Pendraken Miniatures Forum
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
23 January 2021, 08:57:05 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Check our 2020 Releases Summary to see f you've missed anything!
314823 Posts in 18224 Topics by 2282 Members
Latest Member: josh_davidson
* Home Help Search Calendar Login Register
+  Pendraken Miniatures Forum
|-+  Wider Wargaming
| |-+  General Discussion (Moderator: mad lemmey)
| | |-+  The over-rated
« previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 Go Down Print
Author Topic: The over-rated  (Read 2354 times)
FierceKitty
Field Marshal
*
Posts: 11393


The dog is a peasant. The cat is a gentleman.


« on: 03 December 2020, 01:43:18 AM »

Generals who don't deserve their reputations; my five:

1)  Obviously, Alexander (the other one). He was a very charismatic leader of undeniable talent, but the claim to genius is shaky. As has been pointed out often enough, it was his father who designed and built the army he played with. The enemies he defeated were Greeks (no sigificant cavalry, heavy infantry armed with yesterday's weapons), Scythians (no decent foot), Persians (divided interests in the commanders, outclassed horse, and Greeks again), and Indians ("Armour, Mr Patel? No, I am thinking that will push the price up too much, and as you know that we are already looking at higher taxes next year...."). Add the disastrous strategy of the return from India, and he's Alexander the Idiotic.

2)   Hannibal next. Very creative at beating a superior army in the field as long as they were led by over-confident half-wits with a command style resembling that of WWI donkeys and no idea of scouting. Once the Romans got a decent leader, he never won another battle; he should not be blamed for this, but it requires a reevaluation of the alleged genius behind the big three victories. When we further add his neglect of support arms (where was their naval effort?) and variant strategic aims ("They've got no army; we could be in the Capitol by Saturday, Sir!" "Oh, let's sit here and hope the rest of Italy joins us now, before they recover as they always do."), he should have been crucified when he got home.

3)  Žižka. Another one who won time and time and time again against enemies who couldn't work out how to butter a slice of toast, and using a extremely high-tech army.

4)   Gustavus. Recipe for getting rated the Great Captain: get prodded into fighting Cardinal Richlieu's wars for him, and put yourself at the front of an impetuous cavalry force against an enemy with modern firepower. No, I don't think so either.

5)   Patton. Advance on a broad front, costing countless lives and massive damage to the heritage of civilisation, in the interests of allowing a hostile ideology to grab the spoils and sell half Europe into another two generations of slavery. What, spearhead an attack to take out the enemy capital? What are you, some kinda Limey fruitcake, Monty?
« Last Edit: 03 December 2020, 01:45:17 AM by FierceKitty » Logged

I have not the pleasure of understanding you. Of what are you talking?
ianrs54
Playtester
General
*
Posts: 8924



WWW
« Reply #1 on: 03 December 2020, 07:17:19 AM »

Alexander - Patton didn't want a broad front. That was Esienhower (sp) trying to keep his two prima donnas happy. I'd agree Patton was over-rated though, although not as much as Monty.

As for the rest, well yes I'd agree with your comments.
Logged

FOG IN CHANNEL - EUROPE CUT OFF HURRAY

Muppet of the year 2019, and 2020
Ithoriel
Lieutenant General
*
Posts: 7389



« Reply #2 on: 03 December 2020, 08:32:34 AM »

Alexander took on and beat the previous top dog army (Greeks), caught and clobbered an army that traditionally used the battlecruiser strategy of running away from anyone stronger and crushing anyone weaker (Skythians), crushed several armies that were both experienced and larger (Persians) and then took on and beat an army with novel troop types, chariotry and Elephants, which was defending a river bank (Indian). If we exclude everyone who used an army they didn't design and train the ranks of the military Great and Good will be gey thin!

To be fair to Hannibal he had no control over the Carthaginian fleet which had, in any case, ultimately proved no match for the Roman navy in the 1st Punic War. A direct assault on Rome might have ended the war ... or it might have ended as a siege that tied Hannibal to one position where the next Roman army could use the walls of Rome as the anvil on which to crush his forces. Peeling Allied support from Rome looked a likelier and safer option at the time. "his neglect of support arms " - say wut??? He was the master of the ancient all-arms army!

Žižka I know next to nothing about so can't agree or disagree.

Gustavus - fine tactician, cr*p strategist IMHO.

On Patton, though, I must agree. Even more egotistical and given to unwarranted self-promotion than Monty ... and that's saying something!
Logged

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!
mmcv
Brigadier
*
Posts: 1890


WWW
« Reply #3 on: 03 December 2020, 08:42:27 AM »

Gustavus revolutionised modern warfare and was responsible for the dramatic shift to mixed arms tactics and maneuver that would come to dominate European battlefields for centuries. He recognised the effectiveness of concentration of force and using impetuous cavalry charges at the right moment to break the enemy. So I'd say a tactical genius is correct and he's much more Phillip than Alexander in that regard. Just a pity he had a penchant for glory and leading from the front which is not the greatest strategy for an effective General by and large...
Logged

flamingpig0
Lieutenant
*
Posts: 227


« Reply #4 on: 03 December 2020, 08:47:34 AM »

It might be more interesting to hear about the top 5  underrated generals
Logged
T13A
Captain
*
Posts: 427



« Reply #5 on: 03 December 2020, 09:51:06 AM »

Hi

I do not think many of those actually under Monty's command 'over-rated' him which personally I think says a lot. And despite a lot of revisionist history he was also 'rated' well by many Americans. More casualties were suffered by Patton's 3rd Army than any other allied army in NW Europe in 1944-45.

