With the possible exception of Lee , I wouldn't think any of them has anywhere near the reputation for being such an incredible military genius that Rommel has.
Kitchener went down in history as a firm and competent organizer of troops, not as a genius conqueror. Hindenburg and Moltke had extremely high reputations at the time which have since lost some of their luster... or are they still so highly regarded in Germany, in which case I'm wrong?
Kitchener was a massive popularity symbol. His value as a well-regarded hero was enormous for the Propaganda effort. Remember the famous "I want you" poster?
Quite well; a mustache like that is hard to forget.
But being well-regarded in one's own time as a war hero is not the same as a reputation for military genius, and certainly not the same as a lasting reputation. Kitchener was respected for his role in organizing armies, and for using those armies to conquer provinces. That won him laurels in his day- but never became known for any particularly brilliant victories that carved his place into history the way Cannae did for Hannibal.
A century later, his role as a general is largely forgotten- he did it, did it fairly competently, and was respected for it at the time, but there's a qualitative difference between Kitchener's reputation and Rommel's reputation.
Not everyone who fights and wins a war gets a reputation for being a military mastermind- Eisenhower didn't, for instance. And Eisenhower's achievements were in some respects like Kitchener's: strategic more than tactical. Eisenhower's leadership had relatively less to do with making his troops successful on the field, but a lot to do with organizing and deploying his forces so that he could wear down and defeat his enemies efficiently over the long run.
Compare this to Rommel, whose reputation as a great tactician was forged well before the war was over, to the point where he was being singled out as a great general by Churchill in parliament.
A reputation like that merits a certain amount of scrutiny- how much of his success was due to his good luck, and how much to his skill? Where were his strengths, what were his weaknesses, and how important did those weaknesses turn out to be?
Even Belisarius was aided by the stupidity of his enemies enormously. If the Vandals had had competent commanders, Belisarius head would have met a spike on a wall.
Very possibly- I don't deny it. But then, the Vandals had a lot of advantages; Belisarius was mounting a campaign with smaller forces and invading an overseas opponent.
Analyzing Belisarius by the same standard- what were his strengths, what were his weaknesses- I'm not sure what conclusions to draw; it's not a history I'm that familiar with. What did he demonstrate himself to be bad at?
It really is a matter of time, I guess. In the 1910s Kitchener was hailed as the new Wellington, Moltke's reputation was enormous as well etc.
Yes, but Kitchener's reputation as an outstanding
commander didn't last more than a few decades, nor did Moltke's. Rommel (or Patton, to take his closest Allied counterpart) still have their reputations largely intact seventy years after their death. Wellington and Marlborough likewise, two and three centuries later... and Hannibal's reputation as a tactician will probably live as long as civilization on Earth.
Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:
What is this 'favourite character' you speak of? I have walls lined with bookshelves, having a single favourite character would be like having a favourite brick.
-Story of my literary tastes.