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Who was better: Patton or Rommel

 
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Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/4/2004 4:26:40 PM   
CCB


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Rommel was better than Patton as Rommel was able to do more with less, especially considering Rommel had a huge handicap, namely Hitler.

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/4/2004 4:28:56 PM   
String


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If one listes carefully he can hear the popping sound of a huge can of worms being opened..

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/4/2004 4:42:45 PM   
CCB


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quote:

ORIGINAL: String

If one listes carefully he can hear the popping sound of a huge can of worms being opened..


hehe

btw why was the 'Patton' thread locked?

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/4/2004 4:55:06 PM   
riverbravo


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Good riddons to the patton thread.It was going in circles.

At least the Bismarck thread kept evolving.

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/4/2004 6:22:09 PM   
Hexed Gamer


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I think they were equal.

Rommel was no different, but he lacked support.

Both were daring inovative bold rash and not afraid to get right in there and lead.

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/4/2004 9:05:52 PM   
Riun T

 

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Real sorry to wind anyones crank by this post, but come on guys the answer is so right there in front of ya!!! First off Patton even admitted himself his was a lost breed he pictured Himself as a PreMadonna,Like Ceasar,Or Hanibull,even referances Alexander the Great. Vanity in a soldier don't mix whit the job to well in my experience. Rommel on theother hand could kid about the knights of old and the fact that chivilris acts come from even the lowlyest private. Patton was known for Driving his men Rommel Directed his men.

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/4/2004 10:03:59 PM   
SlapBone


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The real question should be:

Who was better: Patton or Montgomery?

Now that is a can of worms my friends.

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 12:09:29 AM   
Error in 0


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Well, anyone who read the Patton thread knows Patton has been hugely overrated by american fanatics, and that Rommel would outclass him 10 of 9 times

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 1:05:49 AM   
Kevinugly

 

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Imho they're both overrated. Rommel's reputation is largely based on his performance in a sideshow and Patton could only fight one sort of battle. It's a close run thing but I'd go with Patton

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 1:28:58 AM   
Denniss

 

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Rommel and Patton are more or less equal - bot have their strengths and failures .

Who's Montgomery ??!??

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 3:30:16 AM   
SlapBone


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Denniss

Rommel and Patton are more or less equal - bot have their strengths and failures .

Who's Montgomery ??!??


Yea... I guess you're right.

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 3:56:11 AM   
PeckingFury

 

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Got to go with equal respect for both of these Gentlemen.

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 6:06:30 AM   
gunny

 

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From what I've read Rommel was out of his environment when given the task of defending the Western wall. Despite warnings from Guiderian and Von Runstedt, Rommel did not fear Naval Guns, overly feared the Air threat. And kept his mobile units too far from the choke points. Instead of training and exercising his second rate troops, he chose to employ them in manual labour such as building barriers and so forth.

Nah, Rommel had his day in the desert, and it passed. True he was the wrong man for the job in France, but hind site.... Where as Patton's day was yet to peak. Imagine if Patton was given a defensive task? Perhaps he too would choke, but history and fate was kinder to patton. He took his objectives and avoided the meat grinders.

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 7:01:31 AM   
Fallschirmjager


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Boy that Rommel sure kicked the hell out of those Americans

Oh wait...thats right....he lost 95% of his force in 3 months....silly me

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 7:43:35 AM   
Riun T

 

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Hey gunny sayin that about Rommel and the west coast defenses ain't quite fair unless u also consider that there was a huge power struggle between the higherups since the assassination attempt. Hitler wouldn't trust anyone enough to put anything together and just like in Africa you must say that for how inhibited and styfulled his assets and supplies were he still soldiered on. in both fronts

< Message edited by Riun T -- 8/5/2004 6:00:29 AM >

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 8:42:57 AM   
Sarge


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JallaTryne

Well, anyone who read the Patton thread knows Patton has been hugely overrated by american fanatics, and that Rommel would outclass him 10 of 9 times

As I agree with you totally on the fact that Patton is HUGELY overrated. Everyone here knows my point of view oF Patton and his charge to Bastogne to save the 101st. But Rommel outclass Patton is a little bit of a stretch. OMG I got sucked in agian

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 10:50:21 AM   
Belisarius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kevinugly

Imho they're both overrated. Rommel's reputation is largely based on his performance in a sideshow and Patton could only fight one sort of battle. It's a close run thing but I'd go with Patton


Naturally, every German general who never had a command on the Ostfront will always have their skills questioned when it comes to "real" battle.

