View Poll Results: The Greatest General in History

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  • Napoleon Bonaparta

    6 13.95%
  • Genghis Khan

    11 25.58%
  • Julius Caesar

    5 11.63%
  • Salah ad-Din, Yusuf ibn Ayyub

    1 2.33%
  • Georgy Zhukov

    0 0%
  • Alexander the Great

    11 25.58%
  • Sir Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington

    2 4.65%
  • Charles Martel

    0 0%
  • Sun Tzu

    6 13.95%
  • Akbar the Great

    1 2.33%
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Thread: The Greatest General in History

  1. #181
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Contrarian View Post
    1. Actually, yes, the start date would have had to be immediate...because the longer we had waited, the greater the repairs and improvements that the Soviets would have made to their lines of communication.

    2. The quality, the discipline and training of the German soldier was the best in the world...and look what the Soviets did to them. You're stuck on the assumption that we were, are, and always will be the best at everything...and you're greatly underestimating your opponent.

    3. Yes, there were commissars...but you're also assuming that patriotism was somehow foreign to the Soviet soldier. In THEIR eyes, the commissar was for the cowards who ran away. And they would have fought every bit as hard against us as against the Germans. Why? The regular soldier didn't know much about the Germans except that they'd invaded once already...and it would have been simplicity itself to point out to the Soviet soldier that the British and Americans had already invaded Russia before to prevent the success of communism.

    4. The B-29's wouldn't have been available until after the surrender of Japan...and after not only the B-29's were transferred, but also all their specialized support equipment. And let's not forget that they needed longer-than-normal runways to use, too. And on top of all that, you're assuming that by September - five months after the commencement of hostilities with the USSR (with their much greater forces and their much shorter supply lines) - that we'd still be holding France.

    AND let's not forget that the world was war-weary. It is unlikely in the extreme that the American and British public would have supported a continuation of the war against the USSR...because that's one of the big differences between totalitarianism and democracy. A democracy is more productive per person than a totalitarian state...but a totalitarian state doesn't have to bow to public pressure. Or did you learn nothing from Vietnam?
    The Soviets were no less war wearythan anyone else. They lost 20 million people.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

  2. #182
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Contrarian View Post
    I would say that as a leader, Julius Caesar would stand beside - but not ahead of - Genghis Khan. But Genghis Khan's accomplishments are many times those of Julius Caesar...

    ...but if the two had ever met head-to-head, Caesar wouldn't have had a ghost of a chance - there was nothing in the West before the widespread adoption of gunpowder that could have stopped Genghis Khan. The Chinese only held on as long as they did because they already had gunpowder.
    I dunno, if Caesar survived the first battle with enough effectives for a regroup, he might have shown the Great Khan some things he never saw before. Especially if he had lots of intelligence about Mongol tactics. Ah, it's just amusing speculation. I've been a Caesar fan since I read an English translation of his Chronicles. When he was governor of Provence he spent seven successive summers fighting against the Celts in Gaul, advancing further each year, and each winter writing about it. Good reading, and sometimes humourous. Someone sold him on a story of an animal called an 'elk' that had no knees. Supposedly it slept leaning against a tree, and the locals would cut trees nearly through- when the elk leaned against it it fell over and the animal was trapped helpless on the ground.
    "I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid people. I meant that stupid people are generally Conservatives."
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  3. #183
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Last I checked, the Viet Cong was destroyed in 1968, in the Tet Offensive.

    Guy, we left because we forced the North Vietnamese Communists into signing an armistice agreement.

    You call yourself a student if history and you think the Viet Cong forced us out of Vietnam through force of arms? Are ALL the historical works you've read written by commies, or what?
    Mm-hmm. And everyone who's not blinded by "American exceptionalism" knows that the REASON there was an 'armistice agreement' was that (1) we were war-weary as a nation, and (2) we couldn't bomb North Vietnam into submission. And as I pointed out earlier, while democracies produce more (thanks to better social and economic structures), totalitarian systems are better able to keep their people on a war footing for longer periods of time...

    ...and democracy being democracy, the American public was tired of war. We were done with it, we wanted no more of it. Sure, there were millions who still supported the war, but there were many more millions who opposed it...and THAT is why we lost the war: it was unwinnable in the traditional meaning of the word, and we as a nation essentially gave up.

