Talented German commanders. - Page 4




 
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January 18th, 2012  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I am assuming you mean Army Group Courland (Heeresgruppe Kurland) and yes they did a great job as did the Kriegsmarine in keeping them supplied.

The commanders of Heeresgruppe Kurland were:
- Ferdinand Schoerner
- Lothar Rendulic
- Heinrich von Vietinghoff
- Carl Hilpert
YES!! Thank you (this forum is better than google) What do you guys think about Joachim Peiper?
January 18th, 2012  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostrider
YES!! Thank you (this forum is better than google) What do you guys think about Joachim Peiper?
What we think about him is somewhat irrelevant as this isn't a poll there are no right or wrong answers.

Peipers problem is that he will always be tied to the Malmedy Massacre and he and his men had a brutal reputation from the Russian front but it was a brutal campaign and despite histories attempt to turn the Allies into choir boys the reality is that they committed acts that would have seen them on trial had they lost as well.

So if you are prepared to look beyond the known you would have to rate Joachim Peiper as a talented leader after all by age 29 he was already a full Colonel with the Knights Cross and swords so clearly he knew what he was doing on a battlefield.
January 18th, 2012  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
What we think about him is somewhat irrelevant as this isn't a poll there are no right or wrong answers.

Peipers problem is that he will always be tied to the Malmedy Massacre and he and his men had a brutal reputation from the Russian front but it was a brutal campaign and despite histories attempt to turn the Allies into choir boys the reality is that they committed acts that would have seen them on trial had they lost as well.

So if you are prepared to look beyond the known you would have to rate Joachim Peiper as a talented leader after all by age 29 he was already a full Colonel with the Knights Cross and swords so clearly he knew what he was doing on a battlefield.
I was not clear with that question; I was focusing on the question of this thread, not what he was responsible for, more how you viewed him as a talented commander.
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January 19th, 2012  
MontyB
 
 
Been thinking about this one all day and I am going to add another name that is not well known...

Captain Hans-Jürgen Reinicke, Captain of the KMS Prinz Eugen from 5 January 1944 - 7 May 1945.
Awards:
Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th and 3rd Class (2 October 1936)
Spanish Cross in Silver with Swords (23 June 1939)
Iron Cross (1939)
2nd Class (27 November 1939)
1st Class (19 April 1940)
German Cross in Gold (12 March 1942)
High Seas Fleet Badge (19 March 1942)
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 21 April 1945 as Kapitän zur See and commander of the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen


During this period the Prinz Eugen is in action on the Baltic Coast supporting troops and covering the evacuation of troops and civilians.

10 March - 4 April 1945: Prinz Eugen is engaged in shore bombardment operations against Russian troops off the Gulf of Danzig. The ships fires on land targets around Tiegenhoff, Ladekopp, Zoppot and Danzig.
In twenty-six days the ship has expended 4,871 rounds of 20.3 cm ammunition, and 2,644 rounds of 10.5 cm ammunition.

It is the only German capital ship to survive the war in an operational state.

It is no secret that the Prinz Eugen is my favourite fighting ship of any period but I was reticent to put this guy forward however the ship was his command and it performed outstandingly throughout the war especially the last 12 months of it in a navy who's surface fleet was at best "quiet" so I think he deserves to be mentioned.
January 21st, 2012  
samneanderthal
 
Being under 20,000 tons, it may not be a capital ship, but it was indeed beautiful. It is ironic that the one surviving German Cruiser was able to bomb the Soviets for weeks and Soviet aviation could not sink it, despite its limited AAA and the very weak LW in the area.
October 9th, 2012  
MontyB
 
 
Ok a new contender...

General der Artillerie Wilhelm Stemmermann
(23 October 1888 – 18 February 1944).

Awards and decorations

Iron Cross (1914)
2nd Class
1st Class
Wound Badge (1914)
in Black
Knights Second Class of the Order of the Zähringer Lion
Cross of Honor
Anschluss Medal
Sudetenland Medal with Prague Castle Bar
Iron Cross (1939)
2nd Class (12 September 1939)
1st Class (23 September 1939)
Wound Badge (1939)
in Silver
General Assault Badge with "25" Numeral
Eastern Front Medal
German Cross in Gold (21 August 1942)
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
Knight's Cross on 7 February 1944 as General der Artillerie and commander of XI. Armeekorps
399th Oak Leaves on 18 February 1944 as General der Artillerie and commander of XI. Armeekorps
Mentioned twice in the Wehrmachtbericht on (20 February 1944 and 22 February 1944)

I figured I would put him into the mix as his defense of and break out from the Korsun-Cherkassy Pocket was a fine example of leadership under extremely difficult conditions and given his awards it seems that this was a man that lead from the front yet has remained relatively unknown.


