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  • TriviaFan

    I really liked this one, well written and explains why each leader was so inept.

    I agree with McArthur in the top 5, I never bought into any of his hype when you really look at his accomplishments.

  • JerryTan

    Where is Arthur Percival?

    • I just read up on Arthur Percival. Great addition to this list: Here is a fun quote, “In 1918, Percival had been described as “a slim, soft spoken man… with a proven reputation for bravery and organisational powers” but by 1945 this description had been turned on its head with even Percival’s defenders describing him as “something of a damp squib”.” Ouch.

    • Zagloba

      With Alcibiades in Syracuse. LOL

    • Chris Stonehouse

      Good call Jerry. The consequences of his blunder surely can’t be topped.

      That’s what I was thinking. It’s an interesting list… but probably more concerned with causing controversy than a realistic top 10. Not necessarily a bad thing.

  • Claude

    Rommel WAS a military genius. A very limited, niched one, but nevertheless a genius. (As for Germany’s WW2, I think not Manstein but von Rundstedt was their greatest military commander.)

    • Peter Boucher

      Claude, I am in total agreement with you about Rommel. He was a military genius and even George Patton (Ol’ Blood and Guts) looked up to and admired Rommel for his military leadership and his strategic mind. But of course he plotted to have Hitler assasinated which I guess is the reason for why he is on this list.

  • Claude

    Rommel WAS a military genius – a rather limited, niched one, with many flaws, but nevertheless a genius. As for Monty – an overrated mediocrity indeed.

  • tassie devil

    I would also like to remember those who died as a result of the disgraceful surrender of Singapore in WWII. The allied generals surrendered 120,000 men to an unsupplied Japanese force of just 30,000. Most of these surrendrees were worked to death or murdered in labour forces.

  • Alexandria Baucco

    I loved the list, but I absolutely hated that he mentioned Hitler and said “see No.1”. For me, scrolling down and reading these one by one, trying to figure out what the number 1 will be is the best part. Ruined. Completely ruined at number 8.

    • Alexandria, you make a good point. I will remove that sentence for future readers. We’ll try not to do this in future.

  • ahounokotoba

    nice article
    I do agree with most of your pick
    but Rommel ?
    well, I only know a bit about WWII but as far as I know, Atlantic wall defense was a joint command between Rommel and if I`m not mistaken it`s Walter Model, both suggest for dynamic line of defense and of course it`s Hitler who messed everything by not allowing such strategy and forcefully order for static defense
    and then another fact followed, Rommel was not in command when the invasion happen because he is on his way to Berlin, so blaming him on the lost is a bit odd I think

  • Tom

    Good list, but I think Rommel gets the shaft here as he was stuck under Hitler’s thumb during the Normandy landings.

    And yeah, I think spoiling the list by mentioning future entries was a bad call. Still, like I said, it’s a good list and I enjoyed it.

  • Montesquieu

    Iraq did have Weapons of Mass Destruction bought from the United States, during the Iran-Iraq conflict. Hence the use of mustard gas on Kurds in the late 1980s.

    The reality of the WMD mess, was that Hussein’s son in law was likely the culprit in destroying the stockpile, as he was placed by Hussein to hide it.

    • TriviaFan

      Yes, Iraq did have WMD’s as you said for the time period you mentioned.

      But clearly, Iraq did NOT have the humongous stockpiles of WMD’s they claimed to have prior to the 2003 invasion that caused unnecessary violence, misery, and suffering for countless people.

      • Chris Stonehouse

        Here! Here! Trivia. These people are like holocaust deniers. CRAZY!

  • For your information, Filipinos at that time were really clamoring for MacArthur’s return. The Japanese were brutal occupiers and were worst than the Germans when pacifying a country even to the point of bayoneting babies. You can ask about this among the old folks in the Philippines.

    • TriviaFan

      This is irrelevant to the subject at hand.

      The fact remains that MacArthur was an overrated military leader and in fact many many decisions that created more suffering.

  • hakeem

    common people, iraq war was for oil and also served to scare other middle eastern leaders in case they did not cooperate with USA. There is also the belief that Saddam was also planning to trade oil in other currency than US $,

  • Henri

    This list is missing two very important failures, Chiang Kai Shek, and Josef Stalin. First of all, Shek, as commander-in-chief of Nationalist China, lost more territory in a war than any other leader on this list, including Hitler. He lost all of China to Mao Zedong, when he had US support and a much larger, more modern army. Stalin should make the list for ignoring intelligence reports from both his spies and the US government that predicted the date of Nazi Germany’s invasion within two days, beheading his military leadership with the show trials, and then barely holding out at Stalingrad and Moscow to win the war, at the cost of approximately 10 million Russian soldiers.