    We lost that war. Get over it.

    And btw, no, the Viet Cong were not destroyed in 1968:

    The Viet Cong, or National Liberation Front, was a political organization and army in South Vietnam and Cambodia that fought the United States and South Vietnamese governments during the Vietnam War (19591975), and emerged on the winning side.
    To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what hes doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn

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  4. #184
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    It's a fact that Britain fed intel from Project Ultra to the Soviets that gave them the upper hand in the Kursk Salient.
    *sigh*

    Guy, you really should take off those "American exceptionalism" blinders.

    1. From the Wikipedia:

    In 1943, an offensive by the Soviet Central, Bryansk, and Western Fronts against Army Group Centre was abandoned shortly after it began in early March, when the southern flank of the Central Front was threatened by Army Group South. Soviet intelligence received information about German troop concentrations spotted at Orel and Kharkov, as well as details of an intended German offensive in the Kursk sector through the Lucy spy ring in Switzerland. The Soviets verified the intelligence via their spy in Britain, John Cairncross at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, who clandestinely forwarded raw decrypts directly to Moscow.

    2. So it was from the Lucy spy ring in Switzerland...and there were indications that this was affiliated with the British. But there's even now some confusion concerning the Lucy spy ring.

    3. But the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group - established in the 1990's to compile and make available such records - says something completely different about the Lucy Spy Ring:

    Intelligence professionals and historians alike have long regarded the Red Orchestra as one of the most successful spy rings that operated during the Second World War. However, the network that became known as the legendary "Red Orchestra" had humble beginnings. In 1939 Leopold Trepper, an agent for the Soviet military intelligence service, established an intelligence network in Western Europe. At its height, the network carried out intelligence collection operations in Germany, France, Holland and Switzerland. The Red Orchestra spy ring consisted of three main branches: the network in France, Belgium, and Holland; the Berlin network; and a remarkable group of agents, known as the "Lucy Ring," that operated from the relative safety of neutral Switzerland. The Berlin-based Red Orchestra agents included Harro Schulze-Boysen, an intelligence officer assigned to the German Air Ministry, and Arvid von Harnack, an employee of the German Ministry of Economics. These men, as well as several others, reported extraordinarily sensitive information from key areas of the German bureaucracy in the German capital itself.

    The Lucy Ring, perhaps the most important branch of the Red Orchestra, possessed some impeccable sources of information. These sources included Lieutenant General Fritz Theile, a senior officer in the Wehrmacht's communications branch, and Colonel Freiherr Rudolf von Gersdorff, who eventually became intelligence officer of Army Group Center on the eastern front. The Lucy Ring provided Soviet leader Josef Stalin with extraordinarily accurate information on Nazi intentions vis--vis operations on the German eastern front. The Germans apparently knew of the existence of a Soviet spy ring operating in fairly high levels of the Reich Government administration as early as 1941. However, like many counterespionage cases, it was only after two years of painstaking investigation that the case was finally broken.


    Guy, please stop underestimating the other guys - that's the worst mistake a man can make in a conflict.
    To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what hes doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn

    "...with the terrorists, you have to take out their families." - Donald Trump

  5. #185
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    The Soviets were no less war wearythan anyone else. They lost 20 million people.
    BUT - as I've pointed out to you twice so far - the Soviet Union was a totalitarian state, which meant that the government could force its citizens to keep fighting.

    Even more importantly, what you're forgetting is that the patriotism of the regular people of the Soviet Union was by this time at an all-time high. They had just soundly defeated the second major invasion of the Russian homeland...and if there was to be a war against the U.S. and England - both of which had participated in a relatively minor invasion in 1918-1919 - then so be it.

    Think about it, guy - if Mexico were very powerful and invaded America, and we'd just finally defeated them at great cost to our own people, if Canada suddenly decided to attack us, do you really think we would give up because we were 'war weary'? I think not.