A good write up on this battle/campaign can be found in
KORSUN POCKET: The Encirclement and Breakout of a German Army in the East, 1944 by Niklas Zetterling and Anders Frankson.

This operation is also where Leon Degrelle and the Walloon volunteers distinguished themselves.
October 13th, 2012  
Doppleganger
 
 
Some good replies. I still feel Guderian is up there, despite his diminished and tarnished reputation over the past few years. It is arguable whether commanders like Manstein, Balck, Hoth et all would have had the same appreciation of armoured warfare without Guderian being around. His political allegiance and relationship with Hitler undoubtedly helped him, but Guderian was still pivotal in the development of the panzerwaffe, without being the all-seeing father that his memoirs suggest he was.
November 4th, 2012  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
Some good replies. I still feel Guderian is up there, despite his diminished and tarnished reputation over the past few years. It is arguable whether commanders like Manstein, Balck, Hoth et all would have had the same appreciation of armoured warfare without Guderian being around. His political allegiance and relationship with Hitler undoubtedly helped him, but Guderian was still pivotal in the development of the panzerwaffe, without being the all-seeing father that his memoirs suggest he was.
Regarding the idea that it has only been in the last few years that Guderians reputation has been tarnished the first serious case of his personality and abilities being called into question that I recall reading was Operation Barbarossa by Bryan Fugate in 1984 now I accept it wasn't a great book but the theme of Guderian being a self-centered, self promoter have persisted for at least the last 30 years.

I think Guderian was incredibly lucky that the likes of Rommel and von Kluge did not survive the war as I am sure they would have refuted much of his work.

That being said I think he was an able commander who's ego has diminished his achievements, I think he deserves to be in list but perhaps it is time people stopped looking at him through rose coloured glasses.

November 5th, 2012  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I think Guderian was incredibly lucky that the likes of Rommel and von Kluge did not survive the war as I am sure they would have refuted much of his work.
Why those 2 commanders in particular Monty?

Rommel, as far as I know, was in tune with Guderian and apparently recommended Guderian as the only commander who could replace him in Africa. They disagreed over the placement of armour in 1944 but I'm not aware that there was any major dispute between them other than that. I could be wrong though. Consider too that Rommel was in the minority here - the other senior commanders consulted, Rundsedt and Schweppenburg, agreed with Guderian. Schweppenburg himself was a highly regarded panzer commander and he knew his stuff. They came into WW2 from separate arms of the Heer and Rommel came to armour only after Guderian had laid the groundwork. Whether Guderian was the overall 'father of blitzkrieg' is open to considerable debate but as far as Germany goes it was mainly him. I'm not sure how much of Guderian's work Rommel would be in a position to refute.

It's well documented that Guderian and Kluge didn't get on - in fact they appear to have hated each other. Given that, you would have to be careful of any criticism of each man by the other. That to one side, Kluge was a more traditional commander and there would have been natural suspicion to Guderian's doctrines even if they had been best of friends. They were also direct rivals, despite the fact that in theory Guderian was subordinate. The thing is though, it is Kluge who ultimately performed the most poorly out of all the senior commanders involved in the Battle of Moscow by way of inaction. His failure to reinforce the 2nd phase of Operation Typhoon with his 4th Army may have cost the Germans the chance to capture Moscow. In any case, Kluge was a traditional, albeit very good commander, who was cautious and methodical. Not the best person to refute Guderian's legacy if I'm honest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
That being said I think he was an able commander who's ego has diminished his achievements, I think he deserves to be in list but perhaps it is time people stopped looking at him through rose coloured glasses.
Well there's no doubt Guderian had a massive ego. It's pretty much a requirement for any senior commander. There's also little doubt that Guderian inflated himself in various parts of his memoirs and left out incidents that probably wouldn't show him in the best light. I think that can be said about most memiors to a greater or lesser degree. It's right to revise Guderian's standing but at the same time don't be tempted to flip in the opposite direction. It's interesting that you attribute the phrase 'rose coloured glasses' to him when most would argue that it's Rommel who has enjoyed an inflated reputation. Hardly anyone outside military circles has even heard of Guderian but there does seem to be an element of hero worship amongst some. I have to admit I was guilty of this for a while. I still hold him in high regard but much more tempered with objectivity now.
November 5th, 2012  
lljadw
 
Well,I have a low opinionof Guderian :his'Panzerleader' can,IMHO,be thrown away :it's (among a lot of other things) concealing that he was involved in the preparation of Barbarossa(which he denied),he,wrongly claimed to be the inventor of the Blitzkrieg,he wrongly claimed that Hitler was responsible fot Dunkirk,etc,etc,he wrongly claimed that after the fall of France,Hitler doubled the number of PzD,while halving the number of tanks.
His tenure as IG of the tanks was not brilliant.
 


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