Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 49

Thread: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

  1. #1
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3,921

    Default The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    As suggested by @Seamus Fermanagh in the other thread, a better approach would be to nominate generals grouped by different ages in history. Then take the top 10 out of them by vote. Let's start the nominations (pleas add more and I will add them. I'm traveling to Serbia for the weekend, so I will update the list on Sunday).


    (I am excluding periods before classical antiquity as there history and myth merge so much it's impossible to tell. A notable mention would be Odysseus for example, but let's go with something more official)

    Classical Antiquity
    Sun Tzu
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Author of The Art of War. Some legends surround him and some battles attributed to him, but details are sketchy from this period..

    Alexander the Great
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Macedonian Greek who conquered the Greek Cities, the hellenistic city states of Asia Minor, Egypt, Persia and India to name a few. At age 30 he had carved an empire stretching from the Ionian Sea to the Himalayas. He was undefeated in battle and was adept at both strategic maneuvers as well as tactical "into the fray" decisions and leading by example. He made use of his father's military reform to forever change the rigid style of hoplite phalanx warfare of the Greek City States.

    Pyrrhus of Epirus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Hailed as one of the greatest generals of his time. Placed as the second best general to have ever lived after Alexander the Great by Hannibal himself. Provided only with the support of his kingdom of Epirus he was still able to stalemate and even defeat Roman armies and provided the only noteworthy resistance of the Greek City States and Macedon versus the advance of the Roman armies. While he was unsuccessful (more due to lack of logistics and his own disregard for financial and civil matters) no one doubted his prowess as a general. He also successfully conquered the throne of Macedon.

    Hannibal Barca
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    A man who would have almost singlehandedly decapitated Rome. In fact, Hannibal's cunning and tactical genius allowed him to strike successful victories against Roman armies on their home soil. He managed to evade one consular army as he left spain, only to crush a second one in northern Italy. He defeated Roman Consuls and Legates and the only thing stopping him from taking the city of Rome itself was the attrition his own forces had suffered from the trip from Spain into Italy by crossing the Alps. His forces also consisted of mostly mercenaries and Spanish tribes which owed little allegiance to him. Rival political factions back in Carthage denied him supplies and troops on several occasions, ultimately giving Rome enough time to train fresh armies and wipe them out. That Rome was a city capable of explosive population growth and fielding ungodly amounts of troops is fact, yet this man was almost enough to thwart it completely.

    Scipio Africanus
    Licuis Cornelius Sula
    Pompey Magnus
    Gauis Julius Caesar
    Emperor Trajan

    Dark and Middle Ages

    Flavius Aetius
    Attila the Hun
    Khan Krum the Terrible
    Charles Martel
    Charlemagne
    William the Conqueror
    Richard I the Lionhearted
    Emperor Fridrich Barbarossa
    Nur ad Din
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    He was son of Imad ad-Din Zengi, Atabeg of Mosul which was part of Great Seljuk Empire. He fought against crusader in his entire life and reconquered most of Muslim territory which lost during first crusade.

    Salah ad-din (Saladdin)
    Edward, the Black Prince
    Temujin (Ghenghis Khan)
    Subotai
    Knyaz Alexander Nievski
    Khalid ibn al-Walid
    Emperor Basil II
    Tzar Kaloyan
    Tamerlane (Timur the Lame)

    Renaissance, Exploration & Enlightenment

    Oliver Cromwell
    Napoleon Bonaparte
    Admiral Nelson

    Industrialization & WWI



    WWII & modern times



    I'm waiting for suggestions to add to the list! We will judge them on:

    1. Tactical prowess in the field
    2. Achievement of strategic objectives and long term strategic planning
    3. Impact upon their contemporary world
    4. Innovation in the field of warfare
    5. Additional actions or facts that make them stand out
    Last edited by Myth; 01-21-2014 at 11:46.
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
    Like totalwar.org on Facebook!

    Member thankful for this post:



  2. #2
    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Helsinki,Finland
    Posts
    9,546

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    Maybe besides era we could have second tier concerning the scale of conflict/ campaign/ operation/ battle

    Edit: Myth already somewhat beat me to it.
    Last edited by Kagemusha; 01-17-2014 at 15:38.
    Ja Mata Tosainu Sama.

  3. #3
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3,921

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    Sure. One can't compare a single brilliant battle or campaign (Frozen Lake or Conquest of England) to the scope of the Mongol invasion of Europe and the Middle East.
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
    Like totalwar.org on Facebook!

