Best Army Commander of the WW2 Allies - Page 7




View Poll Results :Which Allied General/Field Marshall Outshone the Rest??
Field Marshal Bernard Law Viscount Montgomery (United Kingdom) 5 13.16%
General George Smith Patton (United States of America) 14 36.84%
Marshal of Soviet Union Georgii K. Zhukov (Soviet Union) 9 23.68%
Field Marshal Gustaf Mannerheim (Finland) 2 5.26%
General of the Army Dwight David Eisenhower (United States of America) 8 21.05%
Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

 
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January 7th, 2005  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashes
Glantz says that the Red Army's 1944 Operation Bagration, was a stunning sequence of multi-front strategic offensives and pincer movements, and remains a feat unmatched in the history of warfare.
It was the biggest defeat ever suffered by Germany, over 500,000 casualties, twice as many as Stalingrad.
Well, that doesn't even begin to compare to the numerical carnage suffered by the Soviets in Barbarossa, so I'd say Glantz is probably wrong. Additionally, the USSR had a very stacked deck in their favor by 1944.

The numerical advantage held by the USSR in 1941 was insane. Germany success was as unlikely as Lennox Lewis getting is butt kicked by a 70 year old lady, but it happened anyway. Bagatration demonstrated that the Red Army had learned execute mechanized modern warfare superbly, but its still Lennox Lewis beating the crap out of a 70 year old lady and not as impressive IMHO.

Quote:
There's not much doubt that Zhukov didn't seem to worry about casualties, but would anyone else have been able to do better?
The Germans were very good after all, take the ultra cautious Monty or Bradley on the Eastern front for instance, and the war might still be going on today.

Or MacArthur, well, he was caught with his pants down in the Philipines, I think Inchon was his master stroke.

Perhaps Patton, he was a nutter, but he sure could handle armoured divisions, he was more like his German adversaries, took a lot of risks. He could get away with it on the smaller scale Western front, with the marvelous logistics the Americans were famous for, but on the giant Eastern front, if he stuck his neck out like he often did, he might have got it cut off, like the Russians did at Kharkov.

All in all, best or not, I still stick with Zhukov as the main man for the Allies, and the most importent commander of the war.


Cheers Ashes.
1.) How would the Red Army's fortunes have improved if we give them a commander that has some shred of consideration for the lives of his soldiers? Well, Mars alone saw the complete waste of tanks, men and equipment. Operational effectiveness of the Red Army was diminished each and every time they took staggerly disproportionate losses in both men and equipment. Take those losses away and they could have been used more intelligently and done more damage to Germany in the long run. I think the war would have ended sooner with any one of them: Bradley, Patton, Monty, Macarthur.

2.) Your greatly overstating Montgomery's tendency to hesitate, but granted. This may have slowed things down somewhat. Bradley didn't really have that problem so I'm not sure why your applying that to him.

3.) Your making the assumption that Patton was an idiot where he wasn't. Far, far from it. Sure he was aggressive. So was Rommel. So was Guderian. So was Manstein. All of those men also knew what they were doing and weren't about to be encircled easily. They knew that the modern battlefield was fluid and they knew when aggression and attack were appropriate and when they were not. Consider the potential of German Blitzkrieg meeting Russian Counter-Blitzkrieg from 1941 on. Sure, Patton wasn't equal to Germany's best, but give him that kind of numerical superiority over the Germans with that kind of quality of tanks and we're talking about a lot shorter war on the Eastern Front.

4.) The greatest advantage that Zhukov has on all the rest is experience in modern warfare, but he never seems to have learned not to waste the lives of his men and unnecessarily sacrifice equipment. He often attacked when and where he shouldn't have, and his men paid the price for it. In many cases, all he needed to do was redirect his forces or deploy them differently and it would have saved countless lives. Sorry, but I have a very hard time respecting a man who had such small a regard for the lives of his men.
January 7th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010
Quote:
There's not much doubt that Zhukov didn't seem to worry about casualties, but would anyone else have been able to do better?
The Germans were very good after all, take the ultra cautious Monty or Bradley on the Eastern front for instance, and the war might still be going on today.

