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  1. MikeM
    MikeM at |

    Washingon? Patton? As others have pointed out, this list is somewhat biased. Alexander isn’t on the list and he is generally considered one of the top three generals of all time.

    Reply
  2. Xamar Ji
    Xamar Ji at |

    this is wrong, where is Khalid Bin Waleed? They fought more than 100 wars but no one deafeat. so where is Khalid Bin waleed????????????????????

    Reply
  3. uriel moore
    uriel moore at |

    Robert E. Lee (Who excelled against very inferior opponents, but was exposed as mediocre against below average guys like Meade, and even more so against a tough opponent like Grant, who unlike Lee, holds the record to this day for causing the surrenders of three entire armies.), but no Alexander or Genghis Kahn? No Horatio Nelson? No William the Conqueror? No Charles Martel? I understand the need to keep it to 10, however, 3 of these leaders don’t really belong on the list if we are talking impacts on western civilization. Washington was bailed out by effective guerilla warfare he had little to do with and the French Navy. Lee, already mentioned, does not belong there due to poor showings against lesser opponents, and him being next to impotent on the offensive. Joan of Arc was more a figurehead than an actual field commander.

    Reply
    1. Jason Ross
      Jason Ross at |

      I disagree about Lee. He actually was facing superior opponents throughout most of his campaigns in the confederate army. In most of the battles he lead, his army was outnumbered, and out equipped. It was so bad at times that they had a hard time keeping his troops supplied with boots, yet he pulled through up until Gettysburg. Meade was not a bad general, but definitely not as good as Lee, and Lee did make a huge mistake, trying to push the battle against a larger, better equipped force entrenched in a stellar defensive position.

      However, I have to agree with you 100% on Genghis Khan, and Alexander the Great. I’m also surprised not to see Sun Tzu as his tactics are so timeless that many are still used in today’s warfare, over 2500 years after he died. I personally would have placed Tzu at the top as many of the others on this list got as good as they did by studying Sun Tzu’s tactics and his famous book “The Art of War.”

      Reply
      1. Methodical123
        Methodical123 at |

        I agree with you about the equipment, but you don’t go to war half equipped to start with, which is a different discussion. Lee’s dangerous opponents didn’t show up until 1864 as the general known as Grant. McClellan, Lee’s main opponent prior to 1863 was utterly useless.

        After the appauling losses in men suffered by Lee in the Peninsula Campaign (which were largely due to Lee’s aggressive, yet poorly executed attacks, and little due to McClellan himself) McClellan could have pushed the issue and ended the war in 1862 (Grant without question would have annihilated Lee had he been running the show that early in the war). Hooker, though great in logistics and as a trainer, also stunk up the place in field command. Meade wasn’t even on the radar because two other generals turned down the job. He was less a victor of Lee and more of a third string quarterback that got to start when Lee committed strategic near suicide in invading Pennsylvania and not taking the best ground on day one. Given the positions the Union artillery had alone, a chimpanzee would have been on the winning side running the Union that day. Meade stayed on as a general for the rest of the war and did little else of value.

        Grant was the first and last general capable of pummeling Lee and he did so with glee. Everyone else was next to worthless.

        Reply
      2. Methodical123
        Methodical123 at |

        If it wasn’t for such craptastic commanders prior to Grant, I doubt history would have even remembered Lee. He was in the right place at the right time with awful commanders as opponents. Grant frankly had better opponents, invented joint operations, and inflicted dramatically more destruction to his opponents than he incurred. The same can’t be said about Lee.

        Reply
  4. Anonymous
    Anonymous at |

    I have to agree, Washington’s greatest asset was his leadership and willpower. His holding together of the continental army through the winter was his greatest achievement. As a tactician he was simply fair/average at best.

    Would like to see Gustavus Adophus on the list…

    Reply
  5. boof
    boof at |

    Seems very American centric – why you would have Patton, Washington and Lee on the list and not Alexander is ridiculous.

    Reply
  6. mike scheer
    mike scheer at |

    I suppose some measure victories. I measure the odds , what your up against and the terrain your fighting in and the quality of the troops you started out with. Given what he had to start with, the opponent, terrain he fought in I believe Simon Bolivar was the greatest general in history. With out much backing he dispelled Spain and the Catholic church from South America. He was the liberator of South America. Of course who pays attention to south America. Mike Scheer. Washington state USA. By the way Zacary Taylor was the best US General and all civil war generals would agree

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  7. Django
    Django at |

    This is bull. The greatest general of all times is Khalid ibn al-Walid.
    Over 100 battles, most of them against numerically superior enemies, not one lost.

