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Erwin Rommel “The Desert Fox” ESTP

Rommel is often typed as an ENTJ. But I think he is an ESTP. To put some background information, Rommel was a tank commander in France in 1940. When Italy invaded British Egypt, they were thrown back in one of the most decisive defeats in the history of the war. Mussolini requested Hitler's aid: he sent the Afrika Korps and assigned Rommel to their command.

Rommel pushed the British back and fought a hard two year war in the desert. As the British began to dominate the Mediterranean, supplies and reinforcements became more scarce. As a commander, Rommel often led from the front with his troops. He was adored by them and although he was competent as a staff officer, his best days were at the front; that was where he won his medals and his reputation before he was sent to the Afrika Korps.

He chased the British across the desert without care for logistics; his biggest criticism was that he outran his supply lines. An ENTJ with his dominant extraverted Thinking would not allow his logistics to go unmanaged. This is why I type him as an ESTP. His disregard for future consequences led to his downfall; but when he brought the British to battle he was ferocious and almost undefeatable.

Rommel, however, did not follow convention. He put his best efforts into defying Hitler at D-Day; Rommel wanted his tanks to be mobile, but their command would instead come straight from Hitler, allowing the reaction time to be incredibly slow, possibly a fatal action. It was not only militarily where he was unconventional, too; he told his favourite commander, Von Luck, that Churchill was the only man who could save Europe from Communism; obviously not a view favourable amongst the German Army. He was incriminated in a plot to assassinate Hitler and he hated the Nazi system. The way in which he fought for his country but rejected its Government smacks of introverted Thinking. He paid for his ego functions: Hitler ordered him to commit suicide to save his family. In a last act of extraverted Feeling, Rommel swallowed a cyanide pill rather than bring his wife and son to national shame.

Thus I believe him to be an ESTP.

Heinz Guderian “Blitzkrieg” ENTP

Heinz Guderian has often been credited as the inventor of Blitzkrieg. This is not strictly true – in fact, the term 'Blitzkrieg' is a pretty meaningless statement – but it is a useful notion for us to start with. From the beginning, Guderian was a tanker. He played an important part in the Battle of France 1940 where German tanks cut through the French lines and forced a surrender within weeks, avoiding the vaunted Maginot Line.

I class Guderian as an ENTP because as a divisional and corps commander, he was master of exploitation. He collected all his tanks in one area and drove them through the enemy relentlessly. When he had accomplished a breakthrough, this was when he began to shine. A large formation of tanks behind the enemy line requires skilled leadership to put to good use. That is exactly what Guderian did.

With this mobile force behind the enemy's line, he exploited the position to the max. Imagine how a plant starts with one seed, grows into a stalk, and then flowers out in all directions. This is what Guderian did with his tanks; he looked for possibilities; weaknesses in enemy strength, areas of possible encirclement, strategic and tactical locations that could be taken – and exploited them. The sheer speed of this exploitation totally overwhelmed the French Army with its focus on static warfare. Classic extraverted Intuition.

Most Generals of the 30s looked at warfare through a set framework; mass infantry, firepower, and static warfare. Guderian just stepped over that framework and created his own; it turned out to be absolutely victorious. Unlike other Generals, though, he never kowtowed to Hitler. In Russia he was removed from command because he moved his tanks to exploit a Red Army counterattack, against orders of Hitler himself, when they were intended to drive on Moscow.

This once proud General was removed from active service in 1941, but returned in 1943 at the express desire of several in the German General Staff who knew his potential. He showed his ideas to Hitler; and Hitler even admitted that if he had listened to the advice Guderian gave as early as 1937, when he foresaw what would happen in a war with Russia in the book Achtung Panzer, he would never have invaded. Like Rommel, Guderian served his country, not Nazism: he later served as an advisor to the West German Army. Thus I type him as an ENTP.

Rommel and Guderian – a comparison

We have seen how Guderian looked always for possibilities to exploit a situation; while of course this is natural for everyone, especially Generals, this was Guderian's forte; he designed his entire strategy around creating these possibilities. Rommel was different; he only looked to the immediate and lacked foresight, although he was a student of Guderian's and served under him in France. Guderian was very careful to properly support his exploitations with regular infantry which filled the gaps; Rommel ignored his supply lines and paid for it. However, Guderian was always better placed in the General Staff. Rommel's place was at the frontline, directing the dispositions of troops and observing first hand how the the battle was progressing. They were two different men who were made for two different roles.

Hugh Dowding “Battle of Britain” INTJ

Hugh Dowding is one of the lesser known figures of WWII, yet his importance is far-reaching. Stabbed in the back by rivals in the Royal Air Force, his legacy is largely forgotten today, yet he can be accounted for practically winning one of Britain's greatest ever military victories: the Battle of Britain.

