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View Poll Results: Best General in History?
Hannibal Barca 3 6.82%
Scipio Africanus 0 0%
Wellington 1 2.27%
Napoleon 5 11.36%
Genghis Khan 14 31.82%
Caesar 2 4.55%
Alexander the Great 9 20.45%
Octavian 0 0%
Edward the Black Prince 1 2.27%
Other 9 20.45%
Who voted? Voters: 44
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Posts: 708/782
(13-Jun-2008 at 10:12)


Napoleon was both the politic leader and the general, Hitler wasn't the latest, Rommel would be, but not Hitler. And neither him or Napoleon invaded Russia in Winter, they just weren't able to finish the war before winter. Napoelon wasn't stupid, he knew very well winter would be bad for him. But at those times, invading the capital meant immediate surrender from the other country. Yet it didn't work with the Russians, and Napoleon ended with a war that lasted a lot longer .... causing his downfall.

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(15-Jun-2008 at 00:32)


I think most remarkable general has been Spartacus. He stood against oprofessional legions and demolished them. He was mere slave, who gathered fellow slaves and could not be stopped by the legions.

That achievment itself is remarkable and makes him one of the best military leaders of world. Considering he was slave and everything started from slave rebellion. They did not had no infrastructure backing them up like Hannibal had or professional soldiers what ceasar had.

Thank God nobody nominated DeGaulle or Montgomery...

King Gustaf II Adolf was pretty competent leader of his time, defeating many strong foes. True warrior king who died boots on on combat field.

Rommel was Brilliant commander but he was bit weak on the offensive, using too much same method, eventually costing him win of El Alamein. When Monty knew to expect Left hook and covered area with artillery and pak's. However Rommel is still one of the most Brillaint commanders of WWII, excellent leader and brilliant mind in defense.

Manstein's movement to hinder immense red army also have impressed me. His tactics were brilliant aswell, and if he would have done his way, he could have delayed red army for two more month's by deminishing battle line and enforcing defense on more defensable river area. Hitler's order denied this as no retreat was to be made. Grave mistake. What Manstein was able to do with what he had against the opponent he fought... There are not many person's who could have done the same.

Heinrici's achievements in Seelowheight's are nothing short of remarkable and even it was pretty useless battle, did his brilliant mind defending useless ground due Hitler's order cost dearly in red army, delaying advance greatly, making Zhukov's army really fight desperately. Because of heinrici and Seelow height's Zhukov almost lost race to Berlin and Hero of the Soviet Union title.

As remarkable these are... Spartacuses' ( or the slave we now know as Spartacus ) beats these. Clearly.

Generalization is rhetorics of simpletons.
"Sages learn from history... idiots learn from experience" -Fairy Tail manga

Last edited by Lord Menchalior, 15-Jun-2008 at 00:43.
#42  
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(12-Jul-2008 at 06:13)


Spartacus did lead a huge revolt but did he defeat the outnumbered Roman armies with his humongous force? God no.
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(29-Jul-2008 at 18:59)


greatest modern general
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(29-Jul-2008 at 19:52)


The question is nonsense. To decide who was the best general of all time you'd have to have amazing knowledge about the battles they fought, the amount of troops they had, the battlefield, etc etc. On top of that you'd have to know what the options were that they had and what the consequences would be of each of these actions in the short and in the long term, meaning you'd also have to know the broader situation and all the details not directly related to the battles.

In effect, you'd have to be the greatest general of all time yourself to say anything sensible about the topic.

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(29-Jul-2008 at 21:05)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by Caelis666: View Post
The question is nonsense. To decide who was the best general of all time you'd have to have amazing knowledge about the battles they fought, the amount of troops they had, the battlefield, etc etc. On top of that you'd have to know what the options were that they had and what the consequences would be of each of these actions in the short and in the long term, meaning you'd also have to know the broader situation and all the details not directly related to the battles.

In effect, you'd have to be the greatest general of all time yourself to say anything sensible about the topic.
At the same time that can be said about just about everything. Why even bother discussing anything? We're all just more or less geeks and some have an interest in the history of war and as such these sorts of discussions are fun for those who share this interest.

