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Best General of All Time?

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  • Originally posted by nastle View Post

    Impossible to answer
    how do you define "best " what is the criteria?

    You mean popular ?
    What evidence do you have, or have you read, that Napoleon was an 'egotistical maniac'? Recognized historians who have actually studied Napoleon in depth have not come to that conclusion. And those closest to him who knew him and saw him under varied conditions would heartily disagree with you.

    Napoleon was not responsible for the Wars of the French Revolution and he actually ended them through peace treaties with Austria and Great Britain. His wars as head of state were largely defensive and were begun by his enemies. Seems to me the responsibity for the deaths in those wars would largely rest with Napoleon's fellow heads of state.

    Interestingly, during the period the French population actually grew.
    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


    • Originally posted by Massena View Post

      What evidence do you have, or have you read, that Napoleon was an 'egotistical maniac'? Recognized historians who have actually studied Napoleon in depth have not come to that conclusion. And those closest to him who knew him and saw him under varied conditions would heartily disagree with you.

      Napoleon was not responsible for the Wars of the French Revolution and he actually ended them through peace treaties with Austria and Great Britain. His wars as head of state were largely defensive and were begun by his enemies. Seems to me the responsibity for the deaths in those wars would largely rest with Napoleon's fellow heads of state.

      Interestingly, during the period the French population actually grew.
      yes as population of german states and other parts of europe fought/died for his wars

      his wars were almost all outside of france how is this defensive ?

      was hitlers attack on russia "defensive " too ?

      I don't understand why conservatives like you have to defend every dictator and king in history, wearing a facemask is tyranny but a guy who needlessly sheds the blood of hundreds of thousands is a hero to you.
      Last edited by nastle; 28 Jun 20, 18:07.

      Comment


      • Comparing Napoleon and Hitler is a non-starter. It is a great insult to Napoleon and a compliment which Hitler definitely does not deserve.

        In 1805 Austria invaded France's ally Bavaria and Russia joined Austria.

        In 1806 Prussia began the war with France. Russia again joined in.

        In 1809 Austria invaded Bavaria without a declaration of war hoping that France's allied German states of the Confederation of the Rhine would join Austria-they didn't.

        Napoleon is not my 'hero.' And he was not a military dictator, but a constitutional monarch from December 1804. Nor was he a tyrant, as he governed by the rule of law.

        What sources are you using for your opinions?
        Last edited by Massena; 29 Jun 20, 07:11.
        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


        • I know very little of the Napoleonic Wars or Napoleon himself for that matter.. There is a new book (April 2020) that looks to be fairly thorough on the subject titled "The Napoleonic Wars A Global History". I ordered it from Amazon UK instead of here in the states because I saved 75%. New copies from Amazon USA are selling for 95 USD. I'm assuming the hardcover version had a low print run but Amazon UK's prices have not reflected this yet if anyone wants a copy. I think its a good place to start if you have not researched the subject yet.

          Amazon blurb:
          Austerlitz, Wagram, Borodino, Trafalgar, Leipzig, Waterloo: these are the places most closely associated with the Napoleonic Wars. But how did this period of nearly continuous warfare affect the world beyond Europe? The immensity of the fighting waged by France against England, Prussia, Austria, and Russia, and the immediate consequences of the tremors that spread from France as a result, overshadow the profound repercussions that the Napoleonic Wars had throughout the world.
          In this far-ranging work, Alexander Mikaberidze argues that the Napoleonic Wars can only be fully understood with an international context in mind. France struggled for dominance not only on the plains of Europe but also in the Americas, West and South Africa, Ottoman Empire, Iran, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Taking specific regions in turn, Mikaberidze discusses major political-military events around the world and situates geopolitical decision-making within its long- and short-term contexts. From the British expeditions to Argentina and South Africa to the Franco-Russian maneuvering in the Ottoman Empire, the effects of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars would shape international affairs well into the next century. In Egypt, the Wars led to the rise of Mehmed Ali and the emergence of a powerful Egyptian state; in North America, the period transformed and enlarged the newly established United States; and in South America, the Spanish colonial empire witnessed the start of national-liberation movements that ultimately ended imperial control.
          Skillfully narrated and deeply researched, here at last is the complete global story of the period, one that expands our contemporary view of the Napoleonic Wars and their role in laying the foundations of the modern world.
          Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

