The Instigator
1stLordofTheVenerability
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
THE_OPINIONATOR
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

George Patton was a Greater General than Bernard Law Montgomery

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
1stLordofTheVenerability
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/27/2010 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,375 times Debate No: 14158
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (1)

 

1stLordofTheVenerability

Con

Greetings all,

The premise of this debate is to find who was the greater military commander - the famed American General Patton, or the great English Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery.

My opponent bears the burden of the proof, but I will put forth a few points as to why Patton isn't such a great commander, and then expound further in the consecutive rounds.

Thanks for the debate, have fun, and good luck. Enjoy perusing the debate, all readers.

1. Patton was contemptible with his soldiers and fellow generals, and caused strife among Allied High Command.

2. Patton didn't believe in a grande alliance.

3. Patton was disloyal to his wife and became a blatant womanizer. In fact, it almost appears that he had intercourse with his own niece, a certain Jean Gordon.

4. Patton was reckless and seemed to believe that the war was designed for his own further gains and glory (Walker incident, for example.)

5. Patton was a vulgar man who luxuriated and cared little for his soldiers. (A few incidences include slapping and preferring petrol to food rations).

6. Patton "talked too much" - he couldn't keep certain secrets, and thence was not privy to much of the strategical developments in High Command.

7. Patton wasn't that great of a soldier and directly disobeyed orders.

That's probably enough for now. I will put further points forth in later rounds.

Cheers!
THE_OPINIONATOR

Pro

Patton was contemptible with his soldiers and fellow generals, and caused strife among Allied High Command." Patton was known for this, but yet he still got things done. He saw great success in Operation torch in North Africa, and sweaped across Europe after Normandy.

"Patton didn't believe in a grande alliance" I have found no evidence of this in my research, but an Alliance drags the U.S and Canada into conflicts that we simply do not need to be dragged into. Before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 America was trying to stay out of WWII.

"Patton was disloyal to his wife and became a blatant womanizer. In fact, it almost appears that he had intercourse with his own niece, a certain Jean Gordon." This has nothing to do with who is the better field commander, it was his personal life. My opponent even stated that "The premise of this debate is to find who was the greater military commander" This allegation has nothing to do with commanding or the military for that matter. I ask that the readers disregard this point.

"Patton was reckless and seemed to believe that the war was designed for his own further gains and glory (Walker incident, for example.)" I have looked up the Walker incident but there are many. Even though my opponent states this fact, Patton still got things done. If Montgomery were left to sweep France on his own it would have taken ages.

"Patton was a vulgar man who luxuriated and cared little for his soldiers. (A few incidences include slapping and preferring petrol to food rations)." Patton believed if you are not injured, then you have no reason to stop fighting. Patton wanted to train his men to be the best, and that's simply what he did. This is the Patton Prayer

"Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen."
http://www.generalpatton.com...
If Patton didn't care about his men as my opponent has stated, then he wouldn't have prayed for them like he did.

"Patton "talked too much" - he couldn't keep certain secrets, and thence was not privy to much of the strategical developments in High Command." If he revealed secrets that were that important , then the U.S. Army would have relieved him of his command.

"Patton wasn't that great of a soldier and directly disobeyed orders." During WWI when he was commander of the U.S. Tank Corps. "France and trained the first 500 American tankers. He had 345 tanks by the time he took the brigade into the Meuse-Argonne Operation in September 1918. When they entered into battle, Patton had worked out a plan where he could be in the front lines maintaining communications with his rear command post by means of pigeons and a group of runners. Patton continually exposed himself to gunfire and was shot once in the leg while he was directing the tanks. His actions during that battle earned him the Distinguished Service Cross for Heroism, one of the many medals he would collect during his lifetime." This shows that he was indeed a great soldier and commander. He also followed the order of this battle which was to win.
http://www.generalpatton.com...

1. Montgomery failed to move quick and effectively
2.came up with "operation market garden" witch ended allied hopes of ending the war in 1944
3.Failed to attack the enemy while they where retreating
4.Took fuel reserves from Patton, and wasted them

Patton was known as a pistol carrying, tough spirited general who wanted his men to be the best. Patton simply got things done quickly and effectively. I ask That you vote PRO because Montgomery was slow to attack, and didn't know how to take command like Patton did and was less effective than Patton.
Debate Round No. 1
1stLordofTheVenerability

Con

Thanks for posting, Opinionator! A splendid argument.

