Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Vanguard45, Mar 11, 2019.
How would Rommel relationship with the jews and isreal be like?
Speidel his Chief of Staff managed to make NATO ground force commander in Europe in the 50s on the back of name recognizion of being Rommel’s Chief of Staff. There would be military slots if he wanted open for him certainly.
The mid to late 40s would probably be a lot of world trips to Australia, South Africa, Canada, America, Britain and on and on to promote national post war reconciliation given he was popular during the war in these places and to tell war stories.
Since he wasn't really anti-semitic and refused to carry out orders to harm Jewish PoWs and civilians I'd guess they'd tolerate him as much as they could any officer who served in the Wehrmacht who had been cleared of war crimes. Probably a lot would depend on what sort of statements/actions he made toward reconciliation after the war with Israel; his son was involved in that effort IOTL, so it is possible the father would also be inclined in that direction. It would be interesting to see Rommel liaising with the IDF and former Jewish Bridge personnel.
How pissed would Monty be if Rommel were made NATO commander?
I actually have the "Rommel papers", better to have a glass half full than nothing at all. I can only dream of the types of books he would write. Imagine Rommel, Guderian, List and some Panzer commanders/Panzer Grenadier commanders writing a book on warfare on the eastern front. It would be like these books below only multiplied by 1000.
And there is A LOT more from where that came from...
That would be the ideal. Judging from what was actually written by Guderian, Manstein, Bradley, Wediermyer, Churchill & many others the common result is a self serving & haphazardly researched memoir, lacking in critical thinking or deep analysis. Even the few like Eisenhower, with a fairly well developed self awareness are not much superior in their historical writing to the academics.
I did not know that, very surprising. Military commanders are not academia compatible.
One can see with Rommel there is a natural progression from "Infantry attacks" to "Tank attacks". If you going to write a book on the eastern front or the African Front it needs to first talk about strategy, tactics and then real-time combat. So you would need generals, lieutenants/majors and soldiers written statements about their experiences but also how they conducted their job. This is linear but it makes the book 'deep' because it analyses the military system from top to bottom. To make the book 'wide' and 'dimensional' an investigation into "behind the lines" of what drives the army groups, or alternatively how the army groups, its subunits and the soldiers conduct live combat cohesively. For example, I remember seeing a video of Tiger Is in live combat. The cameraman obviously knew there was going to be a tank battle, so he set up his video recorder and recorded it. This was then used as teaching material for training tank commanders. So why no record live combat operations and link panzer tanks, infantry and motorised infantry together through written statements and recordings. Obviously, academia would feed into all of this and too top all of this off, the book would need a descriptional book of operations along with a 'map book'.
In relation to Africa, it will be intriguing to see Rommel's perspective on how he managed his military operations through that horrible supply line and the small width of land he had to defeat his opponents with the desert to his right.
Monty was in his late 60s when this would have happened and was effectively 'semi retired' and had been working as Ikes Deputy in forming NATO until his retirement.
I suspect that like other 'clean' senior WW2 German Generals like Manstien he would be allowed to look, talk about but not touch.
As for being pissed - well he did become freinds with Rommels family and their sons (and Pattons son for that matter) became freinds after the war - so it is possible that he might have become freinds with Rommel had he lived (at worst they would have swapped notes on when they went head to head)
So given his age I suspect that, apart from his normal lack of bedside manner, he would not be pissed as he was too old for the job anyway
In a world in which Patton and Rommel lived, someone at some staff college or publishing house is going to get the idea to put all the men on a lecturing or speaking tour which would be a hot ticket and sell out around the world
Perhaps George C Scott's magnificent performance in Patton leads me to read too much into it; but the whole "Rommel I read your book" thing would be very cool to see play out in real life face to face
Manstein, along with most of his staff, should have been hanged for war crimes.
If they accepted Erich Von Manstein of all people into West Germany, Rommel probably would have found a place too. The fear of the Russian was so great, we were willing to overlook any number of past crimes. Besides Rommel had great PR (although I think his legend would be less burnished in TTL due to him being alive). Martyrs make for great heros.
IIRC that is addressed in the Rommel Papers.
Monty seemed to have a soft spot for kids, so his behavior toward Rommel's son would have been different than with a 'peer'. I've recently heard a pretty well support theory that Monty had Aspbergers and his abrasive nature might have simply been a function of impaired social skills and not realizing how he was coming off to others; even if he was too old for the job if he thought Rommel undeserving he might well have strenuously objected to an opponent he had defeated getting the position regardless of whether he, Monty, was eligible for the job.
