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Old June 23rd, 2013, 11:14 AM   #171

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I mean for not showing some guts and ordering a breakout while they still had the chance to extricate at least some of the 6th.
So you mean admitting he'd lost the campaign and setting himself up for an SS bullet as a retirement plan. Winter-Storm was about relieving the siege so the German army could stay on the Volga, not about giving it a means to skeedaddle with grace.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 11:46 AM   #172

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Rommel exploited plenty of weaknesses when Monty was there. If he had had a fraction of the supplies he needed he'd have kicked Monty all the way to Cairo.
The only "weakness" of Monty that Rommel exploited was his methodical pursuit. This allowed Rommel to beat Monty to Tunisia and rapidly defeat the Americans at Kasserine Pass...

However, this exploitation had a major weakness... it didn't defeat Monty and Rommel was still trapped in Africa as eventually Monty's forces arrived at the Mareth Line and the victory at Kasserine Pass was negated.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 11:56 AM   #173

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Yes ok, but he still blundered like an idiot. He greatly overestimated the ability of artillery to destroy barbed wire, believed that cavalry was more useful than tanks, but worst of all he made his soldiers walk slowly towards the enemy trench instead of running. This gave the Germans time to set up their machine-guns and decimate the advancing British. The first day of the Somme was the costliest day in British military history. Then after the failures of the Somme he goes and tries the same thing at Passchendaele.
I'm no fan of Haig, but this is the popular view and it's not fair. The British did not "walk slowly" toward the enemy, and Haig certainly didn't "make them". The few who were caught this way were forming up behind their own lines. The British ran, moved from cover to cover, crept up to the enemy...they weren't stupid or suicidal.

That said, the Somme and Passchendaele were disasters. Haig aimed for a speedy breakthrough yet fought for months for a few square miles of mud.
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Old June 24th, 2013, 02:26 AM   #174
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The only "weakness" of Monty that Rommel exploited was his methodical pursuit. This allowed Rommel to beat Monty to Tunisia and rapidly defeat the Americans at Kasserine Pass...

However, this exploitation had a major weakness... it didn't defeat Monty and Rommel was still trapped in Africa as eventually Monty's forces arrived at the Mareth Line and the victory at Kasserine Pass was negated.
Factually true perhaps. However, let's theorise for a minute. Remember that is all it is. As one of my old tutors liked to say, it can be a useful exercise to see truly how a general operated and just how effective or not he was.

Put yourself in Rommel's shoes. You've been promised over and over again that you'll get more and more supplies. You actually come to know that there are enough setting out from Southern Italy etc but they're being sunk by the RAF and the Navy. So then after more and more impressive victories, you being heralded as a hero in Germany you're sure that you'll finally be given some real attention by the jumped up Nazi's running the show because you know they love and need heroes. Also you probably supposed they can see that if we get kicked out of Africa all together we'll have almost no oil and Germany will have more than enough. After all it was the main reason Rommel lost, fuel and that's it. Nothing to do with Monty.

If Monty had carried on the way he did, which he would no doubt have, if not gotten worse and Rommel had an iota of the supplies that were sank in the med then Monty would have been turkey. There is no way Monty could have know for sure that Rommel was going to be forever seen as an exploitable side show by the Germans and no supplies of any significance ever get to him. That they would never be able to take Malta, which if they had would have been the end for us in Africa. Or that at the crucial moment when he could have pushed us to back to the borders of Egypt and rallied for another attack to kick us back into India and then into the sea (hyperbole) that he would run out of fuel and almost have to be rationing the ammo.

I know i know, a lot of ifs and buts. However this shows that Monty didn't so much have weaknesses exposed. He was shown in an arena like the desert, fighting a mobile battle, that he was a weakness himself. If things had progressed as both men were presuming they would then Monty would have been cashiered in disgrace as an ineffective defensive bulwark at best or just a coward.

