The Instigator
ej3467273
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
JonathanDJ
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Best General of WW2

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
ej3467273
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/23/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,118 times Debate No: 41089
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

ej3467273

Pro

The argument is who is the best general Of WW2. First round is acceptance and who you will be picking. I will pick(after hard thinking between Heinz Guderian and Erich Von Manstein) to chose Erich Von Mainstein.
JonathanDJ

Con

I want to thank my opponent for this very cool topic! This is right up my ally though I might prove to be a bit of an amateur compared to him. I will be arguing that the greatest General of WW2 was Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower.
Debate Round No. 1
ej3467273

Pro

Thank you for acceptance.

First Mainstein was the one who envisioned the invasion of France. He had help from Heinz Gurderian, but the plan made the numerically superior French and British, who had better tanks and somewhat better aircraft, lose. Though Mainstein didn't lead the attack, the Battle of France was an utter annihilation of French forces and only due to the stupidity of Goring and Hitler allowed for Dunkirk to happen.

Mainstein also showed that he had the iron in his bones to stand up to Hitler. He defeated the Soviets several times, often with no air support, and shred himself a master of siege warfare at the Siege of Sevastapol. He also defeated three Soviet armies and forced back three others at the Third Battle of Kharkov. He also demolished the Soviets at the Battle of Kursk, though they had much more reserves than he previously thought and was a Soviet victory. He also managed to save thousands of German lives when the Soviets attacked Ukraine, a move that made Hitler sack him.

Ike was a good leader no doubt about that. But he was never outnumbered, always had support, and didn't have to deal with soviet armies numbering in the millions. Though he was responsible for the liberation of France and Operation Torch, he was Supreme Commander and had the ultimate say in dealing with monty, Patton and Bradley.
JonathanDJ

Con

Dwight David Eisenhower was a commander in the Pacific theater in WW2. His talent was noticed and he was recruited to serve in the Atlantic theater. Ultimately he was given the rank of Supreme Allied Commander. His first attack against the Germans was in North Africa. This was called Operation Torch. Here he would face one of the greatest masterminds of the battlefield in the history of man Field Marshall Erwin Rommel. With the help of the British General Bernard "Monty" Montgomery, he beat the "Desert Fox" at his own game. The Germans were defeated.
The next step would be to put boots on the ground of Europe it self. The plan was called Operation Husky and the point of attack would be Sicily. Eisenhower set the date specifically on July 10 for moon light. The first part of the night would be reasonably well lit for an airborne assault, the first major one of it's kind for the allies, and the later part of the night would be dark and suitable for naval operations. Husky was another victory for Ike.
Eisenhower's next victorious venture was onto the mainland of Italy itself and was called operation Avalanche. Here he faced disagreement about the importance of the location and how much focus should be placed on it. Ike had trouble getting the appropriate supplies and equipment. The British offered many needed things but the US which was focused on the eventual invasion of North West Europe gave much less. Eisenhower in classic form worked with both nations to produce a victory over the Germans and eventually and finally secure Italy for the Allies.
What we are most familiar with is Eisenhower's magnum opus. Operation Overlord which is more popularly known as D-Day. There was of course Ike's amazing ability to coordinate people and resources. I think his finest bit of artistry was in the Pas de Calais deception. He knew that in their minds because of the Germans commitment to Blitz Krieg; the only conceivable route for attack would be the Pas de Calais. It was the shortest and fastest route from Great Britain into France and then to Germany. So, with the help of a magician he built an entire invasion force out of wood and rubber some things were placed over vehicles so that they would appear to move. Patton was sent to the area openly so that German spies would spot him. The Germans were certain that any invasion of France or Germany would involve Patton. The invasion of Normandy was planned for June because of the weather. One of the unique things about this operation was the massive application of airborne troops. Incidentally the only person who didn't fall for Ike's ruse was Erwin Rommel. He begged for Panzers to come to the area of Normandy.
https://maps.google.com...

http://www.history.army.mil...
Debate Round No. 2
ej3467273

Pro

Erwin Rommel, while a great tactician, never learned the most important lesson in warfare. Amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics. Ike was perhaps the best manager of all time. Not the best general.

You bring up the Operation Avalanche. The use of paratroopers was a good idea, though that lead to the most humiliating invasion the Allies had to conduct. It took them a span of two years to finally take Italy and Eisenhower has to take credit for that invasion. Eisenhower in North Africa was not decisive as you like to believe. Following the Second Battle of El Alamein, Rommel was doomed. He played a limited role in the battle and wasn't even there for some of the time due to illness.

As Churchill said about the Second Battle of El Alamein, "This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

Again, Eisenhower was going up against a weaken German military. The Eastern Front was were the war was lost by the Germans. Manstein was going up against superior forces in most of his battles such as in the Third Battle of Kharkov. He destroyed three entire Soviet armies and fought off three more. He was going up against the strongest armies in the world, not some weakened German Afrika Korps or the weakened forces on the Western Front.

