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The Top 100 Generals of History

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Category: GENERAL HISTORY
Forum Name: Persons
Forum Description: Military personalities, famous generals, theorists, warlords and individual warriors
URL: http://www.worldhistoria.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=124028
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Topic: The Top 100 Generals of History
Posted By: DSMyers1
Subject: The Top 100 Generals of History
Date Posted: 21 Jun 2009 at 02:50
The Top 100 Generals of History

For several years now, I and the people of the All Empires Forum (and the Paradox Interactive Forum) have been working on assembling the top 100 generals of all time in a cohesive list.  The objective is to not be biased by location at all, nor by era--we consider the generals according to their particular situation.

Originally, I started this work because I was dissatisfied with the "Military 100" that Michael Lee Lanning wrote, but liked the concept.  I considered 15 Americans in the top 100 more than a little biased!

Once researching online, I came across the work of Travis Congleton and Spartan, who already had excellent lists that I used heavily as reference for this work.

Here is Spartan's list: http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=9879 - The Commanders of History--A Compilation
Here is Travis Congleton's list: http://boards.history.com/topic/Generals/Top-100-Commanders/116334&start=0 - Top 100 Commanders

The original thread is in the http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=13436 - Archive: The Top 100 Generals
The thread on Paradox Interactive is here: http://www.europa-universalis.com/forum/showthread.php?t=266934 - The Top 100 Generals of History

Here is Version 8 of the list, with changes from the original list over 3 years ago:

Orig. Rank Name
6 1 Temujin (Genghis Khan)
1 2 Alexander the Great
3 3 Napoleon Bonaparte
2 4 Hannibal Barca
21 5 Timur
44 6 Khalid ibn al-Walid
23 7 Aleksandr Suvorov
24 8 Jan Žižka
12 9 Belisarius
8 10 John Churchill (Duke of Marlborough)
17 11 Subotai
4 12 Gustav II Adolf
14 13 Scipio Africanus the Older
15 14 Gaius Julius Caesar
16 15 Eugene of Savoy
11 16 Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne de Turenne
7 17 Heraclius
20 18 Sir Arthur Wellesley (Duke of Wellington)
5 19 Frederick II of Prussia
18 20 Maurice, comte de Saxe
13 21 Raimondo Montecuccoli
9 22 Philip II of Macedon
  23 Stefan cel Mare (Stephen III)
68 24 Selim I
10 25 Gaius Marius
  26 George Kastrioti (Skanderbeg)
27 27 Erich von Manstein
58 28 Nadir Shah
  29 Robert Clive
  30 Hán Xìn
28 31 Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba (El Gran Capitán)
19 32 Helmuth Karl Bernhard von Moltke
  33 Shapur I
92 34 Chandragupta Maurya
43 35 Maurice of Nassau
33 36 Heinz Wilhelm Guderian
63 37 Robert E. Lee
26 38 Louis Nicholas Davout
34 39 Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé
45 40 Tiglath-Pileser III
32 41 Thutmose III
  42 Trần Hưng Đạo
48 43 Toyotomi Hideyoshi
30 44 Lucius Cornelius Sulla
  45 Yue Fei
77 46 Babur
78 47 Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson
46 48 Janos Hunyadi
47 49 Duke of Parma (Alessandro Farnese)
35 50 Leo III the Isaurian
  51 Hamilcar Barca
  52 Simeon I the Great
31 53 Winfield Scott
  54 Nurhaci
36 55 Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck
53 56 Charles XII
51 57 Oda Nobunaga
  58 Shivaji Bhosle
  59 Francesco I Sforza
  60 Stanisław Koniecpolski
52 61 Claude-Louis-Hector de Villars
  62 Louis Joseph de Bourbon, duc de Vendôme
59 63 Georgy Zhukov
56 64 Aurelian (Lucius Domitius Aurelianus)
42 65 Epaminondas
57 66 Jan III Sobieski
  67 Alp Arslan
75 68 Constantine I the Great
  69 Murad IV
  70 Baibars
  71 'Amr ibn al-'As
  72 Emperor Taizong of Tang (Lĭ ShìMín)
  73 Sargon of Akkad
25 74 Suleiman I
81 75 Shaka Zulu
  76 Charles Martel
73 77 François Henri de Montmorency-Bouteville (Luxembourg)
  78 Aleksandr Vasilevsky
79 79 Jebe
  80 David
  81 Lautaro (toqui)
54 82 Flavius Stilicho
60 83 André Masséna
  84 Mahmud of Ghazni
69 85 Ulysses Simpson Grant
  86 Carl Gustav Mannerheim
  87 Uqba ibn Nafi
  88 Muhammad of Ghor
  89 Gazi Evrenos
94 90 Robert the Bruce
  91 Mustafa Kemal
37 92 Albrecht Wallenstein
38 93 Takeda Shingen
90 94 James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose
80 95 Pyotr Bagration
  96 Ranjit Singh
  97 Samudragupta
  98 Michael the Brave
  99 Ahmad Shah Durrani
  100 Edmund Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby

I will reserve the next 4 posts for future use.


-------------
- The Top 100 Generals

God is my Judge



Replies:
Posted By: DSMyers1
Date Posted: 21 Jun 2009 at 02:52
Criteria for the Rankings

Originally posted: http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=13436&PID=468735#468735 - In the Archive
Quote

Evaluation of Generals

These are the primary facets to consider in evaluating generals’ skills:

  1. Individual battlefield inspirational leadership—leadership of the soldier

a.       Exemplary work/Personal bravery

b.      Motivation

c.       Discipline

d.      Equipment (and hence innovation in equipment)

e.       Logistics (small scale)

  1. Tactical mastery—gaining success on the battlefield

a.       Maneuver

b.      Anticipation

c.       Timing

d.      Deception of intentions

e.       Organization of army

f.        Selection of ground for battle

g.       Disposition of troops

h.       Reconnaissance

i.         Evaluating options

j.        Audacity at proper times

k.      Understanding the enemy

2.5.(Less important) Siege mastery—gaining success in sieges

a.       Logistics

b.      Engineering

c.       Timing

d.      Intelligence gathering

e.       Motivation of troops

  1. Strategic mastery—gaining success in campaign through maneuver or battle

a.       Logistics

b.      Maneuver on large scale

c.       Understanding opportunities

d.      Diplomacy with allied armies/generals

e.       Forcing battle when necessary

f.        Obtaining results from victories in battles

g.       Limiting fallout from defeats in battles

h.       Choosing when to siege and when to bypass strong points

i.         Large-scale organization of army(s)

j.        Audacity at proper times

k.      Evaluating the enemy’s options

l.         Defense—fortifications

  1. Grand strategic mastery—gaining victory/the ends desired through the military campaigns (political victory/conquest)

a.       Diplomacy with allies and foes

b.      Intelligence gathering

c.       Understanding when to go to war

d.      Playing off rivalries

e.       Properly using strategic victories

f.        Choosing proper goals for campaigns

g.       Peace negotiations

h.       Pacification of inhabitants conquered

 

All of these must be considered in relation to:

  1. The relative strength of each side in each of these 4 facets
  2. The skill of opponents
  3. The economy with which victory in each of these 4 facets was one (in money, destruction of property, and manpower).
  4. Where the general was limited by influences out of his control (for instance, many generals had no opportunity to exhibit facet #4, grand strategy).
  5. Where generals were stabbed in the back/not supported by their own nations—see Barca, Hannibal.
  6. Whether the methods in which victories were gained were innovative or common practice (a small influence, but perhaps should be considered).
  7. The time scale of victories





-------------
- The Top 100 Generals

God is my Judge


Posted By: DSMyers1
Date Posted: 21 Jun 2009 at 02:53
Generals 101-200

These are not in exact order like the top 100 is; this is more for reference than anything else.  Again the left column is original rank from over three years ago.

Orig. Rank Name
87 101 William the Conqueror
65 102 Erwin Rommel
  103 Cao Cao
85 104 Henry V
62 105 Robert Guiscard
96 106 Hernán Cortés
  107 Baji Rao
55 108 Oliver Cromwell
86 109 Nathan Bedford Forrest
  110 Sher Shah Suri
95 111 Saladin 
  112 Gwanggaeto the Great
  113 Yusuf ibn Tashfin
  114 Wanyan Aguda
  115 Nguyen Hue
  116 Gerd von Rundstedt
41 117 William Joseph Slim
  118 Edward, the Black Prince
  119 Giuseppe Garibaldi
  120 Alexander Nevsky
88 121 George Washington
22 122 Cyrus the Great
  123 Nikephoros II Phokas
  124 Sonni Ali
  125 Xu Da
  126 Quintus Sertorius
  127 Eulji Mundeok
  128 Bayinnaung
71 129 Johan t'Serclaes, Count of Tilly
  130 Gotthard Heinrici
  131 Andreas Prokop (Prokop the Great)
  132 Miklós Zrínyi
84 133 Trajan
  134 Li Jing
  135 Joshua
91 136 Nathanael Greene
  137 Andrei Yeremenko
  138 Vo Nguyen Giap
  139 Murong Ke
66 140 Jean Lannes
  141 Xiang Yu
  142 Pyrrhus of Epirus
  143 Harpagus
76 144 Archduke Charles of Austria
72 145 Lucius Septimius Severus
  146 Jan Karol Chodkiewicz
  147 Joseph Radetzky von Radetz
98 148 Attila the Hun
  149 Ban Chao
  150 Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar (El Cid)
  151 Basil II
  152 Suppiluliuma I
39 153 Konstantin Rokossovsky
29 154 Sebastien Le prestre de Vauban
  155 Rajaraja Chola I
  156 Stefan Uroš IV Dušan
100 157 Sun Tzu
74 158 Marcus Claudius Marcellus
67 159 Charlemagne
61 160 George S. Patton
  161 Zhu Yuanzhang (Hongwu)
  162 Mehmed II
  163 Edward III
40 164 Alexios I Komnenos
  165 Ernst Gideon Freiherr von Laudon
  166 Muhammad Shaybani
  167 Yelü Dashi
  168 Leonhard Graf von Blumenthal
  169 Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui
  170 James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick
  171 Arminius
  172 Bertrand du Guesclin
  173 Erich Ludendorff
83 174 William T. Sherman
  175 Tokugawa Ieyasu
  176 Scipio Africanus the Younger
  177 Man Singh I 
  178 Jose de San Martin
  179 Ibrahim Pasha
  180 Jean-Baptiste Eugène Estienne
  181 Muwatalli II
  182 Sun Bin
  183 Tomoyuki Yamash*ta
  184 Chormaqan
  185 Kujula Kadphises
  186 Vladimir II Monomakh
99 187 John Moore
  188 Baron Ernst Gideon von Laudon
  189 Bairam Khan
89 190 Richard I
  191 Piye
  192 Ivan III Vasilevich 
  193 Judar Pasha
  194 Naresuan
  195 Louis William, Margrave of Baden-Baden
  196 Mukhali
  197 Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo
  198 Jai Singh II 
  199 Quizquiz
70 200 Kangxi




-------------
- The Top 100 Generals

God is my Judge


Posted By: DSMyers1
Date Posted: 21 Jun 2009 at 02:56
Waiting List

These generals are candidates for the list, but I have not slotted them into the top 200 anywhere, either because I'm just not sure or because I don't know enough about them.  PLEASE, help out with this list by providing recommendations!

Muqali the Jalair Mongol
Modu Shanyu (Maodun Chanyu) Xiongnu
Wei Qing China
Kül Tigin Turkic Kaganate
Su Dingfang China
Bohdan Khmelnytsky Cossack
Tuoba Gui (Daowu) China
Istämi Yabghu Göktürks
Guo Ziyi China
Christiaan de Wet Boer
Dwight D. Eisenhower United States
Zhou Yu China
Guo Kan Mongol
Abd al-Qadir Algeria
Koos de la Rey Boer
Piet Joubert Boer
Jan Smuts Boer
Ashina She'er China
Ahuitzotl Aztec
George Marshall United States
Huo Qubing China
Nur ad-Din Zengid
Lin Biao China
Josip Broz Tito Yugoslav
Vasily Chuikov Russia
Diocletian Rome
Zhuge Liang China
Ran Min China
Hou Junji China
Imam Shamil Caucasian
Yelu Abaoji (Taizu) Khitan
Bumin Khan (Buqan Qaghan) Göktürks
Wang Jian China
Tadeusz Kos'ciuszko Poland
Zhao Kuangyin (Taizu) China
Surena Parthia
Wu Zixu China
Ahmad Shah Massoud Afghan
Matthew Ridgway United States
Zhu Di (Yongle Emperor) China
Huayna Capac Inca





-------------
- The Top 100 Generals

God is my Judge


Posted By: DSMyers1
Date Posted: 21 Jun 2009 at 03:02
http://www.allempires.net/search_form.asp?TID=13436 -


Posted By: DSMyers1
Date Posted: 21 Jun 2009 at 03:09
Reserved Post #5

-------------
- The Top 100 Generals

God is my Judge


Posted By: Craze_b0i
Date Posted: 29 Jun 2009 at 19:28
My 2cents is that philip II of Macedon and the Duke of Wellington should be much much higher.
 
Charles XII possibly should not be on the list at all - he was no doubt a gifted leader but also driven by a compulsive disorder to do things unfeasible, eg. his invasion of Russia. In the end he was probably killed-off by his own side (not a ringing endorsement).
 
Charles X was another capable warrior-king but without the same weaknesses.


Posted By: Knights
Date Posted: 29 Jun 2009 at 23:40
If those are Craze_boi's 2 cents worth, then here are mine. I think that Wellington and Skenderbeg should be moved up ahead of Eugene of Savoy and Churchill (I am adamant that Wellington was superior to Marlborough), and Gustav should take a hike down the list too. I'm not going to start on Napoleon because that will be fruitless. In fact we were in the middle of discussing Wellington in the old forum, so I might transfer some of those posts.

Regards,

- Knights -


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Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2009 at 04:41
Originally posted by Knights Knights wrote:

I think that Wellington and Skenderbeg should be moved up ahead of Eugene of Savoy and Churchill


i'd like to hear more about Skanderbeg of whom i don't know so much, particularly i'd like to hear how he's supposed to be better than Stefan cel Mare (contemporary, same enemy) or Shivaji (similar strategic situation).

