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  • #46
    He was a loser. That's all we need to know.
    There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

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    • #47
      I'm trying to remember which great military leaders have not suffered any defeats...Ceasar had Alesia, Rommel had El Alamein, Hannibal had Zama,...Alexander may not have been defeated but his army revolted after fighting Porus in India and did nothing to prepare the post-Alexander era after his death resulting in an empire crumbling apart. Calling any great military leader a loser because they've lost one (or more) battle is a challenging thought and may only demonstrate a lack of understanding of the nature of warfare.

      Wellington and Patton may be the only ones that I can think of that may have never lost a battle...Would have Wellington faired better than Moore, if he had arrived in Spain earlier? Would Patton be a great commander if the US forces deployed to the European continent, if the USA joined WW2 in September 1939 or 1940?

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      • #48
        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.
        Nah! I rate Marlborough above him. By the way, 'The Best General' not 'Best Megalomaniac' And as I pointed out before:

        Drusus Nero:
        "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."

        But like books about Jesus, many are full of myth, irrational worship and hearsay.

        I wonder if Jack the Ripper was the 'best murderer' in all history? As I do believe that more books have been written about him than any other

        Just to make it clear again:

        The thread title is "Best General of All Time?"

        Much better you stick to that attribute of his rather than cloud it with how good he was at other things whilst ignoring the likes of abandonment of armies and marriage and the destruction of a 500,000 man Army in under 6 months.
        ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
        All human ills he can subdue,
        Or with a bauble or medal
        Can win mans heart for you;
        And many a blessing know to stew
        To make a megloamaniac bright;
        Give honour to the dainty Corse,
        The Pixie is a little shite.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Capt AFB View Post
          I'm trying to remember which great military leaders have not suffered any defeats...Ceasar had Alesia, Rommel had El Alamein, Hannibal had Zama,...Alexander may not have been defeated but his army revolted after fighting Porus in India and did nothing to prepare the post-Alexander era after his death resulting in an empire crumbling apart. Calling any great military leader a loser because they've lost one (or more) battle is a challenging thought and may only demonstrate a lack of understanding of the nature of warfare.

          Wellington and Patton may be the only ones that I can think of that may have never lost a battle...Would have Wellington faired better than Moore, if he had arrived in Spain earlier? Would Patton be a great commander if the US forces deployed to the European continent, if the USA joined WW2 in September 1939 or 1940?
          Subutai
          Chandragupta
          Ramesses II, Ramesses the Great.
          Cyrus the Great, also the first known ruler to abolish slavery in his country and throughout his conquered lands
          Epaminondas of Thebes
          Darius I, Fourth Persian King of the Achaemenid Empire (if only by default because he was not there at Marathon)
          Thutmose III, Sixth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty,
          Yue Fei, from a farmer to Commander in Chief of the Song military, undefeated but executed because of jealous Song Emperor
          Bai Qi, the General of First Emperor of China.
          Admiral Yi Sun-Shin
          Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus
          Trajan
          Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck
          Emperor Ashoka, third ruler of the Mauryan Empire
          Pepin the Short, father of Charlemagne
          Alexander Suvorov
          Tamerlane
          Admiral Fyodor Ushakov
          George Henry Thomas, The Rock of Chickamauga
          John Churchill
          Jan Žižka, this Czech led over 200 battles and bested Holy Roman Empire and Hungary, the powerhouses of his time
          Khalid ibn al Walid, The Sword of Allah
          Tariq ibn Ziyad, this is the Muslim that conquered most of Spain
          August von Mackensen
          Edward IV
          Last edited by Salinator; 16 Jun 20, 19:37.
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          • #50
            Originally posted by Salinator View Post

            Subutai
            Chandragupta
            Ramesses II, Ramesses the Great.
            Cyrus the Great, also the first known ruler to abolish slavery in his country and throughout his conquered lands
            Epaminondas of Thebes
            Darius I, Fourth Persian King of the Achaemenid Empire (if only by default because he was not there at Marathon)
            Thutmose III, Sixth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty,
            Yue Fei, from a farmer to Commander in Chief of the Song military, undefeated by executed because of jealous Song Emperor
            Bai Qi, the General of First Emperor of China.
            Admiral Yi Sun-Shin
            Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus
            Trajan
            Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck
            Emperor Ashoka, third ruler of the Mauryan Empire
            Pepin the Short, father of Charlemagne
            Alexander Suvorov
            Tamerlane
            Admiral Fyodor Ushakov
            George Henry Thomas, The Rock of Chickamauga
            John Churchill
            Jan Žižka, this Czech led over 200 battles and bested Holy Roman Empire and Hungary, the powerhouses of his time
            Khalid ibn al Walid, The Sword of Allah
            Tariq ibn Ziyad, this is the Muslim that conquered most of Spain
            August von Mackensen
            Edward IV
            I am impressed and respectfully bow to your superior knowledge.

