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Alexander - 7/18/2002 7:01:59 PM   
Chiteng

 

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I HAVE read the accounts of Alexanders Campaigns,
however the authors were suspect.

Alexander's machine had everything his enemys didnt.
Hit had morale, organization, unit cohesion, independant
command. No force on earth could stand up to the
Macedonian phalanx in a charge. That nice pig sticker
served just as well to keep horsies away.

His men were Vetrans vs conscripts. The Persian empire
didnt promote independant command/thinking. Darius
has TOTAL control, until his men realized that he was inept
and not only getting them killed, but losing the war.

Examine the Tyre campaign. He could not use his phalanx
there. It stretched out for almost two years.

Darius had the Immortals. He didnt need to run when the
Companions showed up. But he did. The man was a coward.

When they reached India, the magnates there were not afraid
of him. They didnt know who he was. He got a MUCH tougher fight
in even the minor skirmishes.

I am not saying that Alex was a dumbass, he wasnt.
But it helps to have a machine that works, when the enemy doesnt.

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Post #: 31
- 7/18/2002 10:33:56 PM   
rosary

 

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[QUOTE]Originally posted by troopie
[B]

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 [/B][/QUOTE]

Ghengis was smart enough to surround himself with very competant leaders to carry out his orders. In effect he was a good leader because he utilized the abilities of those around him rather than give strict instructions.

That was one downfall of Hitler. He would have done better to listen to his generals. Rommel specifically.

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Post #: 32
- 7/19/2002 8:39:13 PM   
jnier


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I second the votes for Alexander and Nelson, brillant tacticians and both had a decisive impact on the course of history. Manstein is a good choice also.

Disagree with Patton and Halsey - possessed overwhelming numerical superiority and acted wrecklessly (especially Halsey).

Napoleon slid so far in his latter years, that it's tough to vote for him.

I would add Davout (he was never beaten on the field, as far as I can remember) and Matthew Ridgway (maybe best US general of all time) for consdieration.

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Post #: 33
- 7/19/2002 8:47:15 PM   
jnier


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Oops I forgot to add Nguyen Giap (Vietnamese C-in-C). Defeated greatest military power in the world (US), as well as the French.

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Post #: 34
- 7/19/2002 10:35:05 PM   
Vincent Prochelo

 

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[QUOTE]Originally posted by jnier
[B]Oops I forgot to add Nguyen Giap (Vietnamese C-in-C). Defeated greatest military power in the world (US), as well as the French. [/B][/QUOTE]

Giap did not defeat the US Army.

US citizens and US politicians defeated the US Army more than the Vietnamese did.

If the sign of a great tactician is to keep sending men out to die in the hopes that the enemies home moral will break, then I guess he was a genius.

But the United States never lost a battle against Giap. NEVER.

The US never lost a battle in Vietnam over company level.

Anyways, Giap had a great plan, and it worked. But I don't think he could go in the same boat as commanders like Manstein, Alexander, Caesar, Hannibal, Nimitz, Patton, Napoleon, etc...

I mean, shouldn't he have some battle wins under his belt?

-V

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Post #: 35
- 7/19/2002 10:44:40 PM   
Unknown_Enemy

 

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[QUOTE]I mean, shouldn't he have some battle wins under his belt? [/QUOTE]

Agreed, Giap only won Dien Bien Phu vs the frensh, then he left US loose the political war while his troops were slaughtered in Viet Nam.

I find very difficult to put him at the same level than Alexander/Manstein/Napoleon/Lee

For Gengis Khan, I feel he was much of a genius political leader than a military one.

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Post #: 36
- 7/20/2002 3:02:25 AM   
showboat1


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Be careful how you rate Halsey. In 1941 and 1942 and during his time as COMSOPAC, Halsey had VASTLY outnumbered and continuously outmanouvered the Japanese across the entire Pacific Ocean (raid on Wake Island, raid on Marcus Island, raid on Marshall Islands, Doolittle raid). And by the way, what great military leader wasn't reckless at some level.

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Post #: 37
- 7/20/2002 3:53:23 AM   
jnier


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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Vincent Prochelo
[B]

Anyways, Giap had a great plan, and it worked. But I don't think he could go in the same boat as commanders like Manstein, Alexander, Caesar, Hannibal, Nimitz, Patton, Napoleon, etc...

I mean, shouldn't he have some battle wins under his belt?

-V [/B][/QUOTE]

I think you're quite right that Giap was not one of history's greatest tacticians, but that is not the point of this thread. Greatest Military Leader is the point of the thread. And Giap was Vietnam's Military C-in-C who developed a strategy that allowed one of the world's poorest nations to defeat, not one, but two of the world richest and most powerful nations. It seems to me that that is one of the more impressive military feats in recent history.

