Rommel as Strategist. - Page 3




 
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July 11th, 2004  
Marksman
 
 
well his biggest mistake was going on to celebration of his wifes birthday while allies stormed beaches of normandy
July 11th, 2004  
Shadowalker
 
 
The allies must of decided on the date of the landings just for that reason!!!
July 11th, 2004  
Maciste
 
Well, the trouble was not that he wasn't there, but that his defense scheme was virtually thrown away for the OKW (just a loudspeaker of Hitler's will at that time). Hitler, faced with the responsability of choose between:
1- Rommel's tactic: tanks near the beaches where they expected the Allies to land, but with the drawback that, if they put the tanks in the wrong area, Allied could land almost unimpeded and the tanks could be attacked by the rear or flanks.

2- von Rudstedt tactic: Tanks kept on rearguard but ready to get deployed where the Allies were landing as soon as they knew. Sadly it ment that the tanks should go across French country without defence capability against the overwhelming Allied air superiority.

Hitler tried to please both marshall, hence not pleasing anyone. He kept almost half of german armored forces on France near the beaches, and the other half waiting and safe behind the lines. Taking into account that a lot of these "armored forces" comprised obsolete french and german tanks (the newest ones were sent to the Russian front), it ment that the tanks on beaches neither had power to halt the attack, nor the other half could get deployed in time without being wiped out by Close Support fighters and bombers.

To make matters worse (for the Nazis, not for us, praise God for that), the landings happened so soon that no one on Wolfschanze (Hitler's HQ on East Prussian soil), dared to wake up Hitler to warn him... and Hitler was the only one with authority to allow these armored divisions in Normandy to move and attack. So the tanks didn't move on dawn, where they could have roared to with some impunity... at least, less defenceless than midmorning, when they began to roll on.
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August 7th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
One thing I find incredibly amuzing about the American take on World War II history, is
1.) the almost total disregard for what happened on the Eastern Front
2.) we tend to ignore everything and everyone that we did not encounter directly.

Nazi Germany was blessed with many military geniuses and certainly Rommel was one of them. In my opinion, he was far from being the best of them though. Just like all of the other successful Field Marshalls and/or Generals, he was yet another protege of Heinz Guderian.

It was Guderian who reinvented Tank Warfare making the concept of Blitzkrieg actually work. He also wrought total havock on Poland, then France, then Russia on the Eastern Front. One of Hitler's greatest failings was that he didn't let General Guderian have more free rein ... basically stopping or redirecting him before he could finish what he started. If he had let Guderian alone, the miracle of Dunkirk never happens and Moscow almost definitely would have been taken in 1942. What's worse, Hitler fired Guderian after an argument over strategies and tactics shortly after this, losing the best general he had to his own arrogance.

I can admire Rommel as a strong protege, but in my opinion, he comes nowhere close to equalling Guderian as a commander, as a strategist and as a military genius. I'd also say that Manstein is a few notches better than Rommel. Because Rommel was more the politician, however, he is a greater threat to Hitler.
August 13th, 2004  
GuyontheRight
 
god,
I don't think even if Guderian has free reign over an attempt to take Moscow in the winter of 41 he would of done it. Hoth's Panzer Korps was spent, and Zhukov had just arrived with his Siberian researves. In short, it was a mistake for him to even try a push so late in the fall.

I must also remind you that Guderian was in all acounts, a arrogant "hothead" (Although a very capable General nontheless.) He relied to heavilly on armor alone, and perhaps would have marched the Germans to an even swifter death in Russia (Perhaps, perhaps not)

Rommel was not always a man of armor, like Guderian, he remained skeptical of armor until the blitzkrieg in '39.
August 13th, 2004  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyontheRight
god,
I don't think even if Guderian has free reign over an attempt to take Moscow in the winter of 41 he would of done it. Hoth's Panzer Korps was spent, and Zhukov had just arrived with his Siberian researves. In short, it was a mistake for him to even try a push so late in the fall.

I must also remind you that Guderian was in all acounts, a arrogant "hothead" (Although a very capable General nontheless.) He relied to heavilly on armor alone, and perhaps would have marched the Germans to an even swifter death in Russia (Perhaps, perhaps not)

Rommel was not always a man of armor, like Guderian, he remained skeptical of armor until the blitzkrieg in '39.
With the delay in launching Operation Typhoon (the assault on Moscow) I don't think Guderian was under any illusions that Moscow could be captured in 1941. Guderian argued fiercely against the diverting of his Panzer Armee to help in the capture of the Ukraine, which may or may not have caused Typhoon to fail. In order for the Germans to win in '41, they had to smash the Red Army and shock them into defeat. By the time Zhukov arrived it was too late in 1941.

