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View Poll Results: Who was better?
Monty 40 40.40%
Rommel 50 50.51%
They were as good as each other 9 9.09%
Voters: 99. You may not vote on this poll

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  #16  
Old 22 Apr 12, 11:23
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Seems to me that whenever the two fought, Monty came out on top.
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  #17  
Old 22 Apr 12, 11:46
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We can and have gone round and round on this one. I am not a Rommel fanboy but I do think he was a better commander than Monty in certain areas and worse in others but if I have to pick between the 2 I would pick Rommel.
If I were the CIC I would pull my hair out with either one I just think Rommel did far more with far less than Montgomery would have if the roles were reversed and when Rommel had a good situation he more often turned it into a better one. IE 1940 France.
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Old 22 Apr 12, 12:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the ace
Market Garden - giving him the dubious distinction of leading the last Allied defeat of WW2.
He also commanded the first decisive victory over the Axis outside the Pcific and CBI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the ace
Rommel saw an opportunity and went for it - a brilliant campaign in France, followed by turning what was meant to be a holding action in North Africa into near catastrophe for the Allies. I shudder to think what could've been possible if he'd had the kind of resources he wanted
Meh. After Arras his division was effectively out of the battle until Case Red. His division did no better than most of the other divisions. Once over the Seine (June 10) even German infantry was making similar mileage to the panzers, the French collapse was that complete.

The CW were never threatened with catastrophe in Africa,... it only appeared so. Each lunge forward by either side was brought to a halt by logistics and it would only be the truly *massive* build up of Allied logistical resources in late 42 that prevented another recovery once Rommel was back at Agheila. Prior to the end of 1942, neither side had the means to get past the limits of their truck fleets.

As for Rommel getting what he wanted,... he was given far more than like-sized forces elsewhere ever received and the British appeared to be doing their best to give him a strategic victory. In May 42 his divisions were well over strength in equipment and his supplies were stacking up in the ports and depots behind him. His Operation Venitia should have seen his rapid defeat but the British commanders failed to take advantage of Rommel's bad planning. His lunge to Alamein, while understandable, was made despite his staff, his superiors and Berlin's whispering "beware the Ides of March" (or in this case, June)
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  #19  
Old 22 Apr 12, 12:35
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At divisional level I would say Rommel. Any higher and I would say Monty.
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  #20  
Old 22 Apr 12, 12:44
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you all know this thread is going to be like any other " BEST" thread...
its going to be a gobbler.

any of you non Americans know what " spring gobbler season " D1J1 referenced refers to ?
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Old 22 Apr 12, 13:25
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Originally Posted by stalin View Post
neither was hitler while being a genius alright... for that matter, the entire wehrmacht was a bunch of geniuses who weren't really nazis!
I really hope this isn't a serious post. Anything is possible I suppose..
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  #22  
Old 22 Apr 12, 14:51
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Monty was a mediocre commander who was as much of a one trick horse as Patton. Monty only knew how to fight set piece battles and could only do so effectively if he had every advantage. Even then he sometimes failed miserably (Goodwood). Compared to Kluge, a commander who really knew set piece battles, Monty was a nobody.

Rommel despite his flaws was a brilliant tactician and operationalist who did wonders with few resources.
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  #23  
Old 22 Apr 12, 15:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destroyer25 View Post
Monty was a mediocre commander who was as much of a one trick horse as Patton. Monty only knew how to fight set piece battles and could only do so effectively if he had every advantage. Even then he sometimes failed miserably (Goodwood). Compared to Kluge, a commander who really knew set piece battles, Monty was a nobody.
You provocateur you. Comparisons between commanders in the same army is tough, those in different armies even tougher and on different sides......?

