The commanders


Born between 1885 and 1891, George Patton, Bernard Montgomery and Erwin Rommel all participated in the First World War and, like millions of others, were so affected by their wartime experiences that it became a fundamental influence on their lives. Yet none of the men were dissuaded by the carnage from seeking military careers when the guns finally fell silent. Each became wholly dedicated to the profession of arms and, being exceptional officers and leaders, they prospered. Despite the broad similarities between them, there were some marked differences in their approach to leadership due to the individuality bestowed on them from their genes, upbringing, life experience and relationships. This book reveals how these stimuli created three unique personalities which, in turn, each man came to draw from when they became among the most prominent officers in their armies.

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‘Utterly fascinating.’ James Holland’First-class… The intense rivalry of Monty and Patton is one of the great stories of the war, and has never been told better.’ Andrew RobertsBorn in the two decades prior to World War I, George Patton, Bernard Montgomery and Erwin Rommel became among the most recognized and successful military leaders of the twentieth century. However, as acclaimed military historian Lloyd Clark reveals in his penetrating and insightful chronicle of their lives, they charted very different, often interrupted, paths to their ultimate leadership positions commanding hundreds of thousands of troops during World War II.Each faced battle for the first time in World War I, a searing experience that greatly influenced their future approach to war and leadership. When war broke out again in 1939, Montgomery and Rommel were immediately engaged, while Patton chafed until the US joined the Allies in 1942 and the three men, by then generals, collided in North Africa in 1943, and then again, climactically, in France after D-Day in 1944.Weaving letters, diary extracts, official reports and other documents into his original narrative, recounting dramatic battles as they developed on the ground and at headquarters, Clark also explores the controversies that swirled around Patton, Montgomery and Rommel throughout their careers, sometimes threatening to derail them. Ultimately, however, their unique abilities to bridge the space between leader and led cemented their legendary reputations.

Additional information

Weight 0.415 kg
Dimensions 19.8 × 12.9 × 3.1 cm