The Broad and the Narrow Front
The problems of victory are more agreeable
than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult
All commanders, unless they are very lucky at one time or another have to fight a battle on two fronts—one to the rear. During August Eisenhower had to face strong criticism from Marshall and the New York Times that he was allowing Montgomery too much rope and not keeping a firm grip on the battle. He was quick to reply very forcibly that his critics did not understand his difficulties in the matter of communications, not only with his armies but with the huge air forces, based for the most part in United Kingdom, supporting them. He assured Marshall that 'No major effort takes place in this theatre by ground, sea or air except with my approval ... no-one in this Allied Command presumes to question my supreme authority and responsibility for the whole campaign.' Nevertheless in these last crucial days in August there were grounds for suspicion that Montgomery and Bradley were being allowed to go the way of their own choosing. Montgomery had made his own plans for the continuation of the pursuit beyond the Seine to start the moment he had got a bridge over the Seine at Vernon capable of taking all classes of traffic. Horrocks and XXX Corps would then thrust without halting by day or night due north-east on Brussels and Antwerp whilst First Canadian Army mopped up the coast of the Pas de Calais and Belgium, destroying en route the sites of the guided missiles now harassing London.
On 25 August, the day Paris was liberated, Bradley summoned Patton to Chartres. He too had made his own plans for the contin