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View Poll Results: Who was the best Wehrmacht Commander?
Erich von Manstein 34 41.98%
Heinz Guderian 13 16.05%
Gerd von Rundstedt 2 2.47%
Erwin Rommel 19 23.46%
Kurt Student 0 0%
Walter Model 6 7.41%
Fedor von Bock 0 0%
Karl Donitz 2 2.47%
Albert Kesselring 3 3.70%
Gunther von Kludge 0 0%
Nikolaus von Falkenhorst 0 0%
Hermann Hoth 0 0%
Friedrich Paulus 2 2.47%
Other 0 0%
Voters: 81. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 17th, 2012, 10:57 AM   #41

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Heinz Guderian hands down.

Here is my reasoning: To begin with, Guderian is the father of the Panzers, the man practically came up with Blitzkrieg. Not to mention the fact that he was absolutely brilliant in the field, if Guderian hadn't of disobeyed Hitler's orders and pushed across the Sedan and onto the coast to surprise British and French forces at Dunkirk and etc then I believe the French campaign could have taken a very different turn.

While Guderian's French campaign was highly successful, he also had many great successes on the Eastern Front. I also find that Guderian was one of the few generals who would actually stand up to Hitler on tactical decisions while many other generals sat quietly and wouldn't dare criticize the Fuhrer's orders.

I do think Rommel was an excellent general, but after his loses in North Africa his mentality completely changed.

Quoting Guderian:

"Rommel's sad experiences in Africa had so convinced him of the overwhelming nature of Allied air supremacy that he believed there could be no question of ever moving large formations of troops again. He did not even think it was possible to transfer Panzer or Panzergrenadier formations by night." - Panzer Leader, General Heinz Guderian Pg. 330

Obviously Guderian is referring to the Western Front and the preceding days before the landings in Normandy.

In terms of Manstein, I have always felt that he wasn't as excellent of a tactician as either Rommel or Guderian. Not to take away any of his achievements, Manstein was still a great general, but one who does have a bit of a tarnished record in terms of the Nuremberg Trials. Guderian's trial ended with no evidence of war crimes on him whatsoever, the final conclusion being he was a "professional soldier," nothing more.

But hey, this is just my personal opinion. Also, if anyone wishes to learn more of Guderian, definitely pick up the book I have cited in this post, since it is written by him I found it extremely useful in understanding the man and why he made certain decisions and etc. Not to mention the rather close encounters he had with Hitler were extremely interesting to read, I had no idea the man had such an extreme temper, one that would scare every man in the room
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 02:58 AM   #42
Joined: Feb 2015
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Whermacht Commanders

1) Von Manstein: His counterattack at Kharkov makes him one of the greatest leaders of the war. Zhukov later claimed Von Manstein was a worthy opponent. He was so respected that his post war prison sentence was shortened to help organize a defense of Berlin for the UN against possible Soviet invasion.
2) Guderian: While Rommel gets most of the credit for maneuver warfare it was Guderian who pioneered a lot of its tactics
3) Rommel: Took maneuver warfare to it's pinnacle in France, was amazing in North Africa and probably would have defeated the British if not for lack of supplies and men which limited their effectiveness. Successfully got his army out of Africa which his soldiers considered his greatest achievement. Unlike the Italians who got slaughtered as they retreated out of Africa, Rommel was able to defend his depleted army while fleeing to Italy. And he was responsible for giving Normandy legitimate defenses against invasion. Prior to Rommel taking control of landing defenses "fortress Europe" was a joke. Rommel knew they had to prevent the Allies from establishing a beachhead and the 24 hrs after D day would determine its outcome. And even after being prevented from reinforcing Normandy by Hitler and OKW, he made Normandy a meat grinder all through the summer. With basically no air cover he was able to pin the Allies in a fairly small area of western France for almost 2 months. He prevented Monty from taking Caen until the end of July. Monty was supposed to have Caen by D-day +3. I think that shows that Rommel was the better tactician than Monty and would have beaten him in Africa if not for lack of supplies and men
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 04:41 AM   #43

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Model, for the simple reason of a consistent rate of success across theaters against the best Allied generals of the Soviet Union and the democracies.
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 06:42 PM   #44
Joined: Jul 2013
From: Melbourne
Posts: 940

I'm surprised von Rundstedt got so few votes.
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