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Rommel's reputation - deserved or political ploy?


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#51 KJ Jr

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 09:54 PM

Let's not also forget that the WW2 Heer was totally offensive oriented. Passive defense was not in their "playbook", at least not until a few years later. Rommel was known to be aggressive even by the Heer's standard. So, why would anyone think he would not attack at the first opportunity? As von_noobie pointed out, a defensive strategy, even an "aggressive defense" was bound to fail. Battle is an all-or-nothing activity. Waging war so as just not lose is what my country did in Vietnam. Didn't work there, wouldn't have worked in N. Africa either.

 

Rommel also had lot's of ambition. He wanted to win battles! My previous post was to illustrate that most successful generals, and some not so successful, had lots of ego and ambition. This can be a very positive thing if managed correctly.

 

Good Point!


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#52 Belasar

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 10:26 PM

As for pushing the envelope, Gurderian and other Panzer commanders did so as well, at least until Hitler took total control of troop deployments. In his aggressive strategy in North Africa we must consider what he knew rather than we we know about Anglo-American production, the course of the war in the Atlantic and operations on the Eastern Front.

 

His battle experience in France would naturally leave him with the impression that fast, mobile tactic's would discombobulate British deployments (which it did), British equipment was flawed (could not know about the quality of American and improving British kit) or how quickly it could appear in Egypt. Nor could he know in great detail how the Russian front was progressing (seemingly to nearly capture Moscow, then great tract's in the south)

 

Certainly his reputation was inflated to some degree, but then do not the British have some responsibility for this as well? Who gave him the moniker "Desert Fox" after all? Did they not need a way to explain why he had the success he did in North Africa when they invest so much blood and treasure there?

 

We must also consider the intangibles that surround him and his reputation. He fought a 'clean war' in North Africa and France, but that has to do with timing and opponent as much as to personal choice. Had he commanded a Panzer Corps and then a Army in Russia, his hands would be as stained as any other Panzer commander. Then there is his suicide/execution after the July 20 plot. He was implicated, though he did no more than many other senior German commanders did, but he lost his life over it and in doing so became linked with the 'Good German's" who set the plot in motion. I have never been convinced by Gurderian's non denial-denial of his knowledge of the plot or his position whether he was in favor of it's success. 

 

I have said before in another thread, in my estimation he was a excellent Panzer Division commander in France, a great Corps commander in North Africa and a good Army commander in Normandy. The problem however was that he commanded a integrated army in North Africa and a Army Group in Normandy which goes far I think in understanding his weaknesses balanced against his abilities.


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#53 Sheldrake

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 11:41 AM

The question I just thought is if the British had not been so idiotic in how they handled their tanks and continually handed Rommel victory would Rommel have been considered such a great general?

Yes.  It is easier  to gain a reputation against a weak opponent.  

 

General Richard O'Connor  obtained a high reputation from his very one sided campaign against far superior numbers of Italians in 1940.  But for this he would be an anonymous corps commander of 1944 who failed to capture Caen or break out.  .   

Rommel's reputation is based on his success against the French army of 1940,  the British in North Africa and the Americans at Kasserine Pass. 

 

He failed consistently against Montgomery, who is generally regarded as "competent" rather than a "great captain." 



#54 lwd

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 03:09 PM

Bronk the game I refer to is the British spent two years, until Monty, sending heir tanks with out any support straight into the German anti tank defenses.

I don't think that's entirely fair to the British.  Just how to use tanks was a rather open question prior to the war and the British were still learning.  They weren't organised nor did they have the proper doctrine when the war started and it took time to change both of these.

 

 Iys not entirely true that what the Germans lost en transit was minimal. Due to the amount of fuel the Germans needed to get the supplies to the front, every loss meant less got to the Front. I don't know the exact amount, but I wouldn't be surprised if at the time of El Alamain the Germans used as fuel transporting the items as they used in combat

There were a couple of periods when losses were substantial.  At other points however supplies were pileing up around the docks in NA.  At those times the loss of some fuel or ammo at sea may have had no impact at all on what was reaching the front.  On the other hand the loss of trucks or parts  for the same could have had considerable impact.  If you look at the timing of their offenses and compare it to the length of their supply lines it is pretty clear that it was having a huge impact and that they could barely support the froces in front of El Alamain even if they weren't heavily engaged.
 

The question I just thought is if the British had not been so idiotic in how they handled their tanks and continually handed Rommel victory would Rommel have been considered such a great general?

