I’ve been doing some reading on Field Marshal Bernard “Monty” Montgomery (of El Alamein and Operation Market Garden fame).
Monty said a lot of quotable things in his time, but his last words were apparently “Well, now I must go to meet God and try to explain all those men I killed at Alamein.”
Not surprisingly, the remark appears in countless “Famous Last Words” lists - however, pretty much the only source I’ve found for this (and the source that’s cited all over the internet) is “The Columbia Encyclopedia, 1976”.
Which makes me a bit dubious as to whether A) They actually were his last words (or made in an interview in his declining years), and B) why there’s only one source cited for them,* and an encyclopaedia at that. You’d think one of his official biographers would have mentioned something like that if he’d really said it, after all.
So, do any of the other military history board members (I’m not the only one here, right? :D) know if he actually said that, and if so, if those actually were his last words, or, if not, the context they were said in?
- The obvious answer is that everyone’s copying the Wikipedia page’s cite, but that still doesn’t explain why I’m not finding “official” attributions for the quote anywhere, excepting extraordinarily weak Google-fu at the moment