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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, 06:27 AM   #1
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What's more important: A competent general or a competent army?


What do you think? Competent generals know how to win battles, but competent armies can hold firm during those battles.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 06:29 AM   #2

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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.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 06:35 AM   #3

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The army of the Third Reich was highly competent as were its generals and Field Marshals but was let down by its commander in chief Hitler in the Russian campaign.

Last edited by BRIAN GOWER; December 2nd, 2011 at 06:49 AM.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 06:46 AM   #4

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All-time hero and continuing inspiration for ambitious lads everyplace, Alexander da Neat of Macedon said:

Quote:
Better a herd of sheep led by a lion than a herd of lions led by a sheep.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 07:02 AM   #5

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However we should also remember the Roman army during republican period. Very often it was leaded by incompetent generals (who were politicians) but was enough to defeat enemies. Not always there was an enemy such like Hanibal who could have exploited every weakness of Roman commanders. Usually competent centurions were able to win even if their "proconsul" or "consul" had no idea about fighting. Somtimes Romans did suffer terrible defeats because their generals were incompetent but it are very few cases in history, such like battle of Arausio.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 07:05 AM   #6

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A competent army can overcome an incompetent general(s),
while there's no guarantee and incompetent army can be
changed by competent general(s)
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 07:31 AM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosquito View Post
However we should also remember the Roman army during republican period. Very often it was leaded by incompetent generals (who were politicians) but was enough to defeat enemies. Not always there was an enemy such like Hanibal who could have exploited every weakness of Roman commanders. Usually competent centurions were able to win even if their "proconsul" or "consul" had no idea about fighting. Somtimes Romans did suffer terrible defeats because their generals were incompetent but it are very few cases in history, such like battle of Arausio.
I see your point here, but I think it still boils down to leadership. Hannibal is a great example. Paulus and Varro get crushed, Fabius knows how to hold him off, Scipio figures out how to defeat him. Same army - but different leaders, different approaches, different results.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 08:57 AM   #8

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Depends on the situation. Usually if the General is bad he will demoralise the men under him through his choice of promotions and decisions until they become a bad army.

The notable one i can think of with good soldiers saving a bad General is Albuerra, Beresford was a good adjutant and without him most of Wellingtons army wouldnt have been fed or clothed but as an independent coomnander he was a liability.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 11:17 AM   #9

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It can depend on a lot of variables besides the quality of the army and of the general. The Roman army, for instance, was generally a fabulous organization in terms of discipline and equipment, while the quality of the men commanding it ranged from one end of the spectrum to the other. History attests to Roman armies winning victories in spite of bad generals, and losing because of them.

I think, especially where large battles are concerned, there are so many trivial factors (many of them determined by fate or fortune, rather than the planning or actions of men) that can influence the course of events. Thus rendering most hypothetical ponderings about "who would beat who", "who was better", etc. essentially pointless.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 12:19 PM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salah View Post
It can depend on a lot of variables besides the quality of the army and of the general. The Roman army, for instance, was generally a fabulous organization in terms of discipline and equipment, while the quality of the men commanding it ranged from one end of the spectrum to the other. History attests to Roman armies winning victories in spite of bad generals, and losing because of them.

I think, especially where large battles are concerned, there are so many trivial factors (many of them determined by fate or fortune, rather than the planning or actions of men) that can influence the course of events. Thus rendering most hypothetical ponderings about "who would beat who", "who was better", etc. essentially pointless.
I share that view and that is why I voted for a competent army.
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