            That said, the knowledge of the battle feats of some of these characters is only partially known, either because defeats was never recorded or lost, or that the ruler controlled what the scribe was writing (Propaganda existed before Goebbels!)

            So, which one would fit into the greatest general of all time category?

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Massena View Post

              Your 'assessment' of Napoleon is way off base. What have you read on Napoleon and his campaigns? What you have posted sounds like it came from either British or allied propaganda, or both.

              Perhaps this excerpt by John Elting in his excellent The Superstrategists might help. You can also read Clausewitz on Napoleon.

              'Excellently educated and self-educated, Napoleon had within himself the great captain's essential qualities of courage, decisiveness, steadfastness, and swift, lucid thought...Napoleon usually managed to seize the initiative and hit first, surprising the enemy by the timing and direction of his offensive...He began his campaigns with an overall strategic plan that clearly defined his objective...His objective was the main body of his enemy's army. He sought to catch it at a disadvantage and destroy it. Once that was done, everything else would be easy.'

              'Napoleon's favorite strategic maneuver was to advance so as to bring the French into the enemy army's flank and rear, if possible cutting its line of communications. At the same time he was always careful to protect his own supply line. If confronted by allied armies, as in 1796 and 1815, he might strike suddenly at the junction of the forces, wedge in between them, and deal with them separately...He could get such service out of his men because he shared (portions of the 1812 campaign excepted) his men's dangers and hardships, riding just behind his advance guard, often taking what fortune might send in the way of food and shelter-a tumble-down farm building with some straw for his bed and rain and wind for company; a few potatoes, roasted in the embers of a campfire and shared with his staff, for supper. In action, he was fearless; after a battle he was concerned for the wounded (Quite contrary to the usual concept of Napoleon, he was careful of his soldiers' health and had a surprising commonsense knowledge on that subject.) He rewarded good service generously, sought to be just and patient. And he won a legendary devotion, the 'Vive l'Empereur!' that echoes yet across the centuries.'-146-147.

              'You have to have seen the steadfastness of one of the forces trained and led by Bonaparte...seen them under fierce and unrelenting fire-to get some sense of what can be accomplished by troops steeled by long experience in danger, in whom a proud record of victories has instilled the noble principle of placing the highest demands on themselves. As an idea alone it is unbelievable.'-Clausewitz from On War.

              'If you discover how...[Bonaparte] inspired a ragged, mutinous, half-starved army and made it fight as it did, how he dominated and controlled generals older and more experienced than himself, then you will have learnt something.'-General Sir Archibald Wavell.

              '[Napoleon] was a man for whom died willingly, whom the helpless dying cheered as he rode past; a man who knew the secrets of his soldier's hearts, who could carry his soldiers with him despite the worst prevailing conditions or future hopes, By the standards of his times, he took special care for the health of his troops, rewarded generously, forgave faults, shared hardships and danger, and dealt justly and patiently with the men in the ranks; yet, he could become heartless when necessary. The Emperor was a soldier's soldier, with full knowledge of every facet of military science and the art of war.' -A Military History and Atlas of the Napoleonic Wars by Vincent J Esposito and John R Elting, Introduction.

              I would also recommend a reading of the memoirs of those who knew him, such as Baron Fain, Meneval, Lavalette, Generals Rapp and Savary.

              Your 'assessment' of Napoleon is incorrect.
              My information comes from various small readings online and comments I've heard people say.

              i don't know about his battles in detail, and would love to listen, slowly, as someone or some book explains them to me. But with all the various qualities of books out there, I'm not sure which to get. Do you have a recommendtation for a book that explores Napoelon's tactics, strategies (involving logisitics and all else), the morale of his army, and his thought processes throughout his career, both military and civil?

              That's a tall order, but I do NOT want to spend money on a book that just runs through the tactical dispositions at Austerlitz and passes itself off as a history. I can get that on Wikipedia.

              As much as I defer to your expertise, I can not give credit to Napoleon for losing where Caesar won. Perhaps there is something I am missing about Waterloo, but it seems he made a judgement error, lost to Wellington, and never recovered his army. If that his simply true without good reason, then it is a decisive black mark against Napoelon in my book.

