Wednesday, June 22, 2016
I recommend without qualification or reservation all devoted readers to the blog read these two articles the topic of which is General Patton.
General George S. Patton from the era of the Second World War [WW2] as perceived by the German senior military commander as an able, competent and good commander of armor but nothing more than that. NO better than dozens of German Wehrmacht tank commanders of similar rank and responsibility.
1. "Patton: The German View"
"One piece of the Patton story, however, is pure myth: that Patton was the subject of close scrutiny by the Germans, who anticipated his attacks in fearful admiration. General Patton was not . . . a 'hero even to professional German officers who respected him as the adversary they most feared in battle.' Nor was he . . . regarded by the Germans 'as their most dangerous adversary in the field…. For a while the Germans watched the comings and goings of Patton like rubbernecked spectators following a tennis ball at Wimbleton.' In fact, for most of the war the Germans barely took notice."
2. "The German View of Patton" by Henrik Bering as based on the book by Harry Yeide.
"On this background, it is only natural to ask what the Germans thought of him [Patton], and how he [Patton] measures up to the Wehrmacht’s panzer generals . . . As Yeide emphasizes, this not a biography but a meticulous recreation of Patton’s campaigns seen from the German perspective . . ..'Having been on the receiving end, the German officers were uniquely positioned to assess Patton’s effectiveness, though there are certain caveats.'"
Indeed, the most senior German flag officers [generals] seem to have been of two minds regarding Patton. 1. That attitude and perspective of Patton as "able, competent" but nothing more than that during the war. 2. The "Great Captain" worthy of comparison with Napoleon or the very best of the German Wehrmacht commanders in the aftermath of the war.
"We regarded General Patton extremely highly as the most aggressive panzer-general of the Allies. . . His operations impressed us enormously, probably because he came closest to our own concept of the classical military commander. He even improved on Napoleon’s basic tenet — activité, vitesse — vitesse".- - General Gunther Blumentritt.
German general officers [and admirals as well] in the aftermath of WW2 almost without exception subject to arrest, incarceration and subject to detailed interrogation. It can reasonably be thought that these senior German commanders realizing their predicament sought to ingratiate themselves with their captors one means of doing so rave reviews of Patton and possibly other allied officers as well?