Was General Montgomery really overrated in WW2? - Page 20




 
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December 14th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reiben


There is a view that Rommel was a great divisional commander and corps commander. However I dont think he was the best german general of WW2. I would have to say that Von Manstein was the best german general. Lost Victories by Von Manstein is a good book to read about the eastern front in particular. The Hitler Book gives an interesting spin on german strategy and Hitler.


Agreed re Rommel. Regarding Manstein he was probably the best strategic commander of WW2, IMO. Guderian was a very solid strategist too - he could have made a big difference to Germany's fortunes on the Eastern Front if Hitler had allowed him to get on with his job as OKH Commander. Because of his experiences as Inspector of Panzertruppen and Chief of Staff of OKH, his great tactical skill as a Panzer Army commander and the fact he developed the Panzerwaffe, which was the prime reason for Germany's early victories, Guderian also has a good claim to being the best overall German commander of WW2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reiben

The western front was regarded as a rest area for german units to refit after the eastern front. But the units did contain a core of battle experienced troops. To call the elite units low quality is a diservice if not totally untrue. Certainly there was low quality units in France but there were quality units too. Besides often those units in France went back to the eastern front to fight the soviets. It is also worth pointing out that although the germans were expecting an invasion and need to protect their western front.
I did not actually call the elite units low quality. What I said was that even the elite divisions were receiving low quality combat replacements. It is also true that some of the, in name, elite divisions were almost built from scratch, with a core of vastly experienced officers and NCOs attached to even things out. For example, some of the newer Waffen SS divisions fell into this category.

It's true that the Germans were expecting an invasion, but by the time it actually happened the numbers of experienced German troops were not nearly enough to go around. The Germans lost most of their best soldiers on the Eastern Front from 1941 to 1943 - the combat replacements the Wehrmacht received thereafter were never of the same quality.
December 14th, 2005  
Reiben
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger


Agreed re Rommel. Regarding Manstein he was probably the best strategic commander of WW2, IMO. Guderian was a very solid strategist too - he could have made a big difference to Germany's fortunes on the Eastern Front if Hitler had allowed him to get on with his job as OKH Commander. Because of his experiences as Inspector of Panzertruppen and Chief of Staff of OKH, his great tactical skill as a Panzer Army commander and the fact he developed the Panzerwaffe, which was the prime reason for Germany's early victories, Guderian also has a good claim to being the best overall German commander of WW2.

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I do not doubt Guderians abilities or his claim to being one of the best german commanders. From late December 1941 to late July 1944 Guderian held no command. Von Manstein commanded armies in the key phase of the battles on the eastern front. If Hitler had listerned to his strategy, what would have happened on the eastern front. Von Manstein was one of the architects of the plan used in the invasion of France. Von Manstein in lost victories was modest about his role, but it could be argued that it was his plan. The plan that Guderian helped successfully implement. In the run up to the war he served as Deputy Chief of Staff (Oberquartermeister I ) to the Chief of the Army General Staff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
I did not actually call the elite units low quality. What I said was that even the elite divisions were receiving low quality combat replacements. It is also true that some of the, in name, elite divisions were almost built from scratch, with a core of vastly experienced officers and NCOs attached to even things out. For example, some of the newer Waffen SS divisions fell into this category.

It's true that the Germans were expecting an invasion, but by the time it actually happened the numbers of experienced German troops were not nearly enough to go around. The Germans lost most of their best soldiers on the Eastern Front from 1941 to 1943 - the combat replacements the Wehrmacht received thereafter were never of the same quality.
As the war continued the quality of droops was not as good as in the earlier years (agreed). This was true of the russians as well as the germans. There were some quality german units on the western front. With in some cases better weapons. If your point is that the germans effectively broke the back of the german army, I agree. The western allies destroyed the german airforce. The ultimate question we are leading to is would the russians defeated the germans without the western allies.

I take it you realise that your avatar is Von Manstein
December 14th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reiben
I do not doubt Guderians abilities or his claim to being one of the best german commanders. From late December 1941 to late July 1944 Guderian held no command. Von Manstein commanded armies in the key phase of the battles on the eastern front. If Hitler had listerned to his strategy, what would have happened on the eastern front. Von Manstein was one of the architects of the plan used in the invasion of France. Von Manstein in lost victories was modest about his role, but it could be argued that it was his plan. The plan that Guderian helped successfully implement. In the run up to the war he served as Deputy Chief of Staff (Oberquartermeister I ) to the Chief of the Army General Staff.



