Generals are an important key who could greatly affect and determine how the troops would perform during battles. That’s why it was really important that the best ones are chosen, usually by proving themselves and climbing the ranks. However, that was not always the case. There were some who successfully became generals only to end up blundering into defeats, not taking advantage of the technical and technological capabilities, or maybe breaking under pressure. Regardless of which side they were from, be it Allied or Axis, here were some of the generals who made themselves quite famous, but for the reasons that they did not really like.
Weygand was a French military commander in World War I and World War II. When the Germans invaded France rapidly advancing into the country, then-General Gamelin was unsurprisingly relieved from the command of French forces. He was replaced by General Maxime Weygand, a war hero of World War I. So why is he on the list? Well, he canceled a vital and urgent counterattack that Gamelin had planned and instead spent the next 48 hours taking courtesy visits with Paris’ foreign dignitaries.
Facing a lightning-fast advance by German tanks and troops those precious 48 hours could have been spent concentrating his tank forces which were distributed piecemeal to infantry units to stop the German spearhead. When Weygand finally decided to launch a strike, the Germans’ position was already too strong for them to have a chance to make it work. And so, his troops basically wasted their time, effort, and equipment on a fruitless, useless strike. Overwhelmed by the defeat, he abandoned Paris and declared it an open city and advocated for surrender instead. After the war, he was held as a collaborator at the Val-de-Grace, although he was released and cleared of charges in 1948.
Lieutenant general Lloyd Ralston Fredendall was the United States Army’s senior officer. If anything, he was well known for his leadership skills during the Battle of Kasserine Pass, or the lack thereof. At that time, he was in command of the Central Task Force landings of the Operation Torch in North Africa, leading II Corps during the Tunisian Campaign’s early stages.