Why was Patton so great? (Full Version)

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Huskalator -> Why was Patton so great? (7/4/2004 5:34:59 AM)

It seems like Patton is considered one of the great US heros but I am having trouble finding anything he did tactically or strategically great. It just seems to this amateur WWII buff that if you look at Manstein, Rommel, Montgomery, or Konev they did things that were true feats and Patton just pushed back a defeated army faster than the rest out of pure gusto and agressiveness rather than military genius.

Any comments?




dinsdale -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/4/2004 8:08:33 AM)

If you don't know what he did, perhaps you need to read a little about the man.

Anyway, short version one example: Try disengagement from a battle, 90 degree turn and march to relieve Bastogne, in winter and the space of a few days. If the man did nothing else, then that maneuver would put him among the greats. One of the men you compared him to, Montgomery, though closer to Bastogne informed Eisenhower that he could do nothing to help.

You might also want to read about the performance of the US th army in Africa before and after Patton took command.

Funny, Rommel repeatedly had his arse kicked from Africa to France and he's considered a genius. [8|] After spending an entire year using resources to create fortresses, gun emplacements, minefields, beach obstacles and anti-aircraft, his great defensive works were bypassed in 8 hours, and in some areas, less than an hour. [:D]




Von Rom -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/4/2004 8:34:49 AM)

Yes, I would suggest reading a good biography of Patton. It makes for fascinating reading.

A few highlights:

1) Patton was in the 1912 Olympics in the Pentathalon.

2) He became a Master Swordsman and was the first Master of the Sword of the United States.

3) He founded and trained the US's first tank army, writing almost all of its manuals and tactics himself.

4) While stationed in Hawaii in 1932, he wrote a paper that detailed almost exactly how the Japanese would eventually attack Pearl Harbor in December, 1941.

5) Patton believed passionately that it was his destiny and purpose to lead a great army in a desperate battle.

6) The Germans believed that Patton was the Allies' best general and they actually feared him. . .

7) When Patton was finally turned loose in Normandy, he and his Third Army moved across more land, liberated more towns and cities, captured and killed more of the enemy, in a short period of time, than any other army in history.

8) Had Patton not been ordered to halt his advance, he would have successfully closed the Falaise Pocket, thus preventing 75,000 German soldiers from escaping, and in all likelihood, would have been in Berlin long before the Soviets.

9) When he died, Patton was buried at the head of the fallen soldiers of his beloved Third Army.

[image]local://upfiles/279/Ki180149823.gif[/image]




2ndACR -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/4/2004 8:51:32 AM)

Montgomery? He sucked. Eisenhower? Politician. I would not rank them among the greats, but that is a personal opinion.
Just like I would not rank Powell as anything special. Shwartzcoff will always have my respect.

Patton, Bradley were the best commanders on the allied side in Europe.




Sarge -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/4/2004 9:07:40 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: dinsdale

If you don't know what he did, perhaps you need to read a little about the man.

Anyway, short version one example: Try disengagement from a battle, 90 degree turn and march to relieve Bastogne, in winter and the space of a few days. If the man did nothing else, then that maneuver would put him among the greats. One of the men you compared him to, Montgomery, though closer to Bastogne informed Eisenhower that he could do nothing to help.


Relieve Bastogne [8|] 101st was doing just fine, they didn't need Frickin Patton . Patton just happend to be the first one to show up. The 101st held that ground and would have kept holding.




Mangudai -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/4/2004 9:14:41 AM)

Here is a nice short bio of patton

http://www.pattonhq.com/pattonbio.pdf




Hexed Gamer -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/4/2004 2:05:00 PM)

Most general get famous by lady luck picking them out of a long string of candidates.

Stormin Norman and the word respect though, the words don't combine well if you ask me.

Loud, offensive, abusive, those words might apply. Ask anyone that every had the "pleasure" of working for him.

Montgomery, I can't think of anything he did worth mention.

Wavel did all the work in the desert. He was robbed of forces for Greece, and then robbed of credit for the longgest advance in history.

The men who get famous, are the men that get to be there when their side wins.




freeboy -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/4/2004 3:08:19 PM)

quote:

Funny, Rommel repeatedly had his arse kicked from Africa to France and he's considered a genius. After spending an entire year using resources to create fortresses, gun emplacements, minefields, beach obstacles and anti-aircraft, his great defensive works were bypassed in 8 hours, and in some areas, less than an hour


Well cannot fault rom too much as all his armor first.. close to the beaches idea got axed.. if he where in charge the french would probably be speaking russian.. hehe




riverbravo -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/4/2004 4:40:06 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: dinsdale

If you don't know what he did, perhaps you need to read a little about the man.

