1st Viscount Montgomery (of Alamein), Bernard Law Montgomery Biography (1887–1976) British field marshal, born in UK. He trained at Sandhurst Military Academy, and was commissioned into the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in 1908. In World War 2, he gained renown as arguably the best British field commander since Wellington. A controversial and outspoken figure, he was nevertheless a ‘soldier's general’, able to establish a remarkable rapport with his troops. He commanded the 8th Army in N Africa, and defeated Rommel at El Alamein (1942). He played a key role in the invasion of Sicily and Italy (1943), and was appointed commander-in-chief, ground forces, for the Allied invasion of Normandy (1944). On his insistence, the invasion frontage was widened, and more troops were committed to the initial assault. Criticized for slow progress after D-Day, he uncharacteristically agreed to the badly planned airborne landings at Arnhem (Sep 1944), which resulted in the only defeat of his military career. In 1945, German forces in NW Germany, The Netherlands, and Denmark surrendered to him on Lünenberg Heath. Appointed field marshal (1944) and viscount (1946), he served successively as Chief of the Imperial General Staff (1946–8) and deputy supreme commander of NATO forces in Europe (1951–8). His books include History of Warfare (1968).