British Field Marshal. Affectionately referred to as "Monty" by his troops, he served as field commander over British and Allied forces in North Africa, Sicily, and Europe. Educated at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Montgomery entered the army in 1908 and served in World War I. In the earlier stages of World War II, he commanded the 3rd Division in France. He had the foresight to see that Britain had countered German aggression too quickly and was not fully prepared for such a formidable enemy force. His strategic retrograde planning was instrumental in the successful evacuation of British forces at Dunkirk. In 1942, he was given command of the British 8th Army in Africa under General Alexander, who had been defending the precious oil supplies in Egypt. Montgomery immediately began rebuilding and preparing his men for offensive action. A keen advocate of physical fitness, he demanded daily physical training of officers as well as the foot soldier. Appearing before his troops as often as possible, he inspired and rallied them to victory at Alamein and drove the German forces under General Erwin Rommel 2,000 miles across North African desert. In concert with Allied forces attacking from the west, the Axis forces were subsequently expelled from the North African continent. In July 1943, he assumed overall field command of offensive operations in Sicily. However, Monty's arrogance and showmanship style behavior often found him at odds with other Allied field commanders. Tensions flared as General George Patton and General Omar Bradley took umbrage at Monty's cautiously slow advances and open boastfulness. In the Sicilian campaign, sometimes they would either ignore or circumvent his orders. In December 1943, Montgomery returned to England to participate in the planning and preparation of the Allied invasion of Europe. On D-Day (June 6, 1944), he was given initial field command of all ground forces entering France, and was promoted to Field Marshal later that September. After the war ended, he served as Chief of the Imperial General Staff from 1946 to 1948. The author of several books, his writings include The Path to Leadership (1961) and A History of Warfare (1968).
Bio by: RCB
Elizabeth Adah Noel Hobart Montgomery
1889–1937 (m. 1927)