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(29-Jul-2008 at 21:34)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by Largoi: View Post
At the same time that can be said about just about everything. Why even bother discussing anything? We're all just more or less geeks and some have an interest in the history of war and as such these sorts of discussions are fun for those who share this interest.
Well that's not really true. You don't need to be an expert to discuss for example who you think would make the best US president. The only real requirement there would be to have some knowledge on what you want in a political leader and some knowledge on who the candidates are and what they stand for.
If you want to talk about who is the best football players, it suffices to regularly watch football games and know some statistics.
If you want to discuss if the change in management of utopia is a good thing you need to have some knowledge on utopia and the proposed plans from the new management.

These are subjects we have experience with. As far as I know however, none of us here have actually lead an army or have experience with people leading armies so we can't actually compare.

Besides, unless you want to turn this into a new kind of pirates vs ninja debate, comparing Rommel with Spartacus makes no actual sense since what they did was the same in name only.

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(06-Aug-2008 at 09:40)
Hannibal Barca
can be rated as one of the best generals out there but then again he was facing an infant roman republic who was to slacky of thinking that they will ever be attacked from the alps. The romans never outnumbered the forces of Hannibal, in every war hannibal always had the upper hand. The Romans he faced was poorly trained since they were hastely sent to the front line to try to stop Hannibal plus Hannibal's ranks was swollen by Gauls who the romans were known enemies besides the carthiginians

Scipio Africanus
you have got to be kidding me.. yes he won against Hannibal and made Carthage surrender and all but then again Hannibal suffered such great loses that when He came back his all mighty forces got thinned against the well armed well trained and superior armies of Scipio so if Scipio faced Hannibal outside Rome I think Rome would have fell and history will be changed.

Wellington
dont know much of this guy since Ive always been a Napoleon fan and I really didnt bother researching him till now. Well Wellington is given recognition of the flaws of Napoleons' tactical formations as far as I know. Wellington might have the military records beyond recognition but then again do remember he was educated with warfare and has known his enemy well from experience and from what he observes.

Napoleon
well considering the military tactician that he was. "scare the heck out of the enemy and crush them in the central flanks strategy that he always imply in all his major campaigns" no wonder he lost to the russians who knew how to play dirty. :P napoleon is regarded one of the best generals since his tactics at those times we far more superior than any european nation at that time. Or more like he just got lucky. :P

Genghis Khan
well this is the general that has always been a favorite in my eyes. Imagine a small tribe of 100 men / women he turned into a fighting machine and subdued the mongolian warlords and unified Mongolia and turn its hordes to one of the deadliest armies known to the history of man. I can say He has achieved by far the best tactical and most manueverable war plans known at those days. I mean send light cavalry into the enemy front and do a faint retreat to a valley where volley after volley of cavalry archers lay wait for their prey. :P plus the mongolian horse archers were the most efficient killing machines known to men. yes MOST EFFICIENT. I mean Genghis Khan took on China with like 7 kingdoms noted to its existence.

You can argue if the Chinese kingdoms united to expulse the mongols and maybe genghis khan be taken out. Maybe but then again the Chinese did sent out mercs to fight the Horde but they defected to the horde's side instead. You can see the respect and the fear the Khan's Hordes had.

Not just there genghis khan has trampled every nation that opposed him as He can be credited the best since even at his Death Bed, He has proposed plans to take the Russians and how to defeat them was passed to his son kublai khan. :P though kublai was mostly looking at the japanese instead of the europeans. :P

Caesar

lol Caesar why even add him on this. I mean what has caesar done that no Roman General like Pompeii, Octavian, hadjian, Trajan has never done? I mean sure he subdued the divided gauls using the goths which in turned outnumbered and caused the gauls to attack the goths instead of the romans. Divide and Conquer ring a bell? U can say caesar authored this principle to all would be great military tacticians.

Alexander the Great
lol. I wont give alexander all the credit after all it was his father who trained the macedonians to the war efficient killing machine of an army that he had on his disposal. Alexander was outnumbered. He was just crafty or more like his engineers were crafty which gave alexander the ability to defeat his enemies. No more on less without his father alexander would have never had his armies and would have never achieved what he has. :P

Octavian
hmm check Caesar section it says it all. :P

Edward the Black Prince
why is he even in this? I mean lol?

