Best Allied World War II general?

Zip

Jan 2018
563
Comancheria
I see your Zhukov and I raise you a Rokossovsky and a Konev!


Spruance. Halsey was indeed a bull but Spruance actually won major battles (Midway, Marianas).
Halsey's leadership during the Guadalcanal campaign was vital. And Guadalcanal was possibly the most important campaign of the Pacific war.
 
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Oct 2019
20
Near the dogbowl
Halsey's leadership during the Guadalcanal campaign was vital. And Guadalcanal was possibly the most important campaign of the Pacific war.
I'd proffer Midway was substantially more important. Which Guadalcanal actions were Halsey involved with? edit, was able to find it. Excellent, I did not know he ran the Guadalcanal campaign at that time.
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,336
here
It we count Admirals I would put in a word for a much overlooked Admiral, Bertram Ramsay.

Not only did he oversee the Dunkirk evacuation - a masterpiece of naval planning on its own - he went on to act as deputy naval commander of the Torch landings and Naval Commanding Officer, Eastern Task Force for the Husky landings.

As a result when it came time to appoint a commander of the largest naval invasion ever - D-day - he was the obvious, and as it turned out the perfect, choice. Two of the largest naval operations of the war, including the largest naval invasion of all time, and he commanded them both in a fashion that made both operations legendary.

I would argue as a result that as a naval leader he was without peer in WWII.
And if we count Generals of air forces then who might qualify for top spot? Spaatz? LeMay? Tedder?

It seems these discussions usually revolve around land generals rather than commanders at sea or commanders of air forces. Are land generals more deserving of praise than their counterparts? Are the contributions of land generals typically and generally more vital?
 
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May 2019
145
Northern and Western hemispheres
He was more of an air general but I would have to say Sir Arthur "Bomber Do It Again" Harris.

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Dec 2014
448
Wales
And if we count Generals of air forces then who might qualify for top spot? Spaatz? LeMay? Tedder?

It seems these discussions usually revolve around land generals rather than commanders at sea or commanders of air forces. Are land generals more deserving of praise than their counterparts? Are the contributions of land generals typically and generally more vital?
Indeed, this is why I find Dowding interesting. As the British commander during the Battle of Britain he oversaw a conflict fought entirely in the air, yet after gaining victory was promptly replaced. I can't think of a single instance where a Land General won such an important victory only to be immediately relieved of command and retired completely while the war was at its height.

As far as the contributions of the generals - well as far as the western allies are concerned I can't think of a single front on which every man and bullet wasn't entirely dependant on the Navy to get them there, put them ashore, and then ensure they received all the supplies they needed, and all of this made possible only because of massive air support. I'm not knocking the work or skill of the Generals, just saying - at least as far as the Western Allies were concerned - that often they succeeded only because other men in the Navy and Air Force were performing an exceptional job as well.

As far as Generals go, I would put forward Simpson of the Ninth army. Not as flashy or such a press darling as others, but an exceptionally solid, effective General, who not only managed to do an incredibly good job but actually managed to get along with everyone else, earning praise and respect from both Bradley and Montgomery (something exceptional in itself).
 
May 2018
880
Michigan
A good capable general, but I wouldn't class him as great.
His greatest victory was in a battle where his forces just needed to hold some key positions and the Japanese army would starve to death, which is what happened.
That doesn't necessarily take away from Slim: did he set up that situation? To a certain extent, IIRC, in that he fell back to extend the Japanese supply lines.

However, his strategy wasn't too dissimilar to Wellington in Portugal against Massena.
 
Oct 2015
924
Virginia
Actually, Slim's real masterpiece was the Mandalay-Meiktila-Rangoon campaign (Jan-May 1945), which followed and exploited the victory at Imphal-Kohima.
 
Oct 2011
467
Croatia
And if we count Generals of air forces then who might qualify for top spot? Spaatz? LeMay? Tedder?

It seems these discussions usually revolve around land generals rather than commanders at sea or commanders of air forces. Are land generals more deserving of praise than their counterparts? Are the contributions of land generals typically and generally more vital?
Humans live on land. Sea control is also crucial for land and general wartime operation. Control of the air however is only important insomuch as it enables control of the land or sea. So it is kinda logical that air commanders get less spotlight.