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Old November 9th, 2012, 02:21 PM   #91

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Salah ad-Din- Commandeered a vicious fighting force that regained "The Holy Land" for the Muslims and that inspired dread in any who opposed him.

Napoleon Bonaparte- Returned a boken country from the abyss and brought it to glory, conquering Europe on the way, albeit it rather bloodily.

Genghis Khan (Temujin)- Converted a group of scattered nomads into the arguably greatest fighting force of all time, pillaging and sacking most of the known world.
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Old November 9th, 2012, 02:43 PM   #92

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Welcome to the forum and congrats on a well thought out first post.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 06:50 AM   #93

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I think Julius Caesar is my favorite.

There is his legendary conquest of Gaul, his multiple victories agaisnt other romans forces, generally with support of other nations and his mastery of military engineering. Forget Alesia, his bridges across the Rhine is something I wish I could see with my own eyes. I wonder what the germans warriors who saw it being construced thought.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 11:32 AM   #94

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belisarius View Post
Ramillies was the decisive battle of the whole war, in my view but it's effects were squandered by the various allied governments who failed to make a reasonable peace at that point, much to Marlborough's disgust, so allowing the French to reorganise and recover. The war then dragged on another eight pointless years ending in a substantive allied defeat. One can only speculate what might have happened had Marlborough been given free rein to fight the war as he would have liked.
I agree with everything you have said except for this. How was it a defeat? The French only recaptured 4 major towns (Bouchain, Bethune, Douai and Le Quesnoy), and the allies were still able to secure the terms that they had originally set out for. These being that the crowns of Spain and France would never be united and that the Spanish Empire be divided between the Bourbons and Hapsburgs. England even received several commercial concessions as well. Honestly, the only thing the allies failed to do was to replace Philip with Charles on the Spanish throne, which most of the allies (excepting Austria of course) were against, at least by the end. In fact, it was the threat of this very thing happening which really started to cause tension within the alliance itself anyway. Anyway, the original terms had been procured and the allies, overall, benefited from the war more than the French, Spanish, and Bavarians did. It was a victory, if anything.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 01:41 PM   #95

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Many of the choices listed are significantly overrated.

Napoleon. While good, he is definitely overrated. Haiti, Spain, and Russia were unnecessary wars that squandered men and material, started by Napoleon for his own ambition The Haitian War was started to reinstitute slavery; the Spanish War to overthrow an ally. In both cases, Napoleon’s not-so-benign neglect meant France neither won the wars nor cut their losses. Russia was a debacle. Napoleon abandoned his own army in Egypt and in Russia. 100 Days was a pipe dream; Napoleon again sacrificed men and material for his personal ambition.

Hannibal. Probably the most overrated general in history. While superb tactically, Hannibal was otherwise an utter failure. Hannibal started the war without public support – the people of Carthage saw it as a pointless waste of men and material, while his Roman opponents saw the war as a battle for national survival. Hannibal thought he could win the war by just killing more Romans. When that strategy failed, Hannibal spent more than a decade pursing the same failed strategy and so far as I can tell never tried to develop a new strategy nor to end the war. In many ways, Hannibal was the General Westmoreland of the ancient world.

Robert E Lee. Arguably the best Confederate general, though there wasn’t much competition on that. Lee was superb on morale and one of the best at imposing his will on the enemy, but he’s also overrated. Lee was good at an operational level against average and inferior opponents. Lee never dealt with the strategic level and when he went up against Meade, typically considered a second string Union general, Lee failed. The Lost Cause has tried to blame everyone but Lee for the failure at Gettysburg, but the blame rests squarely with Lee – poor scouting, poor use of cavalry, poor plans, vague and contradictory orders, total failure to coordinate between army corps, and heavily misjudging the capabilities of his own and his enemy’s troops.

Douglas MacArthur. Clearly a distinguished officer in the early part of his career, but his actions after World War I a very overrated. A genius at self-promotion, MacArthur frequently took credit for the ideas of other men. MacArthur repeatedly underestimated his enemies if they were Asian. In the Philippines, MacArthur ignored his air commander and convinced himself that the Japanese would not attack, leading to MacArthur’s planes being destroyed on the ground hours after Pearl Harbor. MacArthur failed to learn from this mistake, blamed the man who warned him, and insisted there must have been German pilots in those Japanese planes. Further underestimating the Japanese, MacArthur ignored his own defensive plans and typically failed to withdraw supply depots, leading to their being overrun by the Japanese. MacArthur had a moment of brilliance in Korea, then grossly underestimated the size of his opposition and advanced his forces too far into positions where they could not support other. Add in his insubordination, and MacArthur is definitely overrated.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 02:35 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Apachewarlord View Post
i've been trying to compile a list of top ten generals, and i decided i might as well use your help. please take in mind everything, not just tactics, not just strategy, but everything, tactics, strategy, who they were fighting, innovation, and, what what the did for their country. (for example, genghis khan might be up on the list because he turned a bunch of tribes into an empire.)
Commanders tend to be overrated in general.

Nations and armies win wars and battles, not commanders alone in hand-to-hand combat.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 07:39 PM   #97

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Many of the choices listed are significantly overrated.

Napoleon. While good, he is definitely overrated. Haiti, Spain, and Russia were unnecessary wars that squandered men and material, started by Napoleon for his own ambition The Haitian War was started to reinstitute slavery; the Spanish War to overthrow an ally. In both cases, Napoleon’s not-so-benign neglect meant France neither won the wars nor cut their losses. Russia was a debacle. Napoleon abandoned his own army in Egypt and in Russia. 100 Days was a pipe dream; Napoleon again sacrificed men and material for his personal ambition.

