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RE: Why was Patton so great?

 
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RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 12:06:22 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

Posts: 1595
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

Patton and Combined Arms - His Early Experiences

Patton was a great believer in Combined Arms. The information below is presented to show the reader about Patton's early thoughts and successes in Combined Arms.


NOTE: In part the following excerpts have been extracted from The Secret of Future Victories by Paul F. Gorman, General, U.S. Army, Retired; Combat Studies institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 66027-6900; Feb, 1992



In early 1939 Patton read a translation of Guderian's writings, and was powerfully stimulated by Guderian's suggestion that, precisely opposite to U.S. doctrine, infantry ought to be used to assist the advance of tanks. Patton's voluminous notes to himself on Guderian reflect the tactical style for which the American later became famous, well-summed in these sentences: "Mobile forces should be used in large groups and [be] vigorously led. They must attempt the impossible and dare the unknown."

It seemed possible to Patton that tanks in conjunction with closely supporting airplanes, self-propelled artillery pieces, and motorized infantrymen could break defensive lines and roam at will through enemy rear areas, completely demoralizing outflanked and confused combat troops, and paralyzing command nerve centers.


Tennessee Maneuvers, 1941

GHQ maneuvers scheduled for 1941 offered Patton, who was itching to use his new instrument of war, his first opportunities to show the Army what an armored force could accomplish.

In Tennessee, Patton and the 2d Armored division... launched a well-reconnoitered night attack, followed by a four-pronged exploitation that by 9 a.m. had captured the enemy commander and his battle staff, and forced the umpires, at 11 a.m., to stop the exercise well ahead of schedule. Major General Lesley McNair witnessed this feat of arms.

In the next phase of the maneuvers, Patton's forces knifed through the defenders with such speed that the umpires stopped the action after nine hours instead of the allocated two days. And for its finale, the 2d Armored Division swept wide around the defenders, disrupted their rear area, and captured its assigned final objective several hours ahead of the planned end to the maneuvers. Secretary Stimson was a witness to that triumph, and Patton was able to point out to him that although the division had covered long distances, "in some cases over 110 miles, every fighting vehicle in the division, except two tanks and a scout car, got to the place it was supposed to be in time to deliver the attack. . . ." Patton emerged from the Tennessee maneuvers as the rising star of the Army.

Nonetheless, on 27 November General Marshall took time to fly down to Carolina to watch the conclusion of the maneuvers, and was once more favorably impressed with Patton's willingness to dare, and with the appearance and evident high spirits of the soldiers in his division. Later, after Pearl Harbor, one Senator questioned Marshall's judgement for leaving Washington on that day with war clouds plainly in sight. Marshall's rejoinder was that the trip had enabled him personally to confirm Patton's abilities, and to decide to promote him.


In May 1941, Patton mailed to friends a copy of remarks he had made to his division:

quote:

"An armored division is the most powerful organization ever devised by the mind of men.... An armored division is that element of the team which carries out the running plays. We straight-am, and go around, and dodge, and go-around.... We must find out where the enemy is, we must hold him, and we must go around him.... One of the greatest qualities which we have is the ability to produce in our enemy the fear of the unknown. Therefore, we must always keep moving, do not sit down, do not say "I have done enough," keep on, see what else you can do to raise the devil with the enemy. . . There are no bullets in maneuvers, and things sometimes get a little dull. But play the game ... the umpires have the job of representing the bullets ... Try above all things to use your imagination. Think this is war."What would I do if that man were really shooting at me?" That is the only chance, men, that you are going to have to practice. The next time, maybe, there will be no umpires, and the bullets will be very real, both yours and the enemy's."



Within a few weeks, Patton's units were undertaking their first extensive exercises in the desert, and shortly thereafter Patton initiated a steady stream of correspondence on "lessons learned" from operations. No experiment was unworthy of his attention, no detail too small, if he thought it might improve readiness for battle. Patton was tireless in observing his units; he spent much time on a solitary hill between the Orocopia and Chuckwalla Mountains that the troops dubbed "The King's Throne," a point of vantage from which he could watch units moving about the plains below. Any slightest departure from march discipline, or any minor prospect for improving a formation or a tactic, would elicit a radio call from the "Throne." He also spent much time aloft in his light plane--he had flown his own Stimson Voyageur out from Georgia for the purpose--similarly observing and criticizing. He told his officers that "if you can work successfully here in this country, it will be no difficulty at all to kill the assorted sons of bitches you will meet in any other country."


Patton also kept in close touch with Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers, head of the Armored Force, who was responsible for armor materiel, manuals, and training techniques. Patton wrote of a three-day exercise in which his entire corps had been deployed, culminating in a "battle" between two opposing forces. He urged Devers to look into installation of a compass in the tank, and to adopt a heavier gun for the light tank, and he endorsed Devers' campaign for a better medium tank. Patton sent him ten sheets of diagrams of armor formations he had evolved by trial and error, noting that they were not perfect, but "viewed from the air and from the ground, and I have done this on every occasion, they certainly present targets practically invulnerable to aviation."

Soon, Patton had reduced what he had learned to his own manual of sorts, entitled Notes on Tactics and Techniques of Desert Warfare (Provisional), July 30, 1942.38 In it, Patton was quite didactic about air support operations, dispersed formations, and road marches. But command in battle, he asserted, was an art-form, and while he was willing to define battle's phases, he emphasized use of combined arms, and left the rest to the initiative and imagination of the commander on the ground. That commander should cope flexibly with the unexpected, relying on massive fires and maneuvers to bring fire to bear from the enemy's flank or, preferably, rear:


Some of Patton's thoughts:

quote:

Formation and material are of very secondary importance compared to discipline, the ability to shoot rapidly and accurately with the proper weapon at the proper target, and the irresistible desire to close with the enemy with the purpose of killing and destroying him. Throughout training, these things must be stressed above all others....

The force commander can exercise command from the air in a liaison plane by use of the two-way radio. He should remain in the plane until contact [with the enemy] is gained, after which one of his staff officers should be in the plane, and he himself on the ground to lead the attack....

[Reconnaissance and advance guard units] acting as ordered by the higher commander always remembering that they must never lose a chance of hurting the enemy. Sitting on a tank watching the show is fatuous--killing wins wars....

As the fight progresses, and dust clouds prevent observation, the reserve tank unit should move out to encircle the enemy and attack him from the rear. When its in position to make this attack, it should signal the force commander so that a synchronized assault may be executed....

[When attack aviation notifies it is ready] the fronts of our main assault and encircling force are outlined by clouds of specially colored smoke produced either by grenades or by artillery. This smoke gives the air a datum line as they are then able with safety to attack the narrow zone of the enemy front between the two lines of smoke....

As soon as the air attack is complete, the final assault from the front and rear is ordered. In this assault the tanks move rapidly forward to close with the enemy, while the enveloping tanks attack him from the rear. The armored infantry, moving in their carriers, follow the tanks until they are forced to dismount by hostile fire, and then rushing forward mop up and secure the spoils of victory. I repeat that the foregoing description is a great generalization. For example, in the situations where the enemy is covered by a minefield or we have been unable to locate and destroy his guns the infantry will attack first supported by the fire of all guns--Tank, Artillery, Tank Destroyer, Dual-Purpose Anti-Aircraft, and by the Air Force.



Patton held that there ought to be very little difference between the design of an infantry division and the design of an armored division, except that in the former, "the purpose of supporting weapons--primarily tanks--is to get the infantry forward. In an armored division, the purpose of the infantry is to break the tanks loose."


I don't want to get drawn back into this, but as impressive as this source sounds it is in fact as prone to bias as Whiting. It is no more or less a work of history than his. In essence, I'm yet to see a US Military source criticise Patton. One easily noticeable omission from this (and if the ommission is yours in quoting, please say and I'll retract my comments about this section of the source) is in the following section:

quote:

Tennessee Maneuvers, 1941

GHQ maneuvers scheduled for 1941 offered Patton, who was itching to use his new instrument of war, his first opportunities to show the Army what an armored force could accomplish.

In Tennessee, Patton and the 2d Armored division... launched a well-reconnoitered night attack, followed by a four-pronged exploitation that by 9 a.m. had captured the enemy commander and his battle staff, and forced the umpires, at 11 a.m., to stop the exercise well ahead of schedule. Major General Lesley McNair witnessed this feat of arms.


McNair was a very senior Officer. I seem to remember he was killed in Normandy, the highest ranking American to die in the war to enemy fire, or rather friendly fire as I seem to remember he was killed by allied bombs. However, he was indeed at the manouevres, and he is no doubt cited by the Author to show how much important attention Patton's efforts were drawing. However, McNair was not pleased with what he saw (which is not mentioned in the source).

McNair had been critical to the point of exclaiming "This is no way to fight a war." His problem had been that whilst Patton had blazed across the countryside, bypassing enemy forces, his emphasis (as it was throughout the war, and as McNair complained here) was less on destroying enemy forces, but more on gaining ground. (Quoted in Weigley: "Eisenhower's Lieutenants")

The point is further developed by Weigley with quotes from one of Patton's biographer's Farago, illustrating how the preferences Patton displayed on the fields of Tennesee were illustrated on the field of battle. Speaking of Patton's great wartime dashes, Farago concluded.

"While he did penetrate to the enemy's rear in these lightening raids, he usually confined his piecemeal operations to skirmishes with stragglers, instead of interfering strategically with the enemy's communications zone. While he did succedd in places and in parts in preventing the enem,y from forming a front, he did not destroy enough of his units to make more than a dent in his strength."

My point here is that offical US histories are as likely to be biased as anyone else. Post War official British histories stuck rigidly to the line that everything that happened in Normandy was according to Monty's plan. They were wrong and biased and I suspect the official US histories display similiar problems. I do not doubt them as sources of fact, but doubt them as unbiased sources of interpretation.