I will begin by addressing my Point number 3, and also my opponent's counter. We intentionally created this debate with the word "better" so that we could analyze as many aspects of the general as possible. My opponent has a valid assertion in that the general's life at home should largely be discounted - it is irrelevant as to how the general conducted himself on the battlefield. However, the problem with Patton is that he interwined his personal life with his command on the front. He was notorious for taking advantage of women at the different theatres - in France, England, Italy and even Germany! Patton behaved in this manner throughout his wartime years and considered himself, "A connoisseur of the European female form, favouring the statuesque Norman and Breton women to the shapeless Arabs, the overstuffed Italians and the boyish English." (Irving, pg. 312)

Patton bathed in luxury and delight, fine artwork and lavish accommodations while his men slogged through the mud at the front. (Keep this in mind; I'm going to note this, later) There are a plethora of balls, dinners etc. that Patton attended throughout the course of the war; his social life was quite active, and he (as well as a number of American generals) acted as if rationing in the United States and much of Europe was nonexistent. While engaging the enemy at the Metz, for example, while his soldiers suffered from the trauma of constant fighting, Patton headquartered in a lovely Regensburg castle of German design. (Irving, pg. 406)

"Patton didn't believe in a grande alliance" I have found no evidence of this in my research, but an Alliance drags the U.S and Canada into conflicts that we simply do not need to be dragged into. Before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 America was trying to stay out of WWII.

Right, one can't simply research Patton's contempt of the grand alliance, but there are a plethora of incidents in which he blatantly attempts to undermine both the efforts and commands of his allies and peers. I think all of you readers comprehend that Patton vehemently detested the British – and those who cooperated with British sentiment, "… damn all British and all so called Americans who had their legs pulled by them. I will bet that Ike does nothing about them… I would rather be commanded by an Arab. I think less than nothing about Arabs" (Irving, pg. 55). Patton disliked many of his peers, especially those who could threaten his glory.

My opponent asked why Patton hadn't been dismissed if he couldn't keep military secrets. I must say that I wish I knew the answer. Eisenhower simply refused to sack any 3 Star general throughout the course of Cossack and Overlord. There were many that should have been dismissed, including but not limited to Bedell Smith, Tex. C. H. Lee, Mark Clark etc. It is obvious that Patton couldn't keep his mouth shut. On multiple occasions Patton dodged the censors by having a friend returning home carry his mail. http://books.google.ca... During Operation Fortitude, Patton was supposed to keep the fact that he was in England a secret. What did he promptly do but equip a truck with a bullhorn and then announce his arrival to the countryside. Patton was never privy to Ultra or involved in the planning of Overlord.

"Patton was reckless and seemed to believe that the war was designed for his own further gains and glory (Walker incident, for example.)" I have looked up the Walker incident but there are many. Even though my opponent states this fact, Patton still got things done. If Montgomery were left to sweep France on his own it would have taken ages."

My apologies, as it isn't Walkers but Waters, Patton's son in law. Patton sent 300 soldiers and 57 tanks and other vehicles to "liberate" a prisoner of war camp that he suspected his son in law was imprisoned in. The camp was deep in enemy territory and only 35 men made it back - all vehicles were lost. He made reckless charges, contravened strategy (such as the incident at Messina) and even directly disobeyed orders from Ike (such as through the Black Forest when he had been ordered to halt, but proceeded anyway, stealing petrol from other units).

As a note, my opponent claims that Monty consumed fuel reserves, but Patton actually sanctioned that his soldiers steal them from other units.

Further more, Patton forced his soldiers to endure terrifying conditions while he luxuriated. He then has the gall to slap several poor souls suffering of battle exhaustion? He is quoted as having said, "...I gotta have gas for my tanks, my men can eat their belts". ( http://ww2db.com... ) He also seemed to be more concerned about petrol than woolen socks, which would keep the soldiers from trench foot.

I only have a little space left, so I'll address Montgomery.

1. Montgomery fought in World War I, a conflict in which hundreds of thousand English died - many more than the Americans lost. He was a courageous subaltern who was wounded at Ypres. Due the the staggering losses, the English were hesitant to sacrifice soldiers so carelessly, again. Their strategies preferred spending money and equipment if it could save men's lives. If Montgomery failed to move quickly, it was always with the concern of losing thousands of soldiers that plagued the back of his mind. Patton had no such moral concern - he was tactless and bulled his men through headlong. I will comment also that at the standstill at Caen, Montgomery had always intended for the Americans to break out in Operation Cobra while he bogged multiple German Divisions around Caen. The English may not have advanced as quickly as intended, but during that entire phase of conflict they faced the most numerous and efficient of the opposition (including two elite SS divisions and another six armoured), in contrast to American forces before Cobra. Montgomery's intent was to secure a point on which the United States' Army could pivot and entrap the Germans. That is almost exactly what occurred.

