Rommel vs. Montgomery

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Sturmmann_Fritz
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Rommel vs. Montgomery

Post by Sturmmann_Fritz » 12 May 2004 22:08

Would you say that general montgomery at El Alemain (and in general)really was not such a great general at all...no pun intended towards the brits, but with the numbers all stacked up on his side...men, tanks, air and sea...it would have been foolish for him not to have come out the victorious in this match...these are my thoughts. Open to debate

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Station
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Post by Station » 12 May 2004 22:51

Well, I've read a book and a half of another about Rommel and it seems that he was the better offensive commander of his forces than Montgomery, but I haven't read any books about mainly focused on Montgomery.

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redcoat
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Re: Rommel vs. Montgomery

Post by redcoat » 13 May 2004 00:44

Sturmmann_Fritz wrote:Would you say that general montgomery at El Alemain (and in general)really was not such a great general at all...no pun intended towards the brits, but with the numbers all stacked up on his side...men, tanks, air and sea...it would have been foolish for him not to have come out the victorious in this match
A sign of a good general, is one who stacks up his advantages to ensure he will win the battle.
War is not a game.

The debate about Monty shouldn't be whether he's a good or bad general, but whether he was a good general or a great one.

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WalterS
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Post by WalterS » 13 May 2004 01:53

Sturmann Fritz wrote:
Would you say that general montgomery at El Alemain (and in general)really was not such a great general at all...no pun intended towards the brits, but with the numbers all stacked up on his side...men, tanks, air and sea...it would have been foolish for him not to have come out the victorious in this match
Montgomery was a very competent commander. He made the most of his advantages. It is not dishonorable to smack your opponent when you have the advantage. In North Africa he didn't attack until he was ready. When he did, he was quite successful. He beat Rommel time and again.

I believe that Montgomery's natural caution served him less well during the Normandy campaign. There is still much debate about the effectiveness of his leadership in June and July 44. Unfortunately, discussion about Monty's leadership usually descends to a Brit vs US argument which serves no real purpose. Monty was the overall Allied Ground Commander when Allied forces ruptured the German lines and swept across France. He deserves credit for that. He is also open to criticism for the disastrous Market-Garden operation which was conceived with boldness but executed with timidity.

I believe that the Rommel vs Montgomery question should be answered this way: Montgomery understood the value of planning and logistics. Rommel, the master of the impromptu battle, did not.

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Post by Sturmmann_Fritz » 13 May 2004 02:18

Thanks for the responses,

Yes, I know Montgomery was smart to stack up the odds, but from what I read in 'How great generals Win" it looked as though my mom could have won... i mean even a great general can't beat odds like in the El Alemain battle... my opinion. As in Kursk for example, the germans had less men and no matter how badly they hurt the Russians, they came out the losing side.

however what was said earlier about the real question being whether he was a good general or a great I would go with just good.

lata,

Fritz

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WalterS
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Post by WalterS » 13 May 2004 04:34

Sturmmann_Fritz wrote:
Yes, I know Montgomery was smart to stack up the odds, but from what I read in 'How great generals Win" it looked as though my mom could have won...
This statement is just silly. I doubt that your mother knew the difference between an artillery round and a gas can.

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Post by Sturmmann_Fritz » 13 May 2004 14:57

you would be surprised... well yea ok i see I am going along the wrong path with this, ok how about a regular soldier... any enlisted man could have won. Whatever just my opinion that he was not good in either the African, Sicilian, and Normandy campaign.

lata,

Fritz

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Andy
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Post by Andy » 13 May 2004 17:42

Monty was a great general. When he first arrived in North Africa his troops morale was low. However, he raised their morale with his "no more withdrawals" speech. I think his men liked him.

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Monty vs Rommel

Post by RedBaron » 13 May 2004 19:24

Well, a comment regarding the 2 generals.