Quote (I am adamant that Wellington was superior to Marlborough),


agree, though that's a no-brainer. but i think Eugene and Wellington are about equal, those will need some discussion to figure out who's on top of the other.

Quote and Gustav should take a hike down the list too.


agree.


Posted By: Knights
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2009 at 11:39
Wow Temujin, I saw that you had posted on this thread and opened it thinking "Oh no I've been torn to pieces by Temujin..." - but I encountered something quite different! Smile

Skenderbeg - I will do my best to post an overview as soon as possible (maybe in comparison to cel Mare and Shivaji, but I am not as well versed with those two)

Wellington - In regards to Eugene, I'm not sure. Maybe I will do some more reading on Eugene.

Oh and I'm in complete agreeance about Gustav.

Regards,

- Knights -


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Posted By: ResoundingEagle
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2009 at 08:53
hmmm...its a very good list but...its kinda scattered and certainly missing noteworthy mentions. I see no Chinese generals who would certainly have a place there. There's also a few names I would contest should be included. Also, for the Russians in the 1900's, I think Rokossovsky is more worthy mention. He was one of the most capable Soviet leaders of WW2 and one of the most ethical and diplomatic.


Posted By: DSMyers1
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2009 at 13:29
Originally posted by ResoundingEagle ResoundingEagle wrote:

hmmm...its a very good list but...its kinda scattered and certainly missing noteworthy mentions. I see no Chinese generals who would certainly have a place there. There's also a few names I would contest should be included. Also, for the Russians in the 1900's, I think Rokossovsky is more worthy mention. He was one of the most capable Soviet leaders of WW2 and one of the most ethical and diplomatic.


Well, list your recommendations and I'll see what I can do.  Far East generals are certainly the weak point of this list.


-------------
- The Top 100 Generals

God is my Judge


Posted By: Count Belisarius
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2009 at 13:53
I think Belisarius should be higher on the list. What about another Romaioi Commander and Emperor? Basil Bulgaritikos. Basil Bulgar-slayer, he was noted for his good logistics, shrewd strategy and tactics, good use of intel and diplomacy and he restored much of the empires territory, and he was leading cavalry charges well into his sixties . . . There's a dude I'd hate to meet on a dark night in an alley.

-------------
"When you cease to fear something it loses any power it may have had over you."
- Me


Posted By: Etnad
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2009 at 19:12
Great list!
I would rate the "Motivation of troops" very high. Cause it probably helped Alexander the Great to be such a succesfull general. Therefore I would probably also rank Gajus Caesar higher.

And I believe that Erwin Rommel should have had an place, because of his "Shadow division" during the ww2.


Posted By: Count Belisarius
Date Posted: 20 Jul 2009 at 10:59

The problem with Rommel was that he paid to much attention to tactics and not enough to logistics and strategy, don't get me wrong I kinda liked Rommel but IMO he would have served much better as a tank and infantry commander.

 
What about John Paul Sobeiski? the king of poland and man who lifted the Ottoman siege of Vienna and commanded the biggest cavalry charge in history.


-------------
"When you cease to fear something it loses any power it may have had over you."
- Me


Posted By: ResoundingEagle
Date Posted: 20 Jul 2009 at 11:40
Originally posted by Etnad Etnad wrote:

Great list!
I would rate the "Motivation of troops" very high. Cause it probably helped Alexander the Great to be such a succesfull general. Therefore I would probably also rank Gajus Caesar higher.

And I believe that Erwin Rommel should have had an place, because of his "Shadow division" during the ww2.


Good call. Rommel was an interesting figure for a Nazi, and certainly among the most capable and honorable of his side. It was a shame he was our enemy. I second this proposal. =)

Originally posted by DSMyers1 DSMyers1 wrote:

Originally posted by ResoundingEagle ResoundingEagle wrote:

hmmm...its a very good list but...its kinda scattered and certainly missing noteworthy mentions. I see no Chinese generals who would certainly have a place there. There's also a few names I would contest should be included. Also, for the Russians in the 1900's, I think Rokossovsky is more worthy mention. He was one of the most capable Soviet leaders of WW2 and one of the most ethical and diplomatic.


Well, list your recommendations and I'll see what I can do.  Far East generals are certainly the weak point of this list.


Thanks! Sorry, I come off a bit critical at times, but that's just because I would like to help with my best efforts - and my input should take nothing away from everyone's efforts thus far. Obviously a list like this is a long project which requires much thought and careful examination from numerous efforts. And naturally, I will put my back to the wheel as well since I decided to open my mouth. lol =P

I like your criteria set. That should prove to be some good factors covering a variety of angles - I can see where it has performed admirably with some of the placements.

Chinese Generals >D

Cao Cao  (Meng-De)
Zhuge Liang  (Kong-Ming)
Lu Su

I also still suggest Rokossovsky as well. =3 He accomplished far more in the wider arc of criteria than some of the other Russian WW2 generals mentioned. He arguably held far more merit in a variety of categories, rather than being only war, boardroom, or leadership inclined. I think he would match your criteria higher than even Koniev in a full comparison. Let me know in any way i can be of assisstance. =)


Posted By: TheRedBaron
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 01:16
Rokossovsky should be there without a doubt. Its simply Zhukov's amazing press machine that means he remains a virtual unknown in the West.
 
Rommel.... No not a great general at all. Utterly devoid of any grasp of logistics. Even his Chief-of-staff in the desert, Werner Kreibel, noted his shortcomings in this regard and commented that many operations were a success despite Rommel. Great divisional commander... and that where he should have stayed.


Posted By: Count Belisarius
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 02:49
Yeah I think it was his cheif of staff who said that he was happiest when leading a division of panzers

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"When you cease to fear something it loses any power it may have had over you."
- Me


Posted By: Majkes
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 04:29
Originally posted by Count Belisarius Count Belisarius wrote:

 
What about John Paul Sobeiski? the king of poland and man who lifted the Ottoman siege of Vienna and commanded the biggest cavalry charge in history.
 
You mean John III Sobieski? He is on the list on 67th position. A little bit too high in my opinion as he is not even the best Polish commander but the most famous indeed. Battle of Vienn wasn't any kind of strategic pearl. It was rather an easy win.
 
I still think that we have too many Americans and Europeans but not knowing Asian history I'm not able to propose any further candidates on the list.


Posted By: Etnad
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 05:36

The succes in North Africa is all on Rommel's account! His only problem was that he had to respond to Hitler - and thereby the logistics.



Posted By: DSMyers1
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 09:43
I've posted a few additional updates on the thread, at the top.

-------------
- The Top 100 Generals

God is my Judge


Posted By: Seko-
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 10:04
Thanks for your updates DSMyers1!


Posted By: ResoundingEagle
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 13:57
Originally posted by Etnad Etnad wrote:

The succes in North Africa is all on Rommel's account! His only problem was that he had to respond to Hitler - and thereby the logistics.



Well said - logistics were a major issue for the Germans on all fronts, but, reporting to Hitler, I would argue, is worst of all. =P What a good waste of a wondrous man like Rommel. (That's just my opinion though)



Posted By: Knights
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 14:02
DSMyers - I promised an overview/argument for Skenderbeg a couple of weeks back. I apologise, but I have not had the time (nor will I in the near future) to post anything of substance.


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Posted By: ResoundingEagle
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 14:15
Originally posted by Knights Knights wrote:

DSMyers - I promised an overview/argument for Skenderbeg a couple of weeks back. I apologise, but I have not had the time (nor will I in the near future) to post anything of substance.


BOOOOO! >O *forms angry mob*

I'm kidding, dude. XD You guys (and gals respectively) are doing an awesome job. Just pace yourself.




Posted By: Cryptic
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 14:34
Originally posted by TheRedBaron TheRedBaron wrote:

Rokossovsky should be there without a doubt. Its simply Zhukov's amazing press machine that means he remains a virtual unknown in the West.
 
Rokossovsky was good, but Zhukov was great. Only Zhukov was able to reverse impending catastrophes and either stalemate (Leningrad) or beat (Moscow) the vaunted German war machine as it existed before attrition ground it down.


Posted By: ResoundingEagle
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 14:45
Originally posted by Cryptic Cryptic wrote:

Originally posted by TheRedBaron TheRedBaron wrote:

Rokossovsky should be there without a doubt. Its simply Zhukov's amazing press machine that means he remains a virtual unknown in the West.
 
Rokossovsky was good, but Zhukov was great. Only Zhukov was able to reverse impending catastrophes and either stalemate (Leningrad) or beat (Moscow) the vaunted German war machine as it existed before attrition ground it down.


True, Zhukov was more than a great commander, and its to take nothing away from him, but it is true Rokossovsky was never given much attention, even, arguably, as much as he deserved in his own country.

I would not try to say Rokossovsky was better than Zhukov, (despite my personal opinion, which is irrelevant =P ) but I would be as bold, especially considering the lengthy and well thought criteria of this list, to say that its very possible he outranks Koniev and the others, (not Zhukov) beyond doubt.

Do I think that given the opportunities, Rokossovsky would have equalled Zhukov? Obviously I can't answer that definitively, but I do think that given whats known, it certainly was possible.


Posted By: rider
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 19:34
I would argue that due to the Germans overextending their forces and their logistical possibilities, no Soviet commander was in any 'actual' difficulty to force the Germans into a retreat after some time. Therefore, they are no 'military geniuses'.


Posted By: Etnad
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 20:12
Since many of the soviet commanders where trained by the german commanders.. I would hardly place a soviet general instead of a german general on the list.
Glad you agree Eagle, it must have been frustrating working under Hitler. That man should have gone to the military-academy or something :D


Posted By: TheRedBaron
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 22:40
Originally posted by Etnad Etnad wrote:

The succes in North Africa is all on Rommel's account! His only problem was that he had to respond to Hitler - and thereby the logistics.

 
No not really.
 
The actual supplies scheduled for North Africa were substanial, the problem was getting it there.
 
Most of it ended up on the bottom fo the Med thanks to the RAF and RN, not Mr. Hitler.
 
Rommel had no grasp of logistics at the sharp end. He reguarly moved units too far from supply points causing massive strain on supply routes, and in several instances over-extended his force and cused it to become operationally mired.
 
He also failed to use proper recce as shown at Tobruk, and often felt speed of action would make up for detail recce... He was proved wrong when his tanks drove into minefields instead of waiting for the engineers to move up and clear them paths.
 
His real problem though was his desire to micro-manage everything and this then left him out of contact with his command mechanisms for extended periods often at vital moments in an operation. The fact that his own C-o-S is so critical of him, when his opponents were not, says alot about the propaganda machine and the image of the 'Good' German that Rommel has benefitted ffrom... The man who commanded Hitlers bodyguard detachment in poland.
 
He utterly fails to meet several of the points listed above as prime-requisites to meet inclusion on the list.


Posted By: TheRedBaron
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 22:50
Originally posted by ResoundingEagle ResoundingEagle wrote:

Originally posted by Etnad Etnad wrote:

The succes in North Africa is all on Rommel's account! His only problem was that he had to respond to Hitler - and thereby the logistics.



Well said - logistics were a major issue for the Germans on all fronts, but, reporting to Hitler, I would argue, is worst of all. =P What a good waste of a wondrous man like Rommel. (That's just my opinion though)

 
Not really.
 
As Hitlers pet-favourite Rommel had freedom of action in North Africa and was allowed far more freedom of action than any other German commander of the period, indeed even being able to get his superiors over-ruled time and again by Hitler when they suggested courses of action different to Rommels plans.
 
it could be argued that the problem, and the cause of the defeat in North Africa was Rommels own egotism and unwillingness to follow a grander strategy for Southern Europe.
 
Hitlers mistake was to give Rommel preference and treat him as a favoured son. Luckily this favouritism had dropped by Normandy and Rommels request for the Panzers to deploy behind the beaches was not accepted... Where they would have been in range of naval gunfire.
 
As for him being a 'wondrous' man... Well no thanks. He was a devoted follower of Hitler until it no longer suited him. He has benefitted for too long from an image of something he is not due to the desire for the Allies to portray a 'good' German General in the post-war Cold-War climate... Even better that the one they choose was also dead.
 
As I said, a good divisional commander, out of his depth a little when given an army...
 
If he was so wondrous, then why didnt he win in North Africa?
 
He also wasnt liked by his subordinates and few had many good things to say of him. Kreibel was very critical of his ability to grasp even the most basic requirements for effective logistics supply, Streich of 5th light Division loathed Rommel and Kircheim who was also very critical of Rommel commented that "thanks to propaganda, first by Goebbels, then by Montgomery, and finally, after he was poisoned, by all former enemy powers, he has become a symbol of the best military traditions. ...Any public criticism of this legendary personality would damage the esteem in which the German soldier is held"... Thus it suited the post-war enviroment to portray Rommel in this regard. Now the propaganda is regarded as fact and accepted as such.
 
Its really time a few 'serious' historians began to question the role played by Rommel in WW2 in a far more critical light.


Posted By: Cryptic
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2009 at 02:31
Originally posted by ResoundingEagle ResoundingEagle wrote:

  but it is true Rokossovsky was never given much attention, even, arguably, as much as he deserved in his own country.
That is because Rokosssovsky had serious background issues. Unlike Zhukov's peasant origins, Rokossovsky was not only of aristocratic background, but of Polish origins as well.  Prior to being given senior command at the Front, Rokossovsky was imprisoned and tortured by the NKVD.
Originally posted by rider rider wrote:

I would argue that due to the Germans overextending their forces and their logistical possibilities, no Soviet commander was in any 'actual' difficulty to force the Germans into a retreat after some time. Therefore, they are no 'military geniuses'.
Even with being over extended, the Germans had a huge amount of strategic and operational momentum at Leningrad. This was true even at Moscow. Stopping them took real skill and talent.
Originally posted by Etnad Etnad wrote:

Since many of the soviet commanders where trained by the german commanders.. I would hardly place a soviet general instead of a german general on the list.
THe Soviets deserve far more credit than that. Zhukov, Koniev, Vatutin, and Rokossovsky were the equivelant of any German generals. Soviet commanders at the  Brigade, Divisional and Corps level, however, were not usually equal to the Germans. This led to many situations where lower level Soviet units lacked the skills to implement plans of talented Soviet senior commanders.
 


