Worst 10 officers of each WWII power.

People bemoan the delay to things like the 6 pounder and Griffon engine development but maximising production by minimising the disruption to the current systems they would bring was the right choice.
Needing 1700 2pdrs so that Covenanters would have guns to fire occasionally on training(crew would get to fire that on a range a couple times only)
Was totally a waste for a vehicle that only a handful ever left the UK, that crews would never fight in, with a main gun that was already obsolescent -- did no one any favors.

They would have been better served rebuilding the Mk Light 'Tank' into an open topped SPG, using the old Naval 3pdrs, that had been made last in 1936
into something like this

for SeaLion fears, while getting ready to build 6 pdrs and decent tanks to put them in
 
This kind of thread just lends itself to the simplistic “great men of history” view, devoid of context for the most part. Sure the generals get the plaudits when victorious and the blame when defeated, but there’s so much more going on, and of course we have the benefit of hindsight and the lack of any of the pressures they were working under.
Basically you're right. This is very much a wank fest over which Generals people like and those they dislike. Most military commanders are competent it is just circumstances that tell against them.

Rommel is a case in point. Most history books accord him almost superhuman ability as a commander. In reality, he was a human being with flaws. When his SIGINT unit was captured at Tel el Arisa in 1942 during the battle of el Alamein his ability to read what his opponent was doing was severely happered. When coupled with the change of codes by the US that occurred at Pearl Harbor, he could no longer discover exactly what his opponents' strength and placement was (the Italians had apparently stolen the Black Code in Rome's US consulate and were reading the daily reports from the US officer assigned to the 8th Army HQ). Blinded effectively, he was forced to fight the enemy on more even terms and he lost. Yet, historians all too often accord him with superhuman abilities.

Percival, was an able staff officer, even perhaps a superior one. That was why he was given the command of the Malaya theatre of operations. However, he was hamstrung by the civil administration. He was further hamstrung by the poor training that most of his Indian troops had received before being deployed to Malaya. Finally, he was hamstrung by the lack of surveying that had occurred in Malaya since colonisation. The civil administration still felt they were in control and didn't prepare any defensive works. The poor training of his Indian troops meant that they all too often broke and run. Finally, the lack of survey work meant that what was all too often marked as "jungle" of his maps were actually wide, open plantings of rubber trees. Which of course didn't hinder movement by the Japanese at all.

Wavell was quite an able commander. Who else would have managed near simulteanous campaigns in East Africa, Syria, Iraq and the Western Desert and of course, Greece/Crete? He was however rather older than most theatre commanders and that told when he was transferred ('cause of Churchill's orders) to the ABDA command in SE Asia. He had many similar difficulties to Percival. He didn't understand why the Indians wouldn't stand and fight. He didn't understand the nature of the terrain in Malaya. He didn't understand the unpopularity of the British Raj.

Bradley in Normandy was quite an able if supposedly cautious commander. His Army actually advanced faster than Patton's. He rapidly took advantage of situations. He was actually quite a good commander because he couldn't be panicked.

Montgomery was a cautious and quite able commander. He was innovative and he tried to save as many of his mens' lives as possible. He was an excellent example of how the British Army was trained to fight. He was reliant on artillery and massed air support for most of it's ability to paralyse and hold enemy forces while his own forces probed for and exploited their weaknesses.
 
Last edited:
My Grandfather was a marine in the Pacific Theater during the Second World War.
He use to say that there was a special circle of Hell for Logistics Officers and Sergeants.
He use to tell the story of his unit when they were on Peleliu.
His Lieutenant send a Sergeant back to get more ammo.
The Sergeant returned to tell the Lieutenant that the Supply Officer would not give the unit more ammo till the Lieutenant came there and fill out forms in triplicate .
This is while the Company is actively fighting the Japanese.
My Uncle used to tell similar stories about the USAAF's ability to airdrop supplies.
They seemed to be very good at delivering them to the Japanese!
 
