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Looking for rommel quotes

 
 
farmerman
 
  0  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 06:04 am
@OmSigDAVID,
" I swear on my mutters grave that I had nothing to do with it. It was all Stuelpnagel, he came up with it"
Rommel 1944
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  0  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 09:03 am
I had the distinct pleasure to attend a lecture given by Gerhard Weinberg, who wrote the definitive one-volume history of World War II. Really, if there's something about World War II that he doesn't know, it's not worth knowing. The topic of his lecture was the extent to which Hitler had co-opted the German officer corps, largely through good old-fashioned bribery. Weinberg disputed the notion that the Wehrmacht was at odds with the Nazi regime in any significant way, especially after Sept. 1, 1939 -- he rejected the idea that somehow the officer corps remained apolitical and distant from the Nazis and many of their war aims. Weinberg specifically singled out Rommel, who, contrary to popular perception, profited handsomely from Hitler's largesse and was, if not a dedicated Nazi, at least a well-contented fellow traveller. Rommel may not have been out there rounding up Jews, but he had no problems accepting looted Polish estates from his employers in Berlin. He only turned on Hitler in 1944 because he thought Hitler was doing a lousy job of running the war and because he was afraid his own complicity would get him into some seriously hot water if the Allies prevailed, not because he had any great epiphany about the pathologies of Nazism.

Anyway, that's a roundabout way of telling our Australian friends: "It's Rommel, for cryin' out loud!" He was a supporter of the Nazi policies of aggressive war and genocide. He was a complete wanker. If he said some good things about Australian troops, just remember the context.
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 08:26 pm
@joefromchicago,
That's a good point Joe. I'm sure the sterilization of the Wermacht and the scientist cabal was spurred by the need to keep them from falling into the hands of them pesky Russkies. After all, "they were only following orders."
0 Replies
 
xxxxbitter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 10:32 pm
@Setanta,

When you pull **** like that, it looks very much like you're out to ambush people. I'll warrant i know more of Australian history than you do of U.S. history, and i've not knowingly posted anything factually wrong about it

is this the history you refer too?
http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon2/world.html
0 Replies
 
xxxxbitter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 11:10 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago... get an education... and actually study a subject before you come into a forum with that typically arrogant American persona. Rommel is still considered one of the greatest military minds of the 20th century. this would be the Rommel that treated his pows with respect and under the Geneva convention, something i noticed you yanks haven't been very good at lately. this is also the Rommel forced to commit suicide for being implicated in a plot to assassinate Hitler. and on another not i believe that after meeting the Germans in Africa the U.S. Army learned bitter lessons about the inadequacy of its training, equipment, and leadership in the North African campaign.
joefromchicago
 
  0  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 07:55 am
@xxxxbitter,
Well, it has finally come to this: Bush's pro-torture policies have actually led to a "reverse-Godwin," where someone brings up America in order to compare it unfavorably to the Nazis.

That does it, I quit. To all of you Australians who desperately need validation from a douchebag like Rommel, I sincerely hope that you someday find your pot of turds at the end of the rainbow.
panzade
 
  0  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 08:45 am
@joefromchicago,
Awwww geee. Say it ain't so Joe
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 09:16 am
@panzade,
A couple of things occur to me.

After the battle of Kasserine pass Rommel underestimated the American army's abilities and the Allies overestimated the Desert Fox's talents.

IMO Rommel's insistence on building the Atlantic Wall doomed the Nazi's chances on D Day.

I wish the Aussies here would stop looking for approval from a disparaged general and instead post about the legacy of the Diggers. Some of the greatest fighters ever to grace a battlefield.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 11:37 am
You oversimplify, and you do Rommel a disservice. No general officer ever gets it all right, and if you read the Rommel papers, you'll see that he got an amazing amount of it right.

