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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: 7/19
(03-Jun-2008 at 15:31)


Best General

I understand that many of us say that Napoleon or Hannibal are considered the best generals in history but they were defeated by someone who gets no credit for defeating the so called best general in history.
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View Public Profile Find more posts by Mori600 Add Mori600 to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
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(03-Jun-2008 at 15:44)
I'm not so sure one can compare Caesar to Napolean, Wellington with Alexander the Great etc. They live in different ages. Napolean went to Military School starting with the cannons. He was master at using cannons. We don't know how well he would have done with the kind of soldiers Caesar had to use. Or how well Caesar could have dealt with cannons. How good would Rommel had been with more supplies, or without his panzer tanks?

It is impossible to judge I'd say. You can ask who someone's favorite military leader is, but I'd say it's quite impossible to judge who's the best of them all.

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(03-Jun-2008 at 22:46)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by Mori600: View Post
I understand that many of us say that Napoleon or Hannibal are considered the best generals in history but they were defeated by someone who gets no credit for defeating the so called best general in history.
The battles Napoleon lost were the only ones he was unable to be present on the field at. Also, you have to keep in mind that not even the most brilliant of generals would win in all situations. Also, a bad general can be made to look great given the proper resources. Was Caesar a great general? Who knows, what he did to the Gauls could probably have been reproduced by any of a hundred Romans at the time. The odds were supremely stacked in his favor. He was a good politician, perhaps, and it was more his actions that have marked his name in history. Everyone is a product of their circumstances and environment. If Attila hadn't of died in his 40s from a nosebleed, would he have sacked Constantinople and Rome and set up a successor state to the Romans that we remember to this day? Who knows.

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Last edited by Syke, 03-Jun-2008 at 22:55.
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#3  
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(03-Jun-2008 at 23:13)


ok you might want to spell that out for the idiots of the forum (me )

My favourite General is probably hannible but as for greatest. well who knows Alexander is called the great and did achive a lot against large numbers.

I will ofc give a special mention to other generals i think were pretty damn good.

Frederick the great
Henry IV
Atilla the hun
Wellington
Saladin
Richard the Lionheart
Sun tzu?
Cromwell
Marlborough

Ok so maybe ithiers a lil English bias in thier
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(03-Jun-2008 at 23:32)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by O s i r i s: View Post
ok you might want to spell that out for the idiots of the forum (me )
I think the point was that no matter how talented you are, you still have to be in the proper circumstances to make use of those talents.

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(04-Jun-2008 at 01:55)


By General, you're saying a leader of men? A commander in battle? I think it'd be good to make it clear what the poll is really about, because no doubt you'll get varying replies commenting on peoples abilities to rule and conquer (Alexander), while others will comment purely on logistical and tactical prowess (Napoleon).

IMO, Scipio, Octavian, and definately Edward the Black Prince don't warrant any mentioning amongst the rest.


Napoleon's an easy pick. Besides him? I'd probably rate Marlborough above Wellington as the best English general, and Marlborough as general (as opposed to a conqueror) was certainly very astute and up there with the best imo. Then I suppose you could add the likes of Lee from the modern era, or Rommel, who you missed out too.

........Why does the thin grey strand......Ah, you will understand;.......................I should find, for a reprimand
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(04-Jun-2008 at 03:01)


I'd say Ghengis Khan. He led his people to conquer the largest and most wealthy empire in history.

Alexander the great is second, having demonstrated both political and battlefield skill in the conquest of a large empire.

Ceasar/Octavian are close thirds and third mostly because Ceasar died before he could fully consolidate control of the empire.

Napolean was an effective leader and commander but he did not conquer enough to make the list in my opinion.
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(04-Jun-2008 at 04:01)


The are so many great ones not listed here as well. It is very hard to judge one against the other without set accomplishments to compare them with one another.

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(04-Jun-2008 at 04:16)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by Swifty: View Post
By General, you're saying a leader of men? A commander in battle? I think it'd be good to make it clear what the poll is really about, because no doubt you'll get varying replies commenting on peoples abilities to rule and conquer (Alexander), while others will comment purely on logistical and tactical prowess (Napoleon).

IMO, Scipio, Octavian, and definately Edward the Black Prince don't warrant any mentioning amongst the rest.


Napoleon's an easy pick. Besides him? I'd probably rate Marlborough above Wellington as the best English general, and Marlborough as general (as opposed to a conqueror) was certainly very astute and up there with the best imo. Then I suppose you could add the likes of Lee from the modern era, or Rommel, who you missed out too.
I agree with all of this. Different generals/leaders had skills in different areas, and unless it's specified it's impossible to make a sound judgment.

