>first major advance came against a depleted British force that was down to 2 infantry brigades
>still can't take tobruk
>second major advance came when the RN left the med to respond to the Japanese threat
>all this time could read British plans thanks to the dumb American diplomat
>lose and keep losing when no longer possessing huge material or intelligence edge
>mobile armored division
What were these absolute madmen thinking?
Sonnenblume (sp?) was against 1 division and 3 independent brigades, so like 2 divisions altogether.
Although I do agree with you that Rommel is an incredibly overrated meme general; and his only real competition in that regard would probably be Patton for WW2 commanders.
He did have gas. He had quite a lot of it, in fact. But Libya had no railroads back then, and he moved far away from his ports that were receiving fuel to sustain his advances on Egypt.
Something like 50% of his petrol supplies were spent moving other supplies up to the front.
>Sonnenblume (sp?) was against 1 division and 3 independent brigades, so like 2 divisions altogether.
One division was a garrison for Tobruk. Between the front and Tobruk, there were only 2 Aussie brigades which were also underequipped.
> Rommel had overwhelming material advantage
I won't dispute that, but to be fair, 5/7 of his force were the same Italians who so recently got their asses kicked in Compass, and a lot of his own equipment were also either being unloaded or otherwise not ready. You had companies of the 5th Panzer regiment being tossed into the fray with rifles becaues their tanks hadn't arrived yet but the people had.
Really, the fundamental factor in a lot of the early desert war is the incredible ineptitude of the British, even more so than material factors.
>Khalid ibn al-Walid aka "The Sword of Allah"
A charismatic warlord, Khalid certainly has an impressive military record as far as Arab commanders go but his success are blow WAY out of proportion. Largely due to his strong personal ties to Mohammed and the rise of Islam making him as much a religious figure as a historical one. Muslims claim Khalid is literally the greatest general of all time next to Genghis Khan since both "never lost a battle". Personally i'd Attila the Hun is a more appropriate comparison.
As far as Muslim leaders go, Saladin was a far superior strategist as well as a statesman compared to Khalid considering the challenges each faced during their time.
That's because the two generals are great examples of popular history not really matching actual history. The former portrays them as these intrepid badass dudes riding a tank at the forefront of their neverending advance defeating opponents left right and centre, always attacking! Yee haw!
But their actual records - which requires things such as reading books, not just perpetuating what one heard somewhere or read at Cracked - put this in perspective. Sure the first paragraph might be found in what they had done in their careers. Except things such as constantly outrunning your supply lines, being out of contact because you decided to abandon your operational duties to meddle in tactical decisions at the individual AFV/gun level are even more numerous.
This is extremely common throughout military history actually. Ask anyone about WW1 and you will get the "they ran into machineguns all day erryday" treatment. Ask them about Rome and it will be legions with square shields in testudo formations. Disregarding the 95 percent of history that happened outside these examples.
Made my bachelors dissertation about him and his and CIA's views about the possible commie intervention in Korea. It was pretty impressive how he managed to ignore the signs again and again.
Given open terrain and the ability to manuver, Rommel was a highly successful commander who was able to outmanuver or overcome stronger enemies.
His most famous campaign was in Africa, where he with a largely Italian force would drive the British from Benghazi, Libya to El Alamien Egypt.
In Tunisia, he would also rout American units in the Battle of Kasserine Pass and achieved such a victory that but for the weather,he could have broken Eisenhower's entire army in one fell swoop and prolong the African campaign by months.
Rommel's skills as a tactician were among the best in World War II. This is also not taking into account his career as a junior officer in WWI, which also included some heroic efforts.
His greatest problem is he was never suited for defensive wars, probably largely due to his distaste of WWI, and that very much was the type of battle he was charged with waging in Africa and Europe.
His style of fighting was always going to give him logistical problems in Africa and even worse he was a very emotional commander and often ignored advice, both good and bad, from superiors including Kesselring who warned him rushing into Egypt would end poorly without securing his logistical base.
Rommel ultimately was a brilliant tactician but he just wasnt suited to the fight he was tasked with. He just didn't have the head or temperament for his role.
I honestly think he would've been at his best on the Eastern Front.
Not him, but Patton never really did much. I wouldn't say he was a bad general, but he was hardly a good general either. His performance in North Africa and Sicily was unexceptional, as was his performance in France.
Furthermore, he was a poor team player, often stealing supplies from his neighboring units, and I for one have never been able to find any sort of primary source corroborating the often stated notion that the Germans were more afraid of Patton than any of the other western generals.
But then you watch movies like Patton, or just listen around to a lot of American circlejerking, and you get this impression he's some sort of transcendent tactical genius.
