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View Poll Results: What's more important: A competent general or a competent army?
A competent general 34 69.39%
A competent army 15 30.61%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 2nd, 2011, 04:43 PM   #21

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Originally Posted by Frank81 View Post
In the long run, the importance of the army quality over the general ones can be seen more clearly. The rise of good generals is related in fact to a long previous rise on the quality of the army. Decline on the quality of generals is the consequence of previous decline on the quality of the army.
Good point, and why I don't really like either-or questions! If forced to choose, I say the leader (because a good leader identifies and works at eliminating weakness in his army) - but I really mean the whole command structure, intelligence gathering, logistics, etc., and we see the mutual dependence, especially "in the long run".
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 04:54 PM   #22

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Originally Posted by Belgarion View Post
It is not an absolute. A very poor general will waste a competent army, and no amount of outstanding leadership can do much with a very poor army.
The only exception to this I can think of is a so-so general of a so-so army who went on to become his nation's first president.

"...with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence" indeed!
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 05:33 PM   #23

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Darius competent army of persians was destroyed by Alexander party because Darius was a bad general.

Washington's rag tag militia army defeated the better British army partly because they had a good general.

The best army in the world can lose if the general is incompetent.
The worst army in the world can win if the general is good.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 07:06 PM   #24

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Originally Posted by daftone View Post
...
The best army in the world can lose if the general is incompetent.
The worst army in the world can win if the general is good.
And the best army in the world, with the best generals in the world can lose to a lousy army with mediocre generals if it is commanded by incompetent politicians!
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Old December 3rd, 2011, 04:09 AM   #25

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I assumed all armies have a base of 'incompetent' men - they are trained to become competent soldiers, an incompetent army will have been trained badly, therefore the competent General would see it it that these failures were addressed, never mind how a charismatic General can lift the spirits of this dud army and spark some life into them. I voted competent General.
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Old December 3rd, 2011, 05:45 AM   #26

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brisieis View Post
I assumed all armies have a base of 'incompetent' men - they are trained to become competent soldiers, an incompetent army will have been trained badly, therefore the competent General would see it it that these failures were addressed, never mind how a charismatic General can lift the spirits of this dud army and spark some life into them. I voted competent General.
Thats right, but then the army is no longer incompetent so the original premise is moot.
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Old December 3rd, 2011, 05:48 AM   #27

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Originally Posted by Tuthmosis III View Post
The only exception to this I can think of is a so-so general of a so-so army who went on to become his nation's first president.

"...with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence" indeed!
Simon Bolivar?
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Old December 3rd, 2011, 06:07 AM   #28

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Thats right, but then the army is no longer incompetent so the original premise is moot.
So are we assuming here that a competent General would have to go straight into battle with an incompetent army and a competent army would have to go straight into battle with a buffoon for a General?

If so, I need to revote! lol
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Old December 3rd, 2011, 06:43 AM   #29

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Originally Posted by halomanuk View Post
A competant general can get more out of a bad army and can rally them to perform,with good tactics and positioning.
A competant army can be sent to their doom no matter how good they are,by an incompetant general.
wait ... we are discussing about competent, not about incompetent.

We should turn the question in

What's more dangerous: an incompetent army or an incompetent general?

Remaining with "competent subjects" I remind to myself what Italian football managers say: the players are on the playground, not the manager.

A competent Army without a general [pay attention: not with a not competent general, it's out of context regarding the literal meaning of the question], or with a common general can still make the difference.

Imagine the Roman legions with a common guy as general: at least the legions would have granted the security of the supply chains, of the chariots and of the civilian auxiliary personnel.

Now imagine Alexander with a giant army of mediocre soldiers [not incompetent, but common mediocre soldiers] facing the Persian army ...
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Old December 3rd, 2011, 06:46 AM   #30

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On the other hand, considering the "enlarged" interpretation of the question, it's out of doubt that the orders of an incompetent general can ruin the most efficient army ever ...

If this is the meaning of the question ... it's out of doubt that who gives order has to be competent.
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