Top 10 Generals of Western History

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In our modernized, mechanized age of warfare, where decisions are made by civilians, officers far from any line of combat, congressional committees, and unknown military strategists in committee, an army is a faceless thing. For the last six decades, the idea of massed armies doing battle has been considered a curiosity of the past, and warfare is often viewed more as an endemic state of some sort rather than a series of events.

Once, however, responsibility and consequence were not so diffused. Brilliant strategic, tactical, and logistical minds had immediate and total control of large armies, and those armies became victorious or defeated because of one man’s ability. In our attempt to survey the great generals of history, we must limit ourselves, or at least agree to common terms. For the purposes of this list, those eligible for inclusion must have been field commanders, with undeniable autonomy in their battles; no armchair generals or errand boys here

10. Attila the Hun

attila-the-hun

Attila the Hun

Leader of the Hunnish empire that stretched from the borders of modern day France to the steppes of Russia, this thorn in the side of both Roman and Byzantine empires assembled a massive force of all the tribes and nations traditionally viewed as provincial savages – Huns, Goths, Ostrogoths, Vandals, and many more, and nearly conquered mainland Europe. In the template of other “barbarian” conquerors to come after him, like Genghis Khan, he showed the lie of assumed Western superiority; and whenever your enemies names you “the Scourge of God”, you can assume you’ve proved yourself a respected threat.

9. Frederick the Great

frederick-the-great

Frederick the Great

Frederick II of Prussia was a student of modern warfare, and later its guiding voice in the late 18th century. He modernized the army of his disjointed pseudo-German kingdom, and fought continuous wars against Austria, the dominating power of the Holy Roman Empire at the time. Known for both his books and treatises on warfare, as well as leading troops into battle personally (he had six horses shot from under him), Frederick was a force to be reckoned with

8. George S. Patton

The most controversial figure of the Allied forces in WWII, Patton himself may have believed himself to be reincarnated from more ancient warriors, carrying their bravery and experience into his battles. A promising early career helping Pershing hunt Pancho Villa jumpstarted Patton into the armored corps, where he became a mentor to Eisenhower (later promoted over his head). In WWII, he gladly used the Germans’ blitzkrieg against them, using the maneuverability of American armored units to out maneuver German lines and gaining large amounts of ground over short periods of time. His infamous incidents, including troops under his command executing more than one massacre, and Patton’s slapping of a supposedly cowardly soldier in a field hospital, contributed to his decline, but more than anyone else, he led the Allies to victory in Europe.

Notable contemporaries: Benard Montgomery, British general and competitior; Erwin Rommel, Nazi tank commander and adversary

7. Joan of Arc

joan-of-arc

Joan of Arc

The maid of Orleans is the only commander on this list to have had to share command in even her finest moments of victory, but as she is also the only woman, one feels an exception is in order. A French peasant girl who claimed visions from God, she traveled to Charles II, the French king losing the war to the English. Though she was hampered by skepticism at first, Joan influenced several important French victories, leading charges personally, and inspiring French troops to renewed fervor. Tried and executed by an English court for witchcraft, she was later exonerated, beatified, and made the patron saint of France

6. Julius Caesar

The famed consul of Rome was perhaps the ablest of the late Republic’s military leaders, vying with his co-consul, Pompey for glory in subjugating territory to Rome’s expansionist will. His campaign against the Gauls is still required reading in many military academies, and his defeat of Pompey nearly granted him the kingship of firmly republican Rome. The political and personal treachery that ended his life and provided the opportunity for his nephew, Octavian, to become emperor, is legendary, but Caesar’s successes were more reliant on the loyalty and victory of his armies than political maneuvering.

Notable contemporaries: Pompey the Great (adversary), Marc Antony (protégé)

5. George Washington

George Washington

Washington was the pivotal, and probably most successful, leader of the American revolutionary forces vying for independence from the British Empire. Though ably assisted by several subordinates (including Benedict Arnold, whose military acumen has been overshadowed by his famous betrayal), Washington proved the uniting force of the Continental Army, leading it to victory at Trenton and Yorktown, and holding the piecemeal forces together in the hard winter at Valley Forge. Being elected President twice without serious opposition seemed the least Americans could do for their war leader


4. Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee

Lee, perhaps the most successful commander in history against numerically and materially superior forces, was the gentle genius in charge of the Army of Northern Virginia and most Confederate forces during the Civil War. He developed a reputation of near omniscience among both enemies and allies, and soundly thrashed Union forces soundly on numerous occasions. His losses, few as they were, were generally more devastating to his opponents than himself, and Ulysses S. Grant, the only general to successfully corner Lee, was forced to adopt a strategy of attrition, rather than any attempt to outfight Lee.

3. Salah ad Din

Salah ad Din

Saladin, as he is known in our language, was the most outstanding leader of the Crusades, hampering the fledgling crusader states and European invasions with equal aplomb. Known for his calm and rationality, his lack of fanaticism, and his respect for his opponents, he conquered Syria, Egypt, and most of modern day Israel steadily and without great difficulty. He was enormously respected by nearly all of his rivals, and maintained an epistolary friendship with Richard the Lionheart, sending him gifts, horses, and his own physician.

2. Hannibal Barca

hannibal-barca

Hannibal Barca

The most feared opponent Rome ever faced, this Carthaginian general was raised to the task of defeating the Romans from early childhood by his father, Hasdrubal. Hannibal abandoned previous Carthaginian tactics of passive naval superiority, and marched a force on elephants over the Italian Alps. Defeating the Romans at nearly every battle he fought, he made a Roman general, Quintus Fabius Maximus, famous merely for being able to delay Hannibal’s advance without enormous loss of life (Fabius was granted the title “Cunctator”, or delayer, by the Roman senate).At Cannae, Hannibal’s forces, cobbled together and suffering from losses, routed an enormous Roman army, killing or capturing upwards of fifty thousand enemies. Eventually defeated by Scipio Africanus and deserted by his government, he remained a scourge the Romans invoked to justify razing Carthage.

1. Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte

Born a Corsican, Napoleon became by far the most able general of the modern age, rising from obscurity during the Revolution to Consul and Emperor of the French Empire which spanned from Madrid to Moscow and from Oslo to Cairo. Originally an artilleryman, he led campaigns that conquered the Italian States, Austria, Egypt, Prussia, Spain, the Netherlands, Swedish Pomerania, parts of the Caribbean, and large swathes of Russia. Leading brilliant campaigns, using concentrated force in lightning strikes on the field, developing independent and complete army corps (a system still modeled today), installing puppet rulers, conscripting troops from each nation he subdued, and inspiring a host of marshals who were all able tacticians themselves (Murat, Massena, Bernadotte, Ney, and many others), Napoleon revolutionized warfare. No less than four international alliances of powers were required to bring his empire to its knees, and without the simultaneous pressure or Russian winter, British naval domination, Spanish guerillas, and Wellington’s stolid and unbreakable Anglo-Spanish-Portuguese Army, very likely Bonaparte would have sat astride the his European conquests for years to come.