My Uncle used to tell similar stories about the USAAF's ability to airdrop supplies.
They seemed to be very good at delivering them to the Japanese!
My Grandfather big issue about Supplies was with the US Navy.
Granddad was first on Guadalcanal and saw the Navy pull away it ships with all the Supplies on them, leaving the Marines alone on the island with few supplies.
As Granddad once told a Navy Admiral who was giving a lecture on the Navy during World War Two, "The US Navy behaved like Cowards at Guadalcanal because they did not want get the paint scratched on their Ships".
 
1581049320352.png


Not only a terrible human being, but a terrible officer.


Fascinating interview with one of the Americans who had to contend with the man while Goring was in custody. Incredible how out of touch with reality Goring really was. Murphy love that American sergeant who appears to have measured Goring to the finest degree. Not fooled at all by the fraud was he, that sergeant.
 
Last edited:
My Grandfather big issue about Supplies was with the US Navy.
Granddad was first on Guadalcanal and saw the Navy pull away it ships with all the Supplies on them, leaving the Marines alone on the island with few supplies.
As Granddad once told a Navy Admiral who was giving a lecture on the Navy during World War Two, "The US Navy behaved like Cowards at Guadalcanal because they did not want get the paint scratched on their Ships".
To be fair Savo Island and Fletcher pulling out to replenish his fuel and fighters had left the transports pretty much naked in terms of cover.
 
But to the Marines who were already on Guadalcanal , all they knew was the ships were leaving without first dropping off their supplies.
Which suggests both the Marines and the US Navy were poorly organised. The failure to drop off supplies was compounded by the withdrawl. However the US Navy was right to withdraw the vulnerable ships in the face of possible Japanese attack.
 
To be fair Savo Island and Fletcher pulling out to replenish his fuel and fighters had left the transports pretty much naked in terms of cover.
Yeah, never mind that to save the landings and the Marines Fletcher had to get ready for Eastern Solomons which he KNEW was coming.

7 August 42 is the landings.
8-9 August Savo Island (Which ultimately is on R. K. Turner, though Mikawa fought an unusually cohesive action.)
23-25 Eastern Solomons (Which Fletcher won, thereby saving the landings.).

Which suggests both the Marines and the US Navy were poorly organised. The failure to drop off supplies was compounded by the withdrawl. However the US Navy was right to withdraw the vulnerable ships in the face of possible Japanese attack.
You know that list of 10 poor American officers that I supplied? Most of them were army foul-ups, though a Marine (Rupertus) made the list.

Navy officers...

1. The Bull; Late Show at Coral Sea, screwed up Santa Cruz, Mishandled Rennell Island, Botched Leyte Gulf, somehow managed two typhoons as fleet wide disasters and still was not court martialed.
2. Turner should have been court martialed for Guadalcanal and Tarawa.
3. Carpender should have been court martialed for fouling up anything he touched. Even MacArthur could not stand him and THAT is serious bad muju.
4. English was conveniently plane crashed.
5. Fife should have been court martialed as an apple polisher and for the Mark XIV torpedo.
6. Leahy should have been court martialed for his tenure at Bu-Ord and then court martialed again as Bu-Nav and then for really screwing up as CNO.
7. Only guy worse than Leahy as a top notch across the Navy FUBAR was Harold Stark. He should have been court martialed for wasting oxygen and as CNO.
8. The Redman brothers, who deserved prison terms, for their almost treasonable aiding and abetting the Japanese by interfering with Rochefort's work and Nimitz during MIDWAY.
9. Miles Browning, who should have been fed to the sharks.
10. and that lying no-good careerist Mitscher and that other "great naval aviator" (intense sarcasm) Tower.
 
Last edited:
Not exactly a shining, irrefutable source...
Also the sun is warm.

Douglas MacArthur frankly deserves on this list more than anyone else on the American side of the Pacific. The man was both a preening egotist, a fool, a liar, and frankly should have been cashiered out of the army a decade before the war even started over the Bonus Army crap he pulled. Other officers might have worse records, but MacArthur was such an actively awful person as well as displaying astounding incompetence on multiple occassions that he tops all of them.
 
