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 Posted: Tue Oct 7th, 2008 10:23 pm
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The Iron Duke
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Mr. Steele,

Could you expand on Montgomery's and Kesserling's opinions? You have piqued my interest.



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 Posted: Wed Oct 8th, 2008 12:37 am
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Johan Steele
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After War 2 Monty came over to visit his old comrade, now President Ike. THe travelled to Ikes favorite field and toured several battlefields and Monty made his opinion that both Meade & Lee should have been cashiered for their respective performances at Gettysburg. Ike didn't care for the opinion and they apparently had some rather long and involved discussions about Lee in particular. Stephen Ambrose touches on it in his biography of Eisenhower and I've been told there is something in depth written about at it in the library at the Point... or maybe the Eisenhower library.

Field Marshall Kesserling was unimpressed w/ Lee's perfromance in particular around Petersburg. His comments were essentialy that Lee allowed himself to be bottled up and pinned down w/out even the ability for real counterstrikes completely surrendering the initiative. As to the context, I don't recall off hand. IIRC I stumbled across it while reading a study of the Italian campaign several years ago. He didn't think highly of US General Officers because of what he referenced to (IIRC) the "Lee syndrome" believing they emulated Lee when they should have been studying Grant.

Another example would be how the ACW was studied at the Suvorov schools in the old USSR. The concentration was on the Vicksburg & IIRC the 2nd Manasas campaigns as well as Wilson's Selma campaign. A concentration on logistics, mobility and aggressive audacity. My Russian friend refered to the Chanclorsville Campaign as a perfect example of how battles are won in the will. Hooker lost not because he was beaten but because he thought he was beaten.

Aleks felt Lee was lucky in facing a string of patently incompetent opponents. But when he faced a competent adversery like Grant or even Meade he was stymied. But then Aleks came from a school that taught aggression and audacity above all else.

Aleks was what anyone who knew him would call a professional soldier of the highest order. While the others were certainly what any student would call Professionals of the highest order.



 Posted: Wed Oct 8th, 2008 12:42 am
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The Iron Duke
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I don't disagree with any of their conclusions.



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 Posted: Wed Oct 8th, 2008 03:19 am
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The Iron Duke
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Do they indicate any American generals, beyond Grant, that should be emulated?



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 Posted: Wed Oct 8th, 2008 11:47 am
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Johan Steele
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Off hand I'm going to say no for the ACW period. While not ACW Aleks believed Pershing to have been one of the US's finest generals. I never really got out of him why and I wasn't/ still am not all that interetsed in WW1.



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 Posted: Wed Oct 8th, 2008 07:26 pm
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Johan Steele
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I've read some on War 1 but it is an era that has never really caught my interest in the way of the ACW. I have so many ACW era books on my to read list that I'm probably never gonna die.



 Posted: Thu Oct 9th, 2008 02:02 am
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The Pershing statement surprises me.



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