Sadly, this list cannot be exhaustive; our knowledge comes to us through dubious historians, and a mythos that may deny some great leaders their due. Notables who missed the top ten by a hair: Alexander the Great, who conquered most of Southeastern Europe, Asia Minor, and large parts of India in a single sweeping campaign, before dying in tears that “there were no more worlds to conquer”; Genghis Khan, whose horde took most of China and Russia; Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, who took Western Europe in the late Dark Ages, defeating native tribes, isolated kingdoms, and Moorish conquerors alike; and of course, contemporaries and rivals of those in the top ten. Wellington, Jackson, Pericles, Leonidas, Grant, Pompey, Garibaldi, and Tokugawa all played their roles, and should not be underestimated lightly. But the ten we have inscribed are perhaps the most iconic, representative, and beloved (or feared) of conquerors, a breed of men that knew the direst times of human history, and thrived in them. We shall not see their like again.

Written by C. Vincent Barbatti


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626 Comments

  1. ah and Crowley, I’m not completely anti-british as I did put Henry V in there 😉

    For me he had that “wow” factor as he really put France on it’s knees, did it alone and when France was even stronger comparatively.

    • “ He just did not manage to turn around a generally desperate situation” – if Marlborough lost at Blenheim, or if he listened to his superiors and stayed in Holland, France would have conquered Vienna, and Austria would have capitulated, which would have probably meant the end of the Alliance and a victory for France – it was pretty desperate. By the way, his opponents were the cream of French generals, all of whom played a part in making Louis XIV’s France the force it was at the time. After the war ended, England had clear supremacy over France in the colonies (actually it was the end of the idea of a great French colonial empire – their politics would, starting with this war, be to solely focus on the continent, leaving their colonies to fend for themselves, and meant that, apart from colonizing parts of Africa, France would only lose colonial possessions from then on); it gained Gibraltar, and a reformed army which was a match for the continental ones. It was a clear shift of power, with France being forced to enter bigger alliances after the war, and England getting more and more enemies due to their rise in power. The rise only continued during the war of the Polish succession and the Seven years war (the 30 year war was over half a century before the war of the Spanish succession, and it paved the way for France’s emergence as the top superpower of the era – you got some dates mixed up), and so did France’s decline. By the time of Napoleon, England was already the dominant superpower, by some margin. The gap only widened after Napoleon’s defeat. As for the war not being a distinguished one – I could never agree with that. The war of the Spanish succession was one of the crossroads of history, and, had France won, it would have been a very different world today. The loss of territory in North America meant the later US would be formed under a very heavy (almost exclusive) English influence, not French. It also paved the way for the British Canada, and allowed Turkey to keep its position in the Balkans for an entire century! Eugene of Savoy demolished the Turks before the War of the Spanish succession started, first at Senta, than at Belgrade, and was well into today’s Macedonia, before he was withdrawn (with his forces), due to rising hostilities between the Austrians and the French. Had the war started a few years later (or if it had never happened), the Ottoman Empire would have effectively ended with the end of the 17th century, instead of lasting well into the 19th. The slow decay which then started in Turkey meant the British would address “the Balkan issue” during the Crimean war, against Russia, instead of it all being resolved then, in favor of the Austrians. The forced peace also left a lot of people on the wrong side of the border, and the ethnical tensions of the 20th century, between Serbs, Bosnians and Croats all have roots in the consequences of the Treaty of Karlowitz, which is directly linked with the expected beginning of the War of the Spanish succession. France also lost its position in the Caribbean, and that (plus the loss of territory in North America), combined with the trading treaty between England and Spain, signaled the end of the era of the privateers, and started the golden age of piracy. The war also marked the official beginning of the “status quo” theory (the balance of power) in foreign politics, with all of the European powers deciding to unify against any potential shift of power on the continent. This “unfortunate” practice meant that, by the time of the Seven year war (only some 40 years after the War of the Spanish succession), it was only Britain and Prussia against the rest of the continent, because they were seen as the factors which could ruin the balance of power. I said “unfortunate practice” because I feel it only lead to massive loss in human life, with the constant realignments of powers, and it was continued well into the 20th century, being directly at fault for the events in WW1 and especially WW2 (many politicians argued a strong Germany was a good balance to a strong Russia on the continent, and therefore it was okay to leave Hitler alone). I know I got carried away here, but the war of the Spanish Succession was one of the great wars in European and World history. And Marlborough was the star man. That’s why I placed him in the top 10.
      I wasn’t really serious about you being anti-britis 🙂 but it is funny how you argue Marlborough prolonged the war for his own interests, while you’re ready to forgive Waterloo to Napoleon, even though it was only about him maintaining his legend (after the torrid, and also very unforgivable Russian campaign).
      As for the WW2 bits, just to put my view on what you 2 are arguing – everyone likes to overemphasize the greatness of their own generals (be it Russian, American, British, German or whoever) but WW2 was just too big not to try and create heroes, even though the machines and the economies actually waged the war. And by heroes I mean the guys who were most deserving for the win. That’s why guys like Patton, Monty, Zhukov or Romel are such legends – you need to point out someone with a name and a face and say that he did it, instead of just reciting numbers about tanks produced, man recruited, lives lost and the like. People are used to creating heroes (and martyrs) in the aftermath of military victories, and, with such clear villains in the face of the Nazis, some guys just had to do, no matter how far they were from the great generals of old. Bear in mind the British were desperate for another Trafalgar in WW1, and instead they got a bleak and indecisive Jutland. In fact, with the whole WW1 being the uninspiring, bloody slaughterhouse with no genuine heroes, i imagine everyone were just ready to embrace whoever brought clear victories, no matter the greatness of the challenge.

  2. When rating generals, I don’t believe the results of the war should be considered. A tremendous general could be working for lousy politicians, put into a hopeless situation, yet be one of the most skilled generals of all history and do better in THAT situation than any other could.

    The rating should be based purely on how well they did with what they had- a general who barely loses battles with a lousy army is probably better than a general who barely wins with a far superior army. A great general can win every battle, yet due to the political situation, or the incompetence of other generals on other fronts, could see the war lost- yet losing the war has nothing to do with his competence as a general, but rather is in spite of his competence.

    • which is why I put in Napoleon and Lee who both lost their wars in the end. But the scale of their victories can only be measured by taking the scale of the war into account.

      • sorry, I put enter by mistake.

        What I meant was that the general in question does not need to reverse the entire result of the war to be seen as “a top 10” or “a legendary general” but he does need to reverse what seemed like an impossible situation. That is how you rate anything, if tomorrow I get full score on a third grade test, noone will be impressed, but if I were to finish university at age 7 however, then THAT would mean something. This is why I think Henry V’s achievement, being barely more than a French duke, is more impressive than that of Marlborough who led a coalition that included half of Europe.

