Best ground force General of WW II (SD Vote)

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Miragedriver, Jun 26, 2015.

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Please choose your top three ground force generals of World War II

Poll closed Jun 27, 2016.
  1. Zhukov - Soviet Union

    12 vote(s)
    42.9%
  2. Patton - United States

    4 vote(s)
    14.3%
  3. Rommel - Germany

    13 vote(s)
    46.4%
  4. Montgomery - Great Britain

    1 vote(s)
    3.6%
  5. Zhu De - China

    6 vote(s)
    21.4%
  6. Model - Germany

    3 vote(s)
    10.7%
  7. McArthur - United States

    1 vote(s)
    3.6%
  8. Feder von Bock - Germany

    3 vote(s)
    10.7%
  9. Eisenhower - United States

    5 vote(s)
    17.9%
  10. Bradley - United States

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Miragedriver
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    Miragedriver Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
    Major General Erwin Rommel, and an early Panzer IV (Nº321) of the 7th Panzer Division in France, May 1940.

    Erwin Rommel, is pictured here with his Leica III rangefinder camera. Rommel is reported to have been given such a camera by his friend/patron, Joseph Goebbels, before the 1940 Western campaign; many 'photos of his authorship or probable authorship survive, and crop up with a fair degree of frequency in propaganda/publicity contexts.

    Rommel and the German 7th Panzer division in France 1940
    He was given the command in the place of the both older and more experienced commanders.

    Inevitably, any account of the German 7th Panzer Division’s actions in France, 1940, to a large extent involves Erwin Rommel. Nevertheless, Rommel often showed audacity and never hesitated to take command of a situation no matter how big or small. He was a man of action, and it seems that he often reacted in a spontaneous and somewhat impulsive manner. His style of command and personality characterized much of the actions of the division.

    At the time of the campaign in France, Germany did not possess an overwhelming military strength. The Germans had 135 divisions compared to 151 for the allied side. Germany had some 2500 tanks while the allies had more than 4000. The German tanks were not technically superior to those of the allies. Only in the air did the Germans have superiority both in numbers of aircraft and in their technical performance.

    The German superiority, instead, lay in their tactics with narrow and deep penetrations. The Germans only had 10 Panzer Divisions, but they were used with a devastating effect when they were concentrated on a narrow front.



    Back to bottling my Grenache
     
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  2. Franklin
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    Franklin Senior Member

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    I felt that Erwin Rommel should be the one to be thrown out. But it appears that he is one of the favorites on SDF. So I would say Douglas Macarthur should be thrown out. No doubt he was a great general but the Pacific War for the US has primarily been a naval and air war. The main land war in the Pacific was fought in China which he didn't take part in. He also didn't take part in an important turning point in the Pacific War. The Battle of Guadalcanal. He did manage to retake the Philippines but that was in a stage of the war where Japan was already severely weakened if not close to being on the ropes.

    And he has zero votes so far.
     
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  3. delft
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    delft Senior Member

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    So he acted like a field officer, not a general. In 1944 in France he was out of his depth and committed suicide.
     
  4. Franklin
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    Franklin Senior Member

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    I have my fair share of criticism on Rommel. But to be fair to him in France 1944 he was one of the few that saw Normandy as a potential invasion site and he was also one of the few that understood that the only way for Germany to beat the allies in the west is to scuttle the beach landing. While others at the high command prefers to fight the allies deep inside of France and use their previously succesful blitzkrieg tactics on them. This includes the likes of Gerd von Rundstedt and Heinz Guderian. But unlike them Rommel had experience with allied air power in North Africa first hand and knows that if the allies are able to make a beach head that the war in the west would be lost. He is one of the few that understood that the war in the west would be won or lost on the beaches of Normandy. And he was right. He tried to convince Hitler and the other generals but to no avail. From january 1944 to june 1944 he has feverishly tried to build as many obstacles on the beaches of Normandy as he can and elsewhere along the Atlantikwall too. But he ran out of time. The allied invasion only came about 5 months into his building efforts. Call it poor timing, bad luck or just poor judgement. But on 5 june 1944 the day before the invasion he left his HQ in France to celebrate the birthday of his wife in Berlin. When the allied invasion came he was in Berlin just like during the Second Battle of al Alamein. This is the second time that at the most crucial moment he was far away from his command post and was in Berlin.

    Rommel was forced to commit suicide in 1944 because he was implicated in the 20 july plot to kill Hitler with a bomb.
     
  5. vesicles
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    vesicles Senior Member

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    I think this comment is very misleading. It was either his own life or the lives of his family. He was forced to commit suicide because he was implicated in the assassination of Hitler. He was escorted into the woods behind his house by Nazi gestapo and he shot himself there. It was in effect an execution. They gave him the choice because he was a national hero and Hitler didn't want to risk damaging the morale of the nation by executing him.

    And although I didn't vote for Rommel, I don't think we should deny his brilliance in battle. He was one of the premier field commanders in the WWII. No question about it. If he was given enough supplies, no one would be able to beat him. And they barely cornered him when he literally had no gas, no food and no ammo. Just imagine what he could do with supply...
     
    #45 vesicles, Jun 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2015
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  6. delft
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    delft Senior Member

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    Indeed Rommel was a brilliant field commander with a very good eye for terrain. That made him see Normandy as the likely invasion place.
     
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  7. Lezt
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    Lezt Junior Member

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    I voted for Model because of a few things, (things which Eisenhower is also very good at too)

    1) he was able to gain the trust of his commander in chief; when debating the course of maneuver of the ninth army with Hitler, Model said "Mein Führer, who commands Ninth Army, you or I?" Hitler let Model command. Thats not what Guderian and Manstein experienced, they were dismissed

    2) he was competent in the logistics of the army

    3) he was competent in the execution of the army in the field

    4) He was both strategical and tactical,

    5) He does not believe in impossibility.
     
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  8. ABC78
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    ABC78 Junior Member

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    I haven't vote yet because I personally would like to have a better defined criteria for best general.

    Is a general great because of their skill as a field commander in defeating an opposing force?

    Is being a great manager of their field commanders, policy making in managing territory your forces operate as well as dealing with locals?

    I recall a documentary years ago about Monty and his supporters distinction of what made him a better general than Ike. But if that was what made a great general then they clearly avoided mentioning Patton in order to not undermine their assertions.
     
  9. Jeff Head
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    Jeff Head Super Moderator
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    We are leaving it up to each SD member to decide.

    You have listed some good ones. Numerous things have been mentioned on the thread and you can go through it if you like before voting.

    But then you decide.

    If you get a chance...then go and apply the same type of thinking to the Best Air Force general and the best Admiral.
     
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  10. PanAsian
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    PanAsian Senior Member

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    Fun threads, I really have to think about these before voting. Is there a deadline?
     
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