Greatest WWII Military Commanders: Updated

Which of these WWII Military Commanders is the Greatest?

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Senior Master Sergeant
Mar 23, 2006
Southern California
loomaluftwaffe said:
I heard this from somewhere, but was it Guderian who thought of the Blitzkrieg?

It depends on the definition of Blitzkrieg. Guderian was certainly instrumental in the development of the modern concept of tank maneuvers. Now was he involved in the development of the concept of coordinated artillery and air attacks with tanks, I don't know.

There's a difference in being a great military stategist and a great leader. I know Guderian led some battles but I don't think he is considered a great leader, certainly not in the league of Rommel. Of course Rommel had the press behind him.
Guderian invented the co-ordination of every arm into service, be it infantry, artillery and air force. He also demonstrated the need for everything to be mechanized (So Patton didn't expand on anything).

He led the battles in Poland, France and early Russia. In Poland he practically carried the whole campaign on his shoulders, pushing through the north and encircling the Polish armies as he went, then capturing Brest-Litovsk ended the Poles. In France he reached the Channel first, it was he who pushed over Sedan with just armour instead of waiting for infantry which could have been the win/lose descision of that campaign. And in Russia he pushed through Smolensk and to the gates of Moscow ... the only mistake he made was at Tula. But the push he did alone after being deprived of armour that was sent to Kiev rank him alongside, if not above Rommel.

Patton had the backing of the American industry, something the German Generals could only dream of. They performed many more feats of tactical genius than Patton, in fact he didn't do any. In the Ardennes the German armies were already crushed and retreating, Patton did nothing special there. Anyone with a bit of sense knows that if German Generals had that kind of industrial backing, they'd have won every battle they entered. Throughout the war they continually out-manuevred and out-marched the Allied armies.
Gen Patton was also instrumental in developing the doctrine of mobile warfare. As an old cavalry soldier, he had an intuitive grasp of mobility and firepower.

As from the wikipedia artical...".....Patton also wrote professional articles on tank and armored car tactics, suggesting new methods to use these weapons. He also continued working on improvements to tanks, coming up with innovations in radio communication and tank mounts. ......"

I dont know if this is true or not...".....Alan Axelrod in his book "Patton" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) quotes German Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt as stating "Patton was your best" and, surprisingly, Joseph Stalin as stating that the Red Army could neither have planned nor executed Patton's advance across France....."

It is a fallacy to think that Guderian was the sole inventor of the "blitzkreig". Many different officers of many countries thought of the various componants and tactics and integrated them into a doctrine.
Good info on Guderian. Like I said, Rommel had the press behind him. Everybody knows Rommel, nobody knows Guderian.
I voted "other," and my choice would be Matthew Ridgway. I don't really have time to provide a defense for him, and maybe he is not a good comparison to the other generals and admirals list because they are three stars and above where strategic-only decisions are made.

I am surprised that Zhukov is not listed.
General Marshall for me.

You may brag about a general who knew how to win battles, but it takes an organizational genius to know how to equip, train, transport and then deploy whole armies.

he was also a very keen appraiser of men. He knew how to pick members of his staff and which general officers to promote to high command.

After the war, he helped formulate and impliment the Marshall Plan that saved the butts of Europe.

Name soemone on the list that had that type of resume.
Balck, simply the greatest armour commander of the war.
Guderian brought the ideas of many generals from other nations, yes, mainly Britain and France to be precise. In the book Achtung: Panzer Guderian admits that Britain were at the forefront of armoured warfare in the 1920s, and this is where Guderian took many lessons. However, no nation or general developed Blitzkrieg in such a precise manner as Guderian had written into the book Achtung:panzer. Just read the book yourself and you will see, it's what we came to know as 'Blitzkrieg'.

Patton developed ideas for the Allies, and they were never as good as German ideas. And I notice that you are forgetting Patton's first attempts to smash through the West Wall ... like smashing a sledgehammer against a three metre thick concrete wall. The great mobile sides of the war were Germany and Russia, the Allies never achieved anything along the lines of excellency in mobile warfare as these two nations. Zhukov, Guderian, Balck, Rommel and Manstein all ranked above Patton.
I agree with DerAdlerIstGelandet.Therefore, my votes go for E.Rommell,H.Guderian,G.Zhukov and Gen. Tadeusz Kutrzeba instead of Edward Rydz-Śmigły.
Rommel, Guderian, Zhukov, and Spruance for me. did anyone know about the battle at Khalikan Gol ( might have misspelled) where Zhukov crushed a invading Japanese army and that caused Japan to sign a nonaggression pact with Russia. That way when Hitler invaded Germany Stalin could deploy lots of divisions from the Asian part of Russia to the Europe part of Russia without fearing a Japanese attack.

Not entirely correct when affirming Zhukov "crushed" an invading Japanese force eh...

In fact an accurate approach on losses for both sides during the series of skirmishes between Japs and Russians in 1939 is apparently non-existant.

What most people who have studied this battles apparently do agree when saying both sides suffered very high losses. Right, the Japs were not succesful, however to affirm they got crushed is somewhat exaggerated.
It's spelt Khalkin-Gol. Zhukov used a simple, but effective, armour pincer movement on the Japanese forces and destroyed them. The Japanese armour could not stand up to the Red onslaught and crumpled.
what's this? no "Bomber" Harris? the man that sent the whirlwind? the man that helped destroy huge areas of germany, not just cities but communications and transport networks, the man that came up with the massive moral booster that were the first 1,000 bomber raids? the man that provided the only real means with which the battered British could strike back at the heart of germany, the man thousands of young airmen looked to for inspiration..........

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