Hannibal. Probably the most overrated general in history. While superb tactically, Hannibal was otherwise an utter failure. Hannibal started the war without public support – the people of Carthage saw it as a pointless waste of men and material, while his Roman opponents saw the war as a battle for national survival. Hannibal thought he could win the war by just killing more Romans. When that strategy failed, Hannibal spent more than a decade pursing the same failed strategy and so far as I can tell never tried to develop a new strategy nor to end the war. In many ways, Hannibal was the General Westmoreland of the ancient world.

Robert E Lee. Arguably the best Confederate general, though there wasn’t much competition on that. Lee was superb on morale and one of the best at imposing his will on the enemy, but he’s also overrated. Lee was good at an operational level against average and inferior opponents. Lee never dealt with the strategic level and when he went up against Meade, typically considered a second string Union general, Lee failed. The Lost Cause has tried to blame everyone but Lee for the failure at Gettysburg, but the blame rests squarely with Lee – poor scouting, poor use of cavalry, poor plans, vague and contradictory orders, total failure to coordinate between army corps, and heavily misjudging the capabilities of his own and his enemy’s troops.

Douglas MacArthur. Clearly a distinguished officer in the early part of his career, but his actions after World War I a very overrated. A genius at self-promotion, MacArthur frequently took credit for the ideas of other men. MacArthur repeatedly underestimated his enemies if they were Asian. In the Philippines, MacArthur ignored his air commander and convinced himself that the Japanese would not attack, leading to MacArthur’s planes being destroyed on the ground hours after Pearl Harbor. MacArthur failed to learn from this mistake, blamed the man who warned him, and insisted there must have been German pilots in those Japanese planes. Further underestimating the Japanese, MacArthur ignored his own defensive plans and typically failed to withdraw supply depots, leading to their being overrun by the Japanese. MacArthur had a moment of brilliance in Korea, then grossly underestimated the size of his opposition and advanced his forces too far into positions where they could not support other. Add in his insubordination, and MacArthur is definitely overrated.
I see so many flaws in your run-down of Napoleon and Hannibal, it almost defies humor or reason. I'll get back to this when my mind is fresher than it is now.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 07:56 PM   #98
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Napoleon Bonaparte: for his brilliant tactics in combat revolutionized warfare - his ability to constantly outmaneuver the enemy because he was able to read and react, his incredible use of artillery, and his scientific look on how rifleman were to fire upon the enemy. Also his leadership and figure of power that made his men love him more than any other commander has been loved in history (not even other idols of mine such as Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great).
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Old November 11th, 2012, 07:58 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiver View Post
Many of the choices listed are significantly overrated.

Napoleon. While good, he is definitely overrated. Haiti, Spain, and Russia were unnecessary wars that squandered men and material, started by Napoleon for his own ambition The Haitian War was started to reinstitute slavery; the Spanish War to overthrow an ally. In both cases, Napoleon’s not-so-benign neglect meant France neither won the wars nor cut their losses. Russia was a debacle. Napoleon abandoned his own army in Egypt and in Russia. 100 Days was a pipe dream; Napoleon again sacrificed men and material for his personal ambition.

Hannibal. Probably the most overrated general in history. While superb tactically, Hannibal was otherwise an utter failure. Hannibal started the war without public support – the people of Carthage saw it as a pointless waste of men and material, while his Roman opponents saw the war as a battle for national survival. Hannibal thought he could win the war by just killing more Romans. When that strategy failed, Hannibal spent more than a decade pursing the same failed strategy and so far as I can tell never tried to develop a new strategy nor to end the war. In many ways, Hannibal was the General Westmoreland of the ancient world.

Robert E Lee. Arguably the best Confederate general, though there wasn’t much competition on that. Lee was superb on morale and one of the best at imposing his will on the enemy, but he’s also overrated. Lee was good at an operational level against average and inferior opponents. Lee never dealt with the strategic level and when he went up against Meade, typically considered a second string Union general, Lee failed. The Lost Cause has tried to blame everyone but Lee for the failure at Gettysburg, but the blame rests squarely with Lee – poor scouting, poor use of cavalry, poor plans, vague and contradictory orders, total failure to coordinate between army corps, and heavily misjudging the capabilities of his own and his enemy’s troops.

Douglas MacArthur. Clearly a distinguished officer in the early part of his career, but his actions after World War I a very overrated. A genius at self-promotion, MacArthur frequently took credit for the ideas of other men. MacArthur repeatedly underestimated his enemies if they were Asian. In the Philippines, MacArthur ignored his air commander and convinced himself that the Japanese would not attack, leading to MacArthur’s planes being destroyed on the ground hours after Pearl Harbor. MacArthur failed to learn from this mistake, blamed the man who warned him, and insisted there must have been German pilots in those Japanese planes. Further underestimating the Japanese, MacArthur ignored his own defensive plans and typically failed to withdraw supply depots, leading to their being overrun by the Japanese. MacArthur had a moment of brilliance in Korea, then grossly underestimated the size of his opposition and advanced his forces too far into positions where they could not support other. Add in his insubordination, and MacArthur is definitely overrated.
OMG I love you JUST because you said Hannibal was overrated! You are correct, I wrote a paper on how Hannibal was merely an average general awhile back that made even experts turn to my side and agree with my argument.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 08:51 PM   #100
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From the little I know about Punic Wars, I couldn't even remotely imagine how on Earth could good ol' Hannibal Barca be considered "overrated" by any standard.

At the risk of overstating the obvious again, the same must be said about Monsieur Buonaparte.
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