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Top Five Best Generals of All Time

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  • Top Five Best Generals of All Time

    I'm giving you my top 5 generals of all time, with a brief description. You follow suit. I welcome your replies.
    5. Robert E. Lee...Almost won the war for the south even with a total lack of supplies, and a huge shortage of men. Would have won it if it hadn't been for a few minor mistakes that were capitalized because of the north's better supplies and men.
    4. Ghengis Khan...Amazing Tactician
    3. Hannibal...Brought Rome to it's knees. :bowdown: And elephants across the Alps? Genius.
    2. Alexander The Great...Conquered the world, and I would put him #1 if it he had a chance to hold his empire and had succeeded.
    And...(Drumroll, Please)
    1. Julius Caesar...He was the best. He made us remember Rome as not just another Persia.
    Honerable Mention: Octavian AKA Augustus Caesar... Excellent official and not a bad general, he beat Marc Antony. Note my Name.

  • #2

    Thats a good list.. what about Napolean?


    • #3
      In response to the question "what about Napoleon?" I answer: He would be 6 or 7 for the reason: he made us care about the french. Good Question. Keep em coming.


      • #4
        Hannibal - We only know him from Romans. But from what they tell us, this man scared the hell out of them.

        Napoleon - The last 'true' general. After him came the General Staff. Do the times make the man? Or the man the times?

        Marlborough - John Churchill 1st Duke
        This man was a true genius. Un-sung nowdays. You need to study
        his Rhine Campaign to understand why I picked him.

        Belisarius - This man did more with less than any General in history. He is the one that made the heavy horse feared.

        Alexander - It doesnt hurt to have a hard core of professional
        soldiers armed and trained with a system that no one could
        beat, in a fair fight. None the less he conquered most of the known world.

        Honorable mention:

        Albrecht von Wallenstein - This man understood the TRUE nature
        of war, long before Clausewitz. He became so dangerous,
        the HRE had him murdered. Proof that battles alone dont tell
        the whole story.

        Yamashita - It is western conceit that ignores this man.
        To assume that there were no good generals in Asia,
        is a bit silly.


        • #5
          I'd question a few entries:

          First, the strength of Rome was always that, no matter what kind of licking they took, they always bounced back. Rome had it's fair share of bad generals, but survived where other empires/kingdoms fell.

          So, who was ultimately better? Scipio or Hannibal?

          As for Lee, I'm not sure I would say that the South was ever near to winning the war. You admit Lee made mistakes but fail to credit Union generals for taking advantage of those mistakes. Dismissing victory as the result of logistical and numerical superiority is kind of a cop out that seems to come from some "let's root for the underdog" vein in all of us (witness Rommel in north africa). The generals with the logistics still have to do things right.


          • #6
            Of course Union Generals capitalized on them. And of course the had to do things right, but to credit Grant, he knew he didn't need to win those battles , just make sure lee lost lots of men, and he did that of course, but Lee was the better general. However, to win Grant didn't need to do that much. He was a good general, not a great one. If lee had fought for the north as lincoln asked him the war would have been over in a year or less. Of course I was rooting for the north cause I'm not a rascist, but I do admire Lee's loyalty to his state and the fact that on an even playing field he would have wiped the floor with grant. If u think grant was better you are definitely :crazy: crazy.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Octavian
              Of course I was rooting for the north cause I'm not a rascist, but I do admire Lee's loyalty to his state and the fact that on an even playing field he would have wiped the floor with grant. If u think grant was better you are definitely :crazy: crazy.
              Nice to see a good fact based argument.

              Given that this "even playing field" you seek is almost impossible to provide, why don't you provide some examples of just where Lee was so much better than Grant?

              I admit to not knowing much about the ACW, so look at it as an opportunity to educate.

              But one question, which I have posed before, remains unanswered. I frequently see arguments here in which Grant is downplayed because he had overwhelming resources. So, the questions I have is:

              Should logistical/manpower advantages automatically be applied to "reduce" the perceived skill of a general. If so, what does that mean for Patton who operated in an environment of total air superiority, with better logistical and material support than the enemy? Or any Soviet general? What makes Grant different?