Anyway, short version one example: Try disengagement from a battle, 90 degree turn and march to relieve Bastogne, in winter and the space of a few days. If the man did nothing else, then that maneuver would put him among the greats. One of the men you compared him to, Montgomery, though closer to Bastogne informed Eisenhower that he could do nothing to help.

You might also want to read about the performance of the US th army in Africa before and after Patton took command.

[:D]


[:)]




Von Rom -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/4/2004 6:06:18 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Sarge

quote:

ORIGINAL: dinsdale

If you don't know what he did, perhaps you need to read a little about the man.

Anyway, short version one example: Try disengagement from a battle, 90 degree turn and march to relieve Bastogne, in winter and the space of a few days. If the man did nothing else, then that maneuver would put him among the greats. One of the men you compared him to, Montgomery, though closer to Bastogne informed Eisenhower that he could do nothing to help.


Relieve Bastogne [8|] 101st was doing just fine, they didn't need Frickin Patton . Patton just happend to be the first one to show up. The 101st held that ground and would have kept holding.


Yes, you are right: looking back in history we can now see what happened.

However, as everyone knows: every airborne operation or encircled army must be either re-supplied or relieved, or else the operation will become a failure. That is why Market Garden was called "A Bridge Too far", and why the German 6th Army capitulated at Stalingrad.

Even the bravest men cannot fight without bullets or food.

Complete encirclement of Bastogne placed the 101st Division squarely behind the eight-ball for supplies. Airborne artillery shells had to be rationed.

Food became scarce. Screaming Eagles sought clear skies -- flying weather not only for air re-supply, but for planes to keep the Luftwaffe down.

Evacuation of wounded became a pressing problem. But they had to wait -- there was no way out of the town.

Airborne troopers hoped that US armor would crack open a path for movement of supplies and evacuation of wounded.

No other Allied Commander offered to do, or could do, what Patton did: To disengage an army of 250,000 men already fighting the enemy, turn it 90 degrees in freezing, miserable winter weather, advance 100 miles in 48 hours, and then, without rest, engage and fight a major battle, thus opening the road to re-supplying and relieving Bastogne.




EricGuitarJames -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/4/2004 9:01:28 PM)

Rommel - his reputation is largely based on what he achieved in North Africa. Considering the lack of resources at his disposal, it was remarkable. His use of armour and the 88mm Flak Guns were strokes of genius. It's a shame that his abilities as a defensive commander were not tested in the way that they could have been with the restrictions placed upon him by Rundstedt and Hitler and the injuries he sustained prior to the 'Cobra' breakout.

Bradley - very poor commander. The battle for the Huertgen Forest - http://www.angelfire.com/ak5/combat/HuertgenForest.html - reveal him to be as callous and inflexible as any of the so called 'Donkeys' of the British WW1 army. His reaction to the German offensive Wacht Am Rhein also showed his weaknesses when pressured.

Montgomery - Had 'Market Garden' succeeded (and, let it be said, it came very close to) then he would rightly been hailed as a true master. True, he had an ego as colossal as Pattons but he was a superb planner and was unflappable under pressure - his reaction to Wacht Am Rhein when compared to Bradley's says a lot. He also had the ability to project cool self-confidence which in turn was passed down to his men.

Patton - a master of manoeuvre and the offensive battle, he was also a great improvisor. He was less successful in the type of 'set piece' that Montgomery excelled in - the time and casualties spent cracking the Siegfried Line and capturing Trier show this. He was also never tested in a defensive battle.

Von Manstein - possibly the best commander of the war, his Fall Gelb plan was a masterpiece and his achievements fighting the Soviets through '43 and early '44 when faced with incredible odds were remarkable. Had Hitler given him control in the East, Manstein would probably have been able to prolong the war against the Russians for at least a year, maybe more.

There were many commanders who showed signs of greatness in WW2 but were in the wrong place (Slim in SE Asia comes to mind) or at the wrong time (Wavell in North Africa). Guderian was at least as good as Rommel in the application of Blitzkrieg but fell out with Hitler at the end of 1941 and when he returned to favour his skills were applied elsewhere.




IronDuke_slith -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/4/2004 9:48:30 PM)

I don't think Patton had enough substance when you got beyond all the aggression and noise. His great sweep through Sicily was strategically pointless, and since there were only 57 US dead incurred during it, largely a pleasant stroll. The breakout looks impressive, but was largely an exercise in traffic management (which Patton did excel at), as was the headlong charge through France.