Posted By: rider
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2009 at 05:25
The Soviets lost during the most of the war, only in the end did they really show any superiority. In any case, it wouldn't be fair to say that Soviets have to move upwards and then disregard the position Mannerheim is in right now. Mannerheim made for a brilliant fight against the USSR and did not lose; meaning that he should be above any ranking USSR commander (since if they had had any ideas, the ideas would have been implemented, with no regard to the actual theatre of war they were stationed in).


Posted By: ResoundingEagle
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2009 at 05:45
*sigh* I'm not arguing with people who refuse to see any truth and instead what they wish to believe. =P It's pointless, and a waste of my time and resources. =P I'm a historian, not a 'youtube commenter' like some of you seem to be.  It would help if some of you would actually read the replies before making your own.

Rider - get offline and read a history book. =P You'll look far less ridiculous when you post.

Red Baron - Your neglecting the full criteria of this list. Plus, your only talking about military victories, and its obvious you have little knowledge into Rommel's life. Your making one sided statements that do little to prove or infer anything. He was the ONLY Nazi commander whom was known to break Hitler's rules on a number of occassions, especially concerning Jews and more nasty politics, which he rather openly (and discreetly as well) disagreed with at times, and not be executed or severaly punished.

Nazis are Nazis, but for a Nazi, Rommel was the best of the lot. He was also one of the only ones to directly defy the Furher and get a strange leeway most were never afforded. I despise the Nazis far more than most of you I'm sure, but I do give credit where its due.

Given the criteria, Rommel is a more than worthy mention for this list. And given deep study, it will show.


Posted By: rider
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2009 at 07:06
Do not assume to have any indication of the level of my erudition thanks to a simple-mindedly logical post (which doesn't take into account the non-military conditions of the USSR, but which is true in basic logics). Mannerheim is one of the finest tacticians that has ever roamed the North-Eastern Europe. The fact that he managed to hold the Soviets at bay in the Winter War and the Continuation War is proof enough that Mannerheim, given the resources to equal the USSR could have won the wars. The fact that Finland was the lesser party in all numbers and yet cost the Soviets more casualties than the ratio is compared to parties such as the German realm, reveals the strategical ingenuity of the Finnish people under the command of Mannerheim.


Posted By: Cryptic
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2009 at 08:22
Originally posted by rider rider wrote:

The Soviets lost during the most of the war, only in the end did they really show any superiority. In any case, it wouldn't be fair to say that Soviets have to move upwards and then disregard the position Mannerheim is in right now.
Yes, Mannerheim is also a great general. Youa re correct, the Soviets were on a learning curve, but they also learned pretty fast how to compete with the Germans at the Strategic level. It was at the Corps level and below that the Soviets could never quite compete.
 
For example
Late 1941: Successful defenses of Moscow and Leningrad
November 1942: Use of envelopement at Stalingrad, Italian army shattered, attempted envelopment of entire German Amry group in Operation Big Uranus.
July 1943: Victory at Kursk (summer, well prepared and rested German opponents)
1944: Reverse Blizkrieg through Ukraine, Kiev liberated
1944...  The victories go on an on.
 


Posted By: Praetor
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2009 at 08:35
Though far from an expert on the Second world war Rider I would strongly disagree with you on the matter of Soviet generalship, yes the Soviets suffered the greatest defeats at the hands of the German army but they also won the most important victories against this same army, the great majority of Germany army at that. Yes the Germans overstretched their supply lines but this conflict could was hardly decided by logistics alone. you could certainly say that "after some time" (ambiguous statement as it is) forcing the Germans into a military retreat required no military genius (though this was no less true on the Western front), It seemed to me however that what required far more skill was stopping then breaking the offensive power of the Wehrmacht Which is exactly what Russia's finest commanders succeeded in doing.

Resounding Eagle please try and be a tad more patient and respectful, Rider is a very long standing member who I can assure you has read plenty of history books if his knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject of history is anything to go by, however annoying he can sometimes be.

DS Myers I have but a few recommendations to make at this time. Firstly you needn't bother adding Diocletian to the top one hundred generals list, he was competant as a general but by no means something special, as a statesman and politician he was a genius so perhaps he's top leader list material. I again would like to see Eugene and Adolphus dropped significantly, I fail for instance to see why Gustavus Adolphus ranks ahead of the likes of Phillip II who was also a great (perhaps greater?) military reformer and a field commander of considerable talent and talented strategist to boot. I do not insist that Phillip II's position on the list is raised but that Adolphus, whose accomplishments I suspect to be lesser, be moved down. At any rate he certainly shouldn't be ranked higher than Scipio Africanus and Julius Caesar. But I do realise as with my opposition to Napoleon's position that I may be flogging a dead horse on this matter.

btw, though I'm not an expert on the period I believe early modern European generalship to be a rather overrepresented category whose members are also overrated as a whole. I would also like to query the rather high positions accorded to Shapur I and Robert Clive, these men were talented generals but I have my doubts as to whether they deserve positions as high as they have, Clive if I recall is most famed for the battle of Plassey in which though the odds stacked against him numerically were misleading as his force of greatly superior quality was highly aided by the treachery of a large part of the opposing force. As for Shapur his record is a bit too patchy for my liking even considering the quality of his opponents, facing significant defeats at the hands of Rome and Palmyra.

Regards, Praetor.


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2009 at 09:24
Hello to you all
 
Generally speaking, the performance of most Soviet generals (and for that matter and even to a greater extent American and British commanders) in WWII was at best mediocre. Only a few were exceptional and nearly all used the same old tactics of mass attack and accepting huge losses for minor gains which is in my opinion one of the most important factors in determining how good a general is.
 
No doubt, their performance enhanced alot and they learned from their mistakes and didn't make them again which is important but that doesn't mean that they are "great". From Kursk onward the Russians were never challanged in a way like 42 or 41 and everyone one knows they only began to achieve massive victories afterwards. Also operations like Spring Awakening and Solicetice, which achieved stunning successes when one takes into account the 10:1 in equipment and 5:1 in men superiority of the Russians in both operations, showed many weaknesses in Russian commanders who failed to forsee such attacks.
 
The only Soviet general who I really think he deserve a place in the 100, and he is there, is Vasilievsky because from all other Soviet generals he had the only thing they lacked, consistency. The guy won every tactical and strategic level operation and was the strategist behind some of russia's greatest victories like Stalingrad and Uranus, Dnieper and Prussia and Finally the Manchuria offensive. He is the 2nd greatest general of WWII in my opinion.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: TheRedBaron
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2009 at 20:46
Originally posted by ResoundingEagle ResoundingEagle wrote:



Red Baron - Your neglecting the full criteria of this list. Plus, your only talking about military victories, and its obvious you have little knowledge into Rommel's life. Your making one sided statements that do little to prove or infer anything. He was the ONLY Nazi commander whom was known to break Hitler's rules on a number of occassions, especially concerning Jews and more nasty politics, which he rather openly (and discreetly as well) disagreed with at times, and not be executed or severaly punished.

Nazis are Nazis, but for a Nazi, Rommel was the best of the lot. He was also one of the only ones to directly defy the Furher and get a strange leeway most were never afforded. I despise the Nazis far more than most of you I'm sure, but I do give credit where its due.

Given the criteria, Rommel is a more than worthy mention for this list. And given deep study, it will show.
 
 
You see Im not. Its ok for someone to disagree with you Eagle. You may be right, and in your head Im sure you are, but the whole point of historical debate is to offer opposing views and seek the middle ground.
 
Can I suggest that you try doing some reading too. Your attitude that you are right and others are not, while preaching that its pointless discussing does you no favours... and you are very obviously a knowledgable man with a true passion for history, sadly your comments often give me the feeling that unless someone agrees with you, you dont wish to listen to them.
 
Rommel was an excellent combat tactician. He excelled at small unit (battalion level) tactics and proved to be an exemplary divisional commander shown by his leadership of 7th Panzer in France, despite his moment of panic at the British counter-attack at Arras in 1940 he should what an excellent divisional commander he was by utilising all his available assets - his flak batteries with their 88mm guns - to act as a breaking line for the British armoured advance after his own tanks had proved ineffectual. A lesser commander would have paniced and the situation could have been disasterous, but Rommels quick thinking and accurate idea as to what elements to use and where proved correct and he turned a very serious situation to his advantage - This is Rommel at his best, leading a division and using it as an all arms combat formation.
 
However, when he becomes an Army commander, he conducts it in the same way he leads a division. This is a major flaw for an army commander.
 
Obviously I know nothing about Rommel... How do you know this? Also you call yourself a 'historian', well surely part of that is listening to and debating opposing points of view? Even if you disagree we can only reach a common ground through reasoned debate.
 
Can I politely suggest you read 'Inside the Afrika Korps' by Werner Kreibel? It may help you see a different Rommel from the propagandist version. While no less skilful his lack of logistical knowledge and often lack of prepardness are shown time and time again.
 
Rommal was certainly not the best German commander, he was the most popular and the one with the best image to trawl around the post-war enviroment. You can discredit and overlook the comments of those who served with him if you want, but I think they give a telling insight into the real Rommel.
 
I also see no relation between his selective disregard for some of Hitler's orders and him being a good General. That is irrelevant, by that rationale Kurt Student should make the list for his actions.
 
Next you will tell me that Hans Von Luck really did orders those '88's to fire during Operation Goodwood and that Wittmann did return to Villers-Bocage. Unless of course you swallow all the propaganda people throw out...


Posted By: TheRedBaron
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2009 at 20:58
Originally posted by rider rider wrote:

Do not assume to have any indication of the level of my erudition thanks to a simple-mindedly logical post (which doesn't take into account the non-military conditions of the USSR, but which is true in basic logics). Mannerheim is one of the finest tacticians that has ever roamed the North-Eastern Europe. The fact that he managed to hold the Soviets at bay in the Winter War and the Continuation War is proof enough that Mannerheim, given the resources to equal the USSR could have won the wars. The fact that Finland was the lesser party in all numbers and yet cost the Soviets more casualties than the ratio is compared to parties such as the German realm, reveals the strategical ingenuity of the Finnish people under the command of Mannerheim.
 
While I agree that Mannerheim was a very good defensive commander (with it must be said excellent quality sub-commanders and troops who knew both the terrain and the conditions) it must also be mentioned that the commanders he went up against were dreadful.
 
The Red Army that invaded Finland in December 1939 was ill-equipped (one division that was issued with ski's used them as fire wood before crossing into Finland), poorly led (by political appointees), poorly trained (in many cases the troops had no training at all), utterly misled by the situation they would find in Finland (the Red Army expected the Finnish working classes to rise up and support their invasion) and utterly unprepared for the winter conditions (tank oil that froze, gun lubricant that froze solid).
 
To be fair, although Mannerheim was very good (though he himself admitted he could only hold the Red Army for so long and that defeat was inevitable) the enemy he was up against was utterly dreadful for the first few months of the conflict and the Red Army practically defeated itself with its poor condition and suicidal tactics.
 
The Red Army negated its one advantage, its numbers, with an utterly inept military campaign. Up against Mannerhiem, this operation was turned from a fiasco, into a massacre.


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2009 at 00:11

Hello to you all

Sorry to disagree with you Red. The Russian army was ill-equpped for a winter war yes but not for war in general. They committed some 6000 tanks, 1 million soldiers and some 3500 airplanes. The Finns had only 32 tanks and 130 planes.
 
Even if they were ill equipped for winter there is simply no comparison between the forces and should have won especially that much of the Easter borders was open and solid frozen. Of course the calibre of the soldiers wasn't the best and had the Siberians of Zhukov been there the war could have been shorter but nonethless, claiming the Russians were ill equipped is not true. The disparity in numbers alone cancells any ill equipments there is.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: ResoundingEagle
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2009 at 03:57
The reason is because I do not agree with the methods some people use to debate - which are highly stagnant. Not so much you, Red Baron, but in general for some.

=/ I would imagine you of all people would likely have read the entire D-Day topic, where multiple times I was highly encouraged and thankful for offering of resources to better round my own. Ive done this in other topics too.  Also, if you trail my posts, the only ones you will find in this strain, is when addressing the usual lot with the posts that do the aforementioned.

My appeals to offer better posts or replies, (in certain cases) goes entirely unchecked, and I don't see why I should be motivated to go back and forth when nothing will happen but my own frustration - and no learning or worthwhile conversation and progression for either party takes place. While its no good reason, and very honestly just an rather coarse excuse, if people are going to toy with me then I will respond in kind. I shouldn't, and I know that. But after a while, it becomes questionable whether or not its worthwhile to offer well composed replies to people, that no matter how well they are offered, do not care for them and only their own press.

I am human too, and at this time perhaps am reaching my limits of patience which requires due attention by myself to correct. I realize my vehemence is a bit exasperating and unnecessary as of late, and make due note of that. Perhaps that explains my position though no matter how valid , or well arguably, invalid, it may certainly be. I suppose I do owe those reading an explanation. I wish I could say something more noble for reasoning,  but that's honestly my problem. (It also highly bothers me too when I know those I'm reciprocating with, are capable of far better)

I do not like people agreeing with me all the time, because I never learn anything. I get highly annoyed though when people contest things, but in the process do not offer anything worthwhile in their statements, and refuse to. Not to say my reactions are any better, but I get discouraged in making them so. It's counterproductive for me to respond in ways I may sometimes do, so I will work to correct that.

Its when replies offer nothing but rebuking without merit - that I am inclined to offer the same. I get tired of offering my best, and getting the the least from people in return, and I'm sure I am not the only one with all the brilliant minds on this site I would like to learn from.

Originally posted by TheRedBaron TheRedBaron wrote:

Originally posted by ResoundingEagle ResoundingEagle wrote:



Red Baron - Your neglecting the full criteria of this list. Plus, your only talking about military victories, and its obvious you have little knowledge into Rommel's life. Your making one sided statements that do little to prove or infer anything. He was the ONLY Nazi commander whom was known to break Hitler's rules on a number of occassions, especially concerning Jews and more nasty politics, which he rather openly (and discreetly as well) disagreed with at times, and not be executed or severaly punished.

Nazis are Nazis, but for a Nazi, Rommel was the best of the lot. He was also one of the only ones to directly defy the Furher and get a strange leeway most were never afforded. I despise the Nazis far more than most of you I'm sure, but I do give credit where its due.

Given the criteria, Rommel is a more than worthy mention for this list. And given deep study, it will show.
 
 
You see Im not. Its ok for someone to disagree with you Eagle. You may be right, and in your head Im sure you are, but the whole point of historical debate is to offer opposing views and seek the middle ground.
 