    • archworf

      Chinese names start with the family name. Calling Chiang “Shek” is the same as calling Stalin “Joe”. Remember, his opponent is not known as “Chairman Zedong”1

  • An other one


    An other one is the french general Maurice Gamelin, in 1940.

    I agree with you that Rommel is overated, and there is many reasons to say such a thing.

    He was a great tactical commander, but his success in Africa were some gamble. And during one of the battles of Tobrouk, he left his troops without any commander for 3 days, because his was during this time in the front line. 3 days without any commander is enought for losing a battle.

    He also refused the attack on Malta because he wanted the 5000 elite paratroopers for himselfs as infantry near Alamein. 5000 elite troops was nothing in an army of 200 000 troops, but so the attack on Malta was cancelled because of him.

    Finally, when he was the commander in France, he wanted the panzer to be just near the beach. But the allied invasion in Italy has proven that in such a case, Panzer are wiped by the Naval Artillery. (The Rommel’s tactic was used at Anzio and the german counterattack was halted by the navy)

    Rommel was like the french marechal Ney ( one the Napoleon’s general) : A very great tactical commander, always with his men, able to dare, but a poor commander for an army. At this level, to dare become a gamble. You win : you are a genious, but at the end : you lose.

  • a guy

    HAng on…haig xost 60k of the total force in one battle being 20%

    therefore making the whole army 300k strong…
    yet somehow lost 800k ?
    thats about as stupid as saying 6million jews died in the holocaust!
    seriously can people not do basic maths when calculating casualties anymore?

  • mark

    This may sound crazy, but I admire Saddam. Yeah, say I`m crazy. He may have been a thug, but you have to respect the way he refused a hood, when he was executed and wasn`t scared in the slightest by his executioneers who were taunting him like cowards. If that had been Bush, Blair or Cheney, they`d have cried like pussies. He showed more dignity than anyone I`ve ever seen.

  • Hamish Gordon

    Sorry but the most inept military leader in history is not on the list. Napoleon Bonaparte was quite simply inept. For a man with the reputation for being a military genius he cost his country more than any of the men on your list. Ignore Waterloo for a moment and focus instead on his glorious invasion of Russia. He left France with a well drilled and highly efficient force of 422,000. Shortly afterwards he sent 22,000 off on a separate objective. By the time that body of men reconnected with Napoleon’s army they numbered only 6,000. Unfortunately that was actually 50% more than the General’s main force which had been reduced to 4,000 men. He had lost 99% of his army. Try Googling the map of Charles Minard who in graphical form shows this “General’s” skills. Sun Tzu in his work, “The Art of War” outlines in chapter 1 the calculations a General must make. Napoleon’s arrogance blinded him to the futility and danger of his task. He failed chapter 1. He failed his men. He failed his country.

    • Chris Stonehouse

      Hamish, I hear what you’re saying… but europe declared war on France… not the other way around. Napoleon did a remarkable job. Against all expectation he defeated arm after arm. But yes, I agree with you – he over-extended.

      But if you compare him to someone truly incompetent – like Percieval or MacArthur. Well, there’s no comparison.

  • Martyn

    By the admission of the lists author Field Marshal Montgomery should not be on this list – ths lists author stating thatr he wasn’t a bad general but a pretty good one – so, with that in mind, why the bloody hell is he on this list?! The reason given is “he’s the British MacArthur”, meaning he was a egomanic and has been overrated. That’s not a good reason for calling him one of the worst military leaders in history. Beside which, how many times have you ever heard or Montgomery refered to as one of the greatest generals ever? a contemporary of Napoleon and Ceaser? I’ve never seen it. I’ve seen people say Patton was one of the greatest generals ever and a contemporary of the great commanders in history but Montgomery consistantly gets bashed and castigated for being “overrated”.

    To more substancial matters. North Africa – there are a few main point to go to regarding Montgomeries conduct in North Africa which should be split into pre-El Alamein, El Alamien and post-El Alamein.

