The Unfashionable Study of War
The Memoirs of Field-Marshal the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, K.G., 1958
The battalion left Peshawar at the end of 1910 and moved to Bombay for the last two years of its foreign service tour. I had now begun to work hard and seriously. Looking back, I would put this period as the time when it was becoming apparent to me that to succeed one must master one's profession. It was clear that the senior regimental officers were not able to give any help in the matter since their knowledge was confined almost entirely to what went on at battalion level; they had little or no knowledge of other matters.
When the battalion arrived at a new station the first question the C.O. would ask was: "How does the General like the attack done?"
And the attack was carried out in that way; whatever might be the conditions of ground, enemy, or any other factor.
At this time there did seem to me to be something lacking in the whole business, but I was not able to analyse the problem and decide what exactly was wrong; nor did I bother unduly about it. I was happy in the battalion and I had become devoted to the British soldier. As for the officers, it was not fashionable to study war and we were not allowed to talk about our profession in the Officers' Mess.