The Instigator
STALIN
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
MrV666
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

Best General of WWII

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
STALIN
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2013 Category: Arts
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,106 times Debate No: 42447
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (16)
Votes (2)

 

STALIN

Pro

In this debate, me and my opponent will argue who was the best general of WWII. I will be going with Heinz Guderian. My opponent must also choose a general, however since I have chosen a German general, Con can not choose a German general. In addition to this, the general he chooses must be from the European Theater.

Rules:
1) My opponent and I can only choose a general from the European theater.
2) My opponent can not choose a German general since I already chose a German general (he can choose an American, British, Soviet , etc. general).
3) No insulting me.

Structure of this debate:
Round 1: Acceptance. In addition to this, state which general you chose.
Round 2: Write a short summary about the general you chose. Focus on his military experiences and successes.
Round 3: Me and my opponent will compare generals. I will talk about the reasons that Heinz Guderian was the better general and my opponent will talk about the reasons that the general he chose was better.
Round 4: In round 4, we will respond to each others arguments from round three. This round will also be used for conclusions.

If you do not accept these terms and conditions, then please do not accept this debate.

Lets see how this works. Good luck and have fun.
MrV666

Con

I accept your challenge, and thus choose Marshal of the Soviet Union (a rank even higher than general in the Soviet army. I hope this still counts) Georgy Zhukov. He fought on the Eastern Front, pushing forward into Europe from Russia, and thus was in the European theatre. And, while I do know your reputation, I have no interest in insulting you. Your move.
Debate Round No. 1
STALIN

Pro

In his book, Panzer Leader, Guderian wrote:

"In this year (1929) I became convinced that tanks working on their own or in conjunction with infantry could never achieve decisive importance. My historical studies; the exercises carried out in England and our own experience with mock-ups had persuaded me that the tanks would never be able to produce their full effect until weapons on whose support they must inevitably rely were brought up to their standard of speed and of cross-country performance. In such formation of all arms, the tanks must play the primary role, the other weapons being subordinated to the requirements of the armor. It would be wrong to include tanks in infantry divisions: what were needed were armored divisions which would include all the supporting arms needed to fight with full effect." [1]

Guderian was probably the most important general in developing the Blitzkrieg strategy which became so useful while fighting in Poland, France, and the Soviet Union. Heinz Guderian realized the potential that a combination of tanks and infantry could be deadly.

Hermann Balck said: "The decisive breakthrough into modern military thinking came with Guderian, and it came not only in armour, but in communication." [1]

The German victories from 1939 through 1941 were not due to superior equipment, but to superior tactics in the use of that equipment, and superior command and control which allowed the German panzer forces to operate at a much higher pace. Guderian developed the strategy which helped Germany conquer Europe.

Now onto the Second World War:

Invasion of Poland

Guderian led the XIX Corps during the invasion of Poland. This corps was made out of a panzer division and two motorized infantry divisions. Guderian led his corps in the Battle of Wizna and the Battle of Kobryn and defeated Polish forces. In each of these battles his theories of rapid maneuver in combat proved highly successful. Following the defeat of Poland, Guderian continued to improve the Panzers in armor and firepower.

Invasion of France

Guderian helped to develop the Manstein Plan for the invasion of France [2]. His force spearheaded the invasion of France which was a staggering success. He led the attack that broke the French lines at Sedan which also proved successful. Guderian's panzer group led the "race to the sea" that split the Allied armies in two. It deprived the French armies and the BEF in Northern France and Belgium of their fuel, food, spare parts and ammunition. Faced with orders from his superiors to halt, he managed to continue his advance by stating he was performing a reconnaissance in force. Guderian's column was famously denied the chance to destroy the Allied forces trapped in the pocket at Dunkirk by an order coming from the high command [1].

Invasion of Russia

In 1941 Heinz Guderian commanded the Panzergruppe 2 in Operation Barbarossa. His armored spearhead captured Smolensk in a remarkably short time and was poised to launch the final assault on Moscow when he was ordered to turn his army south to encircle the Soviet forces to his south in the Battle of Kiev. He protested this decision however was forced to turn south. Here Guderian helped to encircle hundreds of thousands of Soviet troops at Kiev. [3]

Guderian then spearheaded the drive on Moscow. With winter fast approaching the offensive seemed to be doomed. He was ordered to continue the advance anyway. Several units under Guderian's command made it to the outskirts of Moscow. The Soviets then launched a counterattack that eventually forced the German army to retreat a hundred miles. Guderian was not allowed to pull his forces back, but instead was ordered to "stand fast" in his current position. He disobeyed the order and went personally to Adolf Hitler's headquarters. However the order was not changed. After returning to his command, he carried out a series of withdrawals anyway in direct contradiction of his orders. After a final clash with von Kluge, Guderian asked to be relieved of his command. On December 26, 1941 Guderian was relieved, along with 40 other generals. He was transferred to the reserve pool.

In September 1942, when Erwin Rommel was recovering in Germany from health problems, he suggested Guderian as the only man suitable to replace him in Africa. The response from the Oberkommando came as: "Guderian is not accepted."

Inspector of Armored Troops

After the German defeat at Stalingrad Hitler realized he was in need of Guderian's skill. He personally requested Guderian to take a new position as "Inspector General of Armored Troops". Guderian made a number of changes to ensure that he would have the requisite authority to perform his duties. Hitler agreed to the conditions, and in 1943 he was appointed to the new position. His responsibilities were to oversee the rebuilding of the greatly weakened panzer arm, to oversee tank design and production, and the training of Germany's panzer forces, and he was to advise Hitler on their use.