              As for morale, your description of Napeleon places him with Lee, Grant, Washington, Ceasar, even Alexander (who built off his father's momentum). Even McClellan whipped his recruits into shape, just not with stunning campaigns to back it up.
              "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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              • #52
                Originally posted by Capt AFB View Post
                I'm trying to remember which great military leaders have not suffered any defeats...Ceasar had Alesia, Rommel had El Alamein, Hannibal had Zama,...Alexander may not have been defeated but his army revolted after fighting Porus in India and did nothing to prepare the post-Alexander era after his death resulting in an empire crumbling apart. Calling any great military leader a loser because they've lost one (or more) battle is a challenging thought and may only demonstrate a lack of understanding of the nature of warfare.

                Wellington and Patton may be the only ones that I can think of that may have never lost a battle...Would have Wellington faired better than Moore, if he had arrived in Spain earlier? Would Patton be a great commander if the US forces deployed to the European continent, if the USA joined WW2 in September 1939 or 1940?
                I think you are thinking of Gergovia when it comes to Caesar. That's the battle he lost, then he won Alesia.

                As to being undefeated, it depends on the defeat. Caesar lost Gergovia, then came back like it never happened, and actually conducted his most brilliant victory (arguably) at Alesia.

                Napoleon lost Waterloo and never came back. All due regards to Massena, but I can not rate Napoleon credit when he ends in defeat, rather than suffers defeat then comes back again. Why didn't he raise another army? Didn't he lose once? Why not come back again? He may have been past his prime.

                "It is a fine fox chase, my boys"

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

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Dibble201Bty View Post

                  Nah! I rate Marlborough above him. By the way, 'The Best General' not 'Best Megalomaniac' And as I pointed out before:

                  Drusus Nero:
                  "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."

                  But like books about Jesus, many are full of myth, irrational worship and hearsay.

                  I wonder if Jack the Ripper was the 'best murderer' in all history? As I do believe that more books have been written about him than any other

                  Just to make it clear again:

                  The thread title is "Best General of All Time?"

                  Much better you stick to that attribute of his rather than cloud it with how good he was at other things whilst ignoring the likes of abandonment of armies and marriage and the destruction of a 500,000 man Army in under 6 months.
                  The Ripper Case is still unsolved....that might have something to do with the amount of literature available, and there are possible Royal connections as to the suspect, so I imagine that people will speculate about Jack The Ripper for a long time to come....

                  And who in their right mind would label any civilian murderer "best" anyway...

                  Now with generals in armies, we have a problem don't we?

                  We are talking about state sanctioned murder in most cases......warfare is not above being called that.....so looking for the "best general" may be an impossibility, since no general so far in history has been able to fufil their national goals WITHOUT bloodshed.

                  Or has there?
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                  • #54
                    General:Its all very well to laugh at the military, but when one considers the meaning of life, its a struggle between alternative viewpoints of life itself. And without the ability to defend ones own viewpoint against other perhaps more aggressive ideologies, then reasonableness and moderation quite simply disappear....
                    That's why we'll always need an Army, and may God strike me down dead it it were to be otherwise!

                    (lightning bolt immediately strikes the General dead. Hand of God disappears into a cloud.

                    Sar major:....WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?...like you've never seen the Hand of God before?.....right....who wants to be in my little game of "marching up and down the square?

                    From Monty Pythons "The Meaning of Life"
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                    • #55
                      I think the best general is when he encounters feminitity and surrender and doesn't want it. Like all that patheticism, stupidy, and confusion, and the general has complete control over their lives.

                      This is especially true against foreign alliances. How deep are their bonds, other than in defeat? It's interesting to think about, as long as the depth of the relationship in war is kept in mind at all times, in order to be honest and real and appreciate each other. Kind of reminds me of Napoleon or Caesar or other great generals like Robert E. Lee.
                      "It is a fine fox chase, my boys"

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

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        And from the world of cinema.....
                        Emporer Commodus (C) " Who are they to lecture ME?
                        Sister, Lucilla (L): Commodus...the Senate has it's uses....
                        (C): All they do isi talk....it should be just you and me....and Rome....
                        (L): Commodus! Don't even think about it! Theres always BEEN a Senate!
                        (C): Rome has changed....it takes an Emperor to rule an empire.
                        (L): Of course...but...leave the people their...
                        (C): Illusions?
                        (L);....Traditions.....
                        (C) My father's war against the barbarians, he said it himself it achieved nothing...but the people loved him for it...
                        (L): The people always love victories....
                        (C): WHY? They didn't see the battles...what do they care about Germania?
                        (L): They care about The Greatness of Rome...
                        (C) The Greatness of Rome......and what is that?
                        (L) Its....an idea...greatness....Greatness is a vision...
                        (C) EXACTLY!...do you not SEE...Lucilla? I will give the people a vision of Rome and they will love me for it....and they will soon forget the tedious sermonizing of a few old men...I will give the People the Greatest Vision of their lives....


