Random House, Inc. The first comparative biography of two of the most charismatic, and strategically important, military leaders of the Second World War.
This is the story of two men with electrifying personal qualities born around the same time, who between them altered our understanding of leadership in battle.
The book traces Montgomery and Rommel's lives from their provincial upbringing, through to facing each other across the trenches in the First World War, to North Africa and Europe in the second. Both were on the periphery of the military establishment. Both were in part creations of the propaganda of their own and that of their superiors. As this book will show, they were alike in many ways and they represent the first time military commanders proactively and systematically used (and were used by) the media as they came to prominence in the North Africa campaign.
Peter Caddick Adams explores and compares their tactical talents and their personalities in battle. They each brought something special to their respective commands. Rommel's performance with the 7th Panzer in 1940 was inspired. Montgomery is a gift for leadership gurus in the way he took over a demoralised Eighth Army in August 1942 and lead it to victory just two months later. As the author shows he brought with him an extraordinary personal charisma not just 300 new American Sherman tanks.
In this first comparative biography the author shows that both commanders also brought something entirely new of the business of modern command: they gave trusted subordiates room to use their initiative. And he explores their natural instinctive feel for combat -- the German term for this (there is no direct translation) is fingerspitengefuhl.
This ground-breaking work is both scholarly and entertaining and marks the debut of a major new talent in historical biography.
Gardners Two men came to personify British and German generalship in the Second World War: Bernard Montgomery and Erwin Rommel. In this groundbreaking study, Peter Caddick-Adams explores Montgomery and Rommel's lives from their provincial upbringing, through to the trench fighting of the First World War, where both nearly died in 1914.