    Pre-El Alamein – before Montgomery arrived the commander of the British 8th Army was Claude Auchinlech and he had managed to halt Rommel at the El Alamein line however 1st El Alemien was no major set back for the Germans and only offered the British a minor reprieve and as a result the Auk was sacked and, after the death of Strafer Gott, Monty was brought in. Monty found the army beaten, demoralized and confused with none of its officer confident of victory or even understanding what they were supposed to be doing. Monty took over and changed things in very quick order. He threw the Auk’s confusing plans in the bin and made a far more simple defensive plan then began retraining troops, sending more battle-weary ones on furlough and preparing the defense for what became the Battle of Alam el Halfa. After only 28 to 29 days in command of the 8th Army Montgomery had to deal with a full out offensive by the entire Panzer Army Afrika. Rommel, being halted, had taken the opportunity to resupply and had built his supplies up to relatively even standing with the 8th, furthermore Rommel had far better weaponry at his disposal than the British did and outgunned them and, manpower and material wise, outnumbered them but he had fallen for Montgomery’s deceptions in the prelude to battle and was defeated with ease.

    El Alamein – having been defeated completely at Alam el Halfa Rommel decided that he couldn’t dishonor his troops by falling back to a more easilly resuppliable position and so sat at the furthest extent of his supply line while the Royal Navy and RAF straggle those supply lines. His bad supply situation was, thusly, his own fault. That said he had placed between the two armies the largest minefield laid in the entire war, he had dug in his guns and some of his armour while leaving his most powerful armoured units free and mobile to respond to any attempted break through and had secure flanks thanks to the Qatarra Depression in the South and the Mediterranean to the North. The only way for the 8th to get to the Panzer Army Afrika was to create avenues through the minefield and advance through them. The victory was far from a forgone conclusion and had Rommel not been on sick leave in Germany and had Stumme not died in the initial bombardment then there is a strong case to be had the the 8th’s advance could have been stopped dead in the minefield. The British advantage was only 2/1 or 3/2 at best and this too did not make victory inevitable. The battle lasted about as long as Montgomery predicted it would and the British suffered about as many casualties as he predicted they would. He attempted to capture Rommel after the battle but his Armour let him down by losing cohesion as a sand storm blew in.

    Post-El Alamein – Montgomery’s advance after Rommel was unequalled in the War for its speed. It covered 720 in 20 and over 1000 miles in less than two months. The advance was at times so fast that the only way to resupply the 8th was by air but Montgomery was not going to make the same mistakes of his predecessors and go out on a limb for Rommel to hit him on a counter-attack and so set specific place to halt and reorganize. In doing this he maintained the offensive and insured that Rommel could never take the initiative back from him. Montgomery was the only desert commander to coquer the logistics of the task involved in crossing the desert and securing the position on the other side.

    Next to Sicily – Patton’s advance to Palermo was without orders and conducted purely for the fact that Patton wasn’t the center of attention and wanted the glory of taking the Sicilian capital. Rather than trying to win the campaign and defeat the Germans he advanced through open country against neglibile opposition and had no plans for advance on Messina. Montgomery, on the other had, had to advance against the rugged country around Mount Etna and prepared defensive positions along that line where the Germans were dug in a fought a stage a stage by stage withdrawl. Montgomery’s route of advance was infinitely more difficult than Patton’s was. When Monty leant of Patton’s position near Palermo he suggested that Patton move on Messina because he was in a better positon to take it than Monty was. The race to Messina was one-sided on Patton’s side as Monty had given up the prize and pulled most of the 8th back to prepare for an invasion of the Italian mainland. When Patton finally engaged the German rearguard he had no more success than the British did and had little impact.

    Normandy – Montogmery was the prinicpal architect of the Overlord Plan and the Allied Ground Forces Commander for the operation. As such he was responsible for success and failure of the operation as a whole, not just the British sector. The only Allied force to achieve its D-Day objectives were the Canadians but this overlooks the fact that the D-Day objectives were ambitious but not vital and failure to take them was only a minor set back – not a major one – and didn’t change the overall plan. Furthermore the actions of the 2nd British Army was the responsibility of General Miles Dempey just like the action of the 1st US Army was the responsibility of General Omar Bradley, Montgomery’s responsibility was controling the action of the whole campaign. In placing “blame” for being unable to take Caen on the day+1 on Montgomery you remove Dempsey’s accountability.

