Rommel, Montgomery, or Patton

Discussion in 'General' started by Run N Gun, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Maybe Rommel was a closet Prima Donna, while Patton and Montgomery were openly so.

    I would venture a guess that the vast majority of generals, from all armies were, to some degree prima donnas, with Monty and Georgie some of the better known. Douglas MacArthur certainly was not lacking in vanity and could have easily given the dynamic duo a good run for their money as the premier prima donna of the war, with Herr Meyer right up there in the thick of things, also.
     
  2. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Remembering what happened back in 1944/5. I must admit to being a bit put out that the self propagandist Patton should be included as a great general. Now if you said great publicist? then OK, I will go along with that.
    But I cannot forget his absence from Falaise, where he was asked to join the battle by his superior officer, and refused.

    All the while he was swanning about the empty of an enemy French Countryside. Even then he ran out of petrol and was grounded...Great general??? Kidding.

    To earn the accolade of greatness one must list his Victories against a determined enemy...And over a period of time.....Where Patton?
    Sapper
     
  3. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    There were other commanders other than just army - my choices would be Portal, Kesselring, and Peirse (randy olf devil that he was!).

    But if we're choosing army commander one needs to consider Tomoyuki Yamashita (for his brilliant tactics in Malaya and Singapore). Unfortunately blamed for the atrocities commited during the Battle of Manila though he had nothing to do with it.

    What about naval commanders? Cunningham? Nimitz?
     
  4. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    RAdm Clifton Sprague USN, for his actions commanding TF 77.4.3, (Taffy 3) off the coast of Samar 25 Oct 1944. It seems he did everything right in a type of engagement not thought possible before, while his opponent VAdm Takeo Kurita did not.

    No small debt of gratitude is owed to men of the USS Johnston, Hoel and Roberts for turning into the fight like chihuahuas in cage full of lions.

    #2 Admiral of the Fleet Andrew Cunningham for his actions at Taranto, Cape Matapan and Crete.
     
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Bill Slim.
     
  6. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

  7. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Let's see, how do I say it...

    Spot on, Spidge.

    Did I use the correct sentence?
     
  8. marcus69x

    marcus69x I love WW2 meah!!!

    Let's see, how do I say it...

    Spot on, Spidge.

    Did I use the correct sentence?

    Spot on Jeff. ;)
     
  9. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Spot on Jeff. ;)


    Well, hot dang, looks like I'm purt near larning Anglish from y'all. Soon as I arn out the diffances b'tween the wuds, I'll be gud t' go.
     
  10. MorrieNz

    MorrieNz Junior Member

    My father served in the 22nd and 25th Infantry Bns of the New Zealand Division in the 8th Army in North Africa, from 1941 in Egpyt and Libya, right through to Tunisia in 1943, and he had nothing but good to say of Montgomery, of his concern for his troops, his excellent training and organisation, his fixing of the problem the New Zealanders had earlier had with British armour failing to support as promised the Kiwi infantry after successful attacks, his confidence inspiring leadership, and his utter and deliberate ruthlessness once battle had started, and this was from a Kiwi soldier, most of whom, including my Dad, had little time for British Generals.

    My father also had great respect for Rommel as a man, and as a general, but he certainly felt Monty had Rommel's measure. Rommel may have been a more daring general, and he certainly was a great general with his intitiative, drive and leadership, but he didnt have the grasp of logistics and organisation that Monty did, nor did he always have the patience to wait until his logistics were right to attack, or to know when to stop and consolidate.

    I am sure my father would agree with Sapper.

    While some might be critical of Montgomery's personality, I think the best summing up of his abilities came from Rommel himself, who said that once Montgomery arrived in Egypt, the desert war stopped being a game. He very quickly found out what a great general he was up against, and acknowledged it.

    Cheers
     
  11. MorrieNz

    MorrieNz Junior Member

    Adding to your cooments on Patton, Sapper. What truly great general would abuse and assault a shell shocked soldier as Patton once did.

    Cheers
     
  12. MorrieNz

    MorrieNz Junior Member

    For those who seemed to object to this being a choice between just these three generals. The original poster never claimed they were the three greatest in WW2. He/She simply posed the question of which would be your choice of those three. A very valid and interesting question tp pose I would have thought.

    The question of who was the greatest general of WW2 is a totally different question, and a much more complicated one, which obviously some people felt was the question they wanted asked and wanted to answer.
     
  13. MorrieNz

    MorrieNz Junior Member

    Sapper, Your comments on Monty's willingness to sack officers that werent performing are very relevant. By doing that, and making his commanders realise he expectd them to perform, he saved the lives of many young New Zealanders (possibly including my father's), as it had the effect of stopping the earlier problem the Kiwis had with the British armour often not turning up as promised after successsful New Zealand infantry attacks, a problem which had led on severeal occasions to German/Italian counterattacks causing terrible casualties to the NZers. Monty gave Gen Freyberg confidence that the armour would arrive, and after Freyberg realised it really now would arrive, it made the NZers much more effective and willing to themselves attack.