As the war continued the quality of droops was not as good as in the earlier years (agreed). This was true of the russians as well as the germans. There were some quality german units on the western front. With in some cases better weapons. If your point is that the germans effectively broke the back of the german army, I agree. The western allies destroyed the german airforce. The ultimate question we are leading to is would the russians defeated the germans without the western allies.

I take it you realise that your avatar is Von Manstein
Don't get me wrong, I am a BIG admirer of Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein, hence the avatar photo. It was his plan, commonly known as 'The Manstein Plan', that was responsible for the downfall of France in 1940. And he was responsible for one of the most brilliant bits of strategy in military history. I refer to, of course, the recapture of Khar'kov in early 1943. Manstein undoubtedly saved Army Group South from destruction, aided of course by General Paul Hausser, the best Waffen SS commander of the war and in charge of II SS Panzer Korps, which was heavily involved in the critical stages.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Battle_of_Kharkov

Furthermore, had Hitler listened to von Manstein instead of Halder, the Battle of Kursk would never have been allowed to happen. Manstein instead wanted to utilize the same technique that had brilliantly recaptured Khar'kov, namely his 'backhand' strategy. Manstein wanted to draw in the Soviet South and South-western Fronts and trap them against the Sea of Azov. Another piece of inspired strategy that sadly was never to be. Guderian supported Manstein and called him 'the best' in his own memoirs. Both men thought along the same lines and undoubtedly Guderian would have given Manstein much more freedom of action had the latter still been in command when Guderian became OKH Commander.

I think both Guderian and Manstein are amongst the best commanders in military history. Had Hitler listened to them victory, or at least an armistice, would have been within Germany's grasp even after Stalingrad.
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December 15th, 2005  
Reiben
 
 
Agreed.

Manstein wanted to use manoeuvre to win a sttlement in the east. Hitler wanted to hold ground at all costs. One of Napoleons maxims springs to mind.

Back on topic I think Britain had other commanders that were as good as Monty. They never enjoyed the advantages that Monty had.
January 3rd, 2006  
redcoat
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010

I'm willing to concede that Montgomery was likely within the top 10 battlefield commanders of the Allied powers.
I was under the impression that he was not in command of all allied forces for Overlord, but perhaps I was mistaken.
Until September 1st 44, Monty was the Allied Ground Commander for D-Day and the following campaign.
As such, he had command of all US, British and Commonwealth land forces in this period.
Quote:
Monty argued against Overlord though, and that's points against him to be fair.
There is no record of Monty ever arguing against Overlord.
I suspect you are confusing him with Churchill, who was worried about the dangers.
Quote:
In all of his victories that I am aware of, he always had numerical superiorty in all categories and usually a very substantial one. For that reason, I cannot see clasifying him as "One of the Greatest Generals of All-Time". He did what needed to be done ... usually later that I think he ought. Many people try to argue that he IS one of the greatest ever. That's a point I'm not willing to concede as I can't think of anything to be overwhelmingly impressed over.
Monty first came to the notice of the higher command with his handling of the 3rd Division on the retreat to Dunkirk, when he handled his division with skill against a superior force, in fact, his division was the only one from Dunkirk considered combat ready in the days after the evacuation.

Monty wasn't one of the greatest generals in military history, but he was one of the better ones of WW2.
January 4th, 2006  
zander_0633
 
 
I thought he had a "race" with General PATTON to Siciliy?
January 4th, 2006  
redcoat
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zander_0633
I thought he had a "race" with General PATTON to Siciliy?
No, the race was all in Pattons mind.
While Monty did have an ego the size of a double-decker bus, and wasn't bothered about who he stole the credit for victories from, he was too professional a soldier to play games with his mens lives on silly races.
January 5th, 2006  
zander_0633
 
 
haha,So it was all General Patton's fault?
January 5th, 2006  
Fox
 
 
Patton don't like Monty. I don't know why he don't like Monty. Please go rent "Patton" movie, it about between Patton and Monty racing to Sicily.
January 5th, 2006  
zander_0633
 
 
I watched it before on TV. I think Patton thinks that Monty is arrogant "British" who is out the take all the war honors for her country!