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"RE-THINKING ROMMEL": CHIPPING AWAY AT THE MYTH.

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  • "RE-THINKING ROMMEL": CHIPPING AWAY AT THE MYTH.

    Good evening to all....

    The January 2016 issue of our own Military History Magazine has a most timely lead article, on a subject matter thats been dear to my heart for many years.

    Historian of note DAVID T. ZABECKI has written a piece called "RETHINKING ROMMEL".
    This thread is a critique and expansion of the Zabecki article.


    Zabecki article ..INTRO

    Every major military commander in history has taken on two personas-the man and the myth. When it comes to Field Marshal Erwin Rommel the gap between reality and legend is wider than most. Among the most readily identifiable German generals of World War II, rommel has a reputation as one of the greatest his nation has produced.

    That said, many noted military historians and senior military officials at least understand, if not wholly agree with, the position of German historian WOLF HECKMANN, who concluded that rommel was

    "...possibly the most overated commander of an army in world history."
    Amen to that.

    All I can say is "It's about time somebody came out publically and actually said it for real."


    Zabecki....OPENING PARAGRAPH

    Though Erwin Rommel had distinguished himself as a highly decorated company commander, recieving the coveted Pour Le Merite for his actions in Italy during the 1917 Battle of Caporetto, he owed his spectacular rise within the Wehrmacht to Adolf Hitler's direct patronage.
    Rommels performance against the Italian mountain position of MONTE MATAJUR was an undoubted feat of on the spot improvisation that managed to force a surrender of a strong mountain position to Rommel's troops by guile and deception as much as force of arms. Rommel was outnumbered, and captured more Italian soldiers than he had in his command by a long margin.

    Martin Blumenson's essay "Rommel" from "Hitlers Generals", edited by Correlli Barnett, (Wiedenfeld and Nicloson, Great Britain, 1989)..

    What happened was this. When the main attack was held, Rommel took two companies before dawn across the fron to the flank, then penetrated the Italian positionas by infiltration and captured an Italian artillery battery. Leaving a company at that place, Rommel pushed on. When an Italian battalion counter-attacked his unit behind him, Rommel returned, struck the battalion in the rear, compelled surrender, and captured more than 1,000 prisoners, whom he sent back under guard. The remaining four companies of Rommel's battalion came forward, and he led them all in single file for 2 miles.

    Cutting the main road, Rommel's men captured a supply column, 50 officers and 2,000 Berseglieri troops. Rommel then proceeded to the main Italian position, which he entered boldly with several riflemen and called upon the garrison to surrender.

    43 officers and 1,500 soldiers complied.

    Continueing, Rommel and his men scaled Monte Matajur from the rear, capturing the dominating height and the troops defending it. Although Rommel had been constantly on the move for over 50 hours, by his ruthless advance he obtained the surrender of 150 officers, 9,000 soldiers and 81 guns.

    For this he recieved the 'Pour Le Merite ', normally reserved for senior generals, and a promotion to Captain.

    Shortly thereafter, with six men, Rommel swam the Piave River during the hours of darkness. After his handful of troops, from widely dispersed positions, fired into the village of Longarone, Rommel boldly walked in, demanded and received the garrison's capitulation.
    Lets be entirely fair to his Italian opponents for a moment.

    After 11 pointless battles on the Isonzo River, suffering under their commanding General, Luigi Cardorna, (who treated expenditure of men and material with so much flippancy), the Italian Army at Carporetto had had enough, and was already a spent force. It's morale had been ruined, it's reserves spent, it's material resources were never lavish or modern.

    Rommels feat was a triumph of on-the-spot improvisation. But he was essentially facing a beaten foe from the outset of Caporetto, and over 30miles of defences were gobbled up in quick time, principally by German officers just like Rommel bypassing centers of resistance for a change, rather than taking every redoubt and strongpoint head-on.

    The action at Monte Matajur was to influence Rommel's Desert Campaign, positively and negatively. It gave Rommel an entirely jaundiced and sarcastic view of the Italian military as a whole, and of Italian soldiers, and later the Regia Marina as well. This personal feeling of innate superiority was to color his dealings with high Italian officers as well, some of whom we his nominal superiors, resulting in colorful displays of temper all round.

    He was to also use the Italians, particularly the Regia Marina, as a convenient and readily available scapegoat for his own strategic failings in the Western Desert theater.

    I will return to this later.

    ZABECKI continues...