    Member thankful for this post:



  4. #4
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,078

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    Would also be nice if folks gave a very brief reasoning behind their choices. It's easy to just throw out names that one has read about, another to have more knowledge than simple familiarity with a name
    High Plains Drifter

  5. #5
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3,921

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    This was exactly what I would have postd! Ideally, we will have a blurb about each person, outlining the 5 merits upon which we will cast our votes. I would handle all of these I put in initially (since I put them there...) but I have to travel now so I can't do it. When I come back on Sunday I'll handle whomever was left out.

    This will also give some patrons perhaps an incentive to research names unknown to themselves. I have to read up on Khalid ibn al-Walid for example.
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
    Like totalwar.org on Facebook!

  6. #6
    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Helsinki,Finland
    Posts
    9,546

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    Maybe once we have full list of nominations in their categories, we can go them through one by one in individual thread and in the end vote if the person is good enough to stay in the list?
    Ja Mata Tosainu Sama.

  7. #7
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3,921

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    Quote Originally Posted by Kagemusha View Post
    Maybe once we have full list of nominations in their categories, we can go them through one by one in individual thread and in the end vote if the person is good enough to stay in the list?
    This also works!
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
    Like totalwar.org on Facebook!

  8. #8
    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Helsinki,Finland
    Posts
    9,546

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    If we go at it like that. Maybe the one who nominates makes the opening argument why is this fellow such a great military leader, thus we should be encouraged to nominate commanders that we are familiar with?

    I can at least present some renaissance era Japanese commanders that many have not heard more then maybe a mentioning for small scale warfare.

    I will make few nominations:

    Renaissance era/ tactical battle

    Uesugi Kenshin
    Shimazu Yoshihiro
    Oda Nobunaga
    Hojo Ujiyasu

    WWII era Operation / strategic battle

    Georgy Zhukov

    WWII era / strategic battle

    Karl Lennart Oesch

    WWII era / tactical battle

    Hjalmar Siilasvuo
    Last edited by Kagemusha; 01-17-2014 at 16:06.
    Ja Mata Tosainu Sama.

  9. #9
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3,921

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    I resurrected two threads, one here and this one in the EB forums, from which I first read how great Sula was. I hope the history buffs from EB land come here to play
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
    Like totalwar.org on Facebook!

    Member thankful for this post:



  10. #10

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    Sulla was one of the best commanders. He crushed many opponents from different regions. He kicked Pontians' and also Romans' arses as well. For example Battle of Chaeronea was one of the best victories in history, IMHO.

  11. #11
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Fortress of the Mountains
    Posts
    11,094

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    You can safely add Takeda Shingen to that Renaissance list.
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

    Proud

    Been to:

    Swords Made of Letters - 1938. The war is looming - and Alexandre Reythier does not have much time left to protect his country.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,078

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    Other than his skirmishes with Kenshin, the Hojo, and the Imagawa, and perhaps his implementation of the Fuji River Project, what would qualify Shingen for this list? He was a competent field commander who expanded Takeda lands into Shinano, Totomi, and Kozuke, but did nothing that could be considered brilliant or innovative. His domestic policies were somewhat conflicting; on the one hand he did away with corporal punishment for minor offenses, and instead adopted a system of fines; yet he kept a pair of iron cauldrons (if the accounts are accurate) on hand to boil alive any criminal who had the unfortunate luck of displeasing him.

    More legend than substance, IMHO

    I would offer two generals, one rather well known, the other relegated to obscurity by one man's hatred:

    Carl von Clausewitz

    His unfinished work On War would influence European military thought for decades especially the Prussian military establishment.

    Mikhail Tukhachevshy

    The father of the Soviet deep operational doctrine used by every competent Soviet general from Antonov to Zhukov. Also, as head of the Red Army's Technological and Armaments Department from 1931-36, the Soviets came to have one of the most highly advanced mechanized forces both in terms of quality and quantity. He was also responsible for innovative changes to airborne tactics and equipment by adding light tanks, recoilless rifles, and light artillery to the TO&E of Soviet formations. Shot by Stalin in May 1937..........
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 01-18-2014 at 13:14.
    High Plains Drifter

  13. #13
    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Albion
    Posts
    15,921
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    Ludendorff Offensive comes under definitions of innovative in my opinion, as it completely broke/smashed the trenchwarfare that had been almost non-stop in the West for the past 4 years. Whilst successful in breaking it, it didn't result in the war being a success for the Germans due to the reinforcements from America. The main innovation was the construction of the Stormtrooper units.

