Best American Army Commander WWII?

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Jan 2018
563
Comancheria
Eichelberger? Truscott? Simpson? Patton? Patch? Krueger? There were a number of pretty capable ones. I ruled out Hodges, Clark, Buckner and Stillwell. Although since Hodges was the ETO guy chosen to go to the Pacific I might be missing something.
 
Oct 2015
924
Virginia
Patton for sure. Truscott if he had more opportunities. Collins an interesting might-have-been, as he was the best corps commander.
 
Jan 2018
70
Iowa
Patton was a great tactical commander but he made some mistakes along the way - as did most Allied commanders. I liked his aggressiveness especially - but he was not always the best at understanding the logistic realities of what he wanted to do.

The fact the Germans were scared of him clearly added to his value.....

Patton as commander of an Army was a great thing. Not sure I see him being able to pull off something for the Army like LeMay did for the Air Force post WW2 (if Patton had not had his somewhat suspicious accident).
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,575
Dispargum
Not sure I see him being able to pull off something for the Army like LeMay did for the Air Force post WW2 (if Patton had not had his somewhat suspicious accident).
I think Patton burned his bridges during the war. That flamboyant prima dona persona that he adopted after Pearl Harbor made a lot of enemies in the officer corps. I suspect he knew that WW2 would be the pinnacle of his career and of his life. He did not expect to have a post-war career.
 

Zip

Jan 2018
563
Comancheria
I kind of favor Eichelberger myself, his 8th Army was very impressive in the Phillipines. He and Krueger (commander of the 6th Army) suffer in the public imagination because they worked for MacArhur and because the average American seems unaware the Army fought the Japanese.
 

Asherman

Forum Staff
May 2013
3,410
Albuquerque, NM
On the Allied side, no one approached George C. Marshal in importance to the entire war effort around the globe. General Marshal had close ties with his friend and mentor, General Pershing and was his aide-de-camp during the Great War. Marshal, a product of VMI, was a keen observer who kept neat notes on everyone in the Army when paths crossed. Between the wars he became Chief of Staff, and it was he who ordered MacArthur to clear the Bonus Marchers from their make-do squats. He arranged MacArthur to comand the military forces of the Philippines. He was impressed with Eisenhower's quiet and effective leadership during the Louisiana Exercises. He put Patton together to work out the Army's armored doctrines.

As war approached preparations were made, and often it was Marshal's approach that was chosen. Both FDR and Churchill depended on Marshal's ability to understand and value strategic planning. Marshal, for all his honors had never served as a combat commander ... it was his primary goal in life, but he had to sit out directly commanding the Allied Invasion of Europe, a Plan similiar to those he was originating in 1942. Eisenhower got that distinction.

Out in the Pacific, carriers had revolutionized war at sea. It was the Navy's Theater, while the Army's Theater was Europe. The Naval Chief of Staff reported to ... Marshal, who decided what materials should flow to the island hopping campaign that returned MacArthur to the headlines.

Stalin had endless demands on his allies, but General Marshal held the spigot.

When FDR died, it was General Marshal who brought Truman up to speed on the Manhattan Project, the inner most military secrets regarding US operations around the world, and it was Marshal who guided Truman in those tumultuous early days.

Early days for the Cold War, but the final days of the Axis. It was the early days of reconstruction, and the numbers of undocumented persons in Europe was staggering. There were hardened ordinary criminals, and the world's Intelligence Services entered "middle school" mixed into the rootless crowds. Hunger was still a direct result of War, and Communists were quick to take advantage of the situation. Marshal was retiring from the Army, but Truman valued him so much that Marshal became Secretary of State. Marshal was a star at State; he knew all the actors everywhere, he had un-equaled experience in managing the vast resources of a modern State.

To pass over one the great men of the world during the most formative and important conflict in the history of our species merely because "he never commanded a unit in combat" would be ironic.

Nearly forgot, it was General Marshal who recommended President Truman fire General MacArthur.
 

zincwarrior

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
5,711
Texas
On the Allied side, no one approached George C. Marshal in importance to the entire war effort around the globe. General Marshal had close ties with his friend and mentor, General Pershing and was his aide-de-camp during the Great War. Marshal, a product of VMI, was a keen observer who kept neat notes on everyone in the Army when paths crossed. Between the wars he became Chief of Staff, and it was he who ordered MacArthur to clear the Bonus Marchers from their make-do squats. He arranged MacArthur to comand the military forces of the Philippines. He was impressed with Eisenhower's quiet and effective leadership during the Louisiana Exercises. He put Patton together to work out the Army's armored doctrines.

As war approached preparations were made, and often it was Marshal's approach that was chosen. Both FDR and Churchill depended on Marshal's ability to understand and value strategic planning. Marshal, for all his honors had never served as a combat commander ... it was his primary goal in life, but he had to sit out directly commanding the Allied Invasion of Europe, a Plan similiar to those he was originating in 1942. Eisenhower got that distinction.

Out in the Pacific, carriers had revolutionized war at sea. It was the Navy's Theater, while the Army's Theater was Europe. The Naval Chief of Staff reported to ... Marshal, who decided what materials should flow to the island hopping campaign that returned MacArthur to the headlines.

Stalin had endless demands on his allies, but General Marshal held the spigot.

When FDR died, it was General Marshal who brought Truman up to speed on the Manhattan Project, the inner most military secrets regarding US operations around the world, and it was Marshal who guided Truman in those tumultuous early days.

Early days for the Cold War, but the final days of the Axis. It was the early days of reconstruction, and the numbers of undocumented persons in Europe was staggering. There were hardened ordinary criminals, and the world's Intelligence Services entered "middle school" mixed into the rootless crowds. Hunger was still a direct result of War, and Communists were quick to take advantage of the situation. Marshal was retiring from the Army, but Truman valued him so much that Marshal became Secretary of State. Marshal was a star at State; he knew all the actors everywhere, he had un-equaled experience in managing the vast resources of a modern State.

To pass over one the great men of the world during the most formative and important conflict in the history of our species merely because "he never commanded a unit in combat" would be ironic.

Nearly forgot, it was General Marshal who recommended President Truman fire General MacArthur.
Excellent analysis there.