    Shortly after the publication of his well recieved book, "Infanterie grieft an", (1937), Rommel caught Hitler's attention and soon assumed command of the "Fuhrerbeglietbattalion". After the invasion of Poland, Rommel protested that his tactical talent would be better applied as a field commander, rather than as a personal guard..

    Superiors slated him to command a mountain division- a logical post considering his wartime experience....
    And not just because of wartime experience either, considering his October 1933 posting to Goslar to command the 3rd Battalion, 17th infantry Regiment, a mountain unit in training. Rommel was an expert on skis, and his first moments spent with the unit had him showing them this very fact, much to their dismay, that their new commander could ski better than any man in the unit.

    Zabecki....

    ...but Rommel wanted an armoured division and bucked the chain of command, appealing directly to Hitler. His blatant violation of professional protocol got Rommel what he wanted, but it also earned him the enmity and distrust of his fellow senior officers. That ill will haunted him for the rest of his life.
    Zabecki isn't exaggerating.

    That would not be the first time Rommel went over the heads of senior officers and of the Italians, direct to Hitler to get "his way ". As we shall see, at Gazala (mid 1942) and thence into Egypt, it was to cost him the campaign, against the advice of people like Admiral Weichold and Albert Kesselring (and even it seems, Mussolini).

    And as we shall see also, Rommel was to blame everyone but himself.

    Zabecki's mention of the "enmity and distrust" that surrounded Rommel in relation to his superiors also cost the Western Desert theater any chance of being taken seriously as a theater of operations worth significant time and investment of substantial amounts of German troops and supplies. Rommel openly wondered why this was so; he had been sent to Africa ostensibly to shore up the Italian effort. It is my suggestion his internal enemies were also trying and succeeding to get Rommel as far away from them as was humanly possible.

    Zabecki.....

    As commander of the 7th Panzer division, Rommel won acclaim for his sggressive, daring tactics during the 1940 invasion of France. His unit, part of Lt. General Hermann Hoth's XV Corps, crossed the Meuse river near Dinant.

    The decisive breakthrough, however, came whem Lt. Gen Heinz Guderian's XIX Corps crossed the Meuse some 50 miles to the south at Sedan, breaking the line and hastening the fall of France.

    Regardless, Rommel- at Hitler's insistence- was the first divisional commander of the campaign awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, only reinforcing his reputation as Hitler's fair-headed favourite and cementing the animosity of his peers.

    In a confidential after action report, Hoth recommended Rommel be denied command of a corps until he developed "greater experience and a better sense of judgement." Hoth and Lt. Gen Gunther von Kluge, commander of the Fourth Army, also criticized Rommel for being a glory hog and failing to credit other units for their contributions. When the German High Command produced the 1941 propaganda film "Sieg in Westen" (Victory in the West), Rommel enthusiastically participated in a section of the film that depicted his units crossing the Meuse and even directed French POWs on how to properly surrender.
    Regarding the Knights Cross award, keep in mind that Hitler personally instructed Josef Goebbels to "make" only two public heros after the completion of the 1940 campaign. the first was to be General Deitel, from Norway, ...

    And the other was Rommel.

    Regarding von Kluge's comments concerning "glory hog ", Rommels participation in the propaganda film was something he liked to trumpet afterward as well....

    From "The Rommel Papers" (page 104), edited by B.H. Liddel Hart.

    5 March, 1941

    DEAREST LU

    Just back from a two day journey-or rather, flight- to the front, which is now 450 miles away to the east. Everything is going fine.
    A lot to do. Can't leave here for a moment as I couldn't be answerable for my absence. Too much depends on my own person and my driving power. I hope you've had some post from me.
    My troops are on their way. Speed is the one thing that matters here. The climate suits me down to the ground. I even "overslept" this morning till' after 6....
    ...A gala performance of "Victory in the West" was given here today. In welcoming guests-there were a lot, some with ladies- I said I hoped the day would come when we'd be showing "Victory in Africa"....
    "Speed is the only thing that matters here "
    "I hoped the day would come when we'd be showing "Victory in Africa "
    .

    As will be shown quite soon, comments concerning 'speed' as "the only thing that matters here "" would come back to haunt Rommel, once he made the discovery about the laws of desert warfare for himself....namely that SUPPLY was "the only thing that matters here "

    Rommels attitude to his showing of this propaganda film also shows that he had delusions of grandeur about his true role in Africa...

    This we will see for ourselves, directly.


    ROMMEL IN AFRICA

    David Zabecki continues....

