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Old October 29th, 2016, 04:03 PM   #21

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Originally Posted by RomesFinest View Post
Both the Duke of Marlborough and Gustavus Adolphus are a bit overrated on this list. Both were great commanders and the best of their generation but I can't see how you could put them above Jan Zizka, Scipio Africanus and Subutai.

Zizka's influence on war spread not only to western European culture but also to eastern nations such as the Ottomans and the Mughals. Both Selim I(the Grim) and Babur made extensive and highly successful use of the Wagenburg tactics that Zizka helped to create. Not to mention the fact that he was undefeated and raised an army from peasants to fight the more professional imperial armies.

Scipio was not only undefeated but he was instrumental in advancing the tactical abilities of the Roman infantry by using maneuver and the maniples in individual units acting in concert towards the same goal. He also showed an excellent understanding of grand strategy as shown by his eagerness to take the war to Africa and to gain valuable Numidian allies.

Subutai was imo the greatest operational strategist of all time. His ability to coordinated multiple armies hundreds of miles apart all toward one goal was a feat that would not be equaled until more mondern times. He was also an excellent tactician as the battle of Mohi would show.

My top ten would be

1. Alexander the Great
2. Genghis Khan
3. Julius Caesar
4. Napoleon
5. Khalid ibn al-Walid
6. Hannibal
7. Timur
8. Jan Zizka
9. Subutai
10. Scipio Africanus
I'm not sure how one can put Scipio over Marlborough considering their great similarities. They were both undefeated and they both fought in very innovative and unorthodox ways to defeat opponents and generally campaign under difficult circumstances. They were pretty even, IMO. Marlborough fought generally abler opposing commanders and armies, while Scipio was forced to conduct more of his operations on real shoe-strings.
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Old October 29th, 2016, 04:06 PM   #22

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Bai Qi is the greatest of antiquity. If you don't believe it consider scale of his operations and consequences of his victories. That guy is actually a military maker of Han nation. His legacy is lasting until today, other's not.

Any list which does not have him in top 10 is not serious.

Thutmose 3 is a semi legendary king and data about him is a mythology. We don't even know how big was his personal involvement in his campaigns. You can add Assurbanipal, Sargon II, Sargon of Akkad and few others (some Hettite), their conquests were greater.

There is also not much known about Attila but his a$$ being beaten by Aetius drops him a lot from any such list.

Your firearms generals are also not much. Where is the greatest of Russians Suvorov and where is Eugene of Savoy? Change Zhukov with Suvorov and forget unimportant Scott.
Scott unimportant? The guy nearly single-handedly won a war while operating on a shoestring, and through a very impressive showing of tactics, operational strategy and, most of all, logistics.
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Old October 29th, 2016, 07:25 PM   #23

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Scott unimportant? The guy nearly single-handedly won a war while operating on a shoestring, and through a very impressive showing of tactics, operational strategy and, most of all, logistics.
Winfield Scott was involved in several wars. I'm assuming that when you say that Scott nearly single-handedly won a war while operating on a shoestring, you are speaking of the Mexican-American War. Why do you say that Scott was acting on a shoestring? Weren't the American troops better equipped than the Mexicans? I agree that Scott made a very impressive showing of tactics, operational strategy, and logistics.

Furthermore, Scott is the brainchild of the North's Anaconda Plan in the American Civil War. The consensus among the officers of the US Army at the outset of the Civil War was that the war would be over in one to three months, and the consensus was that the North did not really need any overall strategy. The consensus was that the Union should just show up for one battle and fire a volley, and the South would surrender. Winfield Scott was more intelligent. Scott's Anaconda Plan was for the Union to blockade the South and take control of the rivers in the South. The rivers could be used to move troops and supplies through the South. Scott estimated it would take 300,000 troops and 2-3 years. The North would slowly squeeze the South into submission this way. This is the strategy that won the American Civil War.
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Old October 29th, 2016, 07:33 PM   #24

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Winfield Scott was involved in several wars. I'm assuming that when you say that Scott nearly single-handedly won a war while operating on a shoestring, you are speaking of the Mexican-American War. Why do you say that Scott was acting on a shoestring? Weren't the American troops better equipped than the Mexicans? I agree that Scott made a very impressive showing of tactics, operational strategy, and logistics.

Furthermore, Scott is the brainchild of the North's Anaconda Plan in the American Civil War. The consensus among the officers of the US Army at the outset of the Civil War was that the war would be over in one to three months, and the consensus was that the North did not really need any overall strategy. The consensus was that the Union should just show up for one battle and fire a volley, and the South would surrender. Winfield Scott was more intelligent. Scott's Anaconda Plan was for the Union to blockade the South and take control of the rivers in the South. The rivers could be used to move troops and supplies through the South. Scott estimated it would take 300,000 troops and 2-3 years. The North would slowly squeeze the South into submission this way. This is the strategy that won the American Civil War.
I mean a shoestring in terms of the fact that by the time of his campaign towards Mexico city, he was facing the bulk of Mexico's available armed forces with just his own single army. He was pretty heavily out-numbered, in other words, and had to deal with logistical difficulties that would have tried even the best commanders.
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Old October 29th, 2016, 07:34 PM   #25

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My lists reflect my own biases to some degree. I'm a Westerner, and I'm a Civil War buff.