    In the same vein, Blitzkrieg tactical warfare really did sweep the carpet in the beginning of the Second World War. According to reading, it was General John Monash (Australian) who deployed such tactics first, Heinz Guderian an opposing general seeing the success of it, integrated it into German battle tactics, and it was his implementation and success which made it famous.
    Last edited by Beskar; 01-18-2014 at 14:55.
    Days since the Apocalypse began
    "We are living in space-age times but there's too many of us thinking with stone-age minds" | How to spot a Humanist
    "Men of Quality do not fear Equality." | "Belief doesn't change facts. Facts, if you are reasonable, should change your beliefs."

  14. #14

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    @Myth

    You added Saladin but no Nur ad-Din? Nur ad-Din was far far better leader and commander than Saladin. Afair, he conquered more than 50 crusader castles. He was the first Muslim leader who resist crusaders and hit them back so hard. For example in Battle of Harim, he crushed 3 times bigger crusade army. Of course, that battle is just an example, there are many battles he fought and won. Also, Saladin's army was army of Nur ad-Din Zengi.

  15. #15

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    Arthur Wellesley - amongst many accomplishments the pressure he kept on the Marathas, with a much smaller force, is impressive. Though would later become known for his planning and preparation, this operation had him spontaneously splitting forces deep in hostile territory.
    "The good man is the man who, no matter how morally unworthy he has been, is moving to become better."
    John Dewey

    Member thankful for this post:



  16. #16
    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Helsinki,Finland
    Posts
    9,546

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Other than his skirmishes with Kenshin, the Hojo, and the Imagawa, and perhaps his implementation of the Fuji River Project, what would qualify Shingen for this list? He was a competent field commander who expanded Takeda lands into Shinano, Totomi, and Kozuke, but did nothing that could be considered brilliant or innovative. His domestic policies were somewhat conflicting; on the one hand he did away with corporal punishment for minor offenses, and instead adopted a system of fines; yet he kept a pair of iron cauldrons (if the accounts are accurate) on hand to boil alive any criminal who had the unfortunate luck of displeasing him.

    More legend than substance, IMHO

    I would offer two generals, one rather well known, the other relegated to obscurity by one man's hatred:

    Carl von Clausewitz

    His unfinished work On War would influence European military thought for decades especially the Prussian military establishment.

    Mikhail Tukhachevshy

    The father of the Soviet deep operational doctrine used by every competent Soviet general from Antonov to Zhukov. Also, as head of the Red Army's Technological and Armaments Department from 1931-36, the Soviets came to have one of the most highly advanced mechanized forces both in terms of quality and quantity. He was also responsible for innovative changes to airborne tactics and equipment by adding light tanks, recoilless rifles, and light artillery to the TO&E of Soviet formations. Shot by Stalin in May 1937..........
    Tukhachevsky is a brilliant pick. If he had lived i bet he would have out weighted Zhukov ​as top commander of SU. Sadly he did not.
    Ja Mata Tosainu Sama.

  17. #17
    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Helsinki,Finland
    Posts
    9,546

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    Quote Originally Posted by PilaPis View Post
    @Myth

    You added Saladin but no Nur ad-Din? Nur ad-Din was far far better leader and commander than Saladin. Afair, he conquered more than 50 crusader castles. He was the first Muslim leader who resist crusaders and hit them back so hard. For example in Battle of Harim, he crushed 3 times bigger crusade army. Of course, that battle is just an example, there are many battles he fought and won. Also, Saladin's army was army of Nur ad-Din Zengi.
    You are supposed to nominate anyone you wish and Myth will add them to the list, when he comes back at Sunday.
    Ja Mata Tosainu Sama.

    Member thankful for this post:



  18. #18

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    Thank you sir.

    Btw, I didn't mean to be rude Myth, and I'm sorry if I was.

    Members thankful for this post (2):



  19. #19
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3,921

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    When suggesting rulers please state which age they are from and then post a summary of their exploits.
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
    Like totalwar.org on Facebook!

  20. #20

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    Quote Originally Posted by Myth View Post
    When suggesting rulers please state which age they are from and then post a summary of their exploits.
    So, you don't know what age Nur ad-Din from? lol.

    Ok, he was from medieval era. He was son of Imad ad-Din Zengi, Atabeg of Mosul which was part of Great Seljuk Empire. He fought against crusader in his entire life and reconquered most of Muslim territory which lost during first crusade.

  21. #21
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Fortress of the Mountains
    Posts
    11,094

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Other than his skirmishes with Kenshin, the Hojo, and the Imagawa, and perhaps his implementation of the Fuji River Project, what would qualify Shingen for this list? He was a competent field commander who expanded Takeda lands into Shinano, Totomi, and Kozuke, but did nothing that could be considered brilliant or innovative. His domestic policies were somewhat conflicting; on the one hand he did away with corporal punishment for minor offenses, and instead adopted a system of fines; yet he kept a pair of iron cauldrons (if the accounts are accurate) on hand to boil alive any criminal who had the unfortunate luck of displeasing him.