Rommel wrote very highly of the Americans during the Kasserine Pass operations. They were inexperienced, and their equipment was outclassed, and yet officers, especially company and field grade officers, showed initiative and fought a retreat very well, which is one of the most difficult military tasks to accomplish. Rommel acknowledged that (i highly recommend The Rommel Papers, edited by B. H. Liddel Hart and Lucie Rommel), and at the same time, complained about the lack of initiative and drive on the part of his own officers.

Rommel didn't build the Atlantic Wall, that was Hitler's idea, Rommel simply threw a lot of energy into it after he was given command of the army group. He wanted to drive armor right down to the beaches to kill the invasion on the beaches. The Germans tried that in Sicily and at Salerno, and the naval gunfire destroyed the German armor on the beaches--but Rommel wasn't in Sicily or at Salerno.

Rommel's basic idea was that the Allies should be stopped at the waterline because the Wehrmacht would never make the approach march to fight them inland. In the Rommel papers he points out that Montgomery (the most overrated commander of the war) kept bombers in the air over the Afrika Korps all day long every day--that was about two dozen planes in the air over the Germans and Italians at all times. On D-Day, the Allies flew more than 14,000 sorties.

Field Marshall von Rundstedt wanted to lure the Allies inland and then fight a huge battle of maneuvre in the interior. Rommel said the Germans would never make the approach march. Guderian when he visited Hitler's Atlantic Wall said much the same thing. There was some justice and much error on both sides. After the horribly bloody but successful American raid on the oil fields and refineries at Ploetsi in Romania, the Germans were in constant "fuel debt." They could just no longer produce the fuel necessary for their armies. The German potato harvest for 1944 was, in its entirety, handed over to help produce synthetic fuel, with disastrous results for the German people in 1945.

So, the Germans relied upon the railways to get their armored units close to the action (this was also dictated by how fast the tracks would get used up by highway driving). The Transportation Plan, by which Eisenhower was given control of the RAF bomber command and the Army Air Forces in England had destroyed so much of the internal communications in France that it severely hampered the Germans. Many oh so wise (and usually left wing academics opposed to Nixon's bombing of North Vietnam) historians since the 1960s have claimed that the strategic bombing of German and the Transportation Plan were failures. The Germans themselves give the lie to that--they uniformly commented on the chaos of the railway system in France by June, 1944.

French resistance made a big difference, too. The Second SS "Das Reich" panzer division in the south of France was thought to be able to reach Normandy or the Pas de Calais within four or five days. The resistance had quietly siphoned off all the lubricant in the railway car axles and substituted an abrasive. The axles of the flatcars locked up within a few miles when Das Reich tried to move out. In the event, it took them seventeen days to reach Normandy.

The 12th SS Panzergrenadier "Hitler Jugend" and the Panzer Lehr divisions were within a day's drive of the Calvado--but it took them days and days to get there. Both divisions had lead elements arrive within a couple of days, but the entire formations did not reach the battlefield for over a week. And that was because it was simply unsafe to be on the road in daytime.

The Allies didn't have air superiority--they had air supremacy.

Actually, Rommel's basic plan was not that bad, under the circumstances. It is true that he lacked the experience of Sicily and Salerno, and didn't realize what the effect of Allied naval gunfire would be, but he was correct that attempting to assemble an effective force inland out of range of the naval heavies would be a nightmare. If his plans had been put into action promptly, they might have made a difference. The 915th regiment from the 352nd Infantry Division was formed into a special brigade, a Kampfgruppe with the intention of attacking the Allies as they attempted to land. But they were badly mismanaged.

Some of the airborne troopers were badly "misdropped," and landed south and east of Carentan, which was the base for the 6th FS (paratroopers). The kampfgruppe was sent, therefore, to Isigny, to deal with a threat which was chimerical. German communications had been disrupted, to be sure, but the command lines were truly fucked up, and all the division and many of the regimental commanders were in Rennes or on the way to Rennes for a map exercise on June 5-6. The kampfgruppe was not dispatched in a prompt manner, and by the time their mistake was revealed and they were sent back toward Gold, Juno and Sword, the Americans who had survived the meat grinder of Omaha Beach had already gotten their act together and had pushed up to the top of the bluffs, and were attacking Colville. The commander of the kampfgruppe (i think his name was Meyer, but i don't recall exactly--he was killed that day) detached his second battalion to defend Colville, but it was already in American hands, so the battalion made desultory and futile attacks for the rest of the day. The kampfgruppe had been weakened for no good reason.

