Article with list of 20 worst WWII generals.

Jul 2016
9,468
USA
#11
Oh I almost forgot : Courtney Hodges , 1st US Army commander , got his men slaghtered in Huertgen Forest during a seven week long brutal slogging frontal attrition battle , eventually couldn't even reach main objectives-Roer dams-and then in Aachen when 1st Army captured the city only in ruins and caught complately suprised and unwared when Ardennes Offensive stuck and lost control of battle shortly and played no relevant part after he lost his command on 19th December when Montgomery took over command of 1st and 9th US Armies. One staff officer in 1st US Army HQ at Spa described the situation in "...total chaos , no initiative or command from higher up , HQ seems deserted"
Monty didn't take command of First Army, it became subordinated to him instead of Bradley's 12th Army Group, as lines of communication were easier for Monty to control then Bradley. Hodges was still in command, though he wasn't doing a very good job, and is known for having a rather clear nervous breakdown after the Ardenne Offensive started.
 
Jan 2015
5,523
Ontario, Canada
#13
Maxime Weygand was actually a decent commander. The only reason we don't see him as such is because the government capriciously decided to give him command when the war was already going completely against them, and because of Communist and Gaullist propaganda.

I don't think Budyonny was a great commander by any means. However, the disaster in Ukraine was at least equal parts the fault of Stalin for ordering his forces to stand fast along Kiev and then sending more men to reinforce the center at Kiev, rather than the flanks.

Isamu Cho never actually ordered the massacre of the people of Nanjing. We don't know if it was Isamu Cho, but the actual order was to seek out partisans within the city and routed soldiers which were hiding within the city. It was really this event which resulted in the massacre at Nanjing after the army lost cohesion and soldiers started lashing out against the population. Not sure what this has to do with his ability as a commander though. But with Okinawa, I think the idea of launching offensives was an ingrained mentality of the Japanese corps.

Rodolfo Graziani wasn't actually a bad military leader. The only reason we think so is because his woefully unprepared army was routed by the much smaller, more mobile and capable forces of O'Connor. Operation Compass was impressive but you can't catch lightning twice, as we saw with the subsequent German campaign.

MacArthur is a dead horse at this point. He had his good areas and bad areas.

Friedrich Paulus is a dead horse. There was literally nothing he did that was incorrect.

Mark Clark was bad, nothing else to say. Although... how well did he do in Korea?

I'm surprised Courtney Hodges isn't mentioned (well not really). I get that he was loved by both Bradley and Ike, performed well in France... but what did he do against a real obstacle? His performance on the Rhine was actually quite bad. Ultimately his campaign succeeded but he just got lucky the Germans were so overstretched on that front.
 
Jan 2018
375
Sturgeon Lake Mn.
#14
Oh I almost forgot : Courtney Hodges , 1st US Army commander , got his men slaghtered in Huertgen Forest during a seven week long brutal slogging frontal attrition battle , eventually couldn't even reach main objectives-Roer dams-and then in Aachen when 1st Army captured the city only in ruins and caught complately suprised and unwared when Ardennes Offensive stuck and lost control of battle shortly and played no relevant part after he lost his command on 19th December when Montgomery took over command of 1st and 9th US Armies. One staff officer in 1st US Army HQ at Spa described the situation in "...total chaos , no initiative or command from higher up , HQ seems deserted"
Hodges was the highest ranking ETO general that would've fought the Japanese had the United States invaded Japan. The very capable Robert Eichelberger's 8th Army and Hodges' 1st Army would've invaded Honshu in the second phase of the planned invasion. It might be that Washington thought Hodges had learned his lessons in late 1944 and had been a capable commander subsequently. Keep in mind that the American army in western Europe had a short and steep learning curve.

In any event both Marshall and Eisenhower at the end of the war in Europe were keen on Hodges and MacArthur had no objection to him, in Eichelberger's opinion because Hodges was innocuous.
 
Jan 2015
3,319
Front Lines of the Pig War
#15
I don't think Auchinleck should be on the list. He defeated Rommel twice without numerical superiority, and Rommel acknowledged his abilities as being superior to prior British commanders. You could argue that he should have been put in charge of 8th Army with someone above him to manage the high-level aspects of the theatre.
AUK wasnt on the list.
Percival is the only Brit mentioned.

6 Americans though: MacArthur, Clark, Fredandall, McKelvie, Rupertus, and Lucas.
 
Jan 2015
5,523
Ontario, Canada
#17
Another thing about Weygand, since his career is fascinating in that he did very little.
Weygand's reputation was tarnished by the Gaullists post-war. But the thing is Weygand was not only considered one of, if not the best French commander at the time, he also had other accomplishments. Weygand had actually served under Foch in WW1 and was given part of the credit for the victories of 1918, since he was Foch's chief of staff. If ANYONE were to become the chief of the general staff it would have been Weygand.

The reason he was not given the command at the start of WW2 was because he was considered a political quantity or could perhaps carry out a coup against that contemporary regime. So in effect they did a soft purge and posted him to Syria. But looking at it contextually, this also means that Weygand was a major rival for De Gaulle.

Seeing as France was knocked out of the war by 1940 he spent the rest of the war doing basically nothing except for administrative duties. Then after the war he was accused of collaboration with the Germans, and regardless did nothing afterwards because he was already quite old. France's empire was collapsing and the generals which took part in those campaigns were the De Gaulle proteges like Tassigny, Massu and Leclerc.
 
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