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Rommel fan... - 12/24/2011 9:53:25 PM   
Footslogger

 

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General Erwin Rommel was a great commander! But I don't know what he did with the Italain Army to become the Afrika Korps.



< Message edited by Footslogger -- 12/25/2011 4:53:26 AM >
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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/25/2011 12:55:09 AM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Footslogger

But I don't what he did with the Italain Army to become the Afrika Korps.




You forgot the verb here? "Know", "like"? I read Rommel's Memoirs one or two years ago. What he says about the Italians can be said about the Romanians or the Germans when later they were facing tanks with nothing to fight them. They ran away. Technology, machines, industry IS everything since WW1 (or even the American Civil War). Not the Italians or Romanians fault if their state could not give them modern weapons. Not to mention corruption, incompetence (Romanian side), etc. etc. And Rommel was well aware of this.

The times where utter backward tribes (er, Gengis Khan's hordes) could really threaten the civilization are over. Have technology, science, machines, industry and millions of skilled workers... or die: Italians, Romanians and many others... Rommel gave that to the surviving Italians in Africa. Therefore they more or less managed to fight vs a modern army (the British). No rocket science.

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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/25/2011 1:35:03 AM   
Alfred

 

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He did nothing. The Italian army was never the Afrika Corps.

Alfred

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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/25/2011 4:58:55 AM   
Footslogger

 

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So it is true when Mussolini told Hitler that it would be seven years before he was ready for war.

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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/25/2011 7:14:30 AM   
Krec


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http://www.topedge.com/panels/ww2/na/rommel.html




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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/25/2011 10:13:57 PM   
Footslogger

 

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Wow!! According to that link, if Rommel did not have supply problems and Hitler's interference, he would of won with out a doubt.

Thanx for the link Krec!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years!

< Message edited by Footslogger -- 12/25/2011 10:16:23 PM >

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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/25/2011 10:52:09 PM   
sillyflower


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without any supply problems + Hitler's interference Germans would have beaten russia too

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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/25/2011 10:56:58 PM   
Krec


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An Army marches on its stomach..............

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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/25/2011 11:01:55 PM   
Deserted Fox

 

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Okay I guess you can tell by my name I am a huge Rommel fan.

Notice the name is Deserted, not Desert, because Rommel was deserted at every turn by the High Command and Hitler.  Rommel like EVERY commander made some mistakes, but he is also a victim of the "tall poppy syndrome" by many today.

Regardless, that link you gave I read some years back, and I will not make a single statement to define why the war in Africa was lost. It was a long and complicated affair.

None the less, just to show you "how accurate" and how much faith you can put in that site can be summed up by the two quotes I have pulled from it below.

quote:

Produced between 1942 and 1945 and 5976 produced The Panther was one of the most formidable tanks in the German armoury and was developed as the solution to the Soviet T-34 tank which was probably the most successful tank in the Second World War. The Panther weighing 45 tonnes had a 75mm gun which was devastating against any of the British or American tanks deployed in North Africa. With its sloped armour up to 120mm thick on the front of the Turret and 80mm on the front of the Hull, the Panther Tank was a very hard tank to disable. British tanks and anti-tank guns mostly 2 pounders and some 6 pounders were ineffective to say the least against this far superior machine.


quote:

In May 1942 Rommel had a handsome numerical superiority in armour after receiving supplies that the Allies had not detected, which contained the vastly superior Tiger and Panther tanks (aswell as the Panzer Specials equipped with larger guns and thicker face hardened and spaced armour) and enough fuel to launch a prolonged offensive.


Depending on ones definition of "handsome superiority", 5 to 4 could be one mans reasoning. However by normal standards Rommel hardly had what one would consider a handsome numerical superiority ever over the allies in Africa.

Lets see, Panther tanks in Africa....ah wrong. Tiger tanks in Africa in May 1942...ah wrong.

Seriously this is kindergarten stuff (facts) regarding the war in the desert. Just goes to show how much rubbish is available on the web and being touted as authentic or reliable.

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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/25/2011 11:11:27 PM   
Cerion

 

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quote:

Lets see, Panther tanks in Africa....ah wrong. Tiger tanks in Africa in May 1942...ah wrong.