Other
well if people are noting the best generals ever why not add

Rommel , Patton, Mont, Mainstein, Mc Arthur and uhmmm Eisenhower in the poll?

they dont even reach the achievements of even caesar or napoleon or even wellington.

that is what I think and thats what i also believe.
so in conclusion.

I would say Genghis Khan was the best military general ever.

1. He turned a tribe of 100 people into an efficient warband to subjugate and unite the mongol horde
2. He took on China with only a mere 10-15k horde (might be wrong but I was sure it was 10-15k :P)
3. He burned the indian based civilization that beheaded his envoy there (forgot which civilization.. hehe sorry :P)
4. Before he died he streched his empire way farther than any on his list
5. Even though he died his every name and every sight of his banners strike fear and awe to his enemies. I have yet to see another General have such dread in his name.

Only downfall of the horde was bad management and no central governance since you can say Genghis did everything by himself when it comes to goverance and politics. No heir surpassed him and most of his heirs were either military idiots or hasty military tacticians. :P

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(06-Aug-2008 at 22:03)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by Hane: View Post
5. Even though he died his every name and every sight of his banners strike fear and awe to his enemies. I have yet to see another General have such dread in his name.
To be fair, that was more because of what he did to his defeated enemies than because of his military prowess.

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(09-Aug-2008 at 14:52)


Anyman can be cruel without being good leader. Anyman is able being cruel but only few are able being good military leader. So I agree with Nimon.

Generalization is rhetorics of simpletons.
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(09-Aug-2008 at 16:25)


The Khan rule was a very tolerant one at the time. Do you really believe other conquerors just patted defeated foes on the head? So to say it was cruelty that earned the respect is ignorance

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(09-Aug-2008 at 18:28)


Khan was also known to let horses tear captured enemies, burned entire villages after slaughtering everyone there. However many did that. Alexander the greats one great aspect was the tolerance for the conquered nations, even though few times even his will for revenge bested him, especially when it came old enemy Persia.

However we don't know much of the Khan's rule from Neutral point of view. Most sources are from the Roman's or Chinese whom did not liked Mongols and suffered loses against best cavalry in the world.

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"Sages learn from history... idiots learn from experience" -Fairy Tail manga
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(10-Aug-2008 at 07:04)


Tolerance towards the conquered does not always mean your a good ruler but neither does acting like a stereotypical tyrant. The Khan was tolerant towards you if you surrendered and payed him tribute, but if I remember correctly, he would kill the nobles because they would always rebel. In return, they would offer you protection but if you refused the offer, then you were screwed. Machiavelli said "there is no secure mode to posses them other than to destroy them. Take the Spartan capture of Athens for example. The reason why Genghis Khan was so successful was because he destroyed entire city therefore, he did not have to worry about the city rebelling against him.

As it turns out, many Europeans at first hated the Mongols because they devastated Eastern Europe but when it came to slaughtering Muslims, the Christians loved them, not that they were successful but loved nonetheless.

Originally Posted by Hane: View Post
Hannibal Barca
can be rated as one of the best generals out there but then again he was facing an infant roman republic who was to slacky of thinking that they will ever be attacked from the alps. The romans never outnumbered the forces of Hannibal, in every war hannibal always had the upper hand. The Romans he faced was poorly trained since they were hastely sent to the front line to try to stop Hannibal plus Hannibal's ranks was swollen by Gauls who the romans were known enemies besides the carthiginians

Scipio Africanus
you have got to be kidding me.. yes he won against Hannibal and made Carthage surrender and all but then again Hannibal suffered such great loses that when He came back his all mighty forces got thinned against the well armed well trained and superior armies of Scipio so if Scipio faced Hannibal outside Rome I think Rome would have fell and history will be changed.

Wellington
dont know much of this guy since Ive always been a Napoleon fan and I really didnt bother researching him till now. Well Wellington is given recognition of the flaws of Napoleons' tactical formations as far as I know. Wellington might have the military records beyond recognition but then again do remember he was educated with warfare and has known his enemy well from experience and from what he observes.