My comment was aimed at the auto biographies and related broad analysis books. The autobiographies are extremely useful, but one has to take everything with a grain of salt, and do some fact checking before citing from them. Even where these guys hire professional ghost writers the cross checking of critical dates & numbers ins typically weak. One example is the claim by Guderian that Manstein consulted him on the use of armored divisions & corps, when writing what is labeled the 'Manstein Plan' for the November 1939 Zossen wargames. Guderians account indicates at least a hour of discussion on the subject and how such forces would be used best in a army group attacking through the Ardennes region. Mansteins writing is supposed to contain no reference to this, I cant recall such a refrence. If anyone has actually seen it in his actual accounts please let me know. Supposedly Manstein denied Guderians claim in a interview. This is a example of the sort of 'remembered' events autobiographies and eyewitness accounts are littered with.
The Rommel Papers like Pattons 'The War As I Knew it' are efforts by others to create something of the campaign or battle analysis. In those two cases the materials were very weak. Both are mostly diary entries bits from letter, and random notes the pair left with their families. At the opposite end of the spectrum would be Krugers account of the 6th Armys campaigns in the Pacific. Kruger included so little of his personal views & decisions that the book reads like a straight forward chronology of the 6th Armys operations, lifted straight from its logbooks. One has to read closely to see any analysis or critical thinking.
There is some of that there. There are still many many hours of archived Rommel video reports he did for the press explaining the battles, his decisions and the tactics like this one for AP below and other news organs at the time.
AP and others are starting to release their archives now that they have passed the copyright date, it’s old technology so the sound and video are separate. But, it also gets to my early point that he understood during the war the global press and global public opinion was now a major factor in WW2 in a way beyond any past era. As a consequence he took great effort to explain his decisions, orders and actions to the international press during the war.
He date stamps his presentations at the start. It will be interesting to see when one of the many news organs releases them in their entirety paired up with audio.
You issue orders like Manstien did it took Adenauer‘s intervention to get him out of jail on the understanding he has no direct role given the number of enemies he made. He bought the Nazi ideological kool aid pretty throughly and made a lot of enemies outside Germany.
Most German Generals did not fight the war as if the whole world was watching their actions (certainly not Manstien) and didn’t care what people outside of Germany thought until they were faced with trial.
If the POD is simply that he evades suspicion (as opposed to actively opposing the July 20 plot), would some of this depend on whether he's able to prove that he supported it after being captured? I would think the WAllies would have different views towards a military leader who concentrated on prosecuting the war despite some periodic disagreements with Hitler and one who took part in an attempt to remove him from power.
There's a difference between what should have happened morally speaking and what could happen politically speaking. Look at the number of war criminals in Japan who got off, for example.
I think Bungay suggested the Aspergers thing in his El Alemain book IIRC and I would not be suprised (Monty on the other hand was apparently suprised by some peoples 'negative' reactions when told they were rubbish at their jobs) - I have also wondered if he was borderline Autistic? (Disclaimer: I'm not an expert) - but again Rommel would not be getting the job much before the late 50s where he of course was also quite old at the time (4 years Montys junior and would be in his 60s at the time) - so he also might very well be too old but also but might have been retained in an advisory capacity again like Manstien.
He did react badly when Uncle Bill was made CIGS instead of Sir John Crocker (Personally I think Slim was the best Allied General of WW2 and therefore the best choice) after Montys time in the position had finished. So I can also see him reacting badly in some circumstances - but I do not see Rommel getting the position anyway!
A POD where he ends up in Flossenbürg with Canaris but they never get executed might work if you want to get him into power. It's harder to doubt claims of "I opposed the Nazi's" when the person making it was in a concentration camp.
Cool. I have never read it because I have so many books.
Beevor and a few others. Wasn't aware that Bungay wrote an Alamein book. Aspergers is on the autism spectrum, the separate classification originally was apparently from Asperger himself trying to save children diagnosed with it from being exterminated by Hitler's T-4 program, which included people with autism.
That digression aside, yeah probably Rommel would be kept on as an advisor/promoter of NATO military cooperation rather than being a commander.
Sorry, I couldn’t help my self.
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