Most Underrated WWII Leader



  • Who is the most underrated WWII figure?





  • General William Slim

    One of the best and most sucessful allied generals of WWII, but Burma was a secondary front so he didn’t get much press

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Slim,_1st_Viscount_Slim

    Stillwell and Kesselring are pretty good nominees as well though


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    Major General John S. (Shirley) Wood, of the U.S. 4th Armored Division.  He’s not well-known, but he was instrumental in the 4th Armored Division’s successful operations in France.  He supposedly had a better grasp than Patton of the technical aspects of tank warfare (notably the critical importance of trucks), and he innovated in various ways to make his forces operated more effectively.  For example, he had Air Force liaison officers ride with his front-line troops, so that they could call in air strikes on the spot without going through the usual channels.  He maintained good relations with the Air Force by having his empty supply trucks return from the front loaded with cases of liberated cognac, which they delivered to air bases, and he always made a point of giving the flyboys their due credit in his reports and public statements.


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    Tito or franco to throw them out there.  but i’d have to agree with kesselring, the history buffs know about his great defense of the italian line, but the regular joe shmoe has no idea.



  • G.I.Joe with Kung-fu action grip. 😄



  • Kesselring is a good choice.  His use of the Italian geography was brilliant in setting up successive defensive lines that nearly bled the Allies out.  The Allied engineering corp under Truscott however found a chink in the Ceaser Line at Monte Artemisio that led to the race for Rome and got the VI Corp out of Anzio.  The Allies finally broke out of Cassino at this time and had Kesselrings armies on retreat.  Clark could have helped Alexander, Juin, and Leese by ordering Truscott to encircle Vietinghoff and Mackensen at the onset of breaking through at Mt. Artemisio, but he foolishly went on his own plan to take Rome before Alexander could get there, allowing Kesselring’s armies to escape up into northern Italy.  That was foolish by Clark, it allowed Kesselring to reform more defensive lines North of Rome stagnating and delaying any movement by the Allies after that.  Rome was only a symbolic target it didn’t hold any strategic value.  Allowing a Field Marshal of Kesselring’s caliber to regroup was yet another error causing us more hardships in the future.  The Italian theater I guess  you could say has one of the most overrated (Clark) and most underrated (Kesselring) generals of the war.



  • they guy who led all those Chindits to their death just because he wanted them to walk to burma instead of picking them up by plane 😄

    neh, serious, the guy who was in charge of the defense of wake island 1941
    ‘is there anything you need’
    “yes, more japs”



  • Claire Lee Chennault
    The guy who started the Flying Tigers and played a vital role in the war in china.
    Helped bring about the destruction and/or withdrawl of the Japanase airforce in China with less than 100 planes.  (in the early days)



  • US Admiral Marc A. Mitcher…commander of the fast carrier task forces during the final battles of the Pacific War…his carriers seemed to be always in position to deal smashing blows to the Japanese Navy…and it was his task force that sent the Japanese superbattleship YAMATO to it’s final resting place at the bottom of the East China Sea…



  • @RJL518:

    US Admiral Marc A. Mitcher…commander of the fast carrier task forces during the final battles of the Pacific War…his carriers seemed to be always in position to deal smashing blows to the Japanese Navy…and it was his task force that sent the Japanese superbattleship YAMATO to it’s final resting place at the bottom of the East China Sea…

    I dont know if i would agree with this. After all Mitcher always operated with massive logistic, numerical and technological superiority to his opposition in the final stages of the war. I would consider him very competent but not great by any means.

    Just my 2 cents



  • When I was in China (in 2000) I went to a major war museum in Beijing. They spoke of a national hero who was a regular foot soldier. He was on a sabotage mission against the Japanese (obviously). They were spotted by Japanese soldiers and they fled. They laid very quietly on a hilltop and one of the Jap soldiers used fire to drive them from the hills. One of the Chinese soldiers caught fire and knew that if he screamed or start running he would give up their whereabouts and all he did was stay quiet while he burned to death, to save his comrades.

    There is probably a lot of propaganda in this story, but still I think this guy’s a hero.

    Only now do I realize that the thread is about leaders and not heroes…. Still I don’t want to delete this. So on subject:

    All people you can name here is probably not underrated. I think the general/admiral/officer we can’t think of is the most underrated.



  • @Captain:

    @RJL518:

    US Admiral Marc A. Mitcher…commander of the fast carrier task forces during the final battles of the Pacific War…his carriers seemed to be always in position to deal smashing blows to the Japanese Navy…and it was his task force that sent the Japanese superbattleship YAMATO to it’s final resting place at the bottom of the East China Sea…

    I dont know if i would agree with this. After all Mitcher always operated with massive logistic, numerical and technological superiority to his opposition in the final stages of the war. I would consider him very competent but not great by any means.

    Just my 2 cents

    Your two cents are accepted…im a little poor anyway…I do agree with with your thinking…i just felt that not many people know who this man was in the Pacific War…besides Halsey, Nimitz, Fletcher and McArthur…this man didnt get much play…here’s a link about him:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Mitscher

    Still  a fine commander in my eyes…



  • Stauffenberg for the most serious attempt at killing Hitler, although it was 3 years too late, even if it had succeeded.

    Otherwise, Joseph Goebbels, maybe he’s not underrated, but imo, he was a genius, a very evil genius, but there was no one on the allied side who could compete with Goebbels in the game of propaganda.



  • Stilwell is a good one, namely for his bravery and fearlessness of death and capture (by the Japanese!)
    Kesselring was a great commander and strategist, but he was a war criminal and murderer, so he doesn’t count.

    I would have to suggest George Kenney
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Kenney

    Joseph Goebbels, maybe he’s not underrated, but imo, he was a genius, a very evil genius, but there was no one on the allied side who could compete with Goebbels in the game of propaganda.

    I think Hollywood, Walt Disney, Doctor Seuss ect, although not one mind like Goebbels, gave him a run for his money.  We had grannies and little kids making bombs and planes right here in the USA.



  • of course i forgot about Ray Spruance…the true hero of Midway and one of the best Admirals of the war


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