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    1. Xamar Ji
      Xamar Ji at |

      im agree with you

      Reply
  8. Art Montuori
    Art Montuori at |

    Sun Tse is not a Western general. Scipio should be on this list. His battle tactics would give the Roman Empire a blueprint to defend their empire and conquer other lands.
    Joan of Arc is not general and her history is both brief and controversial with regard to her accomplishments.
    George Washington should be on this list. There was a comment regarding his place on this list. It is easy to command and conquer with the treasury of an Empire or country behind you, it is another thing to try and hold a rag tag group of colonials to fight at all. His speech to his troops is legendary.

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  9. David
    David at |

    A great general has to dominate his era or defeat another great general.
    Western Generals:
    Alexander [totally dominated the pre-Roman age], Caesar [the best of the Roman Generals], Napoleon [transformed Europe], Hannibal [defied the odds], Belisarius [defied the odds], Gustav Adolphus [amazing career], Frederick the Great [did everything right, dominated his era], Marlborough [did everything right], Scipio Africanus [beat Hannibal in battle as well as in general war] , Wellington [the only commander to challenge Napoleon]
    Honourable mentions for: Wallenstein [transformed a losing cause], Prince Eugene [victories in east (Turkey) & west (France)], Aetius [defied the odds to defeat Attila & save western civilization], Oliver Cromwell [transformed warfare on land and sea but never tested in Europe aginst Turenne etc], Conde [transformed the balance of power from Spain to France], El Cid [defied the odds & transformed the balance of power from Moors to Christians], Von Moltke [crushed the Austrians & French and made German power dominant], Charles Martell [saved Christian Europe from islam], Charlemagne [dominated his era & created an empire]

    Ghengis & Subutai, Timor, Attila & Saladin also impacted on the west & General Giap must rate highly.

    Reply
  10. Austin
    Austin at |

    Good gracious will this plague never cease….You ARE a fool…. and I hope that this is read by everyone on this subject. Schiller was absolutely correct when he said “…Against Fools The Very Gods Themselves Contend In Vain…” This is the very last time I respond. I wish I knew enough about computers to prevent your emails.

    Boat coaches-or boat carriages- were/are WATERTIGHT carriages which are built with boat shaped bodies so that they were able to cross rivers, and were drawn by horses or sometimes by men swimming. This is how the RHONE was crossed for many centuries. I have seen.them myself, although not at the Rhone. And…the Rhone was not easy to cross because it has a very STRONG CURRENT.

    CANAL BARGES (generally about 75-90 feet long) are what you are mumbling about, and were drawn by CART HORSES up and down the canals when they were used. (There are many nice houseboats made from old canal barges) I lived and grew up close to a canal and saw them every day. Most barges later were engine driven, There was no current, and for changing levels in both directions, the canals were supplied with LOCKS (I’m NOT going to explain what they were or are). The most famous LOCK system in the world is in the Panama Canal.

    W.W. Jacobs (a very famous writer) wrote many beautiful tales of the lives of bargees and their friends.

    Bargees are the names applied to those who worked on (and lived on) the barges. There are probably still many operating in Holland. ….but DON’T quote me….

    You ARE a sap. A pity you don’t know it, but I hope that by now everyone reading these pages does.

    Reply
    1. taudarian
      taudarian at |

      “Good gracious will this plague never cease”

      Sure, if you could ever keep your promise to leave. But you never do, instead coming back to inflict your moronic twaddle on us all again.

      Because your precious ego has been so thoroughly trashed that you’re desperate to score some point, ANY point at all, even if it’s just about fricking barges because that’s what a sad little loser you are Austin. LOL.

      “Boat coaches-or boat carriages- were/are WATERTIGHT carriages”

      Blah blah blah. What you referenced the French using are craft used for navigating rivers up and down stream. Post hoc scrabbling to change your tune doesn’t wash.

      “And…the Rhone was not easy to cross because it has a very STRONG CURRENT.”

      You really should google Rhone angling. It’s such a strong current that guys can only stand there and catch fish for hours on end. Of course, different in springtime with the Alpine melt.

      I’d love to know how any of this, (even if we were to grant you had a point, which we won’t) makes a blind bit of difference re Scipio but we’ve already established what a halfwit you are so we shouldn’t be surprised.

      “W.W. Jacobs (a very famous writer) wrote many beautiful tales of the lives of bargees and their friends.”

      Have you considered being tested for clinical insanity? I rather think you should, you’re rambling now.

      “Bargees are the names applied to those who worked on (and lived on) the barges.”

