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Ervin Rommel

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    Posted: 08 Jul 2013 at 01:53

 Below is a quote from "The Second World War" by Antony Beevor

"Hitler liked the fact that Rommel was no aristocrat. He spoke with a marked Swabian accent and was something of an adventurer. His superior in the army and many contemporaries consider him an arrogant publicity seeker. They also distrust the way he exploited the admiration of Hitler and Goebbels to bypass the chain of command.  The isolated camping in Africa ,as Rommel quickly sensed, presented the perfect opportunity to ignore instructions from the OKH. In addition, Rommel did not make himself popular by arguing that, instead of invading Greece, Germany should have diverted those forces to North Africa in order to seize the Middle East and its oil"

 

This only confirm my opinion that Rommel was a very capable divisional commander but he was totally unsuited to command independent area. His constant demand for materiel and reinforcement with total disregard to logistic problems did not mark him as an outstanding commander. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Apr 2014 at 08:53
Erwin Rommel was one of Nazi Germanys best tacticians during WWII.
 
It wasn't Rommel who didn't understand the logistical problems associated with the North Africa campaign, but Goerings continual boasts that the Luftwaffe could supply the troops.
 
Goerings incompetence and lies came unravelled on the Eastern Front when, despite his lies to Hitler, the Nazi soldiers starved, were not supplied with proper clothing etc., and had no ammunition. Thousands surrendered.


Edited by toyomotor - 14 Apr 2014 at 08:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote beorna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Apr 2014 at 13:23
Rommel is often critizised, that he didn't sit and wait what the Allies would do. Well, maybe these men are right, but who can say this with certainty? Rommel didn't get much support and the African theatre had no priority for the nazis. One has to see, that Rommel's force was usually inferior in men and material. That Africa would be lost was obvious. Rommel saw the only chance not to lose in an offensive strategy. This failed in the end, but this doesn't mean it was the wrong decision. 
Etiam si omnes, ego non.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2014 at 07:51
beorna: Are you serious?
 
"This failed in the end, but this doesn't mean it was the wrong decision."
 
Of course it was the wrong decision, correct decisions are proven correct because they succeed.
 
Hitlers personal intervention in military strategies and tactics amounted in most cases to micro-management. He knew nothing about battle tactics and quite often over-ruled his military commanders.
 
His troop deployments were stretched at times, because Hitlers over-riding aim was world dominance, and he lost sight of what was immediately in front of him.
 
 
 
 
I often wonder why I try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote beorna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2014 at 08:30
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

beorna: Are you serious?

I am mostly serious.
 
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

"This failed in the end, but this doesn't mean it was the wrong decision."
 
Of course it was the wrong decision, correct decisions are proven correct because they succeed.

How can one say that it was the wrong decision, if nobody can say, that a different decision would have been succesful?
 
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Hitlers personal intervention in military strategies and tactics amounted in most cases to micro-management. He knew nothing about battle tactics and quite often over-ruled his military commanders.

Hitler never visited a military academy, but there a plenty of bad military leader who did visit an academy, too. The main german mistake was, that they played vabanque. They attacked Poland, allthough Germany was inferior to Poland, France and Britain. Hitler just hoped, that France and Britain would do nothing. And the best example for a vabanque game was the attack on the SU.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2014 at 11:06
"How can one say that it was the wrong decision, if nobody can say, that a different decision would have been successful?"
 
 
If one makes a decision, the result of which he loses, it's obviously the wrong decision.
 
The fact that no other decision was made doesn't mitigate in favour of a wrong decision.
 
There are always three options;
 
a. Do this;
b. Do that; and
c. Do nothing.
 
Two of the above are wrong.
 
Or, if you wish to put it another way, only one of the above is the correct decision.


Edited by toyomotor - 15 Apr 2014 at 11:08
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote beorna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2014 at 18:35
Rommel did not decide to go to Africa and he did not decide to get no priority. he made the best out of the situation he was put in.

If you have to cross a railway bridge, because there is a bushfire in your back and after you have entered a train is coming you have three decision, well even four. Go back into the fire - wrong decision. Jump to the right off the bridge, jump to the left off the bridge - wrong, cos the bridge is too high and you can do nothing and wait - wrong decision too, cos the train will smash you.
Sometimes there is no right decision, there is just the choice how you perform.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 2014 at 02:55
beorna:
 
The point is, surely, not to be trapped by a bushfire in the first place. Very poor planning!
 