From 1936-1940 Dowding was the Commanding Officer of Fighter Command, in charge of the aerial defence of the British isles and of almost all the British fighter aircraft, including the famous Spitfire and Hurricanes. From the years 1936-40 Dowding spent a great deal of effort creating the world's first Integrated Air Defence System.

He authorised the creation of the world's first serious air defence network, comprised of radars, ground observers, and a complex but incredibly efficient mechanism of ground-air control. It was the first of its kind. He worked behind the scenes incessantly for four years to get the funding and authorisation for this program, against all the political odds – for the thought during the time was that the bomber would always get through, no matter the defence, and so Royal Air Force money should be invested in bombers.

It paid off. In June 1940, France surrendered to Germany, and Britain stood alone. The odds were not favourable. The luftwaffe heavily outnumbered the RAF and had extremely experienced pilots with incredibly high morale. Opposed to them were a few hundred Royal Air Force pilots, most of whom who had never seen combat. Even in the opening stages of the battle of Britain, pilots would often go into their first dogfight having never fired their guns before, even in training.

Immense pressure had been put on Dowding to commit fighters to defend France during the fighting there, but he was too stubborn. Dowding argued that they would be needed in the future; He held his ground and most of the RAF held behind in Britain.

The immense planning that Dowding had put in and his visionary ideas began to pay off. He wasn't a bold, lead from the front type of leader like Douglas Bader. He was old and was in no condition to fly. His position was behind the lines, putting into action totally radical and new ideas with articulate planning. I type him as an INTJ.

Isoroku Yamamoto “Pacific Tiger” ESTP

Admiral Yamamoto was the most infamous of all the Japanese Admirals. He was credited with inventing carrier warfare; a whole new branch of naval warfare, which is why many people would type him as some form of intuitor, but this is not true. Carrier warfare was in large part pioneered by Britain, where the concept came from. While the Japanese did build the worlds first purpose-built aircraft carrier, Yamamoto had no part in it. He saw the effectiveness of the British attack on Taranto and realised that this was the future.

He was not blinded by prejudice of other Admirals who thought that the battleship still reigned supreme. He also was not prejudiced to Japanese victory; famously stating that he would run wild for the first six months of the war, and then that Japan would lose; an unpopular view in a country full of fanatics, in a military that invented kamikaze and committed ritual suicide rather than surrender. It was not a matter of possibilities (Ne), but in fact an observation of what was already true, rather than denying the evidence. Yamamoto knew that Japan could never beat America, but when called to the challenge, he tried his very best to fight an unwinnable war. He was open to the facts around him; the ultimate extraverted Sensor.

While he did not pioneer the concept of carrier warfare, Yamamoto was one of the first Naval Staff Officers in the world to wake up to the realities of naval air power. He planned meticulously the Pearl Harbour attack, rewriting everything that had previously been known, looking at every little detail. Ultimately, this was his downfall. Yamamoto sought to engage the US Navy in a single decisive battle that would destroy their ability to fight: Midway. He meticulously looked, again, at every single detail, coming up with a complex battle plan: but ultimately, his subordinates were incompetent, and his plan did not leave enough room for the possibility of a different American battle plan. Like Rommel, this ESTP thought too much about the present and could not intuit alternative scenarios; these scenarios eventually caused his downfall. Yamamoto was killed in 1943.

Lewis (Chesty) Puller “Island Hopper” ESFP

Chesty Puller is the most decorated US Marine in history; he's also the only Feeler in my list. Chesty led from the front. Even as a Major General in Korea he was at the head of his division. He invented no new methods of warfare. While he had views that often clashed with command – on machineguns and airpower; he was no innovator. He did not invent these methods of warfare. His tactics were to drive into the face of the enemy and smash them with well drilled infantry attacks. Once, when surrounded in Korea, he uttered the famous words: "We’re surrounded. That simplifies our problem of getting to these people and killing them.”
He was a tough old nut that simply could not be cracked who loved the heat of battle and everything that came with it.

Chesty had a constant devotion to his troops; even enduring a smear campaign in the US for sending them crates of beer. The way in which he doted on his men and campaigned tirelessly for them is, I believe, introverted. He worked his way up from the bottom rank to the top; always considering himself one of the troops as a result. It was not a social relation of general to soldier as in other generals, but because he felt himself a part of something; 'The Marine Corps' – and had to align his behaviour in tune with something that gave him meaning in his life. For this I type him as an ESFP.

