Congenital Heart Disease

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After the allies landed on the Normandy beaches in 1944, the imme diate sense of celebration was followed by an acrimonious dispute as to the overall strategy. Eisenhower favoured the advance of all the armies on a broad front. Montgomery wanted to concentrate the bulk of the allied front on a narrow front, a rapier thrust to the heart of Germany. The broad front was bound to be slow. The rapier thrust was likely to be risky, because of the attentuation of supply lines and the danger of an exposed flank. These strategic issues were, as ever, complicated by personal ones. Montgomery's sense of his own destiny made the idea of a rapier thrust led by him particularly attractive: the idea of Patton's army advancing on a narrow front would almost certainly have seemed to him less appealing. Eisenhower, in his role as supreme allied comman der, undoubtedly wanted to be seen to be fair to each of the ambitious generals under his command. If so, advance on a broad front was inevitable. The parallels with scientific advance are striking. Inside each re searcher battling to push back the frontiers in this own particular small patch is a Montgomery. Lurking within anyone involved in the distri bution of rewards for scientific research is an Eisenhower, be he re sponsible for acceptance of papers, granting of research applications or nomination for prizes.

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