Best Axis Army Commander of WW2 - Page 8




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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October 6th, 2007  
Kunikov
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
A harsh and unjustifiable assessment IMO.
Unjustifiable is the fact that German commanders and the German Army have become mythical figures in the realm of WWII history.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
I'm not sure how significant the actions in the Yelnya bend really were. True it was a local success for the Soviet forces but did it really have any meaningful impact? It did not delay the start of Operation Typhoon for example.
Umm...all these actions have one thing in common, they delayed the inevitable. Manstein did nothing different from that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
I was under the impression that Vatutin's trapping of 2 German corps at Demyansk occurred in January 1942. As far as Rostov goes it was too far south to have any strategic impact on the main axis of Barbarossa, which ended up being Kiev then Moscow. No doubt that it was a legitimate Soviet victory though.
No strategic impact? Guarding Army Group Center's flanks is a strategic necessity and the taking of Rostov meant that the Germans would have to take it once more when Operation Blau began.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
A simplistic and unsatisfactory explanation. We'll have to agree to disagree on this matter.
I'm not writing a book. If you're not satisfied I suggest you do more research on the topic.
October 6th, 2007  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunikov
Unjustifiable is the fact that German commanders and the German Army have become mythical figures in the realm of WWII history.
For many yes. One could also argue though that Zhukov has also been accorded this level of 'demigod' status. If the post-war Soviet regime had not seen fit to 'alter' some facts and had been more forthcoming regarding certain matters perhaps some deserving Soviet commanders such as Vatutin, Rokossovsky and Yeremenko would be more widely known in the west.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunikov
Umm...all these actions have one thing in common, they delayed the inevitable. Manstein did nothing different from that.
With hindsight we can say that but at the time any Soviet attacks during the time frame of Barbarossa were unable to deflect the advance of German forces. Delay yes, deflect no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunikov
No strategic impact? Guarding Army Group Center's flanks is a strategic necessity and the taking of Rostov meant that the Germans would have to take it once more when Operation Blau began.
Centre's flanks were secure during the time period in question, regardless of whether Rostov had been held or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunikov
I'm not writing a book. If you're not satisfied I suggest you do more research on the topic.
I've done reasonable research thank you and it seems clear our opinions are not going to converge any time soon.
October 6th, 2007  
Kunikov
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
For many yes. One could also argue though that Zhukov has also been accorded this level of 'demigod' status. If the post-war Soviet regime had not seen fit to 'alter' some facts and had been more forthcoming regarding certain matters perhaps some deserving Soviet commanders such as Vatutin, Rokossovsky and Yeremenko would be more widely known in the west.
We're not talking about Soviet commanders or myths, we're discussing German oriented ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
With hindsight we can say that but at the time any Soviet attacks during the time frame of Barbarossa were unable to deflect the advance of German forces. Delay yes, deflect no.
What does 'deflect' have to do with anything? Delaying the other side's forces was all that Red Army forces could hope to accomplish in 1941, Manstein did nothing different from that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
Centre's flanks were secure during the time period in question, regardless of whether Rostov had been held or not.
That's hindsight and those flanks were not secure since Army Group Center was almost destroyed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
I've done reasonable research thank you and it seems clear our opinions are not going to converge any time soon.
Just like most in the West, I'm sure your research is lacking. As with many other aspects of the Eastern Front, Manstein's counterattack has been mystified with great pomp because that's all the Germans could do to save face after losing their largest army, 2-3 allied armies, and almost an entire Army Group.
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October 6th, 2007  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunikov
We're not talking about Soviet commanders or myths, we're discussing German oriented ones.
You know, there are plenty of German WWII fanboys around but you appear to be a Russian one which makes you just as bad as they are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunikov
What does 'deflect' have to do with anything? Delaying the other side's forces was all that Red Army forces could hope to accomplish in 1941, Manstein did nothing different from that.
They did not delay them enough. In my view, the main reason why Germany lost at the end of 1941 was due to their strategic plan being faulty in the first place, rather than anything the Red Army did in the field. What happened after December 5th was almost inevitable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunikov
That's hindsight and those flanks were not secure since Army Group Center was almost destroyed.
The temporary loss of Rostov in November 1941 had very little to do with Centre's near destruction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunikov
Just like most in the West, I'm sure your research is lacking. As with many other aspects of the Eastern Front, Manstein's counterattack has been mystified with great pomp because that's all the Germans could do to save face after losing their largest army, 2-3 allied armies, and almost an entire Army Group.
So, my research is lacking simply because I don't agree with you?
October 6th, 2007  
Kunikov
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
You know, there are plenty of German WWII fanboys around but you appear to be a Russian one which makes you just as bad as they are.
Why do you feel a constant need to go off on tangents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
They did not delay them enough. In my view, the main reason why Germany lost at the end of 1941 was due to their strategic plan being faulty in the first place, rather than anything the Red Army did in the field. What happened after December 5th was almost inevitable.
They delayed them enough to launch the Moscow Counter-Offensive and throw the Wehrmacht back from the gates of Moscow at the same time almost destroying Army Group Center. As for your opinion of the Red Army, it isn't based on much it seems. Once again, you go off on tangents. The argument was simply that Manstein delayed the Red Army as the Red Army delayed the Werhmacht in 1941, why is it that you cannot stick the topic at hand?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
The temporary loss of Rostov in November 1941 had very little to do with Centre's near destruction.
Actually, if it was a failure then Zhukov might have convinced Stalin to concentrate on Army Group Center instead of Stalin thinking the entire front could be attacked and the entire German force in the USSR could be pushed back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
So, my research is lacking simply because I don't agree with you?
No, it's lacking because 1) you go off on tangents, 2) cannot back up what you profess.
October 7th, 2007  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunikov
They delayed them enough to launch the Moscow Counter-Offensive and throw the Wehrmacht back from the gates of Moscow at the same time almost destroying Army Group Center. As for your opinion of the Red Army, it isn't based on much it seems. Once again, you go off on tangents. The argument was simply that Manstein delayed the Red Army as the Red Army delayed the Werhmacht in 1941, why is it that you cannot stick the topic at hand?.
The Red Army did delay the Wehrmacht on occasion but I could point to the Lotzen Decision being the main reason why Operation Typhoon was delayed. I haven't expressed my opinion of the Red Army in this thread so your assumption is a little off the mark. In fact, I have a great deal of respect for what the Red Army did in WW2. Manstein in 1941 began as a corps commander and it wasn't until he got an army command that he could really demonsrate his ability. As for going off on a tangent or not sticking to the topic it's only because of my need to reply to you in a somewhat helpful manner, rather than get bogged down in a futile argument.

