George McCllelan over Erwin Rommel?

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George McCllelan over Erwin Rommel?

Postby Engel~des~ Todes » Mon Oct 10, 2005 7:47 pm

I have been reading a fair amount of posts in these forums and it has come to my attention that many of the users are very fond of the German general Erwin Rommel, and think he is the greatest general of history. I was thinking a lot and decided that, considering many of you will be harshly disagreeing with me, I will share my opinions of why General Geroge McCllelan is a far more experienced and plain smarter general, and why I think HE is the greatest general that ever lived.

1. McCllelan obviously put more time into training his soldiers and realized in the end thats what would matter.
2. He was a great leader and in tough situations, knew what to do and how to do it.
3. He knew the enemy's strategy and where the weak points and flaws were.
4. He could take 10 men and find the right strategy to defeat a 10,000 man army.

I would just like to know what you think.
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Postby Rosselsprung » Mon Oct 10, 2005 8:54 pm

George McCllelan? George McCllelan who got whipped by Bobby Lee more times than I can count George McCllelan?

1- Can't disagree, he drilled his men a lot
2- No he didn't, he regularly was indecisive, "slow as molasses" in Lincoln's words
3- Then why didn't he have a single major victory over the Army of Norther Virginia in the entire time he had command over the Army of the Potomac?
4- More like, he could not find the right strategy to defeat 10 men with 100,000 men.
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Postby Michael N. Ryan » Tue Oct 11, 2005 5:56 am

McClellan was a brilliant organizor. Many of the North's generals were. But he lacked nerve. He lacked the killer instinct. Only Braxton Bragg was worse.

If you want to study how McClellan could screw up and lose a winning battle try his brilliant Virgina campaign which could have ended the civil war. There's also Antietem. Each time, on the verge of victory, he chickened out.

Sherman and Grant were the North's best generals. Hooker had his points.
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Postby Kitsune » Tue Oct 11, 2005 6:01 pm

Frankly, I do not understand why you drag the Desert Fox into a discussion about the competence of a general of the American Secession War. Rommel and McClellan never met, how could they, one had died before the other was even born. Their armies used weapons, tactics and training methods cannot be compared. It's a completely senseless comparision. Just so you know before someone starts comparing Schwarzkopf and Hannibal.
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Postby Howard » Thu Oct 13, 2005 3:15 am

I entirely agree Kitsune.
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Postby Beppo Schmidt » Thu Oct 13, 2005 4:36 pm

George McClellan was one of the most incompetent Generals the Union had. No way is he worthy of comparison to Erwin Rommel. Rommel didn't hesitate and chicken out and delay and fool around like McClellan did.
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Postby Liam » Fri Oct 14, 2005 3:32 am

George McClellan was one of the most incompetent Generals the Union had. No way is he worthy of comparison to Erwin Rommel. Rommel didn't hesitate and chicken out and delay and fool around like McClellan did.


No, he just made a complete hash of his army's supply and logistics, thereby ensuring their eventual total defeat!
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Postby Michael N. Ryan » Fri Oct 14, 2005 9:44 am

McClellan wasn't a totally bad General. he was a great organizor. He was a brilliant logistics man. He was an excellant motivator. He was a great strategist, his only problem was he lacked nerve and was prone to panic and paranoia. He didn't have the killer instinct of a good general. He was a poor fighter.

Robert E. Lee was a Brilliant Strategist and a great fighter whose talents at organization and logistics were lacking.

One need only look at the organization of the two armies to see McClellan's talents where one need only study the battles of Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee to see their's.

Of course the true defeat of the South had more to do with the North's superior industry and population as well as Jefferson Davis's meddling with his armies than any other factors.
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Postby Beppo Schmidt » Fri Oct 14, 2005 1:00 pm

No, he just made a complete hash of his army's supply and logistics, thereby ensuring their eventual total defeat!


I don't think you can pin that all on Rommel, he received far fewer fresh supplies than Montgomery did.

Of course the true defeat of the South had more to do with the North's superior industry and population as well as Jefferson Davis's meddling with his armies than any other factors.