IronDuke

< Message edited by IronDuke -- 7/21/2004 10:07:23 PM >

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 451
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 12:23:35 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

Posts: 1595
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
quote:

Belisarius

quote:

HAHAHA!

A valid statement, but oh my that's simplifying the picture. So we should interpret the tactics by looking at the final result only? No wonder Patton is so popular. He's invincible!

On the tactical scale, the German army could take on prepared and well organized defenders and beat them, even in adverse weather conditions. Luckily for us, logistics and strategic planning left much to be desired.

But saying that they always failed if the opponent wasn't weaker? Nah.



Von Rom

quote:

A valid statement, but oh my that's simplifying the picture. So we should interpret the tactics by looking at the final result only


This is what some Patton critics do to Patton.


quote:

On the tactical scale, the German army could take on prepared and well organized defenders and beat them, even in adverse weather conditions.


Oh?

I seem to remember the Germany Army outside the gates of Moscow in Dec/41 was not only stalled, but it was beaten back.

At Kursk, the German armoured forces simply impaled themselves upon multiple lines of heavily prepared Soviet defenses and they had to withdraw. . .

What about Stalingrad?

Or El Alamein?

Or Bastogne?

Or. . . .

quote:

But saying that they always failed if the opponent wasn't weaker? Nah.


Some critics knock Patton's victories because they feel his opponents were weaker.

This was to show that the same can also be said about early German victories.


quote:

I seem to remember the Germany Army outside the gates of Moscow in Dec/41 was not only stalled, but it was beaten back.


Context, this is all about comntext. Can you tell us how many battle casualties the Germans had suffered at this stage of the campaign, the supply situation at the front, how many men short the individual divisions were on average? Remember, the Russian offensive was actually designed to break Army Group Centre, it failed.

quote:

At Kursk, the German armoured forces simply impaled themselves upon multiple lines of heavily prepared Soviet defenses and they had to withdraw. . .


No army in the world would have succeeded.

quote:

What about Stalingrad?


Irrelevant, the Russian assaults that surrounded the city broke through mainly Allied formations, Hungarians, Rumanians and Italians.

quote:

Or El Alamein?


Rommel had fewer men, no fuel for the tanks, ammunition shortages and Montgomery had air supremacy.

quote:

Or Bastogne?


Us troops performing exceptionally well. The Germans were also a victim of mission creep. Throw everything forward and reach the Meuse was the plan. Some of the Bastogne assaults were made by VGD formations, which were not the equal of the US infantryman, and certainly not the equal of the Screaming Eagles. This is the German Kasserine. The German attackers weren't good enough, the American defenders were very good. As your post on Patton's drive illustrates, airpower was becoming crucial, and the Allies held all the aces. I think it's difficult to draw too many conclusions in these circumstances.

Your other post illustrates a point I made initially that it was Koch who foresaw the German attack in the Ardennes, thank you for posting and confirming it.

IronDuke

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 452
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 12:35:25 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Kevinugly

Err, 'Hell on Wheels' was the nickname of the 2nd Armoured. They have a website - http://www.2ndarmoredhellonwheels.com/ - which is well worth a visit.

I'm presuming this was a 'slip of the keyboard' since the rest of what you posted refers to the 4th Armoured.


D'oh!

I was just readig about 2nd Armoured last night, so I guess the nick name was floating around. . .

Thanks for the heads-up.. .

_____________________________


(in reply to Kevinugly)
Post #: 453
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 12:50:50 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Kevinugly

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom


quote:

A valid statement, but oh my that's simplifying the picture. So we should interpret the tactics by looking at the final result only


This is what some Patton critics do to Patton.


quote:

On the tactical scale, the German army could take on prepared and well organized defenders and beat them, even in adverse weather conditions.


Oh?

I seem to remember the Germany Army outside the gates of Moscow in Dec/41 was not only stalled, but it was beaten back.

At Kursk, the German armoured forces simply impaled themselves upon multiple lines of heavily prepared Soviet defenses and they had to withdraw. . .

What about Stalingrad?

Or El Alamein?

Or Bastogne?

Or. . . .

quote:

But saying that they always failed if the opponent wasn't weaker? Nah.


Some critics knock Patton's victories because they feel his opponents were weaker.

This was to show that the same can also be said about early German victories.


'Could' but not 'would' is the appropriate word up there. At 'Kursk' the Soviets knew exactly what the Germans were going to do and prepared accordingly. Hitler delayed the offensive in order to deploy more tanks giving the Soviets even more time to build up their defences. When the Germans attacked they had none of the advantages an attacking force needs - surprise, materiel superiority, attacking at a 'weak spot'. Much the same can be said of Rommel at 'Alam Halfa' (I presume this is what you are referring to when you write 'El Alamein') after which his army was forced onto the defensive. I understand the point you make about Patton's critics but the brilliance of the 1940 German campaign in France (to serve as a suitable example) is in the planning - attack where the enemy is weakest (Sedan) and then maintain the initiative, never allowing the opposition the opportunity to recover and counter-attack. Manstein was its architect and you have to give Hitler some credit for approving it against the advice of his senior commanders in the West.


There are explanations for many bungled battles/assaults on both sides.

However, when it comes to Patton, explanations don't seem to satisfy Patton's critics.

I would never take away from the German plans and what they accomplished in France in 1940. It went perfectly.

However, as I have pointed out in several posts above, France was a rotten egg that was ready to crack. It looked impressive on paper, but its military forces and leadership were sub-par. At least half of France's army was walled-up inside the maginot Line and never engaged the enemy.

Defeating your enemy, while enduring minimum casualties, is the aim of brilliant commanders. The Germans achieved this in France in 1940, and Patton achieved this in France in Operation Cobra.

Had Patton's superiors not interferred at the Falaise Gap (Patton was denied closing the Gap and 75,000 Germans escaped); at Metz (denying Patton gas meant he could not seize Metz quickly, and instead had to take it by assault); and in the Ardennes (denying Patton the ability to close the salient behind the Germans, thus allowing thousands to escape, while costing many thousands more in Allied lives); meant many more Axis troops would have been captured, many more Allied lives would have been saved, and perhaps a few months might have been shaved off the ending of the war (which would also have saved many thousands of civilians' lives).

_____________________________


(in reply to Kevinugly)
Post #: 454
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 1:13:24 AM   
Kevinugly

 

Posts: 438
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From: Colchester, UK
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Patton's execution of 'Cobra' was exemplary although it was not really his plan. Like the closing of the 'gap' at Falaise it's something we've covered already and I don't feel we need to go over them again.

With the available intelligence at the time, would it have been wise to allow Patton to try to cut off the base of the 'Bulge'? In early January the Germans still appeared capable of offensive action, 'Nordwind' was launched and the Luftwaffe launched a massive raid on 1st January 1945, surprising the Allied commanders once again. We have already discussed how confused the fighting had become and how splintered German forces were leading to reports of formations all over the battle area. After the shock of the German offensive of 16th December I doubt whether Eisenhower and Bradley would have considered allowing 3rd Army to stage a risky encircling offensive.

Metz is a whole different ballgame, still wish to discuss this one Von Rom?

_____________________________

Thankyou for using the World Wide Web. British designed, given freely to the World.

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Post #: 455
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 1:15:23 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

Patton and Combined Arms - His Early Experiences

Patton was a great believer in Combined Arms. The information below is presented to show the reader about Patton's early thoughts and successes in Combined Arms.


NOTE: In part the following excerpts have been extracted from The Secret of Future Victories by Paul F. Gorman, General, U.S. Army, Retired; Combat Studies institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 66027-6900; Feb, 1992



In early 1939 Patton read a translation of Guderian's writings, and was powerfully stimulated by Guderian's suggestion that, precisely opposite to U.S. doctrine, infantry ought to be used to assist the advance of tanks. Patton's voluminous notes to himself on Guderian reflect the tactical style for which the American later became famous, well-summed in these sentences: "Mobile forces should be used in large groups and [be] vigorously led. They must attempt the impossible and dare the unknown."

It seemed possible to Patton that tanks in conjunction with closely supporting airplanes, self-propelled artillery pieces, and motorized infantrymen could break defensive lines and roam at will through enemy rear areas, completely demoralizing outflanked and confused combat troops, and paralyzing command nerve centers.


Tennessee Maneuvers, 1941

GHQ maneuvers scheduled for 1941 offered Patton, who was itching to use his new instrument of war, his first opportunities to show the Army what an armored force could accomplish.

In Tennessee, Patton and the 2d Armored division... launched a well-reconnoitered night attack, followed by a four-pronged exploitation that by 9 a.m. had captured the enemy commander and his battle staff, and forced the umpires, at 11 a.m., to stop the exercise well ahead of schedule. Major General Lesley McNair witnessed this feat of arms.

In the next phase of the maneuvers, Patton's forces knifed through the defenders with such speed that the umpires stopped the action after nine hours instead of the allocated two days. And for its finale, the 2d Armored Division swept wide around the defenders, disrupted their rear area, and captured its assigned final objective several hours ahead of the planned end to the maneuvers. Secretary Stimson was a witness to that triumph, and Patton was able to point out to him that although the division had covered long distances, "in some cases over 110 miles, every fighting vehicle in the division, except two tanks and a scout car, got to the place it was supposed to be in time to deliver the attack. . . ." Patton emerged from the Tennessee maneuvers as the rising star of the Army.

