MORALE AND MOTIVATION
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MORALE AND MOTIVATION book
The morale and motivation of British troops in the Second World War has been under close scrutiny since the 1950s, when the view began to form that the British soldier lacked drive, determination and commitment, especially when compared to his German counterpart. It is further posited in many accounts and analyses that the supposedly moderate performance of 21st Army Group in Normandy was consequently, to a significant extent, explained by such weaknesses in morale. Ultimately, therefore, victory was attained through massive materiel superiority and that this compensated for the weaker morale and spirit of British fighting troops.2 This view of moderate morale in 21st Army Group was in part shared by Allied high command in the Second World War. They contended that 21st Army Group’s soldiers were, in comparison with their German counterparts, especially the Waffen SS, distinctly less well motivated and unwilling to conduct a high tempo of operations in trying circumstances. Consequently, Montgomery, who viewed good morale as fundamental to success in war, worked hard to sustain such levels as existed in his armies in order to facilitate the type of battlefield success he considered achievable. Alas, the exigencies of the nature of the fighting, his operational methods and the unfolding campaign served to weaken his efforts.