    I think that the opinion of those that fought, and were around at the time. Should count for a lot...I would be interested in other Veterans opinion that contribute to these pages.

    Monty was not only a brilliant tactician, but utterly ruthless to the enemy, but even more so to his own officers. If any officer did not come up to scratch. He had his bowler, and back in the UK before they knew what happened.

    Monty it is reputed, got rid of more officers that did not come up to his expectations, than anyone before.
    Sapper
     
  14. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    For those who seemed to object to this being a choice between just these three generals. The original poster never claimed they were the three greatest in WW2. He/She simply posed the question of which would be your choice of those three. A very valid and interesting question tp pose I would have thought.

    The question of who was the greatest general of WW2 is a totally different question, and a much more complicated one, which obviously some people felt was the question they wanted asked and wanted to answer.

    Welcome to the forum MorrieNz,

    The actual question was:

    Rommel, Montgomery, or Patton
    Who do you think was the better battle commander?
    Have another choice? Share.

    Sometimes the actual question can change shape as the post's mount however the actual question invited alternate preferences.

    These questions should be structured to allow "Apples with Apples".

    eg: Best Army, Best Naval, Best Air etc which is open for someone to start.
     
  15. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Do folk here think that the opinions of those that took part in the battles of 63 years ago would be the best to judge?

    Ask any veteran who was best? and I believe that there will be a huge Monty majority. Monty had a great deal of admiration. many of his deeds were never "Show Cased"
    Sapper
     
  16. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Ask any veteran who was best? and I believe that there will be a huge Monty majority. Monty had a great deal of admiration. many of his deeds were never "Show Cased"
    Sapper

    Dear Sapper

    You and I have a problem.

    We are both undoubted admirers of Monty.

    We both, in our time and in our own areas of conflict, served under him, you in France & I in North Africa, Sicily & Italy.

    But, and this is a big "but", we were both rankers and fairly low in the "need to know" basis at the time our battles were fought.

    I don't know about you but in all my time overseas I went where I was sent, suffered, un-complainingly (well, almost) the indignities and dangers of front-line conditions, found myself living very much on a day-to-day basis but was rarely au fait with the "big picture".

    In truth, I have learnt more about the battles in which I was involved in the Post War period than I ever knew at the time in which they actually took place, particularly the struggle for Monte Cassino.

    The vast majority of the good people who suscribe to this site have had the benefit of over sixty years of research and although they may not have had the first hand experiences that you and I have "enjoyed" they will all have made and are entitled to their own opininions regarding :
    "Rommel, Montgomery, or Patton , Who do you think was the better battle commander"

    With all good wishes

    Ron
     
    von Poop likes this.
  17. MorrieNz

    MorrieNz Junior Member

    Thanks for the welcome Spidge,

    I must read the questions more thoroughly in future before I comment on other people misinterpreting them.

    Cheers
     
  18. P51fan

    P51fan Junior Member

    Of course those from Great Britian are going to select "Monty." Just as many Americans would select Patton! Maybe the German posters would select Rommel.

    Each general had his own "moment" of greatness. Monty in North Africa, Rommel in North Africa and Patton more so in Europe!

    I was never a great fan of General Patton because he was a true "ass" to his soldiers. Like he said: "I don't want them to love me, I want them to fight for me!"

    Still despite that, Patton's performance in Europe and sweeping the "gerries" out of France and back into Germany was an awesome feat.

    Arguements against Rommel where that after the loss at El Alemein he was tired, sick and wore out!

    Monty wouldn't enter a fight unless he was completely sure of victory and had superior odds on his side. Many believe that Patton could have defeated the Germans sooner had Ike Eisenhower not caved into to letting Monty take the lead and allow him to capture the missle sights the Germans were using to blitz London.

    I admire all three of these men!
    http://re3.mm-a4.yimg.com/image/2931261609 http://sp1.mm-a6.yimg.com/image/3466828198 http://re3.mm-a1.yimg.com/image/1939682956
     
  19. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    Im not a Monty fan, but out of these 3 hes the only one who payed more than a scant regard to his logistics ands supplies. Boring though that may be.

    Kev

    ps Just cant take Patton Seriously with his jodpurs, riding boots, enamalled lid, revolvers and 'scary' face. Probably no worse than Monty with his funny floppy, cowboy hat he wore before the tankers Beret. I'll stop now.
     
  20. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    monty understood how to beat german generals,and i dont see a man in a grey jumper and a tank beret,as having a big ego.paton was a great cavalry general.rommel was a good tactition,but at a lower level than a army command.yours,lee.
     

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