History Lessons - Montgomery of Alamein

Have conviction. The Second World War Commander of the Eighth Army, Montgomery is best known for his defeat of ‘desert fox’ Rommel

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Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
The Second World War Commander of the Eighth Army, Montgomery is best known for his defeat of 'desert fox' Rommel at El Alamein in 1942, the turning point for the Allied campaign in North Africa. Seeing off the business competition may involves tanks and guns only in your dreams, but it does require unshakeable self-confidence and conviction in seeing the chosen strategy through. Churchill at first berated Monty for his slow start in Africa, but the soldier's soldier never wavered, brandishing his self-confidence to convince troops that his was the right way. 'The commander must decide how he will fight the battle before it begins,' he said. 'He must make the enemy dance to his tune from the beginning and not vice versa.' Monty wrong-footed Rommel by sending troops to the south of Egypt and building dummy tanks and pipelines there to make the German commander think that was where the British Army's full strength lay. He disguised his real tanks in the north as trucks. 'The battle which is about to begin will be one of the most important battles in history,' he declared. Again, he was right, and he knew it.

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