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    Montgomery of Alamein Autograph Letter Signed "Monty," one page, 4.25" x 7". TAC Headquarters, 21 Army Group, December 23, 1944. To "Ike" (General Dwight D. Eisenhower). In full, "My dear Ike, This is my third, and last, pamphlet. I enclose you six copies. Yrs ever, Monty." At the time this letter was written, in the Battle of the Bulge, German divisions in the Ardennes Offensive had surrounded and attempted to capture the Belgian town of Bastogne, which was held by the American 101st Airborne Division and Combat Command B of the U.S. 10th Armored Division. "Visualize the hole in a doughnut," the 101st radioed SHAEF Headquarters in Paris, "That's us." English Army Major Jack Watson of the Paratrooper 13th battalion (Lancashire) is quoted in The Battle of Bure by Christian Louis: "The 13th battalion moved on December 23, 1944, from Larkhill Barracks in the plain of Salisbury, to the Ardennes. The Germans had drilled our lines, and Montgomery had an urgent need of reinforcements. We should go on the spot very quickly to help to fill the hole, to stop the German advance and to help the Americans." At noon on December 22nd, four Germans under a white flag entered the lines of the 2nd Battalion, 327th, in Bastogne. Their message requested "the honorable surrender of the encircled town" in two hours with the threat of "annihilation" by the German artillery. General Anthony McAuliffe's response was "Nuts!" The official U.S. report said the Commanding General's "answer was, with a sarcastic air of humorous tolerance, emphatically negative." Two days earlier, on December 20, 1944, General Eisenhower had removed the 1st and 9th American Armies from General Omar Bradley's 12th Army Group and placed them under British Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery's 21st Army Group command. Bradley threatened to resign but didn't. With the two American armies in addition to his own, Montgomery proceeded to close the gap, counterattacking on January 3, 1945. By the end of January, the Ardennes Offensive had ended in defeat for Germany. Albert Speer, Reichminister for Armaments and War Production, wrote, "The failure of the Ardennes Offensive meant that the war was over." Montgomery took full credit for saving the American armies during the battle, and insinuated that he had "handled" the battle, infuriating, among others, General Eisenhower. Montgomery had previously issued two "Some Notes on High Command in War" pamphlets for officers in his 8th Army, in January 1943 and September 1943. This letter, sending six copies of his third pamphlet (not present), has been placed in a simple frame, headed in type on the matte: "An association of two distinguished military leaders of World War II - General Montgomery and General Eisenhower - 'Monty' and 'Ike'." Printed notation on the bottom of the matte: "Nathaniel E. Stein Collection." Affixed on verso of the frame is a 6" x 4" typed note signed "Nat/1-20-61" inscribed "to Milton, a holograph page from an era in American history for an ardent student and participant in that great endeavor. From a fellow historian." Nat Stein was an original member and president of the National Society of Autograph Collectors, founded in 1948, known today as The Manuscript Society. The simple wooden frame measures 9.25" x 13.5" and is chipped at the edges. The brown paper backing on the frame's verso is torn at its edges. Montgomery's letter, affixed to the matte, is in apparent fine condition. It would make a magnificent addition to a military collection!

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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