Nonetheless, on 27 November General Marshall took time to fly down to Carolina to watch the conclusion of the maneuvers, and was once more favorably impressed with Patton's willingness to dare, and with the appearance and evident high spirits of the soldiers in his division. Later, after Pearl Harbor, one Senator questioned Marshall's judgement for leaving Washington on that day with war clouds plainly in sight. Marshall's rejoinder was that the trip had enabled him personally to confirm Patton's abilities, and to decide to promote him.


In May 1941, Patton mailed to friends a copy of remarks he had made to his division:

quote:

"An armored division is the most powerful organization ever devised by the mind of men.... An armored division is that element of the team which carries out the running plays. We straight-am, and go around, and dodge, and go-around.... We must find out where the enemy is, we must hold him, and we must go around him.... One of the greatest qualities which we have is the ability to produce in our enemy the fear of the unknown. Therefore, we must always keep moving, do not sit down, do not say "I have done enough," keep on, see what else you can do to raise the devil with the enemy. . . There are no bullets in maneuvers, and things sometimes get a little dull. But play the game ... the umpires have the job of representing the bullets ... Try above all things to use your imagination. Think this is war."What would I do if that man were really shooting at me?" That is the only chance, men, that you are going to have to practice. The next time, maybe, there will be no umpires, and the bullets will be very real, both yours and the enemy's."



Within a few weeks, Patton's units were undertaking their first extensive exercises in the desert, and shortly thereafter Patton initiated a steady stream of correspondence on "lessons learned" from operations. No experiment was unworthy of his attention, no detail too small, if he thought it might improve readiness for battle. Patton was tireless in observing his units; he spent much time on a solitary hill between the Orocopia and Chuckwalla Mountains that the troops dubbed "The King's Throne," a point of vantage from which he could watch units moving about the plains below. Any slightest departure from march discipline, or any minor prospect for improving a formation or a tactic, would elicit a radio call from the "Throne." He also spent much time aloft in his light plane--he had flown his own Stimson Voyageur out from Georgia for the purpose--similarly observing and criticizing. He told his officers that "if you can work successfully here in this country, it will be no difficulty at all to kill the assorted sons of bitches you will meet in any other country."


Patton also kept in close touch with Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers, head of the Armored Force, who was responsible for armor materiel, manuals, and training techniques. Patton wrote of a three-day exercise in which his entire corps had been deployed, culminating in a "battle" between two opposing forces. He urged Devers to look into installation of a compass in the tank, and to adopt a heavier gun for the light tank, and he endorsed Devers' campaign for a better medium tank. Patton sent him ten sheets of diagrams of armor formations he had evolved by trial and error, noting that they were not perfect, but "viewed from the air and from the ground, and I have done this on every occasion, they certainly present targets practically invulnerable to aviation."

Soon, Patton had reduced what he had learned to his own manual of sorts, entitled Notes on Tactics and Techniques of Desert Warfare (Provisional), July 30, 1942.38 In it, Patton was quite didactic about air support operations, dispersed formations, and road marches. But command in battle, he asserted, was an art-form, and while he was willing to define battle's phases, he emphasized use of combined arms, and left the rest to the initiative and imagination of the commander on the ground. That commander should cope flexibly with the unexpected, relying on massive fires and maneuvers to bring fire to bear from the enemy's flank or, preferably, rear:


Some of Patton's thoughts:

quote:

Formation and material are of very secondary importance compared to discipline, the ability to shoot rapidly and accurately with the proper weapon at the proper target, and the irresistible desire to close with the enemy with the purpose of killing and destroying him. Throughout training, these things must be stressed above all others....

The force commander can exercise command from the air in a liaison plane by use of the two-way radio. He should remain in the plane until contact [with the enemy] is gained, after which one of his staff officers should be in the plane, and he himself on the ground to lead the attack....

[Reconnaissance and advance guard units] acting as ordered by the higher commander always remembering that they must never lose a chance of hurting the enemy. Sitting on a tank watching the show is fatuous--killing wins wars....

As the fight progresses, and dust clouds prevent observation, the reserve tank unit should move out to encircle the enemy and attack him from the rear. When its in position to make this attack, it should signal the force commander so that a synchronized assault may be executed....

[When attack aviation notifies it is ready] the fronts of our main assault and encircling force are outlined by clouds of specially colored smoke produced either by grenades or by artillery. This smoke gives the air a datum line as they are then able with safety to attack the narrow zone of the enemy front between the two lines of smoke....

As soon as the air attack is complete, the final assault from the front and rear is ordered. In this assault the tanks move rapidly forward to close with the enemy, while the enveloping tanks attack him from the rear. The armored infantry, moving in their carriers, follow the tanks until they are forced to dismount by hostile fire, and then rushing forward mop up and secure the spoils of victory. I repeat that the foregoing description is a great generalization. For example, in the situations where the enemy is covered by a minefield or we have been unable to locate and destroy his guns the infantry will attack first supported by the fire of all guns--Tank, Artillery, Tank Destroyer, Dual-Purpose Anti-Aircraft, and by the Air Force.



Patton held that there ought to be very little difference between the design of an infantry division and the design of an armored division, except that in the former, "the purpose of supporting weapons--primarily tanks--is to get the infantry forward. In an armored division, the purpose of the infantry is to break the tanks loose."


I don't want to get drawn back into this, but as impressive as this source sounds it is in fact as prone to bias as Whiting. It is no more or less a work of history than his. In essence, I'm yet to see a US Military source criticise Patton. One easily noticeable omission from this (and if the ommission is yours in quoting, please say and I'll retract my comments about this section of the source) is in the following section:

quote:

Tennessee Maneuvers, 1941

GHQ maneuvers scheduled for 1941 offered Patton, who was itching to use his new instrument of war, his first opportunities to show the Army what an armored force could accomplish.

In Tennessee, Patton and the 2d Armored division... launched a well-reconnoitered night attack, followed by a four-pronged exploitation that by 9 a.m. had captured the enemy commander and his battle staff, and forced the umpires, at 11 a.m., to stop the exercise well ahead of schedule. Major General Lesley McNair witnessed this feat of arms.


McNair was a very senior Officer. I seem to remember he was killed in Normandy, the highest ranking American to die in the war to enemy fire, or rather friendly fire as I seem to remember he was killed by allied bombs. However, he was indeed at the manouevres, and he is no doubt cited by the Author to show how much important attention Patton's efforts were drawing. However, McNair was not pleased with what he saw (which is not mentioned in the source).

McNair had been critical to the point of exclaiming "This is no way to fight a war." His problem had been that whilst Patton had blazed across the countryside, bypassing enemy forces, his emphasis (as it was throughout the war, and as McNair complained here) was less on destroying enemy forces, but more on gaining ground. (Quoted in Weigley: "Eisenhower's Lieutenants")

The point is further developed by Weigley with quotes from one of Patton's biographer's Farago, illustrating how the preferences Patton displayed on the fields of Tennesee were illustrated on the field of battle. Speaking of Patton's great wartime dashes, Farago concluded.

"While he did penetrate to the enemy's rear in these lightening raids, he usually confined his piecemeal operations to skirmishes with stragglers, instead of interfering strategically with the enemy's communications zone. While he did succedd in places and in parts in preventing the enem,y from forming a front, he did not destroy enough of his units to make more than a dent in his strength."

My point here is that offical US histories are as likely to be biased as anyone else. Post War official British histories stuck rigidly to the line that everything that happened in Normandy was according to Monty's plan. They were wrong and biased and I suspect the official US histories display similiar problems. I do not doubt them as sources of fact, but doubt them as unbiased sources of interpretation.

IronDuke



Ironduke:

Actually, what you are reading was written in 1992 by a retired US Army General. His writing about Patton reflects his study of Patton's use of combined arms.

This paper was published by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. If you are unaware of this school, then I just wanted to mention that it was founded in 1882 and is THE most prestigious military command school in the USA and the world. All of the great military leaders were educated here: Ike, Patton, Bradley, MacArthur, Marshal, etc, etc. . . Only those selected for higher command attend it.

You compare these military papers and studies to Whiting's writing.

These military papers do not have an agenda like Whiting does. Instead, they examine the pure military accomplishments of Patton, and they are studied at the command school by military leaders.

There were actually several exercises and training programs throughout the US from 1939 to 1942. During these exercises, mistakes were made. But that is what exercies and training are for - to learn from mistakes. Obviously what Patton's critics latch onto are McNair's comments about the earlier field exercises. What you are reading from this included article, are those later exercises where many of the mistakes have been avoided. In fact Marshal attended the exercise and praised Patton.

As to Patton's encirclements:

Heheh

You will stand on your head defending the Germans at Kursk (one of the biggest, colossal blunders in military history by the way), and yet, when it comes to clear evidence about Patton's study and use of combined arms, you will dig for the most obscure piece of material, and expand it into some wide-sweeping criticism about Patton's ability.

Just as the Germans in France by-passed most of the French armies and sought instead to encircle their foes, Patton's Third Army also swept through France to encircle the German armies trapped inside the Falaise Gap.

Contrary to the critic you cited, Patton did NOT believe in capturing territory; he believed in destroying the enemy. Your cited source, in saying this, displays his complete lack of understanding of Patton's military philosophy.

Do I really need to say this? Is your hatred for Patton so deep that you are simply incapable of looking logically at ANY of his accomplishments?

What you have written above is just another example of why I stopped debating with you. There is NO debate. Your only goal is to destroy Patton's reputation regardless of the circumstances, regardless of how well he did, or regardless of any evidence to the contrary.

If Patton mentioned the sky was blue, you would write post after post trying to prove that Patton did not see a blue sky.

'Nuff said. . .

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 7/22/2004 1:13:22 AM >


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Post #: 456
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 1:22:43 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
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quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

Belisarius

quote:

HAHAHA!

A valid statement, but oh my that's simplifying the picture. So we should interpret the tactics by looking at the final result only? No wonder Patton is so popular. He's invincible!