As for Bastogne, my understanding was that Patton already had plans prepared for the change of his axis of advance before he told Eisenhower he'd only need 48 hours. I understand his chief of Staff had become suspicious the Germans were up to something and prepared them in advance. His actual drive into the German flank wasn't especially impressive. If memory serves, he drove on a fairly broad front against a weak German front line, that contained a number of Volksgrenadier units. He also took a few days to do it, I think it is famous, but does not display any particular tactical or operational genius.

Bradley (like Montgomery) was relatively solid but (like Montgomery) could make mistakes and occasionally be a little timid. The fact that overwhelming superiority in everything meant the Western Allies always won in the end, ensured that such competent (as opposed to outstanding) Officers remained at their posts throughout the war.

I suspect Patton would have fared a lot worse in more even circumstances. In his favour, he was exceptionally aggressive (not a trait shared by Allied Commanders on the whole) and he had the sort of drive and push that inspires men. I think an Armoured Corp was the command he was born for, give him an objective and let him loose.

Regards,
IronDuke




IronDuke_slith -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/4/2004 9:59:38 PM)

quote:

5) Patton believed passionately that it was his destiny and purpose to lead a great army in a desperate battle.


Never trust a man who believes this. It gets people killed. Patton was also not the only man who believe he was heading for destiny during WWII

quote:

6) The Germans believed that Patton was the Allies' best general and they actually feared him. . .


There was little competition and they recognised in him traits that would have served him well in the Wehrmacht. He was their kind of Commander.

quote:

7) When Patton was finally turned loose in Normandy, he and his Third Army moved across more land, liberated more towns and cities, captured and killed more of the enemy, in a short period of time, than any other army in history.


I don't have the figures to hand, but I think you probably have to be exceptionally liberal about the way you interpret things to be able to say this. Patton did indeed charge across France (as did 21st Army Group under Montgomery) but there was little or nothing standing in his way. The Germans gave up France because they had nothing to defend it with, we didn't fight our way across it.

I'd also be very surprised if the captured enemy fact was true. The germans encircled 600 000 at Kiev, hundreds of thousands more at Minsk and Smolensk. Falaise cost the Germans tens of thousands rather than hundreds of thousands, and to get these solely into Patton's tally you have to ignore the efforts of the the Poles and Canadians who formed the other arm of the pincer. As for killed more of the enemy, I'd love to see your figures/sources for this. I didn't remember this much combat in the breakout. I would have thought the highest casualty figures for a smallish area over a few days probably occur earlier in Normandy, or around the Gustav line. Even these figures pale against say the southern wing of Kursk for a week in July 43.

quote:

8) Had Patton not been ordered to halt his advance, he would have successfully closed the Falaise Pocket, thus preventing 75,000 German soldiers from escaping, and in all likelihood, would have been in Berlin long before the Soviets.


Bradley stopped him because he felt that the pocket could not have been closed by the forces at Patton's disposal. He was nervous that the Americans would be spread so thin, that ad hoc German battlegroups would break through and hurt him in the process. I think he was wrong, and agree Patton should have been allowed to close the gap, but I think the battle was won, and Allied Commanders were relaxing a little having done the hard work.

Regards,
IronDuke




IronDuke_slith -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/4/2004 10:07:16 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deep Breakfast

It seems like Patton is considered one of the great US heros but I am having trouble finding anything he did tactically or strategically great. It just seems to this amateur WWII buff that if you look at Manstein, Rommel, Montgomery, or Konev they did things that were true feats and Patton just pushed back a defeated army faster than the rest out of pure gusto and agressiveness rather than military genius.

Any comments?


As a Brit, I've always tended to defend Monty, but the more I learn the less I'm impressed. He loved the set piece, but his slowness and deliberation meant he had to fight more of them than he should have had to had he moved quicker and showed more daring. I don't think he was particularly clever in his use of armour, and although Market Garden was brilliant in conception, I'm not sure how much was his and how much was his staffs, and in the week before it, Monty seems to have been curiously disinterested in the detail (not like him at all) and several rather key mistakes were made as a result.

Rommel was good, but deeply flawed. I don't think he had the full range as a Commander. he was overambitious, often lacked a plan B, and as a result ended up in corners he shouldn't have been in. In contrast to the later poster, I think his plan for Normandy was the only one that could have worked, the idea of a central Panzer reserve to counterattack the bridgehead ala Rundstedt was a non starter.

Manstein was a military genius, although not a magician. His powers ran out of steam (like the wehrmacht) in early 44. To have delayed the inevitable in the east wouldhave required him being given in command by Jan 43 at the latest. Anything later and I don't think he could have done much.

