Greatest General Ever?

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Greatest General Ever?

Post by mrcsn20125 on Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:35 pm

This includes all aspects of being a general; tactics, logistics, charisma, etc.
Basically, if you were the ruler of some historical nation who would you want to lead your army?

I would have to say Caesar because of his ability to consistently win battles against all odds e.g. Alesia and Pharsalus but Napoleon and Hannibal are close behind.
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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by Gabriel van Grëiser on Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:52 pm

Maybe Napoleon? I do think his accomplishments were great at that time. The italian campaign, the victory at the battle of the Three Emperors. This man imposed fear on the monarchies of Europe and his actions shaped not only Europe, but also the Americas, threatening to invade Portugal, made the portuguese crown, with british aid, flee to Brazil and promote the colony to a United Kingdom, changing the empire capital from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro (the only time it happened in history!).
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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by Brusilov on Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:05 pm

Me.

jk
Alexander the Great. Never lost a battle except the battle for his life
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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by scraplet1 on Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:10 pm

My pick would be Hannibal for his campaign in Italy. Even after his defeat at Zama he helped reform the Carthaginian economy and was an adviser for several other kings after he fled from Carthage
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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by mrcsn20125 on Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:34 pm

Brusilov wrote:Me.

jk
Alexander the Great. Never lost a battle except the battle for his life

Alexander was a great general but I think he gets a bit too much credit. Many of his victories against the Persians can be attributed to the great military that his father had established rather than his own skill as a general. Alexander clearly had an advantage over his enemy in the quality of his troops whereas Cannae, Pharsalus, and Austerlitz were clearly won by tactical brilliance rather than superior soldiers.
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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by Hannibal Barca on Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:47 pm

I'll say I am the 3rd best general in History after Alexander and Napoleon.

Hannibal have used the cavalry successfully in his first major victory at the river Trebbia and his win in Cannes was the biggest humiliation for Rome adding that his army was mainly formed of mercenaries which he lead them to victory.

His manoeuvres are still taught in Military schools and he is regarded as the one of the best Generals on History.
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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by Zek64 on Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:54 pm

Alexander the Great seems pretty great.

Hannibal's ability to always out tactic the Romans in battle was exemplary, but then Fabian came along and was all like, "nah m9."
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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by Bowtie on Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:29 pm

Probably the greatest General ever would be Caesar.

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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by Bowtie on Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:30 pm

But my favorite General is George S, Patton.

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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by Onward Painter X on Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:49 pm

Alexander the Great
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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by Bowtie on Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:46 am

Alexander the Great was a superb General, but his men were vastly Superior to his adversaries giving him the advantage, and that was to his father's credit.

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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by Carl Hamilton on Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:17 am

Alexander the great fought only 8 pitched battles, died young and lost his entire empire upon his death.

Julius Caesar became a megalomaniac and was killed, and mostly fought people of much lesser quality and unity. Until the civil war.

Napoleon also became a megalomaniac and was exiled. Also got a huge army killed due to his planning in Russia.

No no no, what you want is Subotai. The great Mongolian general, he fought well over 60 pitched battles, died at over 70 years of age, and didn't try to cease power or lose his entire army on a fools errand. Subotai, didn't just defeat his commonly known enemies or people just like him. His tactics proved effective from the east coast of Asia to hungary. He defeated armies from the two other biggest empires in the world at the time, conquered them and put their forces to shame. He defeated Indians, Arabs, Pashtun, Persians, Other Mongols, Chinese, Koreans, Russians, Georgians, Hungarians, Poles, Germans, Turks and more! When he was born he was a nobody in a small tribe. When he died he had helped build the largest empire the world had ever seen and defeated armies from 3 continents. He also probably sieged and took more cities than every other general most people can think of put together.
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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by AnesPaja on Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:53 am

Belisarius would be one of the best.He almost manged to unite the Roman empire with limited supplies and only about 15.000 men.Sure someone could say that Alexander the Great,Erwin Rommel,Genghis Khan etc. Conquered more territory than him but:
Alexander had more men (about 40-50.000)
Erwin Rommel (used tanks)
Genghis Khan (a lot of the land were steppes)
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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by AnesPaja on Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:57 am

mrcsn20125 wrote:I would have to say Caesar because of his ability to consistently win battles against all odds e.g. Alesia and Pharsalus

Caesar was a great general but I'm still a bit salty because he burnt down the library in Alexandria.
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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by The Spiffy Creeper on Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:09 am

There are many conflicting reports about who actually burnt down the library. It could be Caesar, it could be someone else.
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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by Loopdelooper on Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:14 am

How about Norman Schwarzkopf Jr.? He had an IQ of 168 and he led a successful campaign against Iraq.
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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by vespasiaan on Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:08 pm

Probably wasn't *the* best, BUT I do stand by Charles XII "Carolus Rex" being one of the best. Given that as a kid he fended off a shit ton of other European powers.

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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by mrcsn20125 on Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:15 pm

Carl Hamilton wrote:Julius Caesar became a megalomaniac and was killed, and mostly fought people of much lesser quality and unity. Until the civil war.

Napoleon also became a megalomaniac and was exiled. Also got a huge army killed due to his planning in Russia.

No no no, what you want is Subotai.