On the tactical scale, the German army could take on prepared and well organized defenders and beat them, even in adverse weather conditions. Luckily for us, logistics and strategic planning left much to be desired.

But saying that they always failed if the opponent wasn't weaker? Nah.



Von Rom

quote:

A valid statement, but oh my that's simplifying the picture. So we should interpret the tactics by looking at the final result only


This is what some Patton critics do to Patton.


quote:

On the tactical scale, the German army could take on prepared and well organized defenders and beat them, even in adverse weather conditions.


Oh?

I seem to remember the Germany Army outside the gates of Moscow in Dec/41 was not only stalled, but it was beaten back.

At Kursk, the German armoured forces simply impaled themselves upon multiple lines of heavily prepared Soviet defenses and they had to withdraw. . .

What about Stalingrad?

Or El Alamein?

Or Bastogne?

Or. . . .

quote:

But saying that they always failed if the opponent wasn't weaker? Nah.


Some critics knock Patton's victories because they feel his opponents were weaker.

This was to show that the same can also be said about early German victories.


quote:

I seem to remember the Germany Army outside the gates of Moscow in Dec/41 was not only stalled, but it was beaten back.


Context, this is all about comntext. Can you tell us how many battle casualties the Germans had suffered at this stage of the campaign, the supply situation at the front, how many men short the individual divisions were on average? Remember, the Russian offensive was actually designed to break Army Group Centre, it failed.

quote:

At Kursk, the German armoured forces simply impaled themselves upon multiple lines of heavily prepared Soviet defenses and they had to withdraw. . .


No army in the world would have succeeded.

quote:

What about Stalingrad?


Irrelevant, the Russian assaults that surrounded the city broke through mainly Allied formations, Hungarians, Rumanians and Italians.

quote:

Or El Alamein?


Rommel had fewer men, no fuel for the tanks, ammunition shortages and Montgomery had air supremacy.

quote:

Or Bastogne?


Us troops performing exceptionally well. The Germans were also a victim of mission creep. Throw everything forward and reach the Meuse was the plan. Some of the Bastogne assaults were made by VGD formations, which were not the equal of the US infantryman, and certainly not the equal of the Screaming Eagles. This is the German Kasserine. The German attackers weren't good enough, the American defenders were very good. As your post on Patton's drive illustrates, airpower was becoming crucial, and the Allies held all the aces. I think it's difficult to draw too many conclusions in these circumstances.

Your other post illustrates a point I made initially that it was Koch who foresaw the German attack in the Ardennes, thank you for posting and confirming it.

IronDuke



See what I mean about your double standard.

EVERY German operation that did not go well has a very valid explanation according to you, and should be understood within that context.

However, when it comes to Patton - NO MATTER WHAT HE DOES - it is wrong.

If there are mistakes, then Patton is white-washed as a bad general. NO CONTEXT is allowed.

That is why debating you is utterly fruitless.

It is like digging a hole that goes nowhere. . .

If this is the way you view Patton - then that is your perogative - but it has nothing to do with sensibly discussing Patton or anything he did.

These are not statements about you personally. I am sure you are a fine person. However, you have an extremely jaundiced view about Patton that is at variance with many of the facts. . .

'Nuff said. . .

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 7/21/2004 11:34:41 PM >


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Post #: 457
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 1:48:54 AM   
Von Rom


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kevinugly

Patton's execution of 'Cobra' was exemplary although it was not really his plan. Like the closing of the 'gap' at Falaise it's something we've covered already and I don't feel we need to go over them again.

With the available intelligence at the time, would it have been wise to allow Patton to try to cut off the base of the 'Bulge'? In early January the Germans still appeared capable of offensive action, 'Nordwind' was launched and the Luftwaffe launched a massive raid on 1st January 1945, surprising the Allied commanders once again. We have already discussed how confused the fighting had become and how splintered German forces were leading to reports of formations all over the battle area. After the shock of the German offensive of 16th December I doubt whether Eisenhower and Bradley would have considered allowing 3rd Army to stage a risky encircling offensive.

Metz is a whole different ballgame, still wish to discuss this one Von Rom?



Operation Cobra

Actually, Patton did plan Operation Cobra. He didn't call it that, but aside from some slight differences, it was the SAME plan he had discussed earlier with Bradley.

The Third Army staff never doubted that Bradley was making good in France by expropriating their boss's ideas. Patton's aide, Colonel Charles Codman, wrote to his wife, "As of August 1st, General Bradley has adopted practically all of General Patton's plans."

On august 14, 1944, Patton wrote in his diary regarding the St. Lo breakthrough, "It is really a great plan, wholly my own, and I made Bradley think that he thought of it."

One of Patton's Staff Officers has written a book claiming that Operation Cobra was Patton's idea and plan.

Col. Brenton G. Wallace, a staff officer under Patton wrote a book called "Patton and the Third Army", which claims that Patton was chiefly responsible both for the planning and execution of the famous St. Lo breakthrough, which swept on past Avranches and eventually hurled all the German armies out of France.

The battle plan credit, up until now, has gone uncontested to General Omar N. Bradley, who later commanded the 12th Army Group.

Wallace, who served as assistant chief of staff in G-3 (liaison) for the Third Army writes: "The First Army was given credit, whereas Gen. Patton planned it and executed it and used not only First Army troops but also a number of his own Third Army units."


The Bulge:

Patton believed in war you take chances.

At Falaise he could have closed the Gap.

At Metz he could have taken it with few casualties.

At the Bulge, he wanted to close the salient.

Not being allowed to have done any of the above cost many, many more thousands of lives. . .

History and the facts have vindicated Patton's views about the above operations. That is why Patton's military operations are studied in military schools today. He proved he was right. And history proves he was right.


Bodenplatte ("Baseplate")

This is the name of that German air operation you mentioned. It is yet another example of a colossal military failure on the part of Germany that cost her dearly.

The goal of Operation Bodenplatte ("Baseplate") was to break the air supremacy of the Allied fighter force and allow the weakened Luftwaffe to focus on the strategic bomber threat.

Set for early morning on New Year's Day—January 1, 1945—it was a desperate gamble that would cost the Luftwaffe dearly.

Poor planning, inadequate briefings, a lack of experienced pilots, and poor coordination with flak gunners on the ground cost the Luftwaffe a third of the 800-900 aircraft it threw into this large-scale surprise attack. More significantly, over 200 pilots, including almost 80 experienced leaders and commanders, never lived to see more than the first day of 1945.

A large number of German aircraft lost fell to "friendly" antiaircraft gunners, some of whom remained uninformed about the flight schedule. In other cases, bad weather delayed takeoff, putting pilots in the air over batteries that had expected them earlier.

The one thing Bodenplatte pilots had going for them was surprise. The last thing the Allies expected was a massive attack by an air force they knew was on the ropes, least of all on New Year's morning. Some Allied airfields suffered extremely heavy damage, while others were visited ineffectually by very small numbers of fighter-bombers. It took awhile for the Allied air forces to react, but they were soon flying multiple sorties to blunt or entirely stave off the low-level attacks.

By the end of the day nearly 500 Allied aircraft had been destroyed, almost all of them on the ground, with the heaviest damage falling in the British sector. This was a weighty blow, but all of these wrecked aircraft were replaced within a couple of weeks, while German losses, especially in pilots, were irreplaceable.

Now the full weight of the Allied tactical air forces fell on the German army, making it impossible to move troops or supplies on the ground without drawing the unwelcome attentions of free-roaming fighter-bombers with their guns, bombs, and rockets.

By January 18, the Battle of the Bulge was over. For Germany, the outcome was a double catastrophe: its last offensive in the west was decisively defeated on the ground, with the loss of 100,000 men and 600 tanks, and the Luftwaffe was finished as an effective fighting force at a time when Allied air power had never been greater. With Russian armies advancing into Germany from the east and British and American armies advancing toward the Rhine from the west, the outlook for the Third Reich was bleak.

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 7/22/2004 1:35:53 AM >


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Post #: 458
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 3:28:49 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

Posts: 1595
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quote:

Ironduke:

Actually, what you are reading was written in 1992 by a retired US Army General. His writing about Patton reflects his study of Patton's use of combined arms.

This paper was published by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. If you are unaware of this school, then I just wanted to mention that it was founded in 1882 and is THE most prestigious military command school in the USA and the world. All of the great military leaders were educated here: Ike, Patton, Bradley, etc, etc. . . Only those selected for higher command attend it.

You compare these military papers and studies to Whiting's writing.

These military papers do not have an agenda like Whiting does. Instead they examine the military accomplishments of Patton, and they are studied at the command school by military leaders.


Why did he mention McNair yet not tell us what McNair said about the excerises, then? Does that not make them unbalanced? D'Este is a retired Army Officer. Whiting served in the armed forces as well. The fact someone is a soldier does not make them a good or unbiased historian. This gentlemen is honest, I'm sure, but his opinion goes into the pot with everyone elses. Credentials are earned in history. People read what you say, and your reputation is created on the basis of it. I would look at whiting's work the same as this Gentleman's and apply the same criteria when deciding their qualities. Rank or position does not impress me, just someone's history. If it impresses you, then your reading is destined to be one dimensional.

quote:

There were actually several exercises and training programs throughout the US from 1939 to 1942. During these exercises, mistakes were made. But that is what exercies and training are for - to learn from mistakes. Obviously what Patton's critics latch onto are McNair's comments about the earlier field exercises. What you are reading from this included article, are those later exercises where many of the mistakes have been avoided.