Well given that the Italians had done the same for the British and that the British were and by many still are regarded as competent at the time I'm not sure the "idiotic" is deserved or that Rommel didn't also deserve a reputation for being a good tacticialn.  My impression is that he was fairly inovative especially in most (but certainly not all) of his offensive operations.  The risks he took in recon alone may have given him a significant edge and was to his credit.



#55 Sheldrake

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 03:51 PM

The British Army under performed in North Africa.  The commanders of the Western Desert Force and then the 8th Army had some problems.

 

One of these is doctrine.  

It is undoubtedly true that the British all arms co-operation was poor at times in North Africa. There was no "combined arms doctrine" in the British army in 1941 or 1942 .There were pamphlets produced for commanding infantry battalions or armoured regiments but not together.   There is a splendid training film produced by the war office in 1941 in which a tank regiment defeats a  a German attack from the south coast without showing an infantryman or artilleryman at all.   That wasn't the only doctrinal problem. After Dunkirk, a committee was tasked with drawing lessons from the 1940 campaign.   One of the comments of the Bartholomew Report was to question whether the Division was a flexible enough organisation to be used in a mechanised battle. For much of the desert war the british tended to fight as  brigades with limited command and control at divisional level.  -During the course of the campaign the 8th army tried to adapt and  during 1942 the Commander Middle east Auchinleck sponsored all arms battlegroups.  There are dangers with trying to change tactics in the middle of a campaign and the result tended to be confusion rather than flexibility.

 

Material.  

The Eighth army was for much of the campaign out gunned,  British tanks were mechanically unreliable and lacked a gun with an HE round.  The 2 Pounder anti tank gun was inadequate and the British did not use their heavy AA guns to fill the gap as a long range anti tank gun until june 1942.  There was little medium artillery until 1942.The field artillery 25 pdrs were parcelled out to brigades and fire was too rarely concentrated.       

 

Leadership

The 8th army was not well served by some of its commanders and un lucky with others.   O'Connor could clearly command a mechanised battle, but was captured along with Neame in 1941. Campbell an inspirational leader a  la Rommel died in a road accident.  Wavell did not get on with Churchill, and was faced with some impossible situations - and Churchillian demands.  Auchinlek was flawed.  He was not a good picker of subordinates. Cunningham had done well in Abyssinia but went to pieces under stress.  (commanding a battle is not the bets time to give up smoking)  Neil Ritchie was a poor choice, and poorly managed.   By the time Montgomery arrive there was a lot of bickering and orders were seen as the basis for discussion.. 



#56 LJAd

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 05:23 PM

This is much exaggerated : it is the usual attitude (flourishing in all armies) to explain defeats  by looking for scape-goats and hiding the merites of the enemy .

 

In the spring of 1941,Rommel attacked and an exhausted British army (which had no superiority) had to retreat .

 

In the summer of 1941 Rommel was stopped.

 

In the winter of 1941/1942 he had to retreat .

This was repeated in 1942.

 

If the British doctrine,material and leadership were that bad,why was Rommel defeated at the end of 1941 ?



#57 LJAd

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 05:27 PM

I have to believe Rommel would of had more success in Normandy, had the higher ups did not withhold the release of certain units and the communications had not broken down. You can thank the Allies and resistance for the latter. It's a good thing there were tremendous failures on the Atlantic Wall by the Germans.

No : everything that was available was going to Normandy .The allied superiority was that high that except a miracle,the Germans had no chance .



#58 KJ Jr

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 11:33 PM

No : everything that was available was going to Normandy .The allied superiority was that high that except a miracle,the Germans had no chance .

 

What if...yes the classic what if statement...that if some Panzer Divisions were not delayed, as they were, it wouldn't have played out differently? I am not saying the Allies would have been pushed back into the Channel, but the plan may have been altered.


"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." - Einstein
 

 

#59 von_noobie

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 11:51 PM

This is much exaggerated : it is the usual attitude (flourishing in all armies) to explain defeats  by looking for scape-goats and hiding the merites of the enemy .

 

In the spring of 1941,Rommel attacked and an exhausted British army (which had no superiority) had to retreat .

 

In the summer of 1941 Rommel was stopped.

 

In the winter of 1941/1942 he had to retreat .

This was repeated in 1942.

 

If the British doctrine,material and leadership were that bad,why was Rommel defeated at the end of 1941 ?