    Market Garden – Montgomery came up with the concept but didn’t plan it, nor did his command it. It was planned by Frederick Browning and Louis Brereton and they, and Dempsey, commanded it. Montgomery was unusally hands off for the operation. This aside, it was a very close run thing and almost worked, also it was not a major set back as the troops used in the operation were mainly ones which had not been deployed into action since Overlord. Market Garden’s failure in no way accounted for Bradley/Hodges’ failed offensive into the Hurtgen Forest where the US Commanders were just dreadful throughout and cost the Allies 31,000 men in a battle tha lasted several months and accomplished nothing, nor did it account for Patton’s failed offensive against Metz in the Lorraine Campaign where bad decisions from him cost the 33,000 casualties. The Allies ground to a halt in the Autumn and Winter months of 1944 because Eisenhower’s Broad Front had left no Army Group strong enough to press forward any offensive and because Eisenhower had not formed a strategic reserve he could no reinforce anyone. Market Garden was an attmept to avoid the stalemate that was inevitable because of the Broad Front – it was not the thing that caused that stalemate.

    The final statement made about Montgomery – that being he was too caution when aggression was needed and too aggressive when caution was needed – is just part of the Monty-bashing myth and doesn’t stand up to any real scrutiny.

    • Peter Boucher

      Let’s make into simpler terms shall we ?? Montgomery had one very important thing missing with him. HE DIDN’T HAVE ANY BALLS OR KILLER INSTINCT, THAT’S WHY HE IS ON THIS LIST !!!! If you want to have some fun. Go to the wikipedia and look up Winston Churchill and the French Navy. Churchill wasn’t exactly on the up and up as far as World War II was concerned. In a way I am kind of glad we put the Brits in their place with the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812

      • Peter Boucher

        And also, why is Erwin Rommel on this list as well when in fact he should be on the TOP TEN GREATEST list. “The Desert Fox” was probably the greatest military mind that Nazi Germany ever had. Even George “Ol’ Blood And Guts” Patton considered him to be a genius and they fought against each other. I firmly believe the reason as to why Rommel is on this list is because he attempted to conspire to have Hitler assassinated. Well, he got caught and was given two choices. Be executed or take “The Pill” (cyanide).

      • Martyn

        The comment about Churchill and the attack on Mers-el-Kabir has absolutely nothing to do with either my post of the subject. The comment about the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 also has absolutely nothing to do with the subject and really only makes clear the fact that you are an Americanophile and puts questions onto you attitude regarding the British.

        As to your comments about Monty not having any “balls or killer instinct” – rubbish.

        You could make the case that Monty could have been more aggressive in attacking but this would ignore the fact that he actually had to conserve more manpower than the likes of Bradley, Patton and Hodges since the British were drawing from the last of their manpower and had to start breaking up divisions to provide replacements for battle loses near the end of 1943. It would also ignore the fact that in battles he won Montgomery usually decimated the vast majority of his enemies army leaving only a token force able to withdraw and needing to be reinforced to stand again.

        To the “no balls” thing, that’s ridiculous.Nobody ever doubted Montgomery personal or professional fortitude. In WW1 he almost died in an advance across no mans land, in the Battle of France his division was often baring the brunt of the German attacks on the BEF, he was completely unafraid in his private and public utterances, he was prepared to risk career suicide to stand up to his political and military masters and call them morons when he thought they were being morons, he never once doubted that once a plan had been put in place that it would succeed, he had full confidence that he would always succeed and never once doubted his methods and he was prepared to take risks when he thought the military situation required it – examples, the Narrow Front strategy which was vastly more bold and daring than Eisenhower unimmaginative Broad Front and MARKET GARDEN which even his harshest critics would say was a major risk and a bold move.

        The fact is that whatever you say against him Montgomery won more battles than any other Western Allied Commander, played a major role in three of the biggest Allied victories of the war – El Alamein, OVERLORD and the Ardennes Offensive – and won his battles at a tolerable casualties cost while maintaining 21st Army Group as a major force on the continent despite Britian’s dwindling manpower.

        • Peter Boucher

          Well, all I can say is watch the movie entitled “Patton” starring George C. Scott as Patton (which he won the Academy Award for best actor) and Karl Malden as General Omar Bradley. What I do find ironic was the actor who portrayed Montgomery who happened to be the actor who portrayed the Prison Guard in the movie “A Clockwork Orange”. So here we go again with us arguing and fighting about our opinions which elevate in reality to WAR and FUTILITY.