Notes

I have excluded Patton because he is very often cited as an ESTP. For the same reason I have not included Montgomery as he is often typified as an ESTJ; I want to use some less well known characters and also to get a perhaps wider variety of types. I also had to be able to use characters I was familiar with.

Sources: various internet
PANZER LEADER– The classic account of Blitzkrieg - The memoirs of Heinz Guderian
MARINE! The life of Chesty Puller by Burke Davis
FIGHTER by Len Deighton
PANZER COMMANDER – The memoirs of Hans von Luck
 

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Impressive. Both the typing and the amount of knowledge you needed to gather to be able to perform it.

The ENTJ is called the "marshall". I would say that they are skilled at making good plans and following them through, but not as visionary or ADAPTABLE as ENTPs or ESTPs. The latter two types I would say are best fitted to do on the field real time combat, but in different roles. NTs would favourably be in top control but ESTPs would be very efficient sub-commanders on the field. Just my guess. And wasnt Alexander the great supposed to be ENTP too?

INTJ and ENTJs could very well sketch up the grand strokes of the campaign, but they have a tendency to be "one-idea"-people. Which can be a fatal mistake when it comes to complex stuff like modern combat. If you (and I believe you have) read about WWI battles you see that the "follow the plan"-strategy cost millions of lives for no good reason.

J and P in good combination is essential for good warfare. I would think. I have had my period of obsessing about wars and warfare, and I see the romance of it. But I really hate war, and wish to never experience it since I also see the utter maninglessness and the destruction/loss/grief/sorrow that ensures to follow.

That went a bit off topic. But thanks for a great, interesting read.
 

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Rommel didn't lack foresight. In fact he always said that Germany should reinforce Afrika Korps to conquer the Middle East and obtain the oil resources that Germany desperately needed.
Concerning the disregard for logistics, in the summer of 42, after the victory of Tobruk, he kept moving forward, eventually disrupting its supply lines, in a desperate attempt to conquer Egypt before the arrival of a massive load of Sherman tanks (500), that would seal the fate of Germany in North Africa.
He also was very organized and good with details. After the defeat of Afrika Korps, he became responsible for the defense of France against the Allied invasion and with his efforts he managed to complete the Atlantic Wall and improve the strength of german defense. Against the opinion of other commanders, including Guderian I think, he was convinced that the only way to defeat the Allied invasion was to stop them in the beaches because if they managed to set foot on shore the Allied air superiority would prevent german armoured forces to push them back. Ultimately he was right.
As for the 1944 military coup, he offered moral support but wasn't directly involved and he was against the murder of Hitler. He thought that it went against the honor of a soldier.
 

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I thought both Rommel and Patton were almost universally considered ISTP. Patton especially, is the very definition of ISTP.
 

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Now, stepping on some peoples toes here, but mentioning Patton and Montgomery in the same sentence as Rommel or Guderian seems quite unfair. From what I have read or seen they were personalities but not particularly genial at what they did.

Please feel free to correct me. I might have missed or forgot the great things they did (that was not successful because of massive numerical/material superiority). One thing I do remember is their childish race to liberate cities. I can but wonder how many lives this cost....
 

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I really like this post. So much that I had in the back of my head in a sub-process somewhere. And something hit me: I think Rommel was ENTP too. Based on what? The assumption that it was he who invented the use of .88 anti-aircraft guns as anti tank guns. At least this suggests heavy use of Ne to realise the potential. If someone else came up with the ideas and convinced him, of course ESTP could be it.


And of course, an ESTP is not without Ne etc. But he might very well be an ENTP. Very similar but with more ideas so to speak.
 

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I thought both Rommel and Patton were almost universally considered ISTP. Patton especially, is the very definition of ISTP.
I am not sure where it was said that Rommel was ENTJ or any sort of NT. Keirsey said Rommel was most likely a SP type, in PUM II. However I am unsure if he was ESTP. Like Sofort I have always heard Rommel was very introverted, but in reading bits and pieces on Patton, I would not argue that he could be ESTP. To the OP why do you believe Rommel was an extraverting type?
 

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I'm curious: what type would you suggest for Eisenhower?
Some considered him NT, specifically INTJ. However here is a description of his personality based on his biography:
Peter Lyon's biography of the president, Eisenhower: Portrait of a Hero (1974), describes the president as an easygoing, gentle man. Lyon said, "Eisenhower wanted to like people, he wanted people to like him; he was distressed when it failed to happen so." Indeed, Eisenhower was enormously popular with the public from his time as a commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II through his death in 1969. However, many political analysts have mixed opinions of Eisenhower, and many have ranked him as a weak leader. Criticisms include his weak speaking ability, especially to the press, his intermittent bursts of anger, and his passivity in dealing with troublesome personalities, such as U.S. senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, whose anti-communist crusading dominated the news for some time.

