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Rifleman
22 Aug 06,, 05:40
Lots of threads about greatest generals. What about small unit tactical leaders? Care to vote on or name the greatest small unit tactical leader you've ever heard of?

I'd have to put Geronimo up near the top. Others would be Robert Rogers of French and Indian War fame; Daniel Morgan of the American Revolution; Richard Winters, made famous by the book "Band of Brothers;" and Tony Herbert and David Hackworth from Vietnam.

Your thoughts?

Officer of Engineers
22 Aug 06,, 05:51
Patton and Rommel

Rifleman
22 Aug 06,, 06:04
Patton and Rommel

Yeah, but I usually have them in the greatest generals category. I'm thinking of great leaders at the squad through battalion level. I'm not aware that Patton or Rommel were standout platoon leaders. Maybe they were, but I've never heard it mentioned.

Dick Winters, on the other hand, was nominated for the Medal of Honor and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross as a young lieutenant. This was for leading an assault on a German gun battery on D-Day morning. The battery consisted of four guns and was guarded by a German infantry platoon. Winters had 12 men, what amounted to a squad. They routed the infantry platoon and disabled all four guns.

Things like that are what I meant. Leaders of small unit actions.

Officer of Engineers
22 Aug 06,, 06:10
I'm sorry that I was not clear. Patton (and Rommel) view recee as "what's in front of my binoculars." They were both essentially company level commanders with the knowledge depth to lead a division. In short, they can exploit a tactical advantage for strategic purposes. I point to Patton's swing north during the Battle of the Buldge and Rommel swing in Eygpt.

lemontree
22 Aug 06,, 06:27
Col. David Sterling (LRDG/ SAS fame) and Col. T.E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia)

Bluesman
22 Aug 06,, 09:37
LtCol Lettow-Vorbeck. Tactical AND strategic genius.

leib10
22 Aug 06,, 18:50
There are so many "unknowns" that would qualify. Fine leaders of men, intelligent and skilled in the art of war. Men only known to soldiers under their own command and maybe to the enemy in their theater of operations, but destined to never be recognized beyond that.

Rifleman
22 Aug 06,, 19:38
There are so many "unknowns" that would qualify. Fine leaders of men, intelligent and skilled in the art of war. Men only known to soldiers under their own command and maybe to the enemy in their theater of operations, but destined to never be recognized beyond that.

Exactly. It sort of amounts to a "best you've heard of" question, or your personal favorite, for the reasons you stated.

The ones I listed, Geronimo, Robert Rogers, Daniel Morgan, Richard Winters, Tony Herbert, and David Hackworth, are some of my favorites, and reasonably well known to people who like to read about small unit actions.

Shek
28 Aug 06,, 04:10
Can you vote for yourself :biggrin: Just kidding! I'm just happy to have all my fingers and toes still :redface:

Bill
28 Aug 06,, 06:31
http://homepages.together.net/~wewbkr/Audie%20Murphy.JPG
Simply the best.


There are so many "unknowns" that would qualify. Fine leaders of men, intelligent and skilled in the art of war. Men only known to soldiers under their own command and maybe to the enemy in their theater of operations, but destined to never be recognized beyond that.
Yeah, yeah...just tell us which nazi you'd most like to blow, and we'll record your vote.


...David Hackworth...
David Hackworth so dishonored himself wrt the things he said about Michael Durant that as far as i'm concerned, he barely even qualifies as an American.

This is not to say he wasn't a crack leader at some point. All i know is that now, i wouldn't spit on him were he on fire. :mad:

sappersgt
28 Aug 06,, 21:42
I'm sorry that I was not clear. Patton (and Rommel) view recee as "what's in front of my binoculars." They were both essentially company level commanders with the knowledge depth to lead a division. In short, they can exploit a tactical advantage for strategic purposes. I point to Patton's swing north during the Battle of the Buldge and Rommel swing in Eygpt.

Sir,
I found your comment about being company commanders with knowledge depth extremely intriguing. Could you as the Brigadier would say "amplify" ?:)

Bluesman
29 Aug 06,, 00:02
http://homepages.together.net/~wewbkr/Audie%20Murphy.JPG
Simply the best.


Yeah, yeah...just tell us which nazi you'd most like to blow, and we'll record your vote.


David Hackworth so dishonored himself wrt the things he said about Michael Durant that as far as i'm concerned, he barely even qualifies as an American.

