Best Army Commander of the WW2 Allies - Page 9




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 12th, 2005  
Ashes
 
Hi again fellas.
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________

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.
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________

I came across a site that had the numbers of the peak strength of armies, and casualty lists of every war and conflict of the 20th century.

It took figures from up to 5 or 6 reputable sources, and almost every time the figures didn't tally.
In fact, sometimes the figures were so far apart, I wondered if they were talking about the same war.

Probably just a waste of time citing just one set of figures, suppose we should put up several differing sources, but then who do you believe?







__________________________________________________ _________________________________________I
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.
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________


Well,i'm not sure about that Doppleganger, as you say, the Finns may have just been trying to reclaim lost territories, but those 400,000 men,led by a pretty good commander in Mannerheim, [ who wasen't an allied conmmander by the way ] aided by Von Falkenhorsts German divisions, may not have been under direct control of Army Group North, but they were supporting the Germans in fighting, killing, and tying down 15 Russian divisions.





__________________________________________________ __________________________________________

By the time Zhukov arrived with the 25 Siberian divisions the Wehrmacht had already lost the chance to take Moscow in 1941.
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________


Cripes, you make it sound as though Zhukov just strolled in at the head of the Siberian divisions when the battle was over.
You stated in another post " Zhukov played a vital role at the Battle of Moscow, so I give him full credit for that ".
From the info I have, he was organising the defenses that stopped the Germans around Moscow from October 7th.

As Clarke states,
Although the Germans were closest to Moscow in the north and centre, the real danger for the red army was farther south, where the country was more open, and where almost without tanks, Zuhkov was faced by the whole of Guderian's 2nd panzer army. At this stage in the battle Zuhkov had only one independent tank force left, the 4th Armoured brigade of Colonel Katukov.

Katukov took on the 4th panzer division and chopped it up, and Gurderian was stopped near Tula.
The first Siberian divisions started to arrive in November, just in time for the Germans last lunge at Moscow.





The reasons Germany lost the war. __________________________________________________ __________________________________________

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."
__________________________________________________ _________________________________________


Yes,Hitler interfering are the most often quoted reasons, but quoting Clarke once more,
It is often asked could the Germans have won the war if they had not made certain mistakes.
The general answer I believe is that the Russians also made huge mistakes.
Which is the more absurd....to allow, with the wisdom of hindsight, an immaculate German campaign against a Russian resistance still plagued by those blunders and follies that arose in the heat and urgency of battle, or to correct both and to reset the board in an atmosphere of complete fantasy, of each side making the correct move like a chess text, when " white must win "? "


Some commanders say that defeating as much of the enemies army as possible on the field is the most important thing, while others [ including yourself by all accounts ] believe that territory and major objectives are more importent.

And what may have happened if the Germans succeeded in breaking in to Moscow?
A larger Stalingrad perhaps?


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




__________________________________________________ __________________________________________

The problem with the official numbers for the Red Army is simple: The USSR lied. We do not have a reliable source for the numbers on the Red Army. Strange at it may seem, the German tally was the best resource for guessing their actual numbers
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________

And you dont think the Germans may have fibbed, or 'guessed' wrong at times.

After all, the Third Reich, under Hitler, made up some of the biggest lies and deceits in history.





__________________________________________________ _________________________________________

Estimated numbers on the Red Army as of the beginning of Operation Barbossa: 14,000,000 in manpower, 21,000 tanks, 15,000 combat aircraft. Some of that was deployed to counter operations by the Japanese, but the vast bulk of that force was deployed in the East _

In 1941, the Wehrmacht enterned the USSR with a maximum of 4,000 tanks, 4,000 combat aircraft and roughly 3,500,000 in manpower. In that year, they accounted for at least 6,000,000 Russian POW's, a minimum of 17,000 confirmed tank kills and a minimum of 12,000 confirmed combat aircraft kills. Some tallies of POW are more towards the 9,000,000 man mark, but those may be counting a full year period and not just 1941. Still, 6,000,000 is the minimum number for 1941 alone. Those are Red Army regulars and that does not represent the full total of for the Red Army deployed on the Eastern front throughout 1941 combat.


