Erwin Rommel - Page 3




 
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October 12th, 2007  
senojekips
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Boy
I can confirm your take on the perception of Rommel by the west. Post WW11, here in Britain, he became something of a hero. A somewhat romantic figure, an honourable opponent amongst a band of villains. Strange really; others were un-noticed.
I think it could be said that, "he had Charisma".

He was not particularly well liked by his peers, however the German public and his troops admired him greatly. I personally feel that this was not completely without reason. His manner was described as somewhat aristocratic. (I can't find the actual quote in the book)
October 12th, 2007  
Josh678
 
 
The fact is yes Rommel was charismatic ,but to the fact that Russia did the most to beat Germany,consider this Stalin had asked every year up to 1944 for the Allies to open a second front so he could have a little bit of reprieve from fighting Germany so heres how I would devy up credit for beating Germnay.

50 percent to the British

25 percent to the Russians

10 percent to Canada and other Allies

15 percent to the USA
October 12th, 2007  
senojekips
 
 
I would hesitate to try and allocate percentage points, but I certainly feel that the US provided well above 15% they were the armourers of Britain well before they became involved in the physical fighting, the USA was the industrial power house that drove the Allied effort, not to mention their manpower and logistical expertise once they declared war themselves.

I feel that we all owe a great debt of gratitude to the USA.
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October 12th, 2007  
Josh678
 
 
True but I was rating how hard the Germans hit them and the level of tatical prowess.Russia would get a low rating for tatical prowess on a hihg command level.
October 15th, 2007  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh678
The fact is yes Rommel was charismatic ,but to the fact that Russia did the most to beat Germany,consider this Stalin had asked every year up to 1944 for the Allies to open a second front so he could have a little bit of reprieve from fighting Germany so heres how I would devy up credit for beating Germnay.

50 percent to the British

25 percent to the Russians

10 percent to Canada and other Allies

15 percent to the USA
You need to do a little bit more reading on the Eastern Front methinks. If I was forced to allocated percentage points I'd have it more like:

10 percent to the British/Commonwealth and other Allies

60 percent to the Russians

30 percent to the USA

The USA percentage may well be higher if you agree with the assumption that Lend Lease kept the Soviet railroad system running, without which the Red Army could not have defeated the Wehrmacht.
October 15th, 2007  
godofthunder9010
 
 
I'm not going to claim that Russia fought the war on the Eastern Front intelligently, but I will say this. Nobody but Russia ever stopped the full might of the German Wehrmact. Nobody really ever came close. There were success stories such as Norway and North Africa that succeeded in defeating or delaying tiny fractions of the whole. Britain was victorious when facing ONLY the Luftwaffe. But the credit must go to Russia for being the ONLY nation to successfully face the entire German War Machine.

Did Stalin ask for a second front? Of course he did. He and his people were getting massacred. Did US and UK strategic bombing raids help the Russian cause? Only a little and it was a lot less effective than most people believe. Germany's economy and production did not decrease. It increased throughout the war, seemingly ignoring the bombing raids.

Did North Africa help? Yes. It also prevented a drive toward the oil-rich middle east.

The USA and UK certainly provided a good contribution to the European Front. But had the USSR not stopped the German War Machine ... what would have? Not only that, Russia had already turned the tide BEFORE D-day! The addition of a second front in France sped things along, but Russia was on their way to winning that Europe ground war solo.

How does this relate to the topic? Well, what Romell was doing on a microscopic scale in North Africa was mirrored by the German commanders on the Eastern Front ... but on a scale that Rommel never faced. Millions of troops faced off in bloody battles of attrition, movement and countermovement; and they did much of it in the Russian Winter. German exploits on the Eastern Front were absolutely miraculous.
October 15th, 2007  
Del Boy
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
You need to do a little bit more reading on the Eastern Front methinks. If I was forced to allocated percentage points I'd have it more like:

10 percent to the British/Commonwealth and other Allies

60 percent to the Russians

30 percent to the USA

The USA percentage may well be higher if you agree with the assumption that Lend Lease kept the Soviet railroad system running, without which the Red Army could not have defeated the Wehrmacht.


Sure - that's why I really love the Russians and the USA. And whatever they dished out, their opponents had it coming in big spades, that's for sure. Don'tcha just love it when that happens?


godofthunder9010

Quote :- "German exploits on the Eastern Front were absolutely miraculous."

I must admit to being querulous regarding this myth of 'miraculous 'German victories.
They chose the time and the place and the weapons, and they lost. They fought an enemy taken by surprise and disorganized but they lost.

They failed because they failed to win before the winter, they were not strong strategically. They huffed and they puffed but they did not blow the house down.




Quote: "Britain was victorious when facing ONLY the Luftwaffe."


Well, let’s face it. They came by air and got beaten. They came by sea and got beaten. They didn’t come anymore.

