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Old October 30th, 2016, 03:29 AM   #31

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Some members of the forum have moderated my stance, but I still don't rate Alexander the Great. Much of what he wins praise for was uninspired use of his father's work, or just obvious (besieging a city on an island? A bridge. Want to get up to the top of a summit? Climb. Burning hay bales rolling towards you? Move. It's not rocket science).
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Old October 30th, 2016, 03:45 AM   #32

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Some members of the forum have moderated my stance, but I still don't rate Alexander the Great. Much of what he wins praise for was uninspired use of his father's work, or just obvious (besieging a city on an island? A bridge. Want to get up to the top of a summit? Climb. Burning hay bales rolling towards you? Move. It's not rocket science).
Not to handle specifically Alexander, but some of the maneuvers or solutions these generals pull off appear obvious to us now, but were not traditional or are much more difficult than we like to imagine.

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Old October 30th, 2016, 04:06 AM   #33

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I give Robert E. Lee a pass due to Lee's weakness with strategy. After the Battle of Chancellorsville, Lee should have sent troops to relieve Vicksburg and refrained from invading PA. Saving Vicksburg would have had a better long term effect on the war.
As I've explained before, and as you've persistently refused to listen apparently, again, troops from Lee's army could not have arrived in time to make a difference in the fight for Vicksburg, Grant had defeated Pemberton decisively in the field and had him penned up long before any of Lee's troops could have arrived, and Grant was reinforced to an extent (75,000-ish) where he still would have clearly outnumbered even a reinforced Confederate army under the notably unaggressive Joe Johnston. Even with reinforcements from Lee, Johnston probably could never have put more than 50,000 muskets (and that's a high-end estimate) in the field, and they'd be attacking entrenched Federal positions near Vicksburg. In such a case, Johnston would have been completely correct in following his usual policy of refraining from attacking. (He absolutely should have done something before Grant was reinforced when there was still rough parity in theater, but that's another story)
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Old October 30th, 2016, 04:31 AM   #34

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As I've explained before, and as you've persistently refused to listen apparently, again, troops from Lee's army could not have arrived in time to make a difference in the fight for Vicksburg, Grant had defeated Pemberton decisively in the field and had him penned up long before any of Lee's troops could have arrived, and Grant was reinforced to an extent (75,000-ish) where he still would have clearly outnumbered even a reinforced Confederate army under the notably unaggressive Joe Johnston. Even with reinforcements from Lee, Johnston probably could never have put more than 50,000 muskets (and that's a high-end estimate) in the field, and they'd be attacking entrenched Federal positions near Vicksburg. In such a case, Johnston would have been completely correct in following his usual policy of refraining from attacking. (He absolutely should have done something before Grant was reinforced when there was still rough parity in theater, but that's another story)
You are asserting that Lee could have not arrived in time to help. However, your statements are simply assertions because you have no proof that Lee could not have helped at Vicksburg.
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Old October 30th, 2016, 04:37 AM   #35

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You are asserting that Lee could have not arrived in time to help. However, your statements are simply assertions because you have no proof that Lee could not have helped at Vicksburg.
The question is whether Lee's troops could have arrived in time and then whether they would have been able to do anything against the Union position anyway. I don't see any question of Lee's entire army actually going, I don't see how that would work.

Here is one of the threads Viperlord was referring to which explains why the reinforcements wouldn't have changed the outcome and why Lee couldn't have sent much anyway.
Did the South have a chance to win the Civil War?

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Sending troops from Lee before the Chancellorsville Campaign would have been suicidal, given the odds against Lee's army; it was a miracle he pulled that victory off as it was, and that was with a healthy assist from the collapse of Joe Hooker's generalship. By the time Chancellorsville concludes, Lee's army has taken heavy casualties and has to reunite with Longstreet's detachment, and by the time that is done, it is too late for Vicksburg. Further, in early May, nobody realizes Vicksburg is in trouble; Pemberton does not have a serious lack of troops, and his defeat is hardly set in stone until Grant routs him at Champion Hill on May 16th.

