George McCllelan over Erwin Rommel?

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Re: George McCllelan over Erwin Rommel?

Postby lwd » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:04 am

mellenthin wrote:Just sitting on the defensive and leaving the intietive to an enemy with a growing material supeiority,particularly in a theatre like North Africa,with its high suitability for mobile warfare will only lead to defeat .

And who has suggested he do so? I.e. you are promegating another starwman.
.... That is what Rommel did(with approval)° and he got very far.

With what aproval? and it may legitiamtely be claimed "too far"
There certainly was a window of opportunity for pushing the british back to the Nile in 1942 but insufficient resources were committed.

Was there? That's a rather unsupported opinion now isn't it.
... Rommels proposals for the offensive in 1942 were approved so he was not where he was because he went rogue.

Who approved them and to what extent? The rogue bit is another strawman is it not? At least on this board I've not seen anyone make such a claim.
He was certainly never overextended as he could be supplied wherever he was on the condition that what was sent also arrived.

Well sense it was physically impossible for what was sent to arrive at the front given the existing log network your premise seems rather flawed. The fact that captured supplies made some of his advances possible is rather another pointer to him being overextended.
Some may allege that the supply effort was run at peak efficiency but that is very doubtable, if only because of the italian way of doing things.

Since shipping the supplies from the ports to the front was one of if not the major problem at times I'm not sure the Italians are due for much heat on this.
Some may allege that a lenthy supplyline is an insurmountable problem but that is also untrue. A longer supplyline in an area without railways only means more trucks and fuel are needed.

Actually there's quite a bit more to it than that. At some point you saturate the roads and then there's spare parts and especially in the desert water not to mention supplies of various types and security forces and ... well you get the idea. Or maybe you don't but rational readers will.
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Re: George McCllelan over Erwin Rommel?

Postby mellenthin » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:42 am

Rommel getting approval from Hitler and M
ussolini for his offensive in the summer of 1942 is something that should be general knowledge. Same thing for the approval of the further advance into Egypt contrary to what had been
agreed originally.
There is always a point where an offensive culminates and one has to pause. Is absolutely normal and nothing to do with overextending oneself. Captured supplies can postpone the point where one has to pause.
And at the end a position was reached at El Alamein which was very good from a defensive viewpoint
It should also be remembered that Rommel

attacked because he preferred taking the initiative instead of being forced to undergo events.
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Re: George McCllelan over Erwin Rommel?

Postby mellenthin » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:59 am

There is no basis in fact for stating that bringing the supplies to the front was an insurmountable problem. If that was really true then Rommel would have been always unable to achieve what he did. The lowering of the sinkings during a part of 1942 would then not have mattered but it did and it allowed to accumulate enough suplies to tstart the offensive.
It should be obvious that the non arrival in the ports of a sufficient quantity of suplies to sustain operations is the real problem.
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Re: George McCllelan over Erwin Rommel?

Postby mellenthin » Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:30 am

In Entscheidungsschlachten des zweiten Weltkrieges Bernard & Graefe Verlag 1960 there is an interesting chapter by Walter Warlimont on the decision in the Mediterranean 1942. He statyes that Hitler had already gone cold on the attack against Malta in may 1942. As soon as he heard of the taking of Tobruk he immediately made clear to his staff that the attack on Malta was now definitely off. He wanted the british to be purused into Egypt before Rommel had even proposed it. Ultimately,the italians themselves gave up on the attack on Malta and sent the forces to North Africa. Both the Italian and german high command and Kesselring now wanted Rommel to stay where he was in Egypt and urged him to attack towardfs Alexandria . Rommel was only prepared to do so after having been assured that certain quantities of fuel would arrive.One incident that contradicts the opinion of some about Rommels allleged insensitivity to logistical considerations.
An good answer to those who make it seem that it was Rommel who caused Malta not to be attacked and was at El Alamein in an alledgedly untenable position because of his decision.
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Re: George McCllelan over Erwin Rommel?

Postby lwd » Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:44 am

mellenthin wrote:There is no basis in fact for stating that bringing the supplies to the front was an insurmountable problem.

That depends a great deal on what you mean. Certainly supplies could be brought to the front. On the otherhand it's clear that the quantity that could be brought to the front at times (and those correlate strongly with the AK being at extreme distances from the ports) was insufficient.[/quote]
If that was really true then Rommel would have been always unable to achieve what he did.

Conduct an ultimately futile campaign. I think it fits pretty well.
It should be obvious that the non arrival in the ports of a sufficient quantity of suplies to sustain operations is the real problem.

Certainly the sinkings were a problem although it varried over time just how much of one. The sinkings also resulted in an amount of uncertainty as to exactly what would make it to the ports. On the other hand the fact that large quantities of supplies were sitting around in the ports, that transport of supplies to the front was consuming huge quantities of supplies that the combat arms could use, and that the deliveries were insufficient for the needs suggest that the sinkings weren't the only problem by any means and perhaps not the most serious one at least at times.
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Re: George McCllelan over Erwin Rommel?

Postby mellenthin » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:09 am

Judging by the detail of Rommels operations it is clear that the long supplylines were.coped with.
Anyway,long supplylines were a fact of life in North Africa and you needed to deal with if you wanted to prevail.Falling back all the way to a spot relatively near Tripoli would not have solved anything.
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