__________________________________________________ __________________________________________

As I was saying to Doppleganger, figures vary all the time, be very hard to get exact
numbers.
I think your estimated figures might be a tad high, if the Russians lost 9,000,000 men as prisoners alone, in 41/42, then you add those killed, missing and wounded, you're looking at a pretty way out grand total.

The Collins Atlas of the Second World War says that the wartime mobilization of major countries were... U.S.S.R, 20 million. Germany, 10.8 million. German allies, 4.5 million. Japan, 6 million. U.S.A, 12 million. U.K., 4.5 million.

It also says that Russia lost a total of 5 million prisoners for the whole war, and 4 million died in captivity.
As I said, how accurate differant figures are, who knows?
January 12th, 2005  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashes
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________

The problem with the official numbers for the Red Army is simple: The USSR lied. We do not have a reliable source for the numbers on the Red Army. Strange at it may seem, the German tally was the best resource for guessing their actual numbers
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________

And you dont think the Germans may have fibbed, or 'guessed' wrong at times.

After all, the Third Reich, under Hitler, made up some of the biggest lies and deceits in history.





__________________________________________________ _________________________________________

Estimated numbers on the Red Army as of the beginning of Operation Barbossa: 14,000,000 in manpower, 21,000 tanks, 15,000 combat aircraft. Some of that was deployed to counter operations by the Japanese, but the vast bulk of that force was deployed in the East _

In 1941, the Wehrmacht enterned the USSR with a maximum of 4,000 tanks, 4,000 combat aircraft and roughly 3,500,000 in manpower. In that year, they accounted for at least 6,000,000 Russian POW's, a minimum of 17,000 confirmed tank kills and a minimum of 12,000 confirmed combat aircraft kills. Some tallies of POW are more towards the 9,000,000 man mark, but those may be counting a full year period and not just 1941. Still, 6,000,000 is the minimum number for 1941 alone. Those are Red Army regulars and that does not represent the full total of for the Red Army deployed on the Eastern front throughout 1941 combat.
Therein lies the problem. Exactness for the Eastern Front may well be an impossible goal and you see a lot of educated guesses, with their information based on differing sources. Most experts have based much of their writing with the believe that the USSR was being more truthful about their numbers. Consider the fact that they wrote Operation Mars out of existence. The disaster with K19 was erased from existence, although rumors did persist throughout the Cold War. After the Cold War, numerous facts have come to light. I was frustrated at first when I found giant discrepencies in the numbers reported from the various sources.

Quote:
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________

As I was saying to Doppleganger, figures vary all the time, be very hard to get exact
numbers.
I think your estimated figures might be a tad high, if the Russians lost 9,000,000 men as prisoners alone, in 41/42, then you add those killed, missing and wounded, you're looking at a pretty way out grand total.

The Collins Atlas of the Second World War says that the wartime mobilization of major countries were... U.S.S.R, 20 million. Germany, 10.8 million. German allies, 4.5 million. Japan, 6 million. U.S.A, 12 million. U.K., 4.5 million.

It also says that Russia lost a total of 5 million prisoners for the whole war, and 4 million died in captivity.
As I said, how accurate differant figures are, who knows?
The problem with the the mobilization number listed for USSR for mobilization is that according to some sources, they took over 19 million military casualties total ... again the data available to Collins was likely the modified numbers provided by the USSR shortly after the war. That would have left them with less then 1 million after they took Berlin. We know that wasn't the case.

Again, when you trust a source for its numbers, you make conclusions based on those numbers. You annalyze and make conclusions. You make assumptions. You write numerous books with the assumption that the sources you used were truthful. Unfortunately, the USSR lied about the numbers to the point that what they actually had no longer resembled the historical reality. The domino effect of Soviet Propaganda and their modification of the facts has made studying the Eastern Front very very messy.
January 12th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashes
Hi again fellas.
__________________________________________________ _________________________________________I
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.
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________