Regards,
IronDuke




Rooster -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/5/2004 4:43:32 AM)

The more I learn about Monty the more there is to admire. He was frequently up against the cream of the German crop and had the tough assignments. Yes he was as big a publicity hound as the others and, you never learn much about his plan "B" victories because after they succeeded he felt compelled to tell the world that plan B had been plan "A" from the beginning. But he was good at abadoning a fruitless course of action and varying the line of thrust to keep the enemy off balance. He did it on the way to Tunis and in the fighting around Caen. The Germans may have payed lip service to "Patton is their best" but when it came down to committing men and steel to stop someone, they committed their best against Monty.




Von Rom -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/5/2004 4:56:40 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

I don't think Patton had enough substance when you got beyond all the aggression and noise. His great sweep through Sicily was strategically pointless, and since there were only 57 US dead incurred during it, largely a pleasant stroll. The breakout looks impressive, but was largely an exercise in traffic management (which Patton did excel at), as was the headlong charge through France.


Patton's sweep through Sicily was strategically pointless?

There were only 57 American dead?

It was a pleasant stroll?

Here is some info:

Sicily

9 July-17 August 1943

On the night of 9-10 July 1943, an Allied armada of 2,590 vessels launched one of the largest combined operations of World War II: the invasion of Sicily. Over the next thirty-eight days, half a million Allied soldiers, sailors, and airmen grappled with their German and Italian counterparts for control of this rocky outwork of Hitler's "Fortress Europe."

With the exception of those units which had taken part in the Tunisia Campaign, especially the 1st and 9th Infantry Divisions, few American formations employed in Sicily began the campaign with any combat experience, and their abilities were still unknown. But the American troops had done well. After landing on a hostile shore, they had repelled several counterattacks, forced the enemy to withdraw, and relentlessly pursued him over sun-baked hills until the island was theirs. In thirty-eight days the Americans and their British colleagues had killed or wounded approximately 29,000 enemy soldiers and captured over 140,000 more. In contrast, American losses totaled 2,237 killed and 6,544 wounded and captured. The British suffered 12,843 casualties, including 2,721 dead.

Patton in particular, without orders, drove to Palermo, thereby cutting off 53,000 Italian soldiers, and then headed east. Had the Allied planners listened to Patton in the beginning, he probably could have bagged all the Germans and Italians on Sicily. But because of Allied cautiousness, tens of thousands of Axis troops escaped, who would later fight Allied troops in Italy.

One has to consider how many more casualties the Americans might have taken, and how many MORE Axis troops might have escaped to Italy, had Patton followed orders and covered Monty's flank, instead of pushing to Palermo and then Messina.

A full examination of the Sicily Campaign can be found here:

http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/brochures/72-16/72-16.htm

quote:

As for Bastogne, my understanding was that Patton already had plans prepared for the change of his axis of advance before he told Eisenhower he'd only need 48 hours. I understand his chief of Staff had become suspicious the Germans were up to something and prepared them in advance. His actual drive into the German flank wasn't especially impressive. If memory serves, he drove on a fairly broad front against a weak German front line, that contained a number of Volksgrenadier units. He also took a few days to do it, I think it is famous, but does not display any particular tactical or operational genius.


A brilliant commander always prepares; thus Patton already had a plan in place for this maneuver.

Everyone outside of Third Army thought what Patton wanted to do was impossible. So it seems your assessment of Patton's achievement is far, far less than that of almost every other Allied Commander. [&:] Most historians who have studied this period, consider Patton's achievment to be brilliant. Patton achieved his victory in the worst winter weather to hit that area in a hundred years.

quote:

I suspect Patton would have fared a lot worse in more even circumstances.


Well, this is your opinion.

However, Patton had faced the German soldier (on defense) in North Africa, Sicily and Europe, who were led by Rommel, Kesselring, and von Kluge, among others, and had bested them all.

And remember, Patton accomplished all of this with relatively inexperienced troops. However, he trained them well, instilled in them a tough discipline, and imbued in them a fighting spirit and a will to win.




Golf33 -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/5/2004 5:03:12 AM)

If you want to give credit to Patton for the Normandy breakout, then you have to give even more credit to Montgomery, whose plan it was. The continuous British/Canadian attacks against not only the bulk of German forces in Normandy, but against the toughest of them, ensured that the Germans placed only a relatively light screen in front of the Americans and did not recognise the St Lo breakout for what it was until two or three days after it started. This demonstrates Monty the manoeuvre commander at his best - while Eisenhower wanted to waste lives and resources 'attacking everywhere, all the time', Monty was prepared to fight a more patient battle, combining attrition with deception and manoeuvre, in order to 'hold the enemy by the nose and then kick them in the pants'. One would have thought Patton would have approved of the plan - perhaps if it had been his idea he might?

