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Old November 11th, 2012, 09:53 PM   #101
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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.
Welcome to Historum, Anaximander; nice battle name and good choices
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Old November 11th, 2012, 10:10 PM   #102

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I don't know about "best," but I like Eugen for Zenta and Houston for San Jacinto.

I like Peyton C. March because when he was appointed Chief of Staff of the US Army in 1917, he took the train to Washington. It was already 11pm, so had his footlocker sent over to the Bachelor Officers' Quarters, and took a cab over to the War Department. The sentry told him everyone had gone home so they went around turning on all the lights and the War Department was open round the clock for the rest of the war.

Also Slim and Stilwell for Burma in WWII.

I like Erhard Raus because he didn't suck up to the Western Allies in his memoir and he paid homage to the fighting spirit of the Russian soldiers.

Adrian Carton de Wiart.

Smedley Darlington Butler.

I don't know. Probably some other guys too.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 10:21 PM   #103
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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.
No, if you had studied the Punic Wars as thoroughly as I have then you would see that Hannibal almost won only due to the incompetence of Rome at that time (I know it's a weird thing to think, but Rome's military in 218BCE was being run by politicians without real experience or knowledge of warfare). Hannibal consistently failed to adapt to his enemy's actions, only relying on his enemy's stupidity to run right into the obvious traps he placed. Hannibal failed to get a full view on what Rome was and how they would react to another war with Carthage - he did not look at how Carthage's navy had much more powerful, better built, and better commanded ships: the only reason they'd been beaten before was because Rome chose to make battle when Carthage had more men and supplies on board their ships, therefore greatly slowing them. As for what you said of L'Emperer de Les Francais, he faced commanders that were brilliant and had armies that were also nearly as well trained, advanced in technology, and brave as the french.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 10:46 PM   #104
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No, if you had studied the Punic Wars as thoroughly as I have then you would see that Hannibal almost won only due to the incompetence of Rome at that time (I know it's a weird thing to think, but Rome's military in 218BCE was being run by politicians without real experience or knowledge of warfare). Hannibal consistently failed to adapt to his enemy's actions, only relying on his enemy's stupidity to run right into the obvious traps he placed. Hannibal failed to get a full view on what Rome was and how they would react to another war with Carthage - he did not look at how Carthage's navy had much more powerful, better built, and better commanded ships: the only reason they'd been beaten before was because Rome chose to make battle when Carthage had more men and supplies on board their ships, therefore greatly slowing them. As for what you said of L'Emperer de Les Francais, he faced commanders that were brilliant and had armies that were also nearly as well trained, advanced in technology, and brave as the french.
Nope, as a whole the Roman actions in general and the Fabian strategy in particular were anything but "incompetence", even less "stupidity" (?!?!?!?); au contraire.

If Hannibal remained unbeaten for a decade plus in Italy under extremely adverse conditions, that was exactly because he did constantly adapt to his enemy's actions.

The Carthaginian Navy was almost systematically beaten by the Roman one all along Punic War II; I can't imagine which your sources may be on this point.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 12:06 AM   #105

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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.
I've always felt Hannibal has been over-hyped, (even by the Romans) when you study the 2nd Punic war in depth and with a degree of objectivity, you can't help but come to that conclusion. I'd be interested in reading your paper if you want to publish it here.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 12:13 AM   #106

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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).
Here we disagree, the French army already had the basis of what became his operational and tactical doctrine in place while he was still a cadet. His innovations were mainly in the use of massed artillery and the creation of the Corps structure. He thought the rifle was next to useless, so banned it in the French army. As for being the most loved commander in history, remember his most trusted commanders betrayed him in the end.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 01:25 AM   #107
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I think a few of you may be somewhat over-crediting Bonaparte. While certainly the most dramatically successful general of the French Revolutionary armies, he did not himself directly transform a hopeless military situation, and personally save France from total defeat. Quite on the contrary, long before he took command of the Army of Italy in 1796, the French Revolutionary armies were already taking the offensive as early as in the latter part of 1794, and continued doing so across 1795. It could certainly be argued that Napoleon expedited French victory, but he can't claim that initial turnaround.

Last edited by Squirrelfang; November 12th, 2012 at 01:55 AM.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 01:51 AM   #108

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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.
The French achieved their objective of stopping the Habsburgs surrounding France. Regardless of the treaty stipulations, Bourbon Spain always subsequently managed to ally with France until the Revolution brought down the French Bourbon monarchy. The Dutch were left in the lurch and as a result declined as a major power. France remained the dominant power in Europe. Not much to show for 13 years of war.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 03:47 AM   #109

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The French achieved their objective of stopping the Habsburgs surrounding France. Regardless of the treaty stipulations, Bourbon Spain always subsequently managed to ally with France until the Revolution brought down the French Bourbon monarchy. The Dutch were left in the lurch and as a result declined as a major power. France remained the dominant power in Europe. Not much to show for 13 years of war.
Again I agree with you Belisarius. The primary worry of Louis was not to be surrounded by enemies on all sides. It was also part of the reason he had Vauban design/re-design castle belts in the North of France, protecting from invasion in that quarter.

It also didn't help that after Marlborough was recalled, the allied forces lost the last few battles, Marshal Villars and the Duke of Berwick excelling, combined with the fact that the alliies had no more desire to prolong the war. This almost certainly gave France and her allies more breathing space at the negotiation table.

The more serious point to look upon and one that take us into the realm of speculative history, is that perhaps Marlborough could have won the war in the early years, before the war was prolonged and before the French grew accustomed to his type of movements, thereby denying him the aggressive field battles he desired, bu instead attritional warfare.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 10:09 AM   #110
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Korea


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My top overall would probably have to be MacArthur. Then in no particular order; Julius Caesar, Hannibal, Alexander the Great, Robert E. Lee, Attila the Hun, Saladin, Genghis Khan, Cyrus the Great, and Napoleon.

There are a number of other greats Generals that I haven't included them in the list because their area was too narrow like the great tank generals like Patton and Clausewitz.
so, he cut off the N Koreans,[with air superiority] but then failed big time after that when the Chinese gave the UN a whipping.......units were too far apart..even though we did not 'bomb' the bridges, units were not on a tactical footing....
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