WW2 Allied Leadership

Discussion in 'Polls' started by michaelmaltby, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Recent threads have provoked strong feelings about which ally made the greatest contribution in WW2. While fighting strength and industrial output were critical, leadership was also vital. Who is the greatest WW2 military and non political leader for the Allied Cause?

    Political Leaders:

    Churchill
    Roosevelt
    Stalin
    Tito
    Truman


    Military Leaders:
    Zhukov
    Montgomery
    Marshall
    Eisenhower
    Bradley
    Patton
    MacArthur
    Harris
    LeMay
    Halsey
    Chuikov

    Wondering members thoughts on this.

    MM
     
  2. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Active Member

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    In my view, Eisenhower gets the nod. Anybody that could subordinate(mostly)those massive egos of his subordinates deserves my vote.
     
  3. lingo

    lingo Member

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    I would like to see Freeman and Dowding on the list. The latter was a star throughout the Battle of Britain but was burnt out afterwards. Freeman starred throughout the 39 -45 war, and was friendly with Arnold. He was able to advise Arnold when the US wanted light and medium bombers that they really needed heavy bombers - and many of them.
     
  4. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Great point. Understood power and used it very wisely. Plan to defeat the Nazis was good. Went to a stregth of the Allies they could not hope to match.
     
  5. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Would add Spruance and Nimitz in there as well. Also Slim.

    Don't think Halsey was better than Spruance. Definitely not better than Nimitz.

    Slim has my vote over Harris and Montgomery.
     
  6. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    Churchill had heart, a great wartime leader.

    Eisenhower had the perfect temperment for a General. Patton was definantly Eisenhower's best General. Bradley and Monty were just too cautious and slow too act. I really don't know how Monty kept his job. I am also not a big fan of MacArthur. Nimitz was better.
     
  7. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    You would probably want Churchill running your country but Eisenhower running your military to bring about victory, but not the other way round
     
  8. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Some thoughts .. George Marshall picked Ike .... and his Plan kept the war in Western Europe won. I agree there are major omissions in my quick list. Dowding being one I shouldn't have missed. Was FDR a strong leader (1939 - 1945] ... or did he just have good delegates?

    MM
     
  9. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I am surprised that the great US adminstrators are not on the list.......Nimitz, and Marshal in particular. These men were the architects of the US victory.

    For the British I would like to see Mountbatten and Slim for their efforts in India and Burma, and Cunningham for his efforts in the Med. O'Connor would have done great things if he not been captured.

    In the Pacific, the great US leader was Macarthur. The man has his faults, but he was able to forge together a wartime alliance with the Australians that persists to this day. In a sense it is the most enduring legacy of the war....the forging of the alliances that preserved the western way of life
     
  10. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    Right! :D
     
  11. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Without Churchill, Britain might have folded. Eisenhower did a good job as an administrator. Nimitz did likewise in the PTO. Halsey was overhyped, IMO, Spruance was much better. Slim was probably the best British general, but his efforts were not appreciated by Churchill. The politics behind the scenes regarding the Allies were incredible.
     
  12. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    For political leadership, I think FDR did a great job, but it was Churchill who had to keep a country on the front lines facing a possible invasion motivated. Some of his speaches still send shivers up my spine.

    Military: I have to go with Patton.
     
  13. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The best strategic thinker for US probably Was MacArthur, however. He maximized ground taken while minimizing casualties with his three dimensional grasp of the battlefield.
     
  14. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    We see eye to eye - and MacArthur forged a lasting Democracy in Japan. I was there as a young child in 1948-1951. The Japanese revered him.

    Patton was our best Corps/Army Battle Commander/ LeMay was our greatest Airman with huge contributions in ETO and PTO and Halsey gets my vote for Best Squid in the field.

    I rank Churchill as one of the greatest leaders of all time...
     
  15. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Marshall is on the list, Parsifal. As I mentioned, he picked Ike for Supreme Command - and put Europe back together quick enough to check Stalin.
    To me, by WW2 FDR's strength came from his delegates. I have enormous admiration for Zhukov - from the Japanese in May-Sept '39 to Berlin '45. He was a master of logistics as well as strategy.

    What impresses me most about MacArthur is the re-build of Japan. And likewise, great respect for Truman for plain spoken leadership both as VP and POTUS when the 2 Allied bombs were deployed.

    But soldiers shape both the battle and the peace - and George Marshall as military leader and Churchill as political leader would be my choice.

    MM
     
  16. Butters

    Butters Member

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    #16 Butters, Jul 10, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
    Too many Allied second-raters/ prima donnas and not enough far more deserving Germans and Soviets, IMO.