Eisenhower didn't have to worry about air support which is often the most important supprt one can have in battle. The Luftwaffe was so weak that they could barely contest the bombing runs over Germany, much less play a role on the Western Front. In contrast, Manstein had to capture the principal port on the Crimea and he did that with air support. He had to petition Hitler for it.

Eisenhower always had been able to get support. He can't take credit for the battles won in France or Germany, due to his subordinates such as Patton, Bradely and Montgomery doing the acutal coordination." Eisenhower worked tirelessly to address the demands of the rival commanders to optimize Allied forces, often by giving them tactical, though sometimes ineffective, latitude; many historians conclude this delayed the Allied victory in Europe."

He was a great manager. But as a general he was not the best of World War II.

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JonathanDJ

Con

My counterparts attitudes and statements range from the obnoxious to the bizarre. To refer to Erwin Rommel as an amateur is both. The logistics problems of N. Africa weren't Rommel's fault. That was Hitler's doing. Rommel was 2 days late to the Second Battle of El Alamein. So my counterpart exaggerates. I don't know why he's telling me that he was "Doomed" I pointed out that Monty ended that conflict.
My counterpart wants to deny Ike any credit for his leader ship and give all of it to people like Monty and Bradley and Patton. Patton was benched because of his behavior in Italy. So he didn't participate directly in D-day.
My counterpart completely ignores Ike's brilliance with the Pas de Calais deception. He gives Monty credit and says Ike caused a delay in the end of the war, but it was Monty's disastrous Market Garden campaign that did that.
In regard to Italy again my counterpart is off his nut. First airborne was used in Husky in Sicily NOT IN AVALANCHE. Second Patton took Rome in 30 days after landing in Italy. I think it's true that there was greater difficulties with N. Italy but they wouldn't have had proper support given the disagreement among the allied forces about where resources should go. Ike's brilliance lay in the fact that he could take people with huge egos and stubborn opinions and get them to work together and bring about success. Churchill, De Gaul, Roosevelt, Patton, Monty are the kind of people he had to deal with.
Now, my counterpart neglects to give credit where credit is due. Without Rommel and Guderian his beloved Manstein would not have been successful in taking France. It was Guderian that led the Germans to the gates of Moscow and had Hitler not interfered the Germans would have won in The Soviet Union right then and there not because of Manstein but because Guderian. Why does he not give credit to Manstein's stable of talent like he demands of Ike. Manstein had a hell of allot more to work with than Ike did.
By the way, what historians think Ike screwed up? I'd like to see some names.
Debate Round No. 3
ej3467273

Pro

"So my counterpart exaggerates. I don't know why he's telling me that he was "Doomed"

Rommel was doomed because he was beaten from Egypt and was recieving little support from Hitler. He outran his own logistics that he was in charge of.

" Patton was benched because of his behavior in Italy. So he didn't participate directly in D-day."

Never gave Patton any credit for his particpation in D-Day,

"He gives Monty credit and says Ike caused a delay in the end of the war, but it was Monty's disastrous Market Garden campaign that did that."

He approved it. Nothing more, nothing less. I give Monty credit when it is due and give Ike where credit is due. Monty's Market Garden campaign prolonged the war, but Eisenhower approved it, while also delegating resources for it.

"Second Patton took Rome in 30 days after landing in Italy."

No that was Clark who took Rome in June of 1944. Took around six months because of the Battle of Monte Cassino.

" Ike's brilliance lay in the fact that he could take people with huge egos and stubborn opinions and get them to work together and bring about success. Churchill, De Gaul, Roosevelt, Patton, Monty are the kind of people he had to deal with."

Why did I call him a great manager? Because he could do that, counter balancing every ego he had come across. That was made him a great manager. Not a great general.

"By the way, what historians think Ike screwed up? I'd like to see some names."

Stephen Ambrose is the only one I can think of, along with Dick Morris, though I do not consider him a historian.

"In regard to Italy again my counterpart is off his nut. First airborne was used in Husky in Sicily NOT IN AVALANCHE. "

My opponent believes that I said Avalanche was the first time airborne was used by the Allies. I said no such thing. I referenced Avalanche because that was the beginning of the invasion of Italy. Took two years to take Italy. The only campaign where the Allies suffered more heavily than the Germans, (excluding surrendered forces). In contrast, it took about eleven months to take both France, Belgium, Western Germany, the Low Countries, and Holland.

"Now, my counterpart neglects to give credit where credit is due. Without Rommel and Guderian his beloved Manstein would not have been successful in taking France."

Con believes I neglect to give credit. I gave credit to Gueridan because he helped with the Manstein plan, gave others credit for the Battle of France because Manstein didn't lead it like Con believes. Manstein did have a stable of talent just like Ike. But no, Manstein did not have "a hell of allot more to work with than Ike did". Manstein was a brilliant general, who implemented Gueridan's tactics, a brilliant general who stood up to Hitler just like Guerdian. Manstein and Gueridan are perhaps the greatest generals in World War II. While Ike had to counterbalance different egos and people, he never had to deal with Hitler like Manstein and Guerdian.