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Post #: 38
really? - 7/20/2002 4:56:08 AM   
Chiteng

 

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So Giap gets a win for a strategic victory?

So Victory is the only measure of greatness?

That leaves out Hannibal and Nappy, they were both defeated.

destroying 33 batallions in a wilderness is nothing new.
Look at Braddock, look at Elphinstone.

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Post #: 39
- 7/20/2002 5:50:26 AM   
Brigz


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"Giap did not defeat the US Army."

"US citizens and US politicians defeated the US Army more than the Vietnamese did."

Thanks Vincent for posting that. You saved me the effort of writing the same thing. I do rate Giap as a good general and Uncle Ho was a brilliant political leader. It wasn't the military part of Viet Nam that we lost, we lost the political campaign because we had a faulty and naive foreign policy. A determined people fighting for independence have an incredible moral advantage. Look at the American Revolutionary War. Very average to bad American leaders and troops beat the then most powerful military in the world, the British Empire. Because the colonies had the moral advantage. If the Viet Nam war had gone on for another year or two, there wouldn't have been any North Vietnamese left to fight. Militarily, it was a Pyrrhic victory for the North Vietnamese (and I guess you could say for the US too.) We didn't lose the battles, but we certainly lost the war because we had no business being there in the first place and we were totally ingnorant about the culture and mindset of the people of Viet Nam.

This is just another reason why I say that there never has been and never will be an unbeatable army. That includes the US army and Alexander's army. You don't win wars and battles because you have the best army, you win because you have the best leadership. Alexander is still my main man.

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Post #: 40
- 7/21/2002 12:02:56 AM   
Vincent Prochelo

 

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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Dave Briggs
[B]" Alexander is still my main man. [/B][/QUOTE]


And I agree with you there...

though I have always been fond of Nimitz...

The Japanese were pretty much defeated 6 months after Pearl...

:)

-V

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Post #: 41
- 7/22/2002 9:43:54 AM   
Nixuebrig

 

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the greatest one:

Wulf Isebrand


He fought succesfully with his Ditmarschner Kingdom vs Denmark, Schweden and a large partion of the Northern german kingdoms and won.

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Post #: 42
- 7/22/2002 10:19:24 AM   
CCB


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Hannibal - elephants over the Alps

Wellington - Waterloo

Sheridan - not Lee

von Rundstedt - did just as a good job of turning the German Army around after Cobra as von Manstein did post Stalingrad.

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Post #: 43
- 7/22/2002 5:13:56 PM   
Jacko


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Wellington. Just read 1815 The Waterloo Campaign, the German Victory by Peter Hofschroer and you will see him in a different light. Without Blucher he would have been beaten by Napoleon.

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Post #: 44
- 7/22/2002 7:00:26 PM   
CCB


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Captain B. H. Liddell Hart. It was his books that advanced the ideas of 'Blitzkreig' that the German Generals were reading in the 1930s.

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Post #: 45
Naval outlook - 7/23/2002 6:20:55 PM   
Curieus

 

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If we are looking at naval commanders, then Maarten Harperstzn. Tromp and Michiel de Ruijter have definitely their place in the galery of the Great. Maarten Tromp made several innovations in (the application of) naval battle tactics. And was relatively popular with his crews. Michiel de Ruijter was absolutely loved by his crews and was as masterful as Tromp in the control of his fleets and in choosing when and where to engage. He even picked up the english flagship from a major english naval base (Chattam). On a side note, the experiences of these two admirals were the reason for the establishment of the worlds oldest marine corps. The Dutch marine corps was founded in 1665 :). And copied throughout the world.

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Post #: 46
Some great names missing - 7/27/2002 8:01:17 AM   
Beatposse

 

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Horatio Nelson?
Scipio Africanus, the man who whipped Hanibal like a red-headed step-child?
George Washington?
Che Guevara? He beat all of Bautistas forces with some of his friends and a yacht.
I know Adolf was a ****, but he changed everything and managed to smack a lot of people around on the way.
McArthur actually proved to be an able statesman and run the enemies country. That seems great in its own way.
My head would explode if I tried seriously to answer this question, but I loved reading everyone's responses.

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Post #: 47
- 7/27/2002 8:29:09 PM   
WarBuddy

 

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Quote
"Examine the Tyre campaign. He could not use his phalanx
there. It stretched out for almost two years."

LOL, I guess not since Tyre was on an island, about a half mile from the coast. It also took that long cause he had to build a mole all the way to the island. It was'nt cause he could'nt use his Phalanx there. Look at any siege, sheesh. It just takes time.

Quote
"When they reached India, the magnates there were not afraid
of him. They didnt know who he was. He got a MUCH tougher fight in even the minor skirmishes."