    US: Marshall
    Arnold
    Pete Quesada, 9th AF
    Patton
    Nimitz
    Spruance
    Halsey

    GB: Dowding
    Slim
    Alexander

    SU: Zhukov
    Konev
    Chuikov
    Rokossovsky
    Dovater

    Germany: Manstein
    Guderion
    Balck
    Rundstedt
    Rommel
    Kesselring
    Manteuffel
    Moelders

    JL

    EDIT: Just remembered that this was about ALLIED leadership...:oops:
     
  17. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    #17 Soundbreaker Welch?, Jul 10, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
    I like Churchill better than Roosevelt, so I think I'll give the vote to him. Churchill had to deal with enemy attacks on his own soil, even on his goverment places, so he had to show great leadership in action under fire. He was also a great positive force on Britain and even the US. Roosevelt did a lot too, no doubt about it, after Pearl Harbor to get Americans fightig, but I think his input was perhaps less crucial.

    Sure, Stalin had a tough time but I am NOT going to give my vote to him. Many of his actions had terrible effects on Russia and even the rest of the world.

    I guess Ike probably deserves the title for Allied military commanders, but there were quite a few good ones out there.
     
  18. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    #18 wheelsup_cavu, Jul 10, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
    Not to disparage Zhukov too much but he was a master of sending men into the meat grinder.
    Casualties meant nothing to him.
    If a minefield was in the way he was willing to send his men through it first.
    They could be more easily replaced than the equipment.

    I don't beleive he would have made it as a US or Britsh commander as his tolerance for casualties would have been considered too high, IMO.
    You need a Stallin or Hitler to accept his type of command style.


    Wheels
     
  19. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    Wow, so much to respond to on this thread!

    Good topic!

    First off, let me suggest that you should split up "Military Leadership" into "Strategic" "Tactical" {ie, decides war strategy, WHERE to attack and WHAT troops to send there.}

    So "Strategic" vs "Tactical" would be like Eiesenhower Dowding vs Patton Park

    Also you shoud split up into 3 branches of service.

    So "Military Leader" would be split into 6 categories, 3 Strategic {Land, Sea Air} and 3 tactical

    There could also be a special categorie for "builder" {Marshall, Beaverbrook etc}

    Eisenhower wasn't the best Strategic commander, but I do give him top marks for leadership in dealing with the French and all the other nations. No British general could have done this, given the bias against them

    Uh, he didn't design the plan to defeat the Nazis, that was a British plan. The American plan was a recipe for disaster.... :eek:

    Eisenhower did have a good temperment for a leader. Monty? By the time in the war that he was given army command the British could not afford to take casualties, he was careful for a reason

    Ok, time too start ruffling some feathers... :eek:

    I pick Churchill as one of Britains greatest political leaders, but also one of the WORST British military leaders ever! {He was Minister of Defence}
     
  20. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    Don't guess Soundbreaker, pick the best guy and be prepared to explain WHY he was so good! :D


    Ok, I am going to shock some more sensibilities here... The US Strategic Command was the WORST of all the Allies, and if the American plans had been follow instead of the British, there is a good chance of the Allies LOSING the war in the ETO.


    However, first off, I'm going to give top marks to Marshall as administrator as Parsifal mentioned, for building up the Army, annd also top marks for re-building Europe, as mentioned before.

    However he was poor at Military planning

    The "Top 4" US leadership.

    1.) Sec. of War - Stimson.
    2.) Chief of the Army - Gen. Marshall
    3.) Head of the Navy - Adm. King
    4.) US Air Force - Gen Arnold

    As Sec of State, Stimson closed down the US cryptoanalysis program, as he said "Gentlemem don't read each other's mail"

    After the attack on Pearl Harbour, he was considering defending the Rocky Mountains if Japan invaded the west coast... :rolleyes:

    Both Stimson Marshall were solidly if favor of a direct 1942 attack in France,{Sledgehammer} to "Help the Soviets". This plan was an unmitigated disaster, and would have actually made things WORSE for the Soviets. In later years, Eisenhower {who had been asked to draw up the plan} was honest enough to admit that the planned attack was hopeless, and by taking up to a quarter-million casualties, may have prompted the US Congress to withdraw from the European war. :shock:

    For preparation for Torch, Marshall wanted to mount an attack against only against the Atlantic coast, gaining only a single port, {Casablanca}, and then use the rickety French built railway to supply the entire army over 1,000 miles distant. The British insisted that the ports of Oran Algiers be attacked at the same time, to prevent the defenders from destroying port facilities, and to provide 2 more ports over 400 miles farther East.

    Admiral King was perhaps the worst of the US leaders, his refusal to organize convoys, or to allow any coastal blackouts doomed hundres of thousands of tons of Allied shipping. Even when shipping companies offered to provide maritime air patrol, he refused to allow it.
     
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