10 Greatest Generals of World War II
1. Rommel (1891-1944)
Erwin Rommel, known as the Desert Fox, was the most distinguished general in the World War II. He was not one of the good guys, since he fought on Germany’s side, but this did not affect his qualities as a general. A highly decorated officer, he won the respect of both of his men and his enemies. This was mainly because he was not only a great commander, but also a great human being. Rommel and his troops were never accused of war crimes and the soldiers he captured were well treated. Sadly, there is no room here to describe all his military achievements but one can mention the invasion of France, the battle of Arras, the North African campaign as well as his awesome ghost division. He was truly one of the greatest generals of World War II! Sadly, he died soon after the war, being persuaded to commit suicide so as to avoid prosecution and execution and to protect his family.
2.Erich von Manstein (1887-1973)
Manstein was a German Field Mareshal during the World War II. He became a very prominent commander during the war and he was treasured by his fellow officers for being a skilled strategist. Menstein was the mastermind behind the Ardennes-offensive and he was praised for the many battles he won. However, the general was dismissed from service by Hitler in 1944, because of their frequent quarrels over military strategy.
3.George Patton (1885-1945)
Patton was also one of the greatest generals of World War II. He is famous for his leadership as well as for the victories he won against the Nazis. In 1944, Patton received the command of the U.S. third army. He managed to ‘give wings’ to his troops and the Third Army advanced farther, captured more enemies and liberated more territories in less time than any other army in military history.
4.Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964)
He was a much esteemed general of the US army. He played a very important role in the Pacific theater during the World War II. As recognition to its merits, he received the Medal of Honor, as his father did during the World War I. He was also one of the five men ever to be named General of the Army in the U.S. Army and the first man ever to become marshal of the Philippine Army (1936), an acknowledgement of his efforts in creating and training the Philippine armed forces. These distinctions speak greatly of his many military qualities.
5.Bernard Montgomery (1908-1958)
Montgomery (nicknamed ‘Monty’) was an officer who fought both in World War I and World War II. He commanded the 8th Army from 1942 in the Western Desert until the final Allied victory in Tunisia. Montgomery was also the planner of the D-Day invasion in Normandy and he commanded the Allied ground forces during the famous Battle of Normandy. This remarkable general also met Rommel on the battlefield, whom he defeated several times during the North African campaign, reason for which he received the Legion of Merit from the United States government.
6.Guy Simonds (1903-1974)
One of the most efficient generals during the World War II, Simonds was a Canadian Army officer who commanded the II, had a decisive role in the Allied victory in the Battle of Scheldt (1944). A great leader and a skillful officer, he was the youngest corps commander in the British army, at the age of forty-one. He was also the youngest Canadian to lead a division in action.
7.Konstantin Rokosovsky (1885-1957)
Konstantin Rokosovsky was a Marshal of the Soviet Union as well as marshal of Poland and Polish Defense Minister. He was a very distinguished commander, being appreciated for his great military skills, which he best proved on the Eastern Front. In 1937, Rokosovski became caught up in Stalin’s Great Purge and accused of being a Polish spy. He was severly torutured and escaped execution after proving his innocence. He was reabilitated in 1940, when he was offered the command of the 5th Cavalry corps. Considered one of the greatest generals of World War II as well as one of the best Russian strategists of all time, Rokosovsky is famous for having argued with Stalin upon the best strategy to adopt for the Operation Bagration. Stalin asked Rokosovski three times to reconsider his position, but he refused to compromise. Stalin finally agreed to his plan and the general obtained a great victory which strengthened his reputation.
He was a Russian career officer in the Red Army who had a great importance in all the major operations conducted on the European front, including the conquering of Berlin. He is the most decorated general in the entire Russian history, after playing key roles in such battles as: the battle of Moscow, the defense of Stalingrad the battle Kursk and the operation Bagration.
9.Isoroku Yamamoto (1884-1943)
Isoroku Yamamoto was a great admiral and the commander in chief of the Japanese combined fleet. Apparently, he had warned his president that Japan could not be victorious upon the USA army for more than 6 months. He was the mastermind behind the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was not satisfied with the result of this attack, as no American aircraft carriers could be destroyed. Hence , he tried to rehabilitate himself by fighting other major battles, but the results were not the expected ones: despite his uncontested skills, he suffered important losses and was defeated every time. One of the most famous of these fights was the Battle of Midwest which represented a real disaster for the Japanese troops.
10.Tomoyuki Yamashita (1885-1946)
This is one of the greatest generals of the Japanese Imperial Army . He is renowned for having conquered the British colonies of Malaya and Singapore, which earned him the nickname ‘the tiger of Malaya’. Yamashita was a cautious person and recommended that Japan should maintain peace with the British Empire as well as with the United States of America. Thus,he was assigned minor posts until the end of 1940. However, at this point, he was given a secret mission to Germany and Italy, during which he met both Hitler and Mussolini. The invasion of Manila was marked by war crimes but the culpability of the general in this matter was not fully established. However, he was sentenced to death and executed in 1946.