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Old November 20th, 2012, 02:52 PM   #191

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Thanks guys for the answers!
My point (in this case applied to Sunzi) is that being a great military theorist doesn't necessary imply great tactical or strategical skills on the battlefield
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Old November 20th, 2012, 10:24 PM   #192

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Originally Posted by constantine View Post
That's often a problem with ancient history, we tend to have a rather incomplete view of individuals which can be heavily tainted by propaganda. Were Cyrus the Great's conquests as impressive as they sound or were the Empires he attacked on the verge of collapse and likely to fall at the first sign of resistance? Our ignorance of the economics, logistics, and social conditions of the time make this difficult to evaluate. I personally tend to favor traditional views of history unless hard evidence (archaeology, for example) contradicts it. Too many historians try to carve out a niche in this hyper-competitive field by becoming advocates of fringe ideas with sketchy evidence.

But, with that said, if history were written in the 16th century in the same manner that it was in the ancient world, we may have ended up confusing Cortes with a great military commander, rather than just a competent and slightly lucky explorer with history on his side. So a degree of skepticism is certainly appropriate.
I'm going to be honest here, I would personally rate Cortes very highly as a military commander. It is true that he did have advantages in technology, the aid of other natives who were disaffected with Aztec dominance, and of course, disease, but, IMO, the scheme through which he went about his mission in Mexico, leading to the capture of Tenochtitlan, and this, building off of an initial disaster, all lead me to hold this view.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 10:29 PM   #193

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Originally Posted by M.E.T.H.O.D. View Post
Pardon my ignorance on the matter, but do we have enough attested information to prove that Sunzi was an outstanding military commander, besides writing the Art of War?(without considering the doubts surrounding its "authenticity")
I don't think we have enough attested information to prove Sun Tzu existed, let alone was an outstanding military commander. Regardless, whoever wrote the Art of War was a brilliant military theorist.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 12:15 AM   #194

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gustavas adolphus,another high scoring success.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 12:22 AM   #195

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Originally Posted by nuclearguy165 View Post
I'm going to be honest here, I would personally rate Cortes very highly as a military commander. It is true that he did have advantages in technology, the aid of other natives who were disaffected with Aztec dominance, and of course, disease, but, IMO, the scheme through which he went about his mission in Mexico, leading to the capture of Tenochtitlan, and this, building off of an initial disaster, all lead me to hold this view.
I like his establishment of Vera Cruz to legitimize his own actions for not following the governor of Cuba's orders (he was only supposed to explore!) Cunning chap.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 08:13 AM   #196
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Bai qi (the human butcher)
General of State Qin during China Warring states.
Total amount death inflicted due to his command is approximately a million which is a astronomical number to the western hemisphere before christ.


source :
Bai_Qi Bai_Qi


i know this forum is very eurocentric, but i sincerely hope that u guys should read on more about china history before disapproving anything. It might be tedious to read up the china history because its abt 3000 yrs old, but i suggest u guys could start reading from the Warring states period first. That's when the war become so common that every state devote most of their resource into military, these states were like modern day Israel, ready for war and armed to the teeth.

Last edited by wudingbin; November 21st, 2012 at 08:25 AM.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 08:23 AM   #197
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Bai qi (the human butcher)
General of State Qin during China Warring states.
Total amount death inflicted due to his command is approximately a million which is a astronomical number to the western hemisphere before christ.


  • 293 BCE Battle of Yique. Killed 240,000 State of Wei and State of Han troops.
  • 272 BCE Besieged a Wei Fortress and killed 130,000 Wei soldiers. He then killed a further 20,000 Zhao soldiers and threw them into a river.
  • 263 BCE Sieged 5 Han fortresses and killed 50,000 Han soldiers.
  • 260 BCE Battle of Changping. Defeated State of Zhao in battle and killed all surrendered Zhao soldiers except for 240 men in order to inform Zhao. Total Zhao losses about 450,000 men.
  • Never lose a battle
source : Bai Qi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
great general indeed.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 08:29 AM   #198
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuclearguy165
I'm going to be honest here, I would personally rate Cortes very highly as a military commander. It is true that he did have advantages in technology, the aid of other natives who were disaffected with Aztec dominance, and of course, disease, but, IMO, the scheme through which he went about his mission in Mexico, leading to the capture of Tenochtitlan, and this, building off of an initial disaster, all lead me to hold this view.
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I like his establishment of Vera Cruz to legitimize his own actions for not following the governor of Cuba's orders (he was only supposed to explore!) Cunning chap.
It is easy to verify that it is fundamentally just pure Spanish epic propaganda.

Cortes, ¨Pizarro and virtually all Conquistadores were amateur adventurers (at best) not even remotely professional soldiers by any standard, who by mere coincidence happened to enjoy the incredible fortune (for them) of the all-History unique opportunity of massively slaughtering some almost defenseless urban neolithic populations, literally sitting ducks.

More explicitly on Don Hernando Cortés, there was actually a well attested historical chance to verify any of his purported or potential military abilities relative to any contemporary true professional soldiers, more exactly in the Algiers expedition of 1541.

Cortes remained completely unnoticed (aside of the fact that he was almost drowned); prudently & unsurprisingly, he was explicitly excluded of the War Council.

IMHO (just that) it would absurd to the Nth degree and a serious offense to any other candidate mentioned in this thread to even remotely include either Don Hernando or any of his amateur adventurer peers.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 08:33 AM   #199

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IMHO (just that) it would absurd to the Nth degree and a serious offense to any other candidate mentioned in this thread to even remotely include either Don Hernando or any of his amateur adventurer peers.
I don't believe he should be up there either.

wudingbin, any suggestions on books for the warring state period?
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Old November 21st, 2012, 08:33 AM   #200
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great general indeed.
some members from this forum might just think that these so called dead soldiers were just peasant. However peasant armed with crossbow is as deadly as an professional skilled archers(crossbow were their primary missile weapons). Nor do they know that there is already so call national service exist during the warring states. These peasants had already undergo few years of training.
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