I would be interested to hear of the list of exercises undertaken. Can you provide it? Convenient that the Writer chose not to mention McNair's comments about the earliest excerises if this is indeed what they were. Can you quote us something from General McNair about the later exercises? Perhaps illustrating that he felt Patton had learned from his mistakes. If you can't, then your last sentence above is an invention.

quote:

As to Patton's encirclements:

Heheh

You will stand on your head defending the Germans at Kursk (one of the biggest, collossal blunders in military history by the way), and yet, when it comes to clear evidence about Patton's study and use of combined arms, you will dig for the most obscure piece of material, and expand it into some wide-sweeping criticism about Patton's ability.


Kursk was a colossal strategic blunder. The battle should never have been fought, ultimate responsibility rests with the man who decided to attack. It cannot be compared to an operational matter at Army level.
It is wrongheaded for you to do so. You have so far provided no analysis of Patton in the field. The piece you quote concerning combined arms mentions very little about it (and I don't believe you prove your point simply repeating ad nausum that Patton was good at combined arms). Feel free to analyse the drive on Bastogne, and we can discuss it's qualities as a combined arms operation.

quote:

Just as the Germans in France by-passed most of the French armies, and sought instead to encircle their foes, Patton's Third Army also swept through France to encircle the German armies trapped inside the Falaise Gap.


The crucial difference, is that the Germans did this on day one of the campaign. Guderian made the break through himself at Sedan. Patton moved his troops through the gap created by first army, after First Army had won a grim battle of attrition amongst the bocage. Once through the gap, Patton turned the wrong way into Brittany. As I've said, it is the supreme irony of unblinking, unthinking acceptance of the Patton legend that the good General himself never wanted to go to falaise, but wanted to go the Seine. It was Bradley who sent him to Falaise, yet you have never admitted this. Why? Becuse to do so detracts from the Patton myth.

quote:

Do I really need to say this? Is your hatred for Patton so deep that you are simply incapable of looking logically at ANY of his accomplishments?


To which I would reply:

Do I really need to say this? Is your love for Patton so deep that you are simply incapable of looking logically at ANY of his accomplishments?

quote:

What you have written above is just another example of why I stopped debating with you.


I love this. I stopped debating with you if memory serves, after publishing my list of unanswered questions. If you have quotes from the Patton thread to support you, post them. A la the Patton legend, it is now you who tired of me, and to hell with reality.

quote:

There is NO debate. Your only goal is to destroy Patton's reputation regardless of the circumstances, regardless of how well he did, or regardless of any evidence to the contrary.


Your only goal is to preserve the Patton legend regardless of the circumstances, regardless of how well he did, or regardles of any evidence to the contrary.

quote:

If Patton mentioned the sky was blue, you would write post after post trying to prove that Patton did not see a blue sky.


Another gem. Actually, I would indeed dispute this, if the source you had provided to support your contention that Patton had seen a blue sky was of your usual standard. I want only fact. I believe nothing until the evidence shows it.

IronDuke

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 459
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 3:31:56 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

Posts: 1595
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I mis
quote:

Contrary to the critic you cited, Patton did NOT believe in capturing territory; he believed in destroying the enemy. Your cited source, in saying this, displays his complete lack of understanding of Patton's military philosophy.


I missed this section, although I know I won't get a response so I post it just for the hell of it.

Your proof? As I said, I don't believe this merely because you've said it. I want a source that analyses Patton's campaigns (as my historians did Weigly and Farago for the record) and explains why Patton liked encirclements.

IronDuke

(in reply to IronDuke_slith)
Post #: 460
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 3:37:40 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

Posts: 1595
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quote:

See what I mean about your double standard.


Nope.

quote:

EVERY German operation that did not go well has a very valid explanation according to you, and should be understood within that context.


Nope, you haven't mentioned every German operation, just a handful that did have a context worth noting.

quote:

However, when it comes to Patton - NO MATTER WHAT HE DOES - it is wrong.


Demonstrably untrue. I have quoted on Patton's strengths at length (like me to quote from the thread as proof?). You have never told us what you feel his weaknesses to be.

quote:

If there are mistakes, then Patton is white-washed as a bad general. NO CONTEXT is allowed.


For Patton's examples discussed thus far, the context is often a poor one (as it often is for Montgomery). At Metz, there were no supplies (good context - one I accept) so why attack then?

quote:

That is why debating you is utterly fruitless.


Too late, I said this to you first.

quote:

It is like digging a hole that goes nowhere. . .


I know the feeling, I can sympathise.

quote:

If this is the way you view Patton - then that is your perogative - but it has nothing to do with sensibly discussing Patton or anything he did.


I don't accept the legend. If that makes me not sensible, so be it.

quote:

These are not statements about you personally. I am sure you are a fine person. However, you have an extremely jaundiced view about Patton that is at variance with many of the facts. . .


As do you. I, however, do present facts to allow others to judge whether my views are jaundiced.

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Post #: 461
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 3:47:47 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

Operation Cobra

Actually, Patton did plan Operation Cobra. He didn't call it that, but aside from some slight differences, it was the SAME plan he had discussed earlier with Bradley.


I would give this more than just a derisory glance if you could quote ONE source outside of Patton uncovered (discredited by D'Este) or the Patton fansites. Just one. As I've said, merely repeating something ad nauseum does not make it true, it just makes it boring.

What 3rd Army did after the gap was turn the wrong way and then head for Falaise when Patton wanted to head for the Seine. If the plan was his, how come he disagreed with it? This is nonsense.

quote:

The Third Army staff never doubted that Bradley was making good in France by expropriating their boss's ideas. Patton's aide, Colonel Charles Codman, wrote to his wife, "As of August 1st, General Bradley has adopted practically all of General Patton's plans."

On august 14, 1944, Patton wrote in his diary regarding the St. Lo breakthrough, "It is really a great plan, wholly my own, and I made Bradley think that he thought of it."


Another classic. "I made Bradley think that he thought of it." Patton said this, and so it must be true, eh? As I've said, Patton never wanted Falaise, so if he did give the plan to Bradley, he must have given him the wrong one because Bradley asked him to go to Falaise rather than the Seine. In history, when Person A gives Person B a plan, and Person B then tells Person A to do something not on Person A's plan, we call it using a different plan.

quote:

One of Patton's Staff Officers has written a book claiming that Operation Cobra was Patton's idea and plan.

Col. Brenton G. Wallace, a staff officer under Patton wrote a book called "Patton and the Third Army", which claims that Patton was chiefly responsible both for the planning and execution of the famous St. Lo breakthrough, which swept on past Avranches and eventually hurled all the German armies out of France.

The battle plan credit, up until now, has gone uncontested to General Omar N. Bradley, who later commanded the 12th Army Group.

Wallace, who served as assistant chief of staff in G-3 (liaison) for the Third Army writes: "The First Army was given credit, whereas Gen. Patton planned it and executed it and used not only First Army troops but also a number of his own Third Army units."


So, everyone gives the credit to Bradley (you used the word uncontested). A man who worked with Patton says it was Patton's plan. This man did not serve with Bradley so was in no position to know how Bradley formulated the idea. He is a Patton man. It may well be that Bradley conferred with all senior commanders (Collins, Hodges and Patton) before deciding on his plan, Army Commanders often do that. However, as I've said, D'Este says Patton wanted the Seine, so how can it have been his plan if he wanted something other than what Bradley actually asked him to do?????

Ironduke

< Message edited by IronDuke -- 7/22/2004 1:48:45 AM >

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Post #: 462
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 3:57:20 AM   
Kevinugly

 

Posts: 438
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quote:

Patton believed in war you take chances.

At Falaise he could have closed the Gap.

At Metz he could have taken it with few casualties.

At the Bulge, he wanted to close the salient.

Not being allowed to have done any of the above cost many, many more thousands of lives. . .

History and the facts have vindicated Patton's views about the above operations. That is why Patton's military operations are studied in military schools today. He proved he was right.


You're not seeing it in context. Try and put yourself into the supreme commanders shoes at the time with the intel available at the time and reconsider.


quote:

Operation Cobra

Actually, Patton did plan Operation Cobra. He didn't call it that, but aside from some slight differences, it was the SAME plan he had discussed earlier with Bradley.

The Third Army staff never doubted that Bradley was making good in France by expropriating their boss's ideas. Patton's aide, Colonel Charles Codman, wrote to his wife, "As of August 1st, General Bradley has adopted practically all of General Patton's plans."

On august 14, 1944, Patton wrote in his diary regarding the St. Lo breakthrough, "It is really a great plan, wholly my own, and I made Bradley think that he thought of it."

One of Patton's Staff Officers has written book claiming in fact that Operation Cobra was Patton's idea and plan.

Col. Brenton G. Wallace, a staff officer under Patton wrote a book called "Patton and the Third Army", which claims that Patton was chiefly responsible both for the planning and execution of the famous St. Lo breakthrough, which swept on past Avranches and eventually hurled all the German armies out of France.

The battle plan credit, up until now, has gone uncontested to General Omar N. Bradley, who later commanded the 12th Army Group.

Wallace, who served as assistant chief of staff in G-3 (liaison) for the Third Army writes: "The First Army was given credit, whereas Gen. Patton planned it and executed it and used not only First Army troops but also a number of his own Third Army units."



I doubt whether any plan can be wholly accredited to one person. Senior commanders will discuss plans with their subordinates (even if Bradley and Patton didn't get on personally I'm sure they had a healthy respect for one another as generals), take on board their opinions and adjust if they feel it's necessary. I would be certain Patton had some input on Cobra, as would have Montgomery, Eisenhower, the participating Corps commanders, various G2s and probably some divisional commanders too. Also bear in mind that, unlike Manstein's plan, Cobra was only part of an overall strategy - to break out of Normandy.

