Was General Montgomery really overrated in WW2? - Page 13




 
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February 10th, 2005  
Strongbow
 
 
OK. My mistake. 50%.
February 10th, 2005  
Young Winston
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by redcoat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strongbow
Axis forces in Africa were made up of about 10% German around the time of Al Alamein.
Nonsense.
The Axis forces at El Alamein consisted of 200 German and 300 Italian tanks, and 53,000 German and 55,000 Italian troops.

Thank God Monty didn't have to face about a 100,000 strong force, fully equiped and supplied, with excellent German tanks, with decent air cover made up of troops of the 41/42 calibre of Das Reich, Grossdeutscheland, and Liebensdart Adolf Hitler Divisions.

I think even if we still outnumbered them 2 to 1 in troops they would have flogged us at El Alamein.

Bye Bye Cairo.
February 12th, 2005  
Strongbow
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by redcoat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strongbow
Axis forces in Africa were made up of about 10% German around the time of Al Alamein.
Nonsense.
The Axis forces at El Alamein consisted of 200 German and 300 Italian tanks, and 53,000 German and 55,000 Italian troops.
Well redcoat!! I'm going to take back the "50%" and give you just 34%.

This is from "Hitler" by Norman Stone. p.186 paperback edition.

Now they (allied aircraft from Malta) disrupted Rommel's supplies to such an extent that, in August, the British had a half a million tons of supplies where Rommel received thirteen thousand.

By mid-October, Montgomery had assembled enormous weight. He attacked the El Alamein lines on 23 October, with 230,000 men to 80,000 (27,000 Germans), 1440 tanks to 540 (260 German) and, 1500 aircraft to 350. The British Grant tanks were supplemented by Shermans that the Germans could knock out only at very close range. Besides, the German tanks had only three days' issue of fuel instead of thirty.

Virtually all British generals had a habit, when they enjoyed vast material superiority, of of giving up military ingenuity and relying on crushing force in a somewhat unsubtle way. Montgomery did this, too, only, unlike his predecessors, he dealt out his high cards in sensible order.


The book goes on to describe how Monty used a battle of attrition to wear Rommel down. It was hardly an even fight.

Charge-7, I am still waiting to read your posts on even/fair battles that the Western allies won against quality German forces in 1942. Sorry, but Italy and Sicily campaigns were 1943/44.
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February 12th, 2005  
Young Winston
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strongbow
Quote:
Originally Posted by redcoat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strongbow
Axis forces in Africa were made up of about 10% German around the time of Al Alamein.
Nonsense.
The Axis forces at El Alamein consisted of 200 German and 300 Italian tanks, and 53,000 German and 55,000 Italian troops.
Well redcoat!! I'm going to take back the "50%" and give you just 34%.

This is from "Hitler" by Norman Stone. p.186 paperback edition.

Now they (allied aircraft from Malta) disrupted Rommel's supplies to such an extent that, in August, the British had a half a million tons of supplies where Rommel received thirteen thousand.

By mid-October, Montgomery had assembled enormous weight. He attacked the El Alamein lines on 23 October, with 230,000 men to 80,000 (27,000 Germans), 1440 tanks to 540 (260 German) and, 1500 aircraft to 350. The British Grant tanks were supplemented by Shermans that the Germans could knock out only at very close range. Besides, the German tanks had only three days' issue of fuel instead of thirty.

Virtually all British generals had a habit, when they enjoyed vast material superiority, of of giving up military ingenuity and relying on crushing force in a somewhat unsubtle way. Montgomery did this, too, only, unlike his predecessors, he dealt out his high cards in sensible order.


The book goes on to describe how Monty used a battle of attrition to wear Rommel down. It was hardly an even fight.

Charge-7, I am still waiting to read your posts on even/fair battles that the Western allies won against quality German forces in 1942. Sorry, but Italy and Sicily campaigns were 1943/44.
You're very interesting Strongbow. I wish there was more like you.
Doppleganger?????? Where are you??????
February 12th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
Perhaps you might want to take it easy there, Strongbow. Awfully heated about all this. I think if you really think about it you'll realize that by "1942" I meant the date at which the US first met German troops and that as Operation Torch took place in November of 1942 it hardly needs to require looking at a calendar to see that Sicely and Italy carried over from that into 1943. I even mentioned in my previous post that the fall of Rome was days before D-Day so I think you can't really argue that I am well aware of the dates.

