Patton .................

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Michael Kenny
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Patton .................

Post by Michael Kenny » 31 May 2018 03:07

I note the claim being made here:

https://youtu.be/-I803ncnvMY?t=1h2m14s to 1:07:46

Casual Commonwealth insults and derison throughout but I am interested in the claims made from

https://youtu.be/-I803ncnvMY?t=1h5m42s

Has anyone got the links to where 'they were all saying it' (I.E. The Germans all saying Patton was a better General to Montgomery) can be checked and confirmed. Failing that perhaps a list of 'all' these like-minded German Generals?

Knouterer
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Knouterer » 31 May 2018 13:08

I very much doubt that German generals at the time wasted much time thinking about personalities on the other side. The fact that - for example - the US artillery could fire 20 or 30 shells, or more, for every one fired by German guns was vastly more important than the (supposed) genius, or lack of it, of Patton or Montgomery or any other general. Or the fact that their columns could hardly move by day without being shot up by Allied fighter bombers.
"The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it." Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

Richard Anderson
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Richard Anderson » 31 May 2018 14:55

Michael, Harry Yeide covered this in Fighting Patton seven years ago.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Michael Kenny
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Michael Kenny » 31 May 2018 15:26

Richard Anderson wrote:Michael, Harry Yeide covered this in Fighting Patton seven years ago.
I am just trying to find out if the author in the clip is making things up of if he has sources. I have not come across them but that does not mean they do not exist.

Richard Anderson
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Richard Anderson » 31 May 2018 15:53

Michael Kenny wrote:
Richard Anderson wrote:Michael, Harry Yeide covered this in Fighting Patton seven years ago.
I am just trying to find out if the author in the clip is making things up of if he has sources. I have not come across them but that does not mean they do not exist.
Barron (not "Barren") has written two books on the battle of Bastogne, the second of which touched on Patton's role in the relief battle. He also wrote one on Patton's First Victory (El Guettar) and one on the Korean War. He teaches intelligence subjects at Fort Huachuca and is a soldier.

The two books on Bastogne apeear well written and researched, the other two I haven't looked at. Where he got the notion about the German generals is anyone's guess, I don't recall a mention in Patton at the Battle of the Bulge, which despite the title is primarily a tactical study. I haven't read or looked at the El Guettar book, but calling it his "first victory" is a stretch...I would call it Terry Allen's successful defense followed by Patton's moderately successful advance.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Patton .................

Post by histan » 31 May 2018 16:55

The problem is that even good researchers pick up what might be called "generally accepted myths" and repeat them in their work if it is not central to area they are covering.

Five minutes research, however, did find this:
"What did the German generals think of their Western opponents? They were diffident in expressing an opinion on this matter, but I gathered a few impressions in the course of our talks. In a reference to the allied commanders, Rundstedt said "Montgomery and Patton were the two best that I met. Field Marshall Montgomery was very systematic." He added "That is all right if you have sufficient forces and sufficient time." Blumentritt made a similar comment. After paying tribute to the speed of Patton's drive, he added "Field Marshall Montgomery never suffered a reverse [must have forgotten Arnhem]. He moved like this." - Blumentritt took a series of very deliberate and short steps, putting his foot down heavily each time."
The German General's Talk, BH Liddell-Hart

Make of this what you will :)

But I don't think they were saying that Patton was way better than Montgomery

Regards

John

PS Blumentritt's next quote about the differences between the British and Americans could start a whole new debate.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Michael Kenny » 31 May 2018 17:34

histan wrote:
PS Blumentritt's next quote about the differences between the British and Americans could start a whole new debate.
It all depended who was holding the keys to their freedom. When in UK custody they praised the Commonwealth troops and disparaged the US. When in US custody they said the opposite.
My intention was not to start a Patton v Monty spat but to find out if the author was talking out of his arse and just pandering to the biased questions. Seems he was.

histan
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Re: Patton .................

Post by histan » 31 May 2018 19:23

Sorry about the PS. I should have let the quote speak for itself as evidence of what at least two German generals actually said.

Regards

John

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Re: Patton .................

Post by Felix C » 06 Jun 2018 14:41

"Blumentritt's next quote about the differences between the British and Americans "

What did he say? I do not have that book

Mori
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Mori » 12 Jun 2018 11:52

Michael Kenny wrote: Has anyone got the links to where 'they were all saying it' (I.E. The Germans all saying Patton was a better General to Montgomery) can be checked and confirmed. Failing that perhaps a list of 'all' these like-minded German Generals?
As was mentioned, this has been investigated inside out by Harry Yeide, in his Fighting Patton.