Guderian was impetous but he could back it up and he knew on most occasions he was right. He above all others understood that if the momentum in Blitzkrieg is lost then it becomes much less effective. With Hitler ordering him to divert his Panzer Armee 250 miles to help capture Kiev he knew that the forward momentum on Moscow was being critically stalled.

History was to prove him right.
August 14th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Lets consider a few things. Firstly, Army Group Center commanded by Guderian was the only German invasion force that didn't bog down. Army Group North and South were struggling to take their objectives, Guderian and his forces were not. (You'll find this is pretty typical in WW2 history.) He was no fool, we was not going to get so far ahead that he lost his supply lines. He did, however, see one very important thing that Hitler didn't. Since the Stalin and Lenin had industrialized Russia, Moscow was the very heart of things. In industry, in railroads, in everything.

It is in late August/early September that his forces are diverted toward the Ukraine to help the struggling Army Group South. It isn't until LATE NOVEMBER that he is allowed to continue towards Moscow and he has to retake a lot of territory that he had already taken previously. So Guderian's push for Moscow was almost 100% in the very heart of the Russian winter, and some of his forces still got within a mile. I'd say that's pretty damn impressive considering the severity of that particular Russian winter. What if he'd had the extra 3 non-winter months to work with? I think its extremely naive to say that Moscow would have not fallen and that would have been a major problem on the other two fronts for the Russians. Sure, the Ukraine likely doesn't completely fall in 1941. We'll never know how things would have turned out had he been left to pursue what he knew was best. I don't think Zukov would have had a prayer of stopping him from taking the capital, had things gone that way.

The underlying problem I have with Rommel 'worshippers' is that, because we actually fought him, we respect him. Because you really didn't face certain other German commanders, you don't think it possible they might have been better. And if you know anything about Guderian, you'd know better than to say that his strategies relied entirely on tanks. Do some reasearch please.
August 14th, 2004  
GuyontheRight
 
god, Yes, I have done research, and it's become clear to me that during the offensive in '41 Guderian relied to heavilly on armor, advanced to fast, and left his supply lines open, thus creating the problem of Soviet partisians who would harrass the Germans for the rest of the War. I am no idiot, I know Guderian was germany's best, and that he was the man who instated the Panzer forces as a mix of mech infantry and tanks. To say that if Hitler gave Guderian his choice the Germans would of won the war is a little farfetched for me.
August 14th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Yeah sorry if I came across wrong there.

Anyway, the Soviet patisans were not likely to cut his supply lines, as they were in the same boat as the Red Army - in a state of total shock and surprise. Because he was a bit of a beligerent ass, Guderian never got the full support of the Weirmacht. If his supply lines were in danger, that was not because he was doing it wrong. His whole theory of was was for the slower moving infantry to secure what the Panzers had taken. But remember, his idea was to focus a lot more of the German forces towards Moscow.

Not saying that this is a magical formula for German victory, just that it would have made things quite a lot more difficult for Russia.
August 14th, 2004  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010
Yeah sorry if I came across wrong there.

Anyway, the Soviet patisans were not likely to cut his supply lines, as they were in the same boat as the Red Army - in a state of total shock and surprise. Because he was a bit of a beligerent ass, Guderian never got the full support of the Weirmacht. If his supply lines were in danger, that was not because he was doing it wrong. His whole theory of was was for the slower moving infantry to secure what the Panzers had taken. But remember, his idea was to focus a lot more of the German forces towards Moscow.

Not saying that this is a magical formula for German victory, just that it would have made things quite a lot more difficult for Russia.
One of the problems for Guderian (and Hoth, Hoeppner and Kleist for that matter) was the lack of mechanisation for the supporting infantry divisions he left in his wake. Ideally, Panzergrenadier divisions would have kept up with the panzers and secured vital points behind him. I don't think it's so much because of Guderian's attitude that he didn't get full support from his superiors; it's more that some of them couldn't fully appreciate what Blitzkrieg was all about! Remember that most of them were WW1 veterans who still percieved war as being a series of gradual advances rather than lightening thrusts with overwhelming force as theorised by Guderian.