Additionally, German divisions weren't very damned mobile to begin with, and the 352nd had been stripped of all of its armor and motor transport to create the kampfgruppe. By the time the sadly reduced kampfgruppe arrived behind the British and Canadian beaches, they were facing tanks, and forward observers who could call in naval gunfire, including the 12", 14" and 15" guns of the "old ladies," the battleships offshore. The 22nd panzer regiment and the 195th panzergrenadier regiment of the 21st panzer division attempted to drive into the gap between the British at Gold and the Canadians at Juno. The panzergrenadiers made it, and they had to hunker down under nearly incessant naval gunfire. The 22nd never made it. The Canadians had landed so many tanks by then (late afternoon) that they were able to drive the panzers off altogether. The 21st panzer, the one division which Rommel had relied upon to punish the Allies on the beaches, made no significant contribution to the battle.

Guderian and von Rundstedt were right--you can't fight an armored battle under the guns 0f an armada. Rommel was right, you can't make an approach march under skies owned by your enemy. The Germans really didn't have a hope in hell of stopping the invasion. The Allies made some bad mistakes. The 82nd and 101st divisions shouldn't have been dropped at night--even then, though, their confusion and scattering badly confused the Germans who were either paralyzed by the reports coming in, or, as in the example of the 915th regiment kampfgruppe, made unwise decisions about deploying their mobile forces. The British 6th airborne got lucky, and landed largely without any trouble. Their follow-up glider landings brought in jeeps, trucks, half-tracks, light artillery and anti-tank guns. Commandos and infantry from Sword beach were able to join them before the Germans scraped up a counterattack.

The initial naval and air bombardment did absolutely no good. Most of the bomber crews, worried about hitting the men coming into the beaches, waited 30 seconds to drop their bomb loads, and dropped them miles inland instead of on the beaches. The DD tanks, the "swimming" tanks, were a miserable failure in the American sectors because they were launched too far out. At Juno and Sword, the Royal Navy coxswains pushed their landing craft right up to the water's edge and those boys had armored support all day.

But the Germans made worse mistakes or made no decisions at all. There was a monster battery of 155mm guns at Le Havre, and they wasted their day dueling with HMS Warspite. The 15" guns of that battleship made little impression on their concrete casemates--but they made no impression at all on the shipping the Bay of the Seine or on the beaches, because they weren't firing at those targets, they were involved in a pointless brawl with a ship they couldn't sink, and to which they couldn't even do significant damage. But the worse command problem was a lack of leadership altogether. Hitler slept until noon, no one was willing to wake him up, so it was after 3:00 pm before any of the panzer divisions were "released" to go to the battlefield.

I know of no one book which is really good and comprehensive. Stephen Ambrose's D-Day, however, comes close to being comprehensive. It is part Eisenhower hagiography, though, and tends to concentrate on the Americans, on Omaha beach in particular, and to give scant notice to the Brits and Canadians.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 11:48 am
@joefromchicago,
Interesting, Joe. The hagiography of Rommel reminds me of the hagiography of Lee. You'll get lambasted every time for criticizing either of them--they have become military saints.
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 11:59 am
@Setanta,
Here, allow me to quote myself quoting myself:

Setanta wrote:
Allow me to quote myself:

Setanta wrote:
I suspect that this is one of those threads which will get resurrected any time someone with an interest in perpetuating this legend shows up.


As i have said, there is nothing in The Rommel Papers to substantiate this story. As both Joe and i have repeatedly requested, does anyone have source for this? Because otherwise, no one making the claim should expect to be believed.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 12:41 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Interesting, Joe. The hagiography of Rommel reminds me of the hagiography of Lee. You'll get lambasted every time for criticizing either of them--they have become military saints.

