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Best General of WWII?

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  • #31
    For all the Montgomery, Patton fans: None of the generals on the western front could hold a candle to any of a number of generals on the eastern front: von Manstein, Model, Heinrici, Guderian, Zhukov, Rokossovsky, Konev, etc.

    Change my mind.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by DingBat View Post
      None of the generals on the western front could hold a candle to any of a number of generals on the eastern front: von Manstein, Model, Heinrici, Guderian, Zhukov, Rokossovsky, Konev, etc.
      How many amphibious invasions did any of the above plan & lead?

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      • #33
        Originally posted by DingBat View Post
        It's interesting that, recently, Antony Beevor (and others) has put forth the hypothesis that Montgomery may have suffered from Asperger's syndrome.
        Because he could be a bit insensitive to others, at times?

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Gooner View Post

          How many amphibious invasions did any of the above plan & lead?
          Interesting. Continue.....

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Gooner View Post

            How many amphibious invasions did any of the above plan & lead?
            They lead army groups operations. Harder than assemble everything for plenty of time and no interference.
            There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Emtos View Post

              They lead army groups operations. Harder than assemble everything for plenty of time and no interference.
              British and American generals commanded army groups in western Europe, such as Montgomery, Bradley, and Jacob Devers. Patton commanded a field army that wasn't in existence in D-Day; Bradley took command of the 12th Army Group when Patton's 3d Army was activated. Devers commanded an army group that consisted of one American army and one French army.

              The Russians won in eastern Europe because they had overwhelming numbers and didn't care what they lost as long as the Germans were defeated. And the best of the Russian generals could do nothing without Stalin's approval. And Stalin was ruthless and commented 'don't spare the men.'
              We are not now that strength which in old days
              Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
              Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
              To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Massena View Post

                British and American generals commanded army groups in western Europe, such as Montgomery, Bradley, and Jacob Devers. Patton commanded a field army that wasn't in existence in D-Day; Bradley took command of the 12th Army Group when Patton's 3d Army was activated. Devers commanded an army group that consisted of one American army and one French army.
                It was still not on the scale of the Eastern Front. Many operations involved more units than were present on all Western Front.


                Originally posted by Massena View Post
                The Russians won in eastern Europe because they had overwhelming numbers and didn't care what they lost as long as the Germans were defeated. And the best of the Russian generals could do nothing without Stalin's approval. And Stalin was ruthless and commented 'don't spare the men.'
                This is more true for the Allies. The advantage in numbers of British and Americans over Germans, was much more important than the Soviet advantage over Germans. Soviet displayed more skill than Western Allies did. Stalin was the commander-in-chief. It's normal that generals were responsible to him. Just like Western generals were responsible to their leaders. But the words about "don't spare the men" are BS.
                There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

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                • #38
                  Patton, Monty and the 'soviet hordes', it's like its 2004 again. Nostalgic ​​
                  Originally posted by Emtos View Post

                  They lead army groups operations. Harder than assemble everything for plenty of time and no interference.
                  Originally posted by Emtos View Post

                  It was still not on the scale of the Eastern Front. Many operations involved more units than were present on all Western Front.
                  While I find this whole line of argument misguided. (Who commanded bigger amount of troops is largely irrelevant to the op.) Western Army Groups could have more than milion men + insane amount of tanks (+5000) and Eisenhower himself commanded a group of army groups. I'd also posit that in their roles as the sole Theater Commanders, Alexander, Montgomery and Eisenhower were in position to shape the whole concept of theatre wide operations not just execute parts of them. In that role, they were more like counterparts of Hitler and Stalin/Stavka/Antonov? and had a level of responsibility most of the Front commanders or even Stavka coordinators didn't.


                  Originally posted by DingBat View Post
                  For all the Montgomery, Patton fans: None of the generals on the western front could hold a candle to any of a number of generals on the eastern front: von Manstein, Model, Heinrici, Guderian, Zhukov, Rokossovsky, Konev, etc.

                  Change my mind.
                  I'll bite. Beyond what I said above. Montgomery had the experience of fighting in more diverse theatres of war - desert, mountains of Italy, the "standard" WE countryside and needed to adjust to them. Moreover, at Alamein, Normandy and Italy he had to face, mostly unseen on the EF challenge of narrow fronts and the resulting high densities of troops and closeness of reserves. He displayed a good (though not ideal) understanding of the need for surprise and concentration at breakthrough sectors. He had a reputation of being a great trainer of troops and later on, he was able to shape the doctrine of his army to the degree perhaps unlike any other.

                  ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
                  Originally posted by Massena View Post

                  The Russians won in eastern Europe because they had overwhelming numbers and didn't care what they lost as long as the Germans were defeated. And the best of the Russian generals could do nothing without Stalin's approval. And Stalin was ruthless and commented 'don't spare the men.'
                  While Soviet casualties were high and they certainly could push their offensives and troops too much, at operational level they still displayed a level of finesse that simply run circles around the broad front culture/"Grant's way of war" that permeated American generalship from Normandy to Okinawa.