When Patton wrote
quote:

"It is really a great plan, wholly my own, and I made Bradley think that he thought of it."
it is quite possible that several other commanders were thinking exactly the same thing, Bradley included.


Regarding 'Bodenplatte', strategically it was a failure but again you need to put yourself into the Allied Generals' shoes. Suddenly the Luftwaffe has put around 1,000 aircraft into the air and attacked Allied air bases, achieving total surprise again! They wouldn't have known the extent of German losses, especially those that went down in 'friendly fire' incidents.

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Post #: 463
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 3:57:58 AM   
Error in 0


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IronDuke
It has been most educational and interesting reading your comments. I am most impressed that you keep your cool when fighting this unfair battle. keep it up!





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Never ever give up fighting ignorance.

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Post #: 464
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 4:00:23 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

Posts: 1595
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quote:

The Bulge:

Patton believed in war you take chances.

At Falaise he could have closed the Gap.


Historians don't believe he could. Weigly thinks he might, but D'Este and Hastings think he wouldn't have. D'este also points out he didn't want to be anywhere near the gap in the first place, and only got upset about it when he was denied the Seine and ordered to argentan.

quote:

At Metz he could have taken it with few casualties.


Listen to what you're saying. This is based on the assumption that given gas Patton could have reached and taken Metz when there were no defenders. By this method, any General is a good one, because all Generals will take cities that have no defenders. Stalingrad was undefended in September, full of Russians when the Germans reached it. However, once an opportunity is missed, a good general re-assesses the situation and acts accordingly. Judge Metz by what he did, not by what might have been.

quote:

At the Bulge, he wanted to close the salient.


Something I pointed out to you, first. I can quote from the thread if you wish to prove this. You were telling us how the drive on Bastogne was so good, and now you're actually telling us that his genius was not the drive on Bastogne but the fact he saw he could attack further east and cut all the Germans off. I pointed this out, yet downplay all his achievements, apparently.

quote:

Not being allowed to have done any of the above cost many, many more thousands of lives. . .


Hindsight, and not very good hindsight. Many of the lives were lost in frontal assaults on the city.

quote:

History and the facts have vindicated Patton's views about the above operations. That is why Patton's military operations are studied in military schools today. He proved he was right. And history proves he was right.


The legend's view of history proves he was right, as I consistently point out, Major historians don't view him as right at all. Some believe he had some good qualities, all think he had some problems. All except you, who are yet to breakdown Patton's weakenses for you.

I could quote my "Patton's strengths" comments if it starts you off.

Ironduke

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Post #: 465
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 4:07:54 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

Ironduke:

Actually, what you are reading was written in 1992 by a retired US Army General. His writing about Patton reflects his study of Patton's use of combined arms.

This paper was published by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. If you are unaware of this school, then I just wanted to mention that it was founded in 1882 and is THE most prestigious military command school in the USA and the world. All of the great military leaders were educated here: Ike, Patton, Bradley, etc, etc. . . Only those selected for higher command attend it.

You compare these military papers and studies to Whiting's writing.

These military papers do not have an agenda like Whiting does. Instead they examine the military accomplishments of Patton, and they are studied at the command school by military leaders.


Why did he mention McNair yet not tell us what McNair said about the excerises, then? Does that not make them unbalanced? D'Este is a retired Army Officer. Whiting served in the armed forces as well. The fact someone is a soldier does not make them a good or unbiased historian. This gentlemen is honest, I'm sure, but his opinion goes into the pot with everyone elses. Credentials are earned in history. People read what you say, and your reputation is created on the basis of it. I would look at whiting's work the same as this Gentleman's and apply the same criteria when deciding their qualities. Rank or position does not impress me, just someone's history. If it impresses you, then your reading is destined to be one dimensional.

quote:

There were actually several exercises and training programs throughout the US from 1939 to 1942. During these exercises, mistakes were made. But that is what exercies and training are for - to learn from mistakes. Obviously what Patton's critics latch onto are McNair's comments about the earlier field exercises. What you are reading from this included article, are those later exercises where many of the mistakes have been avoided.


I would be interested to hear of the list of exercises undertaken. Can you provide it? Convenient that the Writer chose not to mention McNair's comments about the earliest excerises if this is indeed what they were. Can you quote us something from General McNair about the later exercises? Perhaps illustrating that he felt Patton had learned from his mistakes. If you can't, then your last sentence above is an invention.

quote:

As to Patton's encirclements:

Heheh

You will stand on your head defending the Germans at Kursk (one of the biggest, collossal blunders in military history by the way), and yet, when it comes to clear evidence about Patton's study and use of combined arms, you will dig for the most obscure piece of material, and expand it into some wide-sweeping criticism about Patton's ability.


Kursk was a colossal strategic blunder. The battle should never have been fought, ultimate responsibility rests with the man who decided to attack. It cannot be compared to an operational matter at Army level.
It is wrongheaded for you to do so. You have so far provided no analysis of Patton in the field. The piece you quote concerning combined arms mentions very little about it (and I don't believe you prove your point simply repeating ad nausum that Patton was good at combined arms). Feel free to analyse the drive on Bastogne, and we can discuss it's qualities as a combined arms operation.

quote:

Just as the Germans in France by-passed most of the French armies, and sought instead to encircle their foes, Patton's Third Army also swept through France to encircle the German armies trapped inside the Falaise Gap.


The crucial difference, is that the Germans did this on day one of the campaign. Guderian made the break through himself at Sedan. Patton moved his troops through the gap created by first army, after First Army had won a grim battle of attrition amongst the bocage. Once through the gap, Patton turned the wrong way into Brittany. As I've said, it is the supreme irony of unblinking, unthinking acceptance of the Patton legend that the good General himself never wanted to go to falaise, but wanted to go the Seine. It was Bradley who sent him to Falaise, yet you have never admitted this. Why? Becuse to do so detracts from the Patton myth.

quote:

Do I really need to say this? Is your hatred for Patton so deep that you are simply incapable of looking logically at ANY of his accomplishments?


To which I would reply:

Do I really need to say this? Is your love for Patton so deep that you are simply incapable of looking logically at ANY of his accomplishments?

quote:

What you have written above is just another example of why I stopped debating with you.


I love this. I stopped debating with you if memory serves, after publishing my list of unanswered questions. If you have quotes from the Patton thread to support you, post them. A la the Patton legend, it is now you who tired of me, and to hell with reality.

quote:

There is NO debate. Your only goal is to destroy Patton's reputation regardless of the circumstances, regardless of how well he did, or regardless of any evidence to the contrary.


Your only goal is to preserve the Patton legend regardless of the circumstances, regardless of how well he did, or regardles of any evidence to the contrary.

quote:

If Patton mentioned the sky was blue, you would write post after post trying to prove that Patton did not see a blue sky.


Another gem. Actually, I would indeed dispute this, if the source you had provided to support your contention that Patton had seen a blue sky was of your usual standard. I want only fact. I believe nothing until the evidence shows it.

IronDuke



quote:

Why did he mention McNair yet not tell us what McNair said about the excerises, then? Does that not make them unbalanced? D'Este is a retired Army Officer. Whiting served in the armed forces as well. The fact someone is a soldier does not make them a good or unbiased historian. This gentlemen is honest, I'm sure, but his opinion goes into the pot with everyone elses. Credentials are earned in history. People read what you say, and your reputation is created on the basis of it. I would look at whiting's work the same as this Gentleman's and apply the same criteria when deciding their qualities. Rank or position does not impress me, just someone's history. If it impresses you, then your reading is destined to be one dimensional.


I did not mention McNair here, because the portion I posted is part of a much, much longer paper the General is writing about on Combined Arms. I only wanted to include excerpts about Patton. He did mention the earlier exercises, and some of the problems learned from them. What do you think training is for?

The later period of the exercises - all went well because of the lessons learned from the previous ones.

So what?

Why do you think athletes and armies train?

Again, you are picking out the specks on the beach, while ignoring the planets floating by. . .

quote:

I would be interested to hear of the list of exercises undertaken. Can you provide it? Convenient that the Writer chose not to mention McNair's comments about the earliest excerises if this is indeed what they were. Can you quote us something from General McNair about the later exercises? Perhaps illustrating that he felt Patton had learned from his mistakes. If you can't, then your last sentence above is an invention.


Why don't you list all the mistakes made by the German army when they did field exercises in 1936-1938?

It has as much relevance.

Again, mistakes made in earlier training are learned from.

quote:

Kursk was a colossal strategic blunder. The battle should never have been fought, ultimate responsibility rests with the man who decided to attack. It cannot be compared to an operational matter at Army level.
It is wrongheaded for you to do so. You have so far provided no analysis of Patton in the field. The piece you quote concerning combined arms mentions very little about it (and I don't believe you prove your point simply repeating ad nausum that Patton was good at combined arms). Feel free to analyse the drive on Bastogne, and we can discuss it's qualities as a combined arms operation


Heheh

No double-standard?

The Germans crashed into prepared defences - and lost.

At least at Metz, Patton won.

You allow context for Kursk; but do not allow context for Metz.

If you discuss Metz, then discuss Kursk.


quote:

The crucial difference, is that the Germans did this on day one of the campaign. Guderian made the break through himself at Sedan. Patton moved his troops through the gap created by first army, after First Army had won a grim battle of attrition amongst the bocage. Once through the gap, Patton turned the wrong way into Brittany. As I've said, it is the supreme irony of unblinking, unthinking acceptance of the Patton legend that the good General himself never wanted to go to falaise, but wanted to go the Seine. It was Bradley who sent him to Falaise, yet you have never admitted this. Why? Becuse to do so detracts from the Patton myth.



Heheh

Here you are arguning for argument's sake.

I was wondering how long you were going to be able to stay away from tackling one of my posts - heheh

Bradley stopped Patton from closing the Gap. What are you arguing about?