Napoleon's invasion of Russia and Hannibal's defeat at Zama are why Caesar tops my list. Also, I don't see how becoming a megalomaniac makes you any worse as a general, as a matter of fact it may have made Caesar/Napoleon better. Caesar proved himself beyond doubt at Pharsalus, he was outnumbered fighting other Roman troops under an experienced general.

Subutai suffers from the same problem as Alexander, his troops were fundamentally different from the ones he was fighting so the unfamiliarity of mongol horse archery to his opponents facilitated his conquests. He was certainly a good general but it's also worth mentioning that most of the mongol empire was empty steppes. The only land that they really conquered is in Russia which was already hopelessly divided among dozens of small states, China which was always militarily sub-par compared to Europe in my opinion, and parts of the middle east which was also divided between many small bickering states and was also dealing with crusaders at that point.
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Re:Greatest General Ever

Post by alac on Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:39 pm

I think it was Napoleon as from starting as Corsican artillery man, he managed to bring nearly all of Europe into submission with his victory at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805 and he was one of two generals to lead an army across the Alps(the other being Hannibal).

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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by Big_Appa on Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:03 pm

Here's a very interesting list from another forum that may be interesting to some: https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/the-top-100-generals-of-history.266934/.

My personal guess would be either Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan, with Belisarius and Napoleon being up there.
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Stonewall Jackson

Post by BigMacArthur on Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:05 pm

Either him or Andrew Jackson
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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by Bowtie on Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:04 pm

Andrew Jackson was a great General, but I wouldn't call him the best by far.

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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by Carl Hamilton on Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:49 pm

mrcsn20125 wrote:
Carl Hamilton wrote:Julius Caesar became a megalomaniac and was killed, and mostly fought people of much lesser quality and unity. Until the civil war.

Napoleon also became a megalomaniac and was exiled. Also got a huge army killed due to his planning in Russia.

No no no, what you want is Subotai.

Napoleon's invasion of Russia and Hannibal's defeat at Zama are why Caesar tops my list. Also, I don't see how becoming a megalomaniac makes you any worse as a general, as a matter of fact it may have made Caesar/Napoleon better. Caesar proved himself beyond doubt at Pharsalus, he was outnumbered fighting other Roman troops under an experienced general.

Subutai suffers from the same problem as Alexander, his troops were fundamentally different from the ones he was fighting so the unfamiliarity of mongol horse archery to his opponents facilitated his conquests. He was certainly a good general but it's also worth mentioning that most of the mongol empire was empty steppes. The only land that they really conquered is in Russia which was already hopelessly divided among dozens of small states, China which was always militarily sub-par compared to Europe in my opinion, and parts of the middle east which was also divided between many small bickering states and was also dealing with crusaders at that point.

You underestimate these areas quite substantially, the Chinese armies were in no way inferior to the European ones in the 13th century. Let's start with Khwarazmian Empire, it was one of the largest at the time, it was not steppe, and included Iran and Most of Central Asia, it was able to fields armies of over 50,000 something not many European nations could do at the time. Horse archers was known in Europe since Roman times, so I have no idea why you'd think that they didn't know about them. Don't forget that Mongols also fought in heavy armour and with sword and lance.

The Chinese had several cities approaching a Million in size and fielded even larger armies than the Khawarazmian Empire did. I do not know of any battle in which that the Mongolians won because people were baffled at how they had bows and horses, but I know several that they won because they were very good at their job.

Finally you say that they conquered just steppe with no one in it, that's extremely false.


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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by mrcsn20125 on Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:28 pm

Carl Hamilton wrote:
You underestimate these areas quite substantially, the Chinese armies were in no way inferior to the European ones in the 13th century. Let's start with Khwarazmian Empire, it was one of the largest at the time, it was not steppe, and included Iran and Most of Central Asia, it was able to fields armies of over 50,000 something not many European nations could do at the time. Horse archers was known in Europe since Roman times, so I have no idea why you'd think that they didn't know about them. Don't forget that Mongols also fought in heavy armour and with sword and lance.

The Chinese had several cities approaching a Million in size and fielded even larger armies than the Khawarazmian Empire did. I do not know of any battle in which that the Mongolians won because people were baffled at how they had bows and horses, but I know several that they won because they were very good at their job.

Finally you say that they conquered just steppe with no one in it, that's extremely false.

Well, the only conflict between a western army and a Chinese one before the opium wars that I know of is the battle of Talas which was a devastating defeat for the Tang dynasty at the hands of the Abbasid Caliphate, so that's where my evaluation of medieval Chinese armies comes from.

I never said that Europeans didn't know that horse archers existed, I said that they weren't used to fighting armies almost entirely composed of them, which is true. And even if they were totally prepared for fighting horse archers my point about the disparity between subutai's troops and those of his opponents still stands. Most mongol victories are because of their superior soldiers more than their leaders.

I didn't say that the mongols only conquered empty steppe I said that most of their empire was empty steppe, and almost all of their conquests were on flat land (the mongols were not nearly as good in hilly or forested terrain). so your point about the size of it is irrelevant.
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Re: Greatest General Ever?

Post by Samsid on Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:43 am

vespasiaan wrote:Probably wasn't *the* best, BUT I do stand by Charles XII "Carolus Rex" being one of the best. Given that as a kid he fended off a shit ton of other European powers.
Charles XII is not comparable to people like Hannibal and Napoleon. Yes, he had a great military mind, but most of his victories were due to the great morale of the Caroleans. I know that you stated this, and that he is indeed a great general, but not that great.
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