Well,i'm not sure about that Doppleganger, as you say, the Finns may have just been trying to reclaim lost territories, but those 400,000 men,led by a pretty good commander in Mannerheim, [ who wasen't an allied conmmander by the way ] aided by Von Falkenhorsts German divisions, may not have been under direct control of Army Group North, but they were supporting the Germans in fighting, killing, and tying down 15 Russian divisions.
Heh I am pretty sure that the Finns did little to assist the Germans in Barbarossa. The Finns were concerned only with securing the right bank of the River Svir', securing the Karelian Isthmus which they had conceded in 1940 to the USSR. They did not advance any further than this and this may have been a big factor as to why Army Group North was unable to take Leningrad. Mannerheim was a very good commander agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashes
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________

By the time Zhukov arrived with the 25 Siberian divisions the Wehrmacht had already lost the chance to take Moscow in 1941.
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________


Cripes, you make it sound as though Zhukov just strolled in at the head of the Siberian divisions when the battle was over.
You stated in another post " Zhukov played a vital role at the Battle of Moscow, so I give him full credit for that ".
From the info I have, he was organising the defenses that stopped the Germans around Moscow from October 7th.

As Clarke states,
Although the Germans were closest to Moscow in the north and centre, the real danger for the red army was farther south, where the country was more open, and where almost without tanks, Zuhkov was faced by the whole of Guderian's 2nd panzer army. At this stage in the battle Zuhkov had only one independent tank force left, the 4th Armoured brigade of Colonel Katukov.

Katukov took on the 4th panzer division and chopped it up, and Gurderian was stopped near Tula.
The first Siberian divisions started to arrive in November, just in time for the Germans last lunge at Moscow.
Hardly Ashes! I know Zhukov was in the area from October onwards but by November the Wehrmacht was reaching as Von Claustwitz put it, "the limit of strategic consumption". It was exhausted, spent, battered after months of constant combat, ill-equipped for winter warfare and woefully short on supplies. In short it was there for the taking and the arrival of fresh Soviet Siberian divisions designed and trained for winter warfare meant that a victorious Soviet counter-offensive was a foregone conclusion. I can't see how this can be the mark of a great commander when he had such a superiority, not so much numerically but in the quality, morale and condition of his troops. I think that even Budenny would have pushed the Germans back had he been in command!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashes

The reasons Germany lost the war. __________________________________________________ __________________________________________

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."
__________________________________________________ _________________________________________


Yes,Hitler interfering are the most often quoted reasons, but quoting Clarke once more,
It is often asked could the Germans have won the war if they had not made certain mistakes.
The general answer I believe is that the Russians also made huge mistakes.
Which is the more absurd....to allow, with the wisdom of hindsight, an immaculate German campaign against a Russian resistance still plagued by those blunders and follies that arose in the heat and urgency of battle, or to correct both and to reset the board in an atmosphere of complete fantasy, of each side making the correct move like a chess text, when " white must win "? "


Some commanders say that defeating as much of the enemies army as possible on the field is the most important thing, while others [ including yourself by all accounts ] believe that territory and major objectives are more importent.

And what may have happened if the Germans succeeded in breaking in to Moscow?
A larger Stalingrad perhaps?
I believe that the destruction of enemy armies in the field is very important but yes, the capture of major objectives such as towns which are often the hubs for transport and supply routes as well as being politically valuable assets are the most important goals.

I'm not one of those people who see Hitler as an idiot with no grasp of strategy. This is not true at all. However, he was wholly responsible for the 3 decisions that I listed and those decisions did have a major impact on Barbarossa in 1941. The biggest mistake the USSR made was one of naivety by Stalin when refusing to believe a German attack was imminent. I don't think you acknowledge that even a well prepared Red Army would still have been soundly beaten by the Wehrmacht because of Blitzkrieg tactics. I mean, the British, French, Dutch and Belgian armies were ready and prepared yet they were outfought, out-thought and out maneuvered by the Wehrmacht. Why would the response of the Red Army have been any different?
--
January 13th, 2005  
Pete031
 
 
What about MacArthur?
January 13th, 2005  
FO Seaman
 
 
George S. Patton, Jr.
January 13th, 2005  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete031
What about MacArthur?
I meant to add him the next day along with Bradley and several others but the system wouldn't let me ... and at this point the poll is too far along.
January 14th, 2005  
Ashes
 
