The blog “Rating the Generals of WW2” has certainly stirred a hornet’s nest. Firstly Luigi admonished me for neglecting General Slim of Burma. This unintended omission confirms that both the 14th Army and its Commanding Officer are now forgotten, true to their namesake, The Forgotten [14th] Army. In this case, a peremptory mea culpa and honour was satisfied. Not so in the case of Montgomery. After publishing Blaine’s rebuttal on my rating, I then used the right of reply to question the speed of Montgomery’s advance from El-Alamein after crushing the Axis Powers. Blaine has taken umbrage with my interpretation of Montgomery’s “ponderous” advance across Cyrenaica & Tripolitania in Libya. The essence of the dispute is whether Montgomery was rightly cautious and considered or whether he was ponderous and unimaginative. Whereas Blaine favours the former interpretation, I favour the latter.
Main picture: Montgomery and his adversary Erwin Rommel, both vainglorious and publicity seeking
My original Blog entitled Rating the Generals of WW2 arose in response to an emailed query by Blaine. This blog attracted a slew of replies and comments some of which can be read on the Comments Section under the relevant blog. The three most note-worthy – of which this is one – is a rebuttal of my comments and rating on the generalship of Bernard Law Montgomery. This excellent re-assessment is by my brother Blaine who obviously has time during retirement to read all my blogs diligently as he should be doing. His points are detailed and well presented. Herewith is the full unabridged reply by Blaine.
Main picture: Montgomery and his American rivals – Bradley and Patton
My brother Blaine posed me a question the other day. “How do you rate the Generals of WWII and why? I’ve listed my candidates and was wondering what your opinion of them is?” To do this topic justice, I would have to do some extensive research. Due to time constraints, my opinion would not be based upon an ex libris search. Instead I would do the equivalent of an ad-lib speech and improvise.
Main picture: Erwin Rommel in North Africa during June 1942. Many, if not most pundits, would rate Rommel as the best General of WW2. His ability to smash the Allies line at its most vulnerable point on numerous occasions begrudgingly made him a hero in many Allies eyes.
Summation: Unrealistic battle scenes using non-period weapons
Rating: 3 out of 5
If there is one thing I cannot abide about historical re-enactments is when they are phoney. In this case they were phoney in every sense of the word from the use of the same non-period tanks to represent both the German & the American tanks. Furthermore the battle drills of the Germans in their attack on the Americans in Tunisia displayed an amateurish attempt at non-martial tactics. Underwhelming & unconvincing.