                        From the movie...GLADIATOR
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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Drusus Nero View Post
                          And from the world of cinema.....
                          Yes, barbarians, Caesar got them too, that *******. The whole world hates him for winning.

                          By the way, who is your favorite? I think you said Napoleon, or...Citizen Kane?
                          "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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                          • #58
                            I don't really have a "favourite" general....

                            UI believe when a disagreement turns into a shooting match or a mere "trial of strength", then the participants have already "lost".

                            The pen is mightier than the sword....so I have favourite WRITERS instead...

                            Among them....

                            Frank Herbert for the DUNE series....an awesome vision of exactly where the human race is headed when we get off this little ball of dirt....

                            Orwell for 1984....it looks like the Orwellian world is actuially coming to be. Three superpwers, (Oceania....Eastasia and Eurasia...all constanly at war with oneanother, all changing the past to suit the present, all wiping away the memories of people of "how it used to be" by changing the past all the time. For instance, if the government ration of butter is fixed at a certain level, and the government tells you "this is the most amount of butter you've ever had", then people with no memory of the past cannot say that the government is a liar when it tell you this, or anything else about the society you live in, and whether the present circumstances really are "the best that's ever been".

                            William E. Harrison for his short story, "Rollerball Murder"...."The game, the game, all glory to it. All I am and have is because of Rollerball Murder..."
                            The vision of a corporate world where everything is provided by corporations instead of nation states, with Rollerball Murder to replace war, and demonstrate the utter futility of individualism, and what really happens to people when they try to be bigger than the game itself.

                            Aldous Huxleys "Brave New World"....the idwea of a society where you are born not knowing who your parents are, where your intelligence is genetically set from birth, and your place and role in society set in stone, and where everyone uses the same drug, "Soma", to feel better about themselves, where your genetic predisposition and intelligence level governs who you have sex with....Alpha only with alphas, betas with betas etc etc....

                            Anthony Burgesses "A Clockwork Orange".....a future where free will takes a backseat to absolute prevention of criminal behaviour. But of course, this leaves the subject unable to defend himself against others that wish to take advantage of the treatment given to him to cure him of "criminal thoughts". Even criminality is freewill personified....

                            Those are my favourites, but I have read widely in the non-fiction section....

                            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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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Drusus Nero View Post
                              I don't really have a "favourite" general....

                              UI believe when a disagreement turns into a shooting match or a mere "trial of strength", then the participants have already "lost".

                              The pen is mightier than the sword....so I have favourite WRITERS instead...

                              Among them....

                              Frank Herbert for the DUNE series....an awesome vision of exactly where the human race is headed when we get off this little ball of dirt....

                              Orwell for 1984....it looks like the Orwellian world is actuially coming to be. Three superpwers, (Oceania....Eastasia and Eurasia...all constanly at war with oneanother, all changing the past to suit the present, all wiping away the memories of people of "how it used to be" by changing the past all the time. For instance, if the government ration of butter is fixed at a certain level, and the government tells you "this is the most amount of butter you've ever had", then people with no memory of the past cannot say that the government is a liar when it tell you this, or anything else about the society you live in, and whether the present circumstances really are "the best that's ever been".

                              William E. Harrison for his short story, "Rollerball Murder"...."The game, the game, all glory to it. All I am and have is because of Rollerball Murder..."
                              The vision of a corporate world where everything is provided by corporations instead of nation states, with Rollerball Murder to replace war, and demonstrate the utter futility of individualism, and what really happens to people when they try to be bigger than the game itself.

                              Aldous Huxleys "Brave New World"....the idwea of a society where you are born not knowing who your parents are, where your intelligence is genetically set from birth, and your place and role in society set in stone, and where everyone uses the same drug, "Soma", to feel better about themselves, where your genetic predisposition and intelligence level governs who you have sex with....Alpha only with alphas, betas with betas etc etc....

                              Anthony Burgesses "A Clockwork Orange".....a future where free will takes a backseat to absolute prevention of criminal behaviour. But of course, this leaves the subject unable to defend himself against others that wish to take advantage of the treatment given to him to cure him of "criminal thoughts". Even criminality is freewill personified....

                              Those are my favourites, but I have read widely in the non-fiction section....
                              I didn’t even read this. It’s outdated.
                              "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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                              • #60
                                Good writing is never "out of date",



                                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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