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  #1  
Old 30 Jan 12, 14:50
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Patton: The German View

Popular knowledge is that the Germans so feared and admired the American general, they watched his every move. The truth is very different.


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  #2  
Old 30 Jan 12, 15:28
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I am looking forward to comments on this one!
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Old 23 Feb 12, 19:44
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The American View of General Patton

The vast majority of Americans view of General Patton is based on the 1970 Movie "Patton" staring George C. Scott. While it was a good movie it was not a documentary.

It is not surprising that General Patton was only vaguely on the German's radar. Up until mid 1944 every thing else was of secondary importance to the death struggle against the Soviets. Until August 1944 they had only faced Patton twice in two relativley short campaigns in theaters that were of secondary importance to the Germans.
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Old 24 Feb 12, 01:38
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A great and concise article. Yes, much of Patton's legend arises from the movie, which in the case of probably the majority of Patton admirers is exactly how they wish to remember him. It's much handier to have a Patton that one can attribute spurious sayings and comments to.

Bottom line: Patton was an armor pioneer and one of the finest American tactical commanders of the war. But he was up against some of the most competent and capable enemy commanders of their time. Small wonder that it took so long for them to notice him.
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Old 24 Feb 12, 14:17
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Patton

Hello,
At least some of the surviving German Panzer commanders in their comments about Yeide's recent book about Patton, have accorded him the accolade of being one of "them" - a panzer general. I guess that's better than "shovelling s*** in Louisiana", as the saying purportedly goes.
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Old 24 Feb 12, 22:37
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Task Force Baum

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDagger18 View Post
Hello,
At least some of the surviving German Panzer commanders in their comments about Yeide's recent book about Patton, have accorded him the accolade of being one of "them" - a panzer general. I guess that's better than "shovelling s*** in Louisiana", as the saying purportedly goes.
RedDagger18
Not all of his operations went flawless.
And his previous victories against german armor should be shared with the USAAF. Wasn't he more of a good Entertainer too, Like we call them
Operetten Offiziere (Opera Officers), with his 2 wild west revolvers in a holster ?
His last one, was quite an amateurish blunder, to put it mildly, and that in the last few days of the war:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Task_Force_Baum
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Old 25 Feb 12, 16:33
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Interesting article but Balck comment use against Patton seem incorrect :

"Balck wrote to his commander, Runstedt, on October 10, "I have never been in command of such irregularly assembled and ill-equipped troops. The fact that we have been able to straighten out the situation again…can only be attributed to the bad and hesitating command of the Americans and the French, [and that our] troops…have fought beyond praise."

3rd Army sole French division was Leclerc's 2éme DB operating under Haislip's XV Corps. By September 29, the corps had been transfered to Patch's 7th Army. Even if Balck/Mellenthin comment seem harsh on Patton none of 3rd, 7th and 1st French armies had supply for sustain a prolonged offensive when September had seen Market-Garden for 21st AG and Aachen for 1st Army, continuing with Hurtgen in October.
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Old 25 Feb 12, 17:48
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Criticism of Patton's operations

Hesitancy is a common criticism of Patton, meaning failure to follow thru on successful attacks. The logistical situation is a logical first cause; understandable caution in exploiting an apparent success is another thought. And, the battlefield intelligence operations sometimes tended to miss obvious German capabilities, and above all, German intentions; the Bulge is a classic example. Also, it might be useful to examine the "close hold" on the Allied interception of the German Ultra, which may well have foreclosed on more aggressive followup to Allied successes.

It is difficult to second-guess decisions 60 plus years after the fact, and what is to be gained by Monday morning quarterbacking operations anyway?
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  #9  
Old 25 Feb 12, 18:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metryll View Post
Interesting article but Balck comment use against Patton seem incorrect :

"Balck wrote to his commander, Runstedt, on October 10, "I have never been in command of such irregularly assembled and ill-equipped troops. The fact that we have been able to straighten out the situation again…can only be attributed to the bad and hesitating command of the Americans and the French, [and that our] troops…have fought beyond praise."