If the bushfire is closing, never leave oneself with only one option. Poor rationalisation!
 
Always plan for more than one avenue of escape.
 
Back to the point, I agree that Rommel probably made the best of a bad situation, but the situation was exacerbated by the incompetence of those above him who clearly didn't consider the logistics.
 
Rommels major failing in life was the failure to assassinate Hitler, (a failure he shared with others) and a lot earlier in the war.
 
And here am I, speaking in favour of one of my countrys war time enemies. Smile
 
There is a saying in English speaking countries about the seven "P's".
 
Proper Preparation and Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
 
It's as true now as it was then.
 
So, put the bushfire out, and check the railway timetable.Smile


Edited by toyomotor - 16 Apr 2014 at 03:00
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote beorna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 2014 at 11:07
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

beorna:
 
The point is, surely, not to be trapped by a bushfire in the first place. Very poor planning!
 
If the bushfire is closing, never leave oneself with only one option. Poor rationalisation!
 
Always plan for more than one avenue of escape.
 
Back to the point, I agree that Rommel probably made the best of a bad situation, but the situation was exacerbated by the incompetence of those above him who clearly didn't consider the logistics.
 
Rommels major failing in life was the failure to assassinate Hitler, (a failure he shared with others) and a lot earlier in the war.
 
And here am I, speaking in favour of one of my countrys war time enemies. Smile
 
There is a saying in English speaking countries about the seven "P's".
 
Proper Preparation and Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
 
It's as true now as it was then.
 
So, put the bushfire out, and check the railway timetable.Smile

:)
I absolutely agree with you, that a lot of mistakes were made, beginning with at least january 1933. Some of these mistakes are typically for autoritarian or totalitarian states. Some mistakes are born out of the german situation in the 20th century. The army was small during the Weimar Republic, dishonered. The most officers were conservatives. When Hitler came into power he build up the Wehrmacht, he gave them back pride and a lot of officers were promoted by the nazis. that doesn't mean, that they became nazis, but you don't bite the hand that feeds you. The top ranking officers were replaced by hitler with obedient people, so that the resistance was small.
So there was no opposition to Hitler's plans and those who did had to shut up or were even replaced. Those who knew it better kept silence, not to risk their career.
Of course there was as well a logistic problem. WWI had already shown it, Germany can have a strong army, but not strong enough to face too many enemies and germany had especially not enough ressources for a modern war.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 2014 at 11:39
beorna:
You're quite right in what you say. No argument from me.
 
I've always had a lot of respect for Rommel and  Lieutenant Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, although there were others, I accept, worthy of the same respect.
I often wonder why I try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2017 at 22:00
I get a sense in which Erwin Rommel was amazing, he would extend his attack beyond his supply lines, capture British military supplies and keep on going.  Eventually, Montgomery's methodical approach made it so that Rommel couldn't do this at Al Alamein, and Rommel was defeated.

But, it is not really clear to me, what Rommel was doing in Africa, supporting the Italians in Libya I suppose?  Furthermore, the fact that Rommel was successful (and the fact that he was Hitler's darling) meant that Germany had to devote resources to an area that really was not much of an interest to them.  If Rommel was a little less brilliant perhaps the Germans wouldn't have gotten sucked into the campaign there.  And of course, Rommel got out, but suspect the average soldier was stuck there, which was a better place the Eastern Front, but the end of the road, nevertheless.

I am I fair in my assessment?  What parts do I have wrong? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dark Warrior Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Oct 2017 at 16:44
''I get a sense in which Erwin Rommel was amazing, he would extend his attack beyond his supply lines, capture British military supplies and keep on going.  Eventually, Montgomery's methodical approach made it so that Rommel couldn't do this at Al Alamein, and Rommel was defeated.''

Yep commonly referred to as audacity. And yes in a very generic response from me would be correct. But as I note that's a tremendous generalization on my part as the factors were numerous and complex and shifting as the campaign in NA developed. In the overall start of the entire conflict.

And initially it was to stiffen the backs of AH Italian allies. Correct.

Best autobio on him to date: David Fraser's "Knights Cross...etal."

Rommel's original classic "Attacks" is now pdf...just find it on google etc.
Bellator est tibi morte.
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