Also, I said nothing about even or equal. I said they faced quality troops - they did. You would have to be an idiot to say that it was equal as we overwhelmingly outnumbered the Germans in personnel, materiel, and production let alone air power.
February 12th, 2005  
Zucchini
 
I suppose taking on the Vichy French at Oran is going to fall short.
February 12th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
I suppose we should bring this back to the topic of the thread - was Montgomery overrated in WW2? Well as far as the man himself is concerned, he got the job done. He was cautious, too cautious, but appeared to place the welfare of his men in high regard, which can't really be faulted. If you ask me he was fortunate that the Germans had never really planned to be in Africa as soon as they were, having to go to the aid of their hapless Italian allies. Deutsch Afrikakorps was never really more than a token gesture in the great scheme of things. It happened to have a very able and charismatic commander in Rommel and it could be argued that the biggest role Deutsch Afrikakorps played was in the propaganda war.

Monty was from the old school. He never really fully embraced the 'lightening war' concept introduced by the Wehrmacht in Sept 1939 and his troops, some of the most spirited in the world, at times laboured in 1944 against stubborn German defenders that were in truth and in the main, no more than 2nd string, a shadow of the Wehrmacht of just 2 years earlier. At Normandy, even such celebrated formations as the 1st SS Panzer Division "Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler", 2nd SS Panzer Division, "Das Reich", the 2nd Panzer Division, Panzer Lehr Division were 1st string names bolstered with 2nd string recruits, old men and teenage boys, luftwaffe personnel and men previously declared unfit for combat. Monty, and his American colleagues with their overwhelming logistical support, industrial output and air superiority, ought to have done much better.
February 13th, 2005  
Zucchini
 
There are at least two things that could make for lightning: one, military superiority; and two, military inferiority on the part of the opposition.

How much of this vaunted German lightnin' was a function of a weak Polish military, or the French military and its useless, but ever so expensive, fortifications?

How many horses did the German army consume once encircled at Stalingrad? Why did they have horses in a mechanized army?

How many German horses did the Polish kill? What was the role of all these horses in a "mechanized" aarmy?

In 1942, was the German army was a high-school-aged bully kicking ass at a grade school?
February 13th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zucchini
There are at least two things that could make for lightning: one, military superiority; and two, military inferiority on the part of the opposition.

How much of this vaunted German lightnin' was a function of a weak Polish military, or the French military and its useless, but ever so expensive, fortifications?

How many horses did the German army consume once encircled at Stalingrad? Why did they have horses in a mechanized army.

How many German horses did the Polish kill? What was the role of all these horses in a "mechanized" aarmy?

In 1942, was the German army was a high-school-aged bully kicking ass at a grade school.
Are you asking questions or making statements? I'm not sure which.

Ask yourself this. If you believe your last statement to be true. How did the army of one relatively small nation, get to be a high-school bully in the first place? Hmm? After all, the French Army was equally as well equipped and comparable in size (in fact, it had better tanks and more of them). The French Army in 1940 was generally considered to be one of the finest in the world. It had the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) alongside it, as well as the Dutch and Belgian armies. The BEF was one of the best trained armies in the world. Let's rewind a bit. The Polish Army was the 4th largest standing army in the world in 1939. And moving forward, the Red Army in 1941 numbered nearly 5 million men and had 18000 tanks (many of them better than anything the Germans had). Yet the Wehrmacht swept them all aside and for 3 years no army could stand against it.

Let me ask you a question. Why was that?
February 13th, 2005  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zucchini
How many horses did the German army consume once encircled at Stalingrad? Why did they have horses in a mechanized army?

How many German horses did the Polish kill? What was the role of all these horses in a "mechanized" aarmy?
The end of the role of the horse on the European battlefield had long since arrived, but your military traditionalists couldn't bear the thought of anything replacing the horse on the battlefield. The Cossacks and Polish both tried to use old-school cavalry with horses and all, and were decimated on the World War II field of battle. Britain and France were no different. The greatest factor that allowed for armies to remain "mechanized" was railways. NOBODY was fully mechanized. Every WW2 army had people who were determined to maintain the horse on a battlefield that had become completely unsuitable for them.