Or MacArthur, well, he was caught with his pants down in the Philipines, I think Inchon was his master stroke.

Perhaps Patton, he was a nutter, but he sure could handle armoured divisions, he was more like his German adversaries, took a lot of risks. He could get away with it on the smaller scale Western front, with the marvelous logistics the Americans were famous for, but on the giant Eastern front, if he stuck his neck out like he often did, he might have got it cut off, like the Russians did at Kharkov.

All in all, best or not, I still stick with Zhukov as the main man for the Allies, and the most importent commander of the war.


Cheers Ashes.
1.) How would the Red Army's fortunes have improved if we give them a commander that has some shred of consideration for the lives of his soldiers? Well, Mars alone saw the complete waste of tanks, men and equipment. Operational effectiveness of the Red Army was diminished each and every time they took staggerly disproportionate losses in both men and equipment. Take those losses away and they could have been used more intelligently and done more damage to Germany in the long run. I think the war would have ended sooner with any one of them: Bradley, Patton, Monty, Macarthur.
I'm not so sure about Macarthur and I'm definitely sure that Monty would not have ended the war sooner. Monty was too cautious and not well suited to directing armored operations. Although very capable, neither Bradley nor Patton were dealing with the forces of the size that Zhukov routinely was. Operational effectiveness of the Red Army wasn't taken away each time because they had the resources to replace their losses. I don't agree with Ashes that Zhukov was the best Allied Commander but he was well up there and he definitely had a real flair for conducting large scale mobile operations. But then so did Konev and he's not given nearly the same prestige as Zhukov.

There's also a school of thought that the Red Army casualty rates were an necessary evil to evict a skilled and determined aggressor. Certainly the Wehrmacht was and despite the average quality level of the German soldier decreasing from 1941 onwards they were still able to out-soldier their Soviet counterparts in almost every way. You know as well as I do that the Western Allies did not face the best that Germany had to offer and so you cannot directly compare operations on the Western Front compared with those on the Eastern Front.

I think you're dismissing Zhukov a little too much. He was a fine strategic commander despite Operation Mars and his tendency to rely on brute force. The bottom line is that Zhukov, Konev et al got the job done. From 1943 onwards they achieved most of their objectives. The fact that Germany, despite being pushed backwards and outnumbered in every conceivable way, were still able to inflict severe casualties says as much about the quality of their troops as it does about the shortcomings of Soviet strategy. Perhaps a Western Allied commander would have gotten the job done with lower casualties, but as to quicker, that's not something I can agree with.
January 7th, 2005  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Monty is the only one that I have reservations about, but he wouldn't have been so wasteful and he wouldn't have been such a detriment to the Red Army's operational effectiveness.
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January 7th, 2005  
CABAL
 
 
It's based on the commander's effeciency. I would put Erwin Rommel as the best commander of World War II but unfortunetly he is an Axis Commander. Or possibly, when the war is nearing to an end, Rommel look towards the Allied side.....or maybe I'm speculating.
January 7th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabal
It's based on the commander's effeciency. I would put Erwin Rommel as the best commander of World War II but unfortunetly he is an Axis Commander. Or possibly, when the war is nearing to an end, Rommel look towards the Allied side.....or maybe I'm speculating.
Yes Rommel is an Axis Commander and never fought for the Allies at all so he's ineligible. In any case, Rommel isn't even the best Axis commander but there's another thread for that.
January 7th, 2005  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppelganger
I think you're dismissing Zhukov a little too much. He was a fine strategic commander despite Operation Mars and his tendency to rely on brute force. The bottom line is that Zhukov, Konev et al got the job done. From 1943 onwards they achieved most of their objectives. The fact that Germany, despite being pushed backwards and outnumbered in every conceivable way, were still able to inflict severe casualties says as much about the quality of their troops as it does about the shortcomings of Soviet strategy. Perhaps a Western Allied commander would have gotten the job done with lower casualties, but as to quicker, that's not something I can agree with.
I'll agree that I'm under rating Zhukov. It has a lot to do with the fact that Zhukov is always sold as being this super incredible military genius. That's what gets sold to you in history classes and in general. He's "equal to the German generals" or "the only commander smart enough to twart Germany's Blitzkrieg" and so on.