Can I suggest that you try doing some reading too. Your attitude that you are right and others are not, while preaching that its pointless discussing does you no favours... and you are very obviously a knowledgable man with a true passion for history, sadly your comments often give me the feeling that unless someone agrees with you, you dont wish to listen to them.
 
Rommel was an excellent combat tactician. He excelled at small unit (battalion level) tactics and proved to be an exemplary divisional commander shown by his leadership of 7th Panzer in France, despite his moment of panic at the British counter-attack at Arras in 1940 he should what an excellent divisional commander he was by utilising all his available assets - his flak batteries with their 88mm guns - to act as a breaking line for the British armoured advance after his own tanks had proved ineffectual. A lesser commander would have paniced and the situation could have been disasterous, but Rommels quick thinking and accurate idea as to what elements to use and where proved correct and he turned a very serious situation to his advantage - This is Rommel at his best, leading a division and using it as an all arms combat formation.
 
However, when he becomes an Army commander, he conducts it in the same way he leads a division. This is a major flaw for an army commander.
 
Obviously I know nothing about Rommel... How do you know this? Also you call yourself a 'historian', well surely part of that is listening to and debating opposing points of view? Even if you disagree we can only reach a common ground through reasoned debate.
 
Can I politely suggest you read 'Inside the Afrika Korps' by Werner Kreibel? It may help you see a different Rommel from the propagandist version. While no less skilful his lack of logistical knowledge and often lack of prepardness are shown time and time again.
 
Rommal was certainly not the best German commander, he was the most popular and the one with the best image to trawl around the post-war enviroment. You can discredit and overlook the comments of those who served with him if you want, but I think they give a telling insight into the real Rommel.
 
I also see no relation between his selective disregard for some of Hitler's orders and him being a good General. That is irrelevant, by that rationale Kurt Student should make the list for his actions.
 
Next you will tell me that Hans Von Luck really did orders those '88's to fire during Operation Goodwood and that Wittmann did return to Villers-Bocage. Unless of course you swallow all the propaganda people throw out...


Posted By: hugoestr
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2009 at 04:24
I propose an AE committee to come up with a criteria on deciding who is the greatest general of all time. For example, those who win offensive battles should be weighed more than those who win defensive ones. And size of troops and quality of weapons should also be taken into consideration.


Posted By: rider
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2009 at 08:27
Originally posted by TheRedBaron TheRedBaron wrote:

the Red Army expected the Finnish working classes to rise up and support their invasion
 
USSR expected that to happen everywhere. If I remember right, the Estonian working class was supposed to join in after the coup d'etat attempt in '24 (failed); so were the working classes in Poland and other countries supposed to greet the USSR coming to them. The revolution had to spread, did it not?
 
However, it would seem to me unrealistic if anyone past the civilian command really believed in this. The military leaders, not counting Stalin here for now, should have had a better grasp of the situation than to expect a 'miracle' victory at every point along the road -- after they had failed in several places, why should they have succeeded in Finland by doing the same old things?


Posted By: DSMyers1
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2009 at 10:52
Originally posted by hugoestr hugoestr wrote:

I propose an AE committee to come up with a criteria on deciding who is the greatest general of all time. For example, those who win offensive battles should be weighed more than those who win defensive ones. And size of troops and quality of weapons should also be taken into consideration.


Well, the criteria is already posted at the top...  It is a subjective exercise, no matter how you cut it.  I think this thread, worked on for 3 years, has done a pretty solid job of hammering a full list of 100 out, not to mention the Number 1 spot.

Of course, this list is always open...


-------------
- The Top 100 Generals

God is my Judge


Posted By: hugoestr
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2009 at 12:26
He, he, it just shows you how much I come over here . Do you have a spreadsheet where you score each of these generals to reach the ranking?


Posted By: Craze_b0i
Date Posted: 03 Aug 2009 at 12:34
Another possible nomination for consideration: Simon de Montfort of France, leader of the Albigensian Crusade in Languedoc. He welded together a disparate army of opportunists and free-booters. He successfully outfought his enemies on many occasions.


Posted By: Praetor
Date Posted: 03 Aug 2009 at 18:32
I would like to again reiterate my opposition to Robert Clive's place on the list, exempting Wellington he is the only British Indian general on the list (I think, may have missed someone), what makes him so special amongst all of them? He seems to have had a rather short career and like many British generals to come defeated an enemy Indian force with a vast numerical superiority, aided by very strong internal divisions amongst the enemy (granted they were skillfully exploited), I don't necessarily oppose his inclusion on the list but I do oppose his inclusion in the top 50 much less top 30.

Allenby's inclusion I also have a problem with, yeah he was good but he was facing a very weak opponent and its easy to see some kind of genius in him when you compare him to other World War I commanders, quite honestly there are more than a hundred better than him, a few of which have been knocked off the list.

Now I know there are a few Byzantines and Romans But I feel I should mention John Tzimisces and Quintus Sertorius.

Tzimisces was one of the brilliant general Nicephorus Phocas's (a general that was previusly on the list that I would like to see back on) top lieutenants before the latter assumed the throne, he eventually murdered Nicephorus and assumed the Throne himself, he was highly succesful both in the East against opponents such as the Hamdanids under the able Saif Ad Daula and in the Balkans against the able Sviatoslav Grand prince of Kiev who had in the past greatly expanded his territory by defeating Pechenegs, defeating the Khazars, defeating the Volga Bulgars and conquering the Bulgarians. However after first being defeated at the battle of Arcadiopolis by Bardas Sklerus Sviatoslav was twice decisively defeated by Tzimisces (at Preslav and Dorostolon) and as a result Tzimisces gained possession of Sviatoslav's Bulgarian conquests. Admittedly during Tzimisces lifetime the Byzantine Empire had resurged to become the most formiddable power in Europe but I still believe him to be very much worthy of this list, in my mind presently as Byzantine commanders go I have him as third behind Belisarius and Heraclius though others could most certainly rival him for this position (such as the previusly bumped Nicephorus and Basil II, Constantine V is also worth mentioning).

Quintus Sertorius is one of only two generals (the other being Gaius Julius Caesar) to defeat Pompeius Magnus in battle and Pompey had quite a long and illustrius career as many of us know, including quite a number of successes against other Roman generals. Quintus Sertorius seems to have been the closest thing Rome produced to a master of Guerrila warefare, facing off against such Roman generals as Metellus Pius and Pompey in the Iberian penninsula, both of these generals were capable opponents who combined possessed superior resources to Sertorius who commanded a coalition of fierce Lusitanian tribesmen (as well as other Iberians) and Roman opponents of the current regime in Rome, though this combination could prove formiddable establishing and maintaining his preeminence among such a group in the midst of a protracted and fierce struggle required a leader of considerable charisma and diplomatic skill, qualities clearly possessed by Quintus Sertorius. His rebbellion was eventually ended following his assasination by an ambitous lieutenant. On a side note Sertorius does remind me of the Lusitanian leader Viriathus who seems to have by far been the most succesful of Rome's Iberian opponents scoring a number of victories before Rome felt the need to resort to assasination rather than defeat him in the field.

I would personally place Sulla and Sertorius above Marius while acknowledging that Sulla helped his case and hindered Marius's by writing his own memoirs and would probably rank Rome's emperor generals as follows: Aurelian, Septimius Severus and Constantine though that view is not held all too strongly, I regard them all as being better than Trajan.

Regards, Praetor.

btw, I know I have been vague if you feel you would like me to clarify any of what I have said please say so.


Posted By: Craze_b0i
Date Posted: 03 Aug 2009 at 20:37

I don't know if this was mentioned before on the old forum, but what about Sparticus? The real-life Sparticus won many victories against the Romans, often with fewer men.

Edit: maybe we could have a sub-list below the top 100 as a record of ones that have been considered for inclusion but didn't quite make the 100 list?


Posted By: Knights
Date Posted: 03 Aug 2009 at 22:14
Nice posts, people. I'm enjoying reading them, just waiting for enough free time to put forward my strongly held convictions about the list.

Craze_b0i - check out the 3rd and 4th posts of this thread on page 1. There is a 100-200 list, and a waiting list too. Is this what you are looking for?


-------------


Posted By: Craze_b0i
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2009 at 06:46
Originally posted by Knights Knights wrote:

Nice posts, people. I'm enjoying reading them, just waiting for enough free time to put forward my strongly held convictions about the list.

Craze_b0i - check out the 3rd and 4th posts of this thread on page 1. There is a 100-200 list, and a waiting list too. Is this what you are looking for?
 
Cheers Knights, I didn't see that the 3rd 4th posts had been filled in.
 
lnteresting to see how far 'Cyrus' has fallen from his original ranking. Oh the irony. Big smile


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2009 at 07:12
I am surprised no one has mentioned one of the more renown figures in military history, General Jubilation T. Cornpone!
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBzbce8Vd2g - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBzbce8Vd2g


-------------
Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Knights
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2009 at 09:32
Originally posted by Craze_b0i Craze_b0i wrote:

Originally posted by Knights Knights wrote:

Nice posts, people. I'm enjoying reading them, just waiting for enough free time to put forward my strongly held convictions about the list.

Craze_b0i - check out the 3rd and 4th posts of this thread on page 1. There is a 100-200 list, and a waiting list too. Is this what you are looking for?
 
Cheers Knights, I didn't see that the 3rd 4th posts had been filled in.
 
lnteresting to see how far 'Cyrus' has fallen from his original ranking. Oh the irony. Big smile


LOL





-------------


Posted By: Jonathan4290
Date Posted: 09 Aug 2009 at 08:03

I'd support discussing Quintus Sertorius as guerrilla leaders are relatively unrepresented on this list. DSMyers is probably shaking his head right now thinking of last year's debates over Giap, Mao and others.

Rommel should not be in the top 100. Creveld in Supplying War makes it very clear that the Africa lacked the ports to properly supply any push into Egypt. All he needed to do was some simple calculations to show that Rommel was completely in the wrong to disobey orders and go on the strategic offensive.
 
Rommel was a gifted tactician but was fairly mortal compared to many other German generals. Hans Hube, Hermann Balck, Ferdinand Schorner and others were probably Rommel's equal at a divisional and corps level. To me the North African campaign showed Rommel was not fit for army command because he failed to understand that you can't just move an army wherever you want.


Posted By: Challenger2
Date Posted: 16 Aug 2009 at 16:30
Originally posted by Knights Knights wrote:

(I am adamant that Wellington was superior to Marlborough)


Hmm, this might be worth a punt...I'm equally adamant he wasn't. WinkTongue

Please do transfer some of those posts, I'd be interested in seeing on what you base your argument. 


Posted By: serbia123
Date Posted: 17 Aug 2009 at 07:02
I think General Zivojin Misic definately deserves a spot on the list (not necessarily the 1-100 but definitely the 101-200 spot).

In the first Balkan War, he decisively defeated the Ottoman at the Battle of Kumanovo,Prilep, and Manastir which forced the Ottomans to entirely abandon all of Vardar Macedonia. In the Second Balkan War, the Battle of Bregalnica sealed the fate of the Bulgarians and the entire war and their offensive was destroyed. In WWI, he oversaw and commanded directly the spectacular defence of Serbia, winning stunning victoies at the Battle of Cer (first allied victory of the war), the Battle of Kolubara, and the Battle of the Drina. He, with a poorly equipped and vastly smaller army managed to decisevely defeat the Austrian offensive. Only when Germany directly intervened and the Bulgarians attacked from Serbia's eastern flank did he withdraw. However, he refused to surrender and led the Serbian Army's spectacular withdrawl through Albania to Corfu and after several months, he led his troops to battle once again on the Macedonian front where his troops withstood attack after attack and eventually defeated the Bulgarians at Dobro Pole (effectively taking them out of the war) and recapturing all of Macedonia, Serbia, and Bosnia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%BDivojin_Mi%C5%A1i%C4%87


Posted By: graceht
Date Posted: 30 Sep 2009 at 03:10
Is Genghis Khan really a better general than Alexander the Great? I mean, Genghis Khan lived longer than Alexander did. Who knows what Alexander might have done had he lived longer. In a space of a few years Alexander did more than anyone can imagine. Genghis Khan was terrific, too, but I'd put both he and Alexander the Great on the same level.

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Grace Thompson


Posted By: DSMyers1
Date Posted: 02 Oct 2009 at 09:30
I agree, Graceht... they are very similar.   There was quite a bit of discussion about the two.

Alexander accomplished a lot, but against one unstable power.  Genghis accomplished a bit more, against harder and more varied foes.

Search the archived thread for the discussion, and you'll get 5 pages of replies:
Archived Thread: http://www.allempires.net/topic13436.html - http://www.allempires.net/topic13436.html


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- The Top 100 Generals

God is my Judge


Posted By: stuchiu
Date Posted: 11 Oct 2009 at 09:12
For Guo Ziyi, I'd rank him somewhere between 100-150, since I don't know anything about his specific tactics, recon, etc.  There are some details about his battles on wiki though ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guo_Ziyi - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guo_Ziyi ).  The two battles below were from when he defended the Tang dynasty from the Tibetans, the first happening right after the An Shi Rebellion, and the second happening two years after.   It shows how feared he was as a commander, his understanding and manipulation of the Ughyers, and personal bravery.  

Battle of Chang'an:  In 763, one hundred thousand Tibetans invaded China and surrounded the capital city of Chang'an. This was the height of Tibetan power, but it was also the height of Guo's career. He was prepared and sent a small force of cavalry to scout the Tibetans, giving them orders to light fires in random locations where the Tibetans could see them and then immediately retreat. Guo then sent secret messages to Chang'an ordering citizens to strike gongs and shoot off fireworks. The Tibetans were confused by these actions, and they panicked and scattered when rumors spread that it was Guo Ziyi moving against them with a large force. The Tibetans began to desert and the battle was won without losses on either side. Many Chinese military historians considered this to be the best example of  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Tzu - Sun Tzu 's idea of the cleanest kind of battle, "a war with no loss on either side but simply played out with the desired effect for the victor." There are discrepancies in the number of cavalry troops Guo dispatched; some Chinese texts state that Guo had sent out only thirteen scouts, but a Tibetan text source indicated there had been two hundred.