Good comparison.
0 Replies
 
Shadrach
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2010 03:49 am
@Setanta,
Gents,

The supposed Rommel quote may or may not be completely true. However due to a Television program here in Australia, it may have gained a degree of belief beyond any actual historical proof existing.

A transcript of the program can be found here:
http://www.abc.net.au/tv/enoughrope/transcripts/s1093604.htm

Ian Robertson served in WW2 and Korea. When asked what ANZAC Day means to him, he replied.

"Yes. On Anzac Day I like to look back on what...our enemies said about the Australians. Rommel said that at Tobruk, when Hitler demanded to know why he allowed a colonial division to fire the might of the German army, and Rommel said, "This isn't a colonial division, it's an Australian division. Give me two Australian divisions and I'll conquer the world for you."

There's the quote but not completely attributable to Rommel. I believe the "attitude" displayed by some of the Aussies is due to the way in which our contribution to the various conflicts we've been involved in is covered by military histories originating from the US & UK.

An example I like to quote is the WW1 Battle of Hamel. The 1st AIF conducted an almost perfect example of Combined Arms (Infantry, Aircraft & Armour, including aerial resupply) warfare in July 1918. This was also the first offensive action US troops took part in, where they were attached to the Australian Corps. Also the first Congressional Medal of Honor awarded during WW1 went to Corporal Thomas A. Pope.

Cheers

Darren
Setanta
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2010 03:56 am
@Shadrach,
Shadrach wrote:
I believe the "attitude" displayed by some of the Aussies is due to the way in which our contribution to the various conflicts we've been involved in is covered by military histories originating from the US & UK.


There's a problem here, though, which is that even this claim is a part of an attitude on the part of Australians. Both the Canadians and Australians were used as, and were described by the English as "the shock troops of Empire." I didn't get that from reading an Australian historian--in fact, i don't know that i've ever read anything by an Australian historian. While it would be silly to claim that American and English historians go about trumpeting the achievments of the Australians, it would be equally absurd to claim that they are never recognized. I think there is a large element of "having a chip on one's shoulder" in the attitude of Australians as seen in this thread. I know of no one who either has actively isulted, nor even passively ignored the contributions of Australia in two world wars.
Setanta
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2010 03:58 am
This thread has become like the Hitler threads and the evolution threads. It will never die.
0 Replies
 
Corpse Table
 
  2  
Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2011 04:33 am
@acacia,
Hi Acacia, my father fought in that campaign. Erwin's son Manfred was invited and attended a NSW RSL Association dinner (circa 1974) in honour of his father where he confirmed to all present (including dad) that his father once boasted that the Australian soldiers where a revelation to him and that if he had a division of soldiers like them he would have already cleaned up in Africa and could conquer the entire world militarily. He also said to my dad that he was seriously considering settling his family in Australia. He got drunk with my dad and his mates, he was one of the boys.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2011 05:01 am
@acacia,
See what u can get from Google
and other search engines.

At least, u shoud get some leads,
if thay exist.
0 Replies
 
Shadrach
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2011 01:01 am
@Setanta,
There's one fact that can't be denied. The largest single collection of Victoria Crosses is housed in the Australian War Memorial in Australia's Capital, Canberra. I believe that may be somewhat of an indication of the bravery, if nothing else of the members of the Australian Defence Forces.

There's a problem with your reply as well...

"I didn't get that from reading an Australian historian--in fact, i don't know that i've ever read anything by an Australian historian. "

Slightly condescending in my opinion. I suggest you visit the Australian War Memorial Website, especially the Official histories page here:

http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/

Both WW1 & WW2 histories are available for download or reading online.

Charles Bean (Official Historian for WW1) accompanied the 1st AIF during the whole of that conflict and was rarely far behind the frontline at Gallipoli or when the AIF moved to France. I don't possess a "chip on my shoulder" and since you have failed to mention where you originate from, short of stating some nonsense about a 4th dimension, you may very well possess the "chip" yourself when I observe your attitude. Therefore, I would suggest you make yourself aware of the subject before passing judgement on a topic you profess not to have knowledge of.