When you start learning more facts, you come off pretty disappointed. You're right that the disproportionate casualties from Zhukov and the Red Army's operations are a definitely a credit to how good the Germans truly were, but you and I both know that Zhukov needlessly sacrificed equipment, men and his own Army's strength over and over and over. Yes he was a tactical and strategic genius. He was aggressive and that attribute fits him for success on the Eastern Front. He also made some completely unnecessary sacrifices, and he did so (off and on) all the way to Berlin.

You're right that Patton and the others never commanded on the scale that Zhukov did, but that doesn't mean they couldn't have done a better job.

Monty, I agree with you ... hesitantly. He was slow on the attack, which is a fatal flaw for the Ostfront, but he did attack. He also would have preserved much more of the Red Army's opperational effectiveness, and this may have led to slower progress at first, but a quicker collapse later on. Monty ... I'm not gonna stand by that one as absolute.
January 10th, 2005  
Ashes
 
G'day fellas.
Just a few thoughts.

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Well, that doesn't even begin to compare to the numerical carnage suffered by the Soviets in Barbarossa, so I'd say Glantz is probably wrong. Additionally, the USSR had a very stacked deck in their favor by 1944.

The numerical advantage held by the USSR in 1941 was insane. Germany success was as unlikely as Lennox Lewis getting is butt kicked by a 70 year old lady, but it happened anyway. Bagatration demonstrated that the Red Army had learned execute mechanized modern warfare superbly, but its still Lennox Lewis beating the crap out of a 70 year old lady and not as impressive IMHO.
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Gee, I dont know about those statements, godofthunder.

First you seem to be comparing the casualties of the whole Eastern front war with one campaign, then to say that one of the foremost western experts on the Eastern front is wrong, is a pretty big call.

As for the insane Russian numerical advantage in 1941, I've found the following figures.....

22 June 1941
Soviet: 2,680,000 on the front.
Axis: 3,117,000 Germans+500,000 Finns+150,000 Romanians (in fact around 350,000) so a total of 3,967,000. To these forces the Hungarian and Slovak troops added after 26 June 1941.

11 September 1941
Soviet: 3,463,000 on the front.
Axis: 3,382,000 Germans+500,000 Finns+150,000 Romanians (in fact around 306,000) so a total of 4,188,000 plus the Hungarian, Italian and Slovak expeditionary corps.

1 November 1941
Soviet: 2,200,000 on the front.
Axis: 2,867,000 Germans+500,000 Finns+150,000 Romanians (finally a closer figure to the real one: 62,000 on the front+103,000 as occupation forces in Trans-Dnestra) so a total of 3,532,000 plus the Hungarian, Italian and Slovak expeditionary corps.

1 December 1941*
Soviet: 4,197,000 on the front.
Axis: 2,767,000 Germans+500,000 Finns+140,000 Romanians (60,000 on the front+112,000 as occupation forces in Trans-Dnestra) so a total of 3,439,000 plus the Hungarian, Italian and Slovak expeditionary corps.

*From here on, the Red Army had a continuous numerical advantage over the Wehrmacht and its smaller allies.
Plus the Russians had several Million men on the Manchurin front, untill called back by Stalin. Note the increase from Nov. [which was the low point for the Russians] to Dec.

**************************** *********************************

So I think the only insane thing is how the heck the Russians survived '41, let alone winning the war.