Battle of Xiyuan:  He won this mostly through his reputation again.  The next two years were peaceful, but the Tibetans attacked again in 765, when the Uyghur Jiedushi Pugu Huai'en sent false messages to the King of Tibet stating that Guo Ziyi had died. The Tibetan king was eager to avenge his earlier defeat, and dispatched a large force to attack Tang China again. Various Uyghur chieftains, also believing that Guo was dead, joined force with the Tibetans. The Tibetan force was recorded as more than thirty thousand (including a few thousand of Uyghurs), almost the entire Tibetan military at the time.
When news of the Tibetans reached Emperor Daizong, he sent Guo Ziyi out with a few thousand men. When Guo was within a day's march from the enemy, he decided to go alone to see the Uyghur chieftains. When Guo arrived at the Uyghur's camp, he did not reveal his identity and appeared to be a messenger who had been sent to tell them that Guo Ziyi was coming to see them. The Uyghur chieftains, many of who had joined the rebel side in the An Shi Rebellion, were surprised and panicked to hear that Guo was alive, deciding that they had to meet with him. Guo laughed at them and asked them why they would want to face Guo Ziyi again after their defeat at his hands during the An Shi Rebllion. The Uyghur chieftains replied they had been told that he was dead, but if they met with him and saw he was alive, they would retreat. Guo, however, insisted that Guo Ziyi did not seek their retreat but instead wanted them to join him against the Tibetans. The Uyghur chieftains, saying they had been deceived by the Tibetans about Guo's death, decided to break the alliance with them. They even claimed that shamans had foretold that a great man would lead them to victory and that they now believed this man must be Guo, and agreed to join forces with the Tang. Guo returned to his camp and ordered a thousand light horsemen to made a quick rush at the Tibetan camp at Xiyuan. When the Tibetans realized the Uyghurs had broken their alliance, they tried to withdraw, but Guo's horsemen arrived and scattered their forces; at the same time, the Uyghurs arrived and prevented the Tibetans' retreat. Over ten thousand Tibetans were killed in battle and another ten thousand were taken as prisoners of war. Guo continued to pursue the Tibetans and freed over four thousand civilians they had taken captive.

When the Tibetan king heard that his force had been defeated, he quickly sent a message to Emperor Daizong seeking a peace, stating that his army had been on a hunting trip and had had no intention of attacking the Tang Empire. Although Daizong did not believe this, he agreed to the peace and Tibet was never again a threat to China.



Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 13 Oct 2009 at 04:58
Originally posted by rider rider wrote:

However, it would seem to me unrealistic if anyone past the civilian command really believed in this. The military leaders, not counting Stalin here for now, should have had a better grasp of the situation than to expect a 'miracle' victory at every point along the road -- after they had failed in several places, why should they have succeeded in Finland by doing the same old things?
 
In fact, everybody in the Soviet Establishment understood the unrealistic nature of "rising working class" claim, but Stalin needed it to calm down and convince the population of the USSR that the war was "just".


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Σαρμάτ



Posted By: Pabbicus
Date Posted: 22 Oct 2009 at 12:25
Friedrich II "Der Grosse" von  Preussen, I propose he be placed at #1, or at least above Napoleon, who himself considered Friedrich to have been a greater military mind than he was.

a.  He personally led his armies in nearly every battle of the war, having six horses shot from under him on separate occasions due to his tendency to lead every charge from the front in the 18th century, something that greatly inspired his men.

b. Being born to a highly militarist, disciplinarian father, he was instilled from a young age with militarist ideals, even his later banishment by his by his father could not shake this. His goal from the onset of his reign was for many reasons, to improve Prussia's languishing economy, to gain it's hostorical territories, and also to gain respect on the world political stage.

c. The military reforms he and, to a lesser extent, his father carried out had turned the Prussian military into,  without a doubt, the single most disciplined force on the planet. He was personally held to the highest standard that he also held his military to, and was quoted  on his own personal discipline and sense of duty to his Kingdom as saying "I am up and about when I am ill, and in the most appalling weather. I am on horseback when other men would be flat out on their beds, complaining. We are made for action, and activity is the sovereign remedy for all physical ills." In this respect he could be seen as a man ready to brave any misfortune in order to further and continue his goals.


d.  While the equipment of the Prussian Army in the 1740's was equipped, for the most part, with the standard fare of the day, Friedrich had, against the conventions of the time, switched his cannons from the typical twelve pound to the much lighter and more maneuverable "three pound" guns, which he used with great success thanks to their great versatility. He also had the Prussian cavalries retrained with light horses and focused far more on maneuverability and speed, and the Prussian doctrine for the entire lifetime of the kingdom was expanded and refined under his rule. He continued in the vein of his predecessors in advocating quick and decisive campaigns, focused on an extremely aggressive staff on the command level and determination, his tactical and strategic skill was the main weapon of the army, despite is improvements in this area being not as varied as other great commanders.

e.  Friedrich was a master of planning supply routes, and his incredible skill in executing maneuvers with his highly disciplined troops, resulting in their continued success. He also laid the foundation of his army reforms on reforms to procurement, most importantly on the ability of the prussian state to feed it's armies adequately.
Tactical mastery—gaining success on the battlefield

a. Frederick was the greatest master of maneuver on the battlefield, employing oblique order with his extremely disciplined troops, the most famous employment of his incredible tactical ability and powerfully disciplined troops, as well as highly mobile artillery,  is the Battle of Leuthen, where a force of 35,000 Prussian Troops, under personal command of Friedrich himself, defeated a force of 56,000 Austrians, taking 6,000 casualties and inflicting 12,000 dead upon the enemy, and over 12,300 captured prisoners, as well as 51 captured flags and over 100 captured cannons. This battle is a picture perfect example of his capacity for complicated maneuvers, which led to many crushing victories during the Silesian Wars and the Seven Years' War. The battle of Rossbach as well showed his capability to set and execute traps, resulting in the defeat of a force twice as large as his own, taking only 550(!!!) losses, of which less than 200 died(!!!) in the process, killing 5,000 french and austrian troops and taking a further 5,000 prisoner.

The Seven Years' War, in itself, was a masterwork of strategic brilliance on the part of the Prussians who, through the battles of Leuthen and Rossbach, routed both the main French and Austrian armies in two separate areas at different times, and temporarily reversed the entire war, in what Napoleon called a "Masterpiece in Maneuver and Resolution."


b.  Friedrich's capability to anticipate where his enemies would attack allowed him to move the majority of his forces to meet them in succession, which allowed for his rather constant stream of victories to continue for quite some time. In particular, during the Seven Years' War, where he had to operate on the European Continent with no allied support against every world power with the exception of the British. While things certainly weren't looking rosy for Prussia until the Miracle of the House of Brandenburg, one cannot simply use that truly miraculous event as the only reason for Prussia's successes on the field, particularly against Austrian and French invasions.

c. Friedrich's timing was always as precise as possible, and in the battle of Rossbach, especially, he required impeccable timing and made a very skillful maneuver to reach them in the first place, marching 170 miles in 13 days and constantly moving to attempt to outmaneuver the Franco-Imperial army, which was in itself attempting to outmaneuver them. Through his skill and patience he exploited every false step and finally managed to bring them to action, resulting in their near total annihilation at a negligible cost in Prussian life.

d. Overall, he made no overt attempts at subterfuge or counter-intelligence, as few people did in those days, but on the battlefield he made use of every possible advantage, including most notable at the battle of Leuthen, the use of the gunsmoke created by austrian shots to screen his army as they maneuvered to the austrian flank, with known results.

e. Upon ascending to the throne, before his declaration of war on the austrians, he immediately set out to reorganize the army, including the disbandment of his father's expensive "Potsdam Giants" regiment to free up enough funding to form seven new regiments, comprising of a total of 10,000 troops. He is noted for his logistics capability, so much that he planned a supply route that actually brought his supplies near a hundred miles ahead of his troops to prepare for the Battle of Rossbach, and after the seven years' war, his Prussian Army was so well organized and regionalized that it prompted minister Friedrich von Schrotter to say, in a famous quote, "Where some states have an army, the Prussian Army has a state!" In reference to it's size in relation to population, it's public support, and the overall integral place in society that it now held, a place which would remain integral to the last days of the German Empire, a hundred and fifty years later!


f. Friedrich is also known for being able to utilize any territory for fighting, and in general was usually forced into choosing whichever ground he could catch his enemies in, though during the first Silesian War, his forces were trapped  in Austrian Territory by the Austrian Army, resulting in the successful battle of Mollwitz. A notable event in which he wisely chose a field of battle would be at Hohenfriedeburg, where he waited as the Austro-Saxon army marched. As he knew they would have to cross Riesengebirge("Giant Mountains,") in order to enter Silesia. Due to this knowlege and the intelligence acquired by von Zieten's Hussars' shadowing of the army, he picked the time and place near Hohenfriedeberg, and decisively crushed the Austrian army, resulting in the victory of the entire war for the Prussians. Another interesting note is he often chose times and places where the wind was on his side, pushing the thick black gunsmoke into the eyes of his enemies and allowing for even greater victories than normally possible.

g. His troops, and his entire population, adored Friedrich and his reformed military system, resulting in a massive influx of recruits during his reign, and allowing him to drill his men to perfection the likes of which no other army has ever seen, as well as allowing him total command of any aspect he wished, with little resistance from his officers, though he generally allowed a full autonomy of the officers under his command.

h. The abovementioned spying of his hussar divisions is a good example of his capabilities in gaining intelligence on enemy forces, allowing him a great victory at Hohenfriedeberg in the Second Silesian War.

i. Friedrich was an incredibly intelligent man, dubbed as a Philosopher, Mathematician, Poet, Musician, Administrator, cunning Diplomat, and universally feared and respected General on the field. With this in mind, it is not surprising that he knew of every resource and every option he had available. A famous quote of his tells of his disposition regarding this aspect of command, “Being goal directed is not enough to conquer your enemy. To achieve your goal you need to know and be able to utilize all the resources available to you. This includes the knowledge of all those available to you as well as using the physical resources and those who control them.” By this he means that having goals and working to achieve them is meaningless if you cannot utilize every possible option and advantage at your disposal to secure them. Combined with his stunning ability to evaluate battlefield conditions properly and give new orders depending on the situations, added to his strategic capabilities as shown in his stunning victories during the Seven Years' War, shows him as a master of utilizing any means at his disposal to achieve an honorable victory on the field.

j. If his near-immediate declaration of war on the much larger and generally assumed more powerful Austrian Empire,  to take among Austria's richest provinces, and his stunning success over the course of four separate wars, does not tell of his emboldening audacity and his capability to back up this audacity with actions, then I am not sure what possibly could.

k. The noble families of Europe were all very interconnected, and of the Austrians, Friedrich knew quite a bit, especially of their more prominent Generals, who he would face time and time again and begin to learn the habits of. He also learned of Austrian military organization, and modified his tactics to exploit their weaknesses where possible, especially in his cavalry reforms between the first and second Silesian Wars, which allowed them to defeat Austrian cavalry of equal and greater strength again and again during the following wars.

2.5.(Less important) Siege mastery—gaining success in sieges

During his reign, and indeed during most of their history, Prussia was rightly seen as quite inept in the realm of sieges, due to their extreme offensive bent. The doctrine of Prussia and of Friedrich called for quick and decisive campaigns to defeat the enemy armies before a war of attrition could set in, in order to gain lands in peace.

He himself had no real experience in siege, and the most powerful victory in a siege for Prussia during this period came from his friend and trusted military advisor, Prince Leopold I von Anhalt-Dessau, known to his troops as "The old Dessauer," a man who had also served Friedrich's father in creating the world's greatest and most disciplined force, the Prussian Army, decades before.

Strategic mastery—gaining success in campaign through maneuver or battle

a. Logistics

b. The events leading up the the Battle of Rossbach themselves are a testament to his capability in large scale maneuvers, marching over 130 miles in 13 days with his force of 25,000 men and outmaneuvering the Franco-Imperial army, forcing them to the field and to a crushing defeat. After this, he made an even more stunning move, marching from Rossbach to Lethau, after hopelessly crushing the combined french and austrian forces, to defeat the Austrians in Silesia.

c.The maneuvers leading up to the battle of Rossbach were very important, as they showed he could not only outmarch his enemies, he could watch their movements and take advantage of missteps and face them at their most vulnerable, as with Hohenfriedeberg as well.

d. Throughout the collectively dubbed War of the Austrian Succession, Prussia recieved little to know military support in europe from it's allies Great Britain and several northern German States did little to change the course of the seven years' war, eventually submitting to peace and leaving the Prussian western front wide open to enemy assault. Still, his cooperation with the Bavarians against Austria 

e. The Battle of Rossbach was the greatest example of Friedrich's ability to force his opponents to field at their worst moments, allowing him to panic an already wavering Franco-Austrian army, resulting in it's overwhelming success.

f. The most obvious answer would be his ability to nearly double his nation's population and territory from the battles in the first Silesian War and to retain it in the successive wars over the territory. Through his skillfull diplomacy and capability in warfare, he laid the foundation for Prussia's complete domination of all of Germany later in the 19th century.

g. His only defeat of the Seven Years' War, at Kolin, resulted in enormous losses, but with a successful retreat into Prussia Proper, he was able to regroup and inflict his famous victory at Rossbach, and then follow that up with the even more famous battle of Leuthen, allowing him to more than make up for his folly in Bohemia.

h. In general, Prussia neglected to siege whenever an enemy army was close enough to be challenged. For this reason, the majority of their few sieges would result in a success due to a lack of enemy forces to break them. Friedrich's capability in sieges was limited, and he usually only sieged the very key points, such as Prague or Vienna, the places that could win wars, while allowing his generals to commit to smaller scale sieges when necessary, the field in which they were generally more skilled and experienced than he.

i. The ability of Friedrich to maneuver the vast majority of his force throughout his nation to meet enemies with similar numbers and inflict key defeats on them was a testament to his skill in organizing his forces and supplies. Using his ability in this field, he was able to keep Prussia as safe as possible during the Seven Years' War, at points in which he was facing the armies of Sweden, France, Austria and Russia simultaneously.

j. As stated before, with his powerful military and his own capability in leading this military, he undertook many audacious diplomatic moves that he otherwise would not be successful in. Most importantly, the First Partition of Poland, in which he recieved west prussia and was able to coordinate with Austria and Russia. The taking of Silesia is, perhaps, his single most audacious and risky choice. Had he been defeated, Prussia would have been severely weakened and unable to form the backbone of the German Empire, changing the political landscape of the world incredibly radically in the future.

k. Friedrich was always thinking three steps ahead in war. He was a man who's decision making in war fell under his general idea, explained in the following quote; “Always presume that the enemy has dangerous designs and always be forehanded with the remedy. But do not let these calculations make you timid.” In that respect, he would always look at the position and strength of the enemy, and formulate in his mind the worst possible scenarios, and then come up with a way to persevere through them without losing his offensive advantage.

l. Defense—fortifications 

Friedrich never truly cared for fortifications, as the Prussian maxim of war was the Bewegungskrieg, or "War of Movement," in which the Prussian army, due to the Prussian State's lesser resources than most of it's neighbors, focused on short and decisive campaigns to break their enemy's military might and settle for a favorable peace.