      Better yet, you could try drinking the contents of the bottles you find under your sink. You might be a bit beyond psychiatric help….

      Reply
  11. Austin
    Austin at |

    taudarian. Just this one time, I was about to just delete when your asinine unresearched comment caught my eye.

    The carriages which were used to cross the Rhone were what were called “BOAT CARRIAGES” and were especially built so that they could float………like boats.

    DUMBO> GOOOD BYYYEE.

    Reply
    1. taudarian
      taudarian at |

      “The carriages which were used to cross the Rhone were what were called “BOAT CARRIAGES” and were especially built so that they could float………like boats.”

      No, what you’re referring to are the boats that were towed up and downstream by horses in the same way canal longboats are towed by horses on canal towpaths.

      Try again.

      Reply
    2. taudarian
      taudarian at |

      You mean those things that were towed upstream and downstream by horses on the banks.

      Oh dear.

      Reply
  12. taudarian
    taudarian at |

    The Wit and Wisdom of Austin #3

    Austin claims to draw his information from “the latest forensic archaeological historians”.

    Austin refuses to name exactly who these people are.

    A google search of the phrase “forensic archaeological historian” produces zero results.

    Austin is citing as authorities, specialists in a field of which there happens to be no record online.

    When asked to define what a “forensic archaeological historian” actually is, Austin remains silent on the matter.

    One is forced to conclude that Austin is making up entire fields of academia and inventing nameless fictional historians to bolster an argument for which he can otherwise produce no evidence.

    Reply
  13. taudarian
    taudarian at |

    The Wit and Wisdom of Austin #2

    Austin claims that Scipio the Younger was the victor at Zama in 202BC

    A 30 second search on the internet would reveal that Scipio the Younger was born in 185BC.

    Austin made his claim **THREE** times and despite being told of the facts of the matter, has not acknowledged it.

    One is forced to conclude that Austin either

    a) is not aware how the BC/AD calendar actually works

    or

    b) Austin has a tenuous relationship with reality at best.

    Reply
  14. taudarian
    taudarian at |

    The Wit and Wisdom of Austin #1

    a) Austin states, twice, that African elephants are untrainable.
    b) When it’s pointed out to Austin that the Congolese trained elephants Austin claims he *knew* of this.

    If b) is correct, then a) is false and Austin is lying.
    If a) is correct, then b) is false and Austin is lying.

    This is known as a “self-contradictory position”. If Austin indeed did know that the Congolese trained African elephants, then he would not have asserted that African elephants are untrainable. Twice. Because he would have known this claim to be untrue.

    However, he made this claim twice, and then claimed that he is in possession of superior knowledge about the Congo.

    One is forced to conclude that Austin is lying when he claims knowledge of the Congo and lying when he holds to the truth of contradictory statements.

    Reply
  15. Austin
    Austin at |

    I beg pardon, a typo. My reference to “carriages crossing the Rhone” should have been 2000 years not 200. I have no idea why you would use such nonsense as “evidence”…(actually I have but am too polite to mention it) .And you are quite right about not arguing with half-wits. I’m surprised that you are aware of this, I didn’t think you had that much between your ears.

    I should have known better than to argue with you, as I’m well aware that it’s a losing battle to argue with fools, “they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience”. And that’s YOU. a perfect description.

    Oh Yes…GOODBYE.

    Reply
    1. taudarian
      taudarian at |

      “I beg pardon, a typo. My reference to “carriages crossing the Rhone” should have been 2000 years not 200”

      Typo or not, your point is still mind-bogglingly irrelevant. See above.

      “I have no idea why you would use such nonsense as “evidence””

      Because you laughably asserted, based on sources you can’t produce, that the Rhone was so deep that animals could not walk across it. Somebody neglected to tell the inhabitants of the region this for millennia, considering they used to cross it with horse drawn wheeled vehicles until the advent of the internal combustion engine and the steam train.

      “I should have known better than to argue with you”

      You should, being the halfwit that you are. You were only ever going to be outmatched.

      So that’s yet another post in which Austin fails to answer any points made against him and fails to produce evidence.

      “Oh Yes…GOODBYE.”

      Yeah, f*** off, halfwit.

      Reply
  16. Austin
    Austin at |

    taudarian I do not need to supply you with more than I already have. My vast patience is now at it’s end. The Scipio who “presided” at the Battle of Zama was Scipio the Younger, Scipio Africanus. LOOK IT UP.

    As for quoting carriages crossing the Rhone in the 1800s …that ois 200 yewars after the period we-ir at least I- are discussing, is pooooor fare indeed. Crass stupidity.