Note also that under Montgomery, the Allied armies not only achieved their objective - the Seine - but achieved it early.

This is not to gloss over Monty's undoubted failings as a human being - his foolish press releases (like claiming a breakout after the first day of Goodwood, when one had neither happened, nor indeed had even been intended) during the fighting, and perhaps worse, his claims after the battle that his plan had worked perfectly in all respects. This was of course not true at all, and in fact a large part of Montgomery's skill lay in recognising when a plan needed modification and in carrying out the required changes. By claiming otherwise, he played down one of his greatest strengths, and handed ready ammunition to his enemies by displaying one of his greatest weaknesses.

Regards
33




Von Rom -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/5/2004 5:17:33 AM)

quote:

Never trust a man who believes this. It gets people killed. Patton was also not the only man who believe he was heading for destiny during WWII


The difference for Patton is: He DID lead a great army in a desperate battle (actually more than once). So Patton DID fulfill his destiny. Isn't that amazing [;)]

quote:

7) When Patton was finally turned loose in Normandy, he and his Third Army moved across more land, liberated more towns and cities, captured and killed more of the enemy, in a short period of time, than any other army in history.

*****

I don't have the figures to hand, but I think you probably have to be exceptionally liberal about the way you interpret things to be able to say this. Patton did indeed charge across France (as did 21st Army Group under Montgomery) but there was little or nothing standing in his way. The Germans gave up France because they had nothing to defend it with, we didn't fight our way across it.

I'd also be very surprised if the captured enemy fact was true. The germans encircled 600 000 at Kiev, hundreds of thousands more at Minsk and Smolensk. Falaise cost the Germans tens of thousands rather than hundreds of thousands, and to get these solely into Patton's tally you have to ignore the efforts of the the Poles and Canadians who formed the other arm of the pincer. As for killed more of the enemy, I'd love to see your figures/sources for this. I didn't remember this much combat in the breakout. I would have thought the highest casualty figures for a smallish area over a few days probably occur earlier in Normandy, or around the Gustav line. Even these figures pale against say the southern wing of Kursk for a week in July 43.


Little or nothing standing in Patton's way?

Third Army liberated something like 10,000 towns and cities, freed 89,000 square miles, and killed or captured 1,443,000 enemy soldiers. Any good reference book will have these figures.

As to the German victories in the opening weeks of Barbarossa: there were MANY German armies achieving these numbers against ill-prepared, ill-equipped and low morale Soviet troops, and not just ONE army, as in Patton's case.

The British and Canadians did do their part. But it was Patton's tactics and sheer aggressiveness that pushed the Germans back. Patton moved Third Army 600 miles in just a few weeks, completely by-passing many German divisions. . .

However, Allied commanders interferred with Patton, by ordering him to stop, thereby enabling von Kluge to extricate most of his army from the Falaise Gap. These same German troops would later re-group, and inflict even more casualties on the Allied armies. . .

Many historians agree that NOT closing the Falaise Gap when Patton wanted to, was a costly mistake.




Cmdrcain -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/5/2004 5:41:45 AM)

On This:

"4) While stationed in Hawaii in 1932, he wrote a paper that detailed almost exactly how the Japanese would eventually attack Pearl Harbor in December, 1941."


I don't see whats so amazing here, well before 1941 Three times USA wargamed attacks and three times Pearl was successful attacked, People like Turner etc in the Navy argued that Japan likely would be able to attack Pearl.




Von Rom -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/5/2004 6:01:23 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cmdrcain

On This:

"4) While stationed in Hawaii in 1932, he wrote a paper that detailed almost exactly how the Japanese would eventually attack Pearl Harbor in December, 1941."


I don't see whats so amazing here, well before 1941 Three times USA wargamed attacks and three times Pearl was successful attacked, People like Turner etc in the Navy argued that Japan likely would be able to attack Pearl.


Hi [:)]

I just presented a few highlights about Patton. This was just one paper he wrote among many.

A person really has to read a good Bio of Patton, to truly appreciate what he accomplished in his life: his military career; his writings; the battles he won, etc. . .

However, wargames are one thing, but to know that Japan's opening move would be to attack Pearl, is quite another matter.

Many American military leaders felt a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was beyond their capability; Patton always believed Japan's opening move would be to attack PH (nine years before it happened).

Here is Turner's conclusions about Japan's actions (Note - nowhere does he mention an attack on Pearl Harbor):


The Director of the War Plans Division of the Navy Department (Turner) to the Chief of Naval Operations (Stark), July 19, 1941 [The Possible Effects of an Embargo].