          Comment


          • Some thoughts on the subject of the Red Army and Stalin and his Generals during WWII. First and foremost, to get a real uncensored and un propagandized education on the subject you have to read scholars/authors like Glantz and works from Soviet authors in the last 30 years. That the Soviets lost a staggering amount of men is well known but it was for the most part all a means to an end.
            It was certainly not as Col. Elting posits:

            It was certainly quick to take advantage of Hitler's tendency to shove his head into a sack; its greatest victories-Stalingrad...and Kursk...were won by taking advantage of such errors. Its other victories, however, were largely a matter of mass-throwing in hordes of men, tanks, and guns until something cracked or the attackers were used up...Stalin stressed the offensive, hounding his generals forward: One general who complained he needed more armored units was told 'my grandmother could have waged war with the help of tanks!' Always he insisted, 'Don't spare the men.'
            I have not read any of Elting's books but that paragraph, while it certainly has some merit, is quite misleading unless he goes on in his writing to explain using respectable sources, which would take hundreds of pages, the real reasons so many Soviet's died in the GPW.

            I will use one example which was Zhukov's insistence to attack German 6th Army's XIV PzK from the Kotluban region north - northwest of the city of Stalingrad proper. There were 4 separate offensives in September and October 1942 on the heavily fortified German defensive systems facing north running east to west from the Volga River to the Don River. The Soviet army's attacking south into the German positions were feeble at best and very costly in lives but this served a purpose. It tied up at least 50% of German XIV PzK forces which could have been used in the attempt to take the city of Stalingrad. Whenever the Germans were on the precipice of seizing Stalingrad proper another the Soviets launched another assault (4 total) which tied up German forces and at times German forces that were not manning the defensive positions on their left (northern) flank but fighting for the city were temporarily removed from the city to reinforce the left flank. At the time of these attacks the Germans had air superiority over the Stalingrad regions sky's which was a major factor in the failure of the Soviet attempts penetrate German 6th Army's left flank. The Stavka was aware of this but the assaults were ordered regardless and served a very important purpose.

            There are to many examples of this to post here and also other factors along the whole of the eastern front throughout the entire war that necessitated the loss of Red Army soldiers especially the first echelon in the attacks.
            Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

            Comment


            • By the way, doesn't David Glantz have a bad habit in his books of inventing thoughts and feelings for the historical persons in his books and doesn't have a reference for them? That in itself is incorrect and a gross error, is it not?



              Have you read many of Col. Glantz's books. If so you would know this assertion is dubious at best. For example, Glantz has source numbers all over his pages (sometimes up to 15 per page). When General Paulus "felt this way" or was "thinking about" advice from his chief of staff, or staff members at the front or OKH/OKW in Berlin, there is a source for it cited.
              Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

              Comment


              • Originally posted by nastle View Post

                yes as population of german states and other parts of europe fought/died for his wars

                his wars were almost all outside of france how is this defensive ?

                was hitlers attack on russia "defensive " too ?

                I don't understand why conservatives like you have to defend every dictator and king in history, wearing a facemask is tyranny but a guy who needlessly sheds the blood of hundreds of thousands is a hero to you.
                Notice how 'M' dances around Nappy's invasion of Portugal, the stab in the back of his ally Spain. Threatened any Country who wanted to trade with Britain with invasion, right up to the actual invasion of Russia. Even as an outlaw he invaded Belgium...
                ‘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.

                Comment


                • Napoleon is my vote.
                  However his victories were often at great cost to his Army and Allies.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Massena View Post
                    (...)
                    Napoleon is not my 'hero.' And he was not a military dictator, but a constitutional monarch from December 1804. Nor was he a tyrant, as he governed by the rule of law.
                    Only in France.

