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. #51
    Sage

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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.
    I see you know about as much about military leadership as you do about successful working economics.
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  2. #52
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Proud South Korean View Post
    Curious thing is that Sun Tzu is mostly ranked below Zhuge Liang and Zhuge Liang is much better known in the East. Westerners worship Sun Tzu and The Art of War, but they should better study Zhuge Liang. His reputation ranks him as an almost god-like strategist, his duel with Sima Yi who is another legendary general is famous all over Asia.
    For all the battles we learn about in school, nothing is ever said of the Battle of Wuzhang Plains.

  3. #53
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Mosby View Post
    It would be easy for us to Monday morning quarterback 150 years later. But I will concede, looking back, that mistakes were made. I have an ancestor under General Garnett who was badly wounded in Pickett's Charge. His wounds hindered him through his 90's. But he LOVED General Lee regardless - the many reasons that we love General Lee outweigh any "mistakes". General Lee felt horribly about Gettysburg - it haunted him the rest of his life. However, the Confederate Soldier LOVED General Lee and forgave him and supported him throughout the war and throughout his life.

    This is an opinion poll on who the Greatest General in History is and my opinion has not and will not change. Allow me my opinion, sir, and I shall allow you yours.
    There's a cemetery beside a small Southern Baptist church in the MS Delta where my direct ancestors are buried all the way back to the Civil War. I'll be the first in the line not to be buried there...but my roots there run very deep.

    That said, General Lee was a good general, but he made some serious mistakes - even James Longstreet argued against Lee's sense of judgement. So...no, Lee was not the greatest - not even close to it.
    To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what hes doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn

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  4. #54
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    I see you know about as much about military leadership as you do about successful working economics.
    Are you defending Patton? There's no argument that he was above average, but if he'd had his way, we would not have stopped the war - we would have continued it against the Russians. And what do you think would have happened when he ran up against Zhukov and a battle-hardened force (with superior armor) many times his number?
    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. #55
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    A defensive campaign without foreign intervention would never yield a Confederate victory and had already proved to have disastrous consequences by allowing the Union to set the terms of strategic engagement and reducing already strained Southern resources by subjecting them to plunder, destruction, and of course--occupation.
    Very true. The North had already blockaded the South's sea lanes, most especially the economic lifeblood of half the South - the Mississippi River. Population and industry were both strongly on the North's side. The South's only hope was to defeat the North's military so handily that the North would have been forced to the negotiation table. Otherwise, it was only a matter of time.
    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. #56
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    I know many of you will disagree but... I think these comparisons are usually impossible. War and the requisite aptitude for it is extremely contextual to the individuals, their circumstances, and the time periods they lived in. What it took to wage war in the era of Akbar and Genghis Khan is exceedingly different from that of Napoleon or even that of Zhukov. The enemies they fought, the resources they had at their disposal, the national circumstances they made war in all have an enormous impact on this. If you plucked Napoleon from the 19th Century and thrust him into the 12th would he have been as capable a commander? The average soldier was of dramatically different stock, the resources one could draw on were not only more limited but sourced differently, and for all the comparisons of warfare between time periods there remained a fundamentally different way of waging war (in large part because of the previous two conditions).
    I think the point is not who had what advantages, because their enemies normally had the same advantages, too. The point, then, is who was best able to use the tools they had at hand to accomplish the greatest successes.

    For instance, Hollywood is full of artists who can make very, very lifelike statues with the tools they have at hand - especially with the advent of 3D printing - but would anyone say they're the equal of, say, Michaelangelo? I don't think so.
    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. #57
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Julius Caesar because of his seven summers in Gaul, culminating in the battle at Allesia. It was unequalled leadership that made his army dig in like a donut around the city and defend within and without. Not to mention his expeditions into Germania and Britain. If leadership is the judge of a general, Julius Caesar was the best, no two ways about it.
    "I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid people. I meant that stupid people are generally Conservatives."
    -John Stuart Mill-

  8. #58
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Pshaw. Ender Wiggen did that before he hit puberty. What else ya got?
    Yeah? Well, that particular outcast first named Temujin conquered Russia. Is there anyone else who did that? Ever? And he set in motion a machine that also conquered China and the Middle East, all the way down into Egypt.

    Is there anyone else who even comes close in all human history? No.
    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

  9. #59
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Contrarian View Post
    Yeah? Well, that particular outcast first named Temujin conquered Russia. Is there anyone else who did that? Ever? And he set in motion a machine that also conquered China and the Middle East, all the way down into Egypt.

    Is there anyone else who even comes close in all human history? No.
    Meh. Temujin Schmemujin. Go ask the Japanese how bad-ass Temujin is.

  10. #60
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Mal View Post
    Julius Caesar because of his seven summers in Gaul, culminating in the battle at Allesia. It was unequalled leadership that made his army dig in like a donut around the city and defend within and without. Not to mention his expeditions into Germania and Britain. If leadership is the judge of a general, Julius Caesar was the best, no two ways about it.
    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.
    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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