    AGAIN, you're underestimating the other guys. You're assuming that their patriotism is somehow less than our own. But here's a clue: while individual people are wildly different from each other, people as a whole are the same all over the world - and that includes things like patriotism and the desire to defend one's homeland.
    To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what hes doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn

    "...with the terrorists, you have to take out their families." - Donald Trump

  6. #186
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Mal View Post
    I dunno, if Caesar survived the first battle with enough effectives for a regroup, he might have shown the Great Khan some things he never saw before. Especially if he had lots of intelligence about Mongol tactics. Ah, it's just amusing speculation. I've been a Caesar fan since I read an English translation of his Chronicles. When he was governor of Provence he spent seven successive summers fighting against the Celts in Gaul, advancing further each year, and each winter writing about it. Good reading, and sometimes humourous. Someone sold him on a story of an animal called an 'elk' that had no knees. Supposedly it slept leaning against a tree, and the locals would cut trees nearly through- when the elk leaned against it it fell over and the animal was trapped helpless on the ground.
    It's sorta apples and oranges. Caesar's armies were nowhere near as mobile as Genghis Khan's Mongol cavalry was. The Roman legions required supply and logistics trains, whereas the Mongols lived off the land (and off all those they conquered), and so did not need to maintain that logistics train. If Caesar and Genghis Khan had met in battle, there would have been no contest - the Mongol cavalry was simply too fluid, too quick...and in the case of the Mongols, perhaps even more well-disciplined than the Romans. What's more, the Mongols (like many in Asia) did not have that Western attitude that it's somehow more honorable to meet ones foes face-to-face, man-to-man in the field. Their attitude was that it was much more sensible to kill as many of the foe while at the same time risking as few of one's own as possible.

    The Romans - under Crassus, a contemporary of Julius Caesar - got a small taste of what facing massed cavalry archers was like at the Battle of Carrhae, one of the greatest defeats in Roman history. It's this battle that led to the coining of the term "Parthian shot", what we now refer to as a "parting shot".

    Don't get me wrong - I've always been a fan of Julius Caesar, too. He was truly a great man. If he and Genghis Khan had met on truly equal terms, Julius Caesar is IMO perhaps the only man in history who could truly have given the Khan a run for his money.

    But if you like this kind of stuff that I do, check out Dan Carlin's Hardcore History Archive. Right now he's got two series on that page pertinent to our discussion - the story of the fall of the Roman Republic (including that Battle of Carrhae), and the story of the rise of the Mongol Empire.

    Listen to those, and I promise you'll see why I think that Genghis Khan was the best general in human history.
    To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what hes doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn

    "...with the terrorists, you have to take out their families." - Donald Trump

  7. #187
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Contrarian View Post
    BUT - as I've pointed out to you twice so far - the Soviet Union was a totalitarian state, which meant that the government could force its citizens to keep fighting.

    Even more importantly, what you're forgetting is that the patriotism of the regular people of the Soviet Union was by this time at an all-time high. They had just soundly defeated the second major invasion of the Russian homeland...and if there was to be a war against the U.S. and England - both of which had participated in a relatively minor invasion in 1918-1919 - then so be it.

    Think about it, guy - if Mexico were very powerful and invaded America, and we'd just finally defeated them at great cost to our own people, if Canada suddenly decided to attack us, do you really think we would give up because we were 'war weary'? I think not.

    AGAIN, you're underestimating the other guys. You're assuming that their patriotism is somehow less than our own. But here's a clue: while individual people are wildly different from each other, people as a whole are the same all over the world - and that includes things like patriotism and the desire to defend one's homeland.
    Czarist Russia was a totalitarian state, too. How well did the Russians do during WW1?

    You're assuming that absolutisms existed in Soviet Russia, which isn't true.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

  8. #188
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Contrarian View Post
    *sigh*

    Guy, you really should take off those "American exceptionalism" blinders.

    1. From the Wikipedia:

    In 1943, an offensive by the Soviet Central, Bryansk, and Western Fronts against Army Group Centre was abandoned shortly after it began in early March, when the southern flank of the Central Front was threatened by Army Group South. Soviet intelligence received information about German troop concentrations spotted at Orel and Kharkov, as well as details of an intended German offensive in the Kursk sector through the Lucy spy ring in Switzerland. The Soviets verified the intelligence via their spy in Britain, John Cairncross at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, who clandestinely forwarded raw decrypts directly to Moscow.