Seriously this is kindergarten stuff (facts) regarding the war in the desert. Just goes to show how much rubbish is available on the web and being touted as authentic or reliable.


True.

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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/26/2011 12:57:16 AM   
Footslogger

 

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Having read the quote by Desert Fox, I'll make this simple. Did Rommel have sufficent forces to beat the British with in reason? If so, could you please explain just the key points.

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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/26/2011 7:07:03 AM   
Deserted Fox

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Footslogger

Having read the quote by Desert Fox, I'll make this simple. Did Rommel have sufficent forces to beat the British with in reason? If so, could you please explain just the key points.


OMG...you are asking a big ? here...but hopefully without controversy, here is my take on it.

Rommel was constantly short of EVERY thing in Africa, supplies, tanks, men, transport and so on.
One of the reasons he is so famous is that he constantly "outwitted" his British opponents who were usually stronger in fighting men and equipment. Very few generals from any nation in WW2 had the ability to achieve what Rommel did in the desert. To name those who who I believe could have would be O'connor, Guderian, Manstein and Patton. I would need to read more about Slim to add him to that category, as he is supposedly the MOST underrated commander of WW2. Rommel had great respect for Slim and his abilities, and I guess that should be good enough for me. Why not Zhukov? He was brilliant of course, but I believe he may have been shackled by the fact he led a bunch of illiterate men and tempered his great tactics to suit that role.

However by the time he got Elamein, he was not only outnumbered but his supply crisis was critical to say the least. Rommel of course decided against the taking of Malta after the capture of Tobruk (as planned) and instead continue the pursuit of the British to seek final victory at he Suez. Why did he choose such a path? NO ONE can give a definitive answer.

Many say Rommel was always ignorant or ignored his supply situation. Not true. He took calculated risks, this one didn't come off. I believe he was fully aware of the British build up at the Suez with the USA now in the war and providing ample supplies and equipment. Whereas he was an orphan to the needs of the eastern front. It was a now or never situation to exploit the chaos gripping the allies. He won a marvelous victory at Maruth. He got a bit lucky there due to his faulty intelligence. None the less the British outnumbered him but due to the chaos they were in and Rommel's aggressive spirit, he once again emerged victorious.

Thus I think knew he had one shot at the Suez and if he waited for the attack on Malta, it was too late anyway. By the way the proposed assault on Malta had been in planning for like more than a year and there was no guarantee it would take place anyway.

In short, Yes had he been supplied sufficiently he could have won the war in the desert.

Rommel was flabbergasted at the amount of men and material that flowed into Tunisia after the Torch landings. At the time the Africa Corps surrendered there were 125,000 German and 125,000 Italians taken prisoner. These kinds of numbers had they been supplied to Rommel a year or more earlier, would have seen him capture the Suez, in my humble opinion.

Cheers,

Mark

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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/26/2011 2:30:54 PM   
Alfred

 

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The "125k German + 125k Italian soldiers" lost in Tunisia (if you believe the trumped up figures) could never have been adequately supplied at El Alamein. First Alamein already showed he lacked the resources to drive on Suez and if he had been the strategical genius which he is made out by his fan club (an area in which he was quite incompetent at), he would have retreated back to the border and avoided Second Alamein.

Comando Supremo understood well the logistical difficulties and what had to be done to resolve them. Rommel, in his typical arrogance, just ignored Comando Supremo.

Alfred

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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/26/2011 3:19:54 PM   
Deserted Fox

 

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The numbers captured I quoted from "Rommel, A Military Commander".

This comes from wiki.

Writer Rick Atkinson states that Axis losses remain uncertain, and due to numerous factors, it is estimated that the German Army lost 8,500 men killed during the campaign while the Italian Army lost 3,700 men killed. Atkinson estimates that a further 40-50,000 Axis soldiers were wounded.[11] The British official campaign historian Major-General I.S.O. Playfair claims the total number of unwounded prisoners taken, according to Allied records, amounted to 238,243 men; 101,784 Germans, 89,442 Italians, and 47,017 men of an unspecified nationality.[1] Atkinson also states these figures and states that a quarter of a million men captured is a “reasonable estimate”.[11] Playfair notes that the American Official History claims 275,000 Axis soldiers captured, an 18th Army Group calculation of 244,500, Rommel's estimate of 130,000 Germans captured, and von Arnim's estimate of 100,000 German and 200,000 Italian captured.[1]

As you can see they are within the "ball park" of each other. So who is making the trumped up figures? Is it...