Sounds kind of like the German side in WWII, doesn't it?
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Postby Engela54 » Fri Oct 14, 2005 3:11 pm

No Rommel is the greatest, McClellan doesn't compare.
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Postby Reb » Sat Oct 15, 2005 8:58 am

Gentlemen

I is well to note that of all his antagonists Lee respected McClellan the most and said so. But as we all know - Little Mac wasn't much of a fighter.

As a (former) soldier myself I'm ambiguous about that - I can feel a great deal of sympathy for a man who just hates seeing his soldiers die. But had he been willing to sacrifice just a few thousand more at Sharpsburg / Antietem it would have been so much better for North and South alike. The madness would have ended that year and so many lives would have been spared - but no...

As to Rommel - he ultimately commanded many thousands more troops than Little Mac - but unlike McClellan who wielded absolute control (at least initially - to the point of publically insulting Lincoln) Rommel was utterly subservient to Hitler (as were they all). So to determine Rommel's true talents (other than tactical which were obvious) is very difficult because in the battle (Normandy) where he should have mattered most, he mattered least.

Rommel in my opinion - is better compared to Phil SHeridan or Nathan Bedford Forrest - both of whom won battles because they were just so daggone aggressive that they (using the language of the day) put a twist on their opponents. Forrest was tactically more expert but both were cavalrymen of the first order (the panzers of their day) and both raised holy hell with their enemies.

Rommel's claim to tactical flair strikes me as very similar to SHeridan and Forrest. He went up front and sensed the battle, sniffing if you will until the stench of uncertainty wafted across the lines and then he would exploit the weaker willed opponent.

Forrest of course, holds the title of "ultimate bad ass" since in addition to commanding whole corps of troops he killed somewhere between twenty nine and thirty one men in battle. Most of them yankees! (there is a story of a bloody duel between him and hot tempered young officer and a touching reconciliation before that officer died)

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Postby Rosselsprung » Sat Oct 15, 2005 9:43 am

Didn't Forrest ride into an advancing Union company, slash up a few Union soldiers, then pick up one and use him as a human shield from the bullets, then slash up some more Yankees on the way out? I remembered seeing it on that PBS special on the Civil War.

I think one of the lesser known facts about Forrest is that he was a founding member of the KKK....
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Postby Reb » Sat Oct 15, 2005 12:38 pm

Rosselspring

"Didn't Forrest ride into an advancing Union company, slash up a few Union soldiers, then pick up one and use him as a human shield from the bullets, then slash up some more Yankees on the way out? I remembered seeing it on that PBS special on the Civil War."

Quite true

"I think one of the lesser known facts about Forrest is that he was a founding member of the KKK...."

That's a well known fact to the race hustlers in the US. But what is not so well known is that Forrest left the Klan (originally called the Nightriders) when it become focused on race. The original purpose to was make life (justifiabily) as difficult as possible for yankees, scallawags and carpetbaggers.

Forrest had a strange career - originally a slave trader where he made a lot of money. Then he became a general and had a company sized teamster unit made up of free blacks and slaves (called servents in those days) who were part of his household. That impromptu company was the best armed cavalry unit in the Army of the Tennessee - they'd been picking up the best weapons the yanks left on the battlefield. They made their bones at Chickamauga - kicking yankee butt and losing 17 of their own. The bond between those men and Bedford Forrest is something we as modern men probably will never understand.

But after the war, the Freed Men's Bureau in Nashville asked Forrest to be a senior advisor and he accepted the post willingly. (he knew many of the men)

He married a preacher's daughter and got saved but was much weakened by the twenty or so wounds he'd suffered in the Secession War. Died in the early 1870s.

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Postby Rosselsprung » Sat Oct 15, 2005 12:45 pm

Reb,

Considering I've recieved a more politically correct education than you have, it's become somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction to condemn any Confederate general who owned slaves or was in the KKK. However, I am among those who can't understand why free blacks or slaves would fight under the Stars and Bars and Nathan Forrest.

And even though there was a lot of bad blood during Reconstruction, wasn't the KKK also for policing the newly freed slaves by violence as well?

P.S.- The KKK is also the name of the revolutionary group that freed the Philippines from Spanish rule. You can imagine the shock I got when coming here and seeing how those same letters were used. :wink:
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Postby Reb » Sat Oct 15, 2005 1:15 pm

Rosselsprung

The KKK morphed all too quickly to the racist organization we all dislike so much.


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