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Manstein or Rommel?

Discussion in 'World History' started by Gandalf13, Feb 5, 2003.

  1. Gandalf13

    Gandalf13 Imperator

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    Who was a better general, Erwin Rommel or Erich von Manstein?

    I would like to get your opinion on this subject to help with a report I am working on, any replies will be appreciated.:)
     
  2. joespaniel

    joespaniel Unescorted Settler

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    Rommel was very popular with his troops, though reckless at times.
    Many times he ignored orders from Hitler and OKW and attacked/withdrew as he saw fit. Usualy he was correct in these actions though.
    He believed in leading from the front, while many American Staff Officers hid in their CPs.

    Manstein was a master of strategy, the architect of Plan Yellow (France 1940) and the counter-attack to retake Kharkov (1943).

    Some discredit Manstein because of the failed attack to relieve the encircled Paulus at Stalingrad. Operation Winter Storm was doomed from the start, since Hitler forbade Paulus to attack towards the relief column and a blizzard raged during the entire operation.
     
  3. Alcibiaties of Athenae

    Alcibiaties of Athenae Imperator

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    Rommel is THE most over-rated general ever, Joe and I went through several pages on him once. ;)

    Manstein was lightyears ahead of Rommel.
     
  4. Yoda Power

    Yoda Power ✫✫✫✫✫✫✫

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    I agree.
     
  5. amadeus

    amadeus Bring back the Civ2 theme!

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    You can't deny though that Rommel was one magnificant *$!#%@&!
     
  6. Remorseless

    Remorseless Relentless

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    AoA, Joe, it depends on what you want from a general. As veterans, we know the importance of careful planning, marshalling of forces, bringing sufficient logistical support AND maintaining a steady flow of supplies to the fighting troops up front, all based on intelligence concerning disposition of opposing forces, plus the ability to react to the inevitable changes caused by the friction of war. In this respect, I do think Manstein was the superior general, perhaps the best operational thinker the Nazis had. Thank God he stayed on the Eastern front most of the time.

    But as a soldier, I would have preferred to ride with Rommel. The guy had a wild streak, took some ridiculous chances and was only a good, not great operational planner. But he was one hell of a leader of men, like you said joe, he led from the front. He also shared the living conditions of his soldiers, didn't fritter away their lives needlessly, and probably did more with less than any other WWII general. Tactically, his use of anti-tank guns and armor was brilliant.

    It's also a bit of an unfair comparison. Rommel only commanded at Manstein's level while in France, and then was hampered by Hitler's orders. Of course, he was implicated in the 7/20/44 plot to kill Adolf and was forced to commit suicide, so he didn't have a lot of time to counter the enormous Allied army.

    In summation: I'd want Manstein to do the planning. I'd want to follow Erwin into battle.
     
  7. thedirk

    thedirk Master of Stealth

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    I would generally agree with remorseless' comments. Manstein was the better general.
     
  8. joespaniel

    joespaniel Unescorted Settler

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    I'll agree with that.

    And that was a war, one that did not get fought to a decisive conclusion either.

    However, since we have a peace treaty and enjoy friendly relations, I see no need to resume hostilities.

    :D :lol:
     
  9. insurgent

    insurgent Exhausted

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    Manstein, no doubt. Rommel was good, very good, but most of his succes relied on the moral boost his presence gave to the soldiers. He was bold, innovative, but not a strategic genius. He recognised that and pledged allegiance to a potential Manstein-led military government to coup off Hitler. Of course Manstein didn't want this and it never came, but the fact remains that Rommel recognised Manstein's over-all superiority.
    Manstein was a strategic genius, whose brilliance I have defended eagerly before on this WH forum, but both he and Rommel were cowards when it came to politics and morale - none of them dared to stand up against their master.
    Guderian was a strategic genius too, whose genius is only matched and surpassed by Manstein's. And he was never afraid to take a good fight with Hitler - they became more and more frequent towards the end of the war. But he was a coward in morale and politics too, as his main arguments were not the atrocities of Hitler, but the strategic mistakes of his - and he never dared to try a coup with the other officers...
     
  10. West German

    West German Warlord

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    Manstein was the best streategist of the war and mabye ever.
    But Rommel could rally troops and attacked at the right times.
     
  11. Kentonio

    Kentonio Monkey Lord of Civ III

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    Sorry but that is a little too naive, we have no real information of exactly what was known by either of these men about the atrocities of the nazi regime and even if they had known every last detail, asking a man to commit suicide is a LITTLE strong. Can you imagine the result of a famous general standing up publically at that time and saying the Fuhrer's ideologies were evil and wrong? He'd have been dead in hours. And just remind me how Rommel died again? Forced into suicide after being implicated in a coup to remove Hitler. Yeah what a coward huh. :rolleyes:

    Kentonio
     
  12. stalin006

    stalin006 Deity

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    perhaps both men can be merged into one......napoleon bonaparte
     
  13. insurgent

    insurgent Exhausted

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    Rommel was falsely accused, he was never implicated. That is widely agreed upon.
    And they knew about the exterminations - at least Manstein did. He commented several times on the Sondergruppen and their treatment of Jews and Russians in general. He dared speaking out against Hitler when Hitler couldn't hear it - making it obvious that he knew. But he never dared to face Hitler with it.
    And Rommel was in agreement with Manstein, and he didn't dare to stand up.
    Finally, the fact that a coup probably could have cost them their lives was ten times as good a solution as fighting a war for Hitler, and in effect assisting the policies of the Nazis.
    Of course, things like Prussian military "morale" and honour were important to Manstein, which is probably the reason he didn't do anything. But he isn't exactly famous for not being able to make priorities...
     
  14. Kentonio

    Kentonio Monkey Lord of Civ III

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    That doesnt answer the main point I made does it? IE if any general had publically opposed Hitler they would have been dead very quickly. Thus I disagree very much with calling Manstein a coward for not commiting suicide. To you it may have been '10 times better than fighting a war for the nazi's' but that doesnt mean it seemed like a genius idea to him.

    Kentonio
     
  15. insurgent

    insurgent Exhausted

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    You are of course right. I just like to have the privilege of hindsight... :D
     
  16. Kentonio

    Kentonio Monkey Lord of Civ III

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    Lol, dont we all. :D

    Kentonio
     
  17. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    I would prefer Manstein as Marshal and a slew of field generals under him. That is what you seem to be talking about here. Manstein is Lee to Rommel's Stonewall Jackson. Rommel deserves consideration as one of the elite field commanders, as would Patton for example.

    J
     
  18. EmperorSnefix

    EmperorSnefix Emperor of Evil Empires

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    I think someone just returned from seeing Gods and Generals. Which in my opinion was a good movie. Also, in my opinion you have a fairly accurate statement on your hands.
     
  19. West German

    West German Warlord

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    Excellent statement.
     
  20. Master Zen

    Master Zen Chief Economist

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    I agree, Manstein was the pre-eminent strategist of the Wehrmacht. Rommel was an outstanding field commander. Instead of comparing them, they would've best served together.

    What about Model, he was also a fine commander, and one who actually stood up to Hitler
     

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