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Originally Posted by macon View Post
Bai Qi is the greatest of antiquity. If you don't believe it consider scale of his operations and consequences of his victories. That guy is actually a military maker of Han nation. His legacy is lasting until today, other's not.

Any list which does not have him in top 10 is not serious.
Frankly, I cannot remember ever hearing or reading about Bai Qi before this thread. I know very little about the History of Asia in antiquity.



Quote:
Thutmose 3 is a semi legendary king and data about him is a mythology. We don't even know how big was his personal involvement in his campaigns. You can add Assurbanipal, Sargon II, Sargon of Akkad and few others (some Hettite), their conquests were greater.
Yeah but I'm a little bit of an Egyptologist. I'm not an Assyrianologist.


Quote:
There is also not much known about Attila but his a$$ being beaten by Aetius drops him a lot from any such list.
History is written by the literate. There is not much known about Attila personally, but there is a good bit known about the actions of Attila's Army when they fought the Romans though. We can make inferences.


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Your firearms generals are also not much. Where is the greatest of Russians Suvorov and where is Eugene of Savoy? Change Zhukov with Suvorov and forget unimportant Scott.
Winfield Scott looms large in my mind because I'm a Civil War buff.

Who is Suvorov? I've never heard of him.

I did consider Eugene of Savoy, but I couldn't find anyone in my top ten that I would like to replace him with. If it makes you feel better (or even if it does not make you feel better ), it's true that if I did a top 11, Eugene of Savoy would have made that list.
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Old October 30th, 2016, 01:30 AM   #26
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Not this Bai Qi again. His tale is full of made up crap and he's not even the best of his era. May be he's epic in his country but I wont even consider a general of such a small state who other than some victories against even smaller states as top 100 material. When he's ordered to fight against an actually capable general, he outright stated that he wouldnt be able to win. You can find people of his caliber in every countries ever existed and in large number.

Last edited by A Vietnamese; October 30th, 2016 at 01:36 AM.
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Old October 30th, 2016, 02:00 AM   #27
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Okay come on now. I appreciate the efforts of the OP to add Asian generals, but in my humble opinion, it's not enough. There are numerous Indian generals who also deserve a spot or atleast a higher one than they already have. There was this guy who said Ahmed Shah Durrani should be placed higher than Bajirao.

Bro, I excuse you for your lack of knowledge of Indian history, I myself am very weak in certain parts of history. But Bajirao was an excellent general wo
He could have raped Ahmed as he had raped the Mughals and Deccan Sultan. He beat the same king and the same armies that Nader Shah beat but before Nader shah ever came, but it is Nader Shah who gets credit! In fact, Bajirao's battle of Palkhed and Battle of Delhi were considered masterpieces of strategy according to Montgomery.

Then there's Shivaji. He was one awesome dude. He was the master of guerilla strategy and often won battles through superior strategy, deceit and superior tactics.

Then we have Sher Shah Suri, who deeated Humayun twice and a Rajput coalition through amazing tactics. I can elaborate on all these guys' achievements if you want, but something tells me no one cares about Indians in this forum anyways.
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Old October 30th, 2016, 02:16 AM   #28

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Originally Posted by nuclearguy165 View Post
Fair enough. I wasn't really being serious with that one comparison anyway, as I wasn't even sure Bajirao I was the same one who was defeated at Panipat in the first place. If he was though, then I would think Abdali deserves some points for maneuvering well, and Bajirao loses some points for not keeping better control of his cavalry.
Bajirao -I was long dead by the time the third battle of Panipat was fought. It was his grandson Vishwasrao who was killed by an Afghan sharpshooter. Bajirao-I had an unblemished record of victories.
The Commander of the Marathas at the battle of Panipat was Sadashivrao Bhau, who was undoubtedly brave and capable and it he who was the one to support the battle plan of Ibrahimkhan Gardi, the Artillery commander of Marathas against the opposition of other subordinates of his. The battle plan was to advance against Abdali in a square formation with all the cavalry inside the square and artillery outside. The women and children and other camp-followers were to be at the very centre. The mistake made was for Sadashivrao and Vishwasrao to mount elephants, thus making themselves easy targets. After Vishwasrao, his nephew, was killed Sadashirao lost his nerve, dismounted from the elephant and mounted a horse. And he led a fanatically brave charge of the cavalrymen into the Afghan army and was soon killed. It is estimated that the Marathas lost about 60000 killed. The Afghans also lost a considerable number and Abdali never raided India again.
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Old October 30th, 2016, 02:47 AM   #29

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Originally Posted by haniqbal View Post
Okay come on now. I appreciate the efforts of the OP to add Asian generals, but in my humble opinion, it's not enough. There are numerous Indian generals who also deserve a spot or atleast a higher one than they already have. There was this guy who said Ahmed Shah Durrani should be placed higher than Bajirao.

