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Best General of All Time?

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  • #16
    If I may chime in as a newbie, what are the qualifications for "best"? Won the battles but in a losing war? Contributed to victory? Contributed to victory and peace? Contributed to victory and a lasting peace? Won battles against all odds? Won with low casualties?

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    • #17
      Originally posted by iggy View Post
      If I may chime in as a newbie, what are the qualifications for "best"? Won the battles but in a losing war? Contributed to victory? Contributed to victory and peace? Contributed to victory and a lasting peace? Won battles against all odds? Won with low casualties?
      It's open-ended, so take the reigns. Welcome to the forumn.
      "It is a fine fox chase, my boys"

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

      Comment


      • #18
        Washington did have an "impossible" task. His troops were so poorly disciplined in the first couple years that they would stop by taverns and drink while on patrol or expecting a battle.

        He kept it together through dint of hard work and the patience of a saint.

        As a field commander he left much to be desired. Those forts he built north of the Harlem River and the Battle of Brandywine come to mind. Trenton and Princeton were of course amazing.

        As a strategist he did what he should have done: attack when it built morale or offered a good chance of success, but otherwise remain defensive. If Howe spent more time attacking the Continental Army than capturing cities, then he may have won.
        "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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        • #19
          Napoleon. Even Wellington admitted it.
          We are not now that strength which in old days
          Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
          Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
          To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post

            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.
            In Russian and World science, there is no such term as Siberian. Y-chromosome studies show that 8% of Siberian lineage trace BACK to Mongolia, not the other way around. Oldest family in Vladivostok confirm the tree up to Batu Khan (the one that actually finalized the conquest of Russia, led the Mongols into Poland and Hungary) Genghis' grandson though Jochi Khan, his first born.
            Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

            Prayers.

            BoRG

            http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/8757/snap1ws8.jpg

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Massena View Post
              Napoleon. Even Wellington admitted it.
              What makes Napleon better than, say, Caesar or Alexander? They won their wars, and if you believe the sources, Alexander never lost a battle either.
              "It is a fine fox chase, my boys"

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

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by American87 View Post

                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?
                Batu Khan and Hulagu Khan were better generals than Kublai. Kublai INHERITED most of the Chinese conquests that were done by Genghis Khan Ogedei Khan, and Mongke Khan.
                Last edited by Salinator; 16 Jun 20, 17:59.
                Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

                Prayers.

                BoRG

                http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/8757/snap1ws8.jpg

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

                Comment


                • #23
                  Hannibal. If he was given the same troops Alexander or Caesar had I don’t see what would have stopped him. He pretty much did it single handed as powers in Carthage were as interested in hamstringing him as they were in seeing Rome humbled. He held together a largely mercenary army in a foreign land for a decade and a half, and never once did they mutiny. Neither Caesar or Alexander could say that. And Cannae... every general’s wet dream. So many have tried but other than Tannenburg I can’t think of another example that comes close. And the beauty of Cannae is that it was an ambush in plain sight.

                  Yes he lost. But there was no shame in losing to the energiser bunny that was Rome. Those silly buggers just didn’t know when they were beaten.
                  Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                  That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    'Napoleon was truly a great captain, one who played a major role in the history and development of the military art, Few, if any, commanders, before or since, fought more wars and battles under more varied conditions of weather, terrain, and climate, and against a greater variety of enemies than the French Emperor. His understanding of mass warfare and his success in raising, organizing, and equipping mass armies revolutionized the conduct of war and marked the origin of modern warfare. By the very extent of his operations, he brought logistics into being as the necessary teammate of strategy...'-A Militiary History and Atlas of the Napoleonic Wars by Vincent J Esposito and John R Elting, Introduction.

                    'The Grande Armee was Napoleon's unique creation. He worked steadily at improving its organization, tactics, and weapons...Just as it was his creation, so it was his home. He was another soldier there among soldiers, a father among his children. He could talk to them-collectively or man-to-man-in their own speech (not excluding a few popular expletives) and was an expert at the blague (blarney) or a quick fight talk. The Grande Armee gave him strange nicknames: 'Le Tondu' (the shorn one), 'Father Violet,' and 'John of the Sword.' Together, they put fear into the souls of Europe's kings and foreign generations-a terrible reality and an enduring legend.'-John Elting, Swords Around A Throne, 65.

                    That's why.
                    We are not now that strength which in old days
                    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                    Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                    To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Rojik View Post
                      Hannibal. If he was given the same troops Alexander or Caesar had I don’t see what would have stopped him. He pretty much did it single handed as powers in Carthage were as interested in hamstringing him as they were in seeing Rome humbled. He held together a largely mercenary army in a foreign land for a decade and a half, and never once did they mutiny. Neither Caesar or Alexander could say that. And Cannae... every general’s wet dream. So many have tried but other than Tannenburg I can’t think of another example that comes close. And the beauty of Cannae is that it was an ambush in plain sight.

                      Yes he lost. But there was no shame in losing to the energiser bunny that was Rome. Those silly buggers just didn’t know when they were beaten.
                      My problem with Hannibal is the sources. He deserves much better than Livy, the official "court" historian of Rome. Polybius did well, but we're missing pieces.

                      Hannibal's up there. I would like to see some war between any of Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar. We could throw Napoleon in there too in terms of mental capacity for warfare.
                      "It is a fine fox chase, my boys"

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

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by OttoHarkaman

                        Alexander could never have gotten very far without Philip's army and this army continuously won despite Alexander's constant mismanagement. You can sense Philip's disappointment with Alexander's leadership with his criticism of his son's launching the heavy cavalry too early at Chaeronea before the Greek Allies were totally pinned and wouldn't be able to counter the charge.