                  Their numerical superiority was certainly one of the reasons for the victory, probably the main one even but that is no different for the Western Allies.
                  Last edited by phaze; 15 Jun 20, 14:21.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by phaze View Post

                    While I find this whole line of argument misguided. (Who commanded bigger amount of troops is largely irrelevant to the op.) Western Army Groups could have more than milion men + insane amount of tanks (+5000) and Eisenhower himself commanded a group of army groups. I'd also posit that in their roles as the sole Theater Commanders, Alexander, Montgomery and Eisenhower were in position to shape the whole concept of theatre wide operations not just execute parts of them. In that role, they were more like counterparts of Hitler and Stalin/Stavka/Antonov? and had a level of responsibility most of the Front commanders or even Stavka coordinators didn't.
                    The size matters. Strategical level is the most difficult to learn. Montomery or Alexander never made something similar to Typhoon or Bagration.
                    There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Emtos View Post

                      The size matters.
                      To some degree. We're not going to compare a squad leader to batallion commander or either of those to operational commander but no one does that here. I do not find the size differences so paramount here to make comparisons in any way incomparable. Plenty of Fronts were smaller than plenty of AG's and I'd doubt that any single one got close to the size of SHAEF command.
                      Originally posted by Emtos View Post
                      Montomery or Alexander never made something similar to Typhoon or Bagration.
                      But none of the Front commanders executed Bagration as a whole. They executed smaller, constituent bits of it.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Emtos View Post
                        But the words about "don't spare the men" are BS.
                        A known quote from a semi-public speech given to top RA's officers in April 1940:
                        ....
                        The one who want to wage the war in a modern way and to win a modern war, he cannot say that bombs should be spared. That is nonsense, comrades, we need to unleash more bombs on the enemy to stun him, to turn his cities upside down, that is when we achieve victory. Expend more rounds, more cartridges and less men will be lost. If you spare cartridges and rounds than you will have more casualties.You've got to choose. Either you expend more rounds and cartridges and spare your army and save your forces and have the minimal number of killed or you spare bombs and rounds.
                        Source:
                        https://www.amazon.com/Stalin-Soviet.../dp/0714652032

                        Soviet displayed more skill than Western Allies did.
                        The quality of Soviet operational leadership was a sort of roller-caster alternating between highs and lows. In its high it was nearly genial, int its lows it was mediocre. Examples of pretty huge screw-ups can be found even in the year 1945. I can even say that with Zhukov's removal from the top command in November 1944, this quality deteriorated considerably. A conspicuously weak Soviet area was military administration in a broad sense: that is building, training, supply and indoctrination of a qualitative armed forces. Here that didn't have their equivalent of such genial administrators (no kidding) as Marshall or McNair.
                        Last edited by Artyom_A; 15 Jun 20, 16:28.

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                        • #42
                          How much did intelligence affect day to day, week to week operations in the Second World War?

                          It's obvious that Rommels operational effectiveness was severly compromised once his intelligence sources (American diplomat in Cairo, Seebohms unit) dried up.

                          Its also obvious that a lack of knowledge of German intentions affected Soviet operations in the first 12 months of Barbarossa. 1941, the Soviets made a real hash of things, and not aided either by incredibly poor staff work whilst on retreat. One might even say that the Soviets had to learn the art of a fighting retreat all over again.
                          But with the Second Phase of operation BLAU, all of a sudden the Soviets seemed to be able to make battlefield and frontwide decisions that were in advance of what the Germans were doing. And this trend continued, with the possible exceotion of the Kharkhov "Backhand Blow", every Soviet operation from then on seemed to brush aside German counterthrusts and get on with what they were accomplishing offensively without much in the way of reversal of fortune.

                          So, it's obvious that their intelligence must have gotten better, and reached a peak with "Citadelle" and stayed at that peak.

                          How much of Western Allied operational success in Italy and France/Germany can we explain with superior intelligence?

                          Allied intelligence seemed to jump up a notch in the Western Desert and stay there from the Battle of Alam Halfa Ridge onward...but what about the rest of it for us?

                          How much western allied success can be put down to ULTRA knowledge, and how much from individual commanders second guessing their opponents?

                          Answering this question will also answer whether Russian commanders and Western Allied ones were better/worse than their opposites...

                          Thanks...Ive always wanted to know this...

                          Christopher
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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post

                            A conspicuously weak Soviet area was military administration in a broad sense: that is building, training, supply and indoctrination of a qualitative armed forces. Here that didn't have their equivalent of such genial administrators (no kidding) as Marshall or McNair.
                            Soviets had just a fraction of ressources available to USA. USSR also lacked maturity and the administration in general was never a strong point in Russia.
                            There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

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                            • #44
                              George Marshall was one of the best generals of the war and was called 'the organizer of victory' by Churchill. No other army had a general like him.
                              We are not now that strength which in old days
                              Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                              Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                              To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by DingBat View Post
                                ...Patton suffered from dyslexia.
                                And...?

                                We are not now that strength which in old days
                                Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                                Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                                To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                                Comment

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