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Patton vs. Rommel, who would win?


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Poll: Patton vs. Rommel (191 members have cast votes)

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Who would win in an equal fight?

  1. Patton (71 votes [37.17%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 37.17%

  2. Rommel (120 votes [62.83%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 62.83%

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S5 V8 #21 Posted 22 September 2014 - 04:59 PM

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Saw an interesting BBC documentary the other day. Granted this show may have a had a slight bias toward the U.K., the show is called Tankies, and was presented in two parts. The narrative was presented from the point of view of the actual tankers of the Filthy Fifth, or through the diaries of the fallen tankers. One of the points that was made, was the British tanks were so poorly made that Rommel did not have to be much of a general to beat the British in the beginning of the Afrika Campaign. I do not recall the exact number but they said something like three fourths of the British tanks simply broke down in battle and were not actually destroyed in an engagement or even hit by German fire, but abandoned by the British. The initial British tanks looked like pea shooters compared to the Germans, the narrator shows the comparison of the ordnance, you would laugh if it wasn't such a mismatch. The early British hatches were so small, the entry was horrible and therefore there was virtually no escape.  Interestingly in the show, they actually call the Lee, the Grant, they made a point that the American tanks were far roomier had better guns and you could actually get of the tanks, which were the new tanks they received from the US prior to our entry in the war. The British tankers also voiced their horror and great dismay upon viewing the first of the modern British tanks like the Cromwell after returning from the Afrika Campaign. The one tanker's comments were, they learned nothing, again horrible access and egress and flat armor. They were also issued Sherman's notable remarks were how easily they burst into flames, the Brits nicknamed them Ronson's (a well known cigarette lighter) and the Germans called them Tommy Cooker's.  The tankers did mention they liked the UK hybrid the Firefly. Panzer Ace Michael Whitmann gets a solid mention in part two for crushing the Brits at Caen.

 

 

Rommel's Afrika Corp was later expelled from Africa one the Allies had started to catch up in tank technologies. The Brits easily beat the Italians, but here tanks were no match for the Panzers.  He was nicknamed the Desert Fox by the Brits who really did not have much to put into battle against them.

 

 

 

So after viewing the show I choose Patton, he did more with probably a lesser tank against the German Panzers, he was the consummate warrior and knew his enemy.

 

 

 

 



rainsilent #22 Posted 22 September 2014 - 06:52 PM

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View PostMattbot 360, on 22 September 2014 - 12:20 PM, said:

Rommel

 

I would bet on Rommel if he was up against Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander the Great, or Darth Vader (assuming he commanded armies from the relevant era)

 

 

 

I would bet against Rommel if he faced Alexander the Great.


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TRUExODDBALL #23 Posted 22 September 2014 - 08:13 PM

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Rommel is overrated, he got lucky.

That said, I hate Wehraboos.


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S5 V8 #24 Posted 22 September 2014 - 08:36 PM

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View PostTRUExODDBALL, on 22 September 2014 - 01:13 PM, said:

Rommel is overrated, he got lucky.

That said, I hate Wehraboos.

 

In the book Rommel Reconsidered it states there is quite a bit of truth to the statement that the British artificially built Rommel's reputation as the Desert Fox to mitigate or explain away their own failures. Better to mythically have a better foe than to place the blame on the British Army.


 


 

 

 

 


 



rainsilent #25 Posted 23 September 2014 - 04:19 AM

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More Monty never pushed an advantage and gave Rommel a lot of time. Had someone more aggressive been in command that had the knowledge Rommel would have been in serious trouble. So it is less they built him up so much as they fed him and made him more credible. It is very similar to the War of the Rebellion in the US regarding Northern forces against Lee for a long time in that war. In the end the one mistake Lee made was to commit his forces at Gettysburg when he knew he shouldn't have and didn't want to.

Rommel deserves all the accolades he gets. What he did was still very good considering. However you have to look at what he did in perspective. He was given the time he needed by the Brits. Had he not had it he really would have struggled a lot more. The one mistake Rommel made? Well I can't really find one I can justly say it would have made a difference in the long run if he did x instead of y.

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TKoddaL33 #26 Posted 30 September 2014 - 01:55 AM

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Patton is one hell of a man. As he said in his paralyzed state,  "This is a hell of a way to die".