    While there is little doubt Rommel was a gifted tactical commander and an inspiring battlefield leader, he quickly found himself out of his depth when placed above the level of corps command. He had little feel for the operational level of war and for the realities of logistics, and he had almost no understanding of strategy. Such shortcomings were obvious during his time in North Africa.

    In 1941, before Rommel left Germany to take command of the Afrika Korps, Col.Gen Franz Halder, Chief of the German High command, told him that preparations for operation "Barbarossa" made it impossible to divert any more forces or logistical support to North Africa.

    Thus, Rommel's mission, he was told, was not to defeat the British but to tie down the maximum number of Allied troops as long as possible. The High Command set the Libyan oasis of Maradah as the limit of his eastward advance. In April 1941 Rommel ignored those instructions and tried to capture Tobruk, 350 miles farther east.

    Halder referred to Rommel as a "soldier gone stark mad".

    Time and again in North Africa, Rommel's brilliant attacks created logistically unsustainable operational situations that cumulatively set the stage for strategic defeat.
    "The Rommel Papers", (page 105)

    On the 15th of March, a mixed Italian and German force, under the command of Count Schwerin, moved out from Sirte towards Murzuch, (about 450 miles south). the Italian High Command had asked us to undertake this operation because Gen.De Gualle's troops were becoming a nuisance. As far as we were concerned, however, the main purpose of the move was to gain experience of long marches and in particular to test the suitabiltiy of our equipment for African conditions. Shortly afterwards the whole of the 'Brescia' division arrived in the line at Mutaa and the 5th Light Division was freed for mobile employment.

    On the 19th of March I flew to the Fuhrer's H.Q. to report and obtain fresh instructions.
    One would have thought his instructions were crystal clear already. Here is the first in a long line of requests directly to Hitler, going over the heads of superiors, and ignoring clear orders previously given. Rommel has conveniently timed this visit when his only unit at this stage in Africa is supposedly 'free' for mobile action. As we have noted already, Rommel should not have been 'free' to do anything, but this visit to the Fuhrer will change all of that.....

    "Rommel Papers"...(Page 105-106)

    The Fuhrer made me a retrospective award of the Oakleaves for the 7th Panzer Division's actions in France. The CinC of the Army (von Brauchitsch) informed me that there was no intention of striking a decisive blow in Africa in the near future, and that for the present, I could expect no reinforcements. After the arrival of the 15th Panzer division at the end of May, I was to attack and destroy the enemy around Agedabia. Benghazi might, perhaps, be taken, but we would have to occupy the whole of Cyrenaica, as the Benghazi area could not be held by itself.

    I was not very happy at the efforts of FM von Brauchitsch and Col.Gen Halder to keep down the numbers of troops sent to Africa and leave the future of this theater of war to chance. The momentary British weakness in North Africa should have been exploited with the utmost of energy, in order to gain the initiative once and for all ourselves.

    In my opinion it was also wrong not to risk a landing in England in 1940-41. If ever there was a chance for this operation to succeed it was in the period after the BEF had lost it's equipment. From then on, the operation became steadily more difficult to undertake, and undertaken it eventually had to be, if the war against Britian was to be won.

    Before my departure, I had instructed the 5th Light Division to prepare an attack on El Agheila for the 24th of March, with the object of taking the airfield and small fort, and driving out the present garrison. A short time before, the Marada Oasis, some distance to the south, had been occupied by a mixed Italian and German force. This force now had to be maintained and our supply columns were being constantly molested by the British from El Agheila.

    Accordingly, after my return to North Africa, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion took the fort, water points and airfield at El Agheila in the early hours of 24 March. The garrison, which consisted of only weak forces, had strongly mined the whole place and withdrew skillfully in the face of our attack.

    After our capture of El Agheila, the British outposts-as we learnt from the Luftwaffe- appeared to fall back to the defile at Mersa el Brega.

    LETTER HOME TO "LU"

    "Little fresh from the front. I have to hold the troops back to prevent them moving forward. They've taken another new position 20 miles further east. There'll be some worried faces among our Italian friends.
    Rommel seems to delight in exceeding his orders already. He complains of "constant molesting" of his supply columns, but has now reached the pre-ordered 'stopline' for his operations for the moment. He has recieved permission to take the port of Benghazi, but with his supply problems already rearing their heads, it may well have been prudent to let time heal this.

    Of course, Rommel has no intention of waiting at all...

    British forces do not expect an advance on logistic considerations alone, but they also plan to retreat if pressed, as we shall determine from their own sources. Their resources have been split asunder to flesh out the Allied intervention in Greece. They have no intention of making a 'stand' anywhere west of Tobruk.

