Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

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Kilgore Trout
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by Kilgore Trout » 21 Apr 2012 02:21

Von Manstein reflected what the senior staff who had just promoted him wanted to hear. He had spent the previous several months on another part of the front and would have to rely on the best information from those who were more familiar with the situation at Stalingrad. It is difficult to say what was the best strategy to follow respecting Armee 6 immediately after the encirclement. A break-out attempt would have been risky, especially with no relieving force to advance toward. Large amounts of ordnance would have to be left behind, and the slower-moving troops abandoned to their fate. There was a general confidence that air supply could meet the needs of the encircled troops for at least a short time: it worked at Demiansk the previous winter. It was reasonable to expect the other Axis armies to at least slow the S.U. advance instead of disintegrating as they did. On a smaller scale, the situation of U.S. 101st Airborne Div. in Bastogne in Dec. '44 was quite similar. Had the weather over Belgium not cleared as quickly as it did, the Div. could have been lost. Were I faced with the identical dilemma, I would have urged "hold your positions." I don't think criticism of Manstein on this is fair.

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waldzee
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by waldzee » 21 Apr 2012 02:38

Kilgore Trout wrote:Von Manstein reflected what the senior staff who had just promoted him wanted to hear. He had spent the previous several months on another part of the front and would have to rely on the best information from those who were more familiar with the situation at Stalingrad. It is difficult to say what was the best strategy to follow respecting Armee 6 immediately after the encirclement. A break-out attempt would have been risky, especially with no relieving force to advance toward. Large amounts of ordnance would have to be left behind, and the slower-moving troops abandoned to their fate. There was a general confidence that air supply could meet the needs of the encircled troops for at least a short time: it worked at Demiansk the previous winter. It was reasonable to expect the other Axis armies to at least slow the S.U. advance instead of disintegrating as they did. On a smaller scale, the situation of U.S. 101st Airborne Div. in Bastogne in Dec. '44 was quite similar. Had the weather over Belgium not cleared as quickly as it did, the Div. could have been lost. Were I faced with the identical dilemma, I would have urged "hold your positions." I don't think criticism of Manstein on this is fair.
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I agree that hindsight is 20/20. Manstein's 'thought process' assumed competence in the OKW, & the competence of the supply arms.
Paulus should have been listened to , as he was the 'experienced man on the ground'.
By November 1942 this assumption turned deadly. "No retreat' is a fine slogan when your supply line is functional.
Stalingrad was a carefully worked out strategic trap that dstroyed the Heer's mobility.

rendulic
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by rendulic » 14 May 2012 07:06

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.
When Hitler fired one of his high commanders, it was mostly because of disagreements and not about him considering them unsatisfactory in the sense of them not being competent.

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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by rendulic » 14 May 2012 07:15

waldzee wrote: +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Von Manstein was promoted above his competence when he was given command of Army Group Don. On Nov 24/ 1942 he advised Paulus not to break out of Stalingrad- an order he reversed in three weeks.
If somebody was capable of commanding an armygroup, it was Manstein. He advised Hitler against the breakout of sixth army on the condition that it could be sufficiently supplied by air. Three days later, after consulting with Richthofen and Paulus he advised Hitler that air supply over the longer term was not possible and that Stalingrad needed be given up as soon as a corridor was established.

rendulic
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by rendulic » 14 May 2012 07:19

Kilgore Trout wrote:Von Manstein reflected what the senior staff who had just promoted him wanted to hear. He had spent the previous several months on another part of the front and would have to rely on the best information from those who were more familiar with the situation at Stalingrad. It is difficult to say what was the best strategy to follow respecting Armee 6 immediately after the encirclement. A break-out attempt would have been risky, especially with no relieving force to advance toward. Large amounts of ordnance would have to be left behind, and the slower-moving troops abandoned to their fate. There was a general confidence that air supply could meet the needs of the encircled troops for at least a short time: it worked at Demiansk the previous winter.
The preliminary advice was given on 24 november before Manstein had consulted with the men on the ground. Once he had done that, he adviced that airsupply would be impossible in his detailed situation report of 28 november.

rendulic
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by rendulic » 14 May 2012 07:28

Kilgore Trout wrote:For "Felix C":

Simlarly, on Von Kleist: was he sacked due to not seizing the Caucasus oil fields? .
He was fired in 1944 and it had therefore no relation to the offensive towards the Caucasus. As usual it was about arguing too much for retreats. That always got you fired by Hitler .

ljadw
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by ljadw » 14 May 2012 09:52

Happy return :wink: :idea: 8-)

Michael Kenny
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by Michael Kenny » 14 May 2012 14:27

General G wrote: If somebody was capable of commanding an armygroup, it was Manstein.....................
You can change your name but not your game!

steverodgers801
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by steverodgers801 » 14 May 2012 19:56

Paulus should have been relieved. Its hard to judge since the relationship with Hitler was so important. In contrast Ernst King CNO was known for always being in a rage and was difficult to get along with, yet his performance allowed him to stay in.

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waldzee
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by waldzee » 15 May 2012 10:47

rendulic wrote:
Kilgore Trout wrote:Von Manstein reflected what the senior staff who had just promoted him wanted to hear. He had spent the previous several months on another part of the front and would have to rely on the best information from those who were more familiar with the situation at Stalingrad. It is difficult to say what was the best strategy to follow respecting Armee 6 immediately after the encirclement. A break-out attempt would have been risky, especially with no relieving force to advance toward. Large amounts of ordnance would have to be left behind, and the slower-moving troops abandoned to their fate. There was a general confidence that air supply could meet the needs of the encircled troops for at least a short time: it worked at Demiansk the previous winter.
The preliminary advice was given on 24 november before Manstein had consulted with the men on the ground. Once he had done that, he adviced that airsupply would be impossible in his detailed situation report of 28 november.
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Your dates are not correct.
\Have you been on this board before??

ljadw
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by ljadw » 15 May 2012 11:35

Who knows ? :wink: :idea:
But,of course,your question is only rhetorical 8-)

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waldzee
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by waldzee » 15 May 2012 14:46

ljadw wrote:Who knows ? :wink: :idea:
But,of course,your question is only rhetorical 8-)
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His style looks very familiar. There is a'Manstien is(was) GOD cult & they have convicted me of apotsascy.... 8-)

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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by ljadw » 15 May 2012 14:51

If general G and general Rendulic are saying :von Lewinsky is GOD,who are we,humble mortals,to doubt this ? :P :P

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waldzee
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by waldzee » 15 May 2012 15:15

ljadw wrote:If general G and general Rendulic are saying :von Lewinsky is GOD,who are we,humble mortals,to doubt this ? :P :P
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8O Phylo_Roadking is the oracle of the gods & the rest of us are unfit to untie his sandlestraps... 8O
"ows dat fur true preachin"! :)

steverodgers801
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Re: Unsatisfactory performance from Germans generals?

Post by steverodgers801 » 15 May 2012 16:12

The initial airlift study was based on having a very short period of time and having transports available that ended up in Italy. Only Göring thought it was doable and he never checked with his staff before making the promise.
Last edited by Dieter Zinke on 16 May 2012 08:51, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Correct is Göring - not Goering !

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