Greatest Military Leader?

Greatest Military Leader?


  • Total voters
    43

yanjonm

New User
So I was in lecture hall today listening to the professor talk about the Napoleonic Wars, and this got me thinking, who is the greatest military leader of all time?
 

Andres

G.O.A.T.
Genghis Khan. By ten thousand miles (or a whole continent, for that matter :p)

Although I would throw some Attila the Hun to the mix ;)
 

max

Legend
I have to say Alexander, simply because he was up against, as a rule, much better organized forces. He also had to develop a more complex organizational structure to make it work, as well as principalities; dealt with local and regional economic concerns.
 

max

Legend
You know, if you put Rommel here (why Rommel?), you probably should also include Robert E. Lee and other strategic masters.

I like Washington on the this; he gets underappreciated. His greatest gift was walking away from becoming the first King of America, walking away from total power in order to allow a democracy to grow.
 

Phil

Hall of Fame
You know, if you put Rommel here (why Rommel?), you probably should also include Robert E. Lee and other strategic masters.

I like Washington on the this; he gets underappreciated. His greatest gift was walking away from becoming the first King of America, walking away from total power in order to allow a democracy to grow.
But the dirty little secret of US history is that Washington was a mediocre MILITARY leader-at best. He was known for poor tactics (other than his ability to retreat from certain defeat) and lack-at least for a general-of aggressivness. Even Benedict Arnold (a "traitor") was a superior commander.

But what Washington lacked in tactical and strategic ability he made up in his ability to inspire his men and his country to fight on. He had a certain aura...
 

yanjonm

New User
I had a pretty long list (Lee, Grant, Hannibal, etc) and couldn't fit all of them, so I left an "other" section.
 

Moz

Hall of Fame
I vote for Wellington. He should certainly be there rather than Napoleon considering he beat them in the great head to head.
 

max

Legend
Yes, Grant would be an interesting addition, along with Eisenhower.

Washington's modest military skills have been pretty well bruited in recent years. His symbolism in pulling together very disparate groups and colonies and his abdication of dictatorship, however, are, to me, stunning. It's like walking away from a major diamond.
 

Kenny022593

Professional
OMFG I WAS DEFFINATELY THINKING ABOUT THIS TOO THE OTHER DAY! except my list was who was the greater leader napolean, ghengis khan, or alexander the great, and does alexander the great truely deserve the title of the great haha strange world

btw by military do you mean who controlled the most land that was KNOWN of at the time of just the greatest force?
 

max

Legend
You know, I'm an old guy, so forgive me. . . is some of the interest in this thread generated by those computer games, that world of warcraft stuff?
 

vbranis

Professional
Genghis Khan was the GMLOAT.

Michael the Brave is also worth mentioning, he defeated the Ottoman Empire and the Hungarian Army despite being greatly outnumbered in both. I think he never even lost a single battle. He was like Nadal at RG. Too bad he was assassinated by one of his own power-hungry allies, he could have done even more.
 

gj011

Banned
Genghis Khan was the GMLOAT.

Michael the Brave is also worth mentioning, he defeated the Ottoman Empire and the Hungarian Army despite being greatly outnumbered in both. I think he never even lost a single battle. He was like Nadal at RG. Too bad he was assassinated by one of his own power-hungry allies, he could have done even more.
Genghis Khan is missing career grand slam to be the GMLOAT. Also he never fought on hard surface. He was grass specialist.
 

soyizgood

G.O.A.T.
Tamarlane (or Timur Leng) was utterly ruthless and unstoppable as leader of the Mongols. Crushed the Ottomans at Ankara, burned Delhi to the ground, scared cities from Turkey to China up to Central Asia. He was a brilliant tactician and if old age had not got him, he would have re-captured China.
 

Tempest344

Professional
Hannibal should get a mention..If it wasn't for Carthage not giving him more supplies and troops when he needed them he could have well defeated Rome..he already had them on their Knees
 

vbranis

Professional
Genghis Khan is missing career grand slam to be the GMLOAT. Also he never fought on hard surface. He was grass specialist.
During his peak years 1219-1222, he was practically unbeatable. It was only his footwork that let him down afterwards caused by possible mononucleosis. He was the first to use siege warfare, which later was a staple of all MLs. Furthermore, the 13th century was an era of great hard courters, such as the Mamluks, who counterpunched their way to victories.
 

yanjonm

New User
About Alexander the Great, guys relax. It's a mistake. Mail this in to Leno's Headlines if it makes you happier. :rolleyes:

Kenny022593, by military leader, I mean who commanded his troops effectively, conquered the most land, longevity, most influential on conquered peoples, etc.

Max, perhaps it's because of WoW, but I don't play it.
 

FitzRoy

Professional
Genghis Khan seems a bit overrated to me, in terms of conquest. Conquests under him led to a massive land empire, true; but if you look at the map of the empire at his death:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Genghis_khan_empire_at_his_death.png

It doesn't impress me as much as it might because it seems that the Mongol empire under Genghis expanded only to the edges of other powerful states at the time. It was not until after his death that the Mongol empire achieved conquest over the military forces of Korea, the Chinese Song dynasty, the Rus principalities, and the states in the Near East.