Rommel had few options when he decided to atack the brits at El Alamein. For him, no supplies and back-ups were in sight, so he tried to push towards Cairo. To wait was not an option and any advantage created so far would have been lost. He atacked and what followed everyone knows... He didn't do a mistake at El Alamein imo.
Yes, Monty knew how to motivate his men, to create sort of a legend around him, like Rommel did, but he wasn't a good or great general imo. I say this because after El Alamein, when DAK was retreating constantly he didn't knew how to take advantage of this fact. Rommel said a few times that his opponent, if equiped with a little knowledge, it would have destroyed easily a big part of his DAK. I think Monty was too carefull, more than normal, knowing "the numbers" under his command. I don't see him as the "big winner" in Africa. No way! More than that, his predecesor, gen. Auckilneck (or what was his name :oops: ) left the positions at El Alamein very well prepared.
Monty was a general, but not a great one... That's my oppinion :)

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answer

Post by Yevgeniy B. » 16 May 2004 23:17

I think so too

i mean Rommel, and Monty met twice
once in afrika and then battle of bulge if i am not mistaken

I mean in africa he had advantages at the beginning, but since germany needed more reinforcement in Eastern front, particulary Stalingrad. and british cut the supply line through mediterranean sea. Rommel was succesful even though he wasn't resupplied as often as british did, he was using all he had in taking Tobruk, and then you can say that he wasn't supplied anymore, and still managed to push british to the east.

I can't say much good about Montgomery, he was resupplied by Americans, and he had may be 5 6 times than Rommel had, i saw the commentary in the History Channel, how german veteran said "they were resupplied so often, and when they bombarded us with the artillery, it was like they send 3 shells to kill each of us. I mean Rommel didn't have anythig, and Montgomery had it all, what can you expect.

I would not want to offen Brits, or people who thinks that Montgomery is great, well i would have tried him for a War Crimes along with Nazis, because operation Marketgarten was total failure, and hpw britain lost 30000 trained paratroopers. and 101st airbourne lost half of their men capturing those stupid bridges he claimed to be so important

Feld-marschall Rommel was definately better than Montgomery

Yev

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Post by Jon G. » 16 May 2004 23:38

Ehm, do you mean that a general who manages to be well-supplied is by definition a bad general? I would be inclined to claim exactly the opposite.

Attacking your enemy with overwhelming force does not mark you as a bad general in my opinion, either.

I think Montgomery deserves credit for looking after the morale of his troops. One of the first things he did when he got his command was to publicly announce that he had made sure that all plans for a withdrawal further east of Alamein had been burned at his orders. That would not necessarily have made operational sense, but it made a lot of sense for a general set on re-building his army's morale.

Montgomery had his own PR officer, and like other high profile commanders such as MacArthur, Patton and Rommel, he rarely missed a photo op. He would also do silly things, such as carrying lots of cigarettes on his person to hand out to soldiers he met, even though he was himself a teetotal nonsmoker.

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Post by Station » 17 May 2004 01:01

I thought we were debating Montgomery's tactics here.

Although boosting morale is well and good, not making good use of large supplies is not.

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Post by Jon G. » 17 May 2004 01:21

It all depends on what your objectives are. If it's 500 miles to your objective Alexandria and you cover 450 of those miles in an amazing three weeks, going from one dazzling victory to another, you are not a good general if you fail to take your objective.

Conversely, if you have a reasonable prospect of beating your opponent today, a very good chance of beating him tomorrow, and you are almost certain of beating him the day after tomorrow, I don't think that waiting until you're near-certain of success makes you a bad general. It may disqualify you as a bold general, though. Time was on Montgomery's side at Alamein. Exploiting that doesn't disqualify him, IMHO.

I don't know how much influence Montgomery had on selecting where to land in Italy - but deciding to land on the extreme heel and then advancing at a snail's pace before a retiring enemy is a timid choice of landing site, followed by failure to see that time is not on your side.

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Post by WalterS » 17 May 2004 01:26

Yevgeny B. wrote
once in afrika and then battle of bulge if i am not mistaken
You are. Rommel was dead before the Battle of the Bulge, having been compelled to commit suicide earlier in 1944.

Rommel and Montgomery met in North Afrika, then again in Normandy after the D-Day landings in June 1944. Rommel was injured in July 1944 and never saw combat again.

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Post by Yevgeniy B. » 17 May 2004 02:50

WalterS wrote:Yevgeny B. wrote
once in afrika and then battle of bulge if i am not mistaken
You are. Rommel was dead before the Battle of the Bulge, having been compelled to commit suicide earlier in 1944.

Rommel and Montgomery met in North Afrika, then again in Normandy after the D-Day landings in June 1944. Rommel was injured in July 1944 and never saw combat again.
i kept it in mind, but i forgot the date, he committed suicide, in order to save his family

Yev

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