    More legend than substance, IMHO
    Shingen was actually a very capable commander, since those skirmishes could have ended pretty badly if he wasn't good enough. Kawanakajima was a serious test of his mettle, considering the fact that Kenshin had the upper hand on the battle almost all of the time (his territory after all). Adding to that, by 1568, Kenshin was relegated to Echigo only. Beating Kenshin in his own lands is something remarkable, not to mention fighting both the Hojo and Imagawa soon after and taking them out as well - Shingen proved that he was a very very competent commander. Innovative is not the word, because apart from the unique Takeda cavalry charge there was nothing special, but brilliant yes.

    He was the only one capable of taking out Oda Nobunaga, and once he died, Takeda soon crumbled.



    And with Clausewitz, I definitely agree with you.
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

    Proud

    Been to:

    Swords Made of Letters - 1938. The war is looming - and Alexandre Reythier does not have much time left to protect his country.

  22. #22
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3,921

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    OK guys I'm working on updating the list. @PilaPis please don't take it personally. In fact, I know very little about Nur Ad Din and so didn't want to talk nonsense. Whomever wants to write a blurb for an already mentioned general, please do so (you will make my life easier)
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
    Like totalwar.org on Facebook!

  23. #23
    strategy gamer Member Enemy Shooting Champion, Rabbit Hunter Champion, Eggs Champion, Kaboom Champion, Money Money Money Champion, Rapid Motion Champion, Super Fishing Champion komnenos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Iran
    Posts
    153

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    What about Belisarius? You should add it to dark ages list.
    He who has bread has many problems;

    He who has no bread has only one problem.

    Byzantine Proverb

    Member thankful for this post:



  24. #24
    Senior Member Senior Member Fisherking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    East of Augusta Vindelicorum
    Posts
    5,575

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    You are leaving out a few obvious ones:

    Antiquity:

    Cyrus the great

    Dark and Middle Ages

    El Cid

    Renaissance thru Enlightenment 1830ish

    Gustav II Adolf
    Frederick II of Prussia
    John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
    Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
    Simón Bolivar


    1840- 1930

    Bobby Lee
    Sam Grant
    TJ Jackson


    WWII on:

    Let me toss in Bill Slim. Now go look at what he did.


    Education: that which reveals to the wise,
    and conceals from the stupid,
    the vast limits of their knowledge.
    Mark Twain

  25. #25
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,078

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    Shingen was actually a very capable commander, since those skirmishes could have ended pretty badly if he wasn't good enough
    Agreed, but......we are talking a very exclusive list here.....10 generals for nearly all of known history. Some positive (or even a few brilliant) battlefield results would include literally thousands of generals down through the ages. What we are looking for here, IMHO, are those that made a lasting impact/impression with their battlefield exploits, showed innovative and forward thinking in how they conducted their campaigns/battles, and made significant strides in increasing their country's/faction's power, influence, and impact on history.

    Can you really say that about Shingen or Nur ad-Din? General Slim goes into that category as well, AFAIAC. He did a lot with so little, but Burma was never anything more than a backwater theatre that had very little impact on the outcome of WWII other than keeping India as a UK Commonwealth a while longer......

    C'mon folks....you have to do better than your favorite tactician
    High Plains Drifter

  26. #26
    Senior Member Senior Member Fisherking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    East of Augusta Vindelicorum
    Posts
    5,575

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Agreed, but......we are talking a very exclusive list here.....10 generals for nearly all of known history. Some positive (or even a few brilliant) battlefield results would include literally thousands of generals down through the ages. What we are looking for here, IMHO, are those that made a lasting impact/impression with their battlefield exploits, showed innovative and forward thinking in how they conducted their campaigns/battles, and made significant strides in increasing their country's/faction's power, influence, and impact on history.

    Can you really say that about Shingen or Nur ad-Din? General Slim goes into that category as well, AFAIAC. He did a lot with so little, but Burma was never anything more than a backwater theatre that had very little impact on the outcome of WWII other than keeping India as a UK Commonwealth a while longer......

    C'mon folks....you have to do better than your favorite tactician
    By all means then, don’t look at accomplishments. Look at importance of the theater. Those who do a lot with nearly nothing are obviously inferior to those with the latest technological developments steamrolling their foes with numbers.

    A Shelby or Forrest can’t possibly be better than a Grant because they didn’t possess the odds or prestige as head of the army.

    With quite a few of the leaders listed, we are looking at technological advances that allowed them their edge.