In other words, most of the impressive Mongol conquests were carried out by Genghis' successors, rather than by Genghis himself. Genghis' conquests mostly look to consist of one huge stretch of relatively thinly populated territory.

Unless someone can point out a military victory of Genghis over an established, powerful foe, then Alexander's decisive defeat of the powerful Persian empire is more impressive to me, and Alexander is only second on my list: second to Napoleon.
 
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Moz

Hall of Fame
Unless someone can point out a military victory of Genghis over an established, powerful foe, then Alexander's decisive defeat of the powerful Persian empire is more impressive to me, and Alexander is only second on my list: second to Napoleon.
Surely Napoleon lost too many major battles - not always because of numerical disadvantage. (Invasion of Russia, Leipzig, Waterloo.....)
 

random guy

Professional
It is a huge mistake when asking a history quistion like this.
Of course is HUGE. If you ask a historical question and make such on obvious mistake don't expect to be taken very seriously. If it's okay to be so unacurate I put forward Mussollini, Lord of The Aussies.
 

FitzRoy

Professional
Surely Napoleon lost too many major battles - not always because of numerical disadvantage. (Invasion of Russia, Leipzig, Waterloo.....)
I'm not sure what you mean by this - none of the three examples you cite adheres to the preceding statement (losing a major battle without being at a numerical disadvantage).


There was certainly a decisive numerical disadvantage against Napoleon at both Leipzig and Waterloo. In both instances Napoleon's forces were outnumbered by a factor of nearly 2 to 1.

-He only offered battle at Waterloo to engage Prussian and British forces while they were still on conceivably beatable terms - IE, before the other Coalition forces could arrive and have him outnumbered by a factor even greater than 2 to 1.

-French forces at Leipzig were less than 200,000, while Coalition (Coalition at this time being Sweden, Russia, Prussia, and Austria) forces numbered nearly 400,000. Even more critical was that the French had less than half as many cannons as Coalition forces (estimated 700 vs. 1500).


I don't know why you cite the Russian invasion as a defeat in battle - Napoleon was victorious in the only major battle fought on Russian soil. Certainly the campaign ended up a disaster, but Napoleon did not actually lose a battle there.
 

Litmstr10

New User
Hannibal. People talk about the elephants and crossing the Alps, etc, but he also parked his troops in Italy for a decade. His tactics used during the Second Punic War have been studied and utilized by many others (including the Romans).
 

forzainter

Semi-Pro
I think Julius Caesar, as he had the ultimate ability of being able to get the best out of his men at every battle. He was only ever out-thought tactically in a few battles and gained many many great victories. He always pushed his men hard and has a list of ingenious things done to win, eg the water supply of one of the gallic cities.
Im actually reading Caesars 'Conquest of Gaul' just now, interesting to see into the mind of Caesar and how he generally does things, I also like how he writes in the 3rd person.
 

mcpon

Rookie
I would probably vote for Genghis Kahn, too.

I think that Mohammed, Cyrus the Great, and Thutmose III deserve a good mentioning.
 
Alexander was GREEK, not roman!!!!!!!!!
Correct, he was Greek and he was always praised as being loyal. They always used to say that Alenander was a guy who would "never leave his buddies behind" ....... or was it: "never leave his buddy's behind?" :neutral:
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
In no particular order:

1. George Washington
2. Napoleon I
3. Alexander the Great
4. Genghis Khan
5. Julius Caesar
6. Gustavus Adolphus
7. Francisco Pizarro
8. Charlemagne (Charles the Great)
9. Hernando Cortés
10. Cyrus the Great
11. Frederick the Great
12. Simon Bolivar
13. William the Conqueror
14. Adolf Hitler
15. Attila the Hun
16. George Catlett Marshall
17. Peter the Great
18. Dwight David Eisenhower
19. Oliver Cromwell
20. Douglas MacArthur
21. Karl von Clausewitz
22. Arthur Wellesley (First Duke of Wellington)
23. Sun Tzu
24. Hermann-Maurice Comte de Saxe
25. Tamerlane
26. Antoine Henri Jomini
27. Eugene of Savoy
28. Fernadez Gonzalo de Cordoba
29. Sebastien Le Prestre de Vauban
30. Hannibal
31. John Churchill
32. Winfield Scott
33. Ulysses Simpson Grant
34. Scipio Africanus
35. Horatio Nelson
36. John Frederick Charles Fuller
37. Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne de Turenne
38. Alfred Thayer Mahan
39. Helmuth Karl Bernhard von Moltke
40. Vo Nguyen Giap
41. John Joseph Pershing
42. Maurice of Nassau
43. Joan of Arc
44. Alan Francis Brooke
45. Jean Baptiste Vaqueete de Gribeauval
46. Omar Nelson Bradley
47. Ralph Abercromby
48. Mao Zedong
49. H. Norman Schwarzkopf
50. Alexander Vasilevich Suvorov
51. Louis Alexandre Berthier
52. Jose de San Martin
53. Giuseppe Garibaldi
54. Ivan Stepanovich Konev
55. Suleiman I
56. Colin Campbell
57. Samuel Houston
58. Richard I (the Lion-Hearted)
59. Shaka Zulu
60. Robert Edward Lee
61. Chester William Nimitz
62. Gebhard von Blucher
63. Bernard Law Montgomery
64. Carl Gustav Emil von Mannerheim
65. H. H. (Hap) Arnold
66. Mustafa Kemal
67. John Arbuthnot Fisher
68. Heihachiro Togo
69. Moshe Dayan
70. Georgi Konstantinovich Zhukov
71. Ferdinand Foch
72. Edward I
73. Selim I
74. Giulio Douhet
75. Heinz Guderian
76. Lin Piao
77. Isoroku Yamamoto
78. Harold Rupert Alexander
79. Erwin Rommel
80. Lennart Torstensson
81. Saddam Hussein
82. Fidel Castro
83. Horatio Herbert Kitchener
84. Tito
85. Karl Doenitz
86. Kim Il Sung
87. David Glasgow Farragut
88. Garnet Joseph Wolseley
89. Chiang Kai-shek
90. Frederick Sleight Roberts
91. Saladin
92. George Dewey
93. Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Conde
94. Kurt Student
95. George S. Patton
96. Michel Ney
97. Charles XII
98. Thomas Cochrane
99. Johann Tserclaes von Tilly
100. Edmund Henry H. Allenby
 

