THE WAR BETWEEN THE GENERALS: Inside the Allied High Command by David Irving

THE WAR BETWEEN THE GENERALS: Inside the Allied High Command

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KIRKUS REVIEW

I am tired of dealing with a lot of prima donnas,"" Eisenhower reportedly said of the quarrels within the WW II Allied High Command. Historians Forrest Pogue (The Supreme Command, 1954) and Stephen Ambrose (The Supreme Commander, 1960) have shed considerable light on these prima-donna-ish goings-on, as did Montgomery, Patton, and Ike himself in their memoirs. Now, Irving--author of such controversial attention-getters as Hitler's War--has made a gossip-fest of the Great Captains' embroilments and indiscretions. He begins by describing the (intrinsically political) arguments that preceded D-Day--most prominently, over whether an American or a Briton should be ground commander in France. Montgomery got the nod, and held forth until the breakout from the Normandy beachhead. Thereafter, the disputes between Montgomery, Bradley, and Eisenhower were essentially about which commander should get the bulk of support for his particular scheme to end the war. As chronicled here, these are largely personal scraps--uninfluenced by military systems and institutions. Meanwhile, Patton comforts himself with a Wac on his staff and Ike, of course, has his sort-of-fling with Kay Summersby. For Irving, this is relatively unexplosive stuff--and as history it's an agglomeration of trivia.

Pub Date: March 11th, 1981
Publisher: Congdon & Lattes--dist. by St. Martin's