Also, whenever people say Montgomery failed to act quickly, do they forget his courageous pursuit in North Africa? Monty and Ike actually wagered a B17 that Eisenhower would beat Monty to Pfaz, Tunisia. At this time, Eisenhower had just dropped into Tunisia, and wasn't very far away; Montgomery's 8th Army was still in Tripoli, Libya. However, Montgomery stormed across North Africa and beat the Western Task Force to Pfaz.

Montgomery was allotted fuel reserves, but it was actually Tex. Lee's fault that there was such a shortage in the first place. Huge supply dumps had been established in Normandy, but why couldn't Com Z get them to the fighting soldiers? This is irrelevent, as it was Patton who stole fuel, not Monty.

3. I would assume that my opponent is referring to the Falaise Pocket. It had never been Mongomery's intention to trap the Germans in a pocket - he wanted to drive them against the Elbe. It was impulsive generals who were exceedingly fortunate who caused the discrepancy in strategy.

Well, it's been jolly good fun, so far!
THE_OPINIONATOR

Pro

I will begin by addressing my Point number 3, and also my opponent's counter. We intentionally created this debate with the word "better" so that we could analyze as many aspects of the general as possible. My opponent has a valid assertion in that the general's life at home should largely be discounted - it is irrelevant as to how the general conducted himself on the battlefield. However, the problem with Patton is that he interwined his personal life with his command on the front. He was notorious for taking advantage of women at the different theatres - in France, England, Italy and even Germany! Patton behaved in this manner throughout his wartime years and considered himself, "A connoisseur of the European female form, favouring the statuesque Norman and Breton women to the shapeless Arabs, the overstuffed Italians and the boyish English." (Irving, pg. 312)" Many men have cheated on their wives while overseas. Patton is no different, I still don't see how this fits in with this debate at all.

The English where not the easiest people to work with. There is a reason why Patton has coined the name "Old Blood and Guts" he simply was his own man and he liked to work alone. This also may be the reason he wasn't for an alliance.

"My opponent asked why Patton hadn't been dismissed if he couldn't keep military secrets. I must say that I wish I knew the answer. Eisenhower simply refused to sack any 3 Star general throughout the course of Cossack and Overlord. There were many that should have been dismissed, including but not limited to Bedell Smith, Tex. C. H. Lee, Mark Clark etc. It is obvious that Patton couldn't keep his mouth shut. On multiple occasions Patton dodged the censors by having a friend returning home carry his mail. http://books.google.ca...... During Operation Fortitude, Patton was supposed to keep the fact that he was in England a secret. What did he promptly do but equip a truck with a bullhorn and then announce his arrival to the countryside. Patton was never privy to Ultra or involved in the planning of Overlord." The secrets that he leaked obviously didn't affect the U.S. or the Allies severely enough for us to lose the war. The British are probably as guilty as the U.S. in leaking secrets, so do not act like Patton and the U.S. military where the only ones at fault.

"My apologies, as it isn't Walkers but Waters, Patton's son in law. Patton sent 300 soldiers and 57 tanks and other vehicles to "liberate" a prisoner of war camp that he suspected his son in law was imprisoned in. The camp was deep in enemy territory and only 35 men made it back - all vehicles were lost. He made reckless charges, contravened strategy (such as the incident at Messina) and even directly disobeyed orders from Ike (such as through the Black Forest when he had been ordered to halt, but proceeded anyway, stealing petrol from other units)." If you where in a position where you had the power to save one of your own in a time of war wouldn't you act on it as well? His son in law was part of his family, and all he wanted to do was to save him from the murderous Nazis. Here is a scenario for my opponent to think about. If your mother was in a Nazi concentration camp, wouldn't you try and save her??

Patton simply didn't see the need to halt, he simply wanted to get the job done. He knew what he and his men could accomplish, and he wanted to get the job done quicker than the U.S. and the Allies where willing to. When Patton's army was stealing fuel he was simply doing what was needed to accomplish his goal. Rules are meant to be broke, and when you have a world that is trying to be taken over by the Nazis, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Patton did what he thought was needed and that was breaking the rules.