          • Martyn

            The movie Patton is not accurate. There are many faults with it but chief amongst them is the portrayal of both Patton and Mongomery. Their personalities were exaggerated to a vast degree where they were more contoonish stereotypes than representations of the people, and the man who comes out of that film looking like a proper general is Bradley – which isn’t surprising since Bradley was the military consultant for the film.

            If your basing you information on movies then you don’t have a leg to stand on in an faux-acedemic/faux-historical debate. Try reading books every know and then, and not just books which bash Monty.

          • Chris

            That’s a nice response Martyn.

            One of the things that most bugs me about the way history is perceived is that it so closely tied to the way its portrait by popular movies. And… since ‘historic’ movies are either/or made by/made for Americans… Americans are always totally AWESOME and everyone else either:
            Totally absent
            Totally incompetent
            The bad guys

            WWII is a great example. Whether totally incompetent, like MacArthur or preety darn good like Eisenhower… the whole western front thing was a sideshow. The Soviets pretty much won the war single-handed.

            But you know… America won the war right? Of course it did… I saw it in that movie…. Captain America. LOL

          • Tommy Gun

            Oh dear, another “Hollywood historian”. If you only knew how you sound using the movie “Patton” as your source. I’d love to hear your opinion of Patton’s performance at Gabes, in which his 88,000 force were mauled by the 10th panzer Div -which was returning from being mauled themselves by 8th Army at Medenine and so were at half strength. Or Metz, when he bragged that he would take it in 10 days but then it took him 10 weeks. The problem with Monty bashers like you is they generally just repeat the same old myths without actually knowing a thing about the battles he fought, beyond maybe Market Garden and Caen. Any of his failures are dwarfed by the debacle of the Battle of the Bulge, where the US got caught with their pants down, or the idiotic sacrifice of troops in the Hurtgen Forest by Hodges and Bradley for no strategic gain. Monty bashers don’t have a leg to stand on for the simple reason that they don’t apply the same standards when assessing other General’s performances. It almost makes you wish that Monty should never have bothered saving your backsides at the Bulge.

        • Peter Boucher

          So now you see my point that even the First Amendment of The Constitution of the United States of America also causes arguments, fights, riots (like what going on at Wall St. right now), oppression, and yes WARFARE. This is one helluva sociological experiment that we are creating now isn’t it. Except warfare is on a very much larger scale. Let’s just let it go and be done with this, O.K. gentleman ? Wanna have some real fun ? Go over to the Top Ten List website called LISTVERSE which I also frequent and get into their Theory Of Evolution argument that people are having over there as wee speak. That one makes this one look like the Mickey Mouse Club. Goddamn Bible toting Creationists, Fundamentalists, GOP, Republicans vs. Pro-Evolutionary people are going at it Tooth and Nail right now over there. You would have fun on that one !!!!

  • Dante

    What about Benito Mussolini? Hitler had to bail him out in Africa and eastern Europe. If hitler didn’t have to do that, his invasion of Russia would have happened early in the year. And the nazis probably would have took Moscow in 1941. It’s hard not to say that the addition of Mussolini as an opponent actually HELPED the allies.

    • Zagloba

      Duce! Duce! Duce! Yep Italian know how and pomp! There ya go. The Fiat of war machines.

  • tailyour

    I was disappointed to see Douglas Haig on the list. Of all the First World War commanders, Douglas Haig was easily the most competent, and no First World War commanders (with the exception of Conrad von Hotzendorf of Austria-Hungary) were ineffective. No-one was able to envisage a way out of trench warfare because of the problems of maintaing effective artillery support and communications with the rear once men had gone over the top. Contrary to popular belief, Haig was far from a Luddite in implementing technological solutions. His despatches, written at the conclusion of each year of warfare, recognise the importance of tanks, aircraft reconnaissance, and artillery innovations (e.g. the creeping barrage) in his armies. Furthermore, Haig oversaw the expansion of the British army from an expeditionary force of around 150,000 men in 1914 to 2,000,000 in 1918, with all the logistical headaches that that entailed. These men had to be turned from raw recruits drawn from the civilian population into an effective fighting body.