Napoleon
well considering the military tactician that he was. "scare the heck out of the enemy and crush them in the central flanks strategy that he always imply in all his major campaigns" no wonder he lost to the russians who knew how to play dirty. :P napoleon is regarded one of the best generals since his tactics at those times we far more superior than any european nation at that time. Or more like he just got lucky. :P

Genghis Khan
well this is the general that has always been a favorite in my eyes. Imagine a small tribe of 100 men / women he turned into a fighting machine and subdued the mongolian warlords and unified Mongolia and turn its hordes to one of the deadliest armies known to the history of man. I can say He has achieved by far the best tactical and most manueverable war plans known at those days. I mean send light cavalry into the enemy front and do a faint retreat to a valley where volley after volley of cavalry archers lay wait for their prey. :P plus the mongolian horse archers were the most efficient killing machines known to men. yes MOST EFFICIENT. I mean Genghis Khan took on China with like 7 kingdoms noted to its existence.

You can argue if the Chinese kingdoms united to expulse the mongols and maybe genghis khan be taken out. Maybe but then again the Chinese did sent out mercs to fight the Horde but they defected to the horde's side instead. You can see the respect and the fear the Khan's Hordes had.

Not just there genghis khan has trampled every nation that opposed him as He can be credited the best since even at his Death Bed, He has proposed plans to take the Russians and how to defeat them was passed to his son kublai khan. :P though kublai was mostly looking at the japanese instead of the europeans. :P

Caesar

lol Caesar why even add him on this. I mean what has caesar done that no Roman General like Pompeii, Octavian, hadjian, Trajan has never done? I mean sure he subdued the divided gauls using the goths which in turned outnumbered and caused the gauls to attack the goths instead of the romans. Divide and Conquer ring a bell? U can say caesar authored this principle to all would be great military tacticians.

Alexander the Great
lol. I wont give alexander all the credit after all it was his father who trained the macedonians to the war efficient killing machine of an army that he had on his disposal. Alexander was outnumbered. He was just crafty or more like his engineers were crafty which gave alexander the ability to defeat his enemies. No more on less without his father alexander would have never had his armies and would have never achieved what he has. :P

Octavian
hmm check Caesar section it says it all. :P

Edward the Black Prince
why is he even in this? I mean lol?

Other
well if people are noting the best generals ever why not add

Rommel , Patton, Mont, Mainstein, Mc Arthur and uhmmm Eisenhower in the poll?

they dont even reach the achievements of even caesar or napoleon or even wellington.

that is what I think and thats what i also believe.
so in conclusion.

I would say Genghis Khan was the best military general ever.

1. He turned a tribe of 100 people into an efficient warband to subjugate and unite the mongol horde
2. He took on China with only a mere 10-15k horde (might be wrong but I was sure it was 10-15k :P)
3. He burned the indian based civilization that beheaded his envoy there (forgot which civilization.. hehe sorry :P)
4. Before he died he streched his empire way farther than any on his list
5. Even though he died his every name and every sight of his banners strike fear and awe to his enemies. I have yet to see another General have such dread in his name.

Only downfall of the horde was bad management and no central governance since you can say Genghis did everything by himself when it comes to goverance and politics. No heir surpassed him and most of his heirs were either military idiots or hasty military tacticians. :P
Edward: My God Hane! I don't know why you said that Edward shouldn't have been on this thread. He began a raid know as chevauchée. burning and looting many towns, and defeated a great army on the battle of Poitiers. If you don't know anything about the battle, I'll summarize. At first, the Duke of Orlèans attacked with a huge wave of Frenchmen. Edward really didn't have to do anything. Most if not all of the Frenchmen were mowed down. The Duke, seeing his own force slaughtered and the King doing nothing to help him, retreated. Then, the King sent his wave of troops to attack the English. Most of the English longbowmen were out of arrows so the Black Prince ordered a head on charge against the King's force. What the French did not know was that Edward had a set of reserves hidden in the woods. Edward circled around behind the French and flanked them and won the day.

Hannibal: Have you heard about the battle of Cannae?

Caesar: I am not looking at his conquests in Gaul but the civil war. Despite being vastly outnumbered by Pompey 2 to 1 or 3 to 1, he managed to win.

Scipio: I just added him because he defeated Hannibal, considered one of the greatest generals. I always wondered why everyone looked down on him. He defeated Hannibal using his tactics against him and suffering low casualties! Also, you said that the Romans never outnumbered the Carthaginians. God knows where you got that fact.

Octavian: My mistake. I do not know why I added him.

