View Poll Results: Who Was the Greatest Military Leader in History?

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  • Napoleon Bonaparte

    2 6.90%
  • Georgy Zhukov

    1 3.45%
  • Sir Arthur Wellesly (Duke of Wellington)

    1 3.45%
  • Alexander the Great

    13 44.83%
  • Ghenghis Khan

    8 27.59%
  • Alexander Suvorov

    1 3.45%
  • Julius Caesar

    1 3.45%
  • Helmuth von Moltke

    0 0%
  • Oliver Cromwell

    0 0%
  • Charlemagne

    2 6.90%
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Thread: The Greatest General in History

  1. #31
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by justabubba View Post
    Sun Tzu
    thread over
    Shakes head at crazy gweilo who thinks Sun Tzu was a single person.

  2. #32
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Marteau View Post
    I'm not trying to imply anything, I'm simply explaining that MacArthur's defeats in North Korea exclude him from the list. Look. The North Koreans invaded South Korea, and nearly conquered the entire peninsula. Then MacArthur and the UN show up, invade the port of Inchon, and sweep the North Koreans out of South Korea. Fantastic. He should have left it there, that would have been an admirable campaign.

    Instead, due to his irate hatred of communism, he decides to invade North Korea, and once he's nearly conquered the entire place, he sends scouts over the Chinese border. I can not think of a single way he could have ****ed up his campaign more effectively than that. And what does China do? They send a million man army to rout the Americans, which they do, and push them back all the way to the South Korean border, thus negating MacArthur's conquest of North Korea.

    For that, he is a poor strategist and general.


    Furthermore, I must note that stating the fact that America has lost wars, or battles, or disputes in the past, is not being anti-American. Only idiots and blind ubernationalists believe, somehow, that America has never lost a war, and that it's invincible.

    To claim that I'm trolling because I say that the American army was defeated in North Korea (which is a well-documented and universally accepted fact) is the height of ignorance.
    No, the "height of ignorance" is to gleefully say "total defeat of the American army" when South Korea was clearly liberated (and maintained) by said Army. So yeah, you're trolling. Or you're ignorant of the topic.

    Consider also that MacArthur's strategic recommendations were not followed by the civilian leadership. You can say it's for better or worse (especially as he recommended use of atomic weaponry), but either way, it's not a reflection on MacArthur himself.

    Never mind that the UN mandate under which the United States was operating was to repel the invasion of South Korea, not to "liberate" North Korea. Strangely enough, that repulsion was effected within weeks.

    So, either you knew that and chose to ignore it, or you were ignorant of it.
    “Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson.”-- Bernadine Dohrn

  3. #33
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Marteau View Post
    I'm not trying to imply anything, I'm simply explaining that MacArthur's defeats in North Korea exclude him from the list. Look. The North Koreans invaded South Korea, and nearly conquered the entire peninsula. Then MacArthur and the UN show up, invade the port of Inchon, and sweep the North Koreans out of South Korea. Fantastic. He should have left it there, that would have been an admirable campaign.

    Instead, due to his irate hatred of communism, he decides to invade North Korea, and once he's nearly conquered the entire place, he sends scouts over the Chinese border. I can not think of a single way he could have ****ed up his campaign more effectively than that. And what does China do? They send a million man army to rout the Americans, which they do, and push them back all the way to the South Korean border, thus negating MacArthur's conquest of North Korea.

    For that, he is a poor strategist and general.


    Furthermore, I must note that stating the fact that America has lost wars, or battles, or disputes in the past, is not being anti-American. Only idiots and blind ubernationalists believe, somehow, that America has never lost a war, and that it's invincible.

    To claim that I'm trolling because I say that the American army was defeated in North Korea (which is a well-documented and universally accepted fact) is the height of ignorance.
    MacArthur didn't send scouts across the Yalu River into China's Jilin Province. If he had he would have known that half a million members of the People's Liberation Army were massing along the border, and he would have prepared for their offensive.

  4. #34
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    No, the "height of ignorance" is to gleefully say "total defeat of the American army" when South Korea was clearly liberated (and maintained) by said Army. So yeah, you're trolling. Or you're ignorant of the topic.

    Consider also that MacArthur's strategic recommendations were not followed by the civilian leadership. You can say it's for better or worse (especially as he recommended use of atomic weaponry), but either way, it's not a reflection on MacArthur himself.

    Never mind that the UN mandate under which the United States was operating was to repel the invasion of South Korea, not to "liberate" North Korea. Strangely enough, that repulsion was effected within weeks.

    So, either you knew that and chose to ignore it, or you were ignorant of it.
    I totally fail to see how MacArthur's successful liberation of South Korea has any bearing on his defeat in North Korea.

    Look, here is the thesis:

    MacArthur. Does. Not. Qualify. For. This. List. Because. He. Lost. In. North. Korea.


    That's all.