  3. all of this list is 100%wrong Patton made me lol so hard,I nearly suffered from a heart attack why the heck is he doing on that list?caeser is Overrated, Saladin is not a western commander if I recall good he is an asian arabic hero,anyways top 10 would be like this :
    Von Manstein=simply the only general who deserves the title god of Generals,ask the Russians about him,they will tell you embarrasing stories of how 400k Germans fuked 1.5million Russian
    -2 Gerd von Rundestd,his record speaks of itself
    -3 Paul Hausser 250 stugs and p3,destroyed 1000t34 hallo how,?????Paul Hausser did it brilliant tactician
    -4 Albert Kesselring,fat sexy.but his mind works when he wants it to be.especially all the fucks up in Russia and Britian
    -5Napoleon

    but if you want top 5 commanders in history included east and west so here it is:
    Khalid bin el Walid= UNDEFEATED,only commander in history alone with Hannibal who managed to execute a successful pincer encirclment vs a vastlty superior force,in numbers weapons gear,supply lines,oh yes ask the byzantine:P. 1v1 duels victories armies vs armies victories,destroyed the Persian empire for good ,something alexander failed to achieve,yes he destroyed it but the Persians made an epic comeback but when khalids struck.they just couldnot
    -2 Saladin,his record speaks of itself
    -3Hannibal,a good spot for Hannibal problem with Hannibal is that he played poker with the red team.
    -4 Von Manstein,if he Hitler lestined Germany in ww2 insisted of 60million pop would have destroyed planet earth then vs Non Germans of 6billions then.
    -5 Guderian ,applied mongols tactics on German Panzers undefeated in battle.his only mistake or drawback is that he should have shoot hitler as soon as he had the chance to, good night everybody if you need more info on my lists I will inform you later its just this time I am tired and I wrote everythin g in short

  4. I’m American and appalled to how many Americans got on this list. The only thing that has allowed the US to endure is due to its position on a map. Unlike in Europe and Asia there was always an enemy next door. Say if the US had been nestled along the borders of Russia, Germany, and France… I’d hate to say it but the US would be annexed as some principality. Kinda like how Britain has endures, simply due to location.

  5. To the Moderator. I have published a few comments dealing with different aspects of certain battles and each time I’ve received a response from you that the comment was blocked because it was similar to theprevious comment. This is NOT so, but, if you prefer to block, be my guest. There are many loooonngg ongoing disputes between several pairs or trios of commentators which you DID oublish. Just to rcord my objection. My first (as Austin) comment, the very first, you did not print at all……

    Anyway I suppose that I’m too late to the subject. I recall seding in a few posts a couple of years ago as well. An interesting topic,which actually requires much reading-and remembering…..

  6. it just occurred to me-silly me-that Sun Tzu, Saladin, Genghis Khan, Attila, and the various Indian generals are all Eastern World (yes I know that Attila dropped in to Europe for a visit) and the subject is “19 Best Generals of the WESTERN World”. Again….silly me.

  7. I can’t really take this list seriously without Alexander or Cyrus the Great, though I’ll admit that it’s exceedingly difficult to narrow it down to ten.

  8. How can von Moltke the elder not be on the list. I know he never performed a retreat, but like Scipio Africanus, he never had too!

    I think most of the list given here are without looking at details. As far as I am concerned, Napoleon gave up any right to a list like this with his Russian campaign. He needlessly sacrificed his cavalry and was a no show for most of the retreat. Ney held that army together.

    Lee should have never continued the attack at Gettysburg.

    Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson, doesn’t get mentioned in part due to most people don’t realize what great things he did before becoming Lee’s ‘right arm’. He unlike Caesar REALLY did fight and win while heavily outnumbered. His early campaigns were studied by the Prussians. He also personally snatched victory from defeat personally leading a counter attack at a critical moment. I would put him light years ahead of any other american commander. He losses points in he never commanded large armies, but he did defeat them!!!

    William the Bastard. The guy overcame everything and not even Napoleon could repeat it. Like Stonewall Jackson, he snatched victory out of defeat by taking a personal hand in the battle. J

    I would put Guderian on the list for the fact he changed warfare. His background in communications was a major influence. He fought and won the backroom wars to get the panzer division, sold it to Hitler, won the battles and too me….his greatest stroke was how he handled the assassination attempt on Hitler. Not convinced that Fuller and Hart had anywhere near the influence they claim. Britain was always behind Germany (operation and tactics) in armored warfare in WW2.

    King John will make no one’s list, but he had a very active mind and in many ways was before his time. He was a disaster with his french holdings but showed much spunk for keeping his crown. He did do what no other ruler during that era did and that was win a war without a siege or battle by simply preventing the nobles from being able to assemble. However he died that winter so it was mute. He is not by any means great, but not the fool he is portrayed as either.

    1. Philip of Macedonia – he overcame more than just about anyone on any of the lists and paved the way for his son’s conquests.
    2. Gustavus Adolphus
    3. Alexander the Great
    4. Julius Caesar, but I believe he only fought once outnumbered and that was against Pompey.
    5. Stonewall Jackson
    6. Helmuth von Motlke
    7. Hannibal
    8. Scipio Africanus (beat hannibal at his game,trickery in breaking the siege and then more importantly, exploiting his victory.)
    9. Crazy Horse – excellent campaign though the war was doomed from the start.
    10. Bertrand du Guesclin – showed an ability to think outside the box and would have been successful in any era.

  9. In response to earlier anti-American sentiments, All I can say is Envy is a terrible color on you. Leading the world in what can only be described as global military dominance, as well as complete social freedom (the American dream) . The United States of America today is the most powerful country in recorded history. I believe it’s greatest generals deserve mention

    • Oh dear. Jake, just becuase at this moment in time America is extremely economically powerful and has spent vast sums on its military power, does not give them a right according to the discussion on this forum to just put lots of its generals on the list! im sure many other American readers of this forum will agree with me this is about individuals ability in their leadership and skill as strategist etc on the field of battle as to why they merit a mention. we all have a national bias and this has been evident on here, but most comments and replies on here are trying to debate it properly, please dont start bringing in things like the American Dream etc as its not helpful, as many people around the globe may see it more as a nightmare!

      • Saxan, I’ve been following the list for years and it’s rather hypocritical of you to berate Jake, when it applies equally to you. Your bias is boundless.

        Perhaps you need to look in the mirror before bashing others for what you are also guilty of.

        • whoa.hold on there Roger, you say youve been reading this forum for years , well obviously not very well! i have always said we all have a certain bias, mine is certainly not boundless, no need for you to be so rude and provocative and personal with your comments , as far as im aware i have never done this to you and certainly was only pointing out the obvious to Jake in i believe a well meaning way that we were discussing generals abilities. i did not bash him at all , however if you want to be rude again send me your address and i will with great pleasure meet you and we can have a one to one!!

        • LOL! Saxan, over the years, your arrogant, self-righteous, snidely obnoxious manner always shines!