Bro, I excuse you for your lack of knowledge of Indian history, I myself am very weak in certain parts of history. But Bajirao was an excellent general wo
He could have raped Ahmed as he had raped the Mughals and Deccan Sultan. He beat the same king and the same armies that Nader Shah beat but before Nader shah ever came, but it is Nader Shah who gets credit! In fact, Bajirao's battle of Palkhed and Battle of Delhi were considered masterpieces of strategy according to Montgomery.

Then there's Shivaji. He was one awesome dude. He was the master of guerilla strategy and often won battles through superior strategy, deceit and superior tactics.

Then we have Sher Shah Suri, who deeated Humayun twice and a Rajput coalition through amazing tactics. I can elaborate on all these guys' achievements if you want, but something tells me no one cares about Indians in this forum anyways.
Thanks a lot friend for taking up the side of Indian Generals.
One instance of Shivaji's deceitful tactics against Shahista Khan, maternal uncle of Emperor Aurangzeb, is worth recording here. Shahista Khan was sent by Aurangzeb to the Deccan ( i.e.southern plateau of India ) to root out the fledgling movement of Shivaji. He was camping in Poona with an enormous army. His quarters were Shivaji's own palace of Lal Mahal. After sending his scouts to find out the details of security of Lal Mahal, Shivaji decided to mount a night raid on the palace. The plan was to kill Shahista Khan and escape in the confusion to the nearby hill fort of Sinhgad where Shivaji was holding out. Accordingly he along with a select bunch of brave raiders not numbering more than a hundred, Shivaji was able to walk past the sentries posing as armymen from the Moghul camp. He then climbed into the palace through windows and started to kill all right and left. Shahista Khan woke up and tried to escape, when Shivaji himself caught up with him and dealt a sword blow. Unluckily it was just a glancing blow and Shahista lost the fingers of his right hand as he was jumping down from a window. Shivaji and his followers escaped safely to Sinhgad, a hill fort of extremely difficult access. Shivaji had kept a few hundred bullocks with torches tied to their horns, and as soon as he was safely out of Poona had arranged to light these torches and to make bullocks run along a hilly road to Katraj a nearby place. The Moghul Army , by now fully aroused, went chasing the bullocks whose torches were thought to be the torches of Shivaji's fleeing forces. After a night long chase, the Moghul Army realised that there was no Shivaji or his Army.
Shahista thoroughly frightened went to camp in Aurangabad, a place about three hundred kilometers from Poona, after withdrawing his army there. He lost his face and Aurangzeb soon transferred him to Bengal.
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Old October 30th, 2016, 03:24 AM   #30

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Perhaps. I think the issue with Massena was that he wasn't given any kind of supreme authority in Spain relative to the other French commanders there, and of course, that was Napoleon's fault, especially considering Massena was the best French general who ever served in Spain. I wouldn't blame Massena much for it, but it was still a failure, though not as bad as Jackson's failure during the Seven Days.

Speaking of Jackson, he was actually one of the few commanders better at independent command than he was as a subordinate, and even here, he was mostly very good aside from the Seven Days, and one of Lee's best, with only that one time really holding him down. As far as Lee's subordinates go, only Longstreet was better, IMO, and Massena still has to compete against the likes of Davout and Lannes. The main reason I prefer Jackson is simply because I find his independent best to be better than Massena's.
I think we can say then that we don't have a fair case of Massena having a similar command. In his other campaigns he did his at least well enough. In a comparison to a commander like Jackson, I do not hold his independent work against him much. In 1799 and 1805 he did his job. Against Charles he was outnumbered at the beginning by some 95,000 and the French main effort was not in Italy. Here he basically performed better than another good general while also operating with lesser numbers. Davout was the best of those you mentioned, I agree with his placement above Massena.

My understanding is that Jackson had other poor or mixed performances as especially on the tactical level as opposed to operation. I've seen him criticized for his efforts on that level at battles such as Fredericksburg and Second Mananas to list a couple.

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I'm not sure how one can put Scipio over Marlborough considering their great similarities. They were both undefeated and they both fought in very innovative and unorthodox ways to defeat opponents and generally campaign under difficult circumstances. They were pretty even, IMO. Marlborough fought generally abler opposing commanders and armies, while Scipio was forced to conduct more of his operations on real shoe-strings.
Scipio's opposition was very poor at the command level, I agree. Probably worst of all is that they were not getting along at the time and therefore opened themselves up to being defeated singularly by Scipio. They all suffered defeats to him while commanding without the other two although in the case of Mago it was a surprise. The seemingly obvious course of action would have been to use all three armies in operation against Scipio at one time and then move on to Italy with some of these forces after defeating him.

What I figure puts Scipio over on that list is that he defeated what is considered to be one of the best generals.

Last edited by Pyrrhos The Eagle; October 30th, 2016 at 03:31 AM.
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