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Best General of All Time?

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  • Best General of All Time?

    Who was it?
    "It is a fine fox chase, my boys"

    "It is well that war is so terrible-we would grow too fond of it"

  • #2
    Kublai Khan!

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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    • #3
      There are far too many variables to be able to declare without reservation any WW2 commander "The Best ".

      However, having just read his " Actung Panzer", I would nominate Heinz Guderian.
      "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
      Samuel Johnson.

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      • #4
        Well, officially the Greatest General of all Time is Napolean Bonaparte...

        With the possible exception of Jesus Christ, napoleon has more books written about him and his campaigns than any other single person in history. The Library of Congress alone lists over half a million of them.

        Napolean was more than a general. He was a social and political reformer as well. If the French Revolution was the most important political movement ever, then Napolean was it's poster child.

        His rise from Corsican obscurity, to his military schooling at Paris and Brienne, his emergence as "Citizen Bonaparte" , then subsequent rise still further to crown himself Emperor and challenge for ever the doctrine of "Rule by Divine Right", I don't think any single soldier can claim to have had more impact and influence than Bonaparte.
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        • #5
          No oriental nominees?
          We hunt the hunters

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          • #6
            Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post
            No oriental nominees?
            See post #2.

            Pruitt
            Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

            Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

            by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Pruitt View Post

              See post #2.

              Pruitt
              Lol

              I did read your post but oddly I don't think of Mongolian as Asian.

              Genetic studies suggest Siberian ancestry but with considerable admixing. Non the less I apologize.
              We hunt the hunters

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                Kublai Khan!

                Pruitt
                I was going to say Caesar, but this is good. What is the difference between Kublai and Ghengis I’m terms of conquests? And how are the sources on them, in terms of abundance?
                "It is a fine fox chase, my boys"

                "It is well that war is so terrible-we would grow too fond of it"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Drusus Nero View Post
                  Well, officially the Greatest General of all Time is Napolean Bonaparte...

                  With the possible exception of Jesus Christ, napoleon has more books written about him and his campaigns than any other single person in history. The Library of Congress alone lists over half a million of them.

                  Napolean was more than a general. He was a social and political reformer as well. If the French Revolution was the most important political movement ever, then Napolean was it's poster child.

                  His rise from Corsican obscurity, to his military schooling at Paris and Brienne, his emergence as "Citizen Bonaparte" , then subsequent rise still further to crown himself Emperor and challenge for ever the doctrine of "Rule by Divine Right", I don't think any single soldier can claim to have had more impact and influence than Bonaparte.
                  Gross. Emphasizing politics shows a lack of military knowledge. I expect better from a publicized ACG article writer and LONG ARM OF SHILOH revisionist. Or do I?
                  "It is a fine fox chase, my boys"

                  "It is well that war is so terrible-we would grow too fond of it"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by OttoHarkaman
                    Philip II of Macedon
                    You may be right. He took some mountainous tribesmen and turned them into the most professional, effective fighting force in eastern Mediterranean. He or his son may have conquered Rome.

                    Definitely worth considering. My reservation is that he never conquered as much as his son.

                    But as an army-builder he was second to none. Tough call.
                    "It is a fine fox chase, my boys"

                    "It is well that war is so terrible-we would grow too fond of it"

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                    • #11
                      Actually, Phillip II of Macedon was my first pick....

                      But...

                      I remembered reading Victor Davis Hanson's "The Soul of Battle", wherein he describes Phillip II as something other than a unifying force, and flat out dismisses his son, Alexander I as "The thug of the ancient world". Phillip is on record as being critical of Alexander, (particularly of his direction of the army during the battle of Charonaea) but the political machinations that surrounded Phillip were really of his own creation.

                      The Delian League was not much different to the Peloponesian League under the Spartans, in the sense that it relied on brute force to hold it together. The Delian League was simply nothing more than the old Greek preference for "City States" rearing its head once more

                      Phillips assassination, ostensibly by a member of his own personal guard, Pausanias, was something that would occur again and again in the Roman world. It demonstrated that the real powerbase of an ancient monarchy lay not in Divinity, nor in the opinion of subject people, but in the raw sphere of militarism. In fact, the very role of Alexander and his mother in Phillip's assassination was much speculated by contemporaries as well as modern writers, and the jury is still out when looking at the real reasons for Philip's death.
                      Greek contemporaries could not even agree that the Macedonians were "true Greeks", a debate that goes on to this very day and has caused the modern separation of the territory of Macedonia into it's own nation state as recently as the first decade of the 21st century.