        • well your comment just goes tpo prove what a rude, ignorant, liar you are, you havent read this forum over the years because if you had then you would have read my posts and none of them are arrogant or snidely obnoxious, unlike the personal vitriol you are dishing out now behind your computer. i have never insulted anyone on here and didnt do that to Jake, you obviously have an agenda over something and your way is too insult because your not man enough for anything else. grow up little boy. send what you like now this is my last reply to you because anything else is a complete waste of time on such an idiot who just wants to antagonise people and be rude but can do so by hiding behind their keyboard!

  10. In response to Saxon, my usage of America’s current situation was not by any means a proving point for “lots of its generals to be put on this list”. I was responding to many opinions that Americans do not deserve to be mentioned at all, or that Americans should be banned from participating in these forums. I found those opinions confusing. Speaking for myself I believe the best way to measure any particular generals accolades are by taking a look at his respective nations situation following his service. Are they better off, are they worse off, are they non-existent? That is why I personally used the Untied States situation historically in defense of SOME American generals. Do I think this list should be dominated by U.S. generals. . . . No, do I believe the majority of generals on this list should represent the U.S. . . No. I only believe American generals very much deserve to be discussed with the others, specifically because some of the U.S.’s current situation is very much a result of it’s generals’ service.

    • I have to agree with Saxan here…

      The US’ position today is the result of many factors, mostly institutional and economic. Those are great achievement and could be debated on another forum but here the debate is about generals. America has not needed great generals to survive due to its geographic position, and relatively short history. In its interventions abroad, it has often arrived with overwhelming numbers, technology and allies making it hard to conclude that victory was the result of the general’s skills.

      I’m not going to go into details again about Patton, Grant, and other US general’s flaws, I think this was already discussed on the forum. But please stick to the skills of the generals, not the long-term achievements of the country.

  11. Thank you John for your response. I appreciate your explanation as to why you do not put any U.S. generals on your list, as oppose to just dismissing-them. I would argue back the circumstanses and supplies with which Washington found himself were by no means superior. Obviously the French played a pivotal roll in the war but Washington as a general still had to win battles in his respective regions against a far superior army with far superior supplies. Your talking about a colonial militia against the most powerful empire on earth. Even with British forces occupied elsewhere, and French involvement Washington displayed tactility, strategy, and out-monuvered his opponents. He was also legendary for moral boost.
    Eisenhower was selected supreme commander of all european allies for a reason, and he achieved victory, in a World War setting. I am surprised by how many of these “greatest western generals of all time” were ultimately failures. I completely understand the reason to talk about strategy, and military brilliance, but in the end the most important statistic is victory. Again as I mentioned with Washington not all American generals arrived at the battle with supior supplies or resources.

  12. when i was young i wanted to be a soldier, and would become a high ranking officer, but later on i have found out that i am just a chicken.

  13. How is Washington on this list,but not Alexander the Great. Washington was a terrible commander. Patton is overrated and should not be anywhere near this list, neither should e lee.

  14. Definitely have to put Zhukov on this list. And no you can’t blame him for wasting his men’s lives. He is quoted multiple times on protesting the hold the line at all costs tactics that were popular at the time in favor of mobility. Also, Zhukov’s routing of the Japanese earlier was why USSR didn’t have to fight a two front land war. Highly underrated and appreciated general, minimized because of his political threat to Stalin. (Just like Julius Caesar).

  15. I thought Belisarius should be on the list, I don’t think people know much about him and he was a very good general.

  16. Since this is an American’s list why isn’t Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter in number 1? If this were a Chinese guy’s list Crouching Tiger would have been number 1. Crazy how a less than 500 year old country can have 3 or four people in top 10..

  17. Damn there seems to be a lot of (ridiculous and misguided) anti American sentiment on this page. Just because small minded men have issues with the world’s greatest civilization doesn’t mean they ought to turn their vitriolic slander against that nations generals. While Epicmeism is fully correct in stating that Alexander the Great belongs on this list, he severely oversteps and practically obliterates all bonds of rationality with his comments about American generals. Both Lee and Washington were vastly superior to Saladin (who only won because of massive numbers and tremendous discord in the enemy camp-something that is never known to facilitate victory-). I’m not necessarily saying these belong in the top ten; and certainly Patton should be left out if such generals of Rokossovsky and Zhukov are to be left out, but I do believe some on this forum are letting their bigotry against the U.S. influence their thoughts to an excessive degree.

  18. Grant is the greatest American general. He destroyed three enemy armies and inflicted defeats on strongly positioned armies. He fought and destroyed an enemy army when outnumbered. His tactic of leaving his supply line and living off the country during the Vicksburg campaign, was expanded upon later by Sherman with devastating affect.

    Speaking of Sherman, Grant was very good at developing subordinates. Many non-performing generals were replaced by improved replacements. Compare Sherman and Sheridan to any of the generals that Lee pushed forward. Lee was reluctant to replace mediocre or worse generals he inherited. Grant was not.

    In addition compare the supply situation of Grant’s armies with that of his opponents. Lee’s armies always were ill supplied and often on the verge of starvation. Grant’s were well supplied with food and arms. Supply should be a concern of any army general, along with fighting ability. Grant made sure his army had these supplies, Lee did not. Grant fought strategically as well as tactically. Lee never was much success as a strategist.

    Grant took a sluggish, cautious Army of the Potomac and turned it into a confident, deadly army. It required replacing long time leaders with more aggressive newcomers. The Army of the Potomac became more aggressive. In the Appomattox campaign, the Union army did something it hadn’t done before; it outmarched Lee’s army to block its retreat.

    Up until Lee faced Grant he dominated the battlefield, grabbing initiative and forcing the opposing general to react to him. When he met Grant, Lee tried to do the same in the Wilderness. Grant seized back the initiative and held it with brief minor interruptions the rest of the war, forcing Lee to react to him.

    As far as the idea that Grant was winning only by attrition, Grant and Lee had similar casualty rates during the war. Lee was a good defensive general and was able to block many of Grant’s attacks, but suffered severe losses, gradually weakening his army. Once he was pinned in Petersburg by Grant it was only a matter of time before his army would be stretched to the breaking point. The bottom line was Lee lost. Lee showed an inability to come up with tactic to defeat new challenges. Grant in contrast showed the ability to change tactics depending on the circumstances.

    The bottom line was that Grant forced Lee to surrender, the third time he forced a Confederate army to do so. Lee never came close to forcing a major enemy army to lay down arms.

    Grant was the better general, in my opinion the greatest American general.

  19. “Born a Corsican, Napoleon became by far the most able general of the modern age etc…”

    What a lame attempt to make it seem as if Napoleon wasn’t French.
    Corsica was a French territory and Napoleon (though he had confused opinions on many things in his childhood) was a French nationalist.

    The “born a Corsican” is useless and worthless.

