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Hollow Heroes (Hardback)

An Unvarnished Look at the Wartime Careers of Churchill, Montgomery and Mountbatten


By Michael Arnold
Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781612002736
Published: 1st April 2015



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The book challenges the preconceptions behind three of Great Britain’s primary military leaders: Churchill, Montgomery and Mountbatten. Although their achievements during and immediately after the Second World War are widely celebrated, this book offers a new perspective, suggesting that most accounts ignore the darker side of each of these wartime leaders. It makes the case that a great deal of Churchill’s, Montgomery’s, and Mountbatten’s reputation was built on contrived results, deception and dishonesty. It examines the influence and impediment of class on the performance of the British Army in World War II, and puts forward an argument frequently proposed by the Americans, that there was unwillingness among the British to base officer promotion on effectiveness rather than on social background; conforming was more important than performing. At the same time, Montgomery feared and was jealous of Patton, whose rate of advance was nearly always twice that of Monty’s.The author presents the argument that the services of Field Marshals Wavell and Auchinleck, two of Britain’s finest commanders of the war, were largely lost to Britain because of Churchill’s consistent interfering in field matters, and a desire to stay in power after the fall of Singapore.Arnold includes the bizarre case of Major-General Dorman-Smith, one of Britain’s most brilliant original thinkers, often overlooked after his sacking by Churchill. Dorman-Smith was the tactician who had produced Britain’s victory over Rommel at the first battle of Alamein, but his crime seems have been overachievement; an unforgivable sin in some eyes. Mountbatten’s fumbling in India is also realistically examined in these pages, fundamentally questioning the “man for the century’s” embellished reputation.

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