Grand strategic mastery—gaining victory/the ends desired through the military campaigns (political victory/conquest)

a. In his brilliance, he managed to negotiate an alliance with Great Britain, the world's greatest power which was still on the rise in these times, and of course he also  gained the support of every nation of Northern Germany. With Austria and Russia, he negotiated the first Partition of Poland, connecting his disparate territory through West Prussia. On top of this, his tenacity and skill on the field allowed him to turn Prussia from an unknown backwater into a recognized Great Power, achieving the same reverence in political decisions as Great Britain, France, Austria and Russia. This reverence would later form the backbone of the Empire of Germany, in it's time possibly the most powerful of the world's individual nations.

b. In his time, modern intelligence gathering was in it's infancy, though he used cavalrymen to spy on certain enemy movements and used this intelligence to great strategic effect, most notably at the battle of Hohenfriedberg.

c. Upon his ascention to the Prussian throne, Maria Theresa had just inherited the throne of Bohemia, and the king knew that if he waited it would be too heavily defended to break into and secure. Using as an excuse an obscure treaty from 1538, he invaded Silesia, and in his resulting success secured his position and declared himself "King of Prussia." This move is seen as audacious because his grandfather, Friedrich I of Brandenburg-Prussia, had himself made the audacious move of declaring himself "King in Prussia," and at the time Prussia was not legally recognized as a Kingdom, but Friedrich II's military prowess and political audacity allowed him the confidence to declare himself the King of the Kingdom of Prussia, and his show of force in the Seven Years' War ensured that nobody soon forgot it.

d.  There is no real evidence of his using the rivalries between nations to his advantage, though I do have a theory that he saw the sparking hostilities between Great Britain and France over Colonial Rivalries as the reason to forge an alliance with them, as the diplomatic revolution of 1756 had secured Austria an alliance with France, Russia and Sweden, and an Anglo-Prussian alliance could theoretically take France out of the picture.

e. His victories at Rossbach and Leuthen nearly completely removed France and Austria from the Seven Years' War, saving Prussia from annihilation until the Miracle of the House of Brandenburg ended the war by destroying the alliance against Prussia. His decisive victories in both the Silesian Wars both gained and retained the province in the face of a larger Austria, contributing to the high esteem with which Prussia was later held.

f. Friedrich had a goal for every campaign. He was both a master in offensive and defensive warfare, and in the first and second silesian wars his goals were simple; to gain and to keep the province of Silesia. This he succeeded in at every possible juncture, and in the seven years' war, his goal was simply to keep the Franco-Austro-Russo-Swedish alliance from decisively crippling Prussia. He managed the war with incredible, wide-ranging maneuvers on a grand scale and decisively defeated Austria and France, though the battles against Russia and Sweden were met with mixed results.

g. The results of the First Silesian war doubled Prussia's population, and greatly enhanced it's economy, combined with his policy of crushing tariffs and minimal internal trade restrictions, Silesia supplied his entire industry with the raw materials required to keep them moving. The results of his victories in the second and third silesian wars(seven years' war is also referred to as the "Third Silesian War" much as it is referred to in the americas as the "French and Indian War,") resulted in a status quo, involving Prussia retaining this land and continuing to grow and prosper.

h. Friedrich's tolerance of differing cultures, and even religions, was a very rare trait, and his good treatment of the people he conquered earned him their respect and admiration, he had no problems with dissent during his reign.

 

All of these must be considered in relation to:
The relative strength of each side in each of these 4 facets
The skill of opponents
The economy with which victory in each of these 4 facets was one (in money, destruction of property, and manpower).
Where the general was limited by influences out of his control (for instance, many generals had no opportunity to exhibit facet #4, grand strategy).
Where generals were stabbed in the back/not supported by their own nations—see Barca, Hannibal.
Whether the methods in which victories were gained were innovative or common practice (a small influence, but perhaps should be considered).
The time scale of victories


If I made an error, please let me know. This is just my position.



Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 22 Oct 2009 at 14:23
Whoa, "Anthony" you had but simple permission to bury "Caesar" and not us under that mountain of Prussian propaganda! Whether you borrowed some of it from About.com's "military history" section is irrelevant, but keep in mind that Adolf Hitler kept Freddy's picture in his office and that was no coincidence. In essence, all was not guns 'n' roses for the Prussians in The Seven Years War, need I utter Gross-Jagersdorf (1757), Domstadt (1758), Landeshut (1760), Kolsberg (1761) as well as others including the Prussian disaster at Kunersdorf (1759) that led to the Autro-Russian occupation of Berlin. Many have concluded that the only thing that saved Freddy's ass was the death of the Tsarina Yelizabeta Petrovna in 1761.
 


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Knives
Date Posted: 22 Oct 2009 at 14:58
Thats why it is called the miracle of Brandenburg, but you can't neglect Frederick the Great's proficiency in the field. His knowledge of supply lines was second to none. Napolean himself said when visiting Frederick's grave "Gentlemen, if this man were still alive I would not be here". 

Does Hitler having a picture of one of the most distinguished and respected figure of German history in his office suddenly make this man born centuries before and known for his religious tolerance bad? 


Posted By: Pabbicus
Date Posted: 22 Oct 2009 at 15:16
I find it quite telling as far as your opposition that only one of the defeats you mentioned was under the command of Friedrich himself. This is, after all, about the commander, not the nation he is fighting for. While it is true the russian front was defeat after defeat, it is also true that the majority of that part of the war was carried out by armies not under Friedrich's own personal command. Good job in your use of diminutives for any great man you disapprove of, though!


Posted By: rider
Date Posted: 29 Oct 2009 at 19:45
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

keep in mind that Adolf Hitler kept Freddy's picture in his office and that was no coincidence.
 
This is an example of failed logic, no offense meant.
 
 


Posted By: Caminus
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2010 at 14:37
Originally posted by rider rider wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

keep in mind that Adolf Hitler kept Freddy's picture in his office and that was no coincidence.
 
This is an example of failed logic, no offense meant.


Failed logic is a compliment. I'd say absence of logic.


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2010 at 23:22
Obviously, a good sense of the ironic is a lost art among today's generation. Did you know that the portrait of Frederick was also dragged down into the "bunker" for the final days? Musings from the survivors of that experience recount that Hitler fixated upon the portrait and the travails of the Prussian king during the 1750s and actually hoped for "salvation" through the fortuitous demise of Allied cohesion.
 
Why anyone would consider Frederick "great" rather than but another example of a petty princeling with large ambitions taking advantage of the greater rivalries around his mouse-hole is interesting. The lauds as well as the title is little more than the remnant of Romanticism in historical analysis.


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: gruvawn
Date Posted: 10 Feb 2010 at 17:12
1. i think stonewall jackson and robert e. lee should at least be reversed. the foot-cavalry, shenandoah valley, fredricksburg, chancellorsville...the only mark against stonewall was sleep discipline, and as for lee, well, "nice job in pennsylvania bobby Pinch".

2. yue fei should be higher. if there's any truth to the legend, he instituted possibly the first mandatory training in a specific hand to hand fighting method for the whole army (xing yi chuan), and invented the hooked sword to take out the horses pulling armoured wagons.

3. wasn't subotai just carrying on the same tactics and strategy as genghis? they war counceled together so who knows whose ideas were whose. they could almost be counted together.


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don't believe everything you think. : )


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 11 Feb 2010 at 05:54
The general that "mobilizes" best is usually heads above the rest.

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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 11 Feb 2010 at 06:52
Originally posted by gruvawn gruvawn wrote:

1. i think stonewall jackson and robert e. lee should at least be reversed. the foot-cavalry, shenandoah valley, fredricksburg, chancellorsville...the only mark against stonewall was sleep discipline, and as for lee, well, "nice job in pennsylvania bobby Pinch".

 
About Civil war generals, I have yet to find a single convincing civil war general except Sherman and Lee. I mean everyone on both sides just sucked big time. The north failed to distroy the South several times in 61 and 62. The 63 invasion of the South into the north had a huge potential that was wasted in Gettysburg. Then the North failed to follow on its victory there which extended the war even further.
 
Sherman understood war better than anyone except Lee. He knew that without its economy the South will collapse and his march to the sea achieved both the distruction of the Southern hinterland and cut the South in half. Lee defended the South against all the odds and increased the life of the confederacy by at least 3 years.
 
I need to read more about Grant and Jackson but I think that both don't reach the top 100 generals.
 
As for other candidates, I have a suggestion here, Nikolai Yudenich:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolai_Yudenich - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolai_Yudenich
 
This man is probably the finest WWI Russian general, his conduct of the Caucassian campaign despite the shortages, the terrain and the tenacoty of the enemy was excellent. I don't know about his conduct in the civil war but in WWI he was one of the few truely great generals.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 11 Feb 2010 at 07:40
Poor Winfield Scott, it was not only his master strategy plan early in 1861 that actually won the war, but also his conversion of Washington DC as a pivotal redoubt that actually frustrated any Southern strategy Northward.

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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: DSMyers1
Date Posted: 13 Feb 2010 at 09:54
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Poor Winfield Scott, it was not only his master strategy plan early in 1861 that actually won the war, but also his conversion of Washington DC as a pivotal redoubt that actually frustrated any Southern strategy Northward.


Which is why he is 53rd.  That and his masterful invasion of Mexico.


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- The Top 100 Generals

God is my Judge


Posted By: warwolf1969
Date Posted: 31 Jul 2010 at 01:37
Rommel should higher, for the simple fact that is was one of the best tactical commanders of WW2.  He should at least be in the top 100.  But I will not argue higher than about 80. 
 
Frederick the Great should be higher.  Again he was the best tactical commander of his age.  His tactical skill was recognised, and copied, by Napoleon.  He managed to hold off three of the biggest powers in the world at that time, for seven years. Yes he was saved by the Miracle of Brandenburg, but that only came as a result of his country running out of troops.  The early campaigns were tactically, and stratagically brilliant.


Posted By: DSMyers1
Date Posted: 01 Aug 2010 at 00:29
Originally posted by warwolf1969 warwolf1969 wrote:

Rommel should higher, for the simple fact that is was one of the best tactical commanders of WW2.  He should at least be in the top 100.  But I will not argue higher than about 80. 
 
Frederick the Great should be higher.  Again he was the best tactical commander of his age.  His tactical skill was recognised, and copied, by Napoleon.  He managed to hold off three of the biggest powers in the world at that time, for seven years. Yes he was saved by the Miracle of Brandenburg, but that only came as a result of his country running out of troops.  The early campaigns were tactically, and stratagically brilliant.


Rommel seems to be the most-debated general on this list.  He commanded in a minor theater, was hamstrung logistically, and managed to do quite well.  But is that enough to make this list?  One very good campaign?  That's rather a small sample.

Frederick, I think, is overrated as a tactician.  He perpetually took tremendous losses in battles, which is WHY his country was running out of troops.  Couldn't he have held off the foes without tremendous losses?  It's not like he was facing tremendous generals for the opponents.


-------------
- The Top 100 Generals

God is my Judge


Posted By: warwolf1969
Date Posted: 02 Aug 2010 at 02:57
As already stated a lot of the Prussian losses were from commands not under Fredericks control.  The number of commands that were effectively destroyed during the seven years war is quiet high.  It was unfortunate that Prussia had only a few good generals.  Most of whom were with Frederick.  Yes he had a few large defeats, yet he was always still able to manouver his force out of the situation.  Often in doing so he also turned the tables on his opponants. 
 
And if Rommel is to be hampered by only fighting in a short campaign then so should Alexander.  He only fought against the Persians and a few Indian princedoms.  Yet he is accepted as one of the best commanders in history.  You can not say that because a commander fought in only a few battles that his skill is suspect.  Rommel showed himself to be one of the best tactical commanders in WW2.  I would say second only to Mannstien on that front.  Which means that he should be at least in the top 100.  But as I said, his lack of statagic knowledge has to keep him in the lower end, about 80-85.   


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 02 Aug 2010 at 05:04
Hello to you all
 
I tend to agree with respect to Rommel. His management of the North Africa campaign was brilliant but was not enough to make him higher on the list. Good tactician yes but a fine strategist? I don't think so 
 
What about Yudenich, did you check him out?
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: Shingen The Ruler
Date Posted: 01 Apr 2011 at 07:15
Kudos on including Takeda Shingen. He's usually overlooked whenever lists like this are thrown together.Smile


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 05 Jul 2012 at 23:03
May I ask why Alexander III of Macedon was number 2 on the list?
What exactly is his greatest tactical or strategic achievement, that actually deserves the great?
Temujin, obviously deserves the title Universal Ruler, but Alexander?


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 09 Jul 2012 at 18:28
Ok, I can agree on Cao Cao's and Aisin  Gioro Nurhaci's positions, but Sun Tzu that low??? I guess some of his techniques were a little controversial.LOL


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 00:43
So ridiculous?
Cao Cao knows of ambushes, he knows of feints, he knows how to use decoy and deception, he knows how to maneuver, he knows how to interact physically (such as leaving a pile of gold behind his fleeing soldiers, hoping some of the enemy will stop and pick them up) etc All this, every single general of the Three Kingdom knows, and so does Sun Tzu, all this, Alexander nor Hannibal, Napoleon Bonaparte nor Frederik, Clausewitz nor Caesar, they know nothing.