  20. In answer to Austin_is_nuts…meaning me, when I dared to chose Hannibal over Scipio Africanus (The Younger I think). I firmly believe that I was correct. Scipio had the huge might of the Roman Empire(empire in everything but name) behind him, with firm lines of support and supply. Hannibal raged up and down the whole of Italy for SIXTEEN YEARS when Rome was at it’s height of strength, to such a degree that no Roman army eventually would come out to try to do anything about it. And he was cut off from supplies and reinforcements, so he could not replace losses. Alexander was given a perfectly welded together army complete with tactics already proven, along with a dozen tried, true and expert generals who really dod most of the fighting whilst Alexander, except occasionally, enjoyed his megalomaniacal self in drunken carousing and whoring.

    As for Scipio, what exactly did he do, what battles did he attend and what “great feats” did he achieve before Zama. You are probably not aware that noted forensic historians have been looking into Scipio since the beginning of this century, because of a 1955 book written by (I’ve forgotten whom) which cast legitimate and glaring doubts on what Polybius and the copycat Roman “historians” wrote, as well as on what Scipio was rumoured to have done. I have been reading them just the other day, and discovered them whilst pursuing another point on the internet. I regret that I didn’t register their names but I read at least 6-7 different essays and treatises all of which made glaringly obvious (once they were pointed out) very dicey Scipio points which could not have taken place because of the then current geographic seasonal, manpower and other reasons. There are genuine records of purported participants who were actually either dead, or far away at the times they were supposed to be present with Scipio…….. and much, much more.

    One point I recall which cast considerable doubt on the nobility of the Romans as against the wicked Carthaginians and Hannibal. Hannibal was noted for seeking out his opposing generals and giving them very honourable burials with due ceremonies. The Romans cut off his brother Hasdrubal’s head and threw it into Hannibal’s camp…..

    I knew none of this when I chose Hannibal over the others. But it only shows my good sense.

    To be concise, there is no real objective account of anything that Scipio did, and the stories about his early heroism (like being the sole saviour of his father’s life during a battle) are pure fiction, which ignore the real doers of the purported acts-many fo which never occurred at all.

    • “when I dared to chose Hannibal over Scipio Africanus (The Younger I think)”

      *WRONG*

      The elder.

      “Scipio had the huge might of the Roman Empire(empire in everything but name) behind him”

      *WRONG*

      Scipio took demoralised legions who had suffered defeat in Spain and made of them a victorious fighting force. The Senate then took this legions from him and gave him demoralised legions who had suffered defeat in Italy when he was awarded Sicily as a province. They did NOT award him Africa as a province, which is what he wanted. Nor did they give him a navy to play with. HE HAD ONE COMMISSIONED AND BUILT so that he could invade Africa, which the Senate, again, DID NOT WANT HIM TO DO. He even trained his own cavalry units.

      This claim of yours is pure farcical BS repeated time and again.

      “Hannibal raged up and down the whole of Italy for SIXTEEN YEARS when Rome was at it’s height of strength, to such a degree that no Roman army eventually would come out to try to do anything about it”

      They recaptured everything he took. When they did offer to meet Hannibal in the field he continually refused. Why? Because the Romans chose their ground wisely and had learned their errors from before. They weren’t going to throw men away any more. So, given the Romans weren’t going to hand him victory on a plate this time and given that he couldn’t hold onto anything he took for very long, Hannibal achieved sixteen years wandering around doing NOT VERY MUCH. Sure, impressive keeping an army together so long. Impressive doing it in enemy territory. Did you achieve ANY of your objectives Mr Hannibal? No. Well, that’s tough isn’t it?

      “As for Scipio, what exactly did he do, what battles did he attend and what “great feats” did he achieve before Zama”

      Taking New Carthage and thereby practically winning Spain in a stroke by capturing their base of operations. Defeating Carthaginian allies in the field at Baecula and Ilipa. Stripping Carthage of it’s Numidian allies by bringing them over to his camp. Building not one, but two victorious armies from demoralised remnants in the teeth of political opposition back home. Destroying one entire Carthagian army by fire without having to engage it. Giving echelon tactics to the Roman legion.

      “Zama. You are probably not aware that noted forensic historians have been looking into Scipio since the beginning of this century, because of a 1955 book written by (I’ve forgotten whom) which cast legitimate and glaring doubts on what Polybius and the copycat Roman “historians” wrote”

      Which historians? And, more importantly, which copycat historians? We have Polybius and Livy and that’s about it for Scipio. Polybius is noted and respected amongst historians for taking pains to interview the people involved on BOTH sides and for visiting the battlefields. His battlefield assessments have been described as very accurate according to later historians who visited the sites. It’s funny how those who seek to denigrate Polybius are actually denigrating the source who tells them how good Hannibal actually was. You can’t uphold the accuracy for the account of Hannibal whilst trashing the assessment of Scipio. Sorry. You destroy your own argument if you do.

      “I regret that I didn’t register their names ”

      I bet you do.

      “To be concise, there is no real objective account of anything that Scipio did, and the stories about his early heroism (like being the sole saviour of his father’s life during a battle) are pure fiction,”

      I’m sure that if you claimed something in Republican Rome *within the lifetimes of your political enemies who could state otherwise* such would have been pointed out at the time. Republican Rome was pretty nasty like that.

      Your post is little more than specious rubbish. Polybius is a respected historian writing so soon after the facts that he could interview most of the participants. Had he written anything egregiously wrong, Scipio’s political opponents would have pointed this out. Yes, he had biases. So did all historians. Get over it. But modern historians like Adrian Goldsworthy don’t seek to perform the insane “foaming at the chops” character assassination that you’re attempting.

  21. To taudarian. If I ever took anything as seriously as you have been taking my very valid comments (please, please don’t repeat them and say..”WRONG..” with such triumph) I’d be ready to be locked up in a mental institute as you are obviously ready for.

    I prefer to take my information from the LATEST and most BELIEVABLE and most LOGICAL expertise available. Like you, I hadn’t doubted that Scipio (beg pardon) the ELDER (by the way I’m Austin the Elder also, but I’m not claiming any military expertise because of it) had done wonders in his brilliant campaigns and in eventually beating Hannibal at Zama. I always discounted Zama because of the reluctant supplies, and losing most of his good Numidian cavalry to the Romans, and his scraped together inexperienced army (was it Massinissa….I’m afraid to ask….), but I always gave him credit for his earlier exploits although I couldn’t figure out how he was able to stand over his wounded father and beat off the determined enemy. It’s now transpired that it was actually a slave called something like Longinius (not sure of the spelling) who was in the original report but later deleted to give Scipio a more enhanced name in line with the official Roman “historians” Polybius and Livy who copied him. All Scipio’s exploits are now much in question, so….read. Consider where the only available information on that period has filtered down from.

    And a last word (or two)… please read up the LATEST forensic archaeological historians on that period -The Second Punic War. You’ll change your mind. (I’m kidding,, a dogmatist like you would NEVER change his mind) I presume that your thinking processes have such weight that if you travelled from New York to Los Angeles the East Coast would tip up…..

