UK publisher: Penguin
Data: 464 pages, 60 photos
Hardback (2008): £25.00
Paperback (2009): £8.99
Website © Terry Brighton
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In the Second World War, Great Britain, the United States and Germany each produced one land force commander who stood out from the rest: Bernard Montgomery, George Patton and Erwin Rommel. These three armour-plated egos were, in their own opinion but also in the judgement of their contemporaries, the greatest generals of the war.
Theirs was a very personal contest: the clash of mighty armies perceived as a bout between three men. In Masters Of Battle, for the first time in the literature of the Second World War, all three are 'put into the same ring' and allowed to 'go at it' against a backdrop of the great armoured battles of North Africa, the invasions of Sicily and Italy, the Normandy landings and the push through France and Belgium into Germany.
All three were arrogant, publicity seeking and personally flawed, yet with a genius for the command of men and an unrivalled enthusiasm for combat. All had spectacular success on the battlefield. But the explosive passions of their relationships with each other and with their political masters rivalled the pyrotechnics of their tank battles in determining the conduct and outcome of the war.
The mutual respect of the arch-enemies Monty and Rommel and the mutual animosity of the allies Monty and Patton creates a tremendous three-way dynamic that powers Masters Of Battle.
Through the mutual respect of the arch-enemies Monty and Rommel, and the mutual animosity of the allies Monty and Patton, Masters Of Battle presents the Second World War as it was experienced by its three most flamboyant, controversial and influential commanders.