                        Caesar had an army developed over centuries and having fairly recently been reformed by Marius. Interesting fighting Marius in his heyday against Caesar. But Sulla is my hero, what a fearsome man, winning the Grass Crown.




                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grass_Crown

                        You've got a point about raising armies. Caesar took command of the fittest fighting force in the West, possibly on Earth, and he whipped it into a loyal, savage group of conquerors. If he didnt display the organizational capacity of Phillip, he did show the same morale-building ability. There was a noted difference in temperment between Caesar's men and those Pompey commanded.

                        I think Caesar would have beat Marius. If I recall collectly, and I may be way off, it was Sulla more than Marius who won the Jugurthine War, and Marius never did much in the Social or First Civil Wars. His big accomplishment was Aquiae Sextae, and we know how Caesar did against Gauls and Germans.

                        Sulla is good. I never studied his campaigns closely, but it took a lot of skill and backbone to beat the Italians. Then again, I think Rome won them over by granting citizenship here and there, until they ceased fighting.

                        I would put my money on Caesar over Sulla. There's something about fighting for 13 years, conquering Gaul, invading Germania and Britain, then reconquering the Mediterranean that makes him stand out. And I think he only lost one battle, the Battle of Gergovia.
                        "It is a fine fox chase, my boys"

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

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Massena View Post
                          Napoleon. Even Wellington admitted it.
                          Wellington would hardly admit that he beat somebody past their prime. I'm not saying that's what happened.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by American87 View Post

                            My problem with Hannibal is the sources. He deserves much better than Livy, the official "court" historian of Rome. Polybius did well, but we're missing pieces.

                            Hannibal's up there. I would like to see some war between any of Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar. We could throw Napoleon in there too in terms of mental capacity for warfare.
                            Yes. There is a problem that the only surviving sources come from the Romans, and who knows what axes they had to grind. The Zama thread is a good case in point. Of how incomplete the sources are, and how much of it could be propaganda.

                            All things being equal Alexander would have his arse handed to him in that battle. His father set the table. All he did was invade an empire that was falling apart. His army was magnificent, but he had no plans other than glory, and rarely showed any real genius. Maybe it was a product of the phalanx but I think Caesar would have cut him to pieces.

                            Napoleon is hard to go past but Russia... dear god. Why? And Spain... why? He was good. Really good but you can’t make those mistakes and be considered the best.

                            Sulla was thrown up earlier. Interesting, and a man I found fascinating enough to name a cat after, but for me Marius should be the one from that era. His handling of the German (Celtic) tribes was sublime.

                            Subutai would be the only one from the east I’d be able to put up with confidence, but even then I probably only know enough to get into trouble defending him.
                            Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                            That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by American87 View Post

                              You've got a point about raising armies. Caesar took command of the fittest fighting force in the West, possibly on Earth, and he whipped it into a loyal, savage group of conquerors. If he didnt display the organizational capacity of Phillip, he did show the same morale-building ability. There was a noted difference in temperment between Caesar's men and those Pompey commanded.

                              I think Caesar would have beat Marius. If I recall collectly, and I may be way off, it was Sulla more than Marius who won the Jugurthine War, and Marius never did much in the Social or First Civil Wars. His big accomplishment was Aquiae Sextae, and we know how Caesar did against Gauls and Germans.

                              Sulla is good. I never studied his campaigns closely, but it took a lot of skill and backbone to beat the Italians. Then again, I think Rome won them over by granting citizenship here and there, until they ceased fighting.

                              I would put my money on Caesar over Sulla. There's something about fighting for 13 years, conquering Gaul, invading Germania and Britain, then reconquering the Mediterranean that makes him stand out. And I think he only lost one battle, the Battle of Gergovia.
                              Caesar did not command as much loyalty from his troops as made out to be. They were only loyal with pay and their share of the loot when they were conquering barbarians. When he marched on Rome, most of his men refused to cross the Rubicon. Sulla on the other hand went to Rome twice with all his men. Then there is the matter of those very same veteran Gallic Legions camped at Campania that refused his order to transfer to Africa to fight the Pompeian Army that had gathered there with the intention of invading Italy. Instead those very Legions NOW marched on Rome to demand their back pay, and the promised discharge and bonuses. Had Pompeii Magnus and the Roman Senate remembered to take the treasury with them, those Legions may very well have taken up the Pompeian cause.
                              Last edited by Salinator; 15 Jun 20, 20:30.
                              Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

                              Prayers.

                              BoRG

                              http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/8757/snap1ws8.jpg

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Salinator View Post

                                In Russian and World science, there is no such term as Siberian. Y-chromosome studies show that 8% of Siberian lineage trace BACK to Mongolia, not the other way around. Oldest family in Vladivostok confirm the tree up to Batu Khan (the one that actually finalized the conquest of Russia, led the Mongols into Poland and Hungary) Genghis' grandson though Jochi Khan, his first born.
                                "A principal components analysis of the individuals from the burial site in Khövsgöl province and other Eurasian populations separated them by geography, first along an east-west axis, then by a north-south axis, stretching from Siberians in the north to Taiwanese in the south. The addition of Native Americans to the analysis shifted the Late Bronze Age Khövsgöl individuals away from the modern Asian populations and toward modern Native Americans. This, they noted, is in line with Late Bronze Age Khövsgöl individuals and ancient Siberians sharing more ancestry with Native American-related gene pools.

                                Through admixture modeling, the researchers traced the ancestry of the Khövsgöl individuals largely to an Early Bronze Age population of hunter-gatherers from the Baikal region of Siberia. Western steppe herders, meanwhile, contributed only a small portion, about 7 percent, of Khövsgöl individuals' ancestry."

                                https://www.genomeweb.com/sequencing...d#.Xug1xF1OmUA

                                Modern Mongolians are apparently closely related to Han Chinese.
                                We hunt the hunters

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