    And do me a favour….. don’t answer me, I’ll take your condemnation for granted.

    • “If I ever took anything as seriously as you have been taking my very valid comments”

      Dubious assertion unsubstantiated by evidence….

      “I prefer to take my information from the LATEST and most BELIEVABLE and most LOGICAL expertise available. ”

      Which you can’t produce….

      “by the way I’m Austin the Elder also, but I’m not claiming any military expertise because of it”

      Ludicrous non-sequitur….who claimed being “elder” was *any* claim to military expertise? But I like how you are consistent in producing absolutely zero point.

      ” and his scraped together inexperienced army”

      Hannibal’s army, approx 50,000 to Scipio’s 30,000, held a very large core of Italian veterans. Most of the “inexperienced” guys go towards making up the numerical excess over Scipio’s numbers. By the way, the reason for these “inexperienced” guys being on the battlefield is due to Scipio having already dispensed with the best troops Carthage and Syphax could muster in previous engagements. Also, Scipio’s army was itself welded together out of disgraced remnants of previous legions and raw recruits in Sicily. Once again, we have the ridiculous peddling of excuses for why Hannibal was unable to win, with a numerical advantage, in his own backyard, with more elephants than he had ever previously had available against an opponent who extended his supply lines in a calculated gamble that his ally would turn up with his promised cavalry. Hannibal has about the best hand he could have been dealt at that point and you want to discount it. I wonder why?

      “It’s now transpired that it was actually a slave called something like Longinius (not sure of the spelling) who was in the original report but later deleted to give Scipio a more enhanced name in line with the official Roman “historians” Polybius and Livy who copied him”

      a) source please
      b) can’t find mention of this guy anywhere online
      c) Polybius and Livy aren’t “official” Roman historians at all. At least, not for the events at the time. There were no “official” historians at the time. Polybius was a GREEK writing FOR GREEKS several decades after the events. This is plainly evident as he devotes entire books of his history describing how the Romans go about things. He’s not describing this stuff for Romans who already know this stuff. Really, how do you come up with this tripe? Livy was writing even later after the fact and subsequent historians note that he was less interested in the actual history than telling a good story as he invented entire speeches for the various protagonists. As I’ve pointed out above, the Cornelius clan’s political opponents had ample opportunity AND motive to disparage Polybius’ account. They didn’t. And you present no evidence.

      “Consider where the only available information on that period has filtered down from.”

      I do consider it. I consider you somewhat of a fool to endeavour to disparage this “only available information” by postulating information from who knows where, purporting to contradict what you acknowledge the “only available information” and not actually stating what this evidence is, from whence it itself comes and indeed who the “forensic archaeological historians” (an agglomeration of words I’m sure you use solely because it sounds impressive to you) are.

      Note, this is a google search of said term: “Your search – “forensic archaelogical historian” – did not match any documents.” That is to say ZERO hits sunshine. Yet more proof, if we needed any more, that you’re here to peddle BS.

      “And a last word (or two)… please read up the LATEST forensic archaeological historians”

      Please first define what one is, then I might be tempted to take you seriously.

      “And do me a favour….. don’t answer me,”

      Or, in other words, “please don’t show me up again to be someone with precisely zero point and/or evidence, Mr Taudarian”

      Request Denied.

  22. taudarian…. I couldn’t be bothered reading your drivel, I already know your mentality. You obviously didn’t look up any forensic archaeologists or experts in ancient history. I’ll do this for you.

    Look up The HISTORY HERALD, Hannibal’s Elephants, Myth and Reality, by Yozan Mosig. At the bottom of the second page there is a list of related articles by the same writer who says he has 6,500 Hannibal related books in his library. READ THEM.

    Just do this, think…if you can… how did Hannibal manage to get a large amount of his Italian veterans (I think that’s how you described them) back across from Italy, when firstly there couldn’t have been many-after 16 years of hard warfare against large and increasing odds- and secondly, when Rome ruled the seas and had complete control there. In fact there is considerable mystery as to how Hannibal himself managed it.

    Another little thing please do…. look up “The Mystery about Hannibal’s Elephants”, and read at least several accounts. Also pay attention to Polybius’ account of how the elephant’s crossed the Rhone. I thought the part about the elephants being frightened enough to jump off the rafts and then walk across on the bottom with their trunks acting as snorkels as being particularly..sweet…. Polybius apparently didn’t know enough about elephants to know that they are excellent swimmers and actually love the water. Also that the Rhone was far too deep for the largest animal to “walk across”.

    Another mystery is concerning where Hannibal managed to get the elephants in the first place, since by that period, there were only 2 areas where elephants could be found, in India and in deep Africa. If there were more than a handful of token elephants they had to have been Indian, not African, I recall having read in several articles because African elephants were completely unsuited for the skilled training required for war.

    I’m actually recalling more as I think about it. Another point was that Polybius’ account (that old geezer pops up everywhere) was that at the Battle of Zama, the elephants became frightened by the war noise and stampeded, attacking their own side. Also that the Roman troops which were supposed to have neatly divided themselves into lines were left undamaged whilst the remaining elephants ran harmlessly down the corridors. Dear old Pol didn’t seem to realise that War Elephants would have been trained right at the beginning, to ignore noise and would instantly obey their mahouts who could direct them right into the neat Roman lines……… Also, any elephants which ran amok and were destroying Carthaginians would be immediately killed by the hammer and spike that every mahout carried for that purpose…..

    I suppose you know that Pol was a part of Scipio’s family…don’t you??

    I see that Stanford University did a very serious study on the mystery of the elephants, also I just came across a really comical account by “2nd Look Mystery of Hannibal’s Elephants”.

    There’s no reason why I should be telling you these self evident things, you should be looking them up for yourself, but I feel sorry for you. Just take your blood pressure medicine and other medications as well… .

    What’s the use, if I haven’t caused you to think by now…then don’t bother. One last thing…I think your Wikipaedia account of Zama is out by a few.

    I wrote all the above BEFORE I came across the HISTORY HERALD ITEMS which seem to encapsulate what I’ve been telling you. It’s all just too good to erase so I’m leaving it as written.

    DON’T BOTHER TO RESPOND…I’m going to bed.

    • Part 1

      “taudarian…. I couldn’t be bothered reading your drivel, I already know your mentality. You obviously didn’t look up any forensic archaeologists or experts in ancient history. I’ll do this for you.”

      This should be fun….From Wikipedia: “Forensic archaeology, a forensic science, is the application of archaeological principles, techniques and methodologies in a legal context (predominately medicolegal).”

      In other words, forensic archaeology is basically CSI work. As I mentioned before, the phrase you used does not actually generate any hits on google at all. It doesn’t exist. Quite what you’re blathering on about I’m sure we’re all excited to hear.

