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. #41
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Ad_Captandum View Post
    He may have been a very devout Christian, but believing you've got the Lord on your side makes you a BAD general, not a good one. I'm not disrespecting the guy -- I've read plenty about him, and he seems like a stand-up fellow. But you can't possibly say Robert E Lee belongs amongst the likes of Napoleon and Alexander. He just simply wasn't that great a general: He made bad tactical errors, he made bad strategic errors, and he lost the only war he was commanding in.
    I suppose that the "greatness" of a General can be measured by other things other than military victories. If being loved and respected by your soldiers and countrymen is one of those things, then General Lee is surely one of the greatest ever.

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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    You left off George S. Patton. It would be a toss up between him and Sun Tsu (Assuming he was indeed a real person)
    Patton as the greatest general in history? I'll grant you he was a good tactician, but he wasn't even in the top five greatest generals of the Second World War. I'd even put him as only the 3rd greatest American general of the Second World War.

    Patton has been lionised and trumpeted, especially in Hollywood, because he was loud and proud, and that makes for a good story. But the statistics don't show he was anything more than an above average general operating in a war that made legends. At every turn, he was important, but not instrumental; decent, but not brilliant; successful, but not wildly. He didn't win the war in North Africa -- that was Montgomery. He didn't win the war on the Eastern Front -- that was Zhukov. He didn't win the war on the Western Front -- that was Eisenhower. He didn't take Paris -- that was de Gaulle. He didn't take Berlin -- Chuikov and Zhukov. He didn't sweep the Japanese out of Manchuria -- that was Vasilevsky. He didn't go island hopping all the way to the doors of Japan -- that was MacArthur.

    I respect Patton immensely, as I respect any general who was successful, especially in such a war as the Second World War. But I can't abide the hero-worship that some people have for Patton, seemingly just because of an inaccurate Hollywood movie.

  3. #43
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Mosby View Post
    I suppose that the "greatness" of a General can be measured by other things other than military victories. If being loved and respected by your soldiers and countrymen is one of those things, then General Lee is surely one of the greatest ever.
    Your point has much merit in that unlike the losing general in most wars, Lee died a beloved figure by both those he lead and in many cases, those he fought against. I doubt there are many in history who lost a war but maintained his popularity as well as General Lee did



  4. #44
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Mosby View Post
    I suppose that the "greatness" of a General can be measured by other things other than military victories. If being loved and respected by your soldiers and countrymen is one of those things, then General Lee is surely one of the greatest ever.
    I don't think that even rates as a category. One thing I think almost everyone could agree on is that Generalship is contingent upon winning victories and/or accomplishing objectives.

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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    In deference to my forebears, I think Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington should also be on the list. He kicked Napoleon's ass twice.

  6. #46
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Mosby View Post
    I suppose that the "greatness" of a General can be measured by other things other than military victories. If being loved and respected by your soldiers and countrymen is one of those things, then General Lee is surely one of the greatest ever.
    Going by those standards, McClellan would be one of the greatest generals in history - but this is clearly not the case. Being able to command respect makes one a good leader and human being, but being able to win or to put up a good fight is what defines a good general.

    Lee was a good general in the military sense of the word, but he made the poor decision to invade Pennsylvania rather than reinforce Vicksburg, and then compounded that decision with Pickett's Charge.
    Last edited by MadLib; 12-30-13 at 01:13 AM.
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Genghis because he literally took a loosely knit band of nomads and turned them into the greatest army that ever lived.

  8. #48
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Ad_Captandum View Post
    Patton as the greatest general in history? I'll grant you he was a good tactician, but he wasn't even in the top five greatest generals of the Second World War. I'd even put him as only the 3rd greatest American general of the Second World War.

    Patton has been lionised and trumpeted, especially in Hollywood, because he was loud and proud, and that makes for a good story. But the statistics don't show he was anything more than an above average general operating in a war that made legends. At every turn, he was important, but not instrumental; decent, but not brilliant; successful, but not wildly. He didn't win the war in North Africa -- that was Montgomery. He didn't win the war on the Eastern Front -- that was Zhukov. He didn't win the war on the Western Front -- that was Eisenhower. He didn't take Paris -- that was de Gaulle. He didn't take Berlin -- Chuikov and Zhukov. He didn't sweep the Japanese out of Manchuria -- that was Vasilevsky. He didn't go island hopping all the way to the doors of Japan -- that was MacArthur.

    I respect Patton immensely, as I respect any general who was successful, especially in such a war as the Second World War. But I can't abide the hero-worship that some people have for Patton, seemingly just because of an inaccurate Hollywood movie.
    Not to mention that he wanted to keep the war going by attacking the Soviets...and I think he would have found out right away just how big a mistake that would have been.
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Proud South Korean View Post
    He became Hegemon, though admittedly an empty title.
    You have to admit though, it's damned cool to conquer the world by posing fancy essay on the Internet. Now that would be an interesting way to appoint people to positions of power
    Surely you don't think I'm here for my health?

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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Ad_Captandum View Post
    Who was the greatest general in history? We have a list spanning the ages, from the dawn of history to the Second World War.

    Who is your choice, and why?
    General Tso. Good chicken.
    Freedom of speech is not freedom from criticism.

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