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Dennis420b #27 Posted 30 September 2014 - 03:22 AM

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Hmm. An interesting question. Both were great Corps level commanders. Rommel was probably better at that level though. We cant really see at the Army level who would be better as Rommel never had command of the size of forces Patton had. In WW1 Rommel was a brilliant mountain unit commander. In France he was a divisional commander, and in Africa he technically was a subordinate to the Italian chain of command, and had minimal forces at his command. In 1944 Rommel had no official units under his direct command and was a part of Von Rundstedt's staff technically. Really you can only judge up to corps level, but Rommel could not stay away from the front enough to really be an effective army commander and certainly to much for a army group commander. I think the very same attributes that made him a great division/corps commander would play against him at the higher levels, where as Patton was equally at home in the rear at HQ as at the front. But I went with Rommel simply because he was a better smaller unit comander than Patton, but any edge Patton would have in larger units would be trumped by Manstein or Guderian.

Dennis420b #28 Posted 30 September 2014 - 03:25 AM

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View PostS5 V8, on 22 September 2014 - 03:36 PM, said:

 

In the book Rommel Reconsidered it states there is quite a bit of truth to the statement that the British artificially built Rommel's reputation as the Desert Fox to mitigate or explain away their own failures. Better to mythically have a better foe than to place the blame on the British Army.


 


 

 

 

 


 

 

Sure that works if you ignore his war(s) records outside of the Africa campaign. All of those exploits support his reputation.

Outlaw23V #29 Posted 20 October 2014 - 06:13 PM

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I voted for Patton because he did.

 

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Kill Process #30 Posted 23 October 2014 - 02:29 PM

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Rommel lost. Patton won. Meaningless poll?

tank4230 #31 Posted 24 October 2014 - 01:56 AM

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Patton all the way
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country." - George S. Patton 

ChieftainFV4201 #32 Posted 26 October 2014 - 08:02 AM

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Rommel.

The German army adapted to the principles of armored warfare quickly and with guidance from the likes of Heinz Guderian, Rommels tactical insight and the flexibility of German units would overcome Pattons forces.

 The US and Allies command structures, for the most part were not flexible enough to deal with a fully supplied Rommel.

 



Matthew J35U5 #33 Posted 26 October 2014 - 02:26 PM

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View PostTRUExODDBALL, on 22 September 2014 - 04:13 PM, said:

Rommel is overrated, he got lucky.

That said, I hate Wehraboos.

Yeah, fairly unimpressive compared to his reputation. Apparently he was a good infantry commander.

View PostS5 V8, on 22 September 2014 - 04:36 PM, said:

 

In the book Rommel Reconsidered it states there is quite a bit of truth to the statement that the British artificially built Rommel's reputation as the Desert Fox to mitigate or explain away their own failures. Better to mythically have a better foe than to place the blame on the British Army.

Yes, exactly this. What plays better as propaganda?

"Our forces in North Africa are being held up by an under-equipped, under-supplied german army assisted by not particularly competent Italian allies, led by a not particularly impressive commander" or, "Our forces in North Africa are struggling to defeat the Desert Fox, an officer and a gentleman, who is basically a cross between Alexander the Great, Caeser the Dictator and Napoleon."

Exactly the same reason why Americans are so happy to believe that the Sherman was awful and the Panther/Tiger were great.


KeystoneCops, on 14 June 2015 - 12:51 PM, said:


Riverwolf 007 #34 Posted 26 October 2014 - 02:31 PM

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patton had the advantage because.

 

HE READ HIS BOOK!!!

 

lol.

 

seriously though, kasserine pass and 275,000 axis prisoners of war says patton wins.


Edited by Riverwolf 007, 26 October 2014 - 02:32 PM.


Dennis420b #35 Posted 26 October 2014 - 05:54 PM

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View PostMatthew J35U5, on 26 October 2014 - 09:26 AM, said:

Yeah, fairly unimpressive compared to his reputation. Apparently he was a good infantry commander.

Yes, exactly this. What plays better as propaganda?

"Our forces in North Africa are being held up by an under-equipped, under-supplied german army assisted by not particularly competent Italian allies, led by a not particularly impressive commander" or, "Our forces in North Africa are struggling to defeat the Desert Fox, an officer and a gentleman, who is basically a cross between Alexander the Great, Caeser the Dictator and Napoleon."

Exactly the same reason why Americans are so happy to believe that the Sherman was awful and the Panther/Tiger were great.

 

Again this is fine if you ignore his other military exploits. And It would be more an Italian Army with a few German units rather than a German army with Italian help.