Could that man Zhukov have had something to do with it?


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Mars alone saw the complete waste of tanks, men and equipment. Operational effectiveness of the Red Army was diminished each and every time they took staggerly disproportionate losses in both men and equipment.
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I'm not sure it was a complete waste, granted it was a serious setback for the Russians, but if they didn't attack, there was a possibility that Army group center could have syphoned off men for Stalingrad.
And as I said, the Germans took quite a battering too.
While causing heavy Soviet casualties, the German divisions themselves were fought to a frazzle. It was no coincidence that several months later Model asked for and received permission to abandon the Rzhev salient. He and his army could ill afford another such victory.

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I think the war would have ended sooner with any one of them: Bradley, Patton, Monty, Macarthur.
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I think Doppleganger nailed that one.

Patton and quite a few other American officers thought that Bradley was to conservative and over cautious.



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Your making the assumption that Patton was an idiot where he wasn't. Far, far from it.
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Perhaps I didn't explain that very well.

I meant that Patton was almost certifiable, a few cans short of a six pack, a sandwich short of a picnic, a.... well you get my drift.

He sincerely believed that he lived as a warrior through the ages as a viking, as a Roman leigonaire in Ceasers terrible 10th Legion, died on the plains of Troy, and fell in the battle of Crecy in the 100 years war.
Also from the extract below it's obvious he wasn't the sort of person that you could admire......




"He was a successful general, but he was also a racist of the rawest and most vicious kind. His own writings show that he was convinced of the superiority of Northwestern Europeans, except the Irish, and was convinced of the inferiority of nonwhites. He also hated Jews and called Holocaust survivors "subhumans". While such views were widespread in the officer corps in the 1920's and '30's, Patton carried them to an extreme which hindered his ability to effectively act in the occupation of Germany. He was so far over the edge that you would say that he probably believed in Nordic superiority more than most of Hitler's generals did. One good source for the history of antiSemitism in the Army is a book called "The 'Jewish Threat' ". It is quite a shocker. While he served his country bravely, we should never forget that indirectly attitudes such as those held by Patton and Lindbergh might have helped to prevent America from confronting Hitler or offering timely assistance to those he would go on to murder. "

....... But this doesn't mean he wasn't a great commander.


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Sorry, but I have a very hard time respecting a man who had such small a regard for the lives of his men.
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Yes, it would have been great if the Whermacht could have been beaten without the huge sacrifices of the Russian soldiers, and perhaps others could have done it with lower casualties, but I dont think that many commanders in history didn't sacrifice their men at sometime for one reason or another, even Lee at Gettysburg sacrificed Pickets division in a vain attack on the Union lines.

Anyway fellas, i'm not claiming that Zhukov was some sort of military genius, just happened to be man of the hour when Russia needed one when they were on their knees.
And the most important commander of the war IMHO.

Also, dont you think that the c-in-c's get too much lime light?
They set up the plans, but it's the field commanders, and the poor old foot slogger that do the dirty work to make them succeed.

Bye the way, godofthunder who did you vote as the best Allied commander?


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January 10th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashes
G'day fellas.
Just a few thoughts.


__________________________________________________ _________________________________________

Well, that doesn't even begin to compare to the numerical carnage suffered by the Soviets in Barbarossa, so I'd say Glantz is probably wrong. Additionally, the USSR had a very stacked deck in their favor by 1944.

The numerical advantage held by the USSR in 1941 was insane. Germany success was as unlikely as Lennox Lewis getting is butt kicked by a 70 year old lady, but it happened anyway. Bagatration demonstrated that the Red Army had learned execute mechanized modern warfare superbly, but its still Lennox Lewis beating the crap out of a 70 year old lady and not as impressive IMHO.
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________



Gee, I dont know about those statements, godofthunder.

First you seem to be comparing the casualties of the whole Eastern front war with one campaign, then to say that one of the foremost western experts on the Eastern front is wrong, is a pretty big call.