"Patton bathed in luxury and delight, fine artwork and lavish accommodations while his men slogged through the mud at the front. (Keep this in mind; I'm going to note this, later) There are a plethora of balls, dinners etc. that Patton attended throughout the course of the war; his social life was quite active, and he (as well as a number of American generals) acted as if rationing in the United States and much of Europe was nonexistent. While engaging the enemy at the Metz, for example, while his soldiers suffered from the trauma of constant fighting, Patton headquartered in a lovely Regensburg castle of German design. (Irving, pg. 406)" During his sweep across France, to his time in Africa, to the takeover of French ports. Patton would watch his troops from a tank, ship or jeep.

My opponent can say what he want about Patton, but no matter what he was great. He expected more from his troops than many other commander, and they never let him down. This is a quote from an article about the siege of Bastone"The Third Army had to stop a full scale attack they had started to the east, pull back the entire army, swing around ninety degrees to the north, and then begin another full scale attack on the southern flank of the German forces. Nothing like that had ever been done in the history of warfare. Everyone thought it was impossible except General Patton. He knew his men could do the impossible. It only took three days for the Third army to perform that massive maneuver. Today, military historians readily admit that only Patton's Third Army could have accomplished a maneuver like that and make it look easy. Patton always demanded more from his soldiers than other commanders did and they never let him down.

Patton was a hard man and a hard general, he trained his men to be the same way. My opponent states that his men where miss treated, but if they where as mistreated as he states than why did his army perform so well? You would think if men where so miss treated wouldn't do the type of things Patton's third army did.

Montgomery was a great general in his own right, but he didn't have the mind nor the ability to command and concur like General Patton did.

I ask that the readers of this debate vote PRO because General Patton was a better commander than Montgomery

Thanks to the readers and my opponents time in this debate! I am having a blast!
Debate Round No. 2
1stLordofTheVenerability

Con

The secrets that he leaked obviously didn't affect the U.S. or the Allies severely enough for us to lose the war. The British are probably as guilty as the U.S. in leaking secrets, so do not act like Patton and the U.S. military where the only ones at fault."

The bullhorn incident which I referred to could have caused the entire collapse of Operation Fortitude. I think that each of you history devotees comprehend how integral Fortitude was to the success of D-Day and Operation Overlord. It is fortunate that English Intelligence (B1A) had completely halted uncontrolled German Intelligence in England, and so Patton was not revealed as having been in England until the necessary time - no thanks to his efforts. I did not implicate the US military, but rather emphasize Patton's perpetual pursuit for glory and his seeming belief that the war existed solely for his pleasure; Montgomery surely revelled in glory, but he never compromised security.

The English and Americans were able to coordinate very well under Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower was the ideal man for the job of creating a coalition. His staff was a mix of tolerable English and Americans who were more than willing to coincide (such as Tedder, Smith, Morgan and Robb) with eachother on most issues. SHAEF's command was structured so that if an American was in charge, the English would have a depute, or vice versa. While the various members did express occasional disgust with their peers, including Montgomery, Patton was perhaps the loudest. Patton criticized, as I have stated before, his peers and his superiors. Ike himself was recipient to much of Patton's scorn, Patton was extraordinarily jealous of Bradley, scorned Clark and admired few. However, Patton recognized that Montgomery was a "good soldier", and he stated it on numerous occasions - even in the same sentence as he cursed Montgomery.

To put it plainly, Patton became unstable and temperamental as the war progressed; he was tactless and definitely not charismatic in any way. Working alone doesn't fit an alliance. My opponent's assertion is somewhat strange when considering Patton's individuality quotation, "This individuality stuff is a bunch of..." [http://en.wikiquote.org...(film)] I do agree with my opponent in that Patton obviously didn't believe what he stated.

My opponent queries me about my mother in a concentration camp. Concentration camps are considerably different in conditions than PoW camps. Supposing that Waters was alive and residing in the camp, he was protected by various conventions and protocols. Though he may have been bored, hungry and flea ridden, he would not have been tortured. Thence, risking the lives of three hundred for one is not practical.

May I remind the readers that Patton was originally relegated to secure a very lightly held Brittany while Montgomery exercised command of Overlord? Montgomery exercised command over all allied forces throughout the duration of Overlord. It was because of his tactical brilliance that Cobra succeeded and the American forces led a breakthrough. During this time, Bradley, Hodges, Patton, Crerar, Dempsey, Devers and numerous others were all answerable directly to Montgomery.

Montgomery maintained correspondence with Eisenhower even after relinquishing his command. Monty devised a strategy that would create a narrow thrust into the heart of Germany; a tactic that could end the war quickly. Eisenhower opted to prolong the war by utilizing the "broad front" approach, squeezing the Germans along a wide front toward the Elbe (this also allowed for Ardennes to become reality).

