The documentary, to air this evening, looks at how Bernard Law Montgomery helped lead Britain to WWII victory.
Known as ‘Monty’, Bernard Law Montgomery was best known for driving the Allies through North Africa, and effectively defeating the German Forces led by his fierce rival General Erwin Rommel, giving the allies their first major land victory in the Battle of El Alamein in 1942.
Hailed as one of the British Army’s greatest commanders, this 90-minute special tells the story of a military leader whose strategy in wartime led the allies to extraordinary success against all the odds. Described as one of the most intelligent, dynamic and confident generals, Montgomery was unafraid to put himself in the firing line to get results.
He famously lacked diplomacy, had a disregard for others in power and possessed remarkable arrogance, believing that he could win battles both on and off the field. He masterminded the attack by ground forces in the Allied invasion of Normandy, and skilfully trapped the German Forces in the Falaise Pocket, winning plaudits from both sides of the Atlantic.
His place in the history books was very nearly erased as Montgomery’s winning streak came to a dramatic halt. He convinced General Eisenhower to agree to Operation Market Garden to secure the River Rhine and advance into northern Germany, but his plans were flawed as he failed to acknowledge the growing presence of the Germans ready to do battle in the region. There was a disastrous loss of life, and he was given one last chance to prove he could lead the British Army to victory.
Winston Churchill famously said that Montgomery was “in defeat, unbeatable: in victory, unbearable”. This programme pieces together Britain’s most complex military character and how, after overcoming one of the biggest mistakes of his career, he led Britain’s forces to victory in World War ll.