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Who was the greatest Military Leader of all time?

 
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Who was the greatest Military Leader of all time? - 7/16/2002 11:30:20 AM   
WarBuddy

 

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There's really no contest:

Alexander the Great, who else.
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- 7/16/2002 12:02:07 PM   
Fallschirmjager


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Robert E. Lee
Napoleon

easy thread to answer

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And the one with most luck was... - 7/16/2002 1:32:49 PM   
msaario

 

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... Julius Caesar! And I'd say he was even bolder than Patton! So crazy maneuvers, so incredibly lucky escapes and victories!

...The greatest...? Tough one. Zhukov? Guderian? Rommel? Yamamoto? Napoleon? Alexander? Patton? Mannerheim?

It's a tie for me.

--Mikko

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- 7/16/2002 7:28:44 PM   
Les_the_Sarge_9_1

 

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Hmmm, the greatest military leader was me (but you just dont recognise me in this life). Previously I was George S Patton, and before that countless others names of reknown.....I yes and as if through a glass and darkly, countless... ooops I am rambling again:)

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- 7/16/2002 7:37:55 PM   
Hades

 

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Pre-history- Cave General Thok
Ancient- Hannibal
Medieval- Barboroasa(spelling?)
WW1- ?
WW2- Pattoni(untill i can think of a lesser know general)

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- 7/16/2002 8:02:06 PM   
WarBuddy

 

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"Robert E. Lee
Napoleon "

I guess you must of forgot that these two were ultimately defeated.

Alexander was never defeated, and he did no less than take over the then known world.

Also, go and find out just how he did it, and look at the odds he went up against. I guess you don't know much about the history of this great person.;)

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- 7/16/2002 9:16:44 PM   
Hades

 

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Even if Alexander hadn't of died when he did, his empire would have never lasted much longer due to interal fighting.

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- 7/16/2002 9:24:07 PM   
WarBuddy

 

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Well, thats only speculation. Since he did die when he did, we will never know how long his empire could of lasted.

So, only the facts remain, he was never defeated, he took over the world, and changed the course of history. Which makes him the undispuded champion of all military leaders.

:D

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- 7/16/2002 10:32:52 PM   
rbrunsman


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[QUOTE]Originally posted by WarBuddy
[B]"Robert E. Lee
Napoleon "

I guess you must of forgot that these two were ultimately defeated.

Alexander was never defeated, and he did no less than take over the then known world.

Also, go and find out just how he did it, and look at the odds he went up against. I guess you don't know much about the history of this great person.;) [/B][/QUOTE]

By your reasoning, if your army was armed with all the modern weapons and my army was armed with sticks and stones, and yet, I managed to kick your *** for 4 years before finally surrendering because the outcome was inevitable from the beginning that makes you a great general and me a mere "also ran.":rolleyes: I think not.

I vote for General Lee. This string is being Eurocentric. What about Ho Chi Mihn (and he won with "sticks and stones" or Gehngis Kahn (he only stopped sweeping through the west because he wanted to IIRC).

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- 7/17/2002 12:38:51 AM   
Hades

 

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Ok, for a nonEurocentric vote-
Crazy Horse or Sitting Bull. Both were a huge thorn in the US Armys side for quite awhile.
Tito- Not quite a military leader but still.
Xeres- The Persian king who also took over the whole know world and lefta standing empire that is still around in some parts today.

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- 7/17/2002 1:32:01 AM   
scimitar

 

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Perheaps not the greatest, but for me one of the greatests: Xenophon ("Thalassa! Thalassa!"). He managed to transform a major rout into a well ordered retreat. He was not a victor? Well, I think that yes. He brinked his army back home, and that was a great victory...
Furthermore, have anyone read the Anabasis? Me well. Xenophon wrote without the emphasis of the ancients. In fact, it's like an actual report: subject-verb-object. "Loud and clear"!

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- 7/17/2002 4:52:19 AM   
WarBuddy

 

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"By your reasoning, if your army was armed with all the modern weapons and my army was armed with sticks and stones, and yet, I managed to kick your *** for 4 years before finally surrendering because the outcome was inevitable from the beginning that makes you a great general and me a mere "also ran." I think not. "

Thats not what I mean. Here's an example;

If you put Alexander say, in world war 2, up against Rommel, and he ( Alexander ) was familair with all the weapons of the day, had the time to train his men, plan his attack, he would defeat Rommel because he alway's seemed to get the best of his men, make lightning fast and decisive manuvers on the fly, and always found a way to win.

Thats just my opinion.

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- 7/17/2002 6:17:32 AM   
rbrunsman


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Warbuddy, sorry if I came off a little hard. I just don't think it should be a requirement that you be a winner to be the greatest. Or, should we say one of the greatest. There are too many variables to argue about who was the best.

As for American Indian leaders, I'd add Geronimo to the list. The US Army had no chance of catching him IIRC.

