Montgomery and "colossal Cracks": The 21st Army Group in Northwest Europe, 1944-45
Previous studies have been characterized by an overemphasis on Montgomery's role in the campaign, rather than a systematic examination of overall British methods. They have ignored the difficulties that the 1944 British Army faced given its manpower shortage, and they have underestimated the appropriateness of Monty's methods to the campaign war aims that Britain pursued: namely, the desire that Britain's modest military forces secure a high profile within a larger Allied effort. The cautious, firepower-laden approach used by the 21st Army Group was both crude and a double-edged sword; however, despite these weaknesses, Colossal Cracks represented an appropriate technique given the nature of British war aims and the relative capabilities of the forces involved. It proved to be just enough to defeat the Germans and keep alive British hopes that her war aims might be achieved.