Alexander the Great: I don't know what to say about him. Just recently, I heard the Alexander was actually outnumbering the Persians, and it was his commanders who did most of the commanding, Alexander was just concerned about killing Darius but I think all of that is a myth. But don't forget that Alexander did have the advantage with heavy infantry and well trained soldiers.
Other than that, I agree with almost the rest.

Last edited by Mori600, 10-Aug-2008 at 07:07.
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(10-Aug-2008 at 10:48)


the mongols practiced free religion

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(10-Aug-2008 at 22:57)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by JP Deluxe: View Post
The Khan rule was a very tolerant one at the time. Do you really believe other conquerors just patted defeated foes on the head? So to say it was cruelty that earned the respect is ignorance
Genghis Khan might have been very tolerant of other religions, but he was not tolerant of people who had opposed him. And yes, I know other 'conquerors' of the time were brutal, but to say that he wasn't particularly brutal, now that is ignorance.

I suggest you read up on the sacking of Samarkand, and the entire campaign for that matter. Most of the inhabitants of the city were slaughtered, and that was after Genghis Khan had accepted their surrender with promises to spare the city.

His common tactic after sacking a city was to draft young men into his army, sell women and children as slaves, and kill the rest. So please don't try to paint a picture of Genghis Khan as anything other than brutal. He might be credited for several positive after-effects, but his brutality is unquestioned.

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(11-Aug-2008 at 01:42)
Re: Best General

Originally Posted by Mori600: View Post
Tolerance towards the conquered does not always mean your a good ruler but neither does acting like a stereotypical tyrant. The Khan was tolerant towards you if you surrendered and payed him tribute, but if I remember correctly, he would kill the nobles because they would always rebel. In return, they would offer you protection but if you refused the offer, then you were screwed. Machiavelli said "there is no secure mode to posses them other than to destroy them. Take the Spartan capture of Athens for example. The reason why Genghis Khan was so successful was because he destroyed entire city therefore, he did not have to worry about the city rebelling against him.

As it turns out, many Europeans at first hated the Mongols because they devastated Eastern Europe but when it came to slaughtering Muslims, the Christians loved them, not that they were successful but loved nonetheless.


Edward: My God Hane! I don't know why you said that Edward shouldn't have been on this thread. He began a raid know as chevauchée. burning and looting many towns, and defeated a great army on the battle of Poitiers. If you don't know anything about the battle, I'll summarize. At first, the Duke of Orlèans attacked with a huge wave of Frenchmen. Edward really didn't have to do anything. Most if not all of the Frenchmen were mowed down. The Duke, seeing his own force slaughtered and the King doing nothing to help him, retreated. Then, the King sent his wave of troops to attack the English. Most of the English longbowmen were out of arrows so the Black Prince ordered a head on charge against the King's force. What the French did not know was that Edward had a set of reserves hidden in the woods. Edward circled around behind the French and flanked them and won the day.

Hannibal: Have you heard about the battle of Cannae?

Caesar: I am not looking at his conquests in Gaul but the civil war. Despite being vastly outnumbered by Pompey 2 to 1 or 3 to 1, he managed to win.

Scipio: I just added him because he defeated Hannibal, considered one of the greatest generals. I always wondered why everyone looked down on him. He defeated Hannibal using his tactics against him and suffering low casualties! Also, you said that the Romans never outnumbered the Carthaginians. God knows where you got that fact.

Octavian: My mistake. I do not know why I added him.

Alexander the Great: I don't know what to say about him. Just recently, I heard the Alexander was actually outnumbering the Persians, and it was his commanders who did most of the commanding, Alexander was just concerned about killing Darius but I think all of that is a myth. But don't forget that Alexander did have the advantage with heavy infantry and well trained soldiers.
Other than that, I agree with almost the rest.

Scipio's legions outnumbered the Carthaginians plus carthage lost numbia as its ally in that time on the 2nd punic wars.. I think I heard that on History Channel or read that somewhere will be back with you on that hehe.. too busy to cross reference my sources...