I have not suggested Australians have been insulted nor ignored. I do however believe the contribution my country made to the Allied military efforts in both World Wars has been possibly, undervalued or overlooked to some extent. For example the Australian Corps was the largest British Empire unit to be fielded in WW1. The 1st AIF had a total of 331,814 voluntary enlistments (It remained a 100% voluntary military force for the duration of the war) which, represented 13% of the white male population. Australia in 1916 had a population of 4,943,173. With the exception of our "cousins" in New Zealand, the AIF suffered the highest casualty rate of any Allied force, with 61,859 deaths and an overall casualty rate of 64% killed & wounded. Put simply, that represents one death and two wounded from every four serving members.

Battles from both World Wars worth examining in my humble opinion are:

Gallipoli - Although unsuccessful in achieving its objective, resulted in what is surely the greatest example of an evacuation from under the enemy's nose. Fourteen Divisions were removed from the peninsular with only two soldiers wounded during the process.

Beersheba - October 31st 1917. Often cited as the last large scale cavalry charge to be mounted in the history of modern warfare. The 4th Light Horse Brigade mounted an attack over a distance of some 6 km/3.7 mi to capture the town and initiate the ultimate defeat of Turkish and German forces in the 3rd Battle of Gaza.

Hamel - Northern France July 4th 1918. The Australian Corps launches an attack on the town of Hamel. General Sir John Monash planned an attack that he envisaged would last for a duration of 90mins. It ran over schedule by only 3 mins and captured all its objectives. Monash had trained as a civilian engineer and his operations where planned with a precision rarely seen during WW1. Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery was often seen to wear an Australian "slouch hat" during the North African campaign in WW2. He also described Monash as the best Allied General of WW1.

Tobruk - Siege commencing April 11th, 1941. It marked the first time the German Army failed to achieve its assigned objectives in WW2 or that the Blitzkreig tactics failed. The siege lasted for some 200 days. The town was eventually captured by the DAK, although not until the Australian 9th Division had been withdrawn. General Leslie Morshead, known to his troops as, "Ming the Merciless" was ordered by Wavell to hold the town for eight weeks, the 9th Division held it for 5 months. A German POW is recorded as saying the following to his Australian captors,

"I cannot understand you Australians. In Poland, France, and Belgium, once the tanks got through the soldiers took it for granted that they were beaten. But you are like demons. The tanks break through and your infantry still keep fighting."

Kokoda Track - July -> November 1942. New Guinea. Militia or CMF (Citizens Military Forces) were able to halt the Japanese Army attempt to capture Port Moresby. Again a successful campaign that marked the first time Japanese forces were halted in WW2.

I don't have a chip on my shoulder and I doubt many other Aussies do. I am however rightly proud of what the Australian Defence Forces have achieved during various conflicts. Check Vietnam as well, where we employed armour successfully against NVA units and tunnel complexes. Armour piercing tank shells were used to collapse the tunnels, reducing our exposure to having to enter these complexes.
Setanta
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2011 04:12 am
@Shadrach,
I'll take your word for it that you have no chip on your shoulder, but i do think it is rather snotty of you to have said it is condescending to point out that i've never to my knowledge read an Australian historian. That was simple honesty. The Dutch took part in the Second World War, and both land an naval forces of Holland fought in your neck of the woods. How many Dutch historians of the period have you read? A plausible case could be made that the Second World War began in China. How many Chinese historians of the period have you read?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 1 Mar, 2011 05:02 am
@Shadrach,
Let me explain a little something to you here. The copyright laws as between the UK/Commonwealth and the United States are different. When i buy books in Canada which were published in the UK or the Commonwealth, the prices are listed for the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. Then, as plain as plain can be, there is a line which reads "Not for sale in the United States." So, do you think that, so as not to be condescending, i should fly to Australia and buy up all the books by Australian historians i can find? Get real.
 

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