Joined: December 29th, 2008, 2:22 pm

July 11th, 2018, 8:49 pm #131

CA railwhale wrote: Monty had little to do with the outcome of the Normandy fighting.  He had already squandered his armor and troops to little advantage making frontal attacks.  As for "out foxing" Rommel, that's a laugh.  Monty NEVER fought a battle of maneuver, he was lucky enough to take command of 8th Army when it was in a defensive position with no flanks to be turned and a almost unlimited supply of new, superior American artillery and tanks.  Add to that the fact that Rommel's armor strength was badly depleted and all Monty had to do was his trademark head-on attacks to eventually drive Rommel out of North Africa.  Monty was at best a fair division commander, as a army or theater commander he was a failure.
It was Monty's plan that got the Allies out of Normandy - modifying it to deal with the problems that arose, If Monty had squandered his troops in Normandy, how come he had plenty left in the Low Countries and the dash to the Baltic? He got the Germans to concentrate around Caen (which was the major communications junction), and but for a rain storm Operation Cobra and Goodwood would have happened on the same day.

In North Africa, Rommel excelled in the pell-mell fluid battle against isolated units (like the destruction of the 5th South African Brigade and the 150th Brigade). Unfortunately Monty advanced everyone at once to deny Rommel the chance to attack an isolate vanguard. Rommel then tried to halt Monty at El Agheila in December, Burerat in January and Homs in January. Each time Monty didn't allow Rommel to fight his style and forced him to either be pinned in place and be destroyed by an out-flanking assault, or to fall back before the 8th Army attacked, to the next defensive line. So rather than head-on attacks, Monty won by out-thinking, out-flanking (aided by the LRDG who could guide whole divisions to out-flank each defence line) and calling Rommel's bluff he would stand and fight a battle he couldn't win. Rommel told his superiors he was giving up Libya without fighting a battle like El-Alamein.

Would Patton have out-flanked or attacked head on, would he have charged ahead with an isolated vanguard, or moved slowly with his entire army?
Last edited by HMS Troutbridge on July 11th, 2018, 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: November 21st, 2010, 12:24 am

July 11th, 2018, 9:01 pm #132

Rommel didn't have the fuel, ammo or tyres to fight a pitched battle in Libya: the same reason he pulled back from Alamein after defeating every one of Monty's assaults.

Rommel was carrying out a fighting retreat and just trying to buy enough time for von Arnim to arrive.

Next are we going to credit Mitscher's tactical brilliance for sinking the Yamato?
The difference between "democracy" and "populism" is whether or not the ruling elite likes the outcome.
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Joined: April 6th, 2018, 5:55 am

July 11th, 2018, 11:58 pm #133

Larrikin22 wrote: There is that, but there is also the serious lack of planning ahead, of what to do once Antwerp was taken.

The British armour's drive into Belgium was the longest and fastest advance in history until over taken by the US' drive up to Baghdad, and it completely out ran planning.

Various people point at Patton and his drive into Alsace and Lorraine, and completely miss that the British went further, faster, and were pointed straight at the political and and industrial heart of Germany.

When Roberts was sitting in Antwerp frantically trying to get orders there was not a single formed German combat unit between him and Berlin.  Patton heading towards Prague?  That's an irrelevancy, Dempsey and Horrocks with nothing between them and Berlin?  That's an emergency!
A commander under Patton wouldn't have been sitting in place waiting for orders, he'd have been making a "reconnaissance in force"  in whatever direction seemed most promising to him.  Under Monty, decisions were strictly top down and initiative by subordinate commanders was strongly discouraged.  So Roberts sat and waited.
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Joined: April 6th, 2018, 5:55 am

July 12th, 2018, 12:13 am #134

Rmor wrote: Wasn't it the long supply route, from over the Normandy beaches to the Belgium/Holland region that stopped the British at Antwerp? (the red-ball highway)
There may indeed have been few and dis-organised enemy between Antwerp and Berlin, but that doesn't allow for the flexibility of the Germans to gather scratch units together and those units to hold their own on the battlefield.