Later Bradely admitted not closing the Gap was a mistake.

quote:

I stopped debating with you if memory serves


Then why start again?

quote:

Your only goal is to preserve the Patton legend regardless of the circumstances, regardless of how well he did, or regardles of any evidence to the contrary


Heheh

History and the facts of history speak for themselves, regardless of those who would try to destroy his memory and what he accomplished.

quote:

Another gem. Actually, I would indeed dispute this, if the source you had provided to support your contention that Patton had seen a blue sky was of your usual standard. I want only fact. I believe nothing until the evidence shows it.



My stanadard?

I'm still waiting for the source from Whiting's book about that quote you used about the quality of forces Patton faced at the Bulge.

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Post #: 466
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 4:12:06 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

Posts: 1595
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
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quote:

ORIGINAL: JallaTryne

IronDuke
It has been most educational and interesting reading your comments. I am most impressed that you keep your cool when fighting this unfair battle. keep it up!

----------------
Never ever give up fighting ignorance.


Thank you very much. It's nice to have been mentioned in your first post! Welcome to the Matrix forums. If you like Military history and/or war games, you've found the perfect place to be. If you don't, well I think you'll still like it.

Regards,
IronDuke

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Post #: 467
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 4:14:43 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
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quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

I mis
quote:

Contrary to the critic you cited, Patton did NOT believe in capturing territory; he believed in destroying the enemy. Your cited source, in saying this, displays his complete lack of understanding of Patton's military philosophy.


I missed this section, although I know I won't get a response so I post it just for the hell of it.

Your proof? As I said, I don't believe this merely because you've said it. I want a source that analyses Patton's campaigns (as my historians did Weigly and Farago for the record) and explains why Patton liked encirclements.

IronDuke


If you don't know this about Patton, then this shows that you and your sources know nothing about Patton's military philosophy.

Even if I was to post a dozen sources, it would fall on deaf ears and blind eyes. . .

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Post #: 468
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 4:18:01 AM   
Kevinugly

 

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Before I go to bed (it is gone 2.00 a.m. here as I write) I wanted to move on to Metz and the Battle for Lorraine.

Again I wanted to put some context into this. It is true that had Patton been given logistical priority he could have taken Metz quite easily and pushed on to the Siegfried Line in mid-to-late September 1944 but this was never going to happen. We must put ourselves into Eisenhower's shoes in early September 1944. Intel is that the Germans in the West are beaten, streaming back towards Germany in a disorganised rabble, their next line of defence is the Siegfried Line, a formidable barrier still even if manned by old men and boys. Our lines of communication are seriously stretched and we cannot supply three army groups (seven armies plus ancillery forces etc.) maintaining offensive action. We would like to achieve victory quickly and at minimal casualties. Suddenly, Field-Marshal Montgomery comes in with a plan that promises just that, bouncing the Rhine in Holland, sweeping around the Siegfried Line to the north, crushing the last of the German armies by pinning them up against the Rhine. Denying Monty and giving the precious supplies to Patton is not an option because even if Third Army takes Metz it still has to slog its way through the Siegfried Line, certainly incurring heavy casualties. As Von Rom wrote
quote:

Patton believed in war you take chances.
and this was a chance that Eisenhower had to take.

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Post #: 469
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 4:19:05 AM   
Von Rom


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quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

See what I mean about your double standard.


Nope.

quote:

EVERY German operation that did not go well has a very valid explanation according to you, and should be understood within that context.


Nope, you haven't mentioned every German operation, just a handful that did have a context worth noting.

quote:

However, when it comes to Patton - NO MATTER WHAT HE DOES - it is wrong.


Demonstrably untrue. I have quoted on Patton's strengths at length (like me to quote from the thread as proof?). You have never told us what you feel his weaknesses to be.

quote:

If there are mistakes, then Patton is white-washed as a bad general. NO CONTEXT is allowed.


For Patton's examples discussed thus far, the context is often a poor one (as it often is for Montgomery). At Metz, there were no supplies (good context - one I accept) so why attack then?

quote:

That is why debating you is utterly fruitless.


Too late, I said this to you first.

quote:

It is like digging a hole that goes nowhere. . .


I know the feeling, I can sympathise.

quote:

If this is the way you view Patton - then that is your perogative - but it has nothing to do with sensibly discussing Patton or anything he did.


I don't accept the legend. If that makes me not sensible, so be it.

quote:

These are not statements about you personally. I am sure you are a fine person. However, you have an extremely jaundiced view about Patton that is at variance with many of the facts. . .


As do you. I, however, do present facts to allow others to judge whether my views are jaundiced.



quote:

I, however, do present facts to allow others to judge whether my views are jaundiced.


Heheh

This is priceless.

It should be framed.

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Post #: 470
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 4:24:29 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
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quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

Operation Cobra

Actually, Patton did plan Operation Cobra. He didn't call it that, but aside from some slight differences, it was the SAME plan he had discussed earlier with Bradley.


I would give this more than just a derisory glance if you could quote ONE source outside of Patton uncovered (discredited by D'Este) or the Patton fansites. Just one. As I've said, merely repeating something ad nauseum does not make it true, it just makes it boring.

What 3rd Army did after the gap was turn the wrong way and then head for Falaise when Patton wanted to head for the Seine. If the plan was his, how come he disagreed with it? This is nonsense.

quote:

The Third Army staff never doubted that Bradley was making good in France by expropriating their boss's ideas. Patton's aide, Colonel Charles Codman, wrote to his wife, "As of August 1st, General Bradley has adopted practically all of General Patton's plans."

On august 14, 1944, Patton wrote in his diary regarding the St. Lo breakthrough, "It is really a great plan, wholly my own, and I made Bradley think that he thought of it."


Another classic. "I made Bradley think that he thought of it." Patton said this, and so it must be true, eh? As I've said, Patton never wanted Falaise, so if he did give the plan to Bradley, he must have given him the wrong one because Bradley asked him to go to Falaise rather than the Seine. In history, when Person A gives Person B a plan, and Person B then tells Person A to do something not on Person A's plan, we call it using a different plan.

quote:

One of Patton's Staff Officers has written a book claiming that Operation Cobra was Patton's idea and plan.

Col. Brenton G. Wallace, a staff officer under Patton wrote a book called "Patton and the Third Army", which claims that Patton was chiefly responsible both for the planning and execution of the famous St. Lo breakthrough, which swept on past Avranches and eventually hurled all the German armies out of France.

The battle plan credit, up until now, has gone uncontested to General Omar N. Bradley, who later commanded the 12th Army Group.

Wallace, who served as assistant chief of staff in G-3 (liaison) for the Third Army writes: "The First Army was given credit, whereas Gen. Patton planned it and executed it and used not only First Army troops but also a number of his own Third Army units."


So, everyone gives the credit to Bradley (you used the word uncontested). A man who worked with Patton says it was Patton's plan. This man did not serve with Bradley so was in no position to know how Bradley formulated the idea. He is a Patton man. It may well be that Bradley conferred with all senior commanders (Collins, Hodges and Patton) before deciding on his plan, Army Commanders often do that. However, as I've said, D'Este says Patton wanted the Seine, so how can it have been his plan if he wanted something other than what Bradley actually asked him to do?????

Ironduke



Bradley changed the plan and had Patton turn at Falaise.

Even when Patton turned to close the Gap, Bradley then ordered Patton to stop.

And the beauty about diaries is - they can't be changed later (unlike books which can be changed and/or rewritten, which is what Bradley did between his two books).

So you are calling Patton a liar??

Who are you to call General Patton - a man who devoted his entire life to his country - a liar?

Patton was many things - but he believed in honesty.

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Post #: 471
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 4:25:21 AM   
Kevinugly

 

Posts: 438
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From: Colchester, UK
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Von Rom wrote

quote:

I'm still waiting for the source from Whiting's book about that quote you used about the quality of forces Patton faced at the Bulge.


From MacDonald p.655 - referring to the 352nd Volksgrenadier Division he states :-

quote:

[They were] Reconstructed almost from scratch with a great influx of Luftwaffe and Navy replacements to a strength of 13,000, the division was poorly trained and lacked experienced officers.


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Post #: 472
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 4:27:23 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kevinugly

quote:

Patton believed in war you take chances.

At Falaise he could have closed the Gap.

At Metz he could have taken it with few casualties.

At the Bulge, he wanted to close the salient.

Not being allowed to have done any of the above cost many, many more thousands of lives. . .

History and the facts have vindicated Patton's views about the above operations. That is why Patton's military operations are studied in military schools today. He proved he was right.


You're not seeing it in context. Try and put yourself into the supreme commanders shoes at the time with the intel available at the time and reconsider.


quote:

Operation Cobra

Actually, Patton did plan Operation Cobra. He didn't call it that, but aside from some slight differences, it was the SAME plan he had discussed earlier with Bradley.

The Third Army staff never doubted that Bradley was making good in France by expropriating their boss's ideas. Patton's aide, Colonel Charles Codman, wrote to his wife, "As of August 1st, General Bradley has adopted practically all of General Patton's plans."

On august 14, 1944, Patton wrote in his diary regarding the St. Lo breakthrough, "It is really a great plan, wholly my own, and I made Bradley think that he thought of it."

One of Patton's Staff Officers has written book claiming in fact that Operation Cobra was Patton's idea and plan.

Col. Brenton G. Wallace, a staff officer under Patton wrote a book called "Patton and the Third Army", which claims that Patton was chiefly responsible both for the planning and execution of the famous St. Lo breakthrough, which swept on past Avranches and eventually hurled all the German armies out of France.

The battle plan credit, up until now, has gone uncontested to General Omar N. Bradley, who later commanded the 12th Army Group.