7. Conclusions.

(a) Present export restrictions, plus reductions of available ship tonnage for use in Japanese trade have greatly curtailed both exports and imports.

(b) The effect of an embargo would hamper future Japanese war effort, though not immediately, and not decisively.

(c) An embargo would probably result in a fairly early attack by an [sic] on Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies, and possibly would involve the United States in early war in the Pacific.

If war in the Pacific is to be accepted by the United States, actions leading up to it should, if practicable, be postponed until Japan is engaged in a war in Siberia.

It may well be that Japan has decided against an early attack on the British and Dutch, but has decided to occupy Indo-China and to strengthen her position there, also to attack the Russians Siberia.

Should this prove to be the case, it seems probable that United States could engage in war in the Atlantic, and that an [sic] would not intervene for the time being, even against the British.

8. Recommendation.

That trade with Japan not be embargoed at this time.

R. K. Turner

http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/wars/turner.htm




Von Rom -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/5/2004 6:14:19 AM)

More on Turner:

Earlier, Captain Turner was convinced Japan would only attack Russia and just before Pearl Harbor he convinced Stark that Japan was not ready to attack the U.S. only the British.

The new DNI Theodore S. Wilkinson refused to challenge Turnerís rebuff of a further specific war warning drafted by Captain Arthur H. McCollum on 5 December. Again on 6 December, Stafford tried again but was dismissed by Noyes so as not to antagonize Turner. On the Army side, General George G. Marshall and intermediaries vetoed similar requests made by Colonels Rufus S. Bratton and Otis K. Sadtler. Later, Marshall denied receiving the related decrypts.

As Washington politics go, both Stafford, Bratton and Sadtler were relegated to rather minor posts and discredited, while Noyes and Turner were given prime advancement billets and promotions. Although General Marshall was held to have been derelict in his duties by the first Army board of inquiry on the Pearl Harbor attack, the subsequent congressional investigation only found Admiral Kimmel and General Short at fault for the Pearl Harbor disaster.

Marshall had the backing of both Secretary of War Stimson and President Roosevelt. Stimson instigated a fierce campaign to reverse Marshallís prior dereliction finding. During the latter hearings, none of Turnerís subordinates would break ranks and reveal Turnerís derelictions due to his great wartime achievements and rank as Vice Admiral.

Only subsequent revelations have verified Turnerís and Marshallís responsibility for impeding more appropriate and timely warnings urged by intelligence professionals based on Purple decrypts.

http://www.microworks.net/pacific/intelligence/pearl_harbor.htm


"Wherever or whenever Washington may have thought the Japanese cat would probably jump, Hawaii's primary mission was to meet it there if it came. Yet both the Army and Navy commands there acted as if there were no chance of a Japanese overseas attack on them. What they actually did and did not do, simply spelled 'It can't happen here.'"

http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/48jul/miles-p1.htm




freeboy -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/5/2004 7:14:18 AM)

Read something of the man.. not a great father... but a driven fanatical leader ... many hated him.. read comments from some of your Band of Brothers actual figures.. MAjor Winters for one...
But being liked isn't the ?... He won battles.. and took risks, caused short term casualties while looking to win the big picture.....
Imagine a reinforced Patton with food and fuel in Sept Oct?

I personnally believe have he been included in Normandy the terrible slogging progress the armeis faced would have been dramatically shortened... all depending of course on his roll... Kind of funny that the two generals in this fight.. normandy... each where hampered by there own higher ups...
I remember during discussions like these the comments by Pieper.. about worthless german generals..... all armies have their deadweight...




dinsdale -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/5/2004 7:29:20 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Sarge
Relieve Bastogne [8|] 101st was doing just fine, they didn't need Frickin Patton . Patton just happend to be the first one to show up. The 101st held that ground and would have kept holding.

No they were not doing "just fine" and most certainly not could have held out indefinately. Patton's action not only relieved Bastogne, but ended the Ardennes offensive. If the 101 was "doing just fine" then they should have advanced and destroyed the German advance on their own [8|]

------------

Regarding the 3rd army breakout and how "easy" it was. If breaking through German lines was such a stroll in the park, why is Patton the only Allied commander to have done so on such a scale? The record breaking advance of the 3rd army is still unmatched and it's not an exagerration. Check the official figures for that operation.




Sarge -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/5/2004 9:52:25 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: dinsdale

quote:

ORIGINAL: Sarge
Relieve Bastogne [8|] 101st was doing just fine, they didn't need Frickin Patton . Patton just happend to be the first one to show up. The 101st held that ground and would have kept holding.