Prior to the invasion of France, Hitler did not make a single mistake.
After the invasion of France, he made nothing but mistakes.
If you youtube Alexander Bevin, he has a talk on it. I haven't read his book, but it sounds interesting.
Well, the initial invasion of Norway was ostensibly to secure a non-freezing set of ports for Swedish iron ore to be transported to Germany. In practice though, the ports in Sweden itself didn't ice up enough to substantially affect the iron exporting, and when they did have to ship stuff down the Norweigan coast, British raiders often sank a lot of it anyway.
Mostly, it was to ward off a British counter-invasion which never materialized, combined with a terrible misunderstanding of how hard it was to pull off an invasion like that (which, to be fair, was hardly exclusive to Hitler at the time. Everyone was underestimating the difficulties of such an endeavor in 1940) or how hard it would be to advance once a landing was made.
>British counter-invaaion which never materialised
I'm guessing that Hitler's belief in an invasion was a combination of both his own paranoia and the misinformation campaign run by the British in tandem with the D-Day landing misdirection
No, no, Hitler was thinking that the British would counterattack way sooner than that; the garrison was upped from 7 divisions to 11 in the early spring of 1942, so it was way before D-Day counterintelligence operations.
Paranoia? Yeah, and a dollop of strategic misjudgment. Again, a lot of people before these kinds of landings hugely overestimated how easy it would be to land on a beach somewhere and then fight your way out of the position; so Norway, with a coast length of about 25,000 km, looked a lot more vulnerable than it was.
>has a plan that's pretty much "fall back to this defensive position, wait it out"
>ignores plan, gets horribly routed
>runs away, gets a medal
>herpaderp chinks won't do anything if we cross the border
>chinks encircle his force
>"hey guys, let's try a breakout into enemy territory!"
>gets shut down hard
>have never been able to find any sort of primary source corroborating the often stated notion that the Germans were more afraid of Patton than any of the other western generals.
It's because he was so irrelevant that the Germans didn't even know who he was until the final days of the war.
The remarkable thing about Patton was that he made so many easily recognizable mistakes despite having an advanced military education (Staff school, war college, etc.) while MacArthur's military education stopped at West Point. Bradley in his second memoir talks about Patton not requesting new artillery after the Sicily campaign because his guns were worn out, something he should have known or his staff should have kept him abreast of.
B-but that's not what the movies say!
Also every other German general is overrated
End.of the day a band of overrated losers. Some were better than others but still fuckups. Von Manstein for example. Good general. Overrated as some kind of military God amongst men
Criminally underrated: most Soviet generals, especially Rokossovsky, Konev, Chuikov, Sokolovsky and Tolbukhin
I really don't trust anything about him. His memoirs pretty heavily relied on the "blame hitler for everything that goes wrong" approach of storytelling. When there's an incident that he can't blame on Hitler (like his failed first assault on Sevastopol), he just flat out pretends it never happened.
As for the Soviet generals, the big one I never see mentioned is Alexander Novikov. He was the only competent commander of any air district at the start of Barbarossa, and he was responsible for the complete reorganization of the VVS, transforming it from the massive clusterfuck it was in 1941 to the world's best tactical air force by 1945.
I generally agreed with your post until you had to go full retard and mention Konev. He was responsible for several encirclements at Vyazma and he would probably end up in a ditch if Zhukov didn't constantly bail his ass out. If McArthurt is considered a failure then Konev should be too.
Oh yeah I agree history is riddled and hurt with the retired German generals memoirs syndrome as if it's the only thing that matters. Von Manstein being a prime example it's no wonder he was in forced retirement
Novikov n tje other hand I agree. Hadn't read a lot about him but now I have his reactions were great and he seriously mastered ground attack and Co ordination of movement.
Shame about how he got imprisoned after the war, that I did know about and his wrangling with Kruschev. Apparently Molotov thought he was innocent but got jailed anyways.
Really? I hadn't realize je was supposed have done that bad at Vyazma and was.under tje impression he lead a series of brilliant campaigns into Austria and Vienna. Maybe he was just better on the offensives?
I'm prepared to accept he may have been bad but that doesn't mean the other generals I mentioned were good. Im particularly fond of Rokossovsky
Perhaps worthy of mention was Timoshenko and in an organizational capacity Bulganin for rebuilding the Red Army after it's disasters.
Zhukov is probably the only general who does get his just due as a Russian because he was commander in chief
People forget this was a huge part of his job: making sure the Politburo's guidance to the military was actually useful and didn't repeat the executions kf 41. Stalin had sone military skill but it doesn't the fact he was trigger happy.