Montgomery is responsible for securing the flanks and rear of the American armies during the Ardennes catastrophe. He was granted temporary command, reorganized the front and briskly halted the harrowing German strike. If Montgomery is criticized for being too cautious, then let us remember that he orchestrated the strategy that halted the Germans; Patton was able to do nothing.

May I also remind the audience that Patton was awarded his fourth star many days after most of his contemporary generals (Hodges and Bradley, in particular)? Why would this be, if he was "better" than a glorious Field Marshal (note that Field Marshal exceeded even Eisenhower's rank, until the US military made an adjustment)?

Lastly, my opponent proclaims that Patton made bold, daring and reckless charges. This is true on all three accounts, but one should emphasize "reckless." Oftentimes Patton would outrun his colleagues and thence leave his flanks completely exposed. This was dangerous, and had Germany been stronger, could have been disastrous. Might I also note that when he made a glorious charge, it was oftentimes against light opposition (such as his mopping up in Brittany, or the charge around Messina) while Montgomery faced some of the best divisions Germany had to offer in the West.

Actually, Patton's Third Army was perhaps the most misbehaved group of soldiers that he led. While the desertion rates were typically low, there were numerous incidents in which enemy prisoners were summarily shot (especially in the aftermath of the Malmedy massacre). Also, the venereal disease rates and looting rate among his soldiers was quite high. Patton even blatantly requested that one such shooting of prisoners be hushed up, "Could we not just have the officer certify that they were snipers or escaping or something?" (Irving, pg. 98) and http://www.panzerace.net.... Of course Montgomery's soldiers were responsible for various incidences, but he definitely never attempted to cover them up or gave orders that could be interpreted as permission to commit atrocities.

During operations at the Scheldt, Montgomery set up Headquarters in a trailer - it wasn't a fancy, nickel plated trailer like Eisenhower, but a functional modest trailer - he certainly wasn't living in a castle.

I find it noteworthy that Montgomery always wore his beret when he inspected the soldiers. He and Ike both decided that it would be improper to appear as if they were actually doing any fighting, and so they made the soldiers feel as if their work was integral. Did Patton ever actually lead his tanks forward into battle once he gained his Third Star and Fourth star? He may have in Tunisia, but I certainly doubt that from the evidence I have read he led from the front in Normandy and Germany; he did wear his helmet, even if he hadn't been in a tank or stood at the battlefront for a week.

There is so much more that could be said, due to the fact that Montgomery was such a brilliant strategist, and he was also eccentric. I think it fitting to end with the fact that Patton and Jean Gordon both died shortly after the war in Europe ended (Jean committed suicide; she apparently couldn't find a place in civilian life without George), while Montgomery and Eisenhower maintained correspondence about certain facts of the war for over twenty years.

Thanks for reading, all. Thanks for the wonderful debate, Opinionator. I hope that all of you have at least gained some respect for Montgomery, despite previous sentiments. Good luck in the voting period, Opinionator. Happy New Year!

1st Lord of the Venerability
THE_OPINIONATOR

Pro

THE_OPINIONATOR forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by dinokiller 6 years ago
dinokiller
I think its more of a term that when you forfeit something, you lost all hope onto it.
Posted by THE_OPINIONATOR 6 years ago
THE_OPINIONATOR
forefit=death?? you cannot kill what cannot be found
Posted by dinokiller 6 years ago
dinokiller
More like waiting for the executioner to whack off your head :P
Posted by vardas0antras 6 years ago
vardas0antras
forfeit = death
Posted by THE_OPINIONATOR 6 years ago
THE_OPINIONATOR
I had no other choice but to wave the white flag my internet was down.......BLAST!!!! I could have had this debate in the bag!!!!!!!!
Posted by 1stLordofTheVenerability 6 years ago
1stLordofTheVenerability
It's impossible to proclaim that Patton was better than Monty in any way other than attracting women... or whipping up on the men with profanity. :P
Posted by BlackVoid 6 years ago
BlackVoid
RFD: should be obvious
Posted by dinokiller 6 years ago
dinokiller
Great, he waved the white flag... -.-
Posted by dinokiller 6 years ago
dinokiller
DUUUDEE, dont wave the white flag yet, FIGHT HIM BACK AND PROVE HIM WRONG.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 6 years ago
BlackVoid
1stLordofTheVenerabilityTHE_OPINIONATORTied
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