                      Further, there is no reason to suppose that, had Phillip gone on to conquer the Persian Empire that the result would really have been any different to what happened historically. Just as many Greeks fought against Alexander as for him, and there is no reason to think that a Phillip lead army would have been any different. One thing that might have been different was the very fact that Alexander returned, or tried to, as more Persian than he was "Greek" (or Macedonian). Maybe Phillip would not have been able to hold down any dynastic reign in Persia through marriage, as Alexander tried to do with his marriage to the Sogdian Roxanna.

                      We'll never know what Phillip intended to do, but one thing is for sure. Alexander's successors were all generals, and they fell to squabbling and fighting each other over the spoils of Alexanders short lived empire. The last of descendent of the Alexandrian clique was the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt, and that was really only possible because Egypt was the most important province of the Roman Empire.

                      So maybe Victor Davis Hanson was quite correct in his assessment of Phillip II, in the same way that he was correct about Alexander...

                      So, this is what stopped me from naming Phillip as "The Best General of All Time"

                      I then thought of Eisenhower, mainly for his work with Patton, theorizing about modern tank warfare and what it would do to the "new" battlefield. Dwight D. Eisenhower lead a multi-national force, and by all accounts, managed to keep the squabbling to a minimum, but could not prevent the rivalry between his three best subordinates, George Patton, Omar Bradley and Montgomery.
                      Eisenhower as POTUS is still a period that is looked upon by many Americans as their "Golden Age".

                      This debate is certainly not over. I am surprised that nobody has put forward the name of Robert E. Lee, as he would seem a natural candidate.

                      Does the best general of all time have to fight on the "winning" side?
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                      • #12
                        Lots of choices..on the top of my list, there are Belisarius, Slim, Napoleon, Currie, Maurice de Saxe, Tamerlane, Scipio Africanus...On the very Top of the list would be George Washington… Keeping a ragtag army together, often facing hardships (lack of food, bad weather, irregular pay etc) and forming discipline troops, dealing with the pressures of political masters trying to build a new country, on a land where not all the population was sympatetic to revolutionary ideas and, after escaping the best army in the world, he takes his Army and beats the British pretty badly (ok, with some French help), resulting in US independence...No other general comes close, except perhaps Slim in Burma.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Capt AFB View Post
                          Lots of choices..on the top of my list, there are Belisarius, Slim, Napoleon, Currie, Maurice de Saxe, Tamerlane, Scipio Africanus...On the very Top of the list would be George Washington… Keeping a ragtag army together, often facing hardships (lack of food, bad weather, irregular pay etc) and forming discipline troops, dealing with the pressures of political masters trying to build a new country, on a land where not all the population was sympatetic to revolutionary ideas and, after escaping the best army in the world, he takes his Army and beats the British pretty badly (ok, with some French help), resulting in US independence...No other general comes close, except perhaps Slim in Burma.
                          Yes...Washington is certainly up there, but did not Mao-Tse-Tung achieve practically the same thing?

                          And mention must be made of Deng Xio-Peng as well...."One Party, Two Systems" has certainly become an economic and military doctrine in its own right. Deng is the nominal commander of the Chinese Armed services in the same way that the President of the United States is as well.
                          So, Deng, can be considered a warlord, even though its only economic warfare that he wages....lets hope it stays that way.
                          My Articles, ALMOST LIVE, exclusive to The Armchair!

                          Soviet Submarines in WW2....The Mythology of Shiloh....(Edited) Both Sides of the Warsaw Ghetto
                          GULAG Glossary....Who Really Killed The Red Baron?....Pearl Harbor At 75
                          Lincoln-Douglas Debates

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Drusus Nero View Post

                            Yes...Washington is certainly up there, but did not Mao-Tse-Tung achieve practically the same thing?
                            There are certainly parallels that can be drawn between the American Revolution and the Chinese communist revolution. Mao's leading of the Long March and escaping destruction of his Red Army is certainly a military feat, in itself.

                            But there are strong differences between Washington and Mao has military leaders -

                            Washington had to deal with the political pressures of Congress and therefore could be dismissed by it; Mao was both military leader and political leader.

                            Washington and the Continental army had to face the British Army, a highly professional and discipline army at the time (and still is); Mao and his Red Army faced a corrupt Kuomintang army, in which the leadership did not much care for its soldiers.





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                            • #15
                              A similarity in Washington and Mao was they both had only to keep their army from being destroyed to win.

                              I vote for Alexander the Great--conquered most of the known world.
                              Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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