Zhukov was brilliant at this though. He really knew how to get his way at Politburo and Committee of State Defence meetings. Including getting his incompetent buddy not executed apparently. His memoirs were also good because they showed The Politburo under Stalin wasn't this homogeneous thing which only listened to Stalin but an actual rule by committee system
Couldnt we say he has a mixed legacy then though? Fuxked up bad at Vyazma but did great in southern Europe? Just curious because it does sound like a colossal fuckup and I wanna know more
Who's your favourite Soviet general?
If you want to learn more about Novikov, I'd suggest picking up Red Phoenix Rising by Von Hardesty. It does a great job explaining what happened with the VVS in WW2, and it discusses the Novikov reforms quite a bit. Highlights of the reforms include
>completely revamped training so pilots were actually prepared for combat
>adopted relevant aspects of Luftwaffe doctrine like the finger-four formation and free hunting
>Eliminated separate air forces attached to army units and the long-range aviation, replaced them instead with self-contained Air Armies that were far more flexible
To get an idea of how powerful his reforms were, compare the air blockade over Demyansk in early 1942 to the blockade at Stalingrad less than a year later. And by the end of the war, you had operations like Konigsberg, where Novikov was practically personally leading and coordinating thousands of aircraft over the city until it fell.
He was based. So good taste. I just like bringing up the other ones because in the West most people haven't heard of tjem.except /his/ of course
Bagramian was good too now I think of it
Oh Amazon wishing, why do I have to add another book to buy? I hope there's a kindle version so I can read it there next to my other sovietcore books
He sounds based. I knew about the Air Armies doctrine because it was dumb when they had divisional or corps level aircraft so that makes more sense. I also know Stalin's son was an air force Colonel and despite the nepotism to get him.there and boozing apparently not too bad. And they had neat stuff like senior personel leading regiments and even air armies
That is cool though, especially if he was responsible for Stalingrad and Koenigsberg
With what engines or supplies? Pretty much his entire army was mercenaries, so he needed a constant source of cash to pay them, which meant a constant stream of plunder, what with the extreme trouble maintaining lines of communication to Carthage.
All the high level German commanders were overrated while Hitler is without doubt the most underrated commander in World War II, if not all of history.
If by underrated, you mean that he gets undue blame for failures due to a combination of
>generals trying to salvage their reputation by scapegoating a dead man
>people assuming Hitler was clairvoyant
Then I'd agree with you. He certainly wasn't retarded, although seemed to be losing it towards the end of the war.
Part of what really isn't appreciated about Hitler is that h was trying to work around the toxic Prussian mindset that caused so many problems in WW1. Commanders were more concerned with their personal egos and reputations than success in the war, and Hitler (probably) recognized this. Look at WW1, for example - the Kaiserliche Marine was completely ready to go out in a blaze of glory off the English coast while the Army was negotiating a Truce. The Admirals would have sabotaged the negotiations and doomed Europe to a war stretching into 1919 purely because they felt they didn't want the war to end without getting their share of the glory.
Sure, Hitler may have believed some of the propaganda he was spouting about how the defeat in 1918 was the fault of the Jews, but I'd wager he also recognized just how harmful his own commanders could be if he left them to their own devices.
>Hey Rommel watcha doin
>Idk Prolly gonna invade the Brits
>Plz don't, wait for Operation Hercules at least
>nah desu Doing it nao
>already in Libya, I'll call ya when in Alexandria
Not him, but you could make the argument that a lot of his "military genius" was really the result of his subordinates, of guys like Subotai and Chepe and Muqali; but since the average person doesn't know those names, they attribute their successes to the big man.
Douglas "Spooked by the Gook" McArthur.
Douglas "Takes a Slap from the Jap" MacArthur.
Douglas "Lets the Chink through the Chainlink," MacArthur
Douglas "ignore the intel, enemies invade well" MacArthur
Douglas "Just wear the shades and the shame fades" MacArthur
Underrated in way that he's only famous for "le vampires" and people thinking he was evil.
>Vlad's refusal to pay the jizya (tax on non-Muslims) to the Sultan and intensified when Vlad Ţepeş invaded Bulgaria and impaled over 23,000 Turks.
>The assassination attempt failed and Mehmed marched to the Wallachian capital of Târgovişte, where he discovered another 20,000 impaled Turks. Horrified, the Sultan and his troops retreated.
>He's literally one of the very few commanders in history to have such an extensive and unbeaten track record.
This thread is about "Overrated" generals. I'm not denying his military accomplishments and his role in the rise of Islam, but I don't think his qualities as a commander are comparable to Genghis Khan or even Saladin for that matter.