The Sherman was not awful but rather just adequate. Production was its main attribute. Not exactly a good thing for American Tankers. Compared to its contemporaries it is just okay (given the choice between it or the T-34 its most direct contemporary, most people will choose the T-34). It has its major faults though, one being its height. An easy target. Gun is just okay, speed is par for the course. Its at best a ho-hum tank.

Matthew J35U5 #36 Posted 26 October 2014 - 05:57 PM

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View PostDennis420b, on 26 October 2014 - 01:54 PM, said:

 

Again this is fine if you ignore his other military exploits. And It would be more an Italian Army with a few German units rather than a German army with Italian help.

The Sherman was not awful but rather just adequate. Production was its main attribute. Not exactly a good thing for American Tankers. Compared to its contemporaries it is just okay (given the choice between it or the T-34 its most direct contemporary, most people will choose the T-34). It has its major faults though, one being its height. An easy target. Gun is just okay, speed is par for the course. Its at best a ho-hum tank.

The impression I got of the Italians in WWII was such that I would consider an Italian army with a few German units to be "the Italians helping the Germans" rather than vice versa. :P

 

I feel kind of bad for the Italians actually, they have a very bad reputation that surely must be at least a little over exaggerated.


KeystoneCops, on 14 June 2015 - 12:51 PM, said:


Dennis420b #37 Posted 26 October 2014 - 05:58 PM

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View PostRiverwolf 007, on 26 October 2014 - 09:31 AM, said:

patton had the advantage because.

 

HE READ HIS BOOK!!!

 

lol.

 

seriously though, kasserine pass and 275,000 axis prisoners of war says patton wins.

 

  Hardly Rommel's folly. When you factor in the sizes of forces, supplies, fuel, air cover and naval superiority of the allies yeah one would hope that the allies could win. Actually that they did not win quicker is a bit of an embarrassment for the allies.

Dennis420b #38 Posted 26 October 2014 - 06:06 PM

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View PostMatthew J35U5, on 26 October 2014 - 12:57 PM, said:

The impression I got of the Italians in WWII was such that I would consider an Italian army with a few German units to be "the Italians helping the Germans" rather than vice versa. :P

 

I feel kind of bad for the Italians actually, they have a very bad reputation that surely must be at least a little over exaggerated.

 

Well it is true that the Italian Army has a bad reputation, but this I would attribute to the Italian Hierarchy and mismanagement of development in weapons. At the start of the war the Italian army is a bit ahead of the curve with its motorized and mechanized units, but the Italian industry was not able to anticipate nor adapt to what was needed. The 47mm AT gun and tank guns are great in 40, but by 42 75mm is what is needed. Slab sided armored vehicles, underpowered fighters (until they start importing/producing German DB601s), and a Navy that never took into account the terrible effect British subs would have on shipping between Italy and Libya (Eritrea and Italian Somalia were never going to get help unless a total victory in Egypt could be had), all pretty much doomed the Italian war effort. But the individual soldiers, airmen and sailors did well for the most part.

jl21a #39 Posted 27 October 2014 - 01:36 AM

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I would choose Patton.

 

Reasoning:

  • Rommel started with a well trained and experienced cadre of troops, experienced in armored warfare (from the Spanish civil war through the invasion of France).
  • Both studied Guderian (actually a superior German general in my mind to Rommel).  And Patton studied Rommel.
  • The war in Africa, where Rommel made his name, was more a sideshow than a main theatre (compared to Europe), where there was lots of opportunity to maneuver and flank due to limited resources on both sides.
  • Generalship is a lot more about training,logistics and foresight than tactics (which is why they say officers are given a mandatory lobotomy when they become majors and go to staff school).  Generals focus on getting men, weapons, beans and bullets to where they are needed and that their troops are properly trained so that they can execute a given plan in their sleep (e.g. read the Tom Clancey/Fred Franks book on Desert Storm - Into the Storm).  And this is why I chose Patton.

 

During the early days of the Battle of the Bulge, Patton had his HQ plan a multidivisional movement off the front line to rescue the troops in the Bulge and destroy the assailing forces. The plan was assembled in a very short time and perfectly executed.  Rommel never came close to planning or attempting such an operation, much less succeeding with something on the same scale.



Matthew J35U5 #40 Posted 27 October 2014 - 06:11 PM

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I'm disappointed that this thread didn't turn into a discussion about which would win a fist-fight. 

Patton v Rommel v Zhukov v Montgomery, last man standing wins.

KeystoneCops, on 14 June 2015 - 12:51 PM, said:





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