Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Best British general?

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Historyteacher80, May 1, 2014.

  1. Historyteacher80

    Historyteacher80 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Who do you guys think was the outstanding British general of the war? For me it is Slim. As well as being well liked amongst his men, often a very telling point, he was a very accomplished field commander. He understood military tactics and logistics very well and had a very calm head on his shoulders when unexpected circumstances raised their head. With most of his work was comfined to the Far East theatre of war, he showed a very good understanding of the local enviroments and terrain and was able to work this to his advantage. His outflanking of the Japanese at Meiktila was an outstanding piece of military command.

    Any of you guys feel Monty deserves this accolade?
     
  2. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    19,526
    Likes Received:
    2,370
    Location:
    Stirling, Scotland
    Think Monty has his place, but for me General Sir Frederick Pile's my favourite. The only British General to retain the same command throughout the war, he became C-in-C of AA Command in 1939 and built it up into an effective combat force. When the V1s started coming over, the whole UK command was reorganised in Operation Diver to provide an ack-ack screen between London and the South Coast, an incredible feat in my opinion.
    He actually formulated a plan to tackle V2s by radar-predicted fire into airspace by the end of the war, but it wasn't used due to the danger of shells falling on London.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
    I'd vote for Slim as well although I've seen some strong cases made for others. I've grown to appreciate Monty more in recent years than I used to but still wouldn't put him in first place or even very close there to..
     
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Messages:
    6,151
    Likes Received:
    1,740
    Location:
    Perfidious Albion
    Alanbrooke.
     
  5. harolds

    harolds Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,670
    Likes Received:
    273
    Technically wasn't a general, but held the equivalent rank in the RAF: Dowding.
     
  6. green slime

    green slime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,133
    Likes Received:
    575
    Well, "outstanding" is subjective.

    I'd say Freyburg, but New Zealand claim him as their own, and so he fails on the "British" part.
     
  7. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,377
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Can some of the experts here talk a bit about Operation Goodwood? I'm just starting to read about it and to me it seems that Montgomery flat out lied to Eisenhower and also the press about his objectives and also his progress during the battle
     
  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
    When I say "British" I usually, if not allways, am including the Commonwealth. Is that not the proper usage or is it one of those ambiguous terms? Looks like I may have to explicilty state Commonwealth if there's the potential for confusion.
     
  9. green slime

    green slime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,133
    Likes Received:
    575
    Well, I said that a bit tongue in cheek. Freyburg was born in Great Britain, moved to NZ when he was two, but joined the fighting with the RN Division during WWI, and lived in the UK during the interim years.

    It's his personal bravery and due care of the New Zealand Division as a dominion commander, that really won him respect.
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thinking back on it I do remember hearing good things about him. I don't remember what but that just indicates I'm not as knowledgeable as I should be about many of those in high command during the war.
     
  11. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,599
    Likes Received:
    443
    Location:
    London UK
    Freyburg is also buried in the Uk - in Surrey. In between the world wars Freyburg completed a full regular career in the British Army retiring with ill health after 25 years services.

    He really should be recognized as one of the best British fighting generals of the First world war. Lieutenant to Brigadier General in three years, along with a VC DSO and Bar zillions of Menitons in dispatches and 20+ scars from. A real hero..
     
  12. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,599
    Likes Received:
    443
    Location:
    London UK
    I'll nominate Alanbrooke. It is easier for a General be a successful in command of their own show. But the really big decisions were made by committees of politicians and servicemen. There were powerful people like Churchill Roosevelt Stalin Marshall, and King. .

    Alanbrooke did several really important things for the British War effort.

    1. As Commander Home Army he put in place the rebuilding of the British Army post Dunkirk. It was his army which revivied british military fortunes, starting with the export of hoem army methods and Montgomery to El Alemein.

    2. As CIGS he stopped Churchill from doing anything daft.

    3. Probably the most important thing he did was prevent the Americans from committing the western allies to a premature D Day. He fought the key and won the battles in the committee rooms ensuring that the Allies sopent 1943 engaging the Germans in a\ second front in the Mediteranean and not taking a riosk to satisfy US pressure to be seen to be doing something. Many Americans may not agree with the direction of his arguments, but no one can doubt that he won them. It is difficult to influence strategy as the junior member of an alliance. It is impossible to think of Montgomery. Slim or Patton for that matter operatign at the stratospheric levels of command. That makes Alanbrooke a rare and gifted senior general.

    This isn't likely to be popular with many Americans, but from mthe British point of view he saved Britian's last field army fro being destroyed
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    93
    I'm no expert on these things but Alanbrooke would get my vote.
     
  14. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,599
    Likes Received:
    230
    William Slim is supposed to be highly regarded by students of the Burma theater.
     
  15. merdiolu

    merdiolu Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    Istanbul Turkey
    As Grand Strategist : Alan Brooke. He kept Churchill in check , consulted and provided counter weight against all US point of view in wartime conferances , created the strastegy that triumphed in Western Europe Mediterranean....

    Army Command : William Slim. Followed closely by Dick O'Connor.
     

Share This Page