 

Both sides had their victories and losses, What really comes down to was if you had the supplies to go all the way. It very well could have kept going on like that longer and longer had Operation Torch not been launched.

 

No : everything that was available was going to Normandy .The allied superiority was that high that except a miracle,the Germans had no chance .

 

No, Not everything was available, Much of the armor was stuck unable to move because of order's from Hitler, Other assets that Rommel wanted in place were denied to him. While being on the beach or holding back far inland were both bad options I think the beach would have been the better of both, At least on the beach even if suffering high losses they had chance of pushing them back into the sea (marginal as it was), Once established the Germans would not have been able as they did not historically be able to defeat them.



#60 Sheldrake

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 11:59 PM

This is much exaggerated : it is the usual attitude (flourishing in all armies) to explain defeats  by looking for scape-goats and hiding the merites of the enemy .

 

In the spring of 1941,Rommel attacked and an exhausted British army (which had no superiority) had to retreat .

 

In the summer of 1941 Rommel was stopped.

 

In the winter of 1941/1942 he had to retreat .

This was repeated in 1942.

 

If the British doctrine,material and leadership were that bad,why was Rommel defeated at the end of 1941 ? 

 

LJAd old chap,

 

Its the frictions of war.   "Everything in war is very simple," Clausewitz notes, "but the simplest thing is difficult." 

Chaos, confusion, and lots of misdirected activity is normality  SNAFU is an accurate description..  If you want to know why Rommel was beaten in Dec 1941, it was because Rommel wasn't THAT good. Op Crusader wore down both armies.   The dash to the wire intended to panic the British into withdrawing, but instead removed the DAK from the battlefield while the remaining British formations ignored him.  



#61 harolds

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 05:36 AM

On Rommel in Normandy: it may well be that the Germans could have done nothing to prevent defeat but they could have fought the battle much more effectively. Here's some examples:
1. The KM and Luftwaffe coud have done a better job in providing recon in the Channel.

2. There should have been a unified command structure on the German side. Thanks to AH the command structure was horribly fragmented.

3. The German army had a lot of men from Poland and the Ukraine in Normandy. I feel that having Poles and Ukrainians fight in France, for Germany, against the UK and Americans wasn't the smartest move of the war. They surrendered in droves. The should have been placed in the Channel Islands, Norway and other peripheral areas, freeing up good Geman units that would have given a good account of themselves.

4. The KM had the new "clamshell" mine that was unsweepable. They should have been offshore of Normandy but weren't due to a stupid screw-up. Had these been in place ship losses would have been significant.



#62 LJAd

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 10:54 AM

Overlord and the Panzer controverse have already bee, discussed,but the facts are

 

1)Only a few German mobile divisions were operational on D Day

 

2)Most of these were located between the Seine and the Loire

 

 

3) Notwithstanding the fables from The Longest Day,on the early morning of 6 june,Rundstedt told the OKW that there was still no certainty that the allied landings were decisive,that it still was possible that they were a feint to lure away the German mobile divisions .



#63 bronk7

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 05:59 PM

he had to have been pretty good to accomplish what he did in NA,,......



#64 steverodgers801

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Posted 05 December 2014 - 02:06 AM

I would love to know what exactly made it unsweepable, besides some ones claim with no apparent details on why it was



#65 Takao

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Posted 05 December 2014 - 09:05 AM

4. The KM had the new "clamshell" mine that was unsweepable. They should have been offshore of Normandy but weren't due to a stupid screw-up. Had these been in place ship losses would have been significant.

IIRC, the Allies nicknamed them "Oyster" mines, not "clamshell".

 

I'm not sure what "screw-up" you are referring to.  However, the most given "reasonable" explanation that they were not used is because the Germans did not want them falling into Allied hands and being reverse-engineered.  Which is much the same as the Allies did with the proximity fuse(the Americans did use pressure triggers on naval mines against Japan in 1945).  Others blame Goering for sending the Luftwaffe pressure mine stock to another location because he did not believe that the Allies would land in Normandy.  The Luftwaffe pressure mines were sent back about a week later, but the invasion was well under way by that time.

 

 

I would love to know what exactly made it unsweepable, besides some ones claim with no apparent details on why it was

Because it had a "new" pressure trigger, as opposed to the usual contact, magnetic, or acoustic triggers.  At the time, the Allies had no way to sweep for this mine.  Although, once discovered, the quickly worked out a way, but it was limited in it's effectiveness - it could only be towed at a speed of 4 knots and it created only a narrow cleared path.