Additionally, I think the newer periods are often overlooked in debates like this. The two most deadly wars in the history of the world were both in the 20th century. World War 1 might exclude itself partly because of extremely wasteful tactics, but there was a lot innovation in World War 2 with use of armor and air tactics. Rommel definitely deserves to at least be mentioned, Zhukov maybe, and a few others (on both sides of the war).

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#9  
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(04-Jun-2008 at 04:56)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by Royal Assassin3: View Post
I'd say Ghengis Khan. He led his people to conquer the largest and most wealthy empire in history.

Alexander the great is second, having demonstrated both political and battlefield skill in the conquest of a large empire.

Ceasar/Octavian are close thirds and third mostly because Ceasar died before he could fully consolidate control of the empire.

Napolean was an effective leader and commander but he did not conquer enough to make the list in my opinion.
Alexander's greatest feat was uniting Greece. The rest was child's play, really. Greek tactics, armor and numbers outmatched all or most opponents, and required very little in the way of a brilliant leader to attain victory. This isn't to say he was poor by any standard as he clearly wasn't. It is only to say that a true test of his skill would have been leading one of the opposing forces he routed against the Greek army instead. I doubt the outcome would have differed greatly. Also, his empire fell apart immediately following his death, and he lost bitterly in India.

Caesar and Octavian both adopted the reins of the greatest empire on earth at the time. They didn't build it from scratch, they merely marginalized the corrupt senate and became tyrants. Their battlefield experience was also somewhat negligible in comparison to the other true generals on the list.

Napoleon forged an empire of incredible size out of a beaten and battered French nation coming out of a revolution and at odds with almost every single other nation in Europe. His mistakes were in miscalculating the mindset of Spanish peasantry and the Russian refusal to fight by traditional means (favoring a scorched earth policy and not surrendering upon losing their capital). His greatest flaw was his inability to delegate authority (that and he wasn't very good with the ladies). His two greatest losses both occurred when he was too ill to personally direct the battle.

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."
-Soren Kierkegaard
"Those who know don't say, and those who say don't know."
- Lao Tzu
More Quotes...

Last edited by Syke, 04-Jun-2008 at 05:04.
Edit reason: "Return either with your shield or on it" -Traditional warning from Spartan mothers to their sons when departing for battle
#10  
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(04-Jun-2008 at 17:28)


General Sir John Monash

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(04-Jun-2008 at 18:52)


Not sure of their names, but the military leaders of the Viet Cong I would have to nominate for their victory over the U.S.A. Looked on wiki, but is not very forthcoming with names/achievements.

I'm also quite a fan of Hugh Dowding, Air Chief Marshal of the RAF during Britains darkest hours.

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(04-Jun-2008 at 19:21)


Quote:
I'd say Ghengis Khan. He led his people to conquer the largest and most wealthy empire in history.

might want to read up on Largest empire in history or rewrite that and add Largest continous land empire


British Empire - 36.6 million km˛ (under George V of the United Kingdom in 1922)
Mongol Empire - 33.2 million km˛[1] (under Kublai Khan in 1268)



As for richest its hard to compare modern wealth with ancient wealth
#13  
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(05-Jun-2008 at 18:57)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by Grashnak: View Post

I'm also quite a fan of Hugh Dowding, Air Chief Marshal of the RAF during Britains darkest hours.

what when they fire bombed civilians ?

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(06-Jun-2008 at 00:03)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by HarleyQuinnROX: View Post
what when they fire bombed civilians ?
No - that was later and run by a different person (Arthur "Bomber" Harris). At that time, Britains bomber command was largely ineffectual, the bombers available simply were not up to the task of doing any real damage to Germany.

Hugh Dowding was Air Chief Marshall during the blitz after agreeing to stay on passed his retirement, he was eventuly replaced by Charles Portal in Novemeber 1940. Hugh Dowding earnt my respect after reading how considerate he was of the pilots need for rest under his command in both world wars and how under his command Britain survived under the relentless bombings across the towns & cities throughout the south of England in the summer & autumn of 1940.

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Last edited by Grashnak, 06-Jun-2008 at 00:07.
#15  
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(10-Jun-2008 at 00:01)


Napoleon by far. He had all Europe against him.
Alexander only fought one ennemy at the time, so it's less impressing IMO.
Ceasar did nothing that was that great, his odds of losing were poor.
Wellington and 95% of the others either just won one or two hard battles, but that's pretty much all or they mastered only one field of the military. The best general is IMO the one who can lead the whole army to victor. The fact Wellington defeated Napoleon doesn't make him better.
Sun Tzu or Clausewitz made the best books on war, but as a leader themselves, they can't even compete as the greatest.