Hi again fellas,
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________

I'm not one of those people who see Hitler as an idiot with no grasp of strategy. This is not true at all. However, he was wholly responsible for the 3 decisions that I listed and those decisions did have a major impact on Barbarossa in 1941. The biggest mistake the USSR made was one of naivety by Stalin when refusing to believe a German attack was imminent.
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________

Fully agree that those decisions by Hitler certainly didn't help Germanys cause,
although the mistake by Stalin in refusing to believe the date of the attack, was only one of several big mistakes on Russias side.

First mistake was ripping the heart out of the officer corps.

Only Budenny and Voroshilov survived out of 5 Marshals.

only 5 out of 80 members of the Military districts.

2 out of 15 army commanders.

28 out of 85 corps commanders.

186 out of 406 brigade commanders.

And thousands of junior ranks executed.

Don't think that was an ideal preparation to take on the best war machine in the world, was it?
Or, put it the other way around, if it happened to the German army, how do you think they would have fared? A Manstein, or a Guderian etc might have karked it.

Second mistake was Stalin interfering just as much as Hitler, at least Hitler made Corporal. [LOL]
If commanders like Zhukov, Vasilevski, Konev, Rokkasovsky, etc, were in full command, instead of the imbecile Budunny and Voroshilov, and with no interference from Stalin, it might have been a little different.

Third mistake was poor forward defensive positions.
The Russians were spread dangerously thin along the whole front, and the Germans, having the advantage of when and where to attack, brought the full weight of the Panzers to bear.
As i've said, Zhukov wanted positions further back so they could'nt be instantly overrun.

And the Russian fighter forces were forward and caught on the ground, further back and at least they would have gotten into the air. [ the Russian bomber force largely survived, having airfields further back from the front line. ]

And of course what you say about Stalin, having the dispositions of the forces fronting him, the date, and I think even the time of the attack, on his desk and ignoring it.

So, expanding on Clark's thesis, if on one hand you think that the Germans would have done better without those mistakes, I think you have to be fair, and do the same for Russia.

I have a feeling that if both the Germans and the Russians didn't make the mistakes we've quoted, that things would have ended up just about the same.





__________________________________________________ __________________________________________

I don't think you acknowledge that even a well prepared Red Army would still have been soundly beaten by the Wehrmacht because of Blitzkrieg tactics. I mean, the British, French, Dutch and Belgian armies were ready and prepared yet they were outfought, out-thought and out maneuvered by the Wehrmacht. Why would the response of the Red Army have been any different?
__________________________________________________ _________________________________________

Yes, you're right.
The Russians would probably have been beaten, [ but perhaps not so soundly ] like they were often beaten in the first 6 months of the war, but still come back and win the war.
I think the biggest mistake the Germans made was on June 22nd '41.
Invading Russia.

After all, history wasn't on the Germans side.
Charles the second invaded Russia, won battles...lost the war. Napoleon...ditto. THe Kaiser...ditto, and Hitler...ditto.
See a trend here....invade Russia at your peril.

At least Napoleon captured Moscow, which the Germans could'nt do, but it didn't do him much good.

It's ironic isn't it? The Brits invented the tank, had two of the foremost exponents of tank warfare in Fuller and Liddel Heart, but it was commanders like Gurderian and Manteuffel who took their teachings on board, and the British and the French fought the war as though it was a continuation of the first world war, with many French divisions entrenched in the Maginot line, hardly firing a shot.


Anyway, I think we may have got off godofthunders original thread a bit, but it's very interesting discussing these topics with you blokes.

Cheers Ashes.
January 14th, 2005  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Germany definitely underestimated the Soviet Union, but they could have made a solid run at actually destroying most of what the USSR used to turn the tide. If Hitler had not redirected Army Group Center away from its original objective of taking Moscow, things would definitely have played out differently. Without Moscow, Leningrad would have been impossible to keep resupplied or supported, Stalingrad would not have been likely to succeed because the operation was heavily dependent upon resupply coming from the logistical heart of Russia - Moscow.

