Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

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Felix C
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Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by Felix C » 05 Feb 2012 04:32

Have read of a number of Allied generals who were less than entirely satisfactory and were re-assigned due to poor performance. Are there similar cases among German generals? I refer due to mismanagement or faulty reading of the situation not related to political issues or falling afoul of Hitler.

The only near example I can think of is how General Feuchtinger handling of his unit in the immediate Normany landings. I do not believe he was relieved for poor performance.

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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by Simperator » 05 Feb 2012 10:48

Hi,

Of course, there were many of them, as always are when people do something. One example is SS-Gruppenführer von Treuenfeld, who commanded 10. SS-Pz.-Div. Frundsberg for a short time and was replaced because he was more a political officer and not a real battle leader.

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Simon

Felix C
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by Felix C » 07 Feb 2012 01:58

I am surprised you indicate there were many as I would have considered the general officer selection process for the army to be rigorous.

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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by Simperator » 07 Feb 2012 11:56

Of course, but a war is not a standard situation, and the German Army was big. We are talking about several hundred people here. And especially in a system where politics are sometimes the foundament of a career rather than ability, it is unsurprising.

Another example: Major Remer, who became divisional commander only because he behaved well (for the Nazis) in the putsch attempt of 1944. He only was a battalion commander and had no knowledge of leading a brigade/division.

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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by Leerhöy » 07 Feb 2012 15:12

Felix C wrote:The only near example I can think of is how General Feuchtinger handling of his unit in the immediate Normany landings. I do not believe he was relieved for poor performance.
Hello Felix,

What do you have in mind, regarding Feuchtingers handling of 21. Pz.Div on D-Day?

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Kim
Interested in anything regarding 21.Pz.Div in Normandy, as well as Opel Olympia OL38 and DKW NZ 350-I in general.

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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by julian23 » 07 Feb 2012 17:25

Simperator wrote:Of course, but a war is not a standard situation, and the German Army was big. We are talking about several hundred people here. And especially in a system where politics are sometimes the foundament of a career rather than ability, it is unsurprising.

Another example: Major Remer, who became divisional commander only because he behaved well (for the Nazis) in the putsch attempt of 1944. He only was a battalion commander and had no knowledge of leading a brigade/division.
You would need to prove that he actually underperformed.

Felix C
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by Felix C » 07 Feb 2012 20:40

Leerhöy wrote:
Felix C wrote:The only near example I can think of is how General Feuchtinger handling of his unit in the immediate Normany landings. I do not believe he was relieved for poor performance.
Hello Felix,

What do you have in mind, regarding Feuchtingers handling of 21. Pz.Div. on D-Day?

Regards

Kim
I was reading recently on both the U.S. and British Commonwealth armies and note how poorly the senior generals considered so many of their division and corp commanders to include also army commanders. I rarely ever read regarding poor performance of German generals. I have read about the 21. Pz.Div. being indecisively led in the critical Normany hours by Feuchtinger and, now that I have time to reflect on the topic a bit, Rommel relieved Streich the 5. leichte Division commander, for poor performance in North Africa.

Regarding the 21. Pz.Div. in particular, that the probes toward the beachead were weak and defeated in detail rather than using strong a single stroke. Now, that is what I read and have not seen a topo map with dispositions nor timetable.

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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by Simperator » 07 Feb 2012 21:16

julian23 wrote:
Simperator wrote:Of course, but a war is not a standard situation, and the German Army was big. We are talking about several hundred people here. And especially in a system where politics are sometimes the foundament of a career rather than ability, it is unsurprising.

Another example: Major Remer, who became divisional commander only because he behaved well (for the Nazis) in the putsch attempt of 1944. He only was a battalion commander and had no knowledge of leading a brigade/division.
You would need to prove that he actually underperformed.
McGuirl / Spezzano, Geschichte der Panzergrenadierdivision "Grossdeutschland".

In his portrait (p. 132):

"... Die FBD (Führerbegleitdivision), zu diesem Zeitpunkt eine volle Division (aber zahlenmäßig schwach), war im März 1945 bei der Wiedereinnahme von Lauban in Oberschlesien im Einsatz, wo Remers offensichtlicher Mangel an Geschick bei der Führung der Division ernsthafte Kritik vom Kommandeur der 1. Pz.Armee, General Walther Nehring erntete."

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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by alkankizil@tr.net » 07 Mar 2012 17:24

Unsatisfactory performance from German Generals seems to be rather rare considering the odds they faced.

Kilgore Trout
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by Kilgore Trout » 07 Mar 2012 19:49

The principal problem here, once again, is ambiguity in the intitating question. What definition of "unsatisfactory" is intended? A large number of Wehrmacht general staff offices being replaced for what can only be held to be dissatisfaction - hence, they were unsatisfactory. E.g.; von Brauchitsch, Ritter von Leeb, Beck, von Blomberg, Bock, etc., etc., - even von Manstein and Rommel. A more concise definition would make this a worthwhile issue to consider. At present, it is not possible to answer with any certainty.
Last edited by Dieter Zinke on 25 Mar 2012 09:16, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: von Brauchitsch, Ritter von Leeb, von Blomberg, von Manstein - and never: Von Brauchitsch, Von Leeb, Von Blomberg, Von Manstein

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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 08 Mar 2012 08:02

Feuchtinger was relieved from command for being in Paris having fun instead of being at the front with his Division :wink:

Jan-Hendrik

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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by Phil Nix » 13 Mar 2012 12:00

Kilgore Trout wrote:The principal problem here, once again, is ambiguity in the intitating question. What definition of "unsatisfactory" is intended? A large number of Wehrmacht general staff offices being replaced for what can only be held to be dissatisfaction - hence, they were unsatisfactory. E.g.; von Brauchitsch, Ritter von Leeb, Beck, von Blomberg, Bock, etc., etc., - even von Manstein and Rommel. A more concise definition would make this a worthwhile issue to consider. At present, it is not possible to answer with any certainty.
Should we assume that they were unsatifactory to the political system in place or were they showed poor personal abilities
Phil Nix

Felix C
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by Felix C » 13 Mar 2012 18:20

I do not think the question was ambiguous at all given the clarification and some examples.

Examples:
I refer due to mismanagement or faulty reading of the situation not related to political issues or falling afoul of Hitler.

and

Rommel relieved Streich the 5. leichte Division commander, for poor performance in North Africa.

and

I rarely ever read regarding poor performance of German generals. I have read about the 21. Pz.Div. being indecisively led in the critical Normany hours by Feuchtinger

For the Allies one can list a number of U.S. and British Commonwealth Division commanders who were sacked for poor performance in the performance of their division.

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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by Kilgore Trout » 13 Mar 2012 19:15

For "Felix C":

Your concern seems to be primarily with Generals of divisions. There, I agree the overwhelming majority of German generals seemed to perform at least competently. But what is the real reason behind the sacking of Von Bock? Was it purely political, or due to a perceived error in how he led Heersgruppe Nord, and so did not seize Leningrad. Simlarly, on Von Kleist: was he sacked due to not seizing the Caucasus oil fields? As a specialist in organisational behaviour (industrial psychology), I see the problem as the way bureaucracies - whether governmental, private busniess, or the military - justify their acts. Often, the real reason is masked behind a concoction. Sometimes, sacking is given an operational reason when it was really a personality clash. Other times, it can be the opposite. Usually, the reason given will be self-serving to whomever caused the change, or to the organisation as a whole.

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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by ljadw » 13 Mar 2012 21:42

Hm,von Bock was not leading AGN,but AGC,the chief of AGN was von Leeb,and he was sacked ..only in january 1942.

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