    2. So it was from the Lucy spy ring in Switzerland...and there were indications that this was affiliated with the British. But there's even now some confusion concerning the Lucy spy ring.

    3. But the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group - established in the 1990's to compile and make available such records - says something completely different about the Lucy Spy Ring:

    Intelligence professionals and historians alike have long regarded the Red Orchestra as one of the most successful spy rings that operated during the Second World War. However, the network that became known as the legendary "Red Orchestra" had humble beginnings. In 1939 Leopold Trepper, an agent for the Soviet military intelligence service, established an intelligence network in Western Europe. At its height, the network carried out intelligence collection operations in Germany, France, Holland and Switzerland. The Red Orchestra spy ring consisted of three main branches: the network in France, Belgium, and Holland; the Berlin network; and a remarkable group of agents, known as the "Lucy Ring," that operated from the relative safety of neutral Switzerland. The Berlin-based Red Orchestra agents included Harro Schulze-Boysen, an intelligence officer assigned to the German Air Ministry, and Arvid von Harnack, an employee of the German Ministry of Economics. These men, as well as several others, reported extraordinarily sensitive information from key areas of the German bureaucracy in the German capital itself.

    The Lucy Ring, perhaps the most important branch of the Red Orchestra, possessed some impeccable sources of information. These sources included Lieutenant General Fritz Theile, a senior officer in the Wehrmacht's communications branch, and Colonel Freiherr Rudolf von Gersdorff, who eventually became intelligence officer of Army Group Center on the eastern front. The Lucy Ring provided Soviet leader Josef Stalin with extraordinarily accurate information on Nazi intentions vis--vis operations on the German eastern front. The Germans apparently knew of the existence of a Soviet spy ring operating in fairly high levels of the Reich Government administration as early as 1941. However, like many counterespionage cases, it was only after two years of painstaking investigation that the case was finally broken.


    Guy, please stop underestimating the other guys - that's the worst mistake a man can make in a conflict.
    You need to stop pretending that the Soviets won the war single handedly.

    Colossus: The secrets of Bletchley Park's code-breaking computers - B. Jack Copeland - Google Books
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

  9. #189
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Contrarian View Post
    Mm-hmm. And everyone who's not blinded by "American exceptionalism" knows that the REASON there was an 'armistice agreement' was that (1) we were war-weary as a nation, and (2) we couldn't bomb North Vietnam into submission. And as I pointed out earlier, while democracies produce more (thanks to better social and economic structures), totalitarian systems are better able to keep their people on a war footing for longer periods of time...

    ...and democracy being democracy, the American public was tired of war. We were done with it, we wanted no more of it. Sure, there were millions who still supported the war, but there were many more millions who opposed it...and THAT is why we lost the war: it was unwinnable in the traditional meaning of the word, and we as a nation essentially gave up.

    We lost that war. Get over it.

    And btw, no, the Viet Cong were not destroyed in 1968:

    The Viet Cong, or National Liberation Front, was a political organization and army in South Vietnam and Cambodia that fought the United States and South Vietnamese governments during the Vietnam War (1959–1975), and emerged on the winning side.
    You need to stop spinning history to support your blind praise of the Communists.

    The Making of Vietnam - Frank Senauth - Google Books
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

  10. #190
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Czarist Russia was a totalitarian state, too. How well did the Russians do during WW1?

    You're assuming that absolutisms existed in Soviet Russia, which isn't true.
    But - and you'd find this out if you read history objectively instead of seeing only what you wanted to see - in 1914, Russia was not only not nearly as industrialized as it was in 1941 (it was not unusual for a soldiers to not have guns - they had to wait until another soldier died in order to get that soldier's gun), but it was also on the verge of revolution. Russia in 1941 was not on the verge of revolution.

    Not only that, but Germany was much smarter in 1914 - instead of just coming in full force, the Germans also did their level best to help foment said revolution. If you'll recall, they were the ones who sent a Russian fugitive named Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov back on the train to Russia...and this guy later changed his name to V.I. Lenin. You may have heard of him.
    To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what hes doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn

    "...with the terrorists, you have to take out their families." - Donald Trump

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