British into the sea for another Dunkirk." (Mr Delury doesn't mention this bit of bravado.) Altogether, I find it hard to agree that Montgomery matched the command abilities of Rommel or Patton, but by the summer of 1944 Britain could no longer afford losses on the scale of the previous four years. Mr Delury would have done better to profile Georgy Zhukov as his third great general.
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This was an interesting book on leadership in World War 2 and it should definitely take its place with the other biography’s of leaders in this war.
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