    His despatches also record his profound sorrow at the extraordinary loss of life amongst his soldiers. The principal criticism of Haig is that he wasted men’s lives in efforts that accomplished very little. Not only was this not a unique situation for Haig, but it was also a sound strategic conclusion to be drawn. Even before American involvement in WW1 could be felt, the Entente enjoyed a crushing superiority in terms of men and materiel, whilst the naval blockade of Germany was strangling her industry and agriculture of its ability to sustain the war effort. Haig concurred with his military and political contemporaries, both in Britain and Germany, that time was on the side of the Allies. The Entente thus used this advantage to wage a war of attrition in which they consistently inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy. Entente casulaties were inflicted too, but these were more easily replacable than in Germany. Furthermore, once Haig was a principal architect (along with Ferndiand Foch) of the Hundred Days Offensive that essentially won the war. This offensive was won for a number of reasons (technological superiority, fresh troops from the USA, unified command, multiple offensives to tie down reserves), but one of the chief reasons was the demoralisation of the German army thanks to heavy casulaties and the belief that such heavy losses could not be sustained. Ultimately Haig’s attritional strategy was proved correct, and he was able to break out of the trenches using improved tactics and strategy, and utilising superb commanders such as Arthur Currie and Herbert Plumer.

    There is much more to say in defence of Haig, and he has many academic defenders (John Terraine; Brian Bond) who have put the case much more concisely and fully than I have. Perhaps more instructive, however, is to consider how his contemporaries, military and non-military, considered his leadership. It was popular to condemn in the 1960s-1980s, but in the aftermath of the war Haig was celebrated as a hero. He recieved a barontecy and a substantial pension (equivalent to many millions of £s). His state funeral in 1928 was attended by huge crowds, and two princes and two marshalls of France (Foch & Petain). John Pershing, the American commander, remarked that Haig was “the man who won the war”. I am pleased to see that Haig’s reputation is undergoing a restoration in popular circles as well as academic ones, and it is thus a great shame to see him included in an otherwise excellent list of the worst military commanders of all time.

  • Vical

    I’m sorry, but even in elementary school, here in Mexico, Santa Anna is said to be “the worst leader Mexico has ever had”. Personally, I haven’t met a single person here whose opinion about this character is better than “terrible”. I mean, we all know he sold more than a half of the country, there is no reason for we to consider him a famous character, rather than an infamous one. The phrase ” demonstrating that competency is not a prerequisite for fame in some countries” (and I’am NOT saying this isn’t true) is, lacking of a better word, ignorant.

    • Zagloba

      No people no country open space. It took Americans to develop a wasteland. 5000 Mexis at most what a joke.

  • Josean

    I seriously doubt Normandy was taken in half an hour…

  • oGvDo

    Monty and Rommel definitely shouldn’t be on this, they were both great commanders. This is the only top 10 list i don’t like for the simple reason that none of these leaders were ‘Bad’ leaders. I mean, Douglas Haig, yes, he lost 60,000men in one day at the battle of the Somme, but Britain did break through eventually, he was just doing his job. Another example, Adolf Hitler. I DO NOT support Hitler in any way shape or form, but come on… The Nazis Took over most of the world under Hitlers rule, so how can he be a bad leader? I would say taking over most of the world was pretty damn successful don’t you? As well as fighting more than 10 Countries at a time? with at least 4 of those countries being major ‘super powers’ in the world at the time and even today. (Great Britain, USA, Russia and France). In reality Hitler was a great commander, look what he achieved. Even though what Hitler did was beyond barbaric he still conquered most of the world. Feel free to hate on me if you want, its just my opinion.

    • Hirschkorn

      Hitler did not conquer the world, his generals did it for him. He was just a charismatic politician (and a genius gambler) but that’s all – he wasn’t a strategist, a tactician, a military leader. Actually, the Germans lost the war because of HIM.

  • Zagloba

    Joke list! No Patton? No Caesar or Alexander the Great? Where is Napoleon ? Your the genius right? These guys are pale in the light of your genius.

  • Zagloba

    Where is Robert E Lee architect of Southern defeat?

