Rommel, Montgomery, or Patton

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

  1. Run N Gun

    Run N Gun Discharged

    Who do you think was the better battle commander?
    Have another choice? Share.
  2. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Montgomery, and by a very long way. So much anti Monty stuff has been printed that it had the effect of reducing his achievements. Those like myself that fought under him, know his true value. His utter ruthlessness and his clever planning. He took Normandy ten days ahead of the battle plan timing. He destroyed the Germans in the Falaise pocket with a murderous ruthlessness. We battled our way through that devastation.

    Patton? he that was "NOT available " when we were trying to stop the Germans filtering through the Falaise pocket neck. He was intent on his EGO by capturing huge swathes of French country side utterly devoid of any enemy. Not where the battle grind was....

    Monty 's efforts in North Africa are well known. But his efforts with his Division at Dunkirk rearguard were heroic. Third British Infantry.. "Monty's Ironsides"
    After Dunkirk, the British gathered enough arms to equip one division "Monty's Ironsides" The only fully equipped Div in the whole of the Country.

    He also decreed that his old Div.. Third Div last out of France, should be First back, and that took place at Sword Beach. The most heavily defended beach and area, on the whole of the Normandy invasion coast trusted with that Vital task of a foothold.....They were expected to be wiped out, and withdrawn It did not happen!

    It may not please those that have been fed Hollywood for the last 63 years. But we that were there know and remember.
  3. Run N Gun

    Run N Gun Discharged

    Thanks for the input.
  4. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    Agree with Sapper, I think Monty has had a bad press. For me only Operation goodwood is a real mistake.

    I dont think there is a greater honour than to be reconised and respected by the enemy and I think Rommel was that. A lot of hype at this level for obvious reasons, but to known on ther other side.

    Been trying to find Churchills quote in the commons.

  5. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    "We have a very daring and skillful opponent against us, and, may I say across the havoc of war, a great General."
  6. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    There were more Generals than Montgomery, Patton and Rommel, for me the top 3 were Slim, Balck and Heinrici. Rommel wouldnt even get into my top 5 German Generals even though he was good.
  7. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    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.
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    None of the above*, I'd go for Zhukov.
    Had the hard job of defeating the main effort of the German war machine.
    Took difficult decisions , took heavy casualties but got the job done.
    ie:the defeat of Nazi Germany.

    *OK, I go for Monty.
  9. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Zhukov??? Who's he??? :D :D :D

    I have no problem with any of the original 3 mentioned but it never ceases to amaze me that when you ask people to pick 3 Commanders from WWII you get Montgomery, Patton and Rommel. There were other Commanders!!!!

    As for Montgomery, well yes he was an excellent Commander but he wasnt as good as his ego would have you believe!
  10. Cpl Rootes

    Cpl Rootes Senior Member

    There were other Commanders!!!!

    :wow: there were...others!!

    Monty has, as with most commanders, been given bad press from the retrospective point of view. But (as Sapper can testify) he was a hero to the troops on the ground.
  11. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    It was making me laugh that it's always the same three that people cite, largely, it seems to me, down to the men's huge egos.

    The most useful commander on this 'usual suspects' list is Montgomery, I don't see that as controversial at all, but if anyone did themselves more harm than good by their search for fame he was very much the man as well.
    The reasons for the long term and largely unjustified criticism of his military skill seem to spring almost entirely from his own personality and writings.
  12. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    I would be interested in other Veterans opinion that contribute to these pages.
    Monty ?
    He scared the daylights out of me !

    I only saw him twice.

    The first occasion was at Sousse when he adressed 78 Div prior to the Div's landings on Sicily. We had spent what seemed like hours in a dusty field, all being lined up in our serried ranks, when he arrived in his jeep and in his distinctive nasel tone barked out "Break ranks and gather round me !"
    This, I must say, to the disgust of our superiors who had got us into beautiful parade ground formation in the first place !

    The second time was in Sicily when in some now forgotten village I had to pull our wireless truck sharply to one side to let his jeep through a narrow road. My fellow wireless-op threw him a cracking salute and he went flying past.

    We were to lose Monty after Cassino as he went off to handle the D-Day operations and the 8th Army lost a bit of its sparkle from then on.

    Showman? yes..... Good commander? yes...... Out on his own ?.......yes

    RIP Montgomery
  13. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Cheers Ron. We had visits, as Monty's Ironsides was his old Div. he also awarded battle honours on the field....I am still waiting for the C inCs comendation that I won, and was due to be awarded by Monty himself in a Dutch yiuth SS training North od Venraij
  14. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Comparing the three to each other to me would be problematic at best. They all commanded vastly different forces under different conditions. Yes Patton and Montgomery both commanded armies on Sicily, but they were different armies in philosphy, training and leadership. I think that Sappper will agree that the British Army differed dramatically from the US Army and neither of these were in any way similar to the Deutsch Heer. I wonder how successful any of the men would have been commanding an army of the other nations? It would be like comparing the coaching abilities of Sparky Anderson and Paul W. Bryant.*

    It is notable that all three garnered commands early and seemed to keep them throughout the war, with some bumps along the way. The list of generals who had commands and lost them are long and it should bear some credence that the three were good at what they did, which was to lead and motivate men. Each had to, as a part of their job, be showman in some way or another. Monty had his non-standard uniform, Patton the ivory-handled pistols and immaculate attire and Rommel his General Staff bearing. I wonder how each's idiosynracies would have worked in the other's army.

    In my nursing career I took care of many veterans. Of the US Third Army veterans, it was about half and half. Half thought GSPjr was the greatest thing since sliced white bread while the other equated him with Satan himself. There seemed to be no middle ground.

    *Sparky Anderson coached baseball and Paul Bryant coached college football. Both excelled in their jobs.
  15. GPRegt

    GPRegt Senior Member

    I'm putting forward Matthew Bunker Ridgway. He commanded the 82nd Airborne Division in Normandy and was then promoted to CG of XVIII Airborne Corps, which he led successfully through the Ardennes and across the Rhine.

    Steve W
  16. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    It doesn't help when those three are the only Generals on the Header picture, does it?

    Attached Files:

  17. spidge


    It doesn't help when those three are the only Generals on the Header picture, does it?

    I was waiting for someone else to remind you of that fact
  18. PFC

    PFC Member

    None of the above*, I'd go for Zhukov.

    That's right. Great commander. Has enourmous respect here.

    From the 3 above - Patton, perhaps. Thought about the soldiers firstly, although I dont like his quotes about Soviets...:angry2:
  19. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    It doesn't help when those three are the only Generals on the Header picture, does it?
    Exactly!!! Although maybe World War 2 was Montgomery and Patton against Rommel!!!

    There should at least be some reference to the Pacific if not the East. :elkgrin:
  20. spidge


    Rommel himself could have changed the course of the war in the Mediterranean.

    He was totally convinced that Malta should be the prime consideration of the Axis to break the dominance enjoyed by the allied naval forces.

    When placed into the frey in North Africa, it was Rommel who convinced Mussolini to support him and push for Cairo as the main objective.

    This change of direction took the pressure off Malta at a crucial stage and the rest is history.

    Maybe Rommel inadvertently contributed to his own demise by prostituting himself to achieve a personal victory in North Africa and please Hitler, as against the opportunity to control the Mediterranean.

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

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