This is not to say he wasn't a crack leader at some point. All i know is that now, i wouldn't spit on him were he on fire. :mad:

I wrote this about him in this thread (http://worldaffairsboard.com/showthread.php?t=5677&highlight=hackworth):


One of my best friends (retired Army brigadier general) knew him in Vietnam. He didn't have a high opinion of him ("shameless self-promoter"), but acknowledged that his troops DID love him.

I felt he was an egomaniac that believed he was never wrong, and just really loved the role of contrarian and iconoclast a bit too much. He liked to paint a picture of himself that always glorified his exploits, and he made sure that IN HINDSIGHT, he had been right all along, but the idiots just wouldn't listen to him. And if they wouldn't listen to him, they were automatically idiots.

But there is no doubt that he was a natural combat leader that knew how to balance his mission with his unit's welfare. He loved soldiers and the Army, and had the integrity to throw away a career to tell the Army what it needed to hear, but was unwilling to believe about itself. THAT is something I can respect.

A complex and valuable man with some large flaws, he was a human allegory of America itself.

RIP, Colonel. Call the roll.

Rifleman
29 Aug 06,, 02:09
David Hackworth so dishonored himself wrt the things he said about Michael Durant that as far as i'm concerned, he barely even qualifies as an American.

This is not to say he wasn't a crack leader at some point. All i know is that now, i wouldn't spit on him were he on fire. :mad:

I agree that his comments about CWO Durant were mean spirited and cheap, and there was no excuse for it. But like you alluded to, that can't erase the fact that he was a great tactical leader at battalion level and below. Four Distinguished Service Crosses, that says something. It doesn't make him a great person but it does say something about his abilities as a tactical leader.

For all of the hoopala that surrounds him and his service in Vietnam, I feel that he didn't have any better idea than anyone else about how to win the Vietnam War strategically. Just better ideas about how to kill a lot of the enemy without having his own troops suffer as many casualties.

leib10
29 Aug 06,, 03:43
Yeah, yeah...just tell us which nazi you'd most like to blow, and we'll record your vote.

Now did I even mention a German in this thread? Please stop the attacks.

Parihaka
29 Aug 06,, 04:40
General Sir James Hope Grant. No question.

Bill
29 Aug 06,, 06:57
Now did I even mention a German in this thread? Please stop the attacks.
You're the one that dug the hole and handed me the shovel pal. It's gonna take a while before the dirt stops falling on you.

leib10
29 Aug 06,, 16:01
I'm afraid that you're the one who misunderstood me and continues to do so. Bluesman understands my statement perfectly.

Bill
29 Aug 06,, 21:13
I think Bluesman is just being (too) nice in the interests of board harmony to be honest.

I don't think i misinterpreted you at all...


"I find it interesting that those who have the "never forgive, never forget" mentality are merely continuing the hate and bigotry that the Nazis started."
I clearly stated that it was foolish to forgive and forget, that it violated the most basic principle of learning from one's mistakes, and you clearly stated that those who feel the way Blue and i do are "continuing the hate and bigotry that the Nazis started."
In effect, you called me a hateful bigot, and by extension...a Nazi.

So no, i'm not about to chuckle that off as some misunderstanding, when it clearly was not. You've defended nazis MANY times on this forum, and frankly, it's about time you've been called out for it.

leib10
29 Aug 06,, 22:18
Never have I defended Nazis. It's impossible to do that as their guilt is not in doubt. However, I've fought against the allegation that every member of the German race during the Third Reich was a Nazi.

Bill
29 Aug 06,, 22:40
Never have I defended Nazis. It's impossible to do that as their guilt is not in doubt. However, I've fought against the allegation that every member of the German race during the Third Reich was a Nazi.
Every member of the German nation that did not at least indirectly oppose the nazis was fit for firebombing as far as i'm concerned.

Carrying out the policies(or tacitly approving of them or being apathetic to them) is JUST AS BAD as if they were your policies to begin with.

WWII Germany was a nation of murderers, from the lowliest Hitler Youth participant right on up the line to the Fuhrer.

There is no defense for any of them.

And that's a fact.

We all know the old saying "All that's required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"....but i'll tell you that saying should be modified to:

Those who do nothing to stop evil are not good men, they're moral cowards and just as culpable as the evil-doers themselves.

leib10
29 Aug 06,, 23:01
It confuses me that you say that a German soldier's duty in WWII was to abandon family, country, and duty and defect. How is that possible, especially coming from you, an ex-soldier?

