Eisenhower & Montgomery at the Falaise Gap
Author: William Weidner
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation (2010)
Binding: Hardcover, 400 pages
Hoping to avoid an unfavorable comparison with the much larger United States Army in France, British leaders sometimes played politics with Allied strategy. The trouble began at a small town in Normandy named Falaise. The fourteen (14) miles between Falaise and Argentan have come down through history as the Falaise Gap. Between August 8 and August 21, 1944, the Allies won a great victory in France. But it was not as complete as it might have been and over 100,000 German soldiers used this gap as their escape route out of France. The Supreme Allied Commander, U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was not able to keep his generals focused on their enemy. As historian Russell F. Weigley observed, 'The Allied armies in Europe simply lacked one of the prerequisites of military success, unity of command.' After the Battle of the Falaise Gap, Allied decisions appeared to be more the result of partisan political bickering than sound military strategy. By September 1944, the Anglo-American military alliance was dead and it required every ounce of General Eisenhower's considerable political skill to keep this secret from the public.
MWSA 2011 1st Runner Up for Non-Fiction, History
MWSA Book of the Month, January 2011
William Weidner (who is an obvious historian) takes the reader back in time to WWII in his fully documented and well researched book, "Eisenhower & Montgomery at the Falaise Gap". The footnotes and extra information truly supports the author's contentions of the stress and issues between Allied Supreme Commander, General Eisenhower and British General Montgomery. We learn how politics and other side issues took the place at times, of good military planning and strategies.
I came away realizing just how good of a true diplomat Eisenhower was. He had to pull the allies together and that was no small matter. He had to deal with the super egos of his own American military forces like General George Patton and some even bigger allied egos that had far less military leadership skills. General Montgomery was one of those that Ike had to get motivated. This book exposes that underbelly that caused more than just concern but perhaps many American lives as well.
The book is not light reading - but is worth the effort. For those who love WWII books and history this is must reading! Put this book on your short list of informative history books! The author has done an outstanding job of capturing the events and the essence of these historic figures. It is an impressive work of capturing real history!
Reviewed by: Bill McDonald (2011)