#66 harolds

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Posted 05 December 2014 - 02:46 PM

I have read the mines were placed in the shallower waters off Normandy, as well as other places farther north. However, when the Adm. Ruge's staff contacted Rommel's staff, they were told that the Allied landing(s) would take place by May 15th. So, the KM people set the mines to deactivate at that time. Of course the landings didn't come then, so IIRC, the mines were gathered up but hadn't been reset or laid yet. Some were dropped at night by air and did some damage, but nothing like what would have happened had they entered a properly laid minefield. Either this or what Takao said, make it a screw-up.

 

By the way, thanks for the nomenclature correction Takao. By the way, didn't those mines have both a pressure AND an accustic trigger? I thought they did so that larger fish or whales wouldn't set the mines off pressure-wise.



#67 brkeseel

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 09:52 AM

Let's not also forget that the WW2 Heer was totally offensive oriented. Passive defense was not in their "playbook", at least not until a few years later. Rommel was known to be aggressive even by the Heer's standard. So, why would anyone think he would not attack at the first opportunity? As von_noobie pointed out, a defensive strategy, even an "aggressive defense" was bound to fail. Battle is an all-or-nothing activity. Waging war so as just not lose is what my country did in Vietnam. Didn't work there, wouldn't have worked in N. Africa either.

 

Rommel also had lot's of ambition. He wanted to win battles! My previous post was to illustrate that most successful generals, and some not so successful, had lots of ego and ambition. This can be a very positive thing if managed correctly.

 

I agree - German military doctrine at the time catered not at all to the operational objective of maintaining a passive defence line. However, 'passive defence' is precisely what Rommel was sent to North Africa to implement. Is it fair to ascribe Rommel's actions purely to the influence of the operational doctrine he spent his career an adherent of? Did his education render him incapable of interpreting a reasonably plain objective, albeit one foreign (and perhaps even somewhat repugnant) to him? I think a fair verdict is one that acknowledges the internal inconsistencies in German military doctrine where defensive action is concerned, while also remembering that Rommel basically disobeyed his orders from the beginning of Operation Sonnenblume, directly and indirectly. I'd say one of his biggest faults was his absolute disregard for the intent of the strategy makers, their mandate to determine that strategy, and his imperative to implement it. He had operational goals of his own that weren't derived nor consonant with those of Berlin and this, in large part, determined his failure in North Africa. Of course had Operation Barbarossa proceeded and concluded as Hitler intended, the logistical support would likely have been sent and Rommel may have gained an unintended windfall for the German war effort. But the very fact that the OKH was reluctant to commit to offensive action in North Africa was due to the imminent Eastern offensive that would require the greatest priority of resourcing. There's a clear causal link - Rommel's overall failure in North Africa is a rather simple story to follow.



#68 albowie

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 06:47 AM

I think he was a great field commander and tactical General however most of his success in the Western Desert was amplified by the appalling lack of Command and control of the British Forces particularly Gazala and Crusader where they could not get their units together in force but squandered them in Regt packages.

Rommel had something that is rarely mentioned in his Signals intelligence which was so good that he generally knew exactly what the British were doing before the British Generals! When the Australians captured this unit completely in the opening stages of the 2nd Battle of Alamein Rommel never recovered and never pulled of a brilliant masterstroke. He was a genius at looking at the intelligence picture and the forces arrayed against him and acting decisivly to achieve victory. He was not such a genius when faced with Strong Defences like Tobruk and botched this campaign as he did at Medinine where the tables were turned and the Allies knew about his attack and layed an in depth ambush with layers of AT guns and Artillery including the new 17 Pdr AT gun.

If Rommel did have more of his Armour forward in Normandy on D-Day it would have been smashed by the Naval gunfire support and Air Power.

 

Like Patton his Reputation is far greater than the facts


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#69 harolds

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 04:32 PM

@al:  The British Forces in Africa were seldom "weak" as some have said. They did have some operational and institutional hang-ups that made it hard for them to act in the cohesive manner that the German panzer forces did. But more often than not they were stronger than the German/Italian army facing them.

 

Signal intelligence is a great thing. Rommel benefitted from it certainly. We benefitted from it Alamein, El Guettar and Medinine. When you know your enemy's strength and dispositions for an attack, it's hard to lose.

