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Rommel, the rise and fall of

Discussion in 'Leaders of World War 2' started by aquist, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Not really, since they eventually decided on a compromise - some of the armoured divisions near the beaches, others held as a concentrated reserve - and both of these deployment methods failed to pay off against the Allied invasion. Remember that Rommel really did get what he wanted, in a way. The 21st Panzer Division was close to the beaches and actually went into action on D-Day itself, halting the advance inland from Sword beach by their mere appearance.
     
  2. Greg Pitts

    Greg Pitts New Member

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    I cannot agree with that Roel. Never in WW2 did Rommel "get what he wanted", and Normandy was no exception.

    Rommel knew that, "we must stop them in the water", and even the 21st Panzer was deployed too far to the rear. The rest of the formations were even farther away and could lend no support quick enough to stop the invasion.

    Panzer Lehr suffered drastic casualties moving to the front lines before ever becoming engaged in ground combat. From the German point of view, there was good reason to believe that the invasion was definately coming at Normandy, but the German High Command kept the majority of needed forces elsewere.

    No one has ever summed up the greatness of Rommel better than Winston Churchill when he said in the House of Commons:

    "We have a daring and skillful opponent against us, and if I may say so across the havoc of war, a great General".

    He said it all, with respect to Rommel.


    - Greg

    :smok:
     
  3. canambridge

    canambridge Member

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    Do you think the Brits building up Rommel has anything to do with explaining away some painful defeats?
     
  4. Ricky phpbb3

    Ricky phpbb3 New Member

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    Maybe... :wink:
     
  5. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Well, given a choice between building up Rommel or admitting that they were inept, I daresay that the Brits would choose the former. As would quite a few other people in a similar position. :wink:
     
  6. Greg Pitts

    Greg Pitts New Member

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    No, I don't think the Brits had any excuse for their many defeats at the hands of Rommel. The Brits were defeated time and time again by Rommel. Only when they had 2 to 1 superiority on the ground and 5 to 1 in the air, did they prevail.

    Even after El Elamein, we see one of the greatest retreats in history conducted by Rommel. Had Rommel had the backing he should have had, North Africa would have ben over run, and Turkey "may" have entered the war on the side of the Axis.

    - Greg

    :smok:
     
  7. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    Sorry, but running away as fast as you can, taking almost nothing with you in the way of equipment, and leaving over half your army behind, does not qualify it as one of the greatest retreats in history. :roll:
     
  8. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    I have to agree with redcoat. A more aggressive commander than Montgomery might well have destroyed Rommel's forces completely, instead of following them all the way across North Africa and into Tunisia.
     
  9. jeaguer

    jeaguer New Member

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    the retreat was powerfully helped by the fact that monty was soooo sloooowww

    I like ricky explanation for rommel death , and achtung comment too
    rommel was the plot pin-up
    the plotters had to sell the " new germany " to the western allied AND above all to their own people ,
    we all go about how the war was lost in july 44 , but the german people were out of faithfulness and national pride , massively behind their fuhrer ,
    the public reaction was very critical of the plotters
    it is scarcely to be believed if the future figurehead would not have been approached in some way , this would make rommel a least a passive plotter

    .
     
  10. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    780 miles in twenty days is hardly slow. :cool:

    Its around 39 miles per day, Patton in his breakout from Normandy only managed around 10 miles per day.

    If the Germans had kept up that rate of advance during the invasion of the Soviet Union, they would have been in Moscow by the 18th day :wink:
     
  11. jeaguer

    jeaguer New Member

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    well , let's see november 4 , the breakout to 23 december , the fall of tripoli and the end of the western desert campaign
    that's 49 days , distance would be 1500 km give or take a hundred
    that's ~ 30 kliks a day , so you are basicaly right and I am basicaly wrong
    :p :p :p :p

    of course reorganisation after the battle and preparation before taking tripoli would even shave some days off , so the legend of the inability of monty for hard riding is disproven

    .
     
  12. Greg Pitts

    Greg Pitts New Member

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    Well gentlemen, history states otherwise.

    We will simply have to agree to disagree.

    - Greg

    :smok:
     
  13. smeghead phpbb3

    smeghead phpbb3 New Member

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    Also it must be remembered that retreating (and advancing) in dessert terrain was not necessarily easier than in the forests of Europe... One would think that a big wide open desert meant increased mobility, for tanks perhaps, but for 6 ton lorries it was a different story. The Germans could not retreat across ground that was too rocky, nor could they retreat across the open desert, as previous experience had shown that vast amounts of vehicles travelling across open sand tended to kick up alot of dust, giving away the position to the enemy and causing a very high accident rate among the drivers, who could not see a a thing... Also poor Rommel had to deal with rainfalls which bogged down alot of retreating vehicles, the plus side of this was that Monty was hit even harder...

    a VERY interesting article on the German war in the desert...

    http://www.cgsc.army.mil/carl/resources ... /toppe.asp

    It lists some reasons why Rommel retreating was so damn hard
     
  14. jeaguer

    jeaguer New Member

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    moving an army through only one road must have been a barrel of fun too
    the link by toppe is really good dope
    around sirte , its all salt pans ,then going up to misurata its open scrub , further up between misurata and homs , there is waddis with this loess sand , the surface got the clay on top with the soft sand underneath
    the only way to drive is with a steady pace , if one's slow or rev , the tyres break through the crust and its 20 minutes of fun with the shovel , its not possible to follows another's tracks , the ground is too broken
    the whole area is looking pretty much like Oz with scrubs and even gum trees

    :)
     
  15. Che_Guevara

    Che_Guevara New Member

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    Some rumors said that he did not comitted suicide and fought 20 years later in Vietnam. :roll: :) :smok:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. jeaguer

    jeaguer New Member

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    That's would be the first photo of Rommel cracking a big smile :grin: :grin:


    .
     
  17. Quillin

    Quillin New Member

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    Nah, thats Kesselring on the photo. He's just telling everybody that rommel is out there, sniffing around like a junglefox. :grin:
     

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