  5. #35
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Marteau View Post
    I totally fail to see how MacArthur's successful liberation of South Korea has any bearing on his defeat in North Korea.

    Look, here is the thesis:

    MacArthur. Does. Not. Qualify. For. This. List. Because. He. Lost. In. North. Korea.


    That's all.
    for confirmation of this opinion, ask Harry S Truman
    the fellow who fired mac
    we are negotiating about dividing a pizza and in the meantime israel is eating it
    once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed

  6. #36
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Marteau View Post
    I totally fail to see how MacArthur's successful liberation of South Korea has any bearing on his defeat in North Korea.
    Of course you totally fail to see it, because acknowledging said liberation means there wasn't a "total defeat of the American army." You made no qualifications when you said then, so I see you're committed to simply ignoring that rather incovenient, yet incontrovertible, fact.


    Look, here is the thesis:

    MacArthur. Does. Not. Qualify. For. This. List. Because. He. Lost. In. North. Korea.

    That's all.


    No, you said there was "total defeat of the American army." It's obvious you're not going to back down from that overreach, but no half-intelligent reader can miss it.

    And as "him" losing in North Korea, I've already pointed out that the civilian leadership refused to back his plan. If his plan wasn't implemented, then it's not on him. Another thing you seem intent on ignoring.

    What's more obvious is that "Macarthur. Does. Not. Qualify. For. This. List. Because. No. American. Could. In. Your. Mind." Your feeble reasoning and refusal to acknowledge things inconvenient to your statement pretty much show it.

    Solidification of same: Napoleon. Should. Not. Qualify. For. This. List. Because. He. Had. His. Ass. Handed. To. Him. Several. Times. Funny how he made it, though. MacArthur never ended up imprisoned anywhere.
    “Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson.”-- Bernadine Dohrn

  7. #37
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Marteau View Post
    I can't respect Hannibal for his entire campaign.
    Addressed below.



    Quote Originally Posted by Le Marteau View Post
    Cannae is, of course, held up as one of the most decisive and tactically supreme battles in the history of warfare.
    Why did you leave out Lake Trasemine? It and Cannae make Hannibal unique,
    reason for which I gave in my earlier post. Also, Trasimene was the only battle
    in history where a general employed his entire army in ambush. Mention should
    also be made of Trebia, the first battle of the campaign. After Cannae the Romans
    were so intimidated that they declined to offer full-scale battle in Italy for the
    rest of the war.



    Quote Originally Posted by Le Marteau View Post
    But invading Rome with a bunch of elephants from Africa?
    It is impossible to say how much, if any, the elephants helped as beasts
    of burden. They are not known to have played any role in any battle,
    and some authorities think none survived the march.



    Quote Originally Posted by Le Marteau View Post
    Taking your army over an impassible mountain range?
    Impassible? What are you talking about? He got over with enough Iberian,
    North African and Carthaginian troops to open a campaign in Italy which
    was to last ~15 years.

    Numerous other great captains have also crossed the Alps to good effect,
    including Suvorov (if in retreat) Caesar, and Napoleon for sure, and I would
    guess Charlemagne as well.



    Quote Originally Posted by Le Marteau View Post
    They were daring tactics, and daring tactics are often held as impressive, but it's better if they work. XD
    You are I think confusing strategy (when and where you fight) with tactics
    (how you fight). Hannibal did well enough at both to impress the Romans
    quite a bit!



    Quote Originally Posted by Le Marteau View Post
    Hannibal lost the war.
    I do not dismiss this point, but I place the most weight on brilliance in
    personal command of troops in battle and IMO Hannibal has no peer.

    His less gifted brothers were the ones who lost the war, by their defeats
    in Spain and later in Italy. Hannibal himself nearly won the last battle of
    Zama, and probably would have won it if he had had enough cavalry to
    hold off the enemy cavalry a short while longer, because the Roman infantry
    was on the verge of collapse.

    Maharbal the original Carthaginian cavalry commander is said to have urged
    a march on Rome immediately after Cannae, and this may have offered the
    best hope to win the war, although every modern commnetator I have read
    demurrs on the issue.

  8. #38
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    Of course you totally fail to see it, because acknowledging said liberation means there wasn't a "total defeat of the American army." You made no qualifications when you said then, so I see you're committed to simply ignoring that rather incovenient, yet incontrovertible, fact.






    No, you said there was "total defeat of the American army." It's obvious you're not going to back down from that overreach, but no half-intelligent reader can miss it.

    And as "him" losing in North Korea, I've already pointed out that the civilian leadership refused to back his plan. If his plan wasn't implemented, then it's not on him. Another thing you seem intent on ignoring.

    What's more obvious is that "Macarthur. Does. Not. Qualify. For. This. List. Because. No. American. Could. In. Your. Mind." Your feeble reasoning and refusal to acknowledge things inconvenient to your statement pretty much show it.