As for U.S. Civil War Generals, Longstreet was quite a General. And as for Robert E. Lee, his men loved him as a father. They would do anything for him. He is the single most important reason why the South lasted as long as it did. There are precious few Union Generals of note, I believe. Grant won the war because he was adequate and not a complete idiot like those that went before him. IMHO.

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- 7/17/2002 7:34:56 AM   
Brigz


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I'll go with Alexander too. Conquering the "known" world by the time he was thirty is pretty impressive. Even Caesar wept at the foot of his statue because he knew he couldn't achieve as much.

I'm surprised no one mentioned Thomas Jackson, (you know, Stonewall from the American Civil war). His valley campaigns are unexcelled and are considered by many to be the most brilliant manuevers ever. He commanded with mathmatical precision. Although a little weird and an exteme disciplinarian, he was none the less about as gifted as they come.

And although not the greatest, I have to put a plug in for my favorite general, George S. Patton. Of all the generals, I'd rather fight under him than any other. Get in, get the job done, and then move on.

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- 7/17/2002 8:26:20 AM   
troopie

 

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Jan Christiaan Smuts. Excelled at strategy, tactics, diplomacy and politics. He, DeWet, and Botha gave the British fits. But Alexander the Great was better.

troopie

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- 7/17/2002 9:37:43 AM   
Vincent Prochelo

 

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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Hades
[B]Even if Alexander hadn't of died when he did, his empire would have never lasted much longer due to interal fighting. [/B][/QUOTE]


No, he would have fought a civil war against those who dared to oppose him (not many, he was loved by his men, major quality in a good leader, of course) and defeated them. It would have been like Octavian defeating all rivals for Rome and her Empire.

MHO, of course.

-V

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- 7/17/2002 10:51:21 AM   
WarBuddy

 

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Ahhh...., I see those who know all the little details of Alexander's life are starting to come forward.

Once you really find out just what he did, and how he did it, you come to realise he was the greatest leader of all time.

IMHO, of course.

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err what? - 7/17/2002 11:08:31 AM   
Chiteng

 

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I am afraid I must promote an unpopular man.

Marlbourgh.

He did more with less and accomplished so much with so little
that he has to be mentioned. I am no anglophile, but
this man, was simply amazing. Its like reading fantasy.
His Rhine campaign was a masterpiece.

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Alexander - 7/17/2002 11:14:17 AM   
Chiteng

 

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Actually I have to say Alex was gifted with a few BIG advantages.
He didnt have to build his army, daddy did.
His army could NOT be beaten in a fair fight. PERIOD.
They were the sans-cullotes of the ancient world.

However more than that, he faced cowardly opponents.
If you read the accounts of his various battles you will find that
often he started to LOSE, but he would win by the simple
expedience of sending the companions after Darius.

Darius would see them comming and the coward would run.
His army would see him run and say to themselves:
'maybe he knows something we dont'

Then they would run.

It is revealing that when he encountered opponents OTHER
than Darius, he was always given the hard fight.

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- 7/17/2002 12:28:24 PM   
Brigz


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Chiteng wrote:
"His army could NOT be beaten in a fair fight. PERIOD."

I disagree. No army is ever quaranteed victory. He may have been victorious, but in war anything can happen, and he was never assured defeat. In battle, in any era, there is no such thing as a sure thing. You only have victory after you've won, not before.

"If you read the accounts of his various battles you will find that
often he started to LOSE, but he would win by the simple
expedience of sending the companions after Darius."

And that's what made him Alexander "the Great". One of his talents was knowing how to snatch victory from defeat. Knowing your enemy's weakness and exploiting that weakness is a basic tactic. Alexander knew his Sun Tzu.

"It is revealing that when he encountered opponents OTHER
than Darius, he was always given the hard fight."

And won. He could have lost some of those hard fights. As I said before, his army was never quaranteed victory.

I don't think Alexander was the best because he won every battle. I think he was best because of his accomplishments in such a short, young life. And the magnitude of those accomplishments relative to his time.

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- 7/17/2002 1:23:21 PM   
Fallschirmjager


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I ddint mean to start an argument.


Alexander is quite the man but I dont think hes the greatest.

There are so many I put but I listed the ones I liked the best.

Napoleon won great victories with the French which is absouloutly mnin boggling.

Lee won great victories with his army almost always being outmanned and out supplied.

Yes both were ultimatly defeated but a General is only as good as his army.


Im suprised to see so many Patton votes as well....
He is extremely overated in my book being up their with Nimitz and McArthur

Ill take Bradley Van Halsey and Fletcher any day.

Also while not a leader per say but quite a **** good soldier is "chesty" Puller

God he was the man

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well - 7/17/2002 2:33:42 PM   
Chiteng

 

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Patton would have been nothing without ULTRA

Lee was erratic and he had a habit of shuffling people he didnt like OUT of Virginia. There is no doubt he had a fine mind.
If he had only been 10 years younger.

Napoleon like Alexander had a military machine that could NOT
be beaten in a fair fight. He had the advantage in that he KNEW that. One can only wonder what would have happened had he gone into the navy instead of the army. He was a brillant man
there is no doubt. He won with conscripts and that isnt easy to do.