This is where Hitler did not understand his enemy but many of his generals did. Moscow was the the center hub of railways, roads and of critical industrial importance. Why did Leningrad hold out? Largely, because Moscow was there. Why was the Red Army successful at Stalingrad? Quick reinforcement and resupply via Moscow was an enormous part of why they won that battle.

One point of clarification. World War II was not capture the flag. Taking the Moscow/Gorky area would not have ended it. The USSR still would have had Tankograd and other industrial sites from which they could have continued to fight. The sheer size of the Soviet Union is daunting and it may have taken several years for all mop up operations to be completed. But make no mistake about it, losing Moscow and Gorky in 41 would have crushed their upper hand in Industrial production, it would have greatly reduced the numerical advantage the Russians had as well. In a conflict with enormous distances, success was very heavily dependent on logistics. Failing to take out the logistical center-point of the USSR was a fatal mistake. The loss in their capability to quickly reinforce and resupply would have been HUGE. Even if German was only able to hold Moscow intermittently, it would have decapitated them in the long term.

True that we're wandering off topic here. Things went that direction by trying to discuss Zhukov as a commander, so the relevant question is this: How much credit does Zhukov truly deserve for Soviet victory on the Eastern Front??
January 16th, 2005  
Ashes
 
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________

Germany definitely underestimated the Soviet Union, but they could have made a solid run at actually destroying most of what the USSR used to turn the tide. If Hitler had not redirected Army Group Center away from its original objective of taking Moscow, things would definitely have played out differently.

__________________________________________________ __________________________________________


I think Iv'e more or less answered that hypothetical with Doppleganger.

And as you posted earlier, quote, 'The Germans failed to destroy the whole Red Army 1941 for simple enough reasons: There was too much to destroy and it was deployed over such a gigantic area. It was probably logistically impossible to completely destroy the Red Army in 1941.'

Amen to that.

__________________________________________________ _________________________________________
True that we're wandering off topic here. Things went that direction by trying to discuss Zhukov as a commander, so the relevant question is this: How much credit does Zhukov truly deserve for Soviet victory on the Eastern Front??
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________

An immense amount.

The key man for helping defeat the Germans in Russia, and following on that, in Europe.
January 16th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashes
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________

Germany definitely underestimated the Soviet Union, but they could have made a solid run at actually destroying most of what the USSR used to turn the tide. If Hitler had not redirected Army Group Center away from its original objective of taking Moscow, things would definitely have played out differently.

__________________________________________________ __________________________________________


I think Iv'e more or less answered that hypothetical with Doppleganger.

And as you posted earlier, quote, 'The Germans failed to destroy the whole Red Army 1941 for simple enough reasons: There was too much to destroy and it was deployed over such a gigantic area. It was probably logistically impossible to completely destroy the Red Army in 1941.'

Amen to that.
It wasn't necessary to completely destroy the Red Army in 1941, although the Germans had a good stab at it. The Red Army suffered more casualties in 6 months than any army in history but Moscow was the key to victory. Cut off the head of the snake and the body dies. Thus, by capturing Moscow, the Wehrmacht in effect would have beheaded much of the command and control and logistical centre of the USSR, as well as a good deal of the political apparatus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashes
__________________________________________________ ________________________________________
True that we're wandering off topic here. Things went that direction by trying to discuss Zhukov as a commander, so the relevant question is this: How much credit does Zhukov truly deserve for Soviet victory on the Eastern Front??
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________

An immense amount.

The key man for helping defeat the Germans in Russia, and following on that, in Europe.
Ashes, surely you know the key man for defeating the Germans in Russia was paradoxically Hitler, rather than any Soviet personage. And I'd even say that Stalin had a bigger impact than Zhukov. Stalin's stirring speech on October 7th, 1941 had a tremendous impact on Soviet morale and stiffened resolve and the will to resist of the ordinary Soviet citizen. Stalin was a tyrant and a sadist but he played a big part in the survival of his nation.

You still haven't provided any evidence as to why Zhukov was as great as you claim. Can you even convince me that he was better than Marshall Konev?