    Rommel will be advancing into an empty space, and he will claim it as a "victory".

    Also, comments concerning a landing in England after Dunkirk show Rommel to be out of touch with logistics as a matter of course. I have participated in forum debates about this very issue. It is clear from much sourced opinion that any German attempt to land was just not possible. Even Gen. Kurt Student's heartfelt plan to drop every parachute soldier in the Wehrmacht in support of such an ill concieved operation would have contributed only the destruction of Students parartroopers as well.

    THE RAID THROUGH CYRENAICA

    "Rommel Papers", (Page 107)

    After the British had been driven out of El Agheila, they established themselves on the commanding heights at Mersa El Brega and south of the salt marsh at Bir es Suera; they began to build up their position. It was with some misgivings that we watched their activities, because if they had once been allowed time to build up, wire and mine these naturally strong positions, they would have possessed the counterpart of our position at Mutaa, which was difficult to either assault or to outflank from the south.

    The country south of Wadi Faregh, some 20 or 30 miles south of Mersa el Brega, was extremely sandy and almost impassable for vehicles. I was therefore faced with the choice of either waiting for the rest of my troops to arrive at the end of May- which would have given the British time to construct such strong defences that it would have been very difficult for our attack to achieve the desired result- or of going ahead with our existing small forces to attack and take the Mersa el Brega position in it's present undeveloped state. It was, in fact, fair to expect that an attack by even our relatively weak forces would give us the defile. The Mersa el Brega position was just as well suited for our purpose as that at Mugtaa and would at the same time provide us with a suitable assembly and forming up area for the May attack. A further argument in favour of an immediate move was that our water supply had recently been so bad that it was essential to open up new wells.

    An operation against Mersa el Brega would give us plenty of access to water bearing land.
    Here, in addition to justification of exceeding orders, Rommel flatly contradicts his own assertion that taking Mersa el Brega would have put the Afrika Korps in any better position for a May offensive than it was already in.

    "The Mersa El Brega position was just as well suited AS THAT AT MUGTAA."

    Italian units had occupied these positions and found no such water hassles to speak of.

    Rommel was going to move forwrad no matter what....

    Despite his statements to the effect that Mersa el Brega would be far easier to attack if taken immediately, the 5th Light Division

    "..attacked the Mersa el Brega position proper, which was stubbornly defended by the British. Our attack came to a halt."

    I spent the whole day on the battlefield with Aldinger and my Chief of Staff, Lt.Col von Dem Borne, and in the afternoon reconnoitered the possibility of attacking north of the coast road. The 8th M.G. Battalion was put at this point late in the evening and in a dashing attack, succeeded in throwing the enemy back to the east and taking possession of the Mersa el Brega defile.

    Luftwaffe reports clearly showed that the enemy was tending to draw back and this was confirmed by recon patrols which Gen.Streich sent out. It was a chance I could not resist and I gave orders for Agedabia to be attacked and taken, in spite of the fact that our instructions were not to undertake any such operations before the end of May.
    Indeed, Rommel's instructions had been given for good reason. Adequate supply was only possible for 5th Light division alone until the end of May, and even then, petrol shortages would limit their operations.

    Regardless, by the 2nd of April, 5th Light moved forward along the Via Balbia, with the Italians close behind, taking Agedabia, and opening the way to Benghazi. By the 3rd of April, it was all over, and Agedabia was in Axis hands, 12 miles east of it to be exact. Rommel shifted his HQ, noting that the British "
    "..seemed to be evacuating Cyrenaica."
    We have already noted why, but editor Liddel Hart spells it out for us now...

    Wavell became anxious about the risks he had taken from the moment Rommel's advanced force retook El Agheila. Gen.Neame was instructed to fall back on a position near Benghazi if he was pressed, and given permission to evacuate the port if necessary. Immediately after the capture of Agedabia on the 2nd of April, hurried orders were given for the abandonment of Benghazi, and a retreat eastward, with the idea of keeping the forces intact. But in the confusion of the retreat they soon disintegrated
    British intentions to fall back on Tobruk should have been obvious to Rommel by now. Justification of speed follows in his "Papers"...

    By this time, we had taken 800 British prisoners. the British apparently intended to avoid, in any circumstance, fighting a decisive action; so that afternoon, I decided to stay on the heels of the retreating enemy and make a bid to sieze the whole of Cyrenaica at one stroke. With this intention, I immmediately put an advance party of the 'Ariete', under the command of Colonel Fabris, on the march for Ben Gania and gave orders for the 5th Light to push 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion forward along the Via Balbia toward Benghazi. General Streich had some misgivings on account of the state of his vehicles, but I could not allow this to affect the issue. One cannot permit such unique opportunities to slip by for the sake of such trifles.




    Alas, time is against me in this part of the world. its 3:21 AM, and I must close shop...

    But i haven't finished this by a long shot yet....

    Meantime, comment away. I'll save my replies until I've actually finished posting the rest, but this should be sometime tomorrow, so you have all day to sharpen sword, before we commence battle, locking horns, swapping quotes, and other of the things we all like to do best.

    If you disagree, comment away! Thats what we are here for.

    If you agree, comment also. I'm the one posting, so I accept the fact that not everyone is going to agree. thats life.

    All comments welcome in the House of Claudius Drusus Nero...
    19
    Do you think that Rommel's reputation is far in excess of his battlefield performance?
    78.95%
    15
    Do you think that this thread should be closed as "CASE PROVEN?"
    21.05%
    4
    Last edited by panther3485; 10 Dec 16, 09:30.
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  • #2
    I disagree,because one is going from the positive extreme to the negative extreme .
    After the war, it was fashion to represent Rommel as Rommel the Great who would have conquered the ME but was prevented to do this by the coward Italians and the stupis Hitler .

    Now it is fashion to represent Rommel as a stupid one,who was even not very good as a divisional commander .

    Both extremes are wrong ; Rommel was no genious,but he was also no minus habens who deserved his career on his ties with Hitler and the nazis .

    Besides, it is all not very important : there were no military genius in WWII,and Rommel or an other in NA ,or Rommel obeying the orders from Berlin : the outcome would be the same .

    Military genius do not win wars : we know how Bonaparte ended .

    Comment


    • #3
      While I agree that there are myths surrounding all the most popular historical figures, that shouldn't overshadow those that preformed exceptionally well. The Germans are not known for handing out military decorations like candy. The Pour Le Merite would not have been awarded to a Company grade officer had he not rightfully earned it. Sorry, but Rommel was much more than a myth.
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      • #4
        I read this article last month and I was not sure what was the point of it. It was just a short editorial.

        The Halder Diary has some indicators: In 1941/1942, the NA theater is given around the same space as 2 armies on the eastern front (giving the impression that top leadership was highly distracted). The german strategic leadership is negatively commented on in more than one occasion as delusional.

        Halder mentions Rommel occasionally either: noting of successes (halder left in the fall of 1942), noting of disagreements and his bureaucratic subterfuge (halder did not like him)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ljadw View Post
          I disagree,because one is going from the positive extreme to the negative extreme .
          I chalked it up as an attempt to sell magazines. The actual article (which is also the cover of the magazine) is only around 2 pages long.

          What is notable to me is the author of the article. He is a retired Major General that is a scholar/big fan of german combat methods. I have a copy of his tome on stormtrooper tactics of 1918. Besides publishing his own books, he writes the forward comments of many books.

          Comment


          • #6
            I believe it is good to challenge the myths surrounding historical figures occasionally.
            Creating the opertunity for spirited defense of someone does not mean you are necessarily defaming the person.
            Every general, admiral, or highly decorated military hero as well as every famous political leaders deserves nothing less than our sincere scrutiny.
            Let the fun begin!
            Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

            Comment


            • #7
              Nothing wrong with short articles.

              why say something in 600 pages when you can say the same thing in three?

              i'm a fan of short stories for the same reason. some of the best literature i've ever read were science fiction short stories, where universes were created in your head, from a few well chosen words.

              William Harrison's "Rollerball Murder" is one such a work. 8 pages that make you think, rather than 800 pages of 'puff'.

              Zabecki is an historian that I have had cause to quote before. There is nothing in his article for MH that is anything but direct and to the point.

              I thought i would have a look through "The rommel Papers" just to see how much of it from Zabecki dovetails with rommel.

              and a surprising amount actually does.

              I'll be using the following sources, apart from Zabecki's article.

              The rommel Papers by B.H. Liddel Hart.
              Alfred a. nofi's essay on the "Mediterranian War at Sea"
              Correlli Barnett's collection of essays by various authours, "Hitler's Generals"

              And a couple of other general reference works one by Brig. gen shelford bidwell

              And B.H. Liddel Harts, "The Other Side of the Hill"

              I intend to show you that Zabecki's assertions are actually well founded.

              The German General staff complained endlessly about Erwin rommel. It's time we listen to them, rather than to the echoes of the Goebells machine.

              anyway, i'll finish it tomorrow, its late here and my wife is whinging about me spending too much time on the computer.

              See yas both tomorrow. and I hope to hear from you at length. Having dismissed Zabecki as 'too short" you have no choice now! (he he!)
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              • #8
                Rommel's complaints of lack of support is founded on solid ground. They being unable or willing as the case may be in keeping him and the Italian units supplied in a timely fashion. As far as the General Staff they agreed with anything and every thing Hitler wanted, to include the Battle of the Bulge. I dismiss their opinion.
                "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I would not use Liddell Hart,Barnett and the Rommel Papers .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 101combatvet View Post
                    While I agree that there are myths surrounding all the most popular historical figures, that shouldn't overshadow those that preformed exceptionally well. The Germans are not known for handing out military decorations like candy. The Pour Le Merite would not have been awarded to a Company grade officer had he not rightfully earned it. Sorry, but Rommel was much more than a myth.
                    2 points

                    1) A lieutenant with a PLM does not automatically make a good general .

                    2) Blumenson is wrong when he writes that the PLM was normally reserved for senior generals : a lot of senior generals got the PLM,but also simple lieutenants as Rommel, Schörner, Ernst Jünger .

                    The PLM was given for

                    a) big military successes

                    b) acts of exceptional bravoure .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Rommels feat was a triumph of on-the-spot improvisation. But he was essentially facing a beaten foe from the outset of Caporetto, and over 30miles of defences were gobbled up in quick time, principally by German officers just like Rommel bypassing centers of resistance for a change, rather than taking every redoubt and strongpoint head-on.
                      False.
                      Italian morale' may have been at a lot point, but they were not beaten then and they got their revenge a year later on the same ground. In fact that ground had been seized by them, from the Austrians, in a series of successful attacks. Half of the 100 x 100 mile territory gained in that attack was former Austrian territory.
                      Capporeto was huge, but Italy rebounded stronger than it had been before.

                      Strike one for this little article.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A lot have been written (negatively) about Rommel's neglecting of the orders from Berlin in the summer of 1941,when he advanced farther to the east than was allowed,and it has been claimed that this was the reason for the axis defeat in the winter of 41/42 .

                        This is very questionable because I see no causal effect and one can argue that if Rommel had not advanced to the border with Egypt, he also would have been compelled to withdrawn .

                        The point is (and a lot of people do not understand this) that the Axis position in NA was untenable ,because the Axis would be overwhelmed by the British build-up ,unless Axis was attacking BEFORE Britain was ready .

                        As in other theaters, time was running against the Axis ,and the Axis was condemned to attack .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                          Rommel's complaints of lack of support is founded on solid ground. They being unable or willing as the case may be in keeping him and the Italian units supplied in a timely fashion. As far as the General Staff they agreed with anything and every thing Hitler wanted, to include the Battle of the Bulge. I dismiss their opinion.
                          Both can be dismissed :

                          after the war,the surviving German generals blamed the dead ones and Hitler .


                          during the war,they (including Rommel) blamed their allies ,the usual attitude when one is losing : for 1940 the British blamed the French and the French blamed the Belgians . Some one must become the Black Jack .

                          The fact is that Rommel had no reason at all to blame the Italians for NA, neither that he had any reason to blame Berlin . If he wanted to blame someone, he should have blamed the British .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ljadw View Post
                            Both can be dismissed :

                            after the war,the surviving German generals blamed the dead ones and Hitler .


                            during the war,they (including Rommel) blamed their allies ,the usual attitude when one is losing : for 1940 the British blamed the French and the French blamed the Belgians . Some one must become the Black Jack .

                            The fact is that Rommel had no reason at all to blame the Italians for NA, neither that he had any reason to blame Berlin . If he wanted to blame someone, he should have blamed the British .
                            The British blamed the French?

                            Back on topic, Rommel was probably over promoted, just like Patton. Both were exceptional armoured division commanders, both better than Monty, and who knew that once victory is in sight, rolling up the enemy quickly is what is important. However, getting the victory is more important, which is why we need men like Bradley and Monty more often, although they were less tabloid friendly.
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                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                              Rommel's complaints of lack of support is founded on solid ground. They being unable or willing as the case may be in keeping him and the Italian units supplied in a timely fashion. As far as the General Staff they agreed with anything and every thing Hitler wanted, to include the Battle of the Bulge. I dismiss their opinion.
                              Every general complains about those things. But in Rommels case he had Hitler to deal with.
                              Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

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