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Old October 30th, 2016, 05:00 AM   #36

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Originally Posted by Pyrrhos The Eagle View Post
The question is whether Lee's troops could have arrived in time and then whether they would have been able to do anything against the Union position anyway. I don't see any question of Lee's entire army actually going, I don't see how that would work.

Here is one of the threads Viperlord was referring to which explains why the reinforcements wouldn't have changed the outcome and why Lee couldn't have sent much anyway.
Did the South have a chance to win the Civil War?
However, it is pure speculation that Lee could not have done anything to help Vicksburg. During WWII the high command speculated that Patton could not pull out of a winter battle to the south to help in the Ardennes.

Impossible is the most dangerous word in the English language.

Viperlord is extremely knowledgeable about the Civil War but in this case he is only asserting and speculating. He is asserting his own opinion not facts because the situation never came to fruition.

Last edited by Wenge; October 30th, 2016 at 05:02 AM.
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Old October 30th, 2016, 05:18 AM   #37
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Good list. The only things I would change, if it were up to me:

-Switch the places of Napoleon and Caesar (IMO, the former made too many disastrous mistakes to be better than the latter, who never lost a campaign).

-Switch the places of Khalid and Marlborough (both undefeated, but the details on former are hazy, and the latter fought more formidable opponents).

-Switch the places of Grant and Lee (the former out-maneuvered the latter in 1864).

-Swap out Erwin Rommel (who isn't top 100 material IMO due to a poor conception of strategy), and put Gebhard von Blucher in his place.

-Switch the places of Winfield Scott and Stonewall Jackson (the former was always good, while the latter had a few fairly poor performances)

-Switch Ahmad Shah Durrani and Bajirao (the former kicked the crap out of the Marathas anyhow, even if it wasn't Bajirao himself)

-Personal preference would probably have me switching the places of Timur and Nader Shah, but I don't really have any objective measure for that.
I agree with most of this. However, I don't know too much about some of the ancient and eastern generals. Winfield Scott should be much higher, for the Mexican War and Anaconda plan: both wars might have been won anyway, but he made huge contributions with brilliant strategy. Napoleon should definitely be lower due to huge strategic errors and arrogance, which lead to his total defeat. Marlborough should be higher.
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Old October 30th, 2016, 05:24 AM   #38

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Originally Posted by Wenge View Post
However, it is pure speculation that Lee could not have done anything to help Vicksburg. During WWII the high command speculated that Patton could not pull out of a winter battle to the south to help in the Ardennes.

Impossible is the most dangerous word in the English language.

Viperlord is extremely knowledgeable about the Civil War but in this case he is only asserting and speculating. He is asserting his own opinion not facts because the situation never came to fruition.
An example from World War Two in which someone did something others thought was impossible is hardly relevent. The post I quoted actually deals with the specific reasons why it couldn't work rather than just speculation. It would be better to engage with those specifics, Hooker's army against Lee, Grant's progress and defensive measures against reinforcements, time, etc, rather than to focus on irrelevant thoughts about a much later war or your thoughts on the word "impossible".

Last edited by Pyrrhos The Eagle; October 30th, 2016 at 05:28 AM.
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Old October 30th, 2016, 05:41 AM   #39

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As I've explained before, and as you've persistently refused to listen apparently, again, troops from Lee's army could not have arrived in time to make a difference in the fight for Vicksburg,
Viperlord, that is all your opinion. It's not that i don't pay attention to what you have wrote about how Lee could not have reinforced Vicksburg. I have paid attention, but i disagree with you. I am entitled to have my own opinion.
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Old October 30th, 2016, 05:49 AM   #40

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Originally Posted by Pyrrhos The Eagle View Post
The question is whether Lee's troops could have arrived in time and then whether they would have been able to do anything against the Union position anyway. I don't see any question of Lee's entire army actually going, I don't see how that would work.
I've never heard anyone say or seen anyone write that Lee should have sent the entire Army of Northern virginia to relieve Vicksburg. People (including myself) who think Lee could have relieved vicksburg think that Lee should have sent part of the ANV to relieve Vicksburg.
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