Poll: Who was the most skilled commander in WW2? (European Theater)

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Thread: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

  1. #1

    Default The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    Who in your opinion is the best commander of an army group in WW2? Ive listed some of the most well known guys, but please take advantage of the "other" choice if you feel it neccessary.

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    I forgot to mention that this is a European poll. Pacific warfare requires a whole new poll.

  3. #3
    Ambiguous Member Byzantine Prince's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    I don't know much about the individuals but I think Montgomerry was pretty skilled to defeat Rommel.

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    zombologist Senior Member doc_bean's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    I don't even know most of them, but certainly not De Gaulle.
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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    Manstein was the best. Guderian was more kind of father of modern tank strategy. Zhukov would be my second choice. The British and American commanders were not so good.

    Panzer, why did you only chose army commanders. What about airforce and navy? Were quiet important in WW2, weren't they?

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    is not a senior Member Meneldil's Avatar
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    Default Re : The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    De Gaulle should not even be in this poll. There was some great french commanders, but none of them was as good as, let's say Rommel.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    I voted for Erwin Rommel, for he fought a war with 2nd class german troops, very limited supplies, and too few aircraft. All the effort of the Wermacht was on the russian front, while africa was considered as a "delay them as much as possible" front. Actually, he was so much behind in supplies, that this was said among german troops:

    "If you see a white plane, it's the americans, if you see a black plane, it's the RAF, if you see no plane at all, it's the Luftwaffe!".

    To make matters worse he had the italians on him too, as theoretically at least, they were the high command of the african theatre of war. Of course, as every german general, he also had lance corporal Hitle telling him what to do .

    But the final point for him is, in my opinion, the view of his enemies. Okinlek had issued a warning to the british troops that Rommel was just a human, not a demon or sth else and he could be defeated etc. Winston Churchill also made a reference to him after his death, saying he was a great opponent but alas, a noble one, the last to have chivalry in that war.

    Being defeated, doesn't show the whole picture. At the battle of El-Alamein, german troops were too low on ammunition, equipment, petrol and all the rest of the modern war essentials to offer much resistance to the really well supplied allies. If victory or defeat was the criteria, then germans clearly don't have a place in this contest as they were all defeated in the end.

    I think it's more fair to judge them keeping in mind what they achieved in consideration of what they had available.

    Don't forget the 300 spartan at the thermopylae pass were also defeated by the 700,000 persians.

    Btw, wasn't it Mondgomery the british commander at El-Alameyn? (and Patton the US).

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    Quote Originally Posted by Byzantine Prince
    I don't know much about the individuals but I think Montgomerry was pretty skilled to defeat Rommel.
    I'd say he was fairly incompetent to take so long about it, and almost fail in the attempt.

    Pell.R.

  9. #9
    Member Member Petrus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    It hink Guderian was the most brilliant commander in WW II.

    As a corp commander, he acted perfectly in france in 1940 and this defeat was mostly due to his personnality, his decisions on the spot and his understanding of the war of movement.

    He was also very succesful in ussr and ended the war as inspector of the panzer, a role that allowed him to refit and adapt the armoured weapon but also to launch new models and to have a huge influence on doctrine with decisions such as the promotion of the assault gun as a standardized weapon.

    He was not, as Rommel, a 'mediatic' general and had a very aggresive behaviour but his role into the war has been infinitely more decisive and technicaly positive than Rommel's.

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    Bringing down the vulgaroisie Member King Henry V's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    I think Rommel was the best, with Patton coming a close second. The only reason why Rommel got beaten by Monty was that he was outnumbered.
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    Senior Member Senior Member English assassin's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    Btw, wasn't it Mondgomery the british commander at El-Alameyn? (and Patton the US).
    THERE WERE NO AMERICAN TROOPS AT EL ALAMEIN.

    Ahem. or even within 1000 miles of it.

    Anyway, Rommel was the commander the British respected the most so I would vote for him.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    Its a tough choice for me between Guderian and Von Manstein. I suppose i will go with Guderian as hes the father of the blitz and the panzer forces, but Von Manstein was an amazing tactician. He came up with the plan for france and did great things in russia. I debated putting Raus in there, but, although his defensive tactics were amazing, he really didnt get to do much offensive stuff as an army commander.

    Quite frankly I dont think Rommel really got to show just how good a commander he was. Afrika was a second rate front.. I wish Hitler would have let him loose in Russia with a real army. He was a great commander to do what he did with the corps, but its hard to compare him to the others...

    I dont think any of the allied generals could have been successful if they were put on equal terms against Germans. Thats not an insult, just an observation.

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    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    I voted for another.
    I dont know how common knowledge this is,but i Would like point out Finish Marshall Mannerheim.
    In november 1939 Soviets attacked Finland and thought they could take Finland in four weeks.The ratio of troops were 10:1 to Soviets but they failed badly and 12.3.1940 peace was made in Moscow.Soviet losses were aproximitely 800.000 dead,wounded or MIA..Finnish casulties were 21396 dead,43557 wounded and 1454 MIA.
    I think there are many more factors than Mannerheim whis lead that war to that
    kind of end.But just wanted to point out an Great Commander.
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    Viceroy of the Indian Empire Member Duke Malcolm's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    Field Marshal Sir Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount of Alamein. Defeated Rommel at El Alamein. Part-Victor of the Battle of the Bulge. Would have made a better job of the Invasion on Italy and Sicily if Patton didn't take charge.
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    Master of the Horse Senior Member Pindar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    Quote Originally Posted by Franconicus
    Manstein was the best. Guderian was more kind of father of modern tank strategy.... The British and American commanders were not so good.
    I agree.

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  16. #16

    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    Quote Originally Posted by English assassin
    THERE WERE NO AMERICAN TROOPS AT EL ALAMEIN.

    Ahem. or even within 1000 miles of it.

    Anyway, Rommel was the commander the British respected the most so I would vote for him.
    Oops, sorry if i was wrong there, it's some 10 years since i last read the ww2 history

  17. #17
    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    Von Runsted. He was never defeated. 2nd choice Rokossovsky, as much successfull than Zukov but more carefull about his men.
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    Panzer, why did you only chose army commanders. What about airforce and navy? Were quiet important in WW2, weren't they?
    Its just an interest of mine. I would make a navy or air force one but id have to look them up to see which were considered the best.

  19. #19

    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    Jagger, just don't make a "who was the best fighter pilot of ww2" poll. I mean first 100 places will be german anyway

    About the same for panzer commander, but germans did have much better armour at the time anyway...

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    Member Member sharrukin's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    De'Gaulle had a theoretical grasp of armoured warfare but doesn't seem to have done well in the field. Among the French I heard that General Charles Huntziger was good but I do not know as much about him as I would like.

    Lieutenant General Richard O'Connor was perhaps the best and it would have been interesting seeing him take on Rommel as they had similar styles. General Gotthard Heinrici was probably the best defensive commander.
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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    Quote Originally Posted by King Henry V
    I think Rommel was the best, with Patton coming a close second. The only reason why Rommel got beaten by Monty was that he was outnumbered.
    Rommel didn't do to well at Tobruk...
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    |LGA.3rd|General Clausewitz Member Kaiser of Arabia's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    I voted Guderian, but really its between Guderian, Rommel, and Von Manstein for me

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  23. #23

    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    Rommel didn't do to well at Tobruk...
    He didnt do too poorly either..

  24. #24
    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    Others have stated that the reasons he lost in North Africa where quantity and quality of troops and lack of supplies.

    The seige of Tobruk he had both more numbers and supplies then the besieged garrison yet he did not roll over them.
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    Vermonter and Seperatist Member Uesugi Kenshin's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    I went with Rommel. He was definately a great general and I know more about him than many of the others...
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    Member mercian billman's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    I'm surprised to see Kesselring missing from the poll, to hold out against the allies as long as he did, with virtually no air support was quite an accomplishment.

    I voted other, and I find it hard to actually pick one commander in particular, but it would be between, Patton, Kesselring, and Von Rundstedt.

  27. #27

    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    I tried not to put an excess of German generals in the poll.. but i probably should have put Von Rundstedt in place of Model, or maybe Kesselring.

    Jagger, just don't make a "who was the best fighter pilot of ww2" poll. I mean first 100 places will be german anyway

    About the same for panzer commander, but germans did have much better armour at the time anyway...
    Hehe most people dont know about how many Aces the Germans had in America.. not sure why, but most ww2 enthusiasts write off the entire luftwaffe because of the p51 legend.

  28. #28

    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    You mean american pilots that were of german origin?

  29. #29
    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    The best of the best of the aces WW2: Erich Hartmann, something like 362 victories (the last one the 8th of May 1945), mostly on the Eastern Front.
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  30. #30
    Summa Rudis Senior Member Catiline's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Most Skilled WW2 Commander

    Dowding must be worth at least a look in. He maintained control of the skies over southern England in 1940 despite massively superior German forces interms of numbers experience and in most respects equipment. Throughout the 30s britains airforce was horribly neglected, equipped with some shocking aircraft and far too small to deal with any significant conflict. A not insignificant part of it was squandered in France and Belgium, leaving Dowding to defend Britain with significantly fewer aircraft than he forcasted were necessary, and pilots thrown into combat with no live gunnery practice, weekend fliers from auxiliary squadrons and schoolboys with about 20 hours of flight time.

    The battle of Britain was lost by the Germans as much as won by the British, but the fact remains that Dowding gave them a Battle to lose.
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