No they were not doing "just fine" and most certainly not could have held out indefinately. Patton's action not only relieved Bastogne, but ended the Ardennes offensive. If the 101 was "doing just fine" then they should have advanced and destroyed the German advance on their own [8|]


I think you need to re-read my post. And look up some FACTs on the 101st in Bastogne. Then take in the consideration of winter clothing , equipment , ammo and all basics need to even try to hold ground let alone stop such a advance. By no means did the 101st do it on their own (dont even think I implied that). Now take the 101st out of the equation, were you think the German advance would have been slowed down let alone stoped. Any other regular line unit would have been steamrolled and the remaining troops surrendered in a wholesale fashion.The 101st at the VEARY least gave the Allies time to get their Sh#& together. Patton did not save the 101st or Bastogne by no means. And were is it in my post does it say INDEFINATELY [&:] . Did Patton save lives of the 101st -yes, did Patton save the 101st ............NO. And as for the comment as why did the 101st not advance and destroy the Germans on their own [8|]




Jane Doe -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/5/2004 10:51:55 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

Little or nothing standing in Patton's way?

Third Army liberated something like 10,000 towns and cities, freed 89,000 square miles, and killed or captured 1,443,000 enemy soldiers. Any good reference book will have these figures.


I have a problem with these figures: it's like saying that the feldgendarmerie is the unit that captured millions over millions of russians... you see where i want to go :)
Yes it's true , Pattons army captured lots of germans, but the fight was elsewhere. I don't want to say that 3rd A did nothing of a fight to breakout and liberate France, but there were no fanatical Kevin Kostners to stop 3rd A...

quote:


The British and Canadians did do their part. But it was Patton's tactics and sheer aggressiveness that pushed the Germans back. Patton moved Third Army 600 miles in just a few weeks, completely by-passing many German divisions. . .

I agree that it's Patton's manoeuvres that permitted the close of the Falaise gap, but again if the canadians did not suffer a casualty rate 10 times superior than every other units and like 15 times (IIRC) that of the americans, there would not have been a gap neither...




Von Rom -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/5/2004 6:32:06 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Jane Doe

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

Little or nothing standing in Patton's way?

Third Army liberated something like 10,000 towns and cities, freed 89,000 square miles, and killed or captured 1,443,000 enemy soldiers. Any good reference book will have these figures.


I have a problem with these figures: it's like saying that the feldgendarmerie is the unit that captured millions over millions of russians... you see where i want to go :)
Yes it's true , Pattons army captured lots of germans, but the fight was elsewhere. I don't want to say that 3rd A did nothing of a fight to breakout and liberate France, but there were no fanatical Kevin Kostners to stop 3rd A...

quote:


The British and Canadians did do their part. But it was Patton's tactics and sheer aggressiveness that pushed the Germans back. Patton moved Third Army 600 miles in just a few weeks, completely by-passing many German divisions. . .

I agree that it's Patton's manoeuvres that permitted the close of the Falaise gap, but again if the canadians did not suffer a casualty rate 10 times superior than every other units and like 15 times (IIRC) that of the americans, there would not have been a gap neither...



Hi

Well, those statistics are not my invention - heheh

Patton remains one of the 20th century's best-known and least-understood military leaders. Mention his name and most people immediately conjure an image of George C. Scott whose inspired portrayal provided an accurate but incomplete representation of Patton. It is worth noting that Patton's strategies minimized casualties of his own troops while maximizing destruction of those whom his troops opposed, that he assembled an extraordinarily talented staff to whom he delegated effectively and whose members remained steadfastly loyal to him, and that under his leadership his troops achieved truly stunning results, often with severely limited resources and under political constraints.

After the initial invasion at Normandy, the Allies' progress was suddenly slowed. German resistance was heavy in France. U.S. First Army General Omar Bradley was faced with a war of attrition that had no foreseeable outcome. His attempts to breakout of the Bocage were met with blunting German force. Two days after a German Panzer attack on the First Army, Bradley decided to use a plan originally proposed by Third Army General George Patton that was to be known as Operation Cobra.

In his book Patton: A Genius for War Carlo D'Este states on page 638 that in one month alone (by August 26, 1944) Third Army had inflicted on the enemy 136,500 casualties, captured or destroyed 4,353 German tanks, artillery and vehicles, while suffering only 18,239 casualties, and losing only 269 tanks, 74 guns and 956 vehicles of its own.

On page 724 of the same book:

"... during a twenty-four-day period [Third Army had made] four assault crossings of the Rhine, [had captured] twenty-four major cities with a total population of more than 3 million; [had liberated] 12,400 square miles of territory; [had liberated] Ohrdrof and Buchenwald and 40,000 Allied POWs; [had] seized. . . the great gold bullion cache at Merkers; [had captured]. . . 280,661 German POWs, with 14,300 more killed and 34,200 wounded. . . ."