Yeide goes back to contemporary German sources instead of taking post-war sources. He hardly ever finds documents supporting the claim Germans were interested in Patton, and whenever they were, they did not think he was any special. Their reports in autumn 1944 (IIRC) point that the 3rd US army wasn't impressive - a reasonable conclusion given the numerous mistakes Patton made at Metz from September to November 1944. During the Bulge, the Germans expected a counter attack from the south and positioned an army defensively there, so were not specially impressed when this attack took place. I must say Yeide's findings are quite a surprise.

Germans also paid a lot of attention to Montgomery, which they considered much more dangerous (again: understandable given Monty's track record in beating them, from El Alamein to Tunisia to Normandy).

The publicity which Patton enjoyed during the whole war - starting with a long article in Life magazine as early as December 1942 - did not influence the German assessment. But this publicity definitively touched the British/American authors/officers who lived during the war, so that it proved difficult to even imagine Patton wasn't any "top of the list" general in the enemy perspective.

The post war interviews are telling. Some of the interviews run by US team are strictly about Patton's way of war. Interviewers prepare a set of questions with Patton name in them, which naturally leads the interviewees to talk about Patton. Not to confuse with the spontaneous answer to an open question. [One case here, from the ETHINT series, which is the earliest set of interviews]

I assume the speaker in the video improvises his answer. Certainly he would have a different point of view after doing some research.

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Re: Patton .................

Post by LineDoggie » 12 Jun 2018 18:42

Mori wrote:
Yeide goes back to contemporary German sources instead of taking post-war sources. He hardly ever finds documents supporting the claim Germans were interested in Patton, and whenever they were, they did not think he was any special. Their reports in autumn 1944 (IIRC) point that the 3rd US army wasn't impressive - a reasonable conclusion given the numerous mistakes Patton made at Metz from September to November 1944. During the Bulge, the Germans expected a counter attack from the south and positioned an army defensively there, so were not specially impressed when this attack took place. I must say Yeide's findings are quite a surprise.


Of course 3rd Army made it to Metz unlike Monty crossing the Rhine at Arnhem.. and of course the Glorious OKW which could not stop Patton until Metz.

Patton commanded 3rd Army
Monty commanded BLA 21st Army Group with over 200K men

it would indeed be amazing had OKW NOT given more attention to Monty
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

Mori
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Mori » 12 Jun 2018 19:31

LineDoggie wrote: Monty commanded BLA 21st Army Group with over 200K men
Slightly more than 200k men, which is more the size of a single army :)

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Re: Patton .................

Post by yantaylor » 12 Jun 2018 20:22

LineDoggie wrote:
Mori wrote:
Of course 3rd Army made it to Metz unlike Monty crossing the Rhine at Arnhem.. and of course the Glorious OKW which could not stop Patton until Metz.

Patton commanded 3rd Army
Monty commanded BLA 21st Army Group with over 200K men

it would indeed be amazing had OKW NOT given more attention to Monty
Didn't the lack of speed of the British under Monty's command, down to supplies?
Monty used his wisely, as he wanted to keep up a slow but steady movement.
Patton blazed away and was brought to a halt due to a fuel shortage.
The allies were still using the Mulberry's and these where out of action at one point due to a bad storm.

Yan.

Aber
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Aber » 13 Jun 2018 08:33

yantaylor wrote:
Didn't the lack of speed of the British under Monty's command, down to supplies?
What lack of speed?

Guards Armoured crossed the Seine 29th August, liberated Brussels 3rd September; distance 177 miles as the crow flies, longest daily advance 75 miles.. :D

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Re: Patton .................

Post by Sheldrake » 13 Jun 2018 10:09

The sources are very much part of tendency for "Mythstory" to dominate US Military History. Wild un-sourced generalisations that support a well developed national myth. It sells history books and gets your lecture on You tube

The past master is Stephen Ambrose. My particular favorite is the opening paragraphs of the chapter in Band of Brothers called "Foy." He starts by lambasting Montgomery for over caution and a lack of aggressiveness in his plans to deal with the Bulge. The rest of the chapter is spent describing the costly frontal assault by Easy Company, 506 PIR on the village of Foy apparently unsupported by artillery or armour. If this was written ironically it is not spelled out for his irony free readership. There are similar dollops of chauvanism masquerading as informed commentary in his book on D Day.

This big issue is that America did not suffer the WW1 experience. Dulcet et Decorum est is part of the national ethos and not a bitter war poem. It is seen as proper that Americans should die to wipe out the memory of being caught by surprise in the Bulge. Maybe there is a PhD in looking at American and British interpretations of WW2...

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