June 19, 2014

Montgomery’s Master Plan

Montgomery’s Master Plan

Many have questioned whether Montgomery, in Normandy, was following his master plan or had claimed so in his memoirs to justify his inability to penetrate the Caen front in time.

On 15 May 1944 Montgomery, as commander of the land forces, presented his plan for the Normandy Campaign in the presence of HM King George VI, Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower and the senior commanders of the campaign. Montgomery pointed out that he intended to use the British and Canadian forces in the Caen sector, with the mission to attract there the bulk of the German armored reserves. Caen was vital for the Germans because it accommodated the east-west movement of their troops. On the western sector, the American forces would fight their way through the bocage and upon reaching open ground they would exploit their breakthrough towards the Seine River. The eastern sector’s mission was to keep the panzer divisions away from the western sector.

After the war Omar Bradley, in his memoirs, confirmed that Montgomery’s plan had been followed and that the British – Canadian forces performed the inglorious mission of pinning down the Germans.

Forty, George. Battle Zone Normandy - Villers Bocage. Gloucestershire: Sutton, 2004.
Montgomery, B. L. The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Montgomery. Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2010.

Photo attribution
CMH Pub 7-4-1, additional details: author