  • DeathToIran24

    This list is a joke. Rommel was one of the best generals of the war his defeat was largely due to the fact that he lacked enough strength as the royal navy was attacking his supply lines.While Montgomery is overrated he was just an average general not a bad one. MacArthur is the stupidest choice, the Philippines was lost because Washington would not send reinforcements he ordered the planes south but Bereton would not obey because he planned on throwing a party. His New Guinea campaign was a masterpiece capturing large amounts of territory with minimal casualties. Also Peliliu was supported by Nimitz. Also the Philippines was very strategically important that’s why the Japanese attacked in the first place, why else would they ristk there remaining fleet at Leyte Gulf. His Inchon landing was one of the greatest counterstrokes in military history. The Chinaman were successful because Truman refused to allow Macarthur to attack Chinese bases.

  • Sean

    An exellent example of rubbish written by an ignorant person with a huge lack of knowledge.

  • cyrus

    the philippines have strategic value.

  • Gerardo A

    AHH! I hate Santa Anna! He was just a complete idiot! All he wanted was power and money! He didn’t care about the welfare of his soldiers or the citizens of Mexico! It was his fault that the US-Mexico war even began! If he were smarter and treated the people fairly the texans wouldn’t have revolted.

  • Peter Boucher

    If Douglas MacArthur is on the list of worst military leaders, then explain to me how he was the most decorated soldier in all of history according to the Guinness Book Of Records ??

    • Martyn

      Well, MacArthur did kind of decorate himself. He had himself awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for taking on plane over Korea on routing visits to it during the Korean War and managing an air cargo mission, he awarded himself a Purple Heart for service in WW1 20 years after the event which had not been seen as worthy of winning the award, he gave himself the Congressional Medal of Honor for his retreat from the Philippines, he had an Air Medal despite never completing the five combat missions necessary to earn it. So taking the medals to his name as proof of his abilities as a soldier and general may be a bit misleading.

    • Hirschkorn

      He wasn’t. Hans Ulrich Rudel was.

  • kaibotski

    Uncle Joey Stal didn’t let his generals run the show.. he didn’t have any left during world war2. He had liquidated them all by then.

  • Basketball

    Nice article! You did neglect many ancient military blunderers but they were long ago and the victors wrote the history for the most part so the exact facts are disputed. Here are a few that came to mind though:

    Crassus @ Carrhae
    Cao Cao @ Red Cliffs
    Varus @ Teutoburg Forest

    There are many many others. I obviously left out many terrible commanders from the Greco-Persian wars. Too many geniuses on the Greek side. It would be unfair to call someone one of the worst commanders when he was up against the likes of Alexander, Miltiades and Themistocles.

    I do have a great suggestion for a similar article. It would involve more than 10 though so I’ll just go ahead and do it for you

    Top 66,000,000 Worst Soldiers

    Answer: The French

    Hehe, sorry that was in bad taste but you can’t talk about the WW’s without bringing it up.

  • ????

    This must be a Joke!!!! Saddam Hussein attacked Iran in 1980 planing to detach Khuzestan province of Iran in just 3!!!!!! days. But he couldn’t finish the war until 8 years later 1988. How could he be oon of top 10 military leaders!!

  • ?????????????

    Uhh, I thought Rommel did pretty good and does not deserve a place in this list.

    • Peter Boucher

      I totally agree that Rommel should NOT be on this list

  • Peter Boucher

    Chris, Chris, Chris, I received a letter from the HIGHER UPS from Top Tenz website and was informed of my actions towards Martyn and to never do it again, but left me with just a warning. I take full responsibility of my actions and I do not need to be reminded like a little child anymore. I apologize for anymore comments that I will make in the future on one exception. That you have ABSOLUTELY no CONTACT with me ever again !! You sound like the intimitator to me. So be it………Peter

    • Chris

      Peter, Peter, Peter,

      You said yourself that you’ve been warned about inappropriate behaviour. (With your completely unprovoked yammering threats again Martyn.) And now you’ve compounded it by threatening me?

      The discussion is “Top 10 Worst Military Leaders in History”. Stick to that Peter.

  • Peter Boucher

    CHRIS, CHRIS, CHRIS, I was man enough to apologize to Martyn about my behavior to him and now you are just exasperating the problem. I see on my yahoo mail that you are opossed to the U.S. MILITARY ??? ARE YOU A DRAFT DODGER ??? DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU COULD SPEND TIME IN LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS FOR THE (READ UP ON THAT PLACE AS THEY WOULD RUN ROUGHSHOD UPON YOU) DESERTION OF A TERM CALLED BEING AWOL ?? I believe that you are the one that is all behind this argumentative crap. So for the THIRD time, just leave me alone and for get that I ever exist. If you want to take it into a further realm, I would be man enough. After all, when a superior officer in the military gives you a direct order, you follow through with it. Did you know that, Chris, My friend ????