One has to look at what they achieved as against predecessors and contemporaries. In Montgomery's case he outperformed all those who had gone before him and proved himself at least as good as any Western Allied commander in the ETO. 'Goodwood', incidentally, was largely Dempsey's baby. Rommel was amongst the best Panzer divisional commanders in 1940 and he possessed the kind of 'dash' that contemporaries like Hoth, Hoeppner and Guderian demonstrated when commanding the DAK. Once promoted to army commander his 'touch' failed him repeatedly, particularly when facing Montgomery.
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  #24  
Old 22 Apr 12, 20:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destroyer25 View Post
Monty was a mediocre commander who was as much of a one trick horse as Patton.
Monty was a general who figured out a way to beat the Germans and he was very succesful at it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Destroyer25 View Post
Monty only knew how to fight set piece battles and could only do so effectively if he had every advantage.
I never realised obtaining every advantage was considered a failing.
One can only stand back and admire the much vaunted army that launched hopeless attacks with no chance of success and earned the undying respect of graduates from the Custer School of Grand Strategy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Destroyer25 View Post
Even then he sometimes failed miserably (Goodwood).
'Miserable' better describes the understanding of those who believe wars are won by mad dashes and spur of the moment flashes of intuition.
Goodwood had several objectives but if you follow through on Monty's pre-invasion game plan (his phrase 'Collosal Cracks' gives an inkling) you will see swanning about in the enemy rear was considered a bonus to be savoured after his army was first destroyed.
The aim was to disable German war making potential rather than occupy ground.
Attrition v manoeuver anyone?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Destroyer25 View Post
Compared to Kluge, a commander who really knew set piece battles, Monty was a nobody.
This same nobody' possessed a trait he is never given credit for.
Monty, once he knew continued advances were not cost effective and were suffering too many losses, called off his attacks.
Monty was prepared to take the ill founded criticism of his methods rather than sacrafice lives needlesly.
Goodwood is an example. Despite the handicap of Bradley's part of the double offensive being delayed he launched the UK half and then stabilised his front when losses became prohibitive. Epsom is another example. Halfway through the attack he was warned by Ultra that there was a major offensive being planned into his rear by II SS Pz Corps. The front was tidied up. Ground recently taken from the Germans abandoned and steps taken to ensure the German attack (designed to roll up the beachead) was ddefeated-it was defeated. Stopped cold but suprisingly not a lot of people know about it.


One can do no more than repeat the words of Bradley:

For another four weeks it fell to the British to pin down superior enemy forces in that sector [Caen] while we maneuvered into position for the U.S. breakout. With the Allied world crying for blitzkrieg the first week after we landed, the British endured their passive role with patience and forbearing. . . . In setting the stage for our breakout the British were forced to endure the barbs of critics who shamed them for failing to push out vigorously as the Americans did. The intense rivalry that afterward strained relations between the British and American commands might be said to have sunk its psychological roots into that passive mission of the British on the beachhead.( Bradley, A Soldier's Story, p. 326)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Destroyer25 View Post
Rommel despite his flaws was a brilliant tactician and operationalist who did wonders with few resources.
'Wonders' do not win wars. Solid planning does.
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  #25  
Old 22 Apr 12, 21:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the ace View Post
Rommel saw an opportunity and went for it - a brilliant campaign in France, ...
I think it best to remember that he commanded a division in France. Only a division.
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  #26  
Old 22 Apr 12, 21:05
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Just released now!
From the poster that brought you "The Patton Song"
Is the amazing new track sung to the tune of The Brady Bunch theme:

The Monty-Rommel Song.


Here’s the story
Of a man called Monty
Who commanded the British Eighth Army
When he took over
The army had had some problems
But he led it to many great victories.

It’s the story
Of a man called Rommel
Who won many victories of his own
He did so well
With his Axis forces
That he even received a field marshal’s baton.

Til the one day when the Brit met the Gerry
And they knew that it was much more than a hunch
That Monty kept beating up on Rommel
From Alamein all the way to the Normandy front.
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  #27  
Old 22 Apr 12, 21:22
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Rommel was a lackey of the Berlin guy and he went by everything he said. Until the Berlin guy slipped and fell on his knife,the whole thing went up like a kite.
And all the Gerries went to hell in a box on the boots of the allies and the Scots!
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  #28  
Old 23 Apr 12, 03:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
At divisional level I would say Rommel. Any higher and I would say Monty.
Probably, Nick. And let's point out that as a divisional commander, Montgomery experienced the complete opposite conditions he enjoyed in 1944-45.

In France '40 he was outnumbered, had poorly prepared troops, had a collapse right across the Allied front happening around him, yet his division held together and was probably in the best shape of all the BEF units as it fell back to the beaches.
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Old 23 Apr 12, 03:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brumbear View Post
We can and have gone round and round on this one. I am not a Rommel fanboy but I do think he was a better commander than Monty in certain areas and worse in others but if I have to pick between the 2 I would pick Rommel.
If I were the CIC I would pull my hair out with either one I just think Rommel did far more with far less than Montgomery would have if the roles were reversed and when Rommel had a good situation he more often turned it into a better one. IE 1940 France.
Interesting you mention France in 1940, for here the roles were,indeed,reversed. The BEF were very much on the backfoot and, as CLACKERS mentioned Montgomery's 3rd "Iron" Division performed very well.

While Monty was resoundingly disliked by his equals and superiors- with good reason-he did succeed in winning the confidence of his subordinates and ordinary soldiers. And that,given the circumstances the British Army found itself in the early part of the war, was worth pure gold.
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Old 23 Apr 12, 04:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clackers View Post
Probably, Nick. And let's point out that as a divisional commander, Montgomery experienced the complete opposite conditions he enjoyed in 1944-45.

In France '40 he was outnumbered, had poorly prepared troops, had a collapse right across the Allied front happening around him, yet his division held together and was probably in the best shape of all the BEF units as it fell back to the beaches.
Very true. That is why I voted Monty better afterall.
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