      “Look up The HISTORY HERALD, Hannibal’s Elephants, Myth and Reality, by Yozan Mosig”

      Hmmmn. A psychologist not a historian who, whilst he cites historians whose books I have on my shelves, is not himself cited by said historians. For all his writings you would think perhaps an actual historian might have found something of his worthy of inclusion in their works.

      “At the bottom of the second page there is a list of related articles by the same writer who says he has 6,500 Hannibal related books in his library. READ THEM.”

      Why should I? You clearly haven’t, judging by the lack of any actual evidence or sources in your posts. Much good they’re doing you. I’m sure they greatly help Prof Mosig in his works as Zen Buddhist Monk, 8th degree karate black belt, Grandmaster Ninja, 33rd degree Scottish Rite Freemason and whatever other bilge his self-written biography purports him to be a master of.

      “Just do this, think…if you can… how did Hannibal manage to get a large amount of his Italian veterans (I think that’s how you described them) back across from Italy”

      I’m guessing he used ships. That’s the usual method for transportation over water. Now, whether they were his own or his ally, Philip of Macedon’s ships, who is to say? The fact of the matter is, modern historians seem agreed on the fact that his rear line was composed of these veterans, which must therefore have numbered at least 16,000. You also seem to think when it’s mentioned that these are Italian veterans that they are the troops he initially brought with him. Some of them were, others were Cisalpine Gauls and disaffected Italians who joined him during his campaigns.

      Now, why don’t you think this – if he didn’t bring them with him, why is there utterly no mention of this army remaining in Italy? And if he didn’t have it with him in Italy, then who – exactly – was he wandering around WITH for the sixteen years you want to crow about?

      • cont… 2

        “Also that the Rhone was far too deep for the largest animal to “walk across”.”

        The average depth of the Rhone is some nine feet deep. The French could cross it at points in horse drawn carriages depending on the season. Given that the season at the time of Hannibal’s crossing was autumn, the direct opposite of the when it would have been in full spring flood with meltwater and thus at it’s deepest, I can’t actually see that what you’re claiming has any merit whatsoever.

        None of this about Hannibal’s crossing of the Rhone has anything at all to do with Scipio’s campaigns though, does it? Changing the subject, or attempting to, is often the tactic of those who find themselves floundering without a point.

        “I recall having read in several articles because African elephants were completely unsuited for the skilled training required for war.”

        a) there was a species indigenous to the region which is no longer with us, precisely because they were used in war and
        b) this is actually untrue. The Belgians in the Congo successfully trained even large elephants following native practices which they’d been using for thousands of years. And ancient coins and carvings show elephants as big as this in use as combat elephants. The BBC did a documentary on this in the 90’s.

        • 3… “I’m actually recalling more as I think about it”

          You’re not recalling more so much as merely recounting what you’ve just read on google, which I myself just read. Demonstrating that not only do you not know what you’re talking about at all, you’re actually prepared to lie and credit your own supposed good memory. What a narcissistic little twerp you are. I think the previous commenter who had you down as a “nut” was pretty accurate.

          “Dear old Pol didn’t seem to realise that War Elephants would have been trained right at the beginning, to ignore noise and would instantly obey their mahouts who could direct them right into the neat Roman lines”

          Dear old you doesn’t seem to realise that animals when confronted by a massed formation of pointy things or a space, will go for the space. Horses, for example, time and again refuse to charge what they perceive as one solid obstacle and this is an animal which is dumb. This is precisely why when confronted by cavalry, infantry forms blocks.

        • “I suppose you know that Pol was a part of Scipio’s family…don’t you?”

          You apparently don’t. He never met the man. He was, however, part of the circle of Scipio Aemilianus. If you’re trying to assert that he therefore would be favourably disposed to the Scipio’s I singularly fail to see your point. EVERYONE knows this and takes that into account and yet no historian I’ve come across yet goes to the absurd lengths you go to to try and discredit the man. And I will reiterate yet again,
          if not for Polybius, you wouldn’t even know how good Hannibal was. You cannot accuse him of being utterly unreliable on the one hand and a solid primary source on the other. You just can’t. It makes you look silly.

          “There’s no reason why I should be telling you these self evident things”

          These things so “self-evident” you’ve only just found them with a google search and which don’t appear in the works of any historian…..

          riiiiiiiiight.

          “DON’T BOTHER TO RESPOND”

          Why? Because you don’t want to look silly for the third time in a row? Ooops, too late.

        • I get the impression that Austin read a book and decided that made him an expert- though he constantly admits to not remembering most of the “facts” that would back up anything he says.

          taudarian, if you and he were outside, standing, soaking wet in the rain, and you pointed out that it was raining, he would insist it wasn’t because the meteorologist on the news that morning said it wasn’t going to rain.

          Some people just think that their tiny bit of knowledge trumps fact and reality.

        • I think you’re entirely correct in your assessment there Roger. There are many well-informed, well-reasoned and erudite posts in the replies to this article. Austin’s are definitely not amongst them.

  23. taudarian…..I didn’t read a single thing on “Google” I read them exactly where I said I read them. I’ve already given you THE HISTORY HERALD and the Mosig articles. And there’s also a NYTimes article on The Mystery of Hannibal’s Elephants, you might wish to peruse. And if you look it up on the internet doubtless you’ll find more. If there is

    As for Polybius, I didn’t say he was a cousin or brother of the Scipios. You are somewhat dense. I said that he was a part of the Scipio family. In other words he was a slave or former slave take in war, who was attached to that particular family, and accompanied the Scipio who helped destroy Carthage in the third Punic War. This was long after the events he wrote about in the Second Punic War, and of which he had no real connection,, except from the Scipios…. How plainly does it need to be spelled out for you. i can use 3 letter words of you insist. I’m already in bed and more than ready for sleep so go to….. your own couch.

    And the Scipio who won at Zama WAS Cornelius Scipio the YOUNGER, Scipio Africanus.
    I suppose being a bellicose liar as you seem, makes you feel that everyone, given the opportunity, would lie just like you. My comments can be verified by the leads I’ve given you. If there is a Google similarity (which I doubt) then they may have got their info from the HISTORY HERALD, which seems to have a certain authority, as I’ve seen other articles on the internet by different writers, with similar but less compelling information.

    • “taudarian…..I didn’t read a single thing on “Google””

      I’d believe you but for your unfortunate tendency to lie. As evidenced by the fact that you didn’t actually go and sleep when you said you were going to and instead came back to post more of your blather.

      “I’ve already given you THE HISTORY HERALD and the Mosig articles.”

      You’ve tried to palm me off with an amateur historical website and a not-historian, as opposed to.. oh, I don’t know… discussing the issues and presenting evidence. You seem averse to this normal means of discourse for some peculiar reason.

      “And there’s also a NYTimes article on The Mystery of Hannibal’s Elephants, you might wish to peruse”

      Your obsession with elephants, whilst amusing, doesn’t exactly advance your case re: Scipio’s skills as a general. I don’t know if you’ve suffered some kind of brain injury that prevents you from recognising this fact.