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 05:55
Originally posted by AlphaS520 AlphaS520 wrote:

So ridiculous?
Cao Cao knows of ambushes, he knows of feints, he knows how to use decoy and deception, he knows how to maneuver, he knows how to interact physically (such as leaving a pile of gold behind his fleeing soldiers, hoping some of the enemy will stop and pick them up) etc All this, every single general of the Three Kingdom knows, and so does Sun Tzu, all this, Alexander nor Hannibal, Napoleon Bonaparte nor Frederik, Clausewitz nor Caesar, they know nothing.
The only problem with Sun Tzu was that he beheaded the 2 favorite queens for not following orders, but that was more of a benefit because he got the soldiers' (consorts) attention while they laughed the first 2 orders.
 
My Problem with Cao Cao is that although he was rid of the other Warlords, except for the Sun clan of Wu, when he attacked the alliance of Liu Bei (who was already defeated), Lu Su, Zhou Yu, Zhuge Liang, and Sun Quan, he never won a single battle. He was pushed away towards Jing Province.
 
But I understand where Aisin Gioro Nurhaci's position because he was more of a leader of the manch people, and he started the Qing Empire.
 
My question is, why is Kangxi even on the list? He was no general, he was more of a Scholar and the second of the Da Qing. Why isn't Qianlong on the list? He captured Burma, Anam, and Siam, so they would pay tribute for them not to be conquered.


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 05:59
The bigger question is, why on earth is Alexander on the list (seriously his tactical skills is like a child compared to all others), let alone second place.


Posted By: banna32
Date Posted: 23 Jan 2013 at 09:49
what a about paton


Posted By: banna32
Date Posted: 29 Jan 2013 at 11:22

1 Alexander the Great

2 sun tzu

3 Fredrick the great

4 Otto Bismarck

5 Julius Caesar

6 cyrus the grate

7 Hannibal Barca

8 Joan of Arc

9 Genghis Khan

10 Napoleon Bonaparte

11 Scipio Africanus

12 Charlemagne

13 Joshua

14 Peter the Great

15Manfred von Richthofen

16 Erwin Rommel

17 Mohammed

18 Heihachiro Togo

19 David

20Patrick Cleburne

21 George S. Patton

22 Spartacus

23 Hermann Goering

24 Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson

25 Leonidas I

26 Robert E. Lee

27 Winston Churchill

28 John Joseph Pershing

29 Winfield Scott

30 Nathan Bedford Forrest

31 Themistocles

32 Mao Zedong

33 Georgy Zhukov

34J.E.B. Stuart

35 Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington

36 Edward III

37 Oliver Cromwell

38 Babur

39Heinrich Himmler

40 Sir Francis Drake

41 John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough

42 http://blueandgraytrail.com/event/Philip_Sheridan" rel="nofollow -

43 William Wallace 

44 http://blueandgraytrail.com/event/George_Thomas" rel="nofollow -

45Ahuitzotl

46 Jebe

47 William Pitt the elder

48 King Alfred the Great

49 Nizam-ul-Mulk

50 George Washington

51 William the Conqueror

52 Richard I

53 Omar Nelson Bradley

54 Horatio Nelson

55 Francisco Pizarro

56 Charles Martel

57 Ramses II

58 Trajan

59 Tamerlane

60 Shaka Zulu

61 Saladin

62 Hammurabi

63. Robert Clive

64 Epaminondas

65 Georgi Konstantinovich Zhukov

66Joseph Goebbels

67Robert Guiscard

68 Chester W. Nimitz

69 Gustavus Adolphus

70Pyotr Bagration

71 Isoroku Yamamoto

72Bohdan Khmelnytsky

73 Khalif Umar

74 John Paul Jones

75 Isabel the Catholic

76 William T. Sherman

77Matthew Ridgway

78 Ulysses S. Grant

79 Publius Cornelius Scipio

80Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck

81Flavius Stilicho

82 Hernán Cortés

83Charles XII

84Robert the Bruce

85Frederick II of Prussia

86Maurice, comte de Saxe

87 john bell hood

88Reinhard Heydrich

89Philip II of Macedon

90  Henry V

91 Bernard Law Montgomery

92Joseph Mengele

93Piet Joubert

94Josef Kramer

95 Douglas MacArthur

96William T. Sherman

97Christiaan de Wet

98 Nathanael Greene

99Dwight D. Eisenhower

100 Henry Lee III

101Jan Smuts

102Koos de la Rey

103Alexander Nevsky

104 Odilo Globocnik

105Yusuf ibn Tashfin

106Hou Junji

107 Adolf Eichmann

108Ernst Kaltenbrunner

109Oskar Dirlewanger

110 Sam Houston

111 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cetshwayo_kaMpande" rel="nofollow -

112 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ntshingwayo_Khoza" rel="nofollow -

113 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dabulamanzi_kaMpande" rel="nofollow -

114 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Bartle_Frere" rel="nofollow -

115 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederic_Thesiger,_2nd_Baron_Chelmsford" rel="nofollow -

116 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garnet_Wolseley,_1st_Viscount_Wolseley" rel="nofollow -

117 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon_III" rel="nofollow -

118Maximilian I of Mexico

119Venancio Puz

120George M. Flournoy

121 José Crescencio Poot

122 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godfrey_of_Bouillon" rel="nofollow -

123 Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse

124 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_II,_Count_of_Blois" rel="nofollow -

125 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldwin_I_of_Jerusalem" rel="nofollow -

126 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eustace_III,_Count_of_Boulogne" rel="nofollow -

127 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_II,_Count_of_Flanders" rel="nofollow -

128 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adhemar_of_Le_Puy" rel="nofollow -

129 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_I,_Count_of_Vermandois" rel="nofollow -

130 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Curthose" rel="nofollow -

131 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohemond_I_of_Antioch" rel="nofollow -

132 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tancred,_Prince_of_Galilee" rel="nofollow -

133 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexios_I_Komnenos" rel="nofollow -

134 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tatikios" rel="nofollow -

135 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_Boutoumites" rel="nofollow -

136 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guglielmo_Embriaco" rel="nofollow -

137 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I,_Prince_of_Armenia" rel="nofollow -

138 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danishmend_Gazi" rel="nofollow -

139 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iftikhar_ad-Daula" rel="nofollow -

140 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Afdal_Shahanshah" rel="nofollow -

141 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conrad_III_of_Germany" rel="nofollow -

142 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_II_of_Jerusalem" rel="nofollow -

143 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amalric_of_Tyre" rel="nofollow -

144 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Ashraf_Khalil" rel="nofollow -

145 Henry II the Pious

146Baidar

147 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kadan" rel="nofollow - ,

148 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orda_Khan" rel="nofollow -

149 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_II_of_Aragon" rel="nofollow -

150 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathurin_Romegas" rel="nofollow -

151Jean Parisot de la Valette

152Jean de la Cassière

153Turgut Reis

154 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaspard_de_Vallier" rel="nofollow -

155Piyale Pasha

156 Lala Kara Mustafa Pasha

157Suluc Mehmed Pasha

158Agostino Barbarigo

159 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%81lvaro_de_Baz%C3%A1n,_1st_Marquis_of_Santa_Cruz" rel="nofollow -

160 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Andrea_Doria" rel="nofollow -

161 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcantonio_Colonna" rel="nofollow -

162 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebastiano_Venier" rel="nofollow -

163 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_of_Austria" rel="nofollow -

164Müezzinzade Ali Pasha

165 Garnier de Nablus

166Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam

167 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suleiman_the_Magnificent" rel="nofollow -

168 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mustafa_Pasha" rel="nofollow -

169 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurto%C4%9Flu_Muslihiddin_Reis" rel="nofollow -

170 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinan_Pasha" rel="nofollow -

172 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_de_Sabl%C3%A9" rel="nofollow -

173 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_of_Lusignan" rel="nofollow -

174 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_III,_Duke_of_Burgundy" rel="nofollow -

175 Saladin

176Akhtar Mohammad Osmani

177Mikhail Malofeyev

178William F. Garrison

179Mickey Marcus

180Yaakov Dori

181Yigael Yadin

182Fawzi al-Qawuqji

183Major General http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_Sharon" rel="nofollow -

184Uzi Narkiss

185Mordechai Gur

186Israel Tal

187Haim Bar-Lev

188Benjamin "Benny" Peled

189Trtsus

190Cyaxares the Great

191Demophilus

192 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hegesandridas" rel="nofollow -

193Dionysius I

194Marcus Furius Camillus

195Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus

196 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cao_Cao" rel="nofollow -

197Honorius

198Ambrosius Aurelianus

199 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Arthur" rel="nofollow -

200Odo the Great

201Abd er Rahman

202 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harald_III_of_Norway" rel="nofollow -

203Harold II

204John James Peck

205 James longstreet

206 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_ONeill_%28Fenian%29" rel="nofollow -

207 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitting_Bull" rel="nofollow -

208 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crazy_Horse" rel="nofollow -

209 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Armstrong_Custer" rel="nofollow -  

210 Nelson Appleton Miles

211Theodore Roosevelt

212 William Rufus Shafter

213George Dewey

214William Thomas Sampson

215Wesley Merritt

216Joseph Wheeler

217 Patricio Montojo

218 Ramón Blanco y Erenas

219Antero Rubín Homent

220Don Valeriano Weyler y Nicolau

221 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Decatur" rel="nofollow -

222 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Jackson" rel="nofollow -

223 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Sidney_Johnston" rel="nofollow -

224 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._G._T._Beauregard" rel="nofollow - ,

225 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braxton_Bragg" rel="nofollow -

226 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonidas_Polk" rel="nofollow -

227John Reynolds

228John Hunt Morgan

229Hermann von François

230Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg

231 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshal_of_France" rel="nofollow - Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre

232Charles Lanrezac

233Karl von Bülow

234Max Hoffmann

235Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien

236Alexander von Kluck

237Nikolay Iudovich Ivanov

238Nikolai Ruzsky

239 Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin

240 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshal_of_Poland" rel="nofollow - Edward Rydz-Śmigły

241Semyon Mikhailovich Budyonny

242Charles George Gordon

243 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_Marshal_%28United_Kingdom%29" rel="nofollow - Horatio Herbert Kitchener

244The Lord Keyes

245The Earl of Ypres

246Adna Romanza Chaffee

247Baron Fukushima Yasumasa

248Radko Dimitriev

249 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshal_of_France" rel="nofollow - Ferdinand Foch

250Karl von Müller

251Maximilian von Spee

252Radomir Putnik

253Živojin Mišić

254 Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck

255The Earl Kitchener

256Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton

257Marquis Togo Heihachiro Saneyoshi

258Yellow Emperor

258 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sargon_of_Akkad" rel="nofollow -

259 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necho_II" rel="nofollow -

260Troilus

261Nabopolassar

262Nebuchadnezzar II

263Narses

264Gustav Horn af Björneborg

265Johan Banér

266Lennart Torstensson

267Fernando de Sottomayor

268Antonio de Oquendo

269Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter

270George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle

271Willem Joseph baron van Ghent tot Drakenburgh

273Stephen Decatur, Jr

274 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom" rel="nofollow - - - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Broke" rel="nofollow -

275 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Naval_Jack_15_stars.svg" rel="nofollow - - - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Lawrence" rel="nofollow -

276Oliver Hazard Perry

277Alexander Macomb

278Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon

279François-Marie Le Marchand de Lignery

280James Grant

281marquis de La Fayette

282William Howe

283 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Wayne" rel="nofollow -

284James Wolfe

285Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon
Marquis de Saint-Veran

286Ferdinand, Prince of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brunswick-L%C3%BCneburg" rel="nofollow -

287Edward Boscawen

288Edward Boscawen

289William F. Dean

290Matthew Calbraith Butler

291Matthew Calbraith Butler

292Oliver P. Smith

293Walton Walker

294Jubal Anderson Early

295Ambrose Powell Hill, Jr.

296Winfield Scott Hancock

297William Barret Travis

298James "Jim" Bowie

299Antonio López de Santa Anna

300Joseph Eggleston Johnston

 



Posted By: banna32
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2013 at 11:45

300Joseph Eggleston Johnston

301 Mannerheim

302 vlad the impaler

303 Batu Khan

304 Han Xin

305 Nikolai Nikolayevich Yudenich

306Jan Žižka

307Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar

308Gustav II Adolf

309 Selim I

310Tiglath-Pileser III

311Yue Fei

312Murad IV

313Basil II

314Ignacio Zaragoza

315Militiades

316Aëtius

317Michel Ney

318Beverly Robertson

319Henry Jackson Hunt

320Sterling Price

321Heinz Wilhelm Guderian

322Vo Nguyen Giap

323William "Billy" Mitchell

324Iphicrates

325James G. Blunt

326Peter Wittgenstein

327Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr

328Francis Godfroy

329John B. Campbell

330Ely S. Parker

331Stand Watie

332Thomas Carmichael Hindman, Jr.

333Francis Jay Herron

334Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth

335Louis Lazare Hoche

336Sir Ralph Abercromby

337Alexander Suvorov

338Jan Henryk Dąbrowski

339Charles Leclerc

340Donatien-Marie-Joseph de Vimeur

341François-Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture

342Ferenc Ottinger

343Mór Perczel

344Artúr Görgey

345Tito Speri

346János Damjanich

347Henryk Dembiński

348Józef Zachariasz Bem

349Franz Joseph von Schlik of Bassano and Weisskirchen

350John Porter McCown



Posted By: Birddog
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2013 at 16:39
Patton was one of the stars of the second half of the 2nd World War. He was lucky to get a command when Allied strength was starting to become overwhelming. He was an aggressive commander who might have done better serving in the German or Russian armies where a disregard of high casualties was normal. However he was handicapped as being a general for the western democracies, who could not get away with huge casualties.


Posted By: banna32
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2013 at 10:57
hay i need more names and they are not in order yet


Posted By: Voltage
Date Posted: 14 Mar 2013 at 04:01
Originally posted by AlphaS520 AlphaS520 wrote:

So ridiculous?
Cao Cao knows of ambushes, he knows of feints, he knows how to use decoy and deception, he knows how to maneuver, he knows how to interact physically (such as leaving a pile of gold behind his fleeing soldiers, hoping some of the enemy will stop and pick them up) etc All this, every single general of the Three Kingdom knows, and so does Sun Tzu, all this, Alexander nor Hannibal, Napoleon Bonaparte nor Frederik, Clausewitz nor Caesar, they know nothing.
  One qestion how deep are this mans pockets that he will leave a a little plie of money when ever he is scared and running away.