Cheers Paul
Logged
John Cook
Lieutenant Colonel
*
Posts: 758



« Reply #6 on: 03 December 2020, 10:38:47 AM »

Hi

I do not think many of those actually under Monty's command 'over-rated' him which personally I think says a lot. And despite a lot of revisionist history he was also 'rated' well by many Americans. More casualties were suffered by Patton's 3rd Army than any other allied army in NW Europe in 1944-45.

Cheers Paul

I agree.  My father served in North Africa under all the 'Desert Generals' from early 1940.  He spoke highly of Monty.  He told me that they had be consistently beaten by Rommel who'd acquired a reputation of invincibility.  Morale was at rock bottom.  Then this slight, unimpressive, figure with a Charlie Chaplin moustache arrived and started going round as many units as possible, talking to the troops.  By the time he was finished, according to my father, they actually believed they were unbeatable.  Leadership is part of the art of generalship, I'd say.

As an aside, I also remember being 'corrected' when I made a disparaging remark about Italians.  He told me, to the effect, that he'd seen a lot of dead Italians in North Africa, and there was nothing more you could ask of any soldier. 

All generals have egos.  Some have larger egos than others.  Without highly developed self-esteem, by and large, they don't become generals in the first place. 
Logged
Ithoriel
Lieutenant General
*
Posts: 7389



« Reply #7 on: 03 December 2020, 11:54:26 AM »

My wife's godfather, an intelligence officer in North Africa, described the Italians as Ill-served by their country, ill-lead by their senior officers and ill-treated by their German allies.
« Last Edit: 03 December 2020, 12:01:31 PM by Ithoriel » Logged

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!
ianrs54
Playtester
General
*
Posts: 8924



WWW
« Reply #8 on: 03 December 2020, 12:06:14 PM »

I'd agree with that. The mass surrender in 40-41 was due to the Brits et al seizing all water sources, and it's not a climate to be thirsty in.
Logged

FOG IN CHANNEL - EUROPE CUT OFF HURRAY

Muppet of the year 2019, and 2020
fsn
General
*
Posts: 9545



« Reply #9 on: 03 December 2020, 12:14:26 PM »

The whole concept of "over-rated" does seem to ignore circumstances. Were Hannibal given a well fed, well supplied, cohesive army I'd put him against any Roman. Montgomery in 1944 was facing a massive manpower shortage which fed his innate caution.  Patton, given the same manpower and material would have been completely useless.
Logged

Lord Oik of Runcorn
(You may refer to me as Milord Oik)

Oik of the Year 2013
Oik of the Year 2014
Prize for originality and 'having a go, bless him', 2015
3 votes in the 2016 Painting Competition!
2017-2019 The Wilderness years
Oik of the Year 2020

15mm is dead. It just doesn't know it yet.
flamingpig0
Lieutenant
*
Posts: 227


« Reply #10 on: 03 December 2020, 12:35:00 PM »

The whole concept of "over-rated" does seem to ignore circumstances. Were Hannibal given a well fed, well supplied, cohesive army I'd put him against any Roman. Montgomery in 1944 was facing a massive manpower shortage which fed his innate caution.  Patton, given the same manpower and material would have been completely useless.


I am not a massive Monty fan but  I think there does seem to be general agreement that he genuinely cared for those under his command and tried to avoid unnecessary casualties.
Logged
mad lemmey
Moderator
Marquis
********
*
*
Posts: 22141



« Reply #11 on: 03 December 2020, 12:45:38 PM »

The step-grandfather had no time for Mountbaton.
Took a flotilla through a minefield outside Scarva Flow when explicitly told not to by the pilots and minesweeper, because he was in charge.
It was completely hushed up and he was quickly reassigned.
Logged

Off to the Shed of Decency.

Chekov's Gun, Occam's Razor, and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle walk into a bar. You won't believe what happens next!

2016 Pendraken Painting Competion Participation Prize  (Lucky Dip Catagory) Winner 😎
hammurabi70
Lieutenant
*
Posts: 299


« Reply #12 on: 03 December 2020, 07:56:19 PM »

This is in danger of being a retread of past threads. It rather begs the question of over-rated by whom? What measure should be used?

Julius Caesar. What do you mean my invasion of Britain is not worth a triumph? Write me down a victory. Even better, I will write myself down a victory so the facts are correct. As I am a politician there is no chance then of fake news. Don't tell anyone

Ramses: how dare those dastardly Hittites suggest I managed anything other than a complete victory, trouncing my enemies once more.

Frederick the Great: if I call myself GREAT often enough perhaps it will stick.

And so on.

The problem with Monty, Patton and MacArthur is that they get too much coverage of all sorts. What is to be taken as their rating? TIME magazine concluded that MacArthur was the most over-rated.

The Italians were conscripted for a war they did not believe in by men they did not support against an enemy they did not hate with inadequate supplies and equipment. The Germans in Normandy who acted in similar ways do not seem to have attracted the same comments.

The Italians
Logged

Raider4
Colonel
*
Posts: 1267



« Reply #13 on: 03 December 2020, 08:06:49 PM »

The problem with Monty, Patton and MacArthur is that they get too much coverage of all sorts. What is to be taken as their rating? TIME magazine concluded that MacArthur was the most over-rated.

I once read a short potted biography of MacArthur, and could not believe the stuff he did and kept getting away with.

Personally I loathe Pershing, but that's because he was against the armistice, and forced the US forces to keep attacking on 11/11/1918, causing an awful lot of completely unnecessary casualties.
Logged
John Cook
Lieutenant Colonel
*
Posts: 758



« Reply #14 on: 04 December 2020, 12:23:59 AM »

My wife's godfather, an intelligence officer in North Africa, described the Italians as Ill-served by their country, ill-lead by their senior officers and ill-treated by their German allies.

I think that about sums it up.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!