Puller was lucky, lets admit it. He was recklass to the extreme
but he never got killed.

I myself like Collins for the USA, but he was no Marlbough.
Only Sherman stands alone for the USA unless you like Forrest.

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Manstein - 7/17/2002 4:10:35 PM   
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Yes, the inevitable Manstein. I don't see a Patton turning the tide after Stalingrad as Manstein did. Patton and most other allied generals for that matter, only won because they were backed by the greatest war industry the world has ever seen. Manstein wasn't a gambler, like Rommel and he exactly knew what his troops were capable of. It's a pity he didn't have the courage to stand up to Hitler during the Stalingrad period, but he must have had his reasons. Model was another brilliant general, who would be my second choice.

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- 7/18/2002 2:02:18 AM   
Fallschirmjager


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[QUOTE]Lee was erratic and he had a habit of shuffling people he didnt like OUT of Virginia. There is no doubt he had a fine mind. [/QUOTE]

Actually thats not true, Lees biggest flaw was that he kept incompotent ppl in his army too long.

Jeff Davis had a habit of shuffling ppl out of command that he didnt like. Not Lee.

Puller was reckless and lucky but thats part of what made him so cool.

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- 7/18/2002 2:06:43 AM   
rosary

 

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I don't think a greatest military leader of all time can accurately be named as there are so many to choose from.

However, after reading the rise and fall of the Mongol Empire, I do have to suggest that Ghengiz Khan should have at least a mention. He had the fastest expanding empire of all time. And when he died the empire began to crumble.

I'd also suggest that Saladin was a great military leader as well.

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- 7/18/2002 5:32:11 AM   
showboat1


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First of all, don't down mark people because they were "lucky". George Washington had horses shot from under him (three during one battle), bullets through his hat, bullets hrough his clothes, but no bullets in his body. He was still a fine commander in the sense of sharing the danger of his troops. (He would not make my top 20 though, never understood protecting his flanks and always got too complex in his orders of battle).

Puller was the OMHO the greatest Marine commander ever. The lack of a Medal of Honor for him when many recipients did less (I'm sorry but Adm. Kidd got on simply for being on the Arizona's bridge when it exploded) is a black mark on the history of the Corps.

This poll has been rather land oriented. What about naval commanders? Lord Nelson wiped out an entire fleet. So did Togo. What about Spruance (Midway) and Halsey (Yes the typhoons and leaving the Leyte landings uncovered were a mistake)?

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He was Great! - 7/18/2002 7:02:16 AM   
VictorH

 

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Of course Alexander the Great was the greatest of them all. Think of all the tactics we take for granted now. He was the General who first did those things. Things like supporting and assault across a river with archers and ballista support.

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- 7/18/2002 11:10:46 AM   
troopie

 

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[QUOTE]Originally posted by rosary
[B]I don't think a greatest military leader of all time can accurately be named as there are so many to choose from.

However, after reading the rise and fall of the Mongol Empire, I do have to suggest that Ghengiz Khan should have at least a mention. He had the fastest expanding empire of all time. And when he died the empire began to crumble.

I'd also suggest that Saladin was a great military leader as well. [/B][/QUOTE]

Subotai did much of Genghis Khan's tactical thinking for him. As Bayan did for Kublai. Genghis' strengths were political, strategic and logistic.

What about our own Wild Bill Wilder, who did the thinking while Wellington did the posing?

troopie

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- 7/18/2002 2:46:56 PM   
WarBuddy

 

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Posted by Chiteng
"His army could NOT be beaten in a fair fight. PERIOD."

What would you call fair? At the battle of Gaugamela, Some figures state Darius army consisted of a million men, 40,000 cavalry, many scythed chariots, and some elephants. Alexander met them with 40,000 men, and 8,000 cavalry. I think one could say Darius had a huge advantage. Except Alexander proved that its not numbers that matter, its what you do with them.

" If you read the accounts of his various battles you will find that
often he started to LOSE, but he would win by the simple
expedience of sending the companions after Darius. "

Don't you mean he used them at the right time? Going back to the battle of Gaugamela again, he did not win by simply sending the Companions after Darius. In front of Darius were fifty chariots and fifteen elephants. On the sides of these were a large number of scythed chariots. Darius would not be easy to get to. All depended on the opening manoeuvres. Alexander had anticipated the right moment when Darius opened up a gap by sending his cavalry to assist with the fighting on the right wing.
Then Alexander did'nt just "send" the Companions, as you say, he led them in a charge through the gap to fight his way toward Darius. And this is just one battle. There are many more that are just amazing to read about.

Again, I say if you go and really read the details of his life, one must come to the conclusion that he Was the greatest of all time.

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- 7/18/2002 6:45:17 PM   
Veer


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As the greatest military leader of all time I would have to go with Alexander also.
Just for his sheer ability to inspire, lead from the front, and ability to improvise.
Though he didn't conquer the known world, just found out that the world was a much bigger place than he had thought.:)

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