    If i were to examine microscopically every calumny and other deceit such as reprinting partial sentences so as to try to distort the meaning, I should be here for a week. I don’t intend to be here longer than say, another 3-5 minutes.

    You can be the heavyweight champion……. or better still, the light-heavyweight champion….that is-light in the head and heavy on the feet….. Mark Twain’s comment about seeing “through a glass eye darkly” fits you to a T. Oh…yes….the Twain publication is “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Lapses”. Doubtless you have never heard fo Fenimore Cooper..but no matter. I have never heard of you.

    And GOODYE

    Reply
    1. taudarian
      taudarian at |

      “taudarian I do not need to supply you with more than I already have. My vast patience is now at it’s end. The Scipio who “presided” at the Battle of Zama was Scipio the Younger, Scipio Africanus. LOOK IT UP.”

      LOL. I don’t have to look it up, but perhaps you should. If you google Scipio the Younger, you will find he WASN’T EVEN BORN in 202 BC. In fact, I shall post it for you AGAIN

      Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus Numantinus (185–129 BC), also known as Scipio Aemilianus or Scipio Africanus **the Younger**

      Born in 185BC. **********185BC********* you ignorant halfwit. Get it through your thick skull. Scipio the Younger was born SEVENTEEN YEARS AFTER THE BATTLE OF ZAMA. Is that clear enough for you? Are you going to admit you are plainly and simply incorrect? Or are you going to persist in being a drooling, mentally defective, illegitimate offspring of a singularly inadequate prostitute?

      “As for quoting carriages crossing the Rhone in the 1800s ”

      I said until as recently as the late 1800’s. “Until as recently as” includes in it’s time period all the time up until that point. Or do you not understand plain English?

      “I don’t intend to be here longer than say, another 3-5 minutes.”

      If only we could believe you but you seem determined to inflict your singular ignorance on us all for as long as you can get away with it….

      “You can be the heavyweight champion”

      Blah, blah, blah. One notes the continual lack of evidence you produce Austin.

      “And GOODYE”

      F*** off, halfwit, go play COD some more.

      Reply
  17. Austin
    Austin at |

    There’s no point in carrying on any kind of civilised correspondence with you so this is close to the last, depending on whatever else is still unread in my inbox. I venture to say that I know far more about the Belgian Congo and the Crown abuse than you.

    As for providing links, maybe you should provide some-if you can- and some evidence that you’ve read them. I should have known not to become enmeshed in disputes with basement suite keyboard warriors.

    Oh…Goodbye.

    Reply
    1. taudarian
      taudarian at |

      “There’s no point in carrying on any kind of civilised correspondence with you”

      You’re deluding yourself if you imagine you were civilised. There is certainly no point in carrying on correspondence with a halfwit who consistently fails to produce evidence to back up his claims, never addresses any counter-points, palms you off with amateur internet bloggers and begs you to leave him alone.

      “I venture to say that I know far more about the Belgian Congo and the Crown abuse than you.”

      Well, I’d challenge you on that but I’m pretty sure we’d see the same lack of sources and/or evidence to back up this claim too.

      “As for providing links, maybe you should provide some-if you can- and some evidence that you’ve read them”

      Anything I’ve written could be verified by anybody familiar with the main source materials – Polybius and Livy, and the main historians who have written about the period – Hans Delbruck, HH Scullard, Dodge, Goldsworthy etc, precisely none of whom rant on about this insane obsession with elephants swimming the Rhone and none of whom dispute the presence of elephants at the battle of Zama. Unlike you and your master ninja/historian, they note that Polybius interviewed the commander of Scipio’s wings – Gaius Laelius and Massinissa, plus some of his other officers, plus some of the participants on the enemy’s side, people who were present in other words, in producing the account of the battle of Zama that he did.

      Such disagreements as there are on Zama, tend to focus on Hannibal’s deployment of his forces, Scipio’s deployment of his and their respective reasons for deploying as they did and not whether any of said forces were present or absent on the battlefield.

      Someone with an eye to military history, rather than just being a foaming-at-the-chops idolater of Hannibal, would know this.

      “I should have known not to become enmeshed in disputes with basement suite keyboard warriors.”

      Says the man who can produce no evidence, refuses to answer questions and has made himself look like a drooling halfwit over the course of the past two days….

      “Oh…Goodbye.”

      Go back under your rock Austin, there’s a good little worthless schnook with delusions.

