Great Generals and Tactics Through the Ages - Page 6




 
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August 24th, 2004  
GuyontheRight
 
David, I can remember reading a essey from a notible historian who made the case Rommel may have had plans to let the Allies through In Normandy if Hitler did not come to his senses and seek peace. He suggested the Desert Fox saw It In germany's best interest that the Americans should occupy his country before the Soviets drew closer. Does anyone have any sources that suggest this?
August 24th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
As I've said previously, Rommel was more tha politician than those German commanders who probably outclassed him as a military genius. He was among the better battlefield commanders, which made him appealing to the German people. Had the plot against Hitler succeeded, its likely he'd have been in good standing to become the next leader of Germany. He had the sense to see the encirling doom, as did many other German commanders. That makes him an intelligent man, capable of seeing the overall picture.

You can say what you like about what you think of him on the overall scale of course, but ALL the German Generals had the same problem: never having enough tanks, troops, planes or anything else to work with. He becomes the test against which the Allies are able to sort out how to counter the German battlefield tactics ... in the only field that we were capable of fighting them successfully at that point: North Africa. I don't know of a major overall strategic victory that Rommel can claim foremost credit for. He was good, obviously, but he had a lot of comany with all the other brilliant German military leaders. It could be argued that he was not placed on the Ostfrong because he was not good enough to be entrusted with the titanic battles that were to determine the fate of Germany.

And consider that his genius as a military leader was not sufficient to recognize a good idea when it was presented: Actung Panzer. Blitzkrieg. He remained quite sceptical of the concepts until they proved to be MASSIVELY effective. Lets contrast that with a couple unquestioned military geniuses Philip and Alexander of Macedonia. They see a brilliant idea, the phalanx, but then they see its true potential. So they improve the system and Alexander runs off to use it in his enormous conquests. Nobody had yet put together just how useful it could be as an offensive weapon to go conquering the world. Philip figured it out for himself, and Alexander took that vision and made it a reality. Obviously there was much more to Alexander than the Phalanx as well.

I personally would classify him as one of the top German commanders despite all that. But to me, the category of "Great Generals of All-Time" means that you come up with some tactic or idea that completely revolutionizes warfare and how it is fought. I don't know that Rommel did that.
August 24th, 2004  
GuyontheRight
 
god, Point Taken. But to say that someone has to come up with revolutionary tactics to be considered truly great just isn't true. Take Napoleon. The man did not revolutionize warfare per say, he simply was a highly effective commander of what happened to be the largest Army Europe had ever seen. In fact he was rather unimaginative on the battlefield.

That being said, Rommel did get a lot more attention over some very good German Generals. Take Balck for example, for I've always felt he has been ignored by American historians. The man encircled entire Soviet Tank armies with smaller forces, engaged In aggressive night marches, but was never given the publicity Rommel was given. People tend to see Rommel at Kasserine Pass as this great genius, but lets not forget he was overrunning a fair share of rear echelon personal, and American troops who had been compared to the "Italians of the Allies". Still, his plans of defense at Normandy and his aggressive push on 8th Army should not be overlooked. Here was a man who did not have the benefit of the kind of troops the Eastern Front commanders had. By '43 he had only two ill equipded Panzer Divisions (The 15th and 21st) and a large number of rear echolon and second rate Italians, and was still able to push the Americans back to the border of Algeiers. I guess I havnt resolved this question on the Fox, but just some points to think about.
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August 24th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Point taken for Napoleon. Still, mass armies WAS a revolutionary idea, but Napoleon can't take credit for it. Robespierre got the ball rolling for that, but the guy was such an egotistical ass that I doubt anyone wants to give him credit for anything at all. Napoleon was the man that saw the potential in the idea, improved the army's training and then used it.

I haven't seen enough about Napoleon to classify him as a overwhelmingly brilliant battlefield tactician, but he was reasonably good. He also was a brilliant world leader, which is where he sets himself appart more than anywhere else.

At this point, I'm going to drop the point. There are too many Rommel fans in the world ... and that's the part that generates the Hype that he was the best. But he is at least more than good enough, so that's where I'll leave it.
October 25th, 2005  
Bory
 
 
General Sir John Monash. A "Colonial" Part-time soldier, who's use of combined arms operations, put to shame the BEF high command. Hamel is his hallmark. He used Planes to do bombings and locate exact positions to bombard, artillery to cover the tanks, and the tanks to cover the infantry. Today we call that thinking common bloody sense, back then, it was ingenious planning.
October 31st, 2005  
MightyMacbeth
 
 
yall seem to forget some1 called Al Malik Al Zahir Rukn Al Din Baibars Al Bunduqdari... 8)
November 11th, 2005  
FULLMETALJACKET
 
 
Alexander The Great.
November 12th, 2005  
Pvt.Joker
 
My Military Mavericks

General Heinz Wilhelm Guderian (Achtung Panzer)


General George Patton (old Blood and Guts)


Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (Pearl Harbor)


General Joseph Stilwell (Vinegar Joe)


Captain T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia)
November 12th, 2005  
MightyMacbeth
 
 
Charles De Gaulle
December 21st, 2010  
antonpsarri
 
 
ONLY ONE
THE GREAT ALEXANDER
He is the only one who earned the title GREAT from friends and enemies.Think that even today some barbarians (like afgans or persians or iraqies ,turks etc) remember how great was him and teach oral their children about <<Iskader(the barbarian name of Alexander)>>.I am kindly asked everyone who is going to serve in this countries talk to locals and ask them about Iskader from Ynanistan(Greece in barbarian)