In this article, we would like to pay tribute to the greatest generals of World War 2. The whole world’s fate could have been different if we didn’t have had the best generals to make the most troublesome decisions and direct the troops in times of great despair.
They followed a particular set of principles. They had to live according to it or die for their own sake. Last but not least, they inspired thousands of men and fearful millions.
Here is our list of the ten greatest generals in World War II.
Table of Contents
- 10. Douglas Macarthur (1880-1964)
- 9. Konstantin Rokossovsky (1885-1957)
- 8. Isoroku Yamamoto (1884-1943)
- 7. Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976)
- 6. Guy Simonds (1903-1974)
- 5. Tomoyuki Yamashita (1885-1946)
- 4. Georgy Zhukov (1896 – 1974)
- 3. George Patton (1885-1945)
- 2. Erich von Manstein (1887-1973)
- 1. Erwin Rommel (1891-1944)
10. Douglas Macarthur (1880-1964)
Douglas MacArthur was a much-esteemed general of the US military. He played a vital role in the Pacific theatre during World War II and received the Medal of Honor to recognize its values, as his father did during World War I.
MacArthur was born on January 26, 1880, in Little Rock, Arkansas, the son of politician and lawyer Arthur MacArthur. In the American Civil War, his father was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
He decided to enroll in the West Point Military Academy, which he graduated in 1903. Shortly after completing school, he was sent on a military campaign in the Philippines, and later in World War I.
When President Herbert Hoover decided to offer him the position of Army Chief of Staff in 1930, Douglas achieved the highest rank he could ever hope for. In 1932, Douglas became a controversial figure because of sending troops to oust the protesters. In 1937, he decided to retire from the army but returned four years after that.
He led the U.S. armed forces in Southeast Asia to defend the Philippines against Japan in 1941. Following this mission, he was appointed army general and commander of the U.S. armed forces in the Pacific.
Douglas MacArthur was also among the five guys ever to be named General of the Army from the U.S. Army and the first guy ever to become marshal of the Philippine Army (1936), acknowledging his efforts in training and creating the Philippine armed forces. These distinctions speak much of his many military qualities.
He died at the age of 84 on April 5, 1964.
9. Konstantin Rokossovsky (1885-1957)
Konstantin Rokossovsky was a Marshal of the Soviet Union and marshal of Poland, and Polish Defense Minister. He was a distinguished commander, valued for his outstanding military abilities, which he best proved on the Eastern Front.
In 1937, Rokosovski became swept up in Stalin’s Great Purge and accused of being a Polish spy. He was severely tortured and escaped execution after showing his innocence. He had been rehabilitated in 1940 when he was offered the command of the 5th Cavalry corps.
Considered among the best generals of World War II and among the finest Russian strategists of all time, Rokossovsky is famous for arguing with Stalin on the best approach to adopt for Operation Bagration.
Stalin requested Rokosovski three times to reevaluate his position, but he refused to compromise. Stalin finally agreed to his plan and overall obtained a remarkable victory, which strengthened his standing.
8. Isoroku Yamamoto (1884-1943)
Isoroku Yamamoto was a fantastic admiral and the commander in chief of the Japanese combined fleet. He had warned his president that Japan couldn’t be victorious upon the USA military for over six months.
Isoroku Yamamoto was the mastermind behind the attack on Pearl Harbor. He wasn’t satisfied with the result of this attack, as no American aircraft carriers could be ruined.
Hence, he strove to rehabilitate himself by fighting other Important battles. Still, the outcomes weren’t expected: despite his uncontested abilities, he suffered significant losses and was defeated every time. Among those battles was the Battle of Midway that represented a real tragedy for the Japanese troops.
7. Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976)
Montgomery (nicknamed ‘Monty’) fought both in World War I and World War II. He commanded the 8th Army from 1942 from the Western Desert until the final Allied victory in Tunisia. The entire time he spent in the British Army was 50 years (from 1908 to 1958).
Montgomery was also the planner of this 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 battle, whom he conquered many times throughout the North African campaign. He received the Legion of Merit from the USA government.
6. Guy Simonds (1903-1974)
Among the most efficient generals during 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).
An excellent leader and a skillful officer, he was the youngest corps commander in the British army at age forty-one. He was also the youngest Canadian to lead a branch in action.
5. Tomoyuki Yamashita (1885-1946)
Tomoyuki Yamashita is one of the best generals of the Japanese Imperial Army. He’s renowned for defeating the British colonies of Malaya and Singapore, which earned him the nickname ‘the tiger of Malaya.’ Yamashita was a cautious person and advocated that Japan maintain peace with the British Empire and the United States of America.
Thus, he had been assigned minor posts until the end of 1940. However, he had been given a secret mission to Germany and Italy at this time, during which he met both Hitler and Mussolini. War crimes marked Manila’s intrusion; blamed the general in this matter wasn’t fully established. But he was sentenced to death and executed in 1946.
4. Georgy Zhukov (1896 – 1974)
Georgy Zhukov was a Russian career officer in the Red Army who had a great significance in all the significant operations conducted on the European front, including Berlin’s beating.
He’s the most decorated general in the Russian background, after playing crucial roles in these conflicts as the Battle of Moscow, the defense of Stalingrad, the fighting Kursk, and the Operation Bagration.
3. George Patton (1885-1945)
Patton was also among the best generals of World War II. He’s famed for his leadership as well as for the victories he won from the Nazis. In 1944, Patton received control of the U.S. third military.
He was able to ‘give wings’ to his troops, and the Third Army advanced further, captured more enemies, and freed more lands in less time than any other military in military history.
Nazi military leaders considered him the Allies’ best commander and expected he would lead a cross-channel invasion.
As part of the elaborate disinformation campaign leading up to D-Day, Patton was placed in charge of a phantom army, complete with plywood aircraft and inflatable rubber tanks, in southeast England to make it appear he would strike at the channel’s narrowest point at Pas de Calais, France.
2. Erich von Manstein (1887-1973)
Manstein was a German Field Marshal during World War II. He became a very prominent commander during the war, and his fellow officers had treasured him for being a skilled strategist.
Manstein was the mastermind behind the Ardennes offensive, and he was commended for the many battles he won. However, the general was dismissed from Hitler’s service in 1944 due to their frequent quarrels over military strategy.
1. Erwin Rommel (1891-1944)
Erwin Rommel, known as the Desert Fox, was the most distinguished general in World War II. He wasn’t among the good men since he fought on Germany’s side, but this didn’t influence his qualities as a general.
A highly decorated officer, he won the esteem of both of his men and his enemies. This was mainly because he wasn’t only a good commander but also a fantastic human being. Rommel and his troops were not accused of war crimes, and the soldiers he captured were well handled.
Sadly, there’s absolutely no room here to explain all his military accomplishments. Still, you can cite that the invasion of France, the battle of Arras, the North African campaign, in addition to his fantastic ghost branch.
He was indeed among the best generals of World War II! Sadly, he died, convinced to commit suicide to prevent prosecution and execution and protect his loved ones.
Germany still celebrates Rommel. His name still graces two military bases and several streets in Germany, and a monument in his hometown praises him as “chivalrous,” “brave,” and a “victim of tyranny.”
This is our top ten list of the best generals of World War 2.
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As you wanted to find out more about the best generates of World War 2, I recommend checking the best war movies of all time. Also, here are the best websites to watch documentaries online for free in 2021.