But calling North Africa and France a "sideshow"? I think the British Army, for one, would beg to disagree. It's not like they sent some colonial rearguards to fight the Wehrmacht in those areas...

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 4:27:04 PM   
Kevinugly

 

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The British Army can disagree all they want, but the war in North Africa was a total sideshow which had little or no effect on the outcome of the war. This is not to denigrate any soldier who fought in the campaigns but when I read Churchill talking about El Alamein as 'The Hinge of Fate' it really frustrates me.

Back to Rommel, in France he was only a divisional commander who happened to be at the spearhead of the assault. Any credit for that campaign has to go to the likes of Manstein and Guderian. In North Africa he rode his luck against the hapless British and Commonwealth armies who practically gifted him victories at the likes of Bir Hacheim and Gazala. To give him credit, he was one of the first commanders to recognise the anti-tank capabilities of the 88mm Flak guns and make good tactical use of them. He also was an inspiring commander to serve under who preferred to 'lead from the front'. Regrettably his skills as a defensive general were barely tested, had he been allowed to deploy the panzer divisions close to the invasion beaches in 1944 then 'Overlord' may have produced a different result. However, one can only judge a commander by what actually happened rather than what might have been.

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 5:02:51 PM   
Belisarius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kevinugly

The British Army can disagree all they want, but the war in North Africa was a total sideshow which had little or no effect on the outcome of the war. This is not to denigrate any soldier who fought in the campaigns but when I read Churchill talking about El Alamein as 'The Hinge of Fate' it really frustrates me.

Back to Rommel, in France he was only a divisional commander who happened to be at the spearhead of the assault. Any credit for that campaign has to go to the likes of Manstein and Guderian. In North Africa he rode his luck against the hapless British and Commonwealth armies who practically gifted him victories at the likes of Bir Hacheim and Gazala. To give him credit, he was one of the first commanders to recognise the anti-tank capabilities of the 88mm Flak guns and make good tactical use of them. He also was an inspiring commander to serve under who preferred to 'lead from the front'. Regrettably his skills as a defensive general were barely tested, had he been allowed to deploy the panzer divisions close to the invasion beaches in 1944 then 'Overlord' may have produced a different result. However, one can only judge a commander by what actually happened rather than what might have been.


I have to protest there Kevin. Rommel was NOT untried as a defensive commander - albeit he also showed that only in that little intermezzo called North Africa. Without Rommel's actions, the DAK would probably had been completely annihilated in the weeks immediately following El Alamein. Rommel's problems in Normandy were more due to conflicts in authority, and that was his weakness. He wanted to believe in Hitler's re-assurances. (For me, I believe the greatest 'disaster' on that part was Rommel "allowing" the entire DAK get caught in Tripoli. 200,000 veteran troops. Imagine what a headache they would have been in Normandy. To compare with Manstein or Guderian, I doubt they would have settled with the Fuehrer's promises)

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 8:27:35 PM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: gunny

From what I've read Rommel was out of his environment when given the task of defending the Western wall. Despite warnings from Guiderian and Von Runstedt, Rommel did not fear Naval Guns, overly feared the Air threat. And kept his mobile units too far from the choke points. Instead of training and exercising his second rate troops, he chose to employ them in manual labour such as building barriers and so forth.

Nah, Rommel had his day in the desert, and it passed. True he was the wrong man for the job in France, but hind site.... Where as Patton's day was yet to peak. Imagine if Patton was given a defensive task? Perhaps he too would choke, but history and fate was kinder to patton. He took his objectives and avoided the meat grinders.


To be fair to Rommel, neither Guderian (whose last direct combat command was the winter of 41-42) or Rundstedt (whose last direct combat command was November 1941) had ever faced Allied air power in a tactical role. Rommel had in Africa, and realised the difficulties of operating in such an environment. The other two Gentlemen were correct that Naval gunfire could be devastating, but Rommel realised that allied air power, coupled with the logistical situation (fuel problems etc) meant that the battle would have to be fought on the beaches because a manouevre battle in northern france as out of the question.