1. Ronald Lewin. Author of said book.
2. Rick Atkinson.
3. Major-General I.S.O. Playfair.
4. American Official History.
5. 18th Army Group.
6. Rommel.
7. Last but not least Von Arnim.

No wait, maybe its these guys...

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007304

They quote 267,000 Axis captured.

Here is another and my last offering for reference re Axis captured at Tunisia.

http://historicalresources.wordpress.com/2008/09/25/the-tunisia-campaign-battle-of-tunisia-maps-november-17-1942-%E2%80%93-may-13-1943/
quote:


Over 230,000 German and Italian troops were taken as prisoners of war, including most of the Afrika Korps.


Have a nice day.


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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/26/2011 3:29:20 PM   
Deserted Fox

 

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quote:

The "125k German + 125k Italian soldiers" lost in Tunisia (if you believe the trumped up figures) could never have been adequately supplied at El Alamein.


I never said they could.

However if such manpower had been directed to the Mediterranean Theater a year earlier, Malta could have been taken which would have greatly eased Rommel's supply situation, allowing him to deploy more men for an assault on Suez. Also, the British were in far worse shape a year earlier without full American aid and defending a new front due to the Japanese attack.

quote:

First Alamein already showed he lacked the resources to drive on Suez and if he had been the strategical genius which he is made out by his fan club (an area in which he was quite incompetent at), he would have retreated back to the border and avoided Second Alamein.


The reasons for Rommel staying put after 1st Alamein are not so simplistic as you make out, either from a military or political standpoint.

Hitler VERY reluctantly gave permission for Rommel to withdraw something like 10 days after Monty began his attack and had whittled Rommel's forces down to bare bones.
If you believe Hitler would have given Rommel permission to withdraw from the Alamein permission prior to ANY attack by the Allies, you know less how Hitler than you do about Rommel.


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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/26/2011 8:47:37 PM   
Krec


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http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/erwin_rommel.htm

Rommel

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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/26/2011 9:05:02 PM   
Footslogger

 

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So if Rommel took Malta, at the right time, would the British of had supply problems of their own? What was the plan called to take Tobruk and Malta? And what forces would have been used by the Germans against Malta?


It also seems that the Folgore Division could have been better used against Malta and along with the German 7th Paratroop Division in 1942.

< Message edited by Footslogger -- 12/26/2011 9:57:42 PM >

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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/26/2011 9:57:59 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Footslogger

quote:

Having read the quote by Desert Fox, I'll make this simple. Did Rommel have sufficent forces to beat the British with in reason? If so, could you please explain just the key points.




So if Rommel took Malta, at the right time, would the British of had supply problems of their own? What was the plan called to take Tobruk and Malta? And what forces would have been used by the Germans against Malta?


It also seems that the Folgore Division would have been better used against Malta.

Warspite1

I do not believe that Rommel ever had sufficient resources to capture Egypt. The main problem was that Hitler was focused on Lebensraum. The Western Desert was for him a sideshow.

Even had Hitler felt he been able to commit more troops, tanks, guns and aircraft to the theatre, the main problem faced by Rommel was that of supply. Everything had to be carried to the frontline by road - consuming petrol - and the more successful Rommel was, the further he extended the frontline, and so the more petrol was consumed in bringing supplies to the front.

The early capture of Malta would have made things a little easier - certainly in terms of the amount of supplies that the Axis could physically deliver to Libya - rather than the seabed of the Mediterranean - but that would not solve the problem of getting said supplies to Egypt. Places for off-loading supplies were limited - Tripoli (the only really sizeable port), Benghazi, maybe Tobruk/Bardia (depending upon where the frontline was at any given time) but east of Tobruk/Bardia? Nothing.

