Worst Armchair Generals

Nov 2018
265
Denmark
#11
Like it won WW1 ?
Read my reply in # 6.

If and if, but if Hitler had not started an attack on the Soviet Union, Germany had been a tougher nut to crack.

But of course, when the Americans entered the game, it was just a matter of time.
 
Jul 2016
9,318
USA
#12
Read my reply in # 6.

If and if, but if Hitler had not started an attack on the Soviet Union, Germany had been a tougher nut to crack.

But of course, when the Americans entered the game, it was just a matter of time.
Starting a war with the USSR isn't being an armchair general, it was a political decision. In hindsight it was stupid, at the time, considering how strong Germany was after coming across two quick and decisive wins, the issue of having Great Britain and USSR in a possible future alliance (which was surely to happen eventually), plus knowledge of the Purges and the disastrous Winter War, its even questionable that the decision, as seen by available info and evidence that Hitler had in '41, was a truly bad decision. At worse, I think it was overly audacious. But just because a few very pessimistic generals said not to do it doesn't make them right. Those were the same generals that repeatedly said that Germany would suffer a major military defeat invading Poland, and invading France.

An example of being an armchair general is when Hitler denied the initial requests from some of his generals to push to Moscow during early fall in Barbarosa to focus on maintenance, logistics, and for AGM to support AGS with the Kiev encirclement. But even that was a good decision, and his generals that through taking Moscow would cause the collapse of the USSR were full of crap. Moscow isn't Paris, and the USSR wasn't France.
 
Likes: macon
Oct 2018
133
Sweden
#13
Hitler. The occasional audacious bit of brilliance, a knack for fine detail that often escaped the generals who should have known was impressive, but his insistence for the bulwark "fortress city" defense strategy from '43 onward was quite destructive. He should have just appointed Model or some other very competent general as the theater commander for the OstHeer and stuck to the big picture instead of trying to play general.

Churchill. His entire career he believed himself to be greatly skilled but he was the worst sort of amateur. WW1 and WW2 would have been more successful had everyone just ignored what he said. Very good at giving speeches though, he should have just stuck to that!

Pretty much every US president after FDR. I'd say the worst were LBJ (poorly micromanaging Vietnam) and GWB (poorly micromanaging Iraq and Afghanistan).
His speeches when he wasnt drunk out of his mind and his impersonator had to do the speech lol.
 
Oct 2018
133
Sweden
#14
Adolf Hitler.Fortunately, otherwise the German army might have won WWII ?
It is kind of a myth that Hitler was stupid militarily made up by prideful prussian generals that couldnt take accountability for any misstakes they themselves made.
Hitler made misstakes but he also made many right calls that payed off despite not having any formal military education.

When it comes to the stand fast order that saved army group center after the failed battle of moscow because the soviet counterattack would have broken the germans if they didnt dig in and that turned out to be a saving move. Also during and after stalingrad hitler made his soldiers stand their ground nomatter what because the caucassus oil was the only thing that could save germany. They had to miraculously win nomatter what in fall blau or everything was lost innevitably. As long as the germans had the oil for their planes and tanks they would roll over the russians and allies but when it ran out they were doomed.

Like Caligula is said to have made his horse a senator and nero is said to have burnt down rome and danced around in the flames people like to blame everything on the guy ontop because it is convenient and its an easy way to explain things.
Caligula made joked about making his horse a senator, as far as i know his army didnt declare on neptune and nero didnt burn down rome and dance in the flames that is all made up.
 
Jul 2016
9,318
USA
#16
Also during and after stalingrad hitler made his soldiers stand their ground nomatter what because the caucassus oil was the only thing that could save germany. They had to miraculously win nomatter what in fall blau or everything was lost innevitably. As long as the germans had the oil for their planes and tanks they would roll over the russians and allies but when it ran out they were doomed.
Even after the late '42 counter offensive that essentially booted German forces out of the Caucuses Hitler still intended to invade again, which is why he kept a large amount of German forces inside the Caucuses still, forces that could have been better used to stabilize other portions of the line under attack. By '43, Hitler gave up on the Caucuses but was denying operational retreat because the threat it posed to his allies. Every step west Germany took was one in which the Soviets were closer to Hungary, Romania, etc, and Hitler needed those allies. His general staff generals, as part of their warped Kriegsacademie education, ignored politics and grand strategy, they focused purely on operational arts, so for them it made perfect sense to have a very elastic front line, because not a single one of them considered the importance of something as simple as Romanian oil or Ukraine wheat or Donbass coal or iron, let alone the importance of not appearing weak to allies who contributed entire armies to the Ostfront but were starting to drastically rethink their alliance with Germany.
 
Likes: macon
Nov 2018
265
Denmark
#18
It is kind of a myth that Hitler was stupid militarily made up by prideful prussian generals that couldnt take accountability for any misstakes they themselves made.
Hitler made misstakes but he also made many right calls that payed off despite not having any formal military education.

When it comes to the stand fast order that saved army group center after the failed battle of moscow because the soviet counterattack would have broken the germans if they didnt dig in and that turned out to be a saving move. Also during and after stalingrad hitler made his soldiers stand their ground nomatter what because the caucassus oil was the only thing that could save germany. They had to miraculously win nomatter what in fall blau or everything was lost innevitably. As long as the germans had the oil for their planes and tanks they would roll over the russians and allies but when it ran out they were doomed.

Like Caligula is said to have made his horse a senator and nero is said to have burnt down rome and danced around in the flames people like to blame everything on the guy ontop because it is convenient and its an easy way to explain things.
Caligula made joked about making his horse a senator, as far as i know his army didnt declare on neptune and nero didnt burn down rome and dance in the flames that is all made up.
Okay, okay, I understood the point and I promise solemnly :halo:that I will never again comment on WWII, unless it is specifically about my country of birth.:nerd:
 
Jul 2016
9,318
USA
#20
Okay, okay, I understood the point and I promise solemnly :halo:that I will never again comment on WWII, unless it is specifically about my country of birth.:nerd:
You can comment. Just keep an open mind. Some people have spent the last couple years reading an untold number of books while obsessing over Germany's role in WW2. They post on Historum, they know a lot, and are great sources for info.

An unfortunate truth about the study of WW2 is that much of the history written about the war came from the viewpoint of surviving senior German generals, many of whom not only wrote memoirs in the post war period but whose opinions were respected by the US and British militaries, who used them to write the "official" history of the Eastern Front. The problem was those generals were all liars. It wasn't until the Cold War ended, when western historians had access to Russian archives, when it was realized that what had actually happened was far more complicated than what Halder, Guderian, or Manstein (and others) had claimed decades earlier.

Reading WW2 history now is like reading about books on the battle of Midway written before MAGIC code breaking was declassified. Or similarly not just the Battle of the Atlantic, but the war against Germany as a whole, since Enigma wasn't declassified and known until the early 70s. EVERYTHING written previous to those revelations was wrong. Similarly, study of WW2, while focusing on opinions of defeated German generals, is likewise wrong.
 

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