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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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Global Moderator
Posts: 1226/1376
(10-Jun-2008 at 12:34)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by The Chaos: View Post
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.
But it's who Alexander fought that counts. And he was vastly outnumbered. Napoleon wasn't fighting innovative enemies, he wasn't fighting the unknown. He didn't have such extreme logistical supply lines to contend with, or new diseases. Napoleon had the luxury of maps, for instance, and knowledge of the surrounding areas. There was much more to Alexander than fighting the Persians, or the Egyptians.

Quote:
Ceasar could have been replaced by dozens other roman generals who would have been able to win.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".
And if you read what I said, he fought in the campaigns against fellow Romans while outnumbered, and won.

Quote:
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 make it sound like some small feat. "Spain" was more than just one victory, as you put it, and props for Grashnak for reminding me of Wellington's action in India. And in the same token, the alliance had great difficulties co-ordinating because of the seperate national agendas, etc. Napoleon had nobody to answer to or for, and took advantage of it, while all the other powers had to ratify and communicate slowly. That and the other powers had little interest in conquering continental Europe at the time, so couldn't really be compared to him in what could of been taken by their respective generals.

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.
Who says he keeps it? Generals like Napoleon of Alexander didn't stay around after the battle and set up the infrastructure, they had subordinates do that. Andseeing as we're talking of generals in the purest sense, it's their ability to win battles that we're judging here, and not their ability to keep any land they conquered.

........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.

Last edited by Swifty, 10-Jun-2008 at 12:37.
#21  
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(10-Jun-2008 at 12:49)


Show me where was it said we were talking of " their ability to win battles that we're judging here, and not their ability to keep any land they conquered."?

All I see in the question is "who is the best" which means everyone can choose following it's own criteria.

Spain was a big victory, but Napoleon won in Egypt and Italy when he had not the best troops one could have and he wasn't the chief at the time either. So yeah, Spain was a great victory, it still doesn't compare to Napoleon achievements.

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#22  
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(10-Jun-2008 at 13:39)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by The Chaos: View Post
Show me where was it said we were talking of " their ability to win battles that we're judging here, and not their ability to keep any land they conquered."?
It's pretty simple to understand. The poll is about generals. Generals are those who command battles. We're trying to find out who was the best general, who was the best tactician, who was the best leader on a field.

What we aren't trying to discuss is who was the best administrator. Now, we can discuss the battles leading up to a land being conquered by all means. But the administration or "ability to keep any land they conquered" has no part to play in a discussion of a generals, because that has nothing at all to do with their generalship.

Furthermore, as I said already, any land conquered usually wasn't "kept" by the generals. It was administered by subordinates, by governers and appointed officials. Which is why Napoleon, while impressive in being able to win the battles that lead to having lands "gained", had very little, if nothing to do with the lands being "kept". He just moved on and continued the war.

........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.
#23  
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(10-Jun-2008 at 13:52)


I'm not talking of what they did with the land, it doesn't matter, but the fact they kept it. Attila just won battles then moved on, leaving what he had just "won". That way it is easier to win battles than if you keep what you had, which you must then defend. Therefore you're a better General when you manage to conquer all of Europe exept Britain (since he went up to Moscow, the rest was Asia ) than when you just pass your way through Europe destroying every armed force, but not protecting the rest. His Empire wasn't made by him, and he didn't "keep" Gaul he just invaded it, then left it because he wasn't such a great tactician, and his Empire got attacked while he was having fun in Gaul.

-"Just who do you think he is? God?"
-"No, god would have mercy, he won't"

Last edited by The Chaos, 10-Jun-2008 at 14:00.
#24  
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(10-Jun-2008 at 14:08)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by The Chaos: View Post
I'm not talking of what they did with the land, it doesn't matter, but the fact they kept it. Attila just won battles then moved on, leaving what he had just "won". That way it is easier to win battles than if you keep what you had, which you must then defend. Therefore you're a better General when you manage to conquer all of Europe exept Britain (since he went up to Moscow, the rest was Asia ) than when you just pass your way through Europe destroying every armed force, but not protecting the rest.
By your criteria, Queen Victoria is a better general than Napoleon. During her reign, she managed to take India, Bangladesh, Afganistan, New Zealand, Canada (formally at least) , large parts of Austrialia, Fiji, Huge areas of Africa, Borneo, Brunei, Hong Kong..... Her troops won her battles & she held on to vast, vast areas of lands.

