Let­ter by Gen­eral Bernard Mont­gomery, Com­man­der of Eighth Army W.W.II

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS -

Tac 21 Army Group

8-6-44 My dear Simbo, You may like the fol­low­ing news of our bat­tle. 1. There is no doubt that the Ger­mans were sur­prised, and we got on shore be­fore they had re­cov­ered. The speed, power, and vi­o­lence of the as­sault car­ried all be­fore it. 2. Gen­er­ally, the beach ob­sta­cles pre­sented no dif­fi­culty, where they were trou­ble­some it was be­come of the rough weather – and on some beaches it was pretty rough. 3. DD Tanks

a) Used suc­cess­fully on UTAH beaches.

(b) Failed to reach the shore on OMAHA beaches and all sank – too rough.

(c) Were not launched on 50 DIV front or it was too rough, were landed “dry” be­hind the leading flights, ca­su­al­ties to AVRE sap­pers high or a re­sult, and to leading us faulty. (d) Handed “dry” on Cana­dian front. (e) Used suc­cess­fully on 3 DIV front. Gen­er­ally it can be said that the DD tanks proved their value, and ca­su­al­ties were high when they could not be used. 4. As a guess pris­on­ers about 6000 so far. They con­sist of Ger­mans, Rus­sians, Poles, Ja­panese, and two Turks. 5. Britich Ca­su­al­ties about 1000 per as­sault Di­vi­sion. Amer­i­cans ca­su­al­ties not known. High pro­por­tion of of­fi­cers ca­su­al­ties, due to snip­ing be­hind our front. Two my. Bde. Conds wounded: Cunningham 9 Bde. Se­nior 151 Bde. Good many my c.o.’s hilled, in­clud­ing HER­DON, o.c. 2 War­wichs. No gen­eral of­fi­cers are ca­su­al­ties. 6. The Ger­mans are fight­ing well, Rus­sians, Poles, Ja­panese, and Turks, run away, and if un­able to do so, sur­ren­der. 7. Our Ini­tial at­tack was on a wide front, and there were gaps be­tween land­ings, The im­pe­tus of the as­sault car­ried us some way in­land and many de­fended lo­cal­i­ties were by-passed, these proved very trou­ble­some later. In one case a com­plete Ger­man Bm, with ar­tillery, was found in­side 50 DIV area, it gave some trou­bles but was even­tu­ally col­lected in (about 500 men). There is still one hold­ing out – the radar sta­tion west of DOUVRES, it is very strong and if held by stout-hearted Ger­mans. 8. Snip­ing in back ar­eas has been very trou­ble­some, as a re­sult of para 7. The roads have been far from safe and we have lost sev­eral good of­fi­cers. I have been all night my­self, though I have toured the area all day. There have been woman snipers, pre­sum­ably wives of Ger­man soldiers, the Cana­di­ans shot 4 women snipers. 9. The Ger­mans are do­ing ev­ery­thing they can to hold on to CAEN. I have de­cided not to have a lot of ca­su­al­ties by butting up against the place, so I have or­dered sec­ond Army to keep up a good pres­sure at CAEN, and to make its main ef­fort to­wards VILLERS BOCAGE and EVRECY and there S.E. to­wards FALAISE. 10. First US Army had a very sticky party at )MAHA, and its progress at UTAH has not been rapid. I have there­fore or­dered it to join up its two lodg­ment ar­eas and to se­cure CARENTAN and ISIGNY. It will then thrust to­wards LA HAYE DU PUITS and cat off the Cher­bourg penin­sula. 11. The two ar­mies have now joined hands east of BAYEUX. No time for more. Yrs. ever

B. L. Mont­gomery

Like many Beebe res­i­dents, I find un­ac­cept­able that Des­jardins has closed down both the hu­man ser­vices and the au­to­mated ser­vices from the Beebe point of ser­vice. Has Des­jardins ever re­al­ized that, in this sec­tor, many people don’t have ve­hi­cles? Will these per­sons have to spend more or less $20 for cab fare to get to the last and only point of ser­vice re­main­ing in the three vil­lages?

I tried to ob­tain ex­pla­na­tions from one Stanstead em­ployee, and I was sim­ply told it was a mat­ter of sav­ing money, what I un­der­stand to mean an in­sa­tiable thirst for more and more profit by cut­ting in es­sen­tial ser­vices. I tried to find out at what level of the Des­jardins hi­er­ar­chy this de­ci­sion was made, but no one could an­swer that sim­ple ques­tion. The di­rec­tor of the Stanstead Caisse, Mr. Jean-Luc Basté, did not an­swer the voice mail mes­sage I left in his box early Mon­day.

I in­vite ev­ery­one who, like me, thinks it is an un­ac­cept­able sit­u­a­tion to call the fol­low­ing toll-free num­ber to com­plain about this un­fair de­ci­sion: 1 888 556-7212 Jean Custeau

Beebe p.s. The coun­try here is very nice, green fields, very good crops, plenty of veg­eta­bles, cows and cat­tle, chick­ens, ducks, etc. The few civil­ians there are ap­pear will fed, the chil­dren look healthy, the people have good boots, and cloth­ing. The lo­cals did not be­lieve Bri­tish would ever in­vade France or some over the chan­nel, they say that the Ger­man of­fi­cers and men thought this also – which may ac­count got the tac­ti­cal sur­prise we got.

B.L.M 0900hrs

9 June p.s. I en­closed a copy of a let­ter sent to­day to my chief of staff. This will give you my sit­u­a­tion and my fu­ture in­ten­tions. It is of course very se­cret by wire­less – of m 500


Photo cour­tesy Mer­rick Belk­nap

Bernard Mont­gomery, Com­man­der of Eighth Army W.W.II.

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