After the Eisenhower administration's records came into the public domain over the years, many scholars changed their view of Eisenhower's legacy. Princeton professor Fred Greenstein called Eisenhower "a skilled political operator with an interesting and complex personality who engaged in the kinds of politicking that many believed he left to subordinates." His indirect approach to political matters preserved his popularity and left his administration to carry out controversial policies, including Central Intelligence Agency covert operations in Iran and Guatemala. Ultimately, Eisenhower commanded the respect necessary to reconcile foreign-relations issues, helping to bring an end to the Korean War and improve relations with the Soviet Union. An interesting personality quirk is that Eisenhower was a bit superstitious: He always carried three lucky coins in his trouser pockets.
 

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What Type would MacArthur be ?
Again based on Keirsey and others he was a NT as well, specifically ENTJ. I am in the belief that may be an accurate account of MacArthur since he seemed to have continued disputes with Truman and Eisenhower while they were presidents. Here is a snipet:
MacArthur's personality was complex, chameleon-like, magnetic, and contradictory. He had an insatiable appetite for publicity, his actions and motives were often suspect, and his communiqués became notorious for their boasts and their distortion of the facts. But though he was vain, egotistical, and flamboyant, he was also, to those who knew him well, charming, gracious, and cultured. His real genius as a commander lay in his ability to plan and lead with imagination and boldness. But this genius was flawed by his almost paranoid reaction to criticism, by his flagrant disregard of, and contempt for, many of those in authority above him, and by his gathering officers around him more renowned for their slavish fidelity than their intelligence. As the US army chief of staff, General Marshall, once remarked to him: ‘You don't have a staff, General. You have a court.’
 

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what type would Sir John Monash be?
 

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I have a feeling that Friedrich Paulus is ISTJ.
 

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I love this post. I'm totally into WW2 stuff.

My brother is a hardcore and tested ESTP. Him having ANY tactical knowledge beyond the squad level is ridiculous. I know I'm going on one person here but we do airsoft, a "warlike" physical sport with lots of action and the scenario games are filled with ESTPs. They just wanna go and kick ass, to spend ANY time looking at a battle map or planning is taboo to all of them. As a squad leader, sure.

Also, how many ESTPs would have enough moral conviction to commit the risk of taking part in the attempted "valkyrie" assassination of Hitler? ESTPs seem much too concerned on the action and the fun to care about deep moral implications. But that's just my opinion, based on my study of MBTI.


I would like to promote the idea of lesser-discussed General Curtis La May from World War II as a signed, sealed, and committed ENTJ in the most classical sense. Aww, gosh I can't remember it's name but a well-known documentary with Robert McNamara came out a few years ago (IMDB McNamara and you'll find it) and he discusses La May in detail. His fiery command style, his use of monosyllabic commands, and lust for tactics and anything to win. I think he's the general it's safest to bet on his MBTI type.

My guess?

Rommel: ESTJ

While I know about the other generals mentioned I don't know enough about their personalities to hazard a guess.
 

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Erwin Rommel “The Desert Fox” ESTP

He chased the British across the desert without care for logistics; his biggest criticism was that he outran his supply lines. An ENTJ with his dominant extraverted Thinking would not allow his logistics to go unmanaged. This is why I type him as an ESTP. His disregard for future consequences led to his downfall; but when he brought the British to battle he was ferocious and almost undefeatable.
I couldn't tell you for sure what type of personality Rommel was, but I don't see his behavior in North Africa as being out of line for an ENTJ...

I've played a fair amount of Risk in my time and I play very differently depending on what my strength is relative to my opponent's strength. If I'm in a superior position I'll bide my time and build up. I'll pay a lot of attention to detail and essentially make myself invincible if I have the time. Things are different if I'm losing to my opponents or more or less equal to them. Under those circumstances I try to break them before they gain a greater advantage, and I'll often make moves that other people see as being too risky.
In my mind it's a question of whether or not it will be easier to make a push in the present or in the future, regardless of whether or not success is likely.

There's a time to worry about logistics and there's a time for tactful ballstothewall aggression. Faced with the prospect of insufficient supply shipments from Germany and being outgunned by inferior weapons in North Africa, I can understand an ENTJ opting to make a push.
 

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But I still think Rommel was ENTP. ENTJs - from my IRL experience - do not adapt as quickly, instead going with their "emergency plans" or similar, even though they were not designed with the actual events in mind. Therefore I believe him more P:ish and daring.