I think you added Octavian since he was next in line with Caesar and defeated Mark Anthony and Cleopatra who by that time only had Egypt's fleet which was defeated by the clever admirals of the romans T_T

Battle of Cannae was that the one where Hannibal sent his front force as bait and engulfed the defending romans? if that was it Im not amazed its the same tactics done in those time again and again... It was just that the roman general was stupid enough to fall for it as they are always faced with that strategy by the gauls...

about the Black prince its common tactics even Wellington did much better than Edward. :P exploiting the two man line for firing the rifles in those days of the war with Napoleon. :P Heck even Hannibal did better than Edward using the bait system well I still give kuddos to Genghis Khan since his faint retreat bait system pwns all that was and would be "kinds of baiting" as tactics for battles.

lastly. Alexander commanded by the front, he has no generals but idiotic captains who gives march orders to try to please Alexander though he did have excellent battle engineers making his armies full of siege weapons and more inventions to get to his enemies. :P

dont mind me Ive been facinated with generals through out history.. I can say Genghis Khan is the best general so far. Not because he conquered asia but because he transformed a divided Mongol people into 1 monsterous machine and defeated the mighty dragon aka China. :P

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(05-Sep-2008 at 11:48)


Trying to point out the best general is like trying to point out the best artist ever. There's too damn many of em and too many different styles to determine.

Now you could ofcourse break it down in numbers. Amount of land conquered, number of battles won, kills vs losses ratio, etcetera. Anyone wanna do their homework?
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(09-Sep-2008 at 10:20)
Re: Best General

Originally Posted by Randomized: View Post
Trying to point out the best general is like trying to point out the best artist ever. There's too damn many of em and too many different styles to determine.

Now you could ofcourse break it down in numbers. Amount of land conquered, number of battles won, kills vs losses ratio, etcetera. Anyone wanna do their homework?
when you consider that.. (Temujin) Genghis Khan will win all it all..

Genghis khan owns a very vast army bigger and larger that will ever be mobilized ever :P At its height the mongol horde was 3.2mil in numbers though it has been tainted with non mongols but then again it was renamed the Golden Horde :P

land conquered still Genghis Khan.... numbers of battles won. As far as history can be considered Genghis khan never lost a battle :P kills vs losses. Only time Genghis lost that much was trying to take the Great wall of china either than that the Horde barely did suicidal charges under Genghis rule anyway. Kublai kinda killed half of the horde trying to take Japan. If you guys knws your history. :P

next to the line will be napoleon placed at the most 500k troops in the field though he lost 90% of them in the poor russian campaign.

the rest of the list barely had that much troops and has killed that much :P maybe wellington but I dont dare check his background he is just a shadow of napoleon. He just won against napoleon because napoleon was sickly and not thinking all to well of that battle in waterloo... A very fatal mistake for napoleon to field an army when he is incapable to command it.

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(09-Sep-2008 at 22:09)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by Hane: View Post
Genghis khan owns a very vast army bigger and larger that will ever be mobilized ever :P At its height the mongol horde was 3.2mil in numbers though it has been tainted with non mongols but then again it was renamed the Golden Horde :P
First things first, there have been several armies bigger than 3.2 million. More importantly though, Genghis Khan never commanded anywhere near 3.2 million troops at any one point. In one of his biggest campaigns, against the Khwarezmid Empire he only commanded some 200,000 troops. Even if you can probably increase that somewhat for the Chinese campaigns, he never had 3.2 million troops.

You also have to consider that this wasn't a professional army, like Napoleons. These were people conscripted into the army regardless of their ability to fight, though the core of the army (his main light cavalry) was exceptionally well trained.

I still think Genghis Khan surely has to rank among the best generals in history, but I definitely don't think you can categorically state that he was the best.

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(13-Sep-2008 at 01:03)


Quote:
land conquered still Genghis Khan.... numbers of battles won. As far as history can be considered Genghis khan never lost a battle :P kills vs losses. Only time Genghis lost that much was trying to take the Great wall of china either than that the Horde barely did suicidal charges under Genghis rule anyway. Kublai kinda killed half of the horde trying to take Japan. If you guys knws your history. :P
Quote:
First things first, there have been several armies bigger than 3.2 million. More importantly though, Genghis Khan never commanded anywhere near 3.2 million troops at any one point. In one of his biggest campaigns, against the Khwarezmid Empire he only commanded some 200,000 troops. Even if you can probably increase that somewhat for the Chinese campaigns, he never had 3.2 million troops.
Also, you have to take into consideration that most of the mongol empire was thinly populated. Inhabitants should be a factor.
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