Was General Montgomery really overrated in WW2? - Page 14




 
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February 13th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
In the case of the Germans and the Poles, however, the horse was kept because of military necessity. They didn't have enough mechanized transport. In the case of the British, that was largely WWI that the old school officers wouldn't let go of the ideal of the dashing cavalryman, by WWII that feeling was gone.

It should be noted that outside of Europe - in the CBI theatre the horse, or more often the mule, was an essential mode of transport thru jungle hill country where no mechanized vehicle could go. So in Europe they were passť but in Asia they were quite appropriate,
February 14th, 2005  
Young Winston
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charge_7
"They also never faced the same level of quality"

Wrong. We were in Africa, Sicely, and Italy in 1942. We faced "quality" units then and defeated those too.
I can see why Strongbow had "his Broad-sword half way out of the scabbard"!!!!!!!

Operation Torch and the battles in Tunisia- didn't the Germans give the allies much pain and frustration before the Germans were overcome in about April/May 1943

I don't think Monty was on the top of his game during this period. Was he distracted by his involvement in the planning of the Sicily campaign
February 14th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
I take it you didn't read my reply to him.
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February 14th, 2005  
Young Winston
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charge_7
I take it you didn't read my reply to him.
Sure did.
February 14th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
Apparently not too closely if you made this statement:

"Operation Torch and the battles in Tunisia- didn't the Germans give the allies much pain and frustration before the Germans were overcome in about April/May 1943 "

When I had said:

"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. "
February 14th, 2005  
Zucchini
 
I wasn't really referring to horses being used for traditional assault vehicles, though the Poles apparently mounted machine guns and anti-tank guns on their horses. The German Cavalry (some of it still on horseback) had great success in the invasion of France.

The horses in the German army were mostly used to transport supplies and equipment (like artillery,) and they used them in huge numbers until the surrender. They were still a WWI-style, horse-based military in terms of ultimate movement capabilities.

Also, I've read Hitler was restoring Cavalry units in 1944 because they missed their combat effectiveness. Horses still provided a mobile infantry component, and probably, in certain terrains, still could.

And the Americans, still lovers of horses (though they seldom used them in WWII,) treated German horses taken as POWs better than the Russians and the British and the French treated them. They basically ate the POW horses. The Americans fed them and watered them and returned them to Germany.
February 15th, 2005  
redcoat
 
 
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.

[[b]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.
Sorry, but my figures are from the book.
'Pendulum Of War, The Three Battles of El Alamein' by Niall Barr. (a book about the actual battle, not a study of AH)

For the 23th October 1942
His figures are;
British Commonwealth forces.
220,476 troops

1,029 serviceable tanks (170 Grants, 252 Shermans, 216 Crusader II's, 78 Crusader III's, 119 Stuarts, 194 Valentines)

Artillery 892 guns

A/T guns 1,451.

Axis Forces
108,000 troops (53,736 German)

548 serviceable tanks (249 German- 31 Mk II's, 85 Mk III's, 88 Mk III Special's, 8 Mk IV's, 30 IV Special's)

Artillery 552 guns

A/T guns 1,063.





Quote:
The British Grant tanks were supplemented by Shermans that the Germans could knock out only at very close range.
I suppose over 2000 meters is very close range for an '88'
Quote:
The book goes on to describe how Monty used a battle of attrition to wear Rommel down.
This is often claimed for Monty, however its not correct. The battles Monty fought were in Rommels own words 'battles of Material'. Monty used his overwelming firepower, not brute numbers. to wear down the enemy. In fact Monty is famous for his caution when it came to risking the men under his command.

Quote:
It was hardly an even fight.
A good general always makes sure it isn't.

war isn't a video game
February 16th, 2005  
Strongbow
 
 
Monty unfortunately had problems with "caution" in Holland.

Aussie, I haven't worn a "broadsword" in years. Way too cumbersome.
February 17th, 2005  
Young Winston
 
 
There was also a few other places as well, Strongbow, when he was not performing at his best.

I have found that idea that Monty really took more care with his troops lives a bit "hard to swallow". He gave some rousing pep talks to his troops. Certainly, many of his troops loved him. I accept that his WW1 experiences had an affect on his approach to a battle.

I'm sure Rommel would have liked a bit more of a chance at Al Alamein but "his hands were tied" by Hitler. Yes, good generals always make sure they have the winning edge when they get the opportunity and support.
February 21st, 2005  
Strongbow
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiejohn
There was also a few other places as well, Strongbow, when he was not performing at his best.

I have found that idea that Monty really took more care with his troops lives a bit "hard to swallow". He gave some rousing pep talks to his troops. Certainly, many of his troops loved him. I accept that his WW1 experiences had an affect on his approach to a battle.

I'm sure Rommel would have liked a bit more of a chance at Al Alamein but "his hands were tied" by Hitler. Yes, good generals always make sure they have the winning edge when they get the opportunity and support.
I'd like to hear about them Sir. Although Monty cannot be blamed, Kasserine Pass was a disaster for the US forces who lacked experience and better coordination.