Posted By: Voltage
Date Posted: 14 Mar 2013 at 04:06
Originally posted by AlphaS520 AlphaS520 wrote:

The bigger question is, why on earth is Alexander on the list (seriously his tactical skills is like a child compared to all others), let alone second place.
 
In compairson of age he was a child but I think you are being a little hasty in titiling him a child skills.
 
Do come and tell when you have conquered the middle east and part of india in 13 years of taking an active part in any army.


Posted By: banna32
Date Posted: 07 Jun 2013 at 10:18

250Karl von Müller

251Maximilian von Spee

252Radomir Putnik

253Živojin Mišić

254 Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck

255The Earl Kitchener

256Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton

257Marquis Togo Heihachiro Saneyoshi

258Yellow Emperor

258 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sargon_of_Akkad" rel="nofollow - - Sargon the Great

259 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necho_II" rel="nofollow - - Necho II

260Troilus

261Nabopolassar

262Nebuchadnezzar II

263Narses

264Gustav Horn af Björneborg

265Johan Banér

266Lennart Torstensson

267Fernando de Sottomayor

268Antonio de Oquendo

269Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter

270George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle

271Willem Joseph baron van Ghent tot Drakenburgh

273Stephen Decatur, Jr

274 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom" rel="nofollow - - - - - - - - - - - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Broke" rel="nofollow - - Philip Broke

275 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Naval_Jack_15_stars.svg" rel="nofollow - - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Naval_Jack_15_stars.svg" rel="nofollow - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Lawrence" rel="nofollow - - James Lawrence

276Oliver Hazard Perry

277Alexander Macomb

278Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon

279François-Marie Le Marchand de Lignery

280James Grant

281marquis de La Fayette

282William Howe

283 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Wayne" rel="nofollow - - Anthony Wayne

284James Wolfe

285Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon
Marquis de Saint-Veran

286Ferdinand, Prince of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brunswick-L%C3%BCneburg" rel="nofollow - - Brunswick-Lüneburg

287Edward Boscawen

288Edward Boscawen

289William F. Dean

290Matthew Calbraith Butler

291André Masséna

292Oliver P. Smith

293Walton Walker

294Jubal Anderson Early

295Ambrose Powell Hill, Jr.

296Winfield Scott Hancock

297William Barret Travis

298James "Jim" Bowie

299Antonio López de Santa Anna

300Joseph Eggleston Johnston

301 Mannerheim

302 vlad the impaler

303 Batu Khan

304 Han Xin

305 Nikolai Nikolayevich Yudenich

306Jan Žižka

307Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar

308Gustav II Adolf

309 Selim I

310Tiglath-Pileser III

311Yue Fei

312Murad IV

313Basil II

314Ignacio Zaragoza

315Militiades

316Aëtius

317Michel Ney

318Beverly Robertson

319Henry Jackson Hunt

320Sterling Price

321Heinz Wilhelm Guderian

322Vo Nguyen Giap

323William "Billy" Mitchell

324Iphicrates

325James G. Blunt

326Peter Wittgenstein

327Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr

328Francis Godfroy

329John B. Campbell

330Ely S. Parker

331Stand Watie

332Thomas Carmichael Hindman, Jr.

333Francis Jay Herron

334Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth

335Louis Lazare Hoche

336Sir Ralph Abercromby

337Alexander Suvorov

338Jan Henryk Dąbrowski

339Charles Leclerc

340Donatien-Marie-Joseph de Vimeur

341François-Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture

342Ferenc Ottinger

343Mór Perczel

344Artúr Görgey

345Tito Speri

346János Damjanich

347Henryk Dembiński

348Józef Zachariasz Bem

349Franz Joseph von Schlik of Bassano and Weisskirchen

350John Porter McCown

351 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobuyoshi_Muto" rel="nofollow - - Nobuyoshi Muto

352 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Kuperjanov" rel="nofollow - - Julius Kuperjanov

353 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Harbord" rel="nofollow - - James Harbord

354 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Lee_Bullard" rel="nofollow - - Robert Lee Bullard

355William Eaton

356Presley Neville O'Bannon

357Karl Mack von Leiberich

358Yuri Lisyansky

359Edward Preble

360 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_Marshal_%28United_Kingdom%29" rel="nofollow - - Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

361Daniel Morgan

362 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banastre_Tarleton" rel="nofollow - - Banastre Tarleton

263Sir Cornelis Maartenszoon Tromp, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baronet" rel="nofollow - - 1st Baronet

364George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle

365Oliver Cromwell

366Tugay Bey

367 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Hetman" rel="nofollow - - Grand Hetman

368Samuel Read Anderson

369James Jay Archer

370Nathaniel Banks

371Richard Taylor

372George Hume Steuart

373 Xenophon

374 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phormio" rel="nofollow - - Phormio

375 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysander" rel="nofollow - - Lysander

376 Alcibiades

377 Bái Qǐ,

378 Marcus Atilius Regulus

379 Gaius Lutatius Catulus

380 Jonathan Apphus

381 Antoine-Guillaume Rampon

382 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quizquiz" rel="nofollow - - Quizquiz

383 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_Pizarro" rel="nofollow - - Francisco Pizarro

384 Tariq ibn Ziyad

385Miguel Grau Seminario

386Mariano Ignacio Prado

387Juan Williams Rebolledo

388John O'Neill

389 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmuth_von_Moltke_the_Elder" rel="nofollow - - General von Moltke

390 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eduard_Vogel_von_Falckenstein" rel="nofollow - - General von Falkenstein

391 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_von_Arentschildt" rel="nofollow - - General von Arentschildt

392Wilhelm von Tegetthoff

393John Sedgwick

394Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox

395Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox

396Alexander William Doniphan

397Franz Joseph von Schlik of Bassano and Weisskirchen

398Prince of Windisch-Grätz

399Louis-Alexandre Berthier

400 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Illarionovich_Kutuzov" rel="nofollow - - Mikhail Kutuzov

401Charles XIV & III John

402Louis-Nicolas d'Avout

403 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand,_Duke_of_Brunswick" rel="nofollow - - Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick

404Ernst Gideon von Laudon

405 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Clive,_1st_Baron_Clive" rel="nofollow - - Robert Clive

406Sir Ralph Abercromby

407 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sargon_of_Akkad" rel="nofollow - - Sargon the Great

408 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thutmose_III" rel="nofollow - - Thutmose III

409King Wu of Zhou

410Ashurbanipal

410 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psammetichus_I" rel="nofollow - - Psammetichus I

411Sinsharishkun

412Xenophon

413 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gobryas" rel="nofollow - - Gobryas

414 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambyses_II" rel="nofollow - - Cambyses II

415 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miltiades_the_Younger" rel="nofollow - - Miltiades the Younger

416 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Callimachus_%28polemarch%29" rel="nofollow - - Callimachus  

417Eurybiades

418Themistocles

419James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, 1st Duke of Buccleuch

420Ludwig von Reuter

421 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Byng" rel="nofollow - - Julian Byng

423 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_von_der_Marwitz" rel="nofollow - - Georg von der Marwitz

424 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Allenby,_1st_Viscount_Allenby" rel="nofollow - - Edmund Allenby

425 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Chetwode,_1st_Baron_Chetwode" rel="nofollow - - Philip Chetwode

426 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Chauvel" rel="nofollow - - Henry Chauvel

427Ali Fuat Cebesoy

428Enver Pasha

429Armando Diaz

430Svetozar Boroević

431 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arminius" rel="nofollow - - Arminius

432Vespasian

434Titus Maximus

435 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huang_Zu" rel="nofollow - - Huang Zu

436Constantine

437Licinius

438Flavius Julius Crispus

439Constantius II

440Shapur II the Great

441Julian the Apostate

442Ardaric

443Flavius Aëtius

444John Troglita

445Bagrat IV

446Robert Guiscard

447Robert Guiscard

448Richard I Drengot

449Alexios I Komnenos

450Earl Van Dorn



Posted By: banna32
Date Posted: 07 Jun 2013 at 10:21
i need your help send me more names


Posted By: Orkushun
Date Posted: 04 May 2014 at 00:28
Why is Mehmed II always so low on these lists? surely claiming constantinople at age 22 is an amazing acomplishment on its own, just see what he conquered after that:
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mehmed_II" rel="nofollow - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mehmed_II


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 04 May 2014 at 01:18
I find the OP very subjective, although there was a follow up with criteria to be considered.

All of the generals listed, having regard to the time, methodology of warfare, politics and resources, could be said to have been brilliant but who's to say which of them deserves a higher ranking.

To do this, it would be necessary to research every details of the battle plans, the execution, force multipliers, exit strategies etc., and then study the same of the opposing forces.

I would not be prepared to list them in order without quite considerable research.


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“The biggest surprise in a man’s life is old age.”


Posted By: Gen. Albert S. Johns
Date Posted: 14 Jul 2014 at 15:06

Unless I am missing him, I don't see Douglas MacArthur on the list. I know that a lot of politics of the era probably hurt him. However, in spite of the "Doug-out Doug" jokes (perpetuated by the liberal media) he stayed in Corridor until nearly the end. His planning a execution of the Incheon Invasion made D-Day look like a cake walk. Most military scholars consider the battle one of the most decisive military operations in modern warfare. However, military historian Russell Stolfi argues that the landing itself was a strategic masterpiece but it was followed by an advance to Seoul in ground battle so slow and measured that it constituted an operational disaster, largely negating the successful landing. He contrasts the US style of war fighting with that of Germany by examining the U.S. military's 1950 Incheon-Seoul operation and the German offensive in the Baltic in 1941.Total U.N. causalities for the landing and taking the city approximately 550. See:  http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/journal_of_military_history/v068/68.2stolfi.html" rel="nofollow - http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/journal_of_military_history/v068/68.2stolfi.html

He had a incredible record in WWI including being hit with poison gas. I believe he was the youngest person ever made Brigadier General at age 37.Considering he fought in every declared war of the 20th Century plus Korea and was awarded the Medal of Honor and three Distinguished Service Crosses, I think he should beat out generals whose reputation is only gleaned from books and or stories.



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Gen. Albert S. Johnston


Posted By: Gen. Albert S. Johns
Date Posted: 14 Jul 2014 at 15:21
Regarding Wm. T. Sherman (on the 2nd list) in my opinion he should be on a list of war criminals instead of great generals. He reverted back to the old style of warfare that Genghis Khan practiced. that is Vicious attacks on the  innocent civilian  population, arguably a violation of the Lieber Code.Ironically, the great nation had moved away from that type of warfare. The burning of Atlanta, done intentionally by Sherman, was a violation of the Lieber Code.

He was an anti-semite who issued order to keep Jews away from his advancing army because he stereotypically claimed they were their to make money and take advantage of the situation.

His writings and actions after the War indicate we believed in and practiced a genocidal campaign against the American Indians and believed they all should all be exterminated.

In summary, Sherman was a disgrace to the uniform he wore.


-------------
Gen. Albert S. Johnston


Posted By: Voltage
Date Posted: 15 Jul 2014 at 05:41
Well said, Sherman was quite barbaric, but apparently being barbaric got Ghengis Kahn to the top of the list. Smile


Posted By: Gen. Albert S. Johns
Date Posted: 17 Jul 2014 at 02:26
True, but when Genghis Khan was making his name that was somewhat the norm.

Just 5-6 years years after Sherman attack and bombarded undefended civilians in the South,
Gen. Von Blumenthal and the German general staff refused to give in to the clamor or the public to shell Paris when the Prussians had it surrounded in the Franco-Prussian War. Gen. Von Blumenthal said a bombardment would be immoral.


-------------
Gen. Albert S. Johnston


Posted By: German
Date Posted: 19 Oct 2014 at 18:30
Wait a moment what about Henry Plantagnet the 2nd. They say he could power march his army across France in days he won wars where he fought the Scotts Bretons France half his nobles and his sons all at once. 


Posted By: Craze_b0i
Date Posted: 04 Jul 2015 at 11:23
Hello all I was checking the list and did not see General Ulysses Grant up there. I have only read a little on the US civil War (mostly just James McPherson's 944 page volume) but in terms of performance he seemed very strong.

Also Andre Messena I would question on the top 100. From what I know he was a fairly competent subordinate for Napoleon in Italy but when he went to Spain Wellington thoroughly out-classed him.

-------------
AE CC titles: Classic Shapes (x2), World2.1, Mongol Empire, Middle East.


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 01 Sep 2015 at 05:49
As soon as I saw Temujin and Napoleon atop the list I had to question its value.

I'm not sure Temujin should receive credit for the cultural expertise and techniques of his warriors.

Napoleon is responsible for one of the single worst blunders in military history. He more or less killed a half million of his own troops by entering harsh terrain with an incredibly insufficient supply train.

Charles Martel on the other hand is responsible for one of the pinnacles of military expertise at the Battle of Tours, and he is way down at like 78 or so.

Then you have Lee way before Grant... . Gettysburg should keep Lee off the list completely.

Belisarius, Alexander, Hannibal, and Scippio, fine (although I note that someone mentioned Alexander to be a great motivator, but he turned around because his troops rebelled). What about Salidan?

Patton should be nearer the top. And Forrest.    

I would also question any choice that has no evidence behind it. I think I saw some Babylonian and Sumerian names on the list. How can you validate those names?

Where you have evidence of the decisions made by the military leaders, I think the process in determining the best is pretty simple. Who demonstrates they understand the core principles of strategy and tactics, who innovated, and who made the fewest mistakes?

Patton, Grant, Belisarius, these guys were great because they were efficient and intelligent. They understood war. Sherman was Grant without the fat. Guys like this should be at or near the top of the list. Few mistakes, horrifyingly efficient, understood war. Above them are the guys who were just like them, but also innovators and/or demonstrated particular powers of leadership, like Martel, Hannibal, and Alexander. Below them are the guys who were decent but were less efficient or made too many blunders. And anyone below *that* level just forget about.

Napoleon is a challenge to rate because he had moments of genius, was a god with artillery, but also a complete tit at other times. If, for example, I had to choose between Patton and and Napoleon... Patton. Hmm, in fact, based on *my* knowledge, and I don't know much, but based on what I *do* know, I would put Patton, Alexander, and Martel in the top 3..

As for that rant on Sherman... this is a list of great generals. Should morality be a consideration? If so, then it was just as wrong for Temujin to commit atrocities as it was for Grant, because morality does not change over time. Ethics do, but morality does not.



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