I could go on and on about Patton's and Third Army's achievements. Their achievements were simply astounding and unbelievable, but true [&o]

All of this does not take away from the other Allies: the British and Canadians were magnificent in their fighting.

However, Patton was a pure warrior - who lived, breathed, and thought war. Unlike the other Allied Generals who were often Staff Officers, Patton was a combat general in the fullest meaning of that term. He loved war.

He achieved his results with relatively inexperienced, green troops. They often peformed the impossible for him. His troops loved Patton; he in turn, loved them. . .

I highly recommend to everyone the book above on Patton by Carlo D'Este. One has to wonder how much sooner the war might have been over, and how many fewer lives might have been lost, had the Allied High Command given Patton free reign in Europe.

Cheers!

[image]local://upfiles/279/Ki207148724.gif[/image]




dinsdale -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/5/2004 8:20:08 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Sarge

I think you need to re-read my post. And look up some FACTs on the 101st in Bastogne. Then take in the consideration of winter clothing , equipment , ammo and all basics need to even try to hold ground let alone stop such a advance.


What are you trying to say? I truly don't understand what point you're making above.


quote:

By no means did the 101st do it on their own (dont even think I implied that).

You claimed they were doing just fine and Patton happened to be the first sod to bump into them. Let me ask you, did the 101 have an unlimited number of reserves to drop into the area, or do you think the Germans would simply go home if no one had come to their rescue? How long do you think the 101 could sustain casualties in this battle and remain effective? Your implication was indefinately.

quote:

Now take the 101st out of the equation, were you think the German advance would have been slowed down let alone stoped.

How is this relevant to Pattons march to relive Bastogne?


quote:

Any other regular line unit would have been steamrolled

Probably, and this is relevant how?


quote:

Did Patton save lives of the 101st -yes, did Patton save the 101st ............NO.


Had Patton done what Montgomery did- nothing, how long would the 101 have lasted? Perhaps when the weather cleared allied air power might have saved them, but left alone indefinately, no there would have been no 101 left.




Firefly -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/5/2004 9:27:42 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Hexed Gamer

Wavel did all the work in the desert. He was robbed of forces for Greece, and then robbed of credit for the longgest advance in history.



Not so, Wavell was replaced by Auchinleck, who was a total disaster and was in turn replaced by Alexander. Montgomery was commmander of the Eighth Army not C-in-C Middle East. The confusion arises beause Auchinleck took direct command of the Eighth Army following the defeat at Gazala
,




Sarge -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/6/2004 12:08:19 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: dinsdale

quote:

ORIGINAL: Sarge

I think you need to re-read my post. And look up some FACTs on the 101st in Bastogne. Then take in the consideration of winter clothing , equipment , ammo and all basics need to even try to hold ground let alone stop such a advance.


What are you trying to say? I truly don't understand what point you're making above.


quote:

By no means did the 101st do it on their own (dont even think I implied that).

You claimed they were doing just fine and Patton happened to be the first sod to bump into them. Let me ask you, did the 101 have an unlimited number of reserves to drop into the area, or do you think the Germans would simply go home if no one had come to their rescue? How long do you think the 101 could sustain casualties in this battle and remain effective? Your implication was indefinately.

quote:

Now take the 101st out of the equation, were you think the German advance would have been slowed down let alone stoped.

How is this relevant to Pattons march to relive Bastogne?


quote:

Any other regular line unit would have been steamrolled

Probably, and this is relevant how?


quote:

Did Patton save lives of the 101st -yes, did Patton save the 101st ............NO.


Had Patton done what Montgomery did- nothing, how long would the 101 have lasted? Perhaps when the weather cleared allied air power might have saved them, but left alone indefinately, no there would have been no 101 left.

OK uncle I am not going to get into a Pi##ing match with ya. You have your point of view and I have mine lets just leave it at that




terje439 -> RE: Why was Patton so great? (7/6/2004 9:56:10 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: dinsdale



quote:

Funny, Rommel repeatedly had his arse kicked from Africa to France and he's considered a genius. After spending an entire year using resources to create fortresses, gun emplacements, minefields, beach obstacles and anti-aircraft, his great defensive works were bypassed in 8 hours, and in some areas, less than an hour.


Please place the blame where it should be. Rommel himself claimed that he had no chance of repelling an invasion if he was not allowed to move the units as he desired, and he also stated that he was not given enough time on the atlantic wall. So to claim that this makes him less of a commander just does not compute.




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