I agree that air power may quite possibly have been overrated in Normandy, I don't think it had the effect that has sometimes been claimed, but in parallel with the German experience, what it could do was all but seal a battlefield off. If it couldn't usually act like it does today, knocking out individual strongpoints with bombs, it could hamper and interdict movement to the point that manouevre was too difficult and perhaps even pointless.

On balance, I think Rommel called it right, but he didn't have the resources to play it as well as he wanted to. I think Rundstedt's strategy would have failed. It's possible it might have kept the campaign for France alive as long as Rommel's did, but it offered little or no chance for success in the long run. Rommel's strategy offered a slim hope depending on what happened on the beaches.

The training versus building argument depends on how you see it. Second rate troops get a measure of protection behind fortifications. There were also some shortages which meant meaningful training was not easy. On balance, I'd say he got it right again, because of the way he wanted to play it. Had he opted for Rundstedt's battle of manouevre, then you could well argue he should have intensified their training.

As for Rommel versus Patton. Rommel was a more rounded Commander, and I think he possessed (usually) a purpose to his manouevre which Patton lacked.

As for Patton Versus Montgomery. I think it depended what you wanted. If I'd want Monty to fight the battle of Alamein, I'd want Patton leading the pursuit. If I wanted Monty fighting the bulk of the enemy armour around Caen, Patton was the man to drive through the open door at Cobra. Patton on the defensive would have been interesting. I have my doubts he'd have had much luck. It'd take another Patton thread to explain why.

Regards,
IronDuke

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 8:39:03 PM   
Riun T

 

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Thanks Duke for puttingmy same opinion so eliquintly.
I also think your point on the allied air power has merrit, to have their tanks anywhere but the beaches would have needed the trians and between the french underground and Allied air power,France was pretty well demobalized.

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 9:09:19 PM   
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On balance, I think Rommel called it right, but he didn't have the resources to play it as well as he wanted to. I think Rundstedt's strategy would have failed. It's possible it might have kept the campaign for France alive as long as Rommel's did, but it offered little or no chance for success in the long run. Rommel's strategy offered a slim hope depending on what happened on the beaches.
above from id

I definately agree with id here.. had Rommel a free hand in Normandy. Pas d'Calias (sp?)
it would have been a tougher go for the Allies.
Patton gets both praised and faulted for his daring plans, but since he too was hamstrung by his supperiors, or not depending on your view of reality.. no offense to either side on that one.... I have to say that Monty raites a second in my book to each, especially
Rommel... give each equal supplies and air and reletive forces, but this is seldom the case..


Any examples of an overwhelmingly outguned and supplied force fighting of and "winning"?????
Well, not to be pointed but before those stupid Hitler order conter attacks in Normandy tthe Allies were being somewhat bottled up....

I come back to the origonal ?... no real answer... too much differnces in the situations between US and Germany to aduquately say "better"
How about Pieper verses Patton? or Rommel? Could either have lead there men as well? and remember ultimately he "lost" too????????

< Message edited by freeboy -- 8/6/2004 12:45:51 PM >

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 9:33:55 PM   
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I have to agree that Patton is over-rated. However, I will give him some good credit in my books for a few things. One of them, was he would speak his mind and call things exactly the way he saw it. Unfortunately he got ****-canned by his own american comrades because he did not partake in their political BS and coverups at the time..

Oh.. and the whole cold war thing... he kept warning them... but no one would listen.... Ironicaly, his predictions seemed to come true, yet he was **** (insert political correct term here) for it.

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 10:42:31 PM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pippin

I have to agree that Patton is over-rated. However, I will give him some good credit in my books for a few things. One of them, was he would speak his mind and call things exactly the way he saw it. Unfortunately he got ****-canned by his own american comrades because he did not partake in their political BS and coverups at the time..

Oh.. and the whole cold war thing... he kept warning them... but no one would listen.... Ironicaly, his predictions seemed to come true, yet he was **** (insert political correct term here) for it.


I'd only take this so far. I think he had some candid comments in his diaries about what he thought of the campaign and his peers (Monty went into print with his opinion, so Patton wasn't alone in this). However, after Hammelburg, he instigated what looks very much like a cover up all of his own. He may have had little time for the politics that governed Allied strategy to some degree (neither did Monty) but he played the game with the rest of them. If he didn't like the politics, it was largely because he felt the politics didn't always suit him. In this, he was being like every other General after a piece of the action but not getting what he wants because the strategy demands someone else get the leading role. I don't assign any particular noble motives to him on this.

