"There's been something of a general consensus in the United States that Montgomery was essentially inept [see Market Garden] and that he got away with being inept because he had massive reserves of men and equipment courtesy of the United States.
Montgomery didn't mind squandering the lives of his men and he absolutely didn't mind squandering huge amounts of equipment because the equipment could be easily replaced and few people cared about lost equipment. He was a bit more cautious about losing men, he didn't use them as cannon fodder, but he still was reckless."
Can’t go along with your overall premise here. I accept that Yanks generally considered Montgomery “inept” but that wasn’t really until Market Garden – they all lauded him over El Alamein, even though at El Alamein he benefitted from his predecessors work and initial planning. What singled Montgomery out for attention by the Yanks was his “protection” by Churchill and his calculatingly cautious approach which on many occasions caused him to miss ‘seizing the initiative”. Interestingly, the only real time he did step out and try something daring – was Market Garden and but for an ounce of luck with weather and Airborne reserves arriving, he may well have pulled it off. Montgomery was viewed alongside Patton and both were totally different characters and should not have been compared by a standard of achievement.
“Montgomery didn't mind squandering the lives of his men...” absolutely incorrect. If anything, he was overly cautious and did not commit troops unless he was assured of victory – this really was one of his failings. Compared to American Generals, Montgomery was a nursemaid to his men.
Montgomery was a marketing success – just like Churchill and benefitted from the “myths” that were promulgated around him.