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#25  
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(10-Jun-2008 at 14:17)


I didn't know she was the tactician Maybe she never lead her troops? Therefore your comment is completely absurd, irrelevant and makes absolutly no sense ... It doesn't even have anything to do with what I've been saying. The discussion being wheter or not keeping the land matters, your talking of the politic in charge of a country ... that's as ridiculous as if you tried to say Georges Bush is the General of Irak's war ...

In no way can it be related to what I've said. If you want to make stupid remarks, go ahead, but don't say it is so according to my criteria, when it obviously isn't. Find me one post I've said the general was the one who was in charge of the country. Have fun searching.

-"Just who do you think he is? God?"
-"No, god would have mercy, he won't"

Last edited by The Chaos, 10-Jun-2008 at 14:20.
#26  
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(10-Jun-2008 at 14:28)


Sorry if it came across as stupid, I guess I just don't understand what your definition is. I tried to rationalise your comments into a single understandable form, but guess am just not getting there. Let's review:

Originally Posted by The Chaos:
The best general is IMO the one who can lead the whole army to victor.

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.

but Napoleon won in Egypt and Italy when he had not the best troops one could have and he wasn't the chief at the time either

I'm not talking of what they did with the land, it doesn't matter, but the fact they kept it.
So it seems to be who took & held the most land, even if they were not in charge at battle(s) that won the land.

Therefore, Queen Victoria took & held more land even though she was not in charge at the battles themselves & inspired troops as the nation had deep & great respect for her, motivating not just the army but the entire military/industrial complex, she is a greater general, do you not agree ? If not, could you summerise in a single sentence exactly what you are measuring against for me ?

This is what every PvP argument boils down to:
Dear Devs:
Rock is overpowered, please nerf. Paper is fine.
Yours, Scissors
#27  
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(10-Jun-2008 at 14:41)


the post you quote beggining:

"The best general is IMO the one who can lead the whole army to victory."

Queen Victoria never lead her troops, and if you can argue the impact she might had on the troops' moral, it doesn't make it any less that she doesn't lead the troops, the British Generals did.

The fact the General must keep the land makes it only harder for them as they must leave troops behind to defend, while someone like Attila just destroyed everything on his way, caring little about what would happen to that land next, which eventualy allowed others to take advantage of it, as his Empire was poorly defended with his troops in Gaul.

Now if Attila had defeated the whole Roman Empire, wheter he had kept or not the land he would probably be on my top3 for Best General, but he failed miserably at conquering the easter roman empire, and had a hard time at the western one too, and even if you can say he ended up succeeding, it was at the cost of a defeat in his Empire

Someone like Ceasar had much better trained and equiped troops, which makes his success easier. Somoene like Napoleon fought ennemies who had the same potential as his, exept he understood war much better, and therefore was able to find out how, when and where to attack his ennemies to manage victory.

The best general is the one whose ration ennemy strenght/own strenght is the highest and who managed the best conquests.

-"Just who do you think he is? God?"
-"No, god would have mercy, he won't"
#28  
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(10-Jun-2008 at 15:16)


Ok - think I was thrown by your other comments, but I believe I understand your personal definition now. Using those criteria, I would have to nominate Charlemagne, King of the Franks over anyone else. Controlling such huge areas of land, taking over the running of so many different cultures & styles of government in those times is not to be underestimated. More than that, he was able to hold the land and pass on to his children, it wasn't taken from him.