If you please, please continue our discussion by PM'ing me. I think we've hijacked this and other threads long enough.

Bill
29 Aug 06,, 23:27
It confuses me that you say that a German soldier's duty in WWII was to abandon family, country, and duty and defect. How is that possible, especially coming from you, an ex-soldier?
How do you figure that starting and executing a global war of aggression in order to steal land and anhillate whole race(s) of people that had done nothing to the German people is "doing your duty?"

Hmmm?

And do you think for ONE SECOND that me or any other Western soldier on this board would do the same?

I think not.

That's all i have to say on this subject, i see no need to continue. I've made my position excruciatingly clear.

leib10
29 Aug 06,, 23:34
As have I. One last thing though.

Almost all historians have concluded that the German populace and even front-line soldiers were pretty much kept in the dark about what went on behind the concentration camp fences. Whether they really were ignorant to the fact or if they were just lying will never be known. However, what is known is that when they learned about the concentration camps after Germany had been defeated, the lot of them were mortified. Once again, an unsubstantiated assertion, but that's all we have.

Another issue to consider was that the penalties for desertion and disobeying orders was far heavier in the German Army than it was in most Western Armies, especially later in the war with the "flying court-martials". Consequences could also affect the soldier's family.

So my point is, would the average German be willing to risk his life and the lives of his loved ones on a whim, if they were really ignorant to the Holocaust? Would he be willing to refuse to take orders and to defect, abandoning his loved ones to an unknown fate? I would say no.

Hawg166
20 Sep 06,, 00:44
Well since we are talking tactical leaders, I of course would be remiss if I didnt say as far as aviation was concerned it would be Ernst Boelcke and that as far as naval tactics go, the good Admiral Nelson again gets my vote.

leib10
20 Sep 06,, 01:56
You mean Oswald Boelcke?

Bluesman
20 Sep 06,, 04:00
You mean Oswald Boelcke?

If he didn't, then I guess I'm not as up on WWI aces as I thought.:cool:

YellowFever
20 Sep 06,, 07:28
Well since we are talking tactical leaders, I of course would be remiss if I didnt say as far as aviation was concerned it would be Ernst Boelcke and that as far as naval tactics go, the good Admiral Nelson again gets my vote.

As far as aviatian goes, I'll give you Boelcke. As for naval tactics, I'm not sure Nelson was the best.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yi_Sun-sin

Excerpt:


Admiral George Alexander Ballard of the Royal Navy considered Yi Sun-sin a great naval commander, and compared him to Lord Nelson of England:


It is always difficult for Englishmen to admit that Nelson ever had an equal in his profession, but if any man is entitled to be so regarded, it should be this great naval commander of Asiatic race who never knew defeat and died in the presence of the enemy; of whose movements a track-chart might be compiled from the wrecks of hundreds of Japanese ships lying with their valiant crews at the bottom of the sea, off the coasts of the Korean peninsula... and it seems, in truth, no exaggeration to assert that from first to last he never made a mistake, for his work was so complete under each variety of circumstances as to defy criticism... His whole career might be summarized by saying that, although he had no lessons from past history to serve as a guide, he waged war on the sea as it should be waged if it is to produce definite results, and ended by making the supreme sacrifice of a defender of his country. (The Influence of the Sea on The Political History of Japan, pp. 6667.)


As for my own pick for the best tactician, it's gotta be Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Confederate side in our civil war. The man was a racist piece of sh*t who actually founded the Ku Klux Klan but I don't know if we had a better cavalryman.
(On a side note, If you watched Forrest Gump, the movie, he was Forrest's great great grandfather or something..lol)

http://www.civilwarhome.com/forrestcampaigns.htm

pdf27
20 Sep 06,, 16:20
Sidney Jary MC. He was one of very, very few (IIRC he may even have been the only) British platoon commander to stay alive, unwounded and in charge of his Platoon all the way from D-Day to VE-Day. He must have been doing something right to get that far - infantry battalions lived longer on the Somme than in Normandy...

leib10
20 Sep 06,, 20:11
If he didn't, then I guess I'm not as up on WWI aces as I thought.:cool:

He might've gone for Ernst Udet. :biggrin:

zraver
25 Oct 06,, 04:01
Creighton Abrams

Sailor Malan

Douglas Bader

Werner Molders

Donald Darby

Whitmann

F8comes2u
06 Jul 11,, 16:29
As for naval tactics, I'm not sure Nelson was the best.