Wallace, who served as assistant chief of staff in G-3 (liaison) for the Third Army writes: "The First Army was given credit, whereas Gen. Patton planned it and executed it and used not only First Army troops but also a number of his own Third Army units."



I doubt whether any plan can be wholly accredited to one person. Senior commanders will discuss plans with their subordinates (even if Bradley and Patton didn't get on personally I'm sure they had a healthy respect for one another as generals), take on board their opinions and adjust if they feel it's necessary. I would be certain Patton had some input on Cobra, as would have Montgomery, Eisenhower, the participating Corps commanders, various G2s and probably some divisional commanders too. Also bear in mind that, unlike Manstein's plan, Cobra was only part of an overall strategy - to break out of Normandy.

When Patton wrote
quote:

"It is really a great plan, wholly my own, and I made Bradley think that he thought of it."
it is quite possible that several other commanders were thinking exactly the same thing, Bradley included.


Regarding 'Bodenplatte', strategically it was a failure but again you need to put yourself into the Allied Generals' shoes. Suddenly the Luftwaffe has put around 1,000 aircraft into the air and attacked Allied air bases, achieving total surprise again! They wouldn't have known the extent of German losses, especially those that went down in 'friendly fire' incidents.



The Allied High Command dropped the ball.

History vindicates Patton's views and plans.

As to the German air attack - another colossal failure that wasted lives and planes for NOTHING.

'Nuff said.

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Post #: 473
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 4:27:51 AM   
Kevinugly

 

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From: Colchester, UK
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damned software

< Message edited by Kevinugly -- 7/22/2004 2:28:31 AM >


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Post #: 474
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 4:30:07 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
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quote:

ORIGINAL: JallaTryne

IronDuke
It has been most educational and interesting reading your comments. I am most impressed that you keep your cool when fighting this unfair battle. keep it up!

----------------
Never ever give up fighting ignorance.



Well, well JallaTryne:

You signed up with Matrix Forums and your very first post is to give support to the "down-trodden" Ironduke - heheh

This should also be framed.

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Post #: 475
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 4:32:02 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

Posts: 1595
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quote:

I did not mention McNair here, because the portion I posted is part of a much, much longer paper the General is writing about on Combined Arms. I only wanted to include excerpts about Patton. He did mention the earlier exercises, and some of the problems learned from them. What do you think training is for?

The later period of the exercises - all went well because of the lessons learned from the previous ones.

So what?

Why do you think athletes and armies train?

Again, you are picking out the specks on the beach, while ignoring the planets floating by. . .


So, you admit McNair's comment was in there. McNair made a direct comment about Patton after watching him fight the exercise. How can it not have been relevant to Patton? How could you not have considered it an "excerpt about Patton". I am accused of bias and then you admit to leaving out a quote from one of America's most senior Officers that questioned Patton's whole style of command. I give up .

quote:

Why don't you list all the mistakes made by the German army when they did field exercises in 1936-1938?

It has as much relevance.

Again, mistakes made in earlier training are learned from.


What relevance to a thread on Patton does this have. Your argument seems to be (whenever I say Patton made mistakes) that the Germans made lots of them as well. How is this relevant?

For the record, the Germans made a number of mistakes. During the Anschluss, Guderian was ordered to drive his tanks to vienna. The German logistical train was so poor, that he had to stop at Austrian petrol stations to refill the Panzers. He also had to leave some tanks at the side of the road where they broke down. As a result, they worked on additional panzer models designed as towing vehicles etc.

However, this is tactical and logistical . Farago (Pattons biographer) quoted McNair to illustrate what he saw in Patton's military career. Otherwise, he would have quoted him and then showed how he improved and learned.

quote:

Heheh

No double-standard?

The Germans crashed into prepared defences - and lost.

At least at Metz, Patton won.

You allow context for Kursk; but do not allow context for Metz.

If you discuss Metz, then discuss Kursk.


Patton did win, although he fought at Metz against tens of thousands of Germans. The Germans fought at Kursk for 11 days (IIRC) against well in excess of 1000 000 Russians. Context has a habit of making things appear in a different light doesn't it, it's why I always go on about it.

My point is that both Kursk and Metz were mistakes. The Germans shouldn't have attacked, Patton shouldn't have and if he was going to, he should have done so for better reasons and with better preparation.

quote:

Bradley stopped Patton from closing the Gap. What are you arguing about?

Later Bradely admitted not closing the Gap was a mistake.


The argument? Patton never wanted to go to Falaise. Bradley stopped him for good reason when he was ordered there.

quote:

I'm still waiting for the source from Whiting's book about that quote you used about the quality of forces Patton faced at the Bulge.


Actually, if you look back, you wanted me to quote from Whiting's book an example of him being nice about Patton. In terms of Whiting's description of the forces facing Patton, so far, I've counted MacDonald, Nafziger, Mitcham, and the OKW War diary being cited as evidence for their quality. Why do you keep harping back to Whiting? He is one of five sources. The other four are unimpeachable. Do you think you can discredit the entire argument by showing that one of the people who make the argument also writes novels?

As for not answering you, shall I re-produce my thread in which I listed all the questions on which I am awaiting an answer from you?

IronDuke

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Post #: 476
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 4:35:15 AM   
Kevinugly

 

Posts: 438
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From: Colchester, UK
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom


The Allied High Command dropped the ball.

History vindicates Patton's views and plans.

As to the German air attack - another colossal failure that wasted lives and planes for NOTHING.

'Nuff said.


Not really, since his plans weren't practical at the time due to the then current intel. Refight Waterloo and give Napoleon the knowledge that the Prussians are coming and the French win every time. Tell Montgomery the SS Panzers are at Arnhem and WW2 ends at Christmas with the British in Berlin.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing but tells you little about history.

The air attack - destroyed twice as many planes as it lost, disrupted Allied air operations for much of January. Hardly a colossal failure!

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Post #: 477
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 4:35:50 AM   
Von Rom


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kevinugly

Before I go to bed (it is gone 2.00 a.m. here as I write) I wanted to move on to Metz and the Battle for Lorraine.

Again I wanted to put some context into this. It is true that had Patton been given logistical priority he could have taken Metz quite easily and pushed on to the Siegfried Line in mid-to-late September 1944 but this was never going to happen. We must put ourselves into Eisenhower's shoes in early September 1944. Intel is that the Germans in the West are beaten, streaming back towards Germany in a disorganised rabble, their next line of defence is the Siegfried Line, a formidable barrier still even if manned by old men and boys. Our lines of communication are seriously stretched and we cannot supply three army groups (seven armies plus ancillery forces etc.) maintaining offensive action. We would like to achieve victory quickly and at minimal casualties. Suddenly, Field-Marshal Montgomery comes in with a plan that promises just that, bouncing the Rhine in Holland, sweeping around the Siegfried Line to the north, crushing the last of the German armies by pinning them up against the Rhine. Denying Monty and giving the precious supplies to Patton is not an option because even if Third Army takes Metz it still has to slog its way through the Siegfried Line, certainly incurring heavy casualties. As Von Rom wrote
quote:

Patton believed in war you take chances.
and this was a chance that Eisenhower had to take.


As history has clearly shown:

Patton was RIGHT and Ike was WRONG.

Not only did the stopping of Patton lead to lives lost taking Metz, but the sending of those supplies to Monty led to the disaster of Operation Market Garden - and MORE lives were needlessly lost.

'Nuff said.

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Post #: 478
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 4:40:08 AM   
Kevinugly

 

Posts: 438
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From: Colchester, UK
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom


As history has clearly shown:

Patton was RIGHT and Ike was WRONG.

Not only did the stopping of Patton lead to lives lost taking Metz, but the sending of those supplies to Monty led to the disaster of Operation Market Garden - and MORE lives were needlessly lost.

'Nuff said.


See previous post. You are not seeing this in its proper perspective.

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Post #: 479
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/22/2004 4:40:59 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
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quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

The Bulge:

Patton believed in war you take chances.

At Falaise he could have closed the Gap.


Historians don't believe he could. Weigly thinks he might, but D'Este and Hastings think he wouldn't have. D'este also points out he didn't want to be anywhere near the gap in the first place, and only got upset about it when he was denied the Seine and ordered to argentan.

quote:

At Metz he could have taken it with few casualties.


Listen to what you're saying. This is based on the assumption that given gas Patton could have reached and taken Metz when there were no defenders. By this method, any General is a good one, because all Generals will take cities that have no defenders. Stalingrad was undefended in September, full of Russians when the Germans reached it. However, once an opportunity is missed, a good general re-assesses the situation and acts accordingly. Judge Metz by what he did, not by what might have been.

quote:

At the Bulge, he wanted to close the salient.


Something I pointed out to you, first. I can quote from the thread if you wish to prove this. You were telling us how the drive on Bastogne was so good, and now you're actually telling us that his genius was not the drive on Bastogne but the fact he saw he could attack further east and cut all the Germans off. I pointed this out, yet downplay all his achievements, apparently.

quote:

Not being allowed to have done any of the above cost many, many more thousands of lives. . .


Hindsight, and not very good hindsight. Many of the lives were lost in frontal assaults on the city.

quote:

History and the facts have vindicated Patton's views about the above operations. That is why Patton's military operations are studied in military schools today. He proved he was right. And history proves he was right.


The legend's view of history proves he was right, as I consistently point out, Major historians don't view him as right at all. Some believe he had some good qualities, all think he had some problems. All except you, who are yet to breakdown Patton's weakenses for you.

I could quote my "Patton's strengths" comments if it starts you off.

Ironduke



History proves Patton to have been correct in his views regarding Metz - 'Nuff said.

_____________________________


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