Re the cold war, ultimately, the west won the economic battle, and defeated communism in the factory and the laboratory. Therefore, I don't see anything appealing in retrospect in his desire to go after them militarily in 1945. The best of the Allied equipment matched what the Russians had, and individually Allied troops were more skilled. However, with British manpower declining, and the Americans hamstrung by fighting a two front war with only 89 divisions, I doubt whether anything would have been achieved in 1945 had we taken them on. You may well have been able to persuade Churchill to go along, but probably not the heart of the British (or even US) Army. I just don't think anybody having to do the fighting would have been up for it having just beaten the Germans, and with the Japanese still fighting in the Pacific.

The A-Bomb provides a good what if, but I don't think I like the idea of a war in which progress is achieved once a month by a fresh atomic explosion over central europe. We'd also never have invaded the Soviet union had we forced them out of Eastern Europe, and we'd have been guaranteed a further war in the fifties or sixties when they would have had a nuclear unbrella of their own, and they'ed have expanded westwards.

All in all, we got in and out of the cold war about as well as we could possibly have dreamed bearing in mind what could have happened.

Regards,
IronDuke

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 10:52:28 PM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: freeboy

On balance, I think Rommel called it right, but he didn't have the resources to play it as well as he wanted to. I think Rundstedt's strategy would have failed. It's possible it might have kept the campaign for France alive as long as Rommel's did, but it offered little or no chance for success in the long run. Rommel's strategy offered a slim hope depending on what happened on the beaches.
above from id

I definately agree with id here.. had Rommel a free hand in Normandy. Pas d'Calias (sp?)
it would have been a tougher go for the Allies.
Patton gets both praised and faulted for his daring plans, but since he too was hamstrung by his supperiors, or not depending on your view of reality.. no offense to either side on that one.... I have to say that Monty raites a second in my biook to each, especially
Rommel... give each equal supplies and air and reletive forces, but this is seldom the case..


Any examples of an overwhelmingly outguned and supplied force fighting of and "winning"?????
Well, not to be pointed but before those stupid Hitler order conter attacks in Normandy tthe Allies were being somewhat bottled up....

I come back to the origonal quote... no real answer... too much differnces in the situations between US and Germany to aduquately say "better"
How about Pieper verses Patton? or Rommel? Could either have lead there men as well? and remember ultimately he "lost" too????????


The what if conerning the troops in the pas de calais is interesting as well. I don't think the rail network (even without Allied air interdiction and the bombing that was undertaken of marshalling yards etc) would have supported a quick build up in Normandy. However, I can certainly see the battle stretching several weeks or months longer, had the Germans had infantry formations to relieve the Panzer Divisions early on.

The Allies were never overwhelming in their numbers in Normandy. I don't have the troop levels to hand but I doubt they could have built up sufficiently in the bridgehead to gain the 3:1 usually said to be required had the Germans concentrated in Normandy. I think they might eventually have broken out only by staging the subsidiary landings in Southern France etc, and outflanking.

Peiper is an interesting figure, but essentially only reached the rank of Regimental Commander. It's difficult to equate him with Patton or others because of this. He was less concerned with operational matters, and more with the sharp end.

Regards,
Ironduke

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 11:16:37 PM   
Kevinugly

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Belisarius

quote:

ORIGINAL: Kevinugly



Back to Rommel, in France he was only a divisional commander who happened to be at the spearhead of the assault. Any credit for that campaign has to go to the likes of Manstein and Guderian. In North Africa he rode his luck against the hapless British and Commonwealth armies who practically gifted him victories at the likes of Bir Hacheim and Gazala. To give him credit, he was one of the first commanders to recognise the anti-tank capabilities of the 88mm Flak guns and make good tactical use of them. He also was an inspiring commander to serve under who preferred to 'lead from the front'. Regrettably his skills as a defensive general were barely tested, had he been allowed to deploy the panzer divisions close to the invasion beaches in 1944 then 'Overlord' may have produced a different result. However, one can only judge a commander by what actually happened rather than what might have been.


I have to protest there Kevin. Rommel was NOT untried as a defensive commander - albeit he also showed that only in that little intermezzo called North Africa. Without Rommel's actions, the DAK would probably had been completely annihilated in the weeks immediately following El Alamein. Rommel's problems in Normandy were more due to conflicts in authority, and that was his weakness. He wanted to believe in Hitler's re-assurances. (For me, I believe the greatest 'disaster' on that part was Rommel "allowing" the entire DAK get caught in Tripoli. 200,000 veteran troops. Imagine what a headache they would have been in Normandy. To compare with Manstein or Guderian, I doubt they would have settled with the Fuehrer's promises)



The pursuit across Egypt and Libya of Rommel by Monty's Eighth Army was pretty leisurely. As Iron Duke has alluded to, Patton would have been in his element harrying the DAK all the way back to Tunisia, something which would have tested Rommel to his limit. Rommel fought a reasonable defensive campaign until relieved by Von Arnim so I'm not sure how far he can be blamed for the surrender (and I'm not convinced over how many of those Axis troops captured would qualify as 'veteran', especially the Germans. I was under the impression that a majority were evacuated prior to the surrender). For whatever reasons, Rommel was always relieved of his command before the critical breakthroughs/collapses occured. Even prior to Alamein he was sick leaving his supporters with an easier job to explain away his failures. Don't get me wrong, I think both Patton and Rommel were amongst the better generals of the war but neither really deserve the legendary status they have come to be regarded in.

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 11:21:07 PM   
Kevinugly

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pippin

Oh.. and the whole cold war thing... he kept warning them... but no one would listen.... Ironicaly, his predictions seemed to come true, yet he was **** (insert political correct term here) for it.


The 'Cold War' was a self-fulfilling prophecy given the mutual suspician between the 'Big Three'. It would be a thread all of its own if we started discussing how it started, why it started, who started it. Yes Patton was right, but probably not for the right reasons.

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/5/2004 11:57:21 PM   
Error in 0


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quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

The Allies were never overwhelming in their numbers in Normandy. I don't have the troop levels to hand but I doubt they could have built up sufficiently in the bridgehead to gain the 3:1 usually said to be required had the Germans concentrated in Normandy. I think they might eventually have broken out only by staging the subsidiary landings in Southern France etc, and outflanking.

Regards,
Ironduke



I think it is safe to say they were overwhelming in the air. Same goes for the naval numbers. I believe the allies were overwhelming on ground as well. It is difficult to find numbers for both allied and german powers reffering to the same date, but in general the number of allied division were just slighty more numerouse that the german division. However, taking into account the massive number of independent battalions the allied had, one can say that a allied division had about 3 times as many men as the germans (40-50 000 men/div).

The error of just comparing number of divisions that many do (not necesseraly you Duke) is obvious considering that the americans at 25. july -44 had 13 inf. div + 5 Arm div in Normandie (totalling 247.340 men), while adding the independent they totalled to 735 000.

In addition to this comes the many poorly equiped, poorly trained german divisions (consisting of old men and POW's), the fact that the german losses was unlikely to be replaced (at least within reasonable time) whereas the allied forces was well supplied in any regard compared to the german forces (losses were quicly replaced), and that it was always trained soldiers.

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/6/2004 1:36:18 AM   
Von Rom


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JallaTryne

Well, anyone who read the Patton thread knows Patton has been hugely overrated by american fanatics, and that Rommel would outclass him 10 of 9 times


You mean vs British fanatics and German fanatics?

I suppose now you have become a "Rommel fanatic".

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RE: Who was better: Patton or Rommel - 8/6/2004 1:41:43 AM   
Von Rom


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sarge

quote:

ORIGINAL: JallaTryne

Well, anyone who read the Patton thread knows Patton has been hugely overrated by american fanatics, and that Rommel would outclass him 10 of 9 times

As I agree with you totally on the fact that Patton is HUGELY overrated. Everyone here knows my point of view oF Patton and his charge to Bastogne to save the 101st. But Rommel outclass Patton is a little bit of a stretch. OMG I got sucked in agian


Actually, Patton was ordered to take Bastogne.

Patton never considered Bastogne to be the main objective in the Bulge. He argued with Allied High Command that the OBJECTIVE was to close the salient behind the Germans and trap all of them.

He lost the argument, and was ORDERED to relieve Bastogne instead. So the blame rests with Ike and Bradley, not Patton. . .

Even so, 101st Airborne was low on supplies and needed their wounded to be looked after.

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(in reply to Sarge)
Post #: 30
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