 

Speaking of Medinine, had Rommel been in control of ALL of the Axis forces, there wouldn't have been a Medinine battle. Von Arnim wasn't exactly cooperative and denied Rommel certain forces when told to give them up by Kesselring. That delay short-circuited Rommel's plan at Kasserine by allowing the Allies time to recover their poise.

 

People tend to bash Rommel for not "not understanding logistics". Nothing could be farther from the truth. Logistics was on Rommel's mind every day. Also, in the German Army tradition, he was given a general staff trained officer as his chief of staff who made up for that deficiency. It's just that the German panzer generals pushed harder than Allied generals in this stage of the war. They did more with less.

 

I still feel that Rommel's plan for Normandy gave the Germans the best chance for success. Had a panzer corps (or more  hit the beachheads on the afternoon of D-Day or perhaps the very early morning of D+1, major damage on the invaders could have been inflicted. Remember a battalion of panzers got between two of the landing beaches on Normandy on D-Day but pulled back. Rommel was right on the money when he said that if forces weren't close to the invasion area when the battle started, they wouldn't get to their jump-off points in time. In this, history proved him right.

 

During the war Rommel climbed from panzer division commander to army group command. Given what he had and what he faced, I feel he did a very credible job. Did he make errors-oh yes, but so did most generals. Going from a corps command which was a hands-on, lead-from-the-front type of job to army commander which was more of a desk job, he naturally had to make some adjustments, but after a bit, he did so.

 

Overall, Rommel's "genius" was in three areas: First, he could motivate troops. Secondly, he could innovate tactics when needed. Third, he could intuitively understand things that other high ranking officers could not. An example was that after his experience in N. Africa he understood that the war from then on was going to be different and sweeping armored attacks would probably not happen again. In fact, he understood that the essentially, the war was lost.


Edited by harolds, 18 June 2015 - 04:33 PM.


#70 Kai-Petri

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 04:37 PM

However, without Rommel the Atlantic wall would have been a shadow of what it was in June 1944. I guess without own air force to protect the counter attack the Germans could not win the day but Rommel made the defence line at least more real than than the photos from Calais. The Hitler mistake was to keep part of tanks under Rommel, part under von Rundstedt and the major decision power for himself. If there had been one commander only for the counter attack that would have been a big difference whether the idea would be Rommel´s or von Rundstedt´s. And with the 15th Army helping, who knows. But I am not sorry the nazis lost.


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#71 lwd

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 04:41 PM

...

People tend to bash Rommel for not "not understanding logistics". Nothing could be farther from the truth. Logistics was on Rommel's mind every day.

That they were on his mind doesn't mean he understood them.  Indeed if he did then he was reckless.

 

 Also, in the German Army tradition, he was given a general staff trained officer as his chief of staff who made up for that deficiency.

My understanding is however that the "in the German tradition" the logistics officer is suppose to figure out how to enable his commanding officers plans not push the point that said plans are not supportable.

 

It's just that the German panzer generals pushed harder than Allied generals in this stage of the war. They did more with less.

...

I don't think that's an accurate summary.  It may be true in detail but not all the parts are there.



#72 merdiolu

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 06:34 AM

Rommel's reputation also comes from Allied press and political/military establishment. Unable to explain defeats and check ups in Western Desert despite appearent numerical superiorty of 8th Army between 1941 April-1942 July , they made a Superman myth out of Rommel and Afrikakorps. It was an effort to save face for them. British Army problem (which they could unable to admit because it would imply pre war unpreparedness) was about doctrine , organizastion , deployment and use of their forces proper and efficient way and quality of equipment. Once they took care of this mostly by issuing orders , directives and objectives and giving better equipment , preparing plans according to existing doctrines and capabilities of their forces after Montgomery took over in August 1942 they seldom lost an engagement. German Army tactical and operational doctrine on small unit scale was superior (mission oriented approch : Give an objective and leave your subordinates free to get that) Rommel was product of this doctrine system unlike autocratic British doctrine. Rommel at the other hand tried to command Panzer Army and later entire Army Group B as if still commanding a panzer division. He continued to give orders and issue objectives beyond means of his forces capabilites , logistical resources. When he returned France he was all awed by Allied air forces but he never took care on strength of their naval gunnery (which defeated sudden panzxer counter attacks on Sicily and Salerno ) So all of his ideas about meeting the enemy on thr beach was faulty anyway. Much was made Hitler's oversleeping and his authority on Panzer Group West or communication problems-which was partly Rommel's responsibility or Fortitude deception-which he swallowed or his absence during D-Day-due faulty weather forecast another German Army failing he was at Germany to celebrate his wife's birthday or Allied air superiorty. The problem was Germans lost most of their advantages before Allies landed on D-Day. Allies were throughly prepared in Normandy Campaign and prepared for all possibilities eventualities. Germans including Rommel were not. They were playing a make a wish game.