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October 16th, 2007  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Boy
I must admit to being querulous regarding this myth of 'miraculous 'German victories.
They chose the time and the place and the weapons, and they lost. They fought an enemy taken by surprise and disorganized but they lost.

They failed because they failed to win before the winter, they were not strong strategically. They huffed and they puffed but they did not blow the house down.
So by your standard, Erwin Rommel should not be considered a great commander at all. In fact, he'd be a terrible commander. After all, he failed to achieve his objective in Africa, now didn't he? He also allowed a successful amphibious invasion of France and then subsequently lost France in it's entirety and he lost it pretty quickly.

If whether you win or lose i the only standard for greatness, then the world needs to rethink it's good opinion of a lot of generals and military forces, among them:
The Spartans at Thermopalae
Hannibal
King Richard (the Lionheart) of England

Now you do realize what Germany was up against in Russia?
1.) The largest army in the world.
2.) Two or three times as many tanks on the Russian side.
3.) The largest air force in the world.

What German commanders succeeded in doing was astounding. With vastly inferior numbers, they very nearly destroyed a force vastly larger than their own. Initially, they did destoy most everything they encountered.

Now let us also consider the successful invasion of France. The commander who wrote the script for German victory was Field Marshall Manstein. The field commander who was the most successful was Heinz Guderian.





Quote:
Quote: "
Quote:
Britain was victorious when facing ONLY the Luftwaffe."

Well, letís face it. They came by air and got beaten. They came by sea and got beaten. They didnít come anymore.
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News flash. How did the British forces make out against their German opponents in 1940? Um, they lost. They got lucky enough to be able to retreat back to England. And British Forces didn't even attempt to face the German war machine on the continent again until 1944, when Germany was getting pummeled by the Red Army. There was one small and catastrophic failed amphibious operation ... can't think of the name of it right now.

It's really one of biggest mysteries of all time that Hitler left an enemy at his back like he did. Not smart, but nobody's claiming Hitler was always all that bright.
October 16th, 2007  
Del Boy
 
[quote=godofthunder9010;369568]
Now you do realize what Germany was up against in Russia?
1.) The largest army in the world.
2.) Two or three times as many tanks on the Russian side.
3.) The largest air force in the world.

"What German commanders succeeded in doing was astounding. With vastly inferior numbers, they very nearly destroyed a force vastly larger than their own. Initially, they did destoy most everything they encountered." end quote.



HOWEVER, we have to remember that their early progress in Russia was against a high count, but complete disorganisation. They failed to take Leningrad, wherever they passed, the SD motivated local populations to fight harder. The Russians drew them into the same old mud -pit. And by the time the signifant battle was on, the Russian forces were no longer superior in numbers. But still the German forces failed to take Moscow.
Failure on top of failure. Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.
Bad strategy, and the only point I am making is 'No Miracles'.

The capitulation of France is a different matter, and the successful withdrawal of troops from that country to fight again was much more of a miracle. Lke the Russians, a strategic withdrawal is a powerful weapon, ask Mao.

I belive it was Hitler who declined to take his war to England, not vice-versa. And, as you have pointed out, winning one confrontation does not win a war. We came back for more- they didn't show here.

Perhaps you CAN remember this, militarily, again the great German fighting machine lost, they lost on every front. They lost right back into Berlin, depite their thousands of unmanned rockets hurled at London. Lost.
That's what I call great military strategy.

Air, land and sea, no result. i knew many of these miraculous performers. Good soldiers, pumped up and motivated. It ended there, did it not. I can't quite remember the terms.

Seriously though - Very good fighting force, I admit. I had not advocated Rommel, but I bow to your superior knowledge anyway.
October 16th, 2007  
godofthunder9010
 
 
The point I'm trying to get at is simple. Erwin Rommel benefits from the fact that the Western allies like to overstate their role in defeating Nazi Germany. From 1941 - 1944 the UK was a virtual non-factor in the war for Europe. The same can be said of the USA. ALL the big battles were fought on the Eastern Front and there were a ton of them. If Rommel was the best of the best, he would have been sent to that front and not North Africa (which Nazi Germany only half-way cared about.)

Let's go with this analogy. Let's say there was a Union Civil War General who successfully defeated a group of hostile Indians out in the Rocky Mountains during the Civil War. Is it fair to crown him "Greatest Union Commander of the Civil War" in the face of the enormous battles that were fought in and around Virginia? Does brief success and subsuquent failure on less crucial secondary fronts make Erwin Rommel a better commander than Guderian or Manstein?

I'm especially puzzled by the fact that you seem to be saying that all military victories over the Red Army in the early phases of Barbarossa are irrelevant and meaningless. The combined French and British forces outnumberd German forces in every category in 1940, yet they had no better luck against the Germans. Considering the outcomes, their luck was far worse. France and Britain did not suffer from a lack of leadership, nor did they suffer from general disorganization.