              • #8
                5. Napolean-great strategist
                4. Rommel-genious at desert warfare, but his belief in fixed fortifications at Normandy was detrimental to the campaign.
                3. U.S. Grant-Butcher Grant was a great, destructive general and the last campaign through Appomat. shows his power.
                2. T.J. Jackson-Stonewall Jackson was the master at the flank attack and his loss was lethal for the South. Jubil Early just didn't have Jackson's zeal and tactical mastery, IMO.
                1. Patton-his numbers speak for themselves.


                • #9
                  Best Generals

                  The best generals that I considered are;

                  1. Napoleon I
                  2. Helmut von Moltke
                  3. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
                  4. William T. Sherman
                  5. Erwin Rommel

                  Honorable Mention

                  Adelbert Ames


                  • #10
                    top five generals, et al.

                    I wonder just what you are determining as ingredients of a great general.
                    1- is it charisma?
                    2- is it overcoming obstacles?
                    3- is it tactical knowledge?
                    4- is it Strategic knowhow?
                    5- is it success?
                    if all above is the true yard stick, then I believe that Napoleon might be numero uno. He has that charismatic aura that evokes total devotion. He was a tactical wizard. Even if he made mistakes, his strategic vision was excellent. He took a fractured country, tortured by civil war and made a truly world power while changing the entire face of armed warfare. France became a massed Army with leaders capable of dramatic improvements in tactics. Napoleon's demise was caused both by his own frail health and the alliance casued by his own success.


                    • #11
                      See Battle of Fredericksburg, Battle of Manassas I&II . There are some facts there for ya!


                      • #12
                        It is all those factors, Slatboy, and more. It's just an opinion. And everybody, Remember Roman history! Julius Caesar. The man. Check him out. You'll find all the qualities you want in a general.


                        • #13
                          Now, this is an interesting topic. What makes a general great? His charisma? Leadership skills? His bravery? I believe we each have our own way of determining who is the best general in our opinion. I for one value charisma, leadership and bravery. Leading from the front, sleeping and eating with the rank and file, showing unwavering coolness under fire. That, for me, limits who the greatest generals are/were. And also let's not forget, that the great generals more often than none, have other officers carrying their orders and in fact it is the subordonates that often carry the day, mind you under the direct control of the general. One example is Napoleon I. Emperor of the French, military leader, leads men, a genius with artillery, as well he should, but how about his Corps commanders like Lannes and Massena. I'm going on and on, but this is only my opinion, but my top five generals would be:

                          5. Patton
                          4. Rommel
                          3. Massena
                          2. Ceasar
                          1. Alexander the Great

                          Runner up: Lannes. I have a weakness for Napoleon's Generals

                          Soviet and Canadian medal collector!


                          • #14
                            My Best 5

                            Here is my shot at the best 5 (not in any particular order) followed by a few other great ones.

                            Moroni - Led his Army against staggering odds to victory after victory
                            Robt E Lee - Ditto
                            John B Gordon - Nearly invincible on the offensive and unwavering on the defense.
                            Janos Hunyadi - Bulwark of Europe against the Turkish invaders
                            Eduard Dietl and Julius Caesar (tie) - A mountain officer par excellence. Never saw defeat. I think you know Caesar already.

                            Genghiz Khan is also high on the list, along with Subedei and Babur the Tiger, whose conquest of Afghanistan and India was amazing. Would also consider Chuikov (defender at Stalingrad), Robert the Bruce (OK, he was a King not a general, but the lines were blurrier in those days), and Blaskowitz (who proved you can do it all with nothing).

                            George Washington ought to be considered, merely for his ability to keep the war going when all indications were for defeat.

                            ...and the greatest general ever: Saddam Hussein - but only in his own mind!

                            Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                            Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006

                            "Never pet a burning dog."

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                            • #15
                              Lance W.

                              Peace through superior firepower.


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