The best German Wehrmacht commanders

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by bob44, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. bob44

    bob44 Member

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    Who were the best?
     
  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    That's a pretty broad question, actually...

    Are you looking for overall best commander, or a commander of Armor, infantry, artillery...or one who made the best tactical gains with least loss of manpower, etc.?
     
  3. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    To start the ball rolling - Albert Kesselring? Capable to make the best out of small resources?
     
  4. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Von Manstein, Guderian, Rommel...
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The Heer had so many good officers during both world wars you could pick at random and get a good one.

    For the sake of argument let me nominate Hans von Luck. He fought well through the entire war but Operation Goodwood may have been his finest hour. His Kampfgruppe was key to defeating the largest British armored attack of WWII.
     
  6. bob44

    bob44 Member

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    The ones that where most successful in winning a battle. Offense or defense.

    Who would you put in command of the Germany armies at Normandy after DDay, and in Russia after Kursk? Assume Hitler was out of the picture.
     
  7. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #7 DonL, Dec 24, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
    von Manstein and Guderian are both on strategic and tactical level first rade generals.
    Rommel was better on a tactical level but had also strenghts at the strategic level.

    General Heinrici was the Master of Defence he commanded the 4th Army after von Kluge was commander of the Heeresgruppe Mitte and faught the Battle of the Seelower Höhen at April 1945 (which third to fourth class troups) at which the Red Army took such heavy losses that Schukow must regroup and he could hold his frontline for 4 Days against a whole Red Army Front (33 Schützen Divisionen 4 Panzer Korps and 4 Artillerie Divisions).

    General Nehring the first commander of the Tunis frontline, a Master of improvisation and a very good all allround General (commander of the 18th Panzer Division at the East).
    Faught the famous counterattack against Suchinitschi (Winter 1941)with one boosted Panzer Division against 30 Red Army Schützen Divisions and he could get in contact with the enclosed Wehrmachts troups and could reinforce them.

    There are many other very good german commanders on the tactical level too much to name them all.
     
  8. bob44

    bob44 Member

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    Ok, there were several.
     
  9. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Rommel was in charge of the Normandy sector before and during D-Day but again, his power was limited by Berlin's edicts...

    He had the manpower and armor to seriously blunt the Allies inward push, but because of lack of communication and co-ordination, it was 6 critical hours before the first armored unit moved up.
     
  10. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    "The" best is a tough one. If they had been give the latitude to conduct war as they saw fit, I sometimes wonder how long the war would have lasted.
     
  11. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I'll go for the Luftwaffe. General Wolfram von Richthofen. Arguably the best tactical air commander on any side during WW2.
    Steve
     
  12. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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  13. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    It didnt help that he was in Germany on June 6, either.


    North Africa, 1941
    During advances Rommel was determined to stay as mobile as possible and kept up with his forward troops.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. iron man

    iron man Member

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    Here's a couple more "who was that guy" names.

    Hermann Balck. His exploits along the Chir River, blunting the Red Army's exploitation phase during Uranus with a single depleted panzer Division (11th) and a number of ad hoc Kampfgruppen under command, are nothing short of amazing.

    Hasso von Manteufel. First given Divisional command in Tunisia (an ad hoc formation bearing his name), it was he who made most of the brilliant tactical decisions often ascribed to Nehring. He was a "lead from the front" tactician and worked himself to mental exhaustion during the chaos of the Tunisian fiasco.
    Following recovery, he was given command of 7 Pz. and played a major role during the defensive battles in the Ukraine following the failed Kursk offensive. When 7th Panzer was fought out and pulled off the line, he was given command of the Grossdeutschland Division, and thrown right back into the defensive fighting in the East. He is notable for consistently inflicting punishing casualty rates upon attacking Red Army units through skillful use of maneuver and schwerpunkt counterattacks. He exacted a large toll for every withdrawl he made. There are far too many Divisional commanders to rate them all, but these are two that really stand out from the pack, IMO.

    A nod to Steve (Stona) and his nomination of Richthofen. As subordinates, Fiebig and Pflugbeil(?) contributed much to his legend as well. The period covered by Hayward (Stopped at Stalingrad) is illustrative.
     
  15. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I think I'd just finished Hayward's book when I made that post.......highly recommended.

    Steve
     
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