There's cause to criticize Monty on other episodes, and (Lord knows) reason to dislike him. But on the whole, as senior British commanders go, he was reasonably able. Just confine him to set piece or defensive battles,
Well, apart from the post-Alamein pursuit where he advanced faster than Rommel had in the other direction, the advance from the Seine to Brussels/Antwerp (largest single day advance in combat until the Gulf War), and the post Rhine crossing campaign (including the rapid capture of Bremen, Hamburg etc). :)

Contrariwse, if you are looking at Montgomery in North Africa he doesn't know what his opponent is doing. It would be quite a jump to assume he is planning to retreat as fast as possible to Tunisia. Strategic logic is that he would make a stand for it, and at the very least defend Tripoli and try to make a bloodbath of it.
Part of Montgomery's problem was that due to Ultra he was getting the messages that Rommel was sending to Hitler "No retreat, we will fight here to the last man", while at the same time air reconnaissance was showing Rommel moving troops to the rear.
 
Obviously the people who helped organized conscription/rationing/genocide/"strategic" bombing.
Not sure all of the above are really equal.......organizing rationing might even be good in times of critical shortages!
Needing 1700 2pdrs so that Covenanters would have guns to fire occasionally on training(crew would get to fire that on a range a couple times only)
Was totally a waste for a vehicle that only a handful ever left the UK, that crews would never fight in, with a main gun that was already obsolescent -- did no one any favors.

They would have been better served rebuilding the Mk Light 'Tank' into an open topped SPG, using the old Naval 3pdrs, that had been made last in 1936
into something like this

for SeaLion fears, while getting ready to build 6 pdrs and decent tanks to put them in
I agree they could have been done better but I think just building 1700 2pdr Valentine tanks. They would at least be useful and using the lights as training tanks would be far better?
 
I agree they could have been done better but I think just building 1700 2pdr Valentine tanks. They would at least be useful and using the lights as training tanks would be far better?
Better sure.
Main probkem with the Covenanter, too damn many for a training tank, they built enough for multiple armored divisions, and the UK never trained enough tankers at one time to warrant that many training tanks at any time in the war.

For most day to day training, a truck with "Tank" painted on the side is enough. UK would have been better off teaching everyone in the Army how to drive a truck with a crash gearbox, and do basic mechanical upkeep, and practice shooting an 18 pdr from the back of a Bedford every other day, than what they did OTL.
 
But to the Marines who were already on Guadalcanal , all they knew was the ships were leaving without first dropping off their supplies.
I don't get how they missed the 4 burning allied cruisers, but to be fair I suppose they were rather busy and its not like the bulk of them were trained to recognize ships(and the ships were fairly mangled, still if Canberra had managed to reactivate her engines and Astoria got her fires under control(the failure of which to do so is widely considered the fault of not stripping out enough flammable stuff when the war started, this changed fleet wide within a month)they probably would spent months in dockyard hands but they would have survived)and thus most them suposed they were Japanese ships having not been told otherwise. And yes I imagine to the troops on the ground having the fleet run away without fully offloading the supplies and personnel for the invasion would have been a nasty shock and felt like a betrayal...but considering way more Americans would die at sea protecting the beachhead and getting supplies and reinforcements (not to mention the losses in ships) to Guadalcanal than on the Island I can safely say that the navy did its part
 
Last edited:
Main probkem with the Covenanter, too damn many for a training tank, they built enough for multiple armored divisions, and the UK never trained enough tankers at one time to warrant that many training tanks at any time in the war.
Was the coolant system for the powertrain and boloed brand new engine design.

Fletcher, David (2012). Crusader and Covenanter Cruiser Tanks 1939–45. Oxford: Osprey. pp4.

The logic was a pre-war-rush production and a goofed up design in op-eval. The production run logic was to give London Midland and Scottish Railway pre-war practical experience in building tanks. Since they were brand new to the game, they effed it all up.

Was it a waste? With the Unmentionable Sea Mammal looming in 1940, the first 700 eff-ups that can at least shoot and move in the UK are better than nothing. Now why they built another 1,000 is beyond me.
 
View attachment 521845

Not only a terrible human being, but a terrible officer.


Fascinating interview with one of the Americans who had to contend with the man while Goring was in custody. Incredible how out of touch with reality Goring really was. Murphy love that American sergeant who appears to have measured Goring to the finest degree. Not fooled at all by the fraud was he, that sergeant.
His brother on the other hand was a pretty amazing human being.
 
Top