Volume 27

Montgomery and the Battle of Normandy

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The eight months of 1944 covered by this volume of documents, beginning with the period of planning and preparation for OVERLORD, were in many ways the pinnacle of Montgomery’s long career. All his experience, professionalism and strength of character were put to the test in his role as commander of the Allied land forces, including the Americans, on D-Day and during the Battle of Normandy.

These are rich months in terms of the historical evidence that flowed from Montgomery’s pen. This volume has been able to draw on hundreds of letters, messages and memoranda that Montgomery wrote to a wide variety of recipients; and on the personal diaries in which he created for posterity a narrative and analysis of events as he saw them unfolding at the time. As never before, Montgomery – the professional soldier and the man – is revealed through his own words during one of his greatest battles.

Montgomery’s conduct of the Normandy campaign has long been a controversial subject. This volume provides a fresh opportunity to look at it afresh through his contemporary writings, supported by full explanatory notes. All the most significant documents written by Montgomery from January to August 1944 have been included, together with some of the incoming correspondence preserved in his papers at the Imperial War Museum. In particular, letters and telegrams to Montgomery from Eisenhower, Brooke and the Prime Minister are extensively reproduced and provide revealing insights into his relationships with these key figures.