Heinz Guderian never suffered a single real defeat. He won victories in Poland and in France as well as in the Soviet Union. Guderian's defeat at Moscow was a defeat for Hitler, not for Guderian. Hitler refused to provide the German army with appropriate supplies for the winter and as a result, German troops died in the thousands and many German tanks stopped working altogether. It was Hitler's mistakes that cause Germany to lose WWII altogether. In addition to this, Guderian was almost always outnumbered. Following the fall of France, Guderian doubled the amount of German Panzers. Guderian developed the Blitzkrieg strategy that enabled Germany to conquer all of Europe.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
MrV666

Con

Since you have not shown any issue with my choice, I will continue. Georgy Zhukov was born a peasant, and was later conscripted into the Imperial army, serving with the 106th Cavalry Regiment. Twice in World War I he was awarded the Cross of St. George for bravery on the battlefield, and was promoted to NCO (non-commisioned officer). He served in the Red Army during the October Rebellion and Russian Civil War in the 1st Cavalry Army. He also recieved the Order of the Red Banner (recognizing him for heroism, courage, etc.) for subduing Tambov Rebellion. Finally, he displayed great ingenuity in the battle with Japan's Kwantung Army, utilizing 500 BT-5 and BT-7 tanks supported by 500 fighters and bombers (the first joint Fighter-Bomber operation in the Soviet Union). After flanking the Japanese with two tank brigades, the battle was won and the disputed border of Mongolia and Manchuko was secured by the Soviets. These tactics were later tested and utilized in the later Eastern Front of World War II. Innovations in tank engines (from highly flammable petrol engines to diesel), which later led to the creation of the highly recognized T-34 tank. He also began (on the Eastern Front) to utilize underwater bridges. As well, he mixed experienced veterans with rookies to create a morale boost among the soldiers. After these early conflicts, he served during World War II, and was responsible for numerous successful and some unsuccessful campaigns. After the Allied victory, he continued to serve in the military, until Stalin's (you losing this debate, eh?) death, where he slowly fell from Soviet graces. He later had a short political career as Defense Minister until his retirement.
Debate Round No. 2
STALIN

Pro

I will now talk about the reasons that Heinz Guderian was a better general.

Georgy Zhukov often suffered heavy losses.

One of the most obvious examples of this was at the battle of Moscow. Soviet losses during the battle were 1,280,000 while German casualties stood at only 400,000 [1]. At some point in the battle, the Germans were outnumbered by as much as 2:1. Although I would agree that there were certain conditions that required such heavy losses, the often pointless waste of men by Zhukov supports my side of the argument.

During Operation Mars (also known as "Zhukov's Greates Defeat"), Soviet forces, led by Georgy Zhukov, suffered around 500,000 casualties along with 1,600 tanks. At the same time, German casualties stood at only 40,000. [2] This is another example of how Zhukov often pointlessely wasted lives.

During the battle and eventual siege of Leningrad, Zhukov sacrificed millions (Zhukov was only in command for part of the siege). The Red Army alone suffered around 3 million casualties in the fight for the city. German casualties stood at around 140,000. [3]

Most of Georgy Zhukov's victories were largely due to a numerically superior army. I have stated only three such cases but there were others. During Operation Bagration and the battle for Berlin Zhukov outnumbered his enemy. Although Zhukov was a very good general, I would argue that there were some Soviet Marshals who were just as good, if not better than him.

The reasons that I believe Heinz Guderian was the better general was because:

1) Guderian developed strategies that are used even today.

2) Guderian was constantly outnumbered.

3) Guderian won staggering victories while suffering small losses.

In France, the German army suffered 163,000 casualties while the allies suffered around 2.2 million. [4]

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
MrV666

Con

With all due apologies to STALIN and anyone who wanted to view this, I formally forfeit this debate. I have come to realize Heinz Guderian to be the superior general, and thus feel no more time should be wasted. Next round is for STALIN to accept my surrender.
Debate Round No. 3
STALIN

Pro

I thank my opponent for this debate. When I first made it, I was 90% sure I would win. Zhukov may or may not have been a better general but he was not very successful in the early years of the war. This gives me an immediate advantage in this debate. Guderian also developed the Blitzkrieg strategy which gives me another immediate advantage. Please write something in the last round to make the debate end faster.
Debate Round No. 4
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MrV666 3 years ago
MrV666
No, there isn't anything wrong with that. Ragnar thinks it's an abomination. But it adds a snazzy feel to the debate. Not that bad really.
Posted by STALIN 3 years ago
STALIN
There is absolutely nothing wrong with using awesome font.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
One of the things DDO grades on under the argument, is presentation. Please cease using that abomination of a font.
Posted by STALIN 3 years ago
STALIN
huh?
Posted by MrV666 3 years ago
MrV666
Say wha?
Posted by STALIN 3 years ago
STALIN
I thought you had mistaken me for a Nazi.
Posted by MrV666 3 years ago
MrV666
Glad of that.
Posted by STALIN 3 years ago
STALIN
Understood.
Posted by MrV666 3 years ago
MrV666
When did I throw in an insult? I picked a Russian, and I just said that I knew who STALIN was, what he was commonly ridiculed for, and that I would not insult or even mention said rep anywhere else in the debate. Except here. Because I just did.
Posted by Nerd_in_a_Trenchcoat 3 years ago
Nerd_in_a_Trenchcoat
Stalin, is Comic Sans just your new thing? If so, please stop. That font is the devil.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by KingDebater 3 years ago
KingDebater
STALINMrV666Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct: Conduct to con because he conceded. Arguments: Arguments to Pro because con conceded. Sources: Sources to pro because he backed up his arguments with sources when they were in need of them.
Vote Placed by TheLastMan 3 years ago
TheLastMan
STALINMrV666Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Con FF and conceded. Pro cited reliable sources. Con did not provide any sources to back his argument up.