How would you rate the following Theater commanders during WWII?

Apr 2014
163
New York, U.S.
Rating system:
0=Very poor
1=Poor
2=below average
3=Average
4= Above average
5=Very good

German
Walter von Brauscitch (Poland and Operation Barbarossa)
Gerd von Rundstedt (Western Front 1944)
Albert Kesselring (Mediterranean Theater of Operations)

British
Harold Alexander (Mediterranean Theater of Operations)
Bernard Montgomery (Normandy campaign)

USA
Dwight Eisenhower (European TO)
Douglas MacArthur (Southwest Pacific TO)
Chester Nimitz (Central Pacific TO)

Soviet Union
Georgi Zhukov

Please feel free to enter any comments about your selections.
 
Nov 2019
125
United States
For various reasons, I am not on the Zhukov is the best ever band wagon. I am attaching a very solid analysis of him by the Hoover Institution:

I think this statement sums up Zhukov very well:
"According to Roberts, though a well-read man, Zhukov was no intellectual or great conceptual thinker. He did have operations that failed. His military moves may have lacked the finesse, say, of those of von Manstein, but he knew how to handle huge masses of men and materiel. “His talent was for deployment, not for creative innovation or imaginative flair in battle,” writes Roberts. Thus, “while Zhukov did not excel as ‘the best ever’ in any one field of military endeavor, he was the best all-round general of the Second World War.”"
 
Nov 2019
125
United States
Of the American Commanders; I rate Eisenhower the greatest, I think that many people denigrate what he was forced to deal with, an American Army that had great potential, but at the beginning of the war was inexperienced both at the individual soldier level and at the officer corps level. He also was responsible for ameliorating the sometimes huge gaps in Allied perspectives on how the war should be fought. In this I remember a comment about the French by General Devers, that sometimes was also true of the British "We fought along side each other in this war, sometimes even on the same side".

Chester Nimitz was truly a great officer as was King, Halsey, and Spruance. Nimitz however had a keen eye for strategy and how to win a war. Halsey was a Nelson amidst other commanders of Navies of the World, but he might not have had Nimitz's eye for the theater strategy.

I am not a big fan of MacArthur, and I say that with some chagrin.
 
Nov 2019
125
United States
As for the German's I am lost in understanding why you don't mention Guderian. I consider him the best overall strategist of the war. He truly understood combined forces tactics, and the usage of armor. This in virtually every battle he fought made him the better general, though in numbers and leadership above him he might be defeated.
 
Nov 2019
125
United States
In other threads I have spoken about how and why Montgomery was a problem. I will give him credit where he is due, but you need to be a team player, and Montgomery never played for the team, he played for Montgomery.
 
Jan 2013
1,067
Toronto, Canada
Of the American Commanders; I rate Eisenhower the greatest, I think that many people denigrate what he was forced to deal with, an American Army that had great potential, but at the beginning of the war was inexperienced both at the individual soldier level and at the officer corps level. He also was responsible for ameliorating the sometimes huge gaps in Allied perspectives on how the war should be fought. In this I remember a comment about the French by General Devers, that sometimes was also true of the British "We fought along side each other in this war, sometimes even on the same side".
I heartily concur. Military organizers and diplomats don't get the credit they deserve.
 
Nov 2019
6
The Arctic
Hi as to the OP I'll start with the British.
Harold Alexander (Mediterranean Theater of Operations) I think he was good maybe even a 4 why you ask? Well Eisenhower frequently gets credit for (sometimes accurately) persevering with Montgomery. Well Alexander unfortunately had the U.S. Version that is Mark Clark. His theater also was the least important so supplies and reinforcements we're scarce.

Bernard Montgomery (Normandy campaign) Technically won this campaign until Ike took over. Since you specifically posted this campaign I won't start the usual 'Monty war' discussing him further.
Finishing off with the Brits I think an honourable mention should go to General's Wavell and Auchinleck in the Mediterranean Theater. Why many would disagree that these we're not Generals that had a great deal of success you have to appreciate this was early war. As a Theater that included not only it's namesake but the African continent and the middle east whilst the Vichy remained a serious threat. The fighting command also had some 40 languages that we're spoken.
 
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Apr 2014
163
New York, U.S.
As for the German's I am lost in understanding why you don't mention Guderian. I consider him the best overall strategist of the war. He truly understood combined forces tactics, and the usage of armor. This in virtually every battle he fought made him the better general, though in numbers and leadership above him he might be defeated.
I did not include Guderian because he never held the post of theater commander.
I do agree with your praise of Guderian since he did develop the principles of mechanized warfare which became the blueprint that everyone else followed.
Oddly enough, it was the ideas of of JFC Fuller, a British officer, that inspired Guderian.
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,864
Stockport Cheshire UK
In other threads I have spoken about how and why Montgomery was a problem. I will give him credit where he is due, but you need to be a team player, and Montgomery never played for the team, he played for Montgomery.
Monty was never a theater commander, While he was the commander of the land forces in Normandy, where even Bradley has written he did a good job, the actual theatre commander was Eisenhower.