Baron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim has also got to have a mention from me, not a conqueror but for one of the best holding actions this world has ever seen with such minimal loss of life of his troops compared to his enemies.

This is what every PvP argument boils down to:
Dear Devs:
Rock is overpowered, please nerf. Paper is fine.
Yours, Scissors
#29  
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(10-Jun-2008 at 16:40)


Though I still believe Napoleon victories were greater achievements, I'd have to agree Charlemagne deserves to be nominated too.
And since I know nothing of Mannerheim so won't say anything about him as a genera

-"Just who do you think he is? God?"
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#30  
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(10-Jun-2008 at 19:48)


I wouldn't say he's the best general ever, but Charles Martel (the hammer) deserves a mention.

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#31  
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(11-Jun-2008 at 10:54)


When it comes to Ceasar I rate his victory against Pompey as the greatest. As Swifty said, he fought against fellow Romans, they outnumbered him and he still won, to say any Roman general could do the same is frankly ludicrous. Also Pompey wasn't just anyone within the Roman empire, he wasn't just a random Roman general.

But as to who have earned the title best general... I don't have a clue, would be nice to see all of the people mentioned play a game of risk

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#32  
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(11-Jun-2008 at 12:57)


We were saying that at least a dozen roman generals could have won the Gaul's battle. Which is his most famous accomplishment. Don't get it wrong

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#33  
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(11-Jun-2008 at 16:54)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by The Chaos: View Post
We were saying that at least a dozen roman generals could have won the Gaul's battle. Which is his most famous accomplishment. Don't get it wrong
I'd say his most famous accomplishment was effectively establishing the Empire part of the Roman Empire.

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#34  
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(11-Jun-2008 at 18:09)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by The Chaos: View Post
We were saying that at least a dozen roman generals could have won the Gaul's battle. Which is his most famous accomplishment. Don't get it wrong
But I don't think that battle is the one which makes him great, the win against Pompey really shows that he is so much more than a normal Roman general.

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#35  
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(11-Jun-2008 at 22:18)


not many Barca fans on this forum eh
#36  
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(12-Jun-2008 at 04:01)


Hannibal was a bit crazy in my opinion. I don't know anyone that would've thought of invading Rome by going through Spain, France, and Switzerland. He won battles despite being outnumbered. Unfortunately for Hannibal, he was defeated by Scipio Africanus (who gets no credit for defeating him) which is pathetic.
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(12-Jun-2008 at 12:26)


I was surprised to see that Attila the Hun was left off the list of great generals.

I chose other for Attila - considering he controlled one of, if not the, largest empires the world has ever seen.

But personally, Alexander the great came a close second followed closely by Napoleon (with Napoleon being on the list, I believe Hitler would be tied with Napoleon here).
#38  
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(12-Jun-2008 at 16:10)


Re: Best General

Originally Posted by Roxtin: View Post
I was surprised to see that Attila the Hun was left off the list of great generals.

I chose other for Attila - considering he controlled one of, if not the, largest empires the world has ever seen.
Eh, no. I think you must be thinking of the Mongols. The Huns were long before that. And while Attila did control a comparably big realm, I wouldn't rate him up there with the best.

Quote:
(with Napoleon being on the list, I believe Hitler would be tied with Napoleon here).
Say what? I'd like to know the reasoning you applied to come to the conclusion that Hitler was as good a general as Napoleon. Hitler wasn't even a real general. He was a very good politician, but he was hardly a great strategies or tactician.

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#39  
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(13-Jun-2008 at 00:36)


I was considering Hitler a general simply because he was the leader of his military (and yes, I realize that would then include every leader of ever military world-wide into this poll , but that's the great thing about "other").

But Hitler, putting aside the holocaust aspect of his reign, was a great leader. He conquered all of Europe - much like Napoleon - and his downfall was when he decided to invade Russia in the winter - much like Napoleon. After invading and conquering Europe, Hitler really had most of the world against him ... and still he held his own for a while. Even though he lost, against those odds he did a great job militarily and politically.
#40  
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