Posted on Sep 10, 2008 in Armchair Reading
November 2008 Issue: Patton vs. Rommel
By Armchair General
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|In this issue, you’ll learn
- What Caspar W. Weinberger, Jr., identifies as the military and security challenges facing the next U.S. president
- How Emperor Anastasius II prepared Constantinople for an Arab seige in the eighth century
- Why the "ghosts of Katyn" continue to haunt Polish – Russian relations
- How a partisan leader defeated both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin
See past issues of Armchair General
There is a strong probability that members of my family were slain in one of the Katyn Forest massacres. My family were Jews living near Lemberg in Galicia, and my father had a cousin who was a vetenarian with the Polish cavalry. After the fall of Poland he escaped thru Romania to North Africa where he was killed near Tobruk. He did, however, write our family a letter that the men of the Polish branch had been murdered by the Russians after the invasion.
As a loyal subscriber to Armchair General, I find the each magazine issue
most interesting, however I’ve commented once before as to why no stories or
articles ever appear about the Philippine American War, fought after the close
of the Spanish American War and lasting for almost 4 years? A relative who
was a non commissioned officer was killed on the Islands in 1902. Letters
from our relative indicated that it was a long drawn out bloody war leaving over
4,000 American GI’s killed. Is there a reason why there is little written about
this forgotten and disgraceful war. It reminded many people of the Iraq war
which should of not have been fought. The Philippine American war was
thought by many American GI’s at the time that it was an unnecessary war as
well. Hoping for a response.
Re Carlo D’Este’s article which compared two supposed military
geniuses, Patton and Rommel, I confess that I continue to be
baffled by this endless American fixation with Rommel.
This article is no different. As usual, Rommel receives fulsome
praise for his spectacular defeats of Eighth Army forces in Africa.
No mention was made of Rommel’s even more spectacular series
of defeats after General Montgomery took command of the Eighth
This turnabout appears to have destroyed some kind of American
dream and resulted in nothing but American bitterness,
resentment and denigration directed towards both General
Montgomery and to the Eighth Army, ‘slow’ according to
Americans, whose post battle pursuit of Rommel from Alamein to
Benghazi, a distance of 670 miles, took 17 days and only halted
for reasons relating to logistics. That’s over 39 miles per day for
17 days. Does anyone know of any other advance in military
history that went so far and so fast?
Is my assessment correct? Did Americans, then and now, really
wish that Rommel had continued his victorious way against their
Eighth Army ‘allies’?
If you must know why we Americans disregard Montgomery as mediocre general it is because his victory over Rommel is blown out of proportions. Given Rommel’s logistical situation I’m surprised he even got as far as El-Alamein and on top of that Montgomery had a significant numerical superiority to Rommel whom given the circumstances compiled an impressive set of victories. My second point would have to be the pointless waste of 17,000 both American and British lives in the doomed Operation Market Garden give Patton’s significant proximity to the Heart of the German Reich at this point in the war yet, Eisenhower’s refusal to grant him the fuel to finish the war quicker.