Ummm actually, the reason that Rommel failed in North Africa has way more to do with his supplies being disrupted by malta then anything the British did on the ground in Egypt. Rommel had even said that in order to take Egypt, first malta had to fall, which he had said before he had taken command. Rommel got distracted by something shiny, (Cario and the Suez) and forgot.
British command in Egypt, was some of the worst, and it didnt do them any good that they had the bombastic nutcase in London shouting at them to attack when they shouldnt of. The whole reason the axis forces pushed in to Egypt in the first place was because the utter failure of operation crusade, which was launched before it should have been.
Had malta be silenced, and Rommel had the supplies he needed, I dont think he could have been stoped short of Palastine and direct American involvment.
On another note, I think Joe Stillwell would be my choice for army commander. He was a top notch commander, who, during the 1940 army manuvers, which was supposed to take 2 weeks, He won in the first 2 days.
I think its a testament to Montogomery’s character and prowess in command that they resisted a premature attack on the Afrika corp only attacking when they were completely ready. Montgomery was a great leader of men, a soldiers general, but far from the greatest in the history of the world.
Rommel was a overall a good commander but with the technology of 1940 not the most effective. His subordinates often complained that he was absent at the time that important decisions must be made because he was too busy leading from the front, that was part of what made him a legend but also part of what made him a failure.
One of the leaders of naval forces would be Isoroku Yamamoto, one of the most underated leaders of all time. Possibly the smartest Japanese Admirals as he knew that war with the Americans would mean eventual Japanese defeat, despite this he did his best to come up with a cohesive plan to dominate the pacific and for a time the Japanese succeeded. But like Yamamoto said after 6 months the Americans would come back from their early defeats with avengance and that they had awakened “the sleeping giant”. If the Japanese high commanded had listened to Yamamoto and only attacked the European powers in Asia the war would of probably resulted in a Japanese victory in the Pacific.
Yamamoto’s plan for the attack on Pearl Harbour was a sound one, Nagumo’s execution was rubbish only sinking battleships, some of which would be refloated and brought back into service anyway. Had he destroyed the dry docks and the fuel and oil storage and reserves the U.S Navy would of been forced to create its defencive line much further back than they actually did in reality.
The overall naval commander would have to be Horatio Nelson, the man who revolutionised the tactics of Naval combat for centuries to come well past the end of the age of sail.