      Reply
  18. taudarian
    taudarian at |

    Things we’re still waiting for from Austin:

    a. An acknowledgement that Scipio the Younger is not the Scipio who was present at Zama
    b. The names of the six Roman historians writing about elephants swimming the Rhone
    c. An explanation of why it even matters whether elephants swam or walked across the river Rhone, a river on average only nine feet deep which Austin claims (based on sources he again does not produce) to be too deep for an animal to cross on foot, despite the French crossing it in horse drawn carriages up until the late 1800’s at various points
    d. An account of what happened to Hannibal’s army in Italy if it didn’t, as he claims, accompany him back to Africa
    e. An explanation of how, exactly, Hannibal’s crossing of the Rhone impacts on Scipio’s qualities as a general.
    f. Any evidence of anything Austin asserts

    Reply
  19. Austin
    Austin at |

    I suppose you had your reasons for not completing the sentence. Adding to your drek, is taking comments out of context to make a cheap point.

    Reply
    1. taudarian
      taudarian at |

      “I suppose you had your reasons for not completing the sentence. Adding to your drek, is taking comments out of context to make a cheap point.”

      My posts were broken up by the script that allows them to be posted to the page. And I don’t have to take anything you write out of context. In context you are plainly a halfwit who makes unsupported claims and has delusions about himself.

      Reply
  20. Austin
    Austin at |

    I call untruthful nonsense lying. And your posts are full of it. I have read in the past couple of days at least 6 accounts by Roman writers which say that the elephants SWAM across th Rhone, and also that they had to have been Indian Elephants. That African elephants were too difficult and uneven tempered to train for the specially intricate manoeuvres required for war elephants. Also I have read that the elephant formed a symbiotic relationship with his mahout and the death of a mahout could cause many difficulties. I know well that in the Belgian Congo they had trained elephants to move logs and pull heavy weights so don’t bother me with more trash.

    I don’t see any need to have read the 6500 books on Carthage myself, although I have several on Hannibal. It’s enough that they exist and if you want to spend the money-I don’t I have enough books- you can read them. The writer of an essay I quoted read them and quotes from them. I suggest that you send your balderdash to HIM and leave me in peace. Call him a liar…….You wouldn’t dare. I suppose that like Scipio, you have a violent need to “conquer”… Take it out on your girl-friend-if you have one- or buy one for the night, i understand that that is a simple matter and as you are a simple person who can take off his shirt without unbuttoning the collar, that might be best……..

    Reply
    1. taudarian
      taudarian at |

      “I call untruthful nonsense lying. And your posts are full of it.”

      If that were indeed the case you’d be able to point at least some of it out. The fact you haven’t speaks volumes about your claims.

      “I have read in the past couple of days at least 6 accounts by Roman writers”

      Who?

      “that the elephants SWAM across th Rhone”

      Sources please. Also, what does ANY of this have to do with Scipio’s skills as a general, exactly?

      “and also that they had to have been Indian Elephants”

      They didn’t. There was the forest elephant of North Africa, a species driven into extinction, it is thought, by it’s use in ancient warfare.

      “That African elephants were too difficult and uneven tempered to train”

      Someone neglected to tell the Congolese this, they were doing it when the Belgians turned up.

      “I know well that in the Belgian Congo they had trained elephants to move logs and pull heavy weights so don’t bother me with more trash.”

      I’m guessing that you weren’t even aware that the Belgian Congo even existed prior to my mentioning it in this discussion. Your ignorance seems boundless.

      “I don’t see any need to have read the 6500 books on Carthage myself”

      Then neither do I. What is sauce for the goose. Regardless, I actually doubt that there happens to BE that many books written about Carthage. There aren’t that many books written about historical events much closer to hand, let alone about civilisations that left us no written records of their own and ceased to exist over two thousand years ago.

      “It’s enough that they exist”

      It’s actually claimed that they exist. It’s not actually proven that they exist. Claims require backing up. Something you singularly fail to do.

      “The writer of an essay I quoted read them and quotes from them”

      Actually he doesn’t. He does actually quote from historians. Historians who, if you actually go and read them (Scullard et al) DON’T support what he is claiming. Oh dear.

      “I suggest that you send your balderdash to HIM and leave me in peace”

      I suggest you actually back up your claims with something concrete rather than trying to palm me off with an amateur historians webpage because you utterly fail to produce anything we might call evidence into this discussion.

      Begging me to leave you alone because you yourself can’t defend your corner is laughably desperate of you.

      “I suppose that like Scipio,”

      Which Scipio are you referring to again Austin? We’ve already established you didn’t actually know which one you were talking about in the first place.

      Reply

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