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What if Manstein commanded the Afrika Korps?

Discussion in 'What If - Mediterranean & North Africa' started by SOAR21, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. SOAR21

    SOAR21 Member

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    Usually it is established that Rommel and Manstein were some of the very best Army Group commanders in World War 2. What if Manstein had been sent to North Africa instead of Rommel? Could he have defeated the British and captured Egypt, and maybe even the Middle East?

    I still tossed in my chips with Rommel, though, since Manstein's tactics were better suited to the brutal Eastern Front in which he served. Also, Manstein and his fellow Eastern Front commanders received the lion's share of supplies and war material, while Rommel had to make do with what he got. Anyway, it is a close call, so I wonder what others might think.
     
  2. Miguel B.

    Miguel B. Member

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    it wouldn't change the outcome of the African campaign. Like you said, the Germans were ill equiped to the task and the Italians were not in a better shape. Not to mention they had already lost 100K men to the brits. As soon as USA entered that scenario, the German forces would politely be shown the way out.



    Cheers...
     
  3. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    I don't quite know about the politely part, but I get the drift.:D
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Hitler did not think much of the Africa battle front until it was too late, i.e. after the El-Alamein final battle. So unless Manstein could turn Hitler´s head, which I don´t believe, Manstein would not make any better results simply due to the lack of man, tank and air force power.
     
  5. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    The logistics was the thorn in the German's side. Having lost a lot of their supplies due to sinkings caused them to be ill equipped. Manstain would have faced the same problems as Rommel. Though, I would think that Manstain would have been more conservative in his operations. I believe he would have known the value of subdueing Malta and would not have started a major campaign without first taking Malta unlike Rommel.
     
  6. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    The end results would have been the same.
     
  7. SOAR21

    SOAR21 Member

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    I should have phrased my question better. We established that the Germans would have lost in the end, of course, but both would perform similarly? Which one could minimize casualties?
     
  8. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

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    Now that's a good question. Who's going to perform better, Manstain or Rommel? I would really look forward to learning what you guys think.
     
  9. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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  10. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Agreed with Za here.

    Rommel took chances every now and then and often pushing his luck.

    Von Manstein let the other one take his chances and gave the backhand in return. Of course Manstein knew how to attack,too, as the "Sichelschnitt" was his writing in 1940.
     
  11. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    our monty would have kicked mansteins arse 1200miles into tunisia,just like rommel.cheers
     
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  12. IntIron

    IntIron Member

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    No offense to Mr. Wilts; but Monty had a complete advantage in men and material. Had Rommel enjoyed the same advantage, the tables would have been turned.


    Yours,

    Bill
     
  13. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    The worst outcome:
    There'd have been another 'Lost Victory' to add another turgid chapter to his dreary book.

    Mind you, he'd have probably enjoyed a whole new field of desert factors to use in his customary literary hunt for blame to apply to anybody but himself for any setback ;).

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
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  14. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    manstien would have been added to our monty,s list of defeated german general officers.cheers.
     
  15. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    In my opinion, Rommel was a good tactician whereas Manstein was a good strategist. Rommel would use surprise to achieve local gains and win battles. But he could not follow through due to lack of supplies or men. Manstein aimed at winning a war through attrition against his enemy. As previously stated, he made the opponent take their chances. Take a look at his operations in retaking Kharkov.
     
  16. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    "Maybe", "if", "I wish" ...

    "If the Allies had put the A-bomb into production early and had glassed over Livorno, Taranto, Naples, Rimini harbours there would be no possibility of supplies to go over the Med and Africa Korps would starve, Manstein or no Manstein".

    Does it sound stupid? Yes it does.

    Did it happen? No. Could it happen? No, not in this dimension. So why would all the other will-o'-the-wisp be allowable?

    What if instead of Monty it were Rotmistrov and 5th Tank Guards Army? Bollocks, isn't it? So if this is bollocks why isn't the rest?

    [​IMG]
     
  17. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    It odd how some consider the replacement of just one person giving the commands as the means to change a battle or war . It ultimately comes down to the individual commanders below them and troops in the ranks that win or lose a battle and war. You can be a brilliant commander but it is those below you who do the fighting and dying and the taking of the ground. There are way more factors that are involved that just changing one person would change them.Especially LOGISTICS.
     
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  18. IntIron

    IntIron Member

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    "There are way more factors that are involved that just changing one person would change them.Especially LOGISTICS." - JCFalkenbergIII

    That was exactly my point in regards to my comments to 4thwilts. 'If' Rommel could have had the logistical situation that Monty enjoyed the tables would have been turned. Obviously due to the Royal Navy/Airforce it was not going to occur.

    And as to Mr. Rodinu's comments: The situation could have been different in North Africa, but the Germans didnt care about this theater of operations until it had turned into another Stalingrad.

    Yours,

    Bill
     
  19. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Let’s not neglect who Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the legendary Desert Fox, called "die gute Quelle" (the good source). This was Colonel Bonner Fellers, the U.S. military attaché in the Egyptian capital of Cairo. Fellers composed long, usually pessimistic radiograms describing virtually everything he learned, encoded them and filed them with the Egyptian Telegraph Company for transmission across the Atlantic to Washington. Within an hour of their transmission from Cairo, the colonel's Black Code (diplomatic code named for color of binder) messages found their way to German cryptanalysts' desks. Another hour or two and they would be broken into readable text, ready to be retransmitted in a German code. Thus, a few hours after Fellers' messages were sent, the data would be in Rommel's hands where he would read them like the morning newspaper. Fellers wasn’t a spy, just an Anglophobe, and a victim of code laziness on the part of the neutral Americans.

    If the Fellers’ reports had fallen into Mannstein’s hands instead of Rommel’s, the two men may have used the data differently, but with Fellers being "promoted out" of the area either man would have been at the same disadvantage afterwards. Colonel Fellers left Cairo in July after a tour of nearly 21 months, and immediately after his departure Rommel’s fortunes and "foxiness" declined. Fellers posting in Cairo coincided almost exactly with Rommel’s win-streak.

    As others have mentioned though, Mannstein was a bit more "conservative" and took a longer view of how to shepherd his forces and supplies. Rommel was a brilliant tactician, and his use of the intelligence supplied him was directed toward that "immediate" goal style of warfare. But in either event, supply shortages would eventually catch either man, Mannstein may have stretched it out longer, but may have taken less territory in the time-frame. Of course taking it just to retreat back across it is no way to win a battle, let alone a war.

    As I mentioned though, just my opinion here, and projecting actual happenings onto two separate and different personalities.

     
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  20. MastahCheef117

    MastahCheef117 Member

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    "What is Manstein commanded the Afrika Korps?"

    They would've lost a lot faster.
     

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