Thats right, and he ALWAYS won, even in a tough fight. Look at how he defeated King Porus' at the battle of Hydaspes. First, he could'nt cross cause it was in the rainy season, and the river was way flooded. So he took 13,000 men with him 17 miles up stream till he found a place to cross. After smashing a reconnoiting force of 2,000 men with 120 chariots, which included Porus' son, he met up with Porus' main force. Without going into detail, Alexander defeated a tough foe, who had 40,000 troops with Elephants and chariots, whose line stretched to about three or four miles, and did it with only him and 13,000 troops.

Also, you have to remember, by the time he did fight the tougher battles, alot of his troops were men taken from defeated foes, and added to his own army. But he always got the best of his men, whether Greek or Persian or Indian.

Quote
"I am not saying that Alex was a dumbass, he wasnt.
But it helps to have a machine that works, when the enemy doesnt."

Thats right, and it was Alexander who made the machine work the way it did.

Yes, Alexander WAS the Greatest of them all. So great even the bible prophesied about him. 'Nuff said.

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Post #: 48
- 7/27/2002 8:32:52 PM   
Dare2

 

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Interesting read. :)

What about Tshaka Zulu?

Built up from a village or two into the only? (non-colonial) empire south of the equator in Africa. Developed great tactics. Mind you, he also had a decent wingman or two, some of whom scarpered with a chunk of the zulus to create other "empires" - like the ndebele and shangaan.

Also Ghenghis Khan, as mentioned.

Who would agree that the mongol empire should rank up there with other great long-standing empires like Rome and the Chinese dynasties?

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Post #: 49
- 7/27/2002 9:06:56 PM   
davewolf

 

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[QUOTE]Originally posted by WarBuddy
[B]Yes, Alexander WAS the Greatest of them all. So great even the bible prophesied about him.[/B][/QUOTE]
The holy book of Warfare?


Just agreeing.


;)

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Post #: 50
- 7/27/2002 9:35:11 PM   
CCB


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[QUOTE]Who was the greatest Military Leader of all time?[/QUOTE]

Oh that's easy, davewolf.

No wait maybe its wulfir.

No scratch that its definitely davewolf.

Yes, I'm quite sure its davewolf.

Though wulfir is quite good.....

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Post #: 51
- 7/27/2002 9:37:55 PM   
davewolf

 

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Where are you gonna hide, after I'll have conquered the world?

:p

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Post #: 52
- 7/27/2002 9:45:12 PM   
CCB


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Somewhere in the general vicinity of biohazard I should think. :D

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Post #: 53
- 7/27/2002 9:47:42 PM   
davewolf

 

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Don't bet on him. He's my favourite French salesman.

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Post #: 54
greatest?? - 7/28/2002 3:51:14 AM   
Waylander

 

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If the aim of war is to achieve the stated objectives, then all the talk of tactical vs strategic is moot.
Lee was a loved commander, so what??, buller was also loved by his troops and look what he did to them!!.
Giap never gets the press he deserves because after being a US ally and being trained by the US he promptly turned around and bit them.
The big Mac, ran away to fight another day.
In terms of how they affected history, then here are my contributions
Marlborough - changed the face of europe.
Gustavus Adolphus - likewise
Nelson - likewise
Ghengis Khan - likewise
Attila - likewise
alexander - reshaped the wolrd.

remember that europe was the world for these men.

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Post #: 55
- 7/30/2002 7:25:47 PM   
JediMessiah

 

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im appalled that noone has mentioned oliver north or col klink :)

my vote would go for alexander the great....

his tactics and victories were a product of his intuitive grasp of logistics ("an army fights on its stomach" - not sure, "amatuers discuss tactics, professionals discuss logistics" - napolean)

id also have to mention all of those in beatposse's post


hard to deny conquering the known world


-jedimessiah

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Post #: 56
- 7/31/2002 5:00:57 AM   
wulfir


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[QUOTE]Originally posted by CCB
[B]

Oh that's easy, davewolf.

No wait maybe its wulfir.

No scratch that its definitely davewolf.

Yes, I'm quite sure its davewolf.

Though wulfir is quite good..... [/B][/QUOTE]

Hey CCB, Darth Vader is the Military Leader above all the other clowns.

You of all people should know that.. :D

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Post #: 57
- 7/31/2002 11:00:28 AM   
davewolf

 

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[QUOTE]Originally posted by wulfir
[B]Hey CCB, Darth Vader is the Military Leader above all the other clowns.[/B][/QUOTE]
You've forgotten one above him...



"The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am."
D.V.

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Post #: 58
- 8/1/2002 4:30:54 AM   
Raverdave


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Sir John Monash, WW1, First AIF, Western Front.

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Post #: 59
Darth? Bah! - 8/1/2002 4:57:04 AM   
Beatposse

 

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Admiral Thrawn was a far better leader and he didn't even have a magical power to aid in his intimidation of his own subordinates.

On a more serious note, Otto Von Bismark is often considered
the greatest.

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