Napoleon was an impressive leader on the battlefield, mastered war and the control of troops, better than anybody else. Genghis Khan would come close though, because unlike Attila he kept the land, which is much harder than just winning battles and moving.

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(10-Jun-2008 at 00:23)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by The Chaos: View Post
Napoleon by far. He had all Europe against him.
Alexander only fought one ennemy at the time, so it's less impressing IMO.
Ceasar did nothing that was that great, his odds of losing were poor.
Wellington and 95% of the others either just won one or two hard battles, but that's pretty much all or they mastered only one field of the military. The best general is IMO the one who can lead the whole army to victor. The fact Wellington defeated Napoleon doesn't make him better.
Sun Tzu or Clausewitz made the best books on war, but as a leader themselves, they can't even compete as the greatest.

Napoleon was an impressive leader on the battlefield, mastered war and the control of troops, better than anybody else. Genghis Khan would come close though, because unlike Attila he kept the land, which is much harder than just winning battles and moving.
I think you're just exposing your lack of history knowledge here.

Alexander was massively outnumbered, faced long logistical supply lines, fought innovative enemies in far far continents, and fought entirely new styles of warfare to him.
Caesar fought against great odds against the Gauls, and then iirc won Pompeii when outnumbered.
Wellington is only known for defeating Napoleon "in one or two battles"? Uh, Wellington turned the Peninsular War right on its head and brought the first series of major wins for the alliance. That and he was a tactical genius too.
Genghis Khan ability to "keep the land" has nothing to do with the poll. It's about generals, their ability to win the field of battle. That said, he was good and innovative.


I'm not saying Napoleon wasn't the best, but your judgement of the rest is way off.

........Why does the thin grey strand......Ah, you will understand;.......................I should find, for a reprimand
.......Floating up from the forgotten......When I carried my mother downstairs,.....To my gaiety, a few long grey hairs
......Cigarette between my fingers,......A few times only, at the beginning..........On the breast of my coat; and one by one
.....Why does it trouble me?.............Of her soft-foot malady,.......................I watched them float up the dark chimney.
#17  
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(10-Jun-2008 at 08:55)


Alexander still fought one on one, were did I say he wasn't outnumbered?Napoleon was outnumbered also, but he had more than one country fighting him, which makes it harder.

Ceasar could have been replaced by dozens other roman generals who would have been able to win. Roman Legions were much better troops than the Gaul ones. Never said he wasn't a good general, but his odds of losing weren't high enough to be "the best".

Wellington beat Napoelon in Spain, and at the Waterloo episode. That's two for me. Just like Napoleon beat Prussia in 2 weeks, it just counts as one battle won, because IMO it's the same ennemy during the same war. ... If I missed a battle I'll be glad to know which.

It's about whose the best General, why can't I consider that the best general is the one who can keep what he invaded? You can believe that the best one is the one who has other qualities, but for me, the best one can keep the land he won at battle.

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Last edited by The Chaos, 10-Jun-2008 at 08:56.
#18  
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(10-Jun-2008 at 10:10)


I think it's impressive to judge people based on what you start with Caesar,Alexander, Napoleon they all started with solid foundations. Genghis Khan started if memory serves me right only with a tribe that wasn't much compared to Ancient Macedonia, The Roman Empire or France(yes even the somewhat weaker france)

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(10-Jun-2008 at 12:01)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by The Chaos: View Post
Wellington beat Napoelon in Spain, and at the Waterloo episode. That's two for me. Just like Napoleon beat Prussia in 2 weeks, it just counts as one battle won, because IMO it's the same ennemy during the same war. ... If I missed a battle I'll be glad to know which.
You seem to be confusing campaigns & battles, no historian in their right mind would suggest the Russians fought but a single battle in 4(?) years against the Germans in WWII or that the Americans fought a single battle whilst island hopping towards Japan. It's not even as you say the same enemy, along a front (if there is only one) are different people on the front lines with different people commanding them.

The Duke of Wellington wasn't picked out of nowhere to defeat Napoleon, he had a long record of military service in battles in the Netherlands but also in India in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War, Second Anglo-Maratha War and also the Anglo-Russian expedition into Germany and others before going to Iberia. Sure, he didn't win everytime but just wanted to show there was more to his career & that you seem to be arguing against someone without actually knowing anything about them.

Quote:
It's about whose the best General, why can't I consider that the best general is the one who can keep what he invaded? You can believe that the best one is the one who has other qualities, but for me, the best one can keep the land he won at battle.
Remind me, at the end of his reign, how much conquered land did Napoleon still hold and pass on to his successor ?

This is what every PvP argument boils down to:
Dear Devs:
Rock is overpowered, please nerf. Paper is fine.
Yours, Scissors

Last edited by Grashnak, 10-Jun-2008 at 12:09.
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