As for the insane Russian numerical advantage in 1941, I've found the following figures.....

22 June 1941
Soviet: 2,680,000 on the front.
Axis: 3,117,000 Germans+500,000 Finns+150,000 Romanians (in fact around 350,000) so a total of 3,967,000. To these forces the Hungarian and Slovak troops added after 26 June 1941.

11 September 1941
Soviet: 3,463,000 on the front.
Axis: 3,382,000 Germans+500,000 Finns+150,000 Romanians (in fact around 306,000) so a total of 4,188,000 plus the Hungarian, Italian and Slovak expeditionary corps.

1 November 1941
Soviet: 2,200,000 on the front.
Axis: 2,867,000 Germans+500,000 Finns+150,000 Romanians (finally a closer figure to the real one: 62,000 on the front+103,000 as occupation forces in Trans-Dnestra) so a total of 3,532,000 plus the Hungarian, Italian and Slovak expeditionary corps.

1 December 1941*
Soviet: 4,197,000 on the front.
Axis: 2,767,000 Germans+500,000 Finns+140,000 Romanians (60,000 on the front+112,000 as occupation forces in Trans-Dnestra) so a total of 3,439,000 plus the Hungarian, Italian and Slovak expeditionary corps.

*From here on, the Red Army had a continuous numerical advantage over the Wehrmacht and its smaller allies.
Plus the Russians had several Million men on the Manchurin front, untill called back by Stalin. Note the increase from Nov. [which was the low point for the Russians] to Dec.

**************************** *********************************

So I think the only insane thing is how the heck the Russians survived '41, let alone winning the war.

Could that man Zhukov have had something to do with it?
Hi Ashes. I have a couple of questions for you.

1. What source did you get those figures from?

2. You appear to be listing Soviet forces that fronted the Wehrmacht but including the whole of the Wehrmacht when they clearly had obligations elsewhere too. Little unfair?

Generally, the armed strength of the Wehrmacht at the start of Operation Barbarossa is listed as some 3,400,000 men compared with the 4,700,000 men of the Red Army. You're right to dispute Godofthunder's claims as although the Red Army was numerically superior, it only had some 178 divisions on it's western front on June 22nd compared with some 153 German and 47 Satellite divisions. However, the Red Army did have a big numerical advantage in tanks and overall was some 1,300,000 men stronger. Moreover, the Red Army reserves were larger than those of the Wehrmacht, which was already getting to it's operational limit. So in the overall scheme of things the Germans were outnumbered and this became steadily more important as the war went on.

It's a little bit naughty to include the Finns, as they were only concerned with reclaiming territories lost during the Winter War and really did not support Army Group North much at all. Also, the performance of the German satellite divisions were generally inferior to the German ones, with 3 satellite divisions required to do the job of 2 German ones.

As for the Soviets surviving 1941 that was done to 3 major reasons, none of them to do with Zhukov. Those were:

1. Hitler's delay in launching Barbarossa until June 22nd.

2. Hitler's decision to divert Army Group Centre away from Moscow to assist Army Group South to capture the Ukraine in August.

3. Hitler's decision not to put German industry on a war footing as he wanted to 'spare the German people the rigours of war."

By the time Zhukov arrived with the 25 Siberian divisions the Wehrmacht had already lost the chance to take Moscow in 1941. Don't get me wrong though. Zhukov played a big role in the winter counteroffensive that threw the Germans back and nearly broke them. If it wasn't for German commanders like Guderian who ignored Hitler's insane 'stand or die' orders he might have done just that.
January 10th, 2005  
Anya1982
 
 

Topic: weeeehooomooooooo


wow after all this I could of obtained a degree huh
January 10th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 

Topic: Re: weeeehooomooooooo


Quote:
Originally Posted by Anya1982
wow after all this I could of obtained a degree huh
haha. Probably. 8)