Best commanders of wwI?

Discussion in 'World War I' started by Ferdinand Foch, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Ferdinand Foch

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    Don't know if anyone has posted this yet, but who do you think were the best commanders to come out of the First World War? They can be either American, French, British or Commonwealth, German, Austrian, Turkish, etc.? Try to put your limit between five and ten, but I just want to see what everyone else thinks.
     
  2. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    1 Arthur Currie
    2 John Monash
    Arthur Currie is the one and only answer built the all volunteer Canadian Army into the most potent Army on the Western Front
    Lloyd George was about to replace Haig with Currie and the Aussie Monash was to be Cheif of staff if the war had extended into 1919
    Monash would be my choice for second

    2nd Ypres the first gas attack
    Vimy Ridge took the ridge in 8 hours
    Hill 70
    Paschendaele
    battle of Amiens
    Battle of Canal Nord
     
  3. Ferdinand Foch

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    Hum, I had never heard of Arthur Currie before, but if he is the Canadian general that led the Canadian Army to victory at Vimy Ridge, than he deserves my admiration. I don't know much about John Monash, though, guess I'd better do a little research.
     
  4. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Hi PB

    It brought a smile to my face when you ordered the best and second best in that order. I had put my list in exactly the reverse order......

    This probably says more about our respective nationalities more than anything....:lol: :lol:
     
  5. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Allendale. Von Sanders. Maybe Trenchard. That would be active commanders in the field.

    In terms of theory, Fuller and Mitchell. Both ahead of their time.
     
  6. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    One of the most innovative, JFC Fuller. Perhaps Ludendorf?
     
  7. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Was kicking that one around. Tactically, yes. The whole storm trooper/bypass method was excellent, considering what had happened before.

    Stategically, less so. His offensives really didn't seem to have a long term focus. Kind of a hither and yon, attack while we can, type of thing. In truth, I don't think the Germans could've won in the West, given what they were facing.
     
  8. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    Trenchard for sure, one of the fathers of modern air power.

    Jellicoe, commanded the Grand Fleet at sea while contending with Churchill and Fisher ashore... and thats before we mention his combat leadership at Jutland.

    Scheer - if the rest of the HSF commanders had been like this guy, the Grand Fleet might not have made it to Jutland.

    Not sure about land commanders, I would have to read up a bit before making a decision.
     
  9. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Good one. Way underated as a commander. Had a hell of a mind, quick, incisive. I think he was mentally close to Spruance in the US Navy during WW2. As Churchill called him, "the only man who could lose the war in an afternoon". And he never let that happen.

    He was as good as Beatty wasn't. Think Beatty was overated in a big way.

    But Jellicoe was very good.
     
  10. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Good point about Jellicoe. He did a heck of a job with the Grand Fleet. I would rate Hipper over Scheer or Beatty.
     
  11. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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  12. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    Beatty was the master of public image and little else, IMHO. He proved a poor combat commander (Dogger Bank being a particular example), and his decision to support and retain Seymour as his Flag Lieutenant, despite epic foul-ups at Dogger AND Jutland, shows extremely poor judgment and leadership.

    ren, spot on about Hipper, on reflection I would be inclined to agree that he was better than Scheer, although both were very talented... TBH, the Germans had a whole raft of good naval commanders, but Wilhelm's meddling prevented them from using the HSF in a useful fashion. If he had let any of the HSF commanders loose in the North Sea, without limitations, the war might well have been different. The German fleet had qualitative advantages in ships and manning - these were demonstrated at Jutland, where the German tactical victory was thrown away by strategic cowardice on Wilhelm's part.
     
  13. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Actually, the commander that may have had the most influence on WW1 of all commanders on both sides may have been Jackie Fisher.
     
  14. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Fisher is a really controversial choice for me. On the one hand he was the "father of the Dreadnought", but wasnt he also a big proponent of the Battlecruiser concerpt, which in the case of the british models, were basically far too vulnerable????
     
  15. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Fisher not only was responsible for the Dreadnought concept but was a proponent of oil fired capital ships. He was the sponsor of the BC concept but he did not envision them to be used in the battle line but more as they were used at the Falkland Islands. His foresight is what gave Britain control of the seas during WW1. Even though the Kaiser wanted to surpass Britain in sea power, Germany could not outbuild them and never was able to come up with the Super Dreadnought type as epitomised by the QE class.
     
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