                    The French constitution holds no legality outside the national borders.

                    Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

                    Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

                      Given that Caesar left no troops to enforce the 'settlement' its unlikely any tribute was actually paid.

                      Gaul is nothing compared to the might and wealth of Persia. There is a western bias, often initially perpetrated by Victorian English, against the quality of ancient Iranian troops, but the best were incredibly capable, being trained as hard as Spartans.

                      Alexander fought Greek Hoplites, Persian heavy cavalry and a combined longbow/elephant army and won them all. He may have had trouble in modern day Afghanistan, but he won, which the British Empire, the Soviets and USA all failed to do. He also created numerous cities in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well.

                      As for Hannibal, after his 3 famous battles, not much is known, except that his unsupported, disparate army kept around 20 Roman legions tied down in Italy for 15 years. Those armies would have cleared the way for the conquest of Spain, and an earlier defeat of Carthage. That alone was a formidable achievement. As such, I would rate both Alexander and Hannibal way above Caesar. I probably would not rate Caesar as the most capable Roman general either.
                      Alexander had the same benefit as Caesar: he commanded the most organized and efficient military system of his day. Alexander was tactically brilliant, if not a genius. He arranged his troops to get the most out of them, even when he shunned orthodox tactics. For example, he drew his army in a circle at Guagamela to protect his flanks from a numerically superior army. This was a break from the traditional phalanx formation, and it worked. If he could defeat different types of armies, it was because he devised the right tactics and because he apparantly outfought everyone with his Companion cavalry.

                      But Alexander's weakness, as compared to Caesar, is that he needed time to think and organize his troops. Caesar thought "on the fly" and could fight anywhere at anytime. He actually chased Pompey out of Italy simply by advancing across the Rubicon as swiftly as possible, even though he was outnumbered.

                      It would be interesting to read about Caesar and Alexander campaigning against each other; that's for sure.

                      Caesar also defeated opponents who had the same evolved military system as he had, which is something Alexander never accomplished.

                      As for Hannibal, imagine if all we knew about Caesar was what his opponents wrote about him. What the Gauls would write, what the Pompey faction would write. It would be very similar to Hannibal, in that some enemy just showed up and won battle after battle.

                      For all we know, the South Italians could have been eager to have Hannibal amongst them, and supported him gladly. That would certainly take away from the awe of him just occupying the region for 12 years in apparent command of the situation. But we don't know, so it's left to the imagination.
                      "It is a fine fox chase, my boys"

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

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Waz View Post
                        Napoleon is my vote.
                        However his victories were often at great cost to his Army and Allies.
                        Many of his victories were lopsided regarding casualties, such as Ulm, where he forced an Austrian army to surrender without a great battle; Austerlitz, where he inflicted 26,000 enemy losses to 9,000 of his own; Jena, 26,000 Prussian/Saxon casualties to 5,000 French; Friedland, 18,000 Russian casualties to 11,000 French; Eckmuhl, 12,000 Austrians to 6,000 French; Essling, 20,000 French to 23,000 Austrians with the French heavily outnumbered; Dresden, 38,000 allies to 10,000 French; Ligny, 11,500 French to 34,000 Prussians.

                        Other battles both victories and losses, had much heavier French casualties such as Eylau, Wagram, Borodino, Lutzen, Bautzen, Leipzig, and Waterloo.
                        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


                        • No love from anyone for Helmuth von Moltke the Elder? Undefeated and a reasonable linguist as well.

                          Comment


                          • Good enough to defeat the French in 1871, but I would not consider him a great captain. Napoleon would have eaten his lunch...
                            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


                            • Napoleon finished his existence as a prisoner on an island. Moltke on the other hand won all his wars.
                              There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Massena View Post
                                Good enough to defeat the French in 1871, but I would not consider him a great captain. Napoleon would have eaten his lunch...
                                The Duke had Nappy for dessert and relished his 'after-dinner' chocolate fireguard...
                                ‘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.

                                Comment

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