Yi Sun-sin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yi_Sun-sin)

Excerpt:


Admiral George Alexander Ballard of the Royal Navy considered Yi Sun-sin a great naval commander, and compared him to Lord Nelson of England:


It is always difficult for Englishmen to admit that Nelson ever had an equal in his profession, but if any man is entitled to be so regarded, it should be this great naval commander of Asiatic race who never knew defeat and died in the presence of the enemy; of whose movements a track-chart might be compiled from the wrecks of hundreds of Japanese ships lying with their valiant crews at the bottom of the sea, off the coasts of the Korean peninsula... and it seems, in truth, no exaggeration to assert that from first to last he never made a mistake, for his work was so complete under each variety of circumstances as to defy criticism... His whole career might be summarized by saying that, although he had no lessons from past history to serve as a guide, he waged war on the sea as it should be waged if it is to produce definite results, and ended by making the supreme sacrifice of a defender of his country. (The Influence of the Sea on The Political History of Japan, pp. 6667.)




It is fantastic to learn about new names and heroes ...and indeed Yi SUn-si did extraordinary things.... but now look a bit more careful where and what he did:
He operated in his own familiar waters (around korea) where he most optimally made use of bottle necks (many MANY narrow passages past rocky shores), (think of the 300 spartans holding off the persian mighty armies..).
He is good...but he is not a "superstar" for that matter.

I like to think of a "superstar" admiral , one that is capable of winning victories on seas FAR beyond his own familiar shores, possibly staging invasions and hitting the enemy on land as well.
(looks like that points to pirate flottilas).

And I have a nice contestant: Michiel de Ruyter.
(and a dozen of other dutch and english ex-privateers that became official admirals).




So "the best" in this or that is not so easy to give... first ask yourself what would be the criteria to measure supposed excellence.


Cheers:)

Albany Rifles
06 Jul 11,, 17:41
Wow...almost 5 years!

I suspect kitties AND SWSNBN to show up!

YellowFever
06 Jul 11,, 18:02
And he used one of my old post to necro the damn thing.

Damn, I feel honored.....

Bring on the Canadian babe!!!

Woo Hoo....

Mihais
06 Jul 11,, 18:05
Yes,but I was thinking about a thread about small unit leaders when this one popped up from the depths of wab.:biggrin:

YellowFever
06 Jul 11,, 18:12
Hackworth's books, "About Face" and "Steel My Soldier's Heart" were fascinating, though.

The guy had many flaws and he did admit to being a hard headed bastard.

His exploits as a Wolfhound in Korea was a pure joy to read.

Umm....not that THAT has anything to do with this thread.

Albany Rifles
06 Jul 11,, 19:39
Ohhh guuuuuunnnnyyyy!!!!!

YellowFever
06 Jul 11,, 20:10
I'm sorry, Gunny can't come to the WAB at this time.

He's busy googling SNSD pictures to hang on his walls.

You're a mod, AR, do something.

Lock it......or sticky it until the Gunny or Dok posts some dead chick pics.

bigross86
06 Jul 11,, 20:30
Fine, since you've asked so nicely...

http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/attachments/world-affairs-board-pub/17433d1259482540-necropost-warning-necro-celine.jpg

bigross86
06 Jul 11,, 20:31
I'm sorry, Gunny can't come to the WAB at this time.

He's busy googling SNSD pictures to hang on his walls.

You're a mod, AR, do something.

Lock it......or sticky it until the Gunny or Dok posts some dead chick pics.

That's what happens when you forget a suspect...

Albany Rifles
06 Jul 11,, 20:32
To quote DR Peter Venkmann....

"NICE SHOOTING, TEX!"

YellowFever
06 Jul 11,, 20:33
Sorry, Benny.

Shouldn't have doubted you.

bigross86
06 Jul 11,, 20:47
You misunderestimated me...

YellowFever
06 Jul 11,, 21:27
No I didn't.

This was all a part of my strategery.

bigross86
06 Jul 11,, 21:38
You wanted to see zombie SWMNBN?

YellowFever
06 Jul 11,, 21:50
Duh!!!

Don't you????

bigross86
06 Jul 11,, 22:05
No, not really...

Julie
06 Jul 11,, 22:40
No, not really...Good then, let's lock'er down. ;)