    Solidification of same: Napoleon. Should. Not. Qualify. For. This. List. Because. He. Had. His. Ass. Handed. To. Him. Several. Times. Funny how he made it, though. MacArthur never ended up imprisoned anywhere.

    I am mystified by how we're still arguing about this. I am not denying or refuting or diminishing MacArthur's successful, and even brilliant invasion at Inchon, and subsequent liberation of South Korea. I am not denying, refuting or diminishing MacArthur's successful defense of the South Korean state.

    Neither of those things, though, have any bearing on the fact that the American Army was defeated in North Korea. You seem to be having difficulty with the conceptual difference between "defeated" and "destroyed", so let me explain: An army can be defeated, routed, and sent fleeing, or an army can be destroyed. The American army in North Korea was defeated, routed and sent fleeing to South Korea, where they began constructing the Demilitarised Zone after the truce.

    That is in no way a caveat to their defeat in North Korea.

    This is simple bloody progressive logic.

    As for the civilian leadership not backing his plan -- Truman and the lot didn't back his plan to nuke the hell out of China and the Soviet Union, because that was bat****e insane. They DID endorse his invasion of North Korea, and he DID lead the invasion of North Korea, and he DID lose to the Chinese in the stage of the war in North Korea, so that IS on him. Alright?



    Furthermore, it's absolute speculation, with no evidence or support, that there are no Americans on the list because of some childish hatred I hold towards them.

    What is more likely is that the United States is only 200-odd years old, whereas the people of most of the nations on that list are thousands of years old. Furthermore, American military might has only been noteworthy in the 20th century, meaning there's a very small window of opportunity, about a hundred years, for a great American general or tactician to arise.

    And anyway, there have been some. Among the noteworthy American military leaders, we can cite: Andrew Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Dwight D. Eisenhower, George Patton. But I believe, and I think most people would agree with me on this, that, as great as many of those men were, you can't compare them to Napoleon or Caesar, etc., who went above and beyond, whose names are not just standard fare for students of history, but standard fare for every human on Earth.

  9. #39
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by USViking View Post
    Addressed below.




    Why did you leave out Lake Trasemine? It and Cannae make Hannibal unique,
    reason for which I gave in my earlier post. Also, Trasimene was the only battle
    in history where a general employed his entire army in ambush. Mention should
    also be made of Trebia, the first battle of the campaign. After Cannae the Romans
    were so intimidated that they declined to offer full-scale battle in Italy for the
    rest of the war.




    It is impossible to say how much, if any, the elephants helped as beasts
    of burden. They are not known to have played any role in any battle,
    and some authorities think none survived the march.




    Impassible? What are you talking about? He got over with enough Iberian,
    North African and Carthaginian troops to open a campaign in Italy which
    was to last ~15 years.

    Numerous other great captains have also crossed the Alps to good effect,
    including Suvorov (if in retreat) Caesar, and Napoleon for sure, and I would
    guess Charlemagne as well.




    You are I think confusing strategy (when and where you fight) with tactics
    (how you fight). Hannibal did well enough at both to impress the Romans
    quite a bit!




    I do not dismiss this point, but I place the most weight on brilliance in
    personal command of troops in battle and IMO Hannibal has no peer.

    His less gifted brothers were the ones who lost the war, by their defeats
    in Spain and later in Italy. Hannibal himself nearly won the last battle of
    Zama, and probably would have won it if he had had enough cavalry to
    hold off the enemy cavalry a short while longer, because the Roman infantry
    was on the verge of collapse.

    Maharbal the original Carthaginian cavalry commander is said to have urged
    a march on Rome immediately after Cannae, and this may have offered the
    best hope to win the war, although every modern commnetator I have read
    demurrs on the issue.

    Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not cutting Hannibal down to stocks -- not at all. He's one of the fathers of warfare, one of the most influential generals in history, and his victories and defeats were all impressive in his favour. He is, beyond a doubt, one of history's greatest generals.

    But the question is, does he deserve a spot on the list over Napoleon? Over Zhukov? Over Alexander? I contemplated putting him on the list, to be sure, but I think I gave the spot to Alexander instead. But that's what we're here to discuss, isn't it?

    Does Hannibal deserve a spot on the list over one of the people mentioned?



    (As a minor note, I would like to clarify that the Alps are indeed a passable mountain range, but a costly one, for an army from Africa towing along elephants that had just marched along most of present-day Algeria and Iberia. I just think that it was a bad move, and given Hannibal's reputation, it would have served him better to just fight or scare the Romans out of a more hospitable route towards Rome, than trying to circumvent the fighting over the Alps.)

  10. #40
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    Re: The Greatest General in History

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    Khan was not a general. He should not be on the list. Most of the conquests he is acredited with actually was done by his generals, one in specific... Subatai.
    Without looking it up I do not think this is accurate- GK certainly did
    command troops in person in battle from youth well into adulthood
    against numerous formidable enemies, including China, whose conquest
    he begun and Subatai and others finished.

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