Archduke Charles vs Pompey the Great vs Robert E Lee

Greater General

  • Archduke Charles Louis John Joseph Laurentius of Austria, Duke of Teschen

    Votes: 6 27.3%
  • Robert Edward Lee

    Votes: 2 9.1%
  • Gnaeus Pompey Magnus

    Votes: 14 63.6%

  • Total voters
    22
Jul 2018
539
Hong Kong
Archduke Charles' performance in AD 1796-97 Rhine Theater was almost flawless, a great boost to his overall score.
 
Last edited:

nuclearguy165

Ad Honorem
Nov 2011
4,829
Ohio, USA
Can you elaborate?
Well, just judging from Pompey's ability to campaign in Spain and Armenia, more than anything else. The best comparison, of course, is Pompey vs Caesar, Charles vs Napoleon, and Lee vs Grant. Of the 3, Pompey was the one closest to giving his opponent a truly decisive trouncing in maneuver and operations, as Pompey almost gave to Caesar to Caesar at Dyrrhachium. This was a more serious defeat for Caesar than aspern-Essling was for Napoleon or Cold Harbor was for Grant. Of course, Charles' best during 1796 and Lee's best during Second Bull Run were very good as well, and probably as good as Pompey's best, which made this a difficult choice when considering that. I just think Pompey gave some really good results against equally skillful opponents. Charles and Lee never won a campaign against someone as good as Sertorius.

As far as tactics go, I can't imagine Lee or especially Charles screwing up so badly under the same circumstances as Pompey did at Pharsalus.
 

Fiver

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,776
Lee, without a doubt. Study Sharpsburg, the Seven Days, and Chancellorsville and then we'll have a conversation.

Or, for defensive fights, Cold Harbor, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania Court House, and The Wilderness.
Sharpsburg/Anitetam is a battle that Lee never should have fought. He had no chance of winning and any reasonably aggressive Union commander should have destroyed him.

Seven Days was a costly and poorly coordinated affair that succeeded because Lee was facing the worst general who would ever command against him.

Chancellorsville started with Hooker, who is often considered one of the worst Union generals, completely outmanuevering Lee, then freezing in indecision. Even then, Jackson's famous flanking manuever should have been a failure, but Howard ignored repeated orders from Hooker to guard against a flank attack.

Fredericksburg started with Burnside, who is often considered one of the worst Union generals, completely outmanuevering Lee, then being stymied by the failure of the bridging equipment to arrive. Lee had days to prepare before Burnside decided to attack straight into the teeth of Lee's defenses. It was a solid win for Lee, but almost anyone could have won that battle.

Tactically, Spotsylvania Court House and The Wilderness were draws, Cold Harbor a Union loss. Operationally, they were Union wins as Lee proved unable to stop Grant's advance. After Cold Harbor, Grant completely outmanuevered Lee, and if not for some uncharacteristic caution by subordinate Union generals and a superb performance by Beauregard, Petersburg would have fallen before Lee could get there and Richmond would have followed shortly.

You also missed West Virginia and Gettysburg, where Lee launched poorly coordinated attacks against men typically considered second string Union generals, and lost.
 

nuclearguy165

Ad Honorem
Nov 2011
4,829
Ohio, USA
Sertorius was assasinated. Pompey wasn't able to beat him. Not to mention, that Sertorious had much more limited resources than Pompey.
You can consult Duke Valentino on this, but I'm pretty sure the resource disparity between Pompey and Sertorius was actually not as great as many of the ancient sources would have us believe. Also, part of the reason Sertorius was assassinated was because Pompey had him on the back-end as far as the overall campaign went even if, yes, Pompey hadn't truly defeated him yet or anything like that.
 
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Sep 2018
29
michigan
Sertorius was assassinated but by then he had already been losing. The Sertorian war seems to have some pretty fragmented sourcing so we know less about the final years. The final years are practically blank slates but from what I know they seem to end with Pompey and Sertorius winning pretty handily. This came about because Sertorius has lost many of his trained Roman troops because of his own decisions but also in considerable part probably due to the failures of Perpenna. His first battle against Pompey was a victory at Lauron but it did not destroy Pompey as he was reinforced by Meteluss when Meteluss won against but he then sent his legates to finish Pompey off which ended poorly when Perpenna was defeated and purportedly lost 10,000 soldiers. This cut deep into Sertorius's number of experienced and capable regular infantry which could defeat Roman soldiers in a fight. Sertorius then lost more of these troops which was a strategic draw since either by miscalculation, poor luck, or being outdone he was unable to finish the battle before Meteluss arrived(IMO I think that it was a combo of a risky strategy and Metaluss probably marching like hell.). Afterwards at the battle of Saguntum Sertorius seems to have lost even more men. It is hard to see a way for Sertorius to win at this point in the war as after this Pompey and Meteluss start giving out roman citizenship and other benefits so they were building a viable support base and tearing away many Sertorian supporters. I think at this point Sertorius was at the edge of the cliff. His place in the political ecosystem was erroding as the current Roman Authority figures were willing to be much more leniant than usual to accomadate circumstances. His Romanization of parts of Spain would diminish in value while The Roman senate he established no longer commanded troops. I think he still could have won if he managed to kill one of the generals quickly because in that event he may be able to kill the survivor(either Pompey or Meteluss) quickly mainly using force of numbers to gain control over the rest of Hispania, but the clearest path to victory was probably gone after Saguntum. Sertorius' assassination was probably not the key event this war and the idea that Sertorius would have won (at least with the evidence we have know) seems to be more than a little hopefull. By getting the situation to this point Pompey and Meteluss seem to have beaten Sertorius regardless of the somewhat disappointing results of their battles. Sertorius had his chance with superiority before he lost his Roman soldiers.
 
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Duke Valentino

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,329
Australia
Pompey. Of the 3, he may have been the weakest tactician but he was still the strongest overall campaigner.
I agree that he was a great campaigner, but I don't see anything wrong with claiming Pompey was also a great tactician as well.

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Sertorius was assasinated. Pompey wasn't able to beat him. Not to mention, that Sertorious had much more limited resources than Pompey.
Pompet never beat him "on the field", but he had managed, along with Pius, to cut Sertorius off from the coast and slowly exhaust his supplies. Additionally, Pompey and Pius weren't in a much better place themselves in terms of resources, especially food and manpower replacements.
 
Feb 2019
542
Thrace
Pompey.

-Brilliant start of his military career with the conquest of Numidia.
-Proved himself as a naval commander against pirates.
-Impressive Asian campaign
-Handed a loss to Julius Caesar