It was the supply of petrol that influenced allied strategy in late summer/early autumn 1944.
The Red Ball Express was developed to supply the US First and Third Armies.  As far as I know, Monty never even envisaged anything similar.  I could be wrong on that, but I've never heard of a Commonwealth version of the Red ball Express.
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Joined: August 24th, 2007, 11:14 pm

July 12th, 2018, 12:49 am #135

IcelofAngeln wrote: Rommel didn't have the fuel, ammo or tyres to fight a pitched battle in Libya: the same reason he pulled back from Alamein after defeating every one of Monty's assaults.

Rommel was carrying out a fighting retreat and just trying to buy enough time for von Arnim to arrive.

Next are we going to credit Mitscher's tactical brilliance for sinking the Yamato?
What crap.  The PAA began their withdrawal when the 8th Army was already through their lines in 2 different places.  Aside from the breach in the center that the armoured divs were pouring through, after armoured car regts had got through the night before (they were busy shooting up the rear areas), 9th Australian Div had their Div Cav and supporting arms 20 miles down the coast road after they had wiped out the German 164th Div, destroyed 2 Italian infantry divisions, and broken every mobile formation in PAA after those had been thrown in to try and contain them.

Rommel's retreat from Egypt to Tunisia wasn't a "fighting retreat", it was bloody near a rout, and it was only saved from that because the British armoured divisions were, to be frank, piss poorly led by blokes who were well and truly at their Peter points.
You can lead a leftard to knowledge, but you can't make them think
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Joined: January 7th, 2005, 11:25 am

July 12th, 2018, 2:09 am #136

Monty in North Africa  - his main success was he was allowed to push back on Churchill until sufficient superior force was built up to guarantee the result, unlike the previous commander who were forced to push too early or too far and then sacked for their trouble.
"The stone age did not end because people ran out of stones." Ahmed Yamani
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Joined: June 18th, 2015, 7:51 am

July 12th, 2018, 4:56 am #137

Hark wrote: Is that a serious question?
Yes it is.  You question how others came by their opinion of MacArthur without revealing how you came by yours.
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Joined: June 18th, 2015, 7:51 am

July 12th, 2018, 5:43 am #138

Hark wrote: Unlike MacArthur Eisenhower would not have brought a vision for the future of Japan to the task.  He would simply have been an administrator and the policies he would have been left to administer would by default be those of Congress.  They would have been punitive and shortsighted.  Its very likely that Hirohito himself would have been prosecuted as a war criminal.  If you've read Herbert Bix's bio you know he was a war criminal but the wisdom of hanging him remains in doubt.
Hirohito and all the other Jap war criminals should have been hanged in public for their dispicable crimes.  If the Japs didn't like it they could have eaten a few more nukes.
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Joined: January 7th, 2005, 11:25 am

July 12th, 2018, 7:40 am #139

The question is not so much eating a few more nukes, but Stalin and Moa’s rice.

Personally I think not, even with a much more hostile occupation. I dont see the local culture as compatable with communism at all on a large scale basis.
"The stone age did not end because people ran out of stones." Ahmed Yamani
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Joined: January 14th, 2013, 4:04 pm

July 12th, 2018, 11:31 am #140

Phoenix04 wrote:
Hark wrote: Unlike MacArthur Eisenhower would not have brought a vision for the future of Japan to the task.  He would simply have been an administrator and the policies he would have been left to administer would by default be those of Congress.  They would have been punitive and shortsighted.  Its very likely that Hirohito himself would have been prosecuted as a war criminal.  If you've read Herbert Bix's bio you know he was a war criminal but the wisdom of hanging him remains in doubt.
Hirohito and all the other Jap war criminals should have been hanged in public for their dispicable crimes.  If the Japs didn't like it they could have eaten a few more nukes.
This comment reveals a lack of understanding as to what was at stake after the Russians entered the war against Japan.  It seem pretty likely to me that while the US, Australians and British were invading Kyushu, Stalin and Company would have been invading Hokkaido.  Allowing Hirohito to continue to reign brought an early end to the war.  Its that simple.  I acknowledge that he was a war criminal but hanging him, which he deserved, would have had far reaching consequences including a situation in Japan not unlike that in Korea.  MacArthur forestalled all that.
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