  • Peter Boucher


    • Chris


      Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Where do I start with your increasingly hysterical rants?

      Firstly, I’m NOT American.
      Secondly, I’m not in the military. Never have I ever been… or intend to be. (All this orders/threats/’superior’ sounds INSANE.) And the draft-dodging!?!? Crazy. Even if I was American… there hasn’t been a draft in the US since the Vietnam War. And even then… it was completely corrupt… and if you had money… 🙂
      Thirdly, I personally believe that the US military is responsible for much of the evils of this world. Torchuring innocents and stealing oil of poor people is nothing to be admired. But that’s MY opinion. (And btw, ALOT more people on the globe would agree with me than you.) However, you’ve got a your opinion and you’re entitled to it.
      Fourthly, you obviously can’t tolerate anyone who has a different opinion to you. I would’ve thought then that blogs are not the place for you. Think about it.
      Fifthly, I’m NOT intimidated by threats and attempts to bully. Actually, it’s kinda laughable. However, you very obviously haven’t learnt your lesson re: Martyn. So I will be reporting you to this group’s moderators.
      My advice… seriously… chill. Get some fresh air. Do something apart from blogging.


  • Peter Boucher

    Well Chris, I can see that this is going to go on longer then the “HUNDREDS YEAR WAR” (1337-1453). This will now be the FOURTH time that I have asked you to leave me alone and just drop the FRICKEN SUBJECT ABOUT ME. Just FORGET about me. I haven’t heard from Martyn since I apologized to him and now your acting as his proxy. And I would love to know what country you’re from so that I can cast aspergins upon your own people as well. JUST FRICKEN DROP IT. Do you have any intelligence or is your brain smaller than a pimple on a mosquito’s dink. Que sont vous jusqu’a (That’s French for “What are you up to. Yes I speak French as well). Martyn reported me to TOPTENZ.COM and I also have the right to do it as well. GET OFF OF MY FRICKEN CASE, YOU PARROT !!!!

    • Chris


      As long as you keep clogging up my in box with threats, orders and personal insults.. then I will respond.

      As amusing as it all is to me… I feel honour-bound to stand up to (would-be) bullies like you Peter.

      I’ve not threatened you… or personally insulted you. I disagree with your views… but, after all, this is a blog. Right? And I have little/no respect for you… because you don’t seem to be able to argue coherently.

      If you want to stop threatening me… and personally insulting me…. then that’ll be the end of it. Hopefully you can manage that. 🙂


  • Frank Kuchno

    MacArthur pushed for Inchon when EVERY other US commander and official opposed it. It doesn’t get him off the hook for being surprised on December 8th and losing the Philippines…..but give the devil his due on Inchon.

  • wjr123

    The author is ignorant and has only the most superficial idea of military history. Jeff, go look up Manzikert or Agincourt. These were stupid losses. BTW, there is a difference between being incompetent and being stupid. Neville was incompetent and Custer was arrogant and stupid.

    OTOH, ignorant is more a quality of writers who write about things that they know very little about.

  • Alan_McIntire

    Worthrthless article. A REAL bottom 10 might have included Gaius Terentius Varro and Lucius Aemilius Paullus who led the Romans as Hannibal’s smashing victory at Cannae.
    The Russian Generals Samsonov and Rennenkamph each lost an army of about 300,000 men during the first month of WW1. Crassus, one of the triumvirate which included Pompey and Caesar, lost an army attacking the Parthians.

    • Here here! OP isn’t a historian…

  • Steve Coats

    Saw Rommel, stopped reading.

    • Just Wondering

      Whatever the spin, it made a mockery of the whole thing.

  • Steve Coats

    I think I saw a couple square centimeters of blank screen. Get some clickbait on there, STAT!

  • John Massoud

    Having Rommel or MacArthur was ridiculous. But why have Hitler without Czar Nicholas II?

  • Just Wondering

    Great idea for a list.
    Please get someone who has some military expertise and knowledge of events before 1800.

    • Indeed . The OP is rather ignorant of history pre1830’s…

  • jt

    Rommel lol you need a psychologist

  • markbuehner

    These arent even close to a list of the worst. A list of the most overrated, maybe.