This shows that given a level playing field or if promises that Rommel had lent on had come true then things would have ended up with us most likely suing for peace. Sad fact is that when you tend to lean on promises and plans that's when they tend to fall apart. Just as they did for Rommel. Monty rode his luck but not in an admirable roll of the dice kind of way. No ingenuity or savvy ideas. Just doing the only things his inflexible mind knew best and he go so very very very lucky.

Like i said this is all theorising. However it shows in an extrapolated version of the theatre of war that both men were assuming, if not sure, would materialise. More supplies for the Germans and so on. The above would have occurred. It is in this way that theorising in history can be helpful.
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Old June 24th, 2013, 02:27 AM   #175
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Rommel's battles against Monty were rather one sided...he lost all of them.
Why though?
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Old June 24th, 2013, 02:39 AM   #176
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How about that American general who fought sided with the Union, Ambrose Burnside? Here is his offical strategy:

"We shall attack the enemy on the left and on the right. If all fails, we shall just attack them on the front."

Simply brilliant, huh?
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Old June 24th, 2013, 03:05 AM   #177

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How about that American general who fought sided with the Union, Ambrose Burnside? Here is his offical strategy:

"We shall attack the enemy on the left and on the right. If all fails, we shall just attack them on the front."

Simply brilliant, huh?
Sounds very much like Lee at Gettysburg.
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Old June 24th, 2013, 03:51 AM   #178

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Put yourself in Rommel's shoes. You've been promised over and over again that you'll get more and more supplies.
Actually, his logistical staff warned him about the difficulties in supplying him once he past the Egyptian border.
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You actually come to know that there are enough setting out from Southern Italy etc but they're being sunk by the RAF and the Navy.
Only 10% in total was lost this way, the major problem was the 1,000 mile distance from the major Axis ports in Africa.
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So then after more and more impressive victories, you being heralded as a hero in Germany you're sure that you'll finally be given some real attention by the jumped up Nazi's running the show because you know they love and need heroes. Also you probably supposed they can see that if we get kicked out of Africa all together we'll have almost no oil and Germany will have more than enough.
Kicking the British CW out of all of Africa was way beyond the capabilities of the Axis,
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After all it was the main reason Rommel lost, fuel and that's it. Nothing to do with Monty.
Odd that the lack of fuel didn't seem to effect Rommel that badly before Monty arrived.

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If Monty had carried on the way he did, which he would no doubt have, if not gotten worse and Rommel had an iota of the supplies that were sank in the med then Monty would have been turkey. There is no way Monty could have know for sure that Rommel was going to be forever seen as an exploitable side show by the Germans and no supplies of any significance ever get to him.
I'm sorry, but I don't quite know what you are getting at with this
Monty inflicted a defeat on Rommel within weeks of arriving in the desert, and things never got better for Rommel.

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I know i know, a lot of ifs and buts. However this shows that Monty didn't so much have weaknesses exposed. He was shown in an arena like the desert, fighting a mobile battle, that he was a weakness himself. If things had progressed as both men were presuming they would then Monty would have been cashiered in disgrace as an ineffective defensive bulwark at best or just a coward.
That's nonsense.
Monty kicked Rommel's butt time and time again. At the Second Battle of El Alamein Rommel lost nearly 60% of his manpower, and over 90% of his equipment, and the only reason he escaped with the rest was because he ran away very quickly ,the Eighth Army advanced 780 miles in the 20 days after the battle.

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Monty rode his luck but not in an admirable roll of the dice kind of way. No ingenuity or savvy ideas. Just doing the only things his inflexible mind knew best and he go so very very very lucky.
You are merely showing with that comment that you don't have a clue how Monty fought his battles, luck had nothing to do with it.
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Old June 24th, 2013, 04:41 AM   #179
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Sounds very much like Lee at Gettysburg.
There is a difference between an attack through the center, and a frontal assault...
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Old June 24th, 2013, 05:19 AM   #180
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i find it highly unusual that some people are argueing that monty of all people is the worst general in history. sure he wasent perfect, but he is far from being the worst in history in my mind at least
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