    Alexander, Caesar, Temujin and others did the same thing as Norman Schwarzkoph did except they had no one to restrain their conquests.

    Who is the better commander, a Zhukov who sacrifices thousands of men to overcome a desperate defense by a few or a George Rogers Clark who with a few men convinces his enemy he has a superior force?

    I guess we forget skill and go on the magnitude of show.


    Education: that which reveals to the wise,
    and conceals from the stupid,
    the vast limits of their knowledge.
    Mark Twain

  27. #27
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3,921

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherking View Post
    By all means then, don’t look at accomplishments. Look at importance of the theater. Those who do a lot with nearly nothing are obviously inferior to those with the latest technological developments steamrolling their foes with numbers.

    Alexander, Caesar, Temujin and others did the same thing as Norman Schwarzkoph did except they had no one to restrain their conquests.
    I beg do differ - Alexander may have had an edge with the reformed Macedonian army, but Sarissa's and Companion Cav can only get you so far. He would not have lasted past his first battle with Persia had that been the case. He was a very bold, even slightly mad, tactician and he lead by example. His impact on his army's morale is equal to a burning cross etched in the clouds for a christian army in the middle ages. In a time when people were not religious zealots, having such an impact on your troops is a tremendous edge but attributed to the actual commander. Alexander also fought outnumbered most of the time, at least in the later parts of his campaign.

    Caesar was shrewd. I seriously think he was more clever than Crassus (who was a very clever man as we all know). Caesar won in Gaul not due to the superiority of his troop's equipment and he had inferior numbers. He managed to divide his foe politically and tactically, which is his own personal skill.

    For the Mongols we could say their army structure and troop type were something like an edge over their enemies, but that was not a technological one. Also, he played to his troop's strengths and didn't blunder in. He didn't try to fight in marshy foreign terrain (hint hint: Kaloyan vs. the Latins), he didn't sit around besieging citadels. He knew how to fight on his terms and won handily.

    One can't downplay the achievements of such men due to "technological superiority".

    I left out many names. I did this list on the spot as I posted the thread. That's why it's up to everyone to contribute. It's not "Myth's absolutely comprehensive list of all known generals throughout time" So if I missed someone great, let me know and don't be mad that I didn't include your favorite guy in the OP when I posted it.

    But I really want some blurbs with the names people submit. How else are the others going to judge? Should we read wikpedie for every unknown name?
    Last edited by Myth; 01-22-2014 at 08:29.
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
    Like totalwar.org on Facebook!

  28. #28
    Senior Member Senior Member Fisherking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    East of Augusta Vindelicorum
    Posts
    5,575

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    Quote Originally Posted by Myth View Post
    I left out many names. I did this list on the spot as I posted the thread. That's why it's up to everyone to contribute. It's not "Myth's absolutely comprehensive list of all known generals throughout time" So if I missed someone great, let me know and don't be mad that I didn't include your favorite guy in the OP when I posted it.

    But I really want some blurbs with the names people submit. How else are the others going to judge? Should we read wikpedie for every unknown name?
    And I am not picking my favorites either. I am just doing the same thing and putting out a few names for others to consider.

    A little blurb will not do much for some, who most my have never heard of. It is best if they do a little digging and see what they accomplished.

    Should we consider the Khan because he was overall commander or Subutai who lead most of the battles?

    Do we know what we are talking about or is it because we know the name from history books?

    That is all.


    Education: that which reveals to the wise,
    and conceals from the stupid,
    the vast limits of their knowledge.
    Mark Twain

  29. #29
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3,921

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    If everyone agrees that Subutai was the strategic and tactical decision maker, then I would replace his name with that of Genghis Khan. That's why I put down Sula and not Marius, since Sula was the actual field commander that did all the dirty work.
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
    Like totalwar.org on Facebook!

  30. #30
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,078

    Default Re: The .org official top 10 best military commanders of alltimes

    By all means then, don’t look at accomplishments. Look at importance of the theater. Those who do a lot with nearly nothing are obviously inferior to those with the latest technological developments steamrolling their foes with numbers.
    I guess we forget skill and go on the magnitude of show.
    Scope of operations does have an impact, IMHO. Can you really consider Slim or Stillwell's accomplishments in Burma and China to be in the same class as the geo-political changes on the world wrought by Genghis Khan, Alexander, or Augustus Caesar? Do we quote from the book of Nathan Bedford Forrest or SunTzu?

    Never said that the scope of operations trumps skill. If we were considering the top 100 then there would be a much larger canvas on which to place our candidates. But we are considering only 10.....ten generals through the last three millennium or so....a pretty exclusive group
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 01-22-2014 at 12:53.
    High Plains Drifter

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO