About Worst "Commander" of WWII?
|February 2nd, 2007||#1|
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Worst "Commander" of WWII? info
Even defining this question is tough. Is a poor general someone who is just defeated in the operational sense of the word, or does the manner of the defeat count? What if the victor has overwhelming numbers or just extreme luck? Is General "Murphy" (as in Murphy's law) a poor general? Probably, but there must be a list of poor commanders. Anyone know something about this issue?
I can name one moron. Göring. That oaf -- the head of the German airforce -- refused to listen to men like Adolf Galland and made strange decisions that clashed with both his own experience and any rational logic. Göring was a fighter pilot in WWI. He should have understood the importance of local air superiority. Yet, when men like Galland argued for a large expansion of the German fighter wing in 1940 at the expense of the Stukas and tactical bombers, he turned them down. Germany lost the air war, in small part, because of Göring's stand against the fighter arm. Galland was frustrated.
|February 2nd, 2007||#2|
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I'll second Hermann Goring. Probably the best friend the Allies ever had.
1. He spent most of his time on Vacation and stealing treasures from countries the Nazis occupied than actually at his job.
2. Was primarily responsible for the petty feuds between the Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht (Regular German Army). For example insisted that the Fallshirmjagers (Airborne) be under Luftwaffe control instead of under Wehrmacht control. This of course meant that the Fallshirmjagers took orders from him and not Army High Command. Which meant they were out of control, out of communication with the rest of the ground forces.
3. His poisonous relationship was partially responsible for the suicide of the real architect of the Luftwaffe, Ernst Udet.
4. Was responsible for the delay of the German X-Gen Fighters such as the ME-262, the He-163 and the Ta-152.
5. Insisted that the Luftwaffe update obsolete airframes like the Me-109 and the JU-87 despite the fact that they were totally obsolete by 1943. Compared to what the British, US and Russians were rolling off the assembly lines.
6. Played a role (with Hitler) in ending the German strategic bomber program. Relied to much on Medium and Dive bombers. He also hindered progress on German long Range Fighters (which was a costly error during BoB).
7. Lied to Hitler about the Luftwaffe ability to resupply 6th Army at Stalingrad. He didn't even have half that transport planes he needed. Didn't stop him from lying about it though.
Interesting facts I found while I was double checking my facts:
Werner Goring was his nephew who emigrated to the USA. He flew 48 bombing Missions over Germany in a B-17. (His co-pilot had secret orders to shoot him should he try and land in Germany).
Henchz Goring was a cousin living in Poland. He was killed because he refused to abandon his Polish Neighbors who were about to be exterminated by the SS Death Squads.
I Guess the Goring tree did bear a few good fruit...
"My center is giving way, my right is in retreat situation excellent. I shall attack." -Foch
I am from NYC. I fly a French flag because I work in Paris.
|February 2nd, 2007||#3|
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I would say in addition to Goring all the main 'political' chiefs had a strong case for being the worst senior commander. That is Churchill, Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler. The removal of any of these from direct military control would have made it far harder for the opposition. Of these, only Stalin eventually handed over military control to his generals. American strategy was relatively sound because Roosevelt largely left the Military situation up to his top commanders, but was unsoundly influenced by Churchill.
Of the more direct Military commanders, the following would have been good contenders
(actually I have changed my mind on the Italians) there are several here including Graziani. However how about General Maleti who got lost inside his own territory, nearly ran out of water and had to abandon the offensive after running out of fuel going round in circles?
Lieutenant General Arthur Percival, with poor defensive preparations, particularly spreading his men too thinly in Malaya.
Major general Fredendall. He was amateurish, and too arrogant with a Hollywood mentality. He lived lavishly rather than getting up to the front line
However, if I had to choose a incompetent military commander (for want of a better name)
Marshal Semyon Budenny, with ideas rooted in the past and little military skill, charging at everything. Effectively a political crony of Stalin which is why he survived the purge
Of course all of these substantially underestimated the enemy
I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters. Frank Lloyd Wright
Last edited by perseus; February 2nd, 2007 at 19:15..
|February 2nd, 2007||#4|
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However it is his younger brother Albert Goering who has recently become even more well known as a humanitarian. He loathed all of Nazism's inhumanity and at the risk of his career, fortune and life, used his name and connections to save many Jews and gentiles.
Albert Goering is credited with many acts of kindness, small and large. Even today survivors remember once he took off his jacket, went down on his knees, and scrubbed a sidewalk together with Jews who were ordered by the Nazis to do so in public as a humiliation.
When Albert was stationed in Bucharest, Rumania, two Nazi officers saw him standing on a balcony and recognized him as the brother of Hermann Goering. They did the Nazi salute 'Heil Hitler' in front of him, but Albert coldly replied 'you can kiss my ass ...'
|February 3rd, 2007||#5|
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"An Emperor is subject to no-one but God and justice."
Frederick 1, Barbarossa
|February 3rd, 2007||#6|
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Since poor Axis Commanders were good for the United States of America, I'm going to say that Allied General Alexander was, in my opinion, one of the worst commanders of World War II (in a bad way).
The Bombing of Monte Cassino being one of the greatest examples of General Alexander's poor decisions.
★INITIAL SUCCESS✫or✫TOTAL FAILURE★
|February 5th, 2007||#7|
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However back to topic, I agree with both Perseus and Doppleganger Marshal Semyon Budenny would get my vote as worst commander of WW2
We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation. ~Francois De La Rochefoucauld
Last edited by MontyB; February 5th, 2007 at 01:06..
|February 5th, 2007||#8|
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You most likely know more about General Freyberg than I.
I had thought that while General Freyberg wanted to do the deed, along with others, that in the end the decision fell to General Alexander.
|February 5th, 2007||#9|
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Alexander was overall campaign commander but it was Freyberg that lobbied for the monastery's bombing Alexander gave it the go ahead so there is no doubt he has to bear some responsibility just not all.
This is section I scanned from the book CASSINO - The Hollow Victory
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