Best Axis Army Commander of WW2 - Page 6




View Poll Results :Best Axis Army Commander of WW2
Erich von Manstein 11 19.30%
Heinz Guderian 15 26.32%
Erwin Rommel 23 40.35%
Gerd von Rundstedt 3 5.26%
Walther Model 0 0%
Hasso von Manteuffel 0 0%
Frederick Paulus 1 1.75%
Fedor von Bock 1 1.75%
Paul Hausser 0 0%
Hermann Hoth 0 0%
Albert Kesselring 0 0%
General Tomoyuki Yamashita 1 1.75%
Lieutenant-General Masaharu Honma 1 1.75%
General Tadamichi Kuribayashi 1 1.75%
General Mitsuru Ushijima 0 0%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

 
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September 9th, 2007  
Doppleganger
 
 
I am leaning towards Guderian now (from Manstein). The main reason being is that the Manstein Plan, which is held up as an example of the genius of him, could not have been successful without Guderian's help. In fact, it was Guderian's insistence that the majority of the German armour be placed in Army Group 'A' instead of 'B'. Thus the decisive breakout through the Ardennes and behind the bulk of the Allied Armies really was Guderian's idea, presented to Hitler by Manstein. Moreover, much of the later success of Manstein could not have been achieved without Guderian's development of the Panzerwaffe and combined arms operations. So whilst Manstein rightly gets credit for his plan, which Hitler later 'adopted', much of the credit for its success should be Guderian's.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_France
September 9th, 2007  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
I am leaning towards Guderian now (from Manstein). The main reason being is that the Manstein Plan, which is held up as an example of the genius of him, could not have been successful without Guderian's help. In fact, it was Guderian's insistence that the majority of the German armour be placed in Army Group 'A' instead of 'B'. Thus the decisive breakout through the Ardennes and behind the bulk of the Allied Armies really was Guderian's idea, presented to Hitler by Manstein. Moreover, much of the later success of Manstein could not have been achieved without Guderian's development of the Panzerwaffe and combined arms operations. So whilst Manstein rightly gets credit for his plan, which Hitler later 'adopted', much of the credit for its success should be Guderian's.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_France
I would normally agree with you as there is little doubt to his genius however the thing that prevents me making him my number one choice is that (and I am being unkind here) his role in the German army through WW2 seemed more of an administrative one and less an active one.

While Manstein and co were planning and executing vast battles in Russia Guderian was doing what, after having problems von Kluge in France he was effectively retired until after the battle of Stalingrad at which point he was recalled to moderise German tank production (which he did extremely well). During this time however Manstein had been responsible for a sizable proportion of Russian campaigns greatest successes.
September 9th, 2007  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I would normally agree with you as there is little doubt to his genius however the thing that prevents me making him my number one choice is that (and I am being unkind here) his role in the German army through WW2 seemed more of an administrative one and less an active one.

While Manstein and co were planning and executing vast battles in Russia Guderian was doing what, after having problems von Kluge in France he was effectively retired until after the battle of Stalingrad at which point he was recalled to moderise German tank production (which he did extremely well). During this time however Manstein had been responsible for a sizable proportion of Russian campaigns greatest successes.
I'm not sure where you get the idea that Guderian was not an active field commander. He did, after all, fight in Poland, France and Russia. Guderian was heavily involved in Operation Barbarossa, not being dismissed from field service until December 26th, 1941. His Panzergruppe/Army spearheaded the capture of Minsk, Smolensk and he played a decisive role in the encirclement at Kiev. Along with Hoth's 3rd Panzer Army, it was Guderian's 2nd Panzer Army that almost fought its way to the gates of Moscow. Guderian at this time was also in command of 2nd Army, overall being in command of some 7 Army Corps. At this time, Manstein was a mere single corps commander, whilst Guderian was well to the fore of the most pivotal German operations of WW2, namely the original Blitzkrieg campaign to destroy the Soviet Union. If Guderian had been more of a 'yes man', he'd might have escaped the 'purges' of senior German field commanders after the failure of Operation Typhoon, the German assault on Moscow, and made more of an impact as a field commander in 1942 onwards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Barbarossa
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September 9th, 2007  
MontyB
 
 
Don't get me wrong here I am not trying to make light of Guderians achievements he was an excellent operational commander but I still feel that Mansteins record is his equal if not (in my opinion) fractionally better.
September 9th, 2007  
KJ
 
 
I voted for Heinz Guderian.

I dunno, maybe I have a weak spot for commanders that got the balls to follow through on their ideas.
September 9th, 2007  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Don't get me wrong here I am not trying to make light of Guderians achievements he was an excellent operational commander but I still feel that Mansteins record is his equal if not (in my opinion) fractionally better.
What did Manstein do that was better than what Guderian did in France and in Russia in 1941?
September 12th, 2007  
Josh678
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Oddly enough I don't think I can recall a single instance of Rommel beating Montgomery (He certainly gave the 8th Army a run for its money prior to Montgomery though) I still stand by my Erich von Manstein vote although the more I read of commanders like Hoth and von Arnim the more I am impressed by them.

I am still convinced that Rommel's popularity is based more on myth and somewhat romanticised accounts of his anti-Hitler activities than reality though, while I believe he was an more than able commander I do not believe that the mythical status a lot of people elevate to him was warranted.
He beat Monty several times in the Desert also he invented the thrust line in ww2 which made him seem invincible until the Allies could figure out what he was doing.
September 12th, 2007  
Infern0
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh678
He beat Monty several times in the Desert

when?

link?
September 12th, 2007  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
What did Manstein do that was better than what Guderian did in France and in Russia in 1941?
Probably nothing but then what did he do that was worse, on top of this isn't it true that his counter attacks around Karkov in 1943 are considered as one of the most brilliantly executed and successful plans of recent military history?
September 12th, 2007  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Probably nothing but then what did he do that was worse, on top of this isn't it true that his counter attacks around Karkov in 1943 are considered as one of the most brilliantly executed and successful plans of recent military history?
Yes, that operation is his crowning glory and had he been allowed to repeat it then the Germans might have forced a 2nd stalemate proposal from Stalin. What Manstein did afterwards though was never again on the same level of brilliance, mainly due to the fact that Hitler and most of the General Staff again favoured more traditional Kesselschlacht (cauldron battle) operations more reminiscent of WWI. The Battle of Kursk is a prime example.

For this reason and the fact that Guderian was pivotal in Manstein's other crowning achievement I rate Guderian as having the greater breadth of success, especially when you consider he essentially built the Panzerwaffe on which all Germany's great victories in WWII were founded.