Edited by merdiolu, 19 June 2015 - 06:40 AM.


#73 Kai-Petri

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 10:59 AM

Indeed. Interesting that de Gaulle was about to say to his men incl resistance and the men who were waiting on the beaches to direct the Alleid troops that they should not help at all. Why not? because there was the occupation money made for France. De Gaulle would have none of that. Without the local help where to go?


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#74 Triton

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 07:36 PM

When he returned France he was all awed by Allied air forces but he never took care on strength of their naval gunnery (which defeated sudden panzxer counter attacks on Sicily and Salerno ) So all of his ideas about meeting the enemy on thr beach was faulty anyway.

He suggested, that close contact between the troops would make naval gunfire and at least level bombing impossible. The losses from friendly fire would have been unacceptable.

Generals from the eastern front hoped for a decisive tank battle far away from the landing beaches, won by superior german tactics, superior tanks and easier supply. They couldn't imagine, what complete air superiority meant and railroad supply lines were useless in these conditions. 

 

Rommels lived and died about 25 Miles away from my home. Last year i visited his home town and saw the house, where he lived but missed the memorial at the location where he was forced to commit suicide. He was loosely involved in the military resistance, a fact which boosts his popularity today. There are some TV-documentaries about his life and even a movie about his last months. So he can easily be regarded as the most famous german General today, others like von Manstein, Paulus, Guderian, Keitel or Jodl are only known to people with historical interest. 

 

He was a stubborn character and always tried to surprise and fool the enemy and even the german High Command, very untypical for a german General. But he benefits in great extend to it. Allied intelligence could read his orders from Berlin and their troops were prepared, but Rommel didn't care about his orders and often did the opposite and catched the Allies with their trousers down. And I'm sure, this was great fun for him.



#75 merdiolu

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 08:53 PM

E

 

He suggested, that close contact between the troops would make naval gunfire and at least level bombing impossible. The losses from friendly fire would have been unacceptable.

Generals from the eastern front hoped for a decisive tank battle far away from the landing beaches, won by superior german tactics, superior tanks and easier supply. They couldn't imagine, what complete air superiority meant and railroad supply lines were useless in these conditions. 

 

Rommels lived and died about 25 Miles away from my home. Last year i visited his home town and saw the house, where he lived but missed the memorial at the location where he was forced to commit suicide. He was loosely involved in the military resistance, a fact which boosts his popularity today. There are some TV-documentaries about his life and even a movie about his last months. So he can easily be regarded as the most famous german General today, others like von Manstein, Paulus, Guderian, Keitel or Jodl are only known to people with historical interest. 

 

He was a stubborn character and always tried to surprise and fool the enemy and even the german High Command, very untypical for a german General. But he benefits in great extend to it. Allied intelligence could read his orders from Berlin and their troops were prepared, but Rommel didn't care about his orders and often did the opposite and catched the Allies with their trousers down. And I'm sure, this was great fun for him.

 

Either in Pacific or Mediterranean once any Allied bridgehead established was squashed enough , Allies poured through all firepower they had even at the risk of friendly fire casaulties to check enemy. That was their standart operational doctrine. (check out Operation Cobra in Normandy)  And British by reading his mail also sunk most of his supply ships in Mediterranean during North African campaign. He never suspected it instead blaming Italians leaking information. Oh Rommel himself caught pants down in Normandy on June 1944 to celebrate his wife's birthday while window of oppurtunity for invasion was still open... 

 

Actually Von Rundstedt idea of stopping or at least stalling invasion was more credible. By making an elastic defence , retreat in a controlled step by step and retreating advancing in phases in interior of France Second Front could be very expensive for Allies. (Germans actually did that in 1918 exhausting Alled advance until November 1918 long enough for armistace and sparing German territory despite Allied manpower , material and air superiorty again back then) Instead Rommel's push of panzers for a counter attack close to sea and Hitler's "Stand or Die" orders doomed them. Instead for fighting in phase lines and defence lines they massed everything to Normandy and lost there. 


Edited by merdiolu, 25 June 2015 - 09:00 PM.





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