ShiroRm

Rookie
In no particular order:

1. George Washington
2. Napoleon I
3. Alexander the Great
4. Genghis Khan
5. Julius Caesar
6. Gustavus Adolphus
7. Francisco Pizarro
8. Charlemagne (Charles the Great)
9. Hernando Cortés
10. Cyrus the Great
11. Frederick the Great
12. Simon Bolivar
13. William the Conqueror
14. Adolf Hitler
15. Attila the Hun
16. George Catlett Marshall
17. Peter the Great
18. Dwight David Eisenhower
19. Oliver Cromwell
20. Douglas MacArthur
21. Karl von Clausewitz
22. Arthur Wellesley (First Duke of Wellington)
23. Sun Tzu
24. Hermann-Maurice Comte de Saxe
25. Tamerlane
26. Antoine Henri Jomini
27. Eugene of Savoy
28. Fernadez Gonzalo de Cordoba
29. Sebastien Le Prestre de Vauban
30. Hannibal
31. John Churchill
32. Winfield Scott
33. Ulysses Simpson Grant
34. Scipio Africanus
35. Horatio Nelson
36. John Frederick Charles Fuller
37. Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne de Turenne
38. Alfred Thayer Mahan
39. Helmuth Karl Bernhard von Moltke
40. Vo Nguyen Giap
41. John Joseph Pershing
42. Maurice of Nassau
43. Joan of Arc
44. Alan Francis Brooke
45. Jean Baptiste Vaqueete de Gribeauval
46. Omar Nelson Bradley
47. Ralph Abercromby
48. Mao Zedong
49. H. Norman Schwarzkopf
50. Alexander Vasilevich Suvorov
51. Louis Alexandre Berthier
52. Jose de San Martin
53. Giuseppe Garibaldi
54. Ivan Stepanovich Konev
55. Suleiman I
56. Colin Campbell
57. Samuel Houston
58. Richard I (the Lion-Hearted)
59. Shaka Zulu
60. Robert Edward Lee
61. Chester William Nimitz
62. Gebhard von Blucher
63. Bernard Law Montgomery
64. Carl Gustav Emil von Mannerheim
65. H. H. (Hap) Arnold
66. Mustafa Kemal
67. John Arbuthnot Fisher
68. Heihachiro Togo
69. Moshe Dayan
70. Georgi Konstantinovich Zhukov
71. Ferdinand Foch
72. Edward I
73. Selim I
74. Giulio Douhet
75. Heinz Guderian
76. Lin Piao
77. Isoroku Yamamoto
78. Harold Rupert Alexander
79. Erwin Rommel
80. Lennart Torstensson
81. Saddam Hussein
82. Fidel Castro
83. Horatio Herbert Kitchener
84. Tito
85. Karl Doenitz
86. Kim Il Sung
87. David Glasgow Farragut
88. Garnet Joseph Wolseley
89. Chiang Kai-shek
90. Frederick Sleight Roberts
91. Saladin
92. George Dewey
93. Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Conde
94. Kurt Student
95. George S. Patton
96. Michel Ney
97. Charles XII
98. Thomas Cochrane
99. Johann Tserclaes von Tilly
100. Edmund Henry H. Allenby
You forgot Mother Teresa of Calcutta
 

Phil

Hall of Fame
I don't know why you cite the Russian invasion as a defeat in battle - Napoleon was victorious in the only major battle fought on Russian soil. Certainly the campaign ended up a disaster, but Napoleon did not actually lose a battle there.
Napolean marched into Russia with an army of a half million men, and staggered out of Russia with less than 50,000. Surely this was an unmitigated military failure for him and is universally acknowledged as such. Winning battles doesn't win you a war. That is a lesson our country learned from Vietnam. He was soundly defeated by the Russians.
 
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