If you want to denigrate the achievement of Manstein's at the Third Battle of Kharkov it's up to you. However, seeing as this thread is about the Best Axis Army Commander of WW2 who would be your choice and why? I know it's not going to be Manstein.
October 7th, 2007  
Kunikov
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
The Red Army did delay the Wehrmacht on occasion but I could point to the Lotzen Decision being the main reason why Operation Typhoon was delayed.
Those are two different things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
I haven't expressed my opinion of the Red Army in this thread so your assumption is a little off the mark. In fact, I have a great deal of respect for what the Red Army did in WW2.
This has nothing to do with what we're discussing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
Manstein in 1941 began as a corps commander and it wasn't until he got an army command that he could really demonsrate his ability.
You mean taking the Crimea? That was less skill than ineptitude on the part of Mekhlis and the use of engineers and vast amounts of artillery which facilitated Manstein FINALLY taking Sevastopol with the help of the Romanians.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
As for going off on a tangent or not sticking to the topic it's only because of my need to reply to you in a somewhat helpful manner, rather than get bogged down in a futile argument.
Sorry, I don't see going off on tangents being 'helpful' in this case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
If you want to denigrate the achievement of Manstein's at the Third Battle of Kharkov it's up to you. However, seeing as this thread is about the Best Axis Army Commander of WW2 who would be your choice and why? I know it's not going to be Manstein.
Hard question to answer, the initial army group commanders did a fine job, for the most part, which means von Bock and Rundstedt would get my 'vote' at the same time Hoth did an excellent job as did quite a few others. But I am no expert on German commanders so my opinion in this matter is pointless. But I do not regard either Manstein, Rommel, or Guderian as being those who were 'great' or the 'best.'
October 7th, 2007  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunikov
Hard question to answer, the initial army group commanders did a fine job, for the most part, which means von Bock and Rundstedt would get my 'vote' at the same time Hoth did an excellent job as did quite a few others. But I am no expert on German commanders so my opinion in this matter is pointless. But I do not regard either Manstein, Rommel, or Guderian as being those who were 'great' or the 'best.'
I can understand Rommel but why wouldn't Guderian be one of those you'd consider? BTW, you do not have to be an expert for your opinion to be considered non-pointless.
October 7th, 2007  
Kunikov
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
I can understand Rommel but why wouldn't Guderian be one of those you'd consider? BTW, you do not have to be an expert for your opinion to be considered non-pointless.
Guderian is simply 'famous' because of his book, he last saw action in 1941...that means what he did with his Panzer Group is on par with what the other 4 Pz Group commanders could do since all 4 made excellent progress, for the most part. Although Guderian's plunge to the south to help secure the Kiev pocket is something to look at, it was a desperate risk that he took and it paid off as only one of his divisions could make it in time to close the pocket and it was advancing with no cover for its flanks. There were other Pz commanders to look at; Balck, Hube, Hoth, Kleist, etc.
October 7th, 2007  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunikov
Guderian is simply 'famous' because of his book, he last saw action in 1941...that means what he did with his Panzer Group is on par with what the other 4 Pz Group commanders could do since all 4 made excellent progress, for the most part. Although Guderian's plunge to the south to help secure the Kiev pocket is something to look at, it was a desperate risk that he took and it paid off as only one of his divisions could make it in time to close the pocket and it was advancing with no cover for its flanks. There were other Pz commanders to look at; Balck, Hube, Hoth, Kleist, etc.
Of the other commanders you mentioned, I would personally discount Kleist (the others are good choices though). It took him a long time to fully realize the possibilities of armour and his performances in France and initially in Russia were not outstanding. Coming back to Guderian bear in mind that he also:

a) was instrumental in creating the panzerwaffe and the tactics used by the German Army in WW2
b) had a major role in the 'Manstein Plan' and also was at the heart of the German successes in France
c) along with Speer made a major difference in AFV development and production 1943 onwards
d) had a hand in major strategy on the Ostfront although severely hampered by Hitler in this regard

So yes Guderian is famous but he does deserve that fame. Commanders like Balck, Hoth, Manteuffel, Hausser, Rommel and Manstein would have been different men without Guderian's influence.