Would the loss of Malta have caused problems for the British? No, quite the reverse. Most supplies came via the Cape, not through the Mediterranean. Most Royal Navy losses came in supporting Malta (or Greece/Crete) not in defending Egypt. With the RN operating in the Eastern Mediterranean, in range of their own aircraft and in support of the army, they would be stronger, not weaker.

Yes, Rommel was a good commander. But he also misjudged his assignment in Africa completely. He frittered away his tanks and men on - albeit sometimes brilliant offensives - but that was not his brief. His objective was to stabilise the Italians and stop them getting kicked out of Africa.

They say all we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history; well that was true of the North African Campaign. Just as Napoleon attacked Russia while Britain was undefeated, and gave Britain a place from which to attack his forces (his back-stabbing attack on Spain in 1808?) so Hitler did the same in the Western Desert. Nowhere could the British take on the Wehrmacht and hope to win in 1941-42. But North Africa, having to be supplied overseas, was perfect for a limited British commitment. When things turned sour in the Soviet Union, Hitler could have done with every single man, every tank, every aircraft.

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 12/26/2011 10:10:06 PM >


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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/27/2011 4:56:12 AM   
Cyber Me

 

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The source of the Axis defeat in north Africa was the Magic decoding of all of Germany's messages. The British knew where and when to locate each of the merchant ships in the Med. Possession of Malta only made it easier for the RN and RAF to intercept the convoys. Also the lack of suitable ports to unload the required tonnage made it easier to find the convoys as the Italians had such limits avenues of crossing the Med. Magic also gave the British confidence of Sealion being postponed and there able to send troops and planes to north Africa that might otherwise remained in the UK on defence duties at a critical time in the north African campaign.

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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/27/2011 5:54:30 AM   
Krec


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Ultra and the Western Campaign

http://www.topedge.com/panels/ww2/na/intelligence.html

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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/27/2011 6:55:11 AM   
warspite1


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That is too simplistic an answer. According to O'Hara, 90% of supplies and
98% of troops reached North Africa. The "good times" for the RN were limited as Malta was largely untenable as a naval base - certainly for surface ships. The idea that intelligence told the British exactly where and when they could intercept a convoy is nonsense. Even if intelligence could pinpoint the position of a convoy, the RN ships would still need to get from Malta or Alexandria or Gibraltar - how long does that take?

There was a brief spell where the Malta Striking Force achieved considerable success, but this was for a limited time only. The attention of the Regia Aeronautica and, more importantly, Fliegerkorps X soon put a stop to that. The idea that Rommel lost the war in the desert because the majority of his supplies were sunk is fanciful.

You point about limited ports is correct - as I said previously.

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 12/27/2011 7:26:54 AM >


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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/27/2011 7:13:01 AM   
warspite1


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As far as Sealion being postponed and that allowing the British to send supplies to North Africa at a critical time is also wrong. The RAF beat the Luftwaffe btw.

Sealion was postponed in late autumn of 1940. The convoy sent to Egypt that brought the 7th Armoured Division up to strength arrived in Egypt 2 days before Graziani even attacked at the start of September. He crossed just inside the border and then started building fortified camps.

There were just iirc 30,000 British, Indian and Aussie troops available to take on the Italian 10th army. Wavell's 30,000 took 130,000 prisoners in the months that followed - a stunning success in modern warfare.

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 12/27/2011 7:23:07 AM >


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RE: Rommel fan... - 12/27/2011 7:40:36 AM   
Hermann

 

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Genghis Khans " backward" tribes ... not too sure where to go with that one but i'll stick to the topic.
In game terms the comparison is incredibly apt. Khans units were professional, veteran soldiers, utilizing state of the art tactics to employ obsolete weapons systems against powerful enemies. The comparison ends there as Genghis's troops had an overwhelming advantage vis a vis the Europeans. The comparison between the german 1944 army in the east and the russians paints a much clearer picture. The Feudal armies were mobs of irregulars centered around heavy cavalry. The hordes were horse archers. The hordes merely taunted the Europeans till they charged and ran away till the pursuers outran their support and the horses and men were exhausted by the weight of their armor. then they used sniping tactics to wipe them out. That offset the shock value of the Knights. the feudal levies were defenseless after the knights went down. Rommel in my opinion wasnt a very good general. Ive a few reasons that make sense to me.

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