.....
Balcks comment mirrors those made by many other German generals & junior officers at many other times. For that, the reasons of Metryll, and several other factors I dont see those remarks reflecting much directly to do with Patton. What I would like to see are any evaluations made by the German intelligence services. A collection of reports from field commanders together with a professional analysis would count for something. Laying that out along side similar evaluations of other US or Brit commanders might mean something
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Old 26 Feb 12, 13:11
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Quote:
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Balcks comment mirrors those made by many other German generals & junior officers at many other times. For that, the reasons of Metryll, and several other factors I dont see those remarks reflecting much directly to do with Patton. What I would like to see are any evaluations made by the German intelligence services. A collection of reports from field commanders together with a professional analysis would count for something. Laying that out along side similar evaluations of other US or Brit commanders might mean something
My Dad, than 17 years old, was in a german Volksgrenadier Division, entrenched in the Vosges Mountains from september 44 to november 44,
before he deserted. He told me, that the german lines where very thinly held: every 250 yards where an MG position, crew of 4, between them
5 soldiers with K98 rifles and perhaps a sergeant with an MP40, sometimes a Lieutenant with a Sturmgewehr 44. also 2 panzerfaust for every 10 men.
150 yards behind, where motar positions about 1 every mile, sometimes
if terrain allowed a 2cm twin flack, or an infantry gun.
A few kilemeters back, there was an 88 position with 4 guns.
A few snipers making good use of the terrain. Unbeknowst to the americans they used a russian trick they have learned: Clearing lower brushes
to inflict casualties without being seen.
Only shooting from a low position. Only fools positioned themselves in trees.
On scouting missions, my Dad noticed a heavy buildup of allied troops,
estimating a 11-1 ratio in men and equipment.
The americans constantly probed the line, but the 8.8cm guns only needed to shoot into the trees to discourage them.
My Dad's thought was, there was not really anything much, that could have stopped the allies.
His Division consisted merely of Child Soldiers like him, men between 45 - 55 years old, men with very poor eyesight, disabilities and a lot of people who have worked in offices, with really poor understanding of nature.
Not the Wehrmacht of the first 3 years of the war. Second choice quality troops at best.
So when my Dad reported back from his last mission, telling them about the real strenght of the enemy, the officers where partying with ****** and lots of schnaps, where not believing him.
So my Dad thought screw them, and went with some like minded soldiers to a mountain hut, they had scouted out between the lines, and simply waited for the americans to show up.
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Old 26 Feb 12, 15:46
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A lot of contradiction between the 1st paragraph and the basic thrust of the article... but that's common enough.

His pistols? Weren't those the same pistols he actually used Mexico, shooting at Pancho Villa's boys?
I've heard of stranger sentimental attachments.

We love guys that accomplish great things without letting them go to their heads... for the simple reason that they are so rare.

It makes me laugh when Bloggers are so critical of other people's decorum and civility.
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Old 26 Feb 12, 17:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exorcist View Post
A lot of contradiction between the 1st paragraph and the basic thrust of the article... but that's common enough.

His pistols? Weren't those the same pistols he actually used Mexico, shooting at Pancho Villa's boys?
I've heard of stranger sentimental attachments.

We love guys that accomplish great things without letting them go to their heads... for the simple reason that they are so rare.

It makes me laugh when Bloggers are so critical of other people's decorum and civility.
What's your poison, on what cloud are you floating ?
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Old 27 Feb 12, 15:08
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There were very few well-known American generals at that time. Patton was, of course, one of them - and one of the best pursuit generals, a kind of Murat at Jena.*

I would be interested in seeing a similar article on what the Germans thought about Montgomery, who was arguably more famous in the US after Alamein (at least, if you take Marshall's complaints seriously) and I would think more well-known in Europe.

Of course, the above only applies to the German view of the west. The east, of course, was a much larger theater and the Germans on that front probably didn't care who was running the western war for the Allies.


*Of course, there was no Murat pursuit after Jena without Soult, Augereau and Lannes, who were basically the Courtney Hodges of the 1944-45 campaign.
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Old 27 Feb 12, 19:22
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Quote:
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...

*Of course, there was no Murat pursuit after Jena without Soult, Augereau and Lannes, who were basically the Courtney Hodges of the 1944-45 campaign.
I'm not a Napoleon expert but Soult Davout and Lannes are usually rated as best Maréchal d'Empire
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