Of course it is a sliding scale... And generalization. But more ENTP than ENTJ: more exploiting opportunities than making prepared plans and following them. But still strategic and intelligent; future scenarios-oriented. ENTJ-ENTP combo is probably - together with INTJ-ENTP - the best leader team. ESTP-ISTP good on the field leaders. ESTJs can also be good leaders if the conditions are not changing as fast and do not correlate to bigger events.

Axis and Allies fan myself.


EDIT: Actually they can be Fs too. Probably not, but many Fs are very logical as well.
 

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I couldn't tell you for sure what type of personality Rommel was, but I don't see his behavior in North Africa as being out of line for an ENTJ...

I've played a fair amount of Risk in my time and I play very differently depending on what my strength is relative to my opponent's strength. If I'm in a superior position I'll bide my time and build up. I'll pay a lot of attention to detail and essentially make myself invincible if I have the time. Things are different if I'm losing to my opponents or more or less equal to them. Under those circumstances I try to break them before they gain a greater advantage, and I'll often make moves that other people see as being too risky.
In my mind it's a question of whether or not it will be easier to make a push in the present or in the future, regardless of whether or not success is likely.

There's a time to worry about logistics and there's a time for tactful ballstothewall aggression. Faced with the prospect of insufficient supply shipments from Germany and being outgunned by inferior weapons in North Africa, I can understand an ENTJ opting to make a push.
But I still think Rommel was ENTP. ENTJs - from my IRL experience - do not adapt as quickly, instead going with their "emergency plans" or similar, even though they were not designed with the actual events in mind. Therefore I believe him more P:ish and daring.

Of course it is a sliding scale... And generalization. But more ENTP than ENTJ: more exploiting opportunities than making prepared plans and following them. But still strategic and intelligent; future scenarios-oriented. ENTJ-ENTP combo is probably - together with INTJ-ENTP - the best leader team. ESTP-ISTP good on the field leaders. ESTJs can also be good leaders if the conditions are not changing as fast and do not correlate to bigger events.

Axis and Allies fan myself.


EDIT: Actually they can be Fs too. Probably not, but many Fs are very logical as well.
I could see why some considered Rommel ENTJ, but not sure of ENTP. Per the first post here, ESTPs and ENTJs can look a-like, but their differences are quite obvious the likes of Generals Patton and Rommel (allegedly ESTP types) as opposed to MacArthur (allegedly ENTJ).
What makes them look so much alike is the In-Charge™ Interaction Style. Both of these types want to get things accomplished and get that achievable result as quickly as possible. They have a fundamental belief that it is worth the risk to go ahead and decide and trust they can take care of anything that comes up. They tend to make quick decisions. For them, there is no such thing as a wrong decision, just one that didn’t work. Both tend to be very Directing in their communications and Initiating in the roles they take with others.
But it's the core needs and language that should be quite indicative:
Artisans have a core need for having the freedom to choose the next thing they are going to do with a drive to action and to make an impact, whereas Rationals have a core need for mastery, self-control, knowledge and competence.

The temperament differences come in noticing their use of language, with the ESTP more likely to use language that describes things tangibly and the ENTJ language describes things conceptually.
Consider the tactical language of Patton and Rommel in these quotes:
But courage which goes against military expediency is stupidity, or, if it is insisted upon by a commander, irresponsibility.
Erwin Rommel

Don't fight a battle if you don't gain anything by winning.
Erwin Rommel

In a man-to-man fight, the winner is he who has one more round in his magazine.
Erwin Rommel

Sweat saves blood.
Erwin Rommel

A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.
George S. Patton

A pint of sweat, saves a gallon of blood.
George S. Patton

Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.
George S. Patton

Always do everything you ask of those you command.
George S. Patton

Better to fight for something than live for nothing.
George S. Patton

Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.
George S. Patton

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.
George S. Patton
As opposed to MacArthur
A better world shall emerge based on faith and understanding.
Douglas MacArthur

A general is just as good or just as bad as the troops under his command make him.
Douglas MacArthur

Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul.
Douglas MacArthur

Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it.
Douglas MacArthur

Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.
Douglas MacArthur

Could I have but a line a century hence crediting a contribution to the advance of peace, I would yield every honor which has been accorded by war.
Douglas MacArthur

Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.
Douglas MacArthur

I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.
Douglas MacArthur

I have known war as few men now living know it. It's very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes.
Douglas MacArthur

I suppose, in a way, this has become part of my soul. It is a symbol of my life. Whatever I have done that really matters, I've done wearing it. When the time comes, it will be in this that I journey forth. What greater honor could come to an American, and a soldier?
Douglas MacArthur

Life is a lively process of becoming.
Douglas MacArthur
Notice the two former speak literally and the latter metaphorically?
 
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