"My counterpart completely ignores Ike's brilliance with the Pas de Calais deception."

No I do not. I neglected to address it in my previous argument, but I will address it now. My opponent says in the first round he built an entire invasion force out of rubber and wood and failed to mention the other two reasons why the deception worked. So I shall do it for him. The physical deception wasn't very needed due to almost nil German aerial recon and uncontrolled German agents. The credit should be due to the use of wireless traffic and the double agents Britain had managed to turn. These are the reasons Operation Fortitude is considered successful. The long term view taken by British Intelligence to cultivate these agents as channels of disinformation to the enemy.
"The use of Ultra decrypts of machine-encrypted messages between Abwehr and the German High Command, which quickly indicated the effectiveness of deception tactics. This is one of the early uses of a closed-loop deception system. The messages were usually encrypted by Fish rather than Enigma machines. R V Jones, the Assistant Director Intelligence (Science) at the British Air Ministry insisted for reasons of tactical deception that for every radar station attacked within the real invasion area, two were to be attacked outside it. The extensive nature of the German Intelligence machinery, and the rivalry amongst the various elements. General George S Patton was considered the Allies' best General and the German High Command believed he would lead the attack."

http://en.wikipedia.org...
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http://en.wikipedia.org...(World_War_II)
JonathanDJ

Con

While my counterpart has brought an excellent General to light I think he exaggerates his importance and skill. Heinz Guderian took Blitz Krieg and made it work. He did so with Rommel at his side in the Ardennes. My counterpart still wants to insult Rommel despite the fact that Rommel is the only military commander that predicted that the allies would attack at Normandy rather than at Pas de Calais. The Soviets were NOT a tough opponent. The Russian climate was a tough opponent. The Soviets foolishly used human wave combat. They won the great tank battle at Kursk but just barely. It's because they had allot more tanks. If the allies had not attacked Italy the Germans may still have won in the Soviet Union. This is inspite of Hitler's bad decisions. The Germans had the finest military technology in the world. Manstein had the finest collection of military minds in history. He had the finest military equipment ever developed. It would be a surprise if he didn't win. His call to go through the Ardennes rather than up and down to go around it was an excellent decision.
My counterpart says Ike was a great manager but not a great general. That's an absurd thing to say. To be a great general you must be a great manager. And the genius of Pas de Calais is not merely the deception. What makes it a smart move is that Ike knew to plant the fake there and not in the direction of Normandy. Instead of playing the guessing game which you never win. He'll know, that I know, that He knows, that I know etc. Rather, what doesn't change is your enemies nature. The Germans could be counted on to stick to their aggressive, fast, Blitz Krieg style of attack would be more likely to attack at Pas de Calais because it was a quicker more direct route. The Germans would therefore assume that we would do the same thing. They got locked into their own way of seeing things and assumed that everybody must think the same way.
I wanted to mention that my counterpart doesn't understand why cost Rommel the second battle of El Alamein. He lost because his tanks got bogged down in the soil. He had bad maps and Monty had good maps that showed this danger.
Ike's ability to make strategically sound decisions, keep over inflated egos of the worlds most powerful men in check, and win I believe show him to be the greatest general of WW2.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by STALIN 3 years ago
STALIN
I agree with Pro so far...
Posted by STALIN 3 years ago
STALIN
I would accept this debate, however I think that Manstein was probably the best, or one of the best general. There were others such as Rommel and Guderian that matched up to Manstein, however I would have no strong arguments that could support either. However I will take the time to vote on this debate when the time comes.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by STALIN 3 years ago
STALIN
ej3467273JonathanDJTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Spelling and grammar to Pro since Con misspelled Blitzkrieg multiple times. Sources to Pro since he had more sources to support his position. Pro did a good job arguing how Manstein was a better general. For example, Pro stated how Manstein was almost always outnumbered. Con replied to this Pro's arguments on Manstein's successes in the east by saying that the only thing that Manstein needed to worry about from the Russians was the weather. "The Soviets were NOT a tough opponent. The Russian climate was a tough opponent." This is a laughable argument due to the fact that some 80% of the German army died in the east and I don't think all of them died from cold. I would also like to point out that throughout this debate, Con did not compare Manstein and Eisenhower once. Instead Con talked about Rommel's successes and tried to compare that to Manstein. Pro's strongest argument was that while Manstein was almost always outnumbered, Eisenhower almost always had a numerical advantage.
Vote Placed by JackFritschy 3 years ago
JackFritschy
ej3467273JonathanDJTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Con showed ikes skill in deception, but pro showed that ikes basic strategy was to use supior resources and air power to rape anything in his way. Manstien had to fight against overwellming odds.