      “As for Polybius, I didn’t say he was a cousin or brother of the Scipios. You are somewhat dense. I said that he was a part of the Scipio family. In other words he was a slave or former slave take in war,”

      A startling new interpretation of the phrase “in other words” deployed here. Remarkable.

      I’m well aware of who Polybius was, I did actually point it out to you. Quite why you feel you deserve some sort of credit by parrotting back to me information I’m entirely aware of I have no idea. Perhaps you didn’t receive enough praise enough as a child. This is not my area of expertise, not being a psychologist. Perhaps you could contact your good friend, the psychologist and master ninja, Professor Mosig?

      “And the Scipio who won at Zama WAS Cornelius Scipio the YOUNGER, Scipio Africanus”

      Oh dear, oh dear. No. No it wasn’t. Again, wikipedia is your friend:

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

      Whereas –

      Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus (236–183 BC), also known as Scipio the African, ***Scipio the Elder***, and Scipio the Great[1] was a general in the Second Punic War and statesman of the Roman Republic. ***He was best known for defeating Hannibal at the final battle of the Second Punic War at Zama, ***

      I’ve asterisked the relevant parts so your pea-brained little mind might somehow dimly comprehend how silly you are actually looking by not even knowing this one simple fact.

      “I suppose being a bellicose liar as you seem,”

      I think we’ve firmly established that the liar in this exchange is quite clearly and indisputably your deluded self.

      “My comments can be verified by the leads I’ve given you”

      And evidence came there not…..

      How you’re not embarrassed at this point I have no idea.

  24. Interesting points raised by Austin thus far:

    1. It’s remarkable how Polybius is an “old geezer who crops up everywhere”, whether it be describing Hannibal crossing the Rhone or Hannibal’s tactics at Zama. One wouldn’t expect a HISTORIAN writing about the SECOND PUNIC WAR in which BOTH THESE THINGS OCCURRED to write about two such unrelated things, featuring a protagonist common to both.

    2. There is no second interesting point.

  25. taudarian. Say hello to another day. I’m surprised at your childish attempt to trun back your very real lying on me. Grade School stuff. As for Mostic being an “amateur” as you call him, an eminent professor of psycholocy who has over 6500 books in his library all connected to Carthage, and who has spent 15 years in pursuing this avid interest, is expert enough. What he doesn’t know and can’t deduce he can find in his list of the top men in the field. He’s on “backscratching” terms with many of them as i have read at another time and place.

    You cannot deny the authority of those he quotes, and his bibliography at the end of each artcile is profuse, and loaded with the works of the very top men in the field,both pro and con. So lay this piece of petulant nonsense aside.

    i see tht you have no shame…….regarding me as a liar because an hour after i said I was going to bed I was still able to answer one of your gushing diatribes…….tut tut….you should name yourself t (the) audacian (full of chutzpah)

    It was about 30 minutes after I told you that I was going to bed that I actually did. You may be unfamiliar with the kind of lifestyle people like myself have. I had a bath, brushed my teeth, did a few unmentionable things and then read for an hour or so until becoming sleepy. During that time your bubbling, putrescent a ttack arrived. ……Mea Culpa (this shouldmeet with your approval, as a Roman lover…I’ll let you into a secret…they are all long-ago defunct)

    I believethat if you read a litte (a LOT)more you will become wiser and less pugnacious.

    • “I’m surprised at your childish attempt to trun back your very real lying on me”

      You can’t point out one lie that I’ve said so far. Really, I don’t know what the imaginary bubble you live in is like but it bears little to no resemblance to actuality.

      “As for Mostic being an “amateur” as you call him, an eminent professor of psycholocy ”

      So….. not a historian then. At best an “amateur”.

      “who has over 6500 books in his library all connected to Carthage”

      None of which YOU have read, as is to be seen. Thus far your claim goes

      (Austin’s claim) you claim as your source an amateur historian, himself producing no sources, disputing an ancient historian’s researched account based on his own personal lack of knowledge of such things as the depth of River Rhone and his own personal incredulity that the number of elephants at Zama somehow makes the military record of Scipio Africanus the Elder suspect, even though you yourself identify the wrong Scipio to have been the victor at Zama. AND on top of all this, you claim to have a degree in **history**, of all things.

      If they handed out awards for Delusional Trolls of the Internet, you’d be a strong contender for the 2013 award.

      “You cannot deny the authority of those he quotes,”

      So far as he goes, he is operating on his own personal prejudices. The historians who write about the second Punic war, whilst they do note where Polybius strays, don’t dispute much of what he says. I don’t know of one published historian who is as rabidly anti-Polybius as your chap, and that includes such ardent fans of Hannibal as Theodore Dodge.

      “regarding me as a liar ”

      I do regard you as a liar. I regard you as a liar that you “recalled” something when in fact you practically verbatimly quoted what comes up first on a google search, something I myself was reading at the same time as you must have been feverishly pretending to “recall” it in your post to me. I regard you as a liar because you claim to have a degree in history and yet seem not to actually know how proper assessment of sources works. If you did, you’d quote historians and not internet amateurs with their own agendas.

      “You may be unfamiliar with the kind of lifestyle people like myself have”

      Oh I think not. Let me guess. You like to scream abuse at strangers when you spend 10 hours a day playing Call of Duty and then you unwind with some internet trolling. Is that about right? Sounds about right for a 14 year old.

      “I believethat if you read a litte (a LOT)more you will become wiser and less pugnacious”

      Said the teen who didn’t even know WHICH Scipio he was actually talking about…..

      I still note that nowhere in your exchange have you even answered any of the points I raised, that you have not produced one professional source to back up your claims and I’m sure others will so note likewise.

  26. Roger (not :the Lodger” I suppose) Why didn’t you go the full hog and make it “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”….. Of course I know that the site if full of audarians and rogers, but was hoping to avoid them. I should have sent a little anti-mosqioto through the net..

    Although I have 2 degrees myself, (one is History) I don’t claim anything, I am quoting from articles and books on the subject by people far more knowledgeable than I. Or you and a million like you for that matter. I recommend you to the links I have already given our single-tracked friend. Professor Mostig has over 6500 Carthage related books in a much larger library of, I read somewhere, about 17,000. This subject has been his main interest for 15 years. His bibliography is impressive and contains many of the top people in the field, many of whom he knows personally.

    I recall a similar dispute I had with another wooden-headed fellow some years ago, who unmercifully slagged me (it was over the Dead Sea Scrolls) ….until he found out that my own teacher and personal friend had been one of the most eminent scholars on the subject (how he knew I never discovered) ….. I never heard from him again other than an acknowledgement of the fact. Let this be an example to you. Do likewise.

    • “Although I have 2 degrees myself, (one is History) ”

      This has to the funniest claim on this entire page. Even funnier than some of the generals people think are actually amongst the Top 10.

      This delusional halfwit has a degree in history? Shyeah right.