For starters, Khalid didn't even become one of Muhammad's lieutenants until the next 3 ranking men above him where killed. Unlike Genghis and Saladin who had to deal with the initial challenges of killing/subjugating all their various rivals within their own tribe and emirate respectively before they could consolidate any real power.
Second, though Khalid often is said to have faced enemies who had larger forces than his own and emerged victorious, you have to look at WHY he came out on top. More often than not it seems to have been a mixture of his enemy's incompetence and no small amount of luck.
Take a look at the Siege of Bosra. If the Eastern Romans/Byzantines hadn't left the city walls to attack Abu Bakr's besieging army at the EXACT time they did, then Khalid and his cavalry would have either been too late or too early to the battle and would not have routed the engaged Roman force.
Vs again Genghis and Saladin who earned reputations for their incredible ability to manipulate their enemy's movements until they could strike back at the most opportune moment.
Lastly you have to look at the specific enemies each faced. For Khalid it was the various scattered Arab tribes and then the declining Eastern Roman Empire and Sassanid Persians. The rapid expansion and formation of the Caliphate in the east and north africa is largely due to the inability of both the ERE and Sassanids to respond quick enough. Muslim conquest was carried by its own momentum and once that began to slow down the Caliphate began to break apart into rival factions mainly over debate on who was Muhammed's true successor(See Shias/Sunnis)
So basically, Khalid and his military career are similar to that of Attila the Hun. Both commanders where constantly on the offensive, maintaining initiative and fighting on their terms. Had superior mobility and logistical advantages over their opponents as well as their armies maintaining better cohesion. Their enemy's politics and infighting played as much a part of their success as their decisions on the battlefield. I could go on but this has already turned into a rant.
TL;DR: Khalid was a very successful warlord, but his strategic and tactical abilities as a general and commander are overrated especially when you look at the other historical figures he is compared to.
>As far as Muslim leaders go, Saladin was a far superior strategist as well as a statesman compared to Khalid considering the challenges each faced during their time.
Khalid was a genuinely talented commander while Saladin was a meme commander that was romanticized into his current form by Voltaire and Sir Walter Scott.
Only burned Atlanta to the ground. Left other Southern cities standing.
>beat one enemy
>die after that
>become a meme
I love when people say that he's the goat because later commanders admired him. They admired the meme and ultimately themselves, not alexander
>Khalid was a genuinely talented commander
>Saladin was a meme commander
Such a compelling insight
> it was the various scattered Arab tribes and then the declining Eastern Roman Empire and Sassanid Persians. The rapid expansion and formation of the Caliphate in the east and north africa is largely due to the inability of both the ERE and Sassanids to respond quick enough.
So? The Arabs at the time were nothing. It would be like if, in some alternate universe, the Netherlands, seeing that the rest of Europe is exhausted and battered after WW1, went on a conquering rampage in 1920, overrunning all of France and half of Germany.
Even the battering that the ERE and the Sassanids took in their fighting each other left them far stronger, at least on paper, than anything the Arabs could put together.
>The Arabs where nothing
Until they became something
That is the greatest folly of empires, underestimating your enemy.
And you're ignoring the most important attribute of their success and for that matter, most successful widespread military conquests: The ability to quickly assimilate and unite the conquered.
You could say the same for the various Steppe tribes
Only he completely crossed the line with his meddling and didn't let his commanders do what they needed to do which is in sharp contrast to what made Stalin good.
When you have capable commanders you don't need to micromanage and personally command every aspect of the war, obstructing their abilities for your own ego.
Which is in sharp contrast to Stalin who did the exact opposite. He started the war personally leading everything but as it became clear he had commanders who were quite able, he gave them further and further degrees of autonomy. Q
I did see the post and it was almost a direct response. I'm not going to say Hitler never made a good call. He certainly made a few.
That being said, you have to know when to do that and when not to and Hitler far outdid it. It was more of a case of a broken clock is right twice a day than any sort of brilliance on Hitler's part. And to say that Hitler had an understanding of strategy that had factors that German high command didn't isn't any sort of indictment on German high command. It's rather a failure of Htiler's for not making sure such knowledge was available to his generals.
More important than being an able commander is knowing when to hand the torch to a more compotent commander and Hitler did not have that. He wasnt insane, true, but he was overbearing with his power and at an operational level it did more harm than good.
It wouldn't have won the war but there likely would have been less blunders.
He had greater strategic insight than most of his generals, you can't really pass on insight. Even if he could his generals would still resist him because many of them were still arrogant Prussian generals that are dismissive of the Austrian corporal.Beside,by the time his judgement began to falter from all the crazy drugs he was taking, giving control to the generals would have only delayed defeat long enough for Germany to get nuked.