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Top allied generals: Which one is best?

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Chewy_Barry, Apr 15, 2018.

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Which top allied general was best?

  1. Zhukov

    25.0%
  2. Montgomery

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Eisenhower

    75.0%
  1. Chewy_Barry

    Chewy_Barry Member

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    During the second world each major allied country had a top general over seeing the entire armies operation, these generals were Marshal Zhukov for the USSR, General Eisenhower for the united states and Field marshal Montgomery for the UK. There is major dispute on which one of these generals was the best and the goal of this post is to decide that via a poll/debate but first I feel its necessary to provide an overview of each ones tactics.

    Marshal Zhukov:
    Marshal Zhukov is a special case here considering he is widely hailed as the defeater of Germany (after Stalin and the US) even though he wasn't that much more humane than his German counterparts. Zhukov relied on old school cavalry tactics breaking through enemy lines using his sheer numbers to match his enemies skill and equipment, it is a lesser known fact that Zhukov had little to no regard for the lives of his soldiers when he was heard saying that "men can die, Russian mothers will give us new ones".

    General Eisenhower:
    Eisenhower's tactics were rather simple and the most modern out of any one of these generals, not requiring much explaining he used a combination of airpower, armour and infantry in blitzkrieg style attacks to defeat his enemy

    Field Marshal Montgomery.
    Field Marshal Montgomery has a troubled legacy having earned his fame in north Africa after defeating Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps with very careful tactics, even once disobeying Churchill's order to go on the offensive when he didn't have the sufficient resources to do so. However after the Normandy landings everything that made him a good general seemed to vanish, this became clearly evident in operation market garden, as well as many other instances.

    Please feel free to debate, hope you enjoyed the post! :)
     
  2. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Clearly, Major General Lloyd Fredendall is a great choice. He lured the Germans into Kasserine Pass and was set to spring a trap to capture or kill them all when Patton got wind of it, all the way from, Morocco, got the trap halted to get credit for himself and stole Fredenhall's job and legacy !!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  3. Chewy_Barry

    Chewy_Barry Member

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    I havent heard of that story but I'm aware that Patton at times was "unfair" to put it lightly to his other comrades. So although Major General Lloyd Fredenhall deserves recognition for his accomplishments he was not the overall commander of American forces in Europe, that was Eisenhower's job.
     
  4. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I think there are other generals not mentioned that were better, but obviously had slightly less important roles leading them to be largely forgotten. I chose Zhukov, simply because he turned around the Red army's way of losing millions of men, and lots of ground, to inflicting high casualties and racing across Eastern Europe to ultimately defeat Germany. Not that Montgomery and Eisenhower weren't good, I just think Zhukov had better overall success. Welcome to the forums by the way chewy!
     
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  5. Chewy_Barry

    Chewy_Barry Member

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    Well, Zhukov did have greater success than Montgomery or Eisenhower it doesn't necessarily mean he was a better general, his success was mostly due to his huge numbers and even then he still had massive casualties. Now on the topic of other generals with lesser roles I'm completely aware that there were generals in ww2 that were much more competent than the 3 I mention and their success should never be forgotten nor undermined. Yet the matter is they are simply too many to list so I like to keep it at the top few. Anyways thanks for the warm welcome! :)
     
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  6. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Chewy, the reason you have not heard the Fredenhall story is I just made it up as I was typing, just being silly and please accept my apologies! I tend to make light of the vainglorious generals such as Patton, Mc Arthur, and Mark Clark but really should not, history calls for an honest assessment. Perhaps black or gallows humor prevailing!

    Gaines
     
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  7. Chewy_Barry

    Chewy_Barry Member

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    Lol, no apologies required. I myself make fun of people like that too many times to be honest, and plus I had a laugh. :)
     
  8. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    This is just my opinion, but i think a general should be graded by his success, no matter the costs and controversies, they are hired to win the battles, and Zhukov used whatever means necessary to win. It is terrible that so many Russian lives were sacrificed, but without those sacrifices, it could have been a much longer and bloodier war for all involved.
     
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  9. Chewy_Barry

    Chewy_Barry Member

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    Of course a general must be graded by his success but it also matters how that success is achieved, granted the Russian sacrifices greatly helped the war but many could be avoided, one example is that the red army fought many pointless and unnecessary battles just to get to berlin before Eisenhower does.
     
  10. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    I'm curious to know what accomplishments Fredendall deserves recognition for. All I can think of is not being sent to forced early retirement following his disastrous corps command in North Africa.
     
  11. Chewy_Barry

    Chewy_Barry Member

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    I was responding to gtblackwell about what he said but it turned out to be a joke. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
     
  12. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Absolutely nothing was pointless or unnecessary to the Soviet plan if it contributed to reaching Berlin first.
    Want to feel the wrath of high command, political, propagandic, and military?
    Get there second.
     
  13. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    The fate of Berlin was already decided at Yalta when the political decision was made to give East Germany (and eastern Europe) to the Soviets. Eisenhower (and likely Bradley and Montgomery) knew Berlin was off the table, but few of the other troops did until they reached the Elbe.

    .
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    What defines "best" in this sense?
    Eisenhower was extremely well suited for the job he had. He might not have been the best at directing military formations in the field but he kept the Western allies operating together and led the team that destroyed the German army in the West.
    Montgomery was usually (Market Garden being one of if not the only serious exception) a very conservative general. He tended to try to insure a battle was won before he fought it. In many ways he was the General the British needed but his conservative nature isn't such that I would consider him the "best" of the three (that's a bias of mine though).
    While Zhukov didn't need to hold a coalition of nations together he did have to keep Stalin happy as well as direct increasing amounts of the Red Army and presided over the destruction of the German army in the East. He lost to many troops (again a personal bias) for me to consider him the "best" though.

    If we had a well defined definition of "best" I might venture to put up a name but at this point ... Wasn't Marshal Ike superior in any case?
     
  15. Chewy_Barry

    Chewy_Barry Member

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    Best in my opinion is having most battles won with least casualties, and yes Montgomery was a very careful general with the exception of market garden. The matter is that market garden was such a large scale operation that its failure really ruins his record, so yes I agree with you that Eisenhower was the best out of the 3.
     
  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    What battles did Eisenhower win?
     
  17. Chewy_Barry

    Chewy_Barry Member

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    He was the commander of the western allies, so in essence he practically won the war.
     
  18. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Was he? Marshal was his superior wasn't he? Ike didn't have anything to say about what happened in the Pacific either.

    Isn't that kind of like giving FDR, Churchill, and Stalin the credit for winning battles and the war? Certainly they played a major role but not at the level of winning battles.
     
  19. Chewy_Barry

    Chewy_Barry Member

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    No, Eisenhower didn't fight in th pacific and he was Montgomery's superior, not the other way around.
     
  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Where did I say the Monty was Ike's superior?
     

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