Best Collection of Military Talent in One Army at One Time

Dec 2013
34
Finland
#11
Eumenes was not a professional soldier
Eumenes became commander at the end of Alexander's campaigns actually. Plutarch tells us that Alexander started to give him military tasks and independent command. So, not after Alexander's death.
... so he become a professional soldier? I think one can have different views about Eumenes' professionalism, but I do not want to take this issue further.

I also still want to know about what military commanders of Alexander you are talking about. Give me more names.
I am really not interested in discussing specific commanders of Alexander's army in this thread's context as I fail to see the point. This thread was about talent pool in general to my understanding, not about individuals. If you want to discuss the relative merits of Alexander's army commanders I'd suggest you to make another thread.

In comparison with that Schwarzenberg who was always so indecisive and inactive, you'll understand the stark contrast between a "great military commander" and a "mediocre military commander".
I do not recall I mentioned or addressed anything related to this in my first or second post...

But you still decided to mention Swedish of that period and not French. It's probably historical bias you have.
I mentioned the Swedish army of the 1600's and 1700's as an example of an army that at a particular time offered good opportunities, thus attracting talent.
I also mentioned French revolutionary army as another example.

The main reason for mentioning different armies was the point I was trying to make, which is that I do not think that any particular army in any period of history looks that extraordinary in the grand scheme of things; or if it does, it's still pretty impossible to distinguish "the best collection of talent".

The second reason is that I chose different examples to illustrate my point, which was that there are several historical armies from different areas of the world that might be considered "talented". As I knew I was going to mention the revolutionary French in my list of examples I chose to use another country as an example for an earlier time period. You can swap the Swedes for the Spanish army in the 1500's(1600's), Ottomans, The Manchu, or any other army you fancy. You can swap them even for the French, although I think it does not convey my idea rhetorically as well as the original version as then they are mentioned twice (mentioning them twice would also be possibly considered a bias...).

- - you'll understand- - -
- - - It's probably historical bias you have.
Also... please leave personal statements out of the discussion. Some might think the person writing like this has a bias...
 
Sep 2016
751
Georgia
#12
... so he become a professional soldier? I think one can have different views about Eumenes' professionalism, but I do not want to take this issue further.
As I said, Eumenes was not the professional from the beginning or for vast majority of Alexander's campaigns. I also wouldn't really say that he really became a ,, professional '' by the end of Alexander's war. However, you said that he was never a commander in Alexander's army. I pointed out that he actually became a commander by the end of Alexander's life and was given military tasks by Alexander. So, he started to gain military experience by the end of Alexander's campaigns. Still for biggest chunk of his life, Eumenes never was a professional soldier or officer.
I am really not interested in discussing specific commanders of Alexander's army in this thread's context as I fail to see the point. This thread was about talent pool in general to my understanding, not about individuals. If you want to discuss the relative merits of Alexander's army commanders I'd suggest you to make another thread.
Why though ? How can you judge talent of Alexander's commanders , if you are not willing to discuss them individually ? How do you know that they were talented in this case ? How do you know that Antigonus ( barely was Alexander's commander by the way ) was talented , if you don't want to discuss him individually ? How do you know that Craterus was talented, if you don't want to discuss his individual achievements, performances and etc. ? How do you know that Coenus was talented, if you don't want to discuss him ? List goes on.
I mentioned the Swedish army of the 1600's and 1700's as an example of an army that at a particular time offered good opportunities, thus attracting talent.
I also mentioned French revolutionary army as another example.

You can swap them even for the French
You mentioned Sweden of 1600's, while talking about best collection of military talent. You didn't mention any other power of that period. I concluded, that you believed Sweden was the greatest military force of that period. I objected that and talked about the French. Otherwise, why did you specifically mention Sweden of 1600's if you don't believe them to be the best in that period ?

You are from Finland, as I noticed . Maybe that's why Sweden of that period was one of the first things that came into your mind.

Also, Revolutionary France is different from France of 17th century. It isn't just about having France in the list.
 
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Dec 2013
34
Finland
#15
As I said, Eumenes was not the professional from the beginning or for vast majority of Alexander's campaigns..
You originally wrote that "Eumenes was not a professional soldier", which is pretty categorical. He worked closely with military affairs through his career, and whether he was a professional or not is debatable IMO - we might agree here, but this is a minor nuance.

How can you judge talent of Alexander's commanders , if you are not willing to discuss them individually ? How do you know that they were talented in this case ?
I do not think it is very interesting to speculate with such matters as I am more interested in holistic view of history.

You mentioned Sweden of 1600's, while talking about best collection of military talent. Otherwise, why did you specifically mention Sweden of 1600's if you don't believe them to be the best in that period ?
I mentioned the Swedish army of the 1600's and 1700's as an example of an army that at a particular time offered good opportunities, thus attracting talent.

Also, Revolutionary France is different from France of 17th century. It isn't just about having France in the list.
As I wrote you are free to change the examples given as you fancy. They are examples, not the point I was trying to make. Could you address it (or the OP's question)? I might be more interested in discussing about the details after that.
 
Sep 2016
751
Georgia
#16
You originally wrote that "Eumenes was not a professional soldier", which is pretty categorical. He worked closely with military affairs through his career, and whether he was a professional or not is debatable IMO - we might agree here, but this is a minor nuance.
Because he wasn't. Eumenes was a private secretary of Phillip II and Alexander.

By the way, you wrote that Eumenes didn't become a commander during Alexander's campaigns and only after his death. That was factually wrong. So, I pointed out your mistake.
I do not think it is very interesting to speculate with such matters as I am more interested in holistic view of history.
What do you mean by speculate ? You started to talk about Alexander's army and it's level of professionalism. If you don't want to study that period and have a discussion about it, than don't mention it and don't talk about level of talent presented in Alexander's army. This is just ridiculous.

For example, you can't just say ,, Alexander wasn't that talented ' and then try to ignore discussion about your statement.
I mentioned the Swedish army of the 1600's and 1700's as an example of an army that at a particular time offered good opportunities, thus attracting talent.
All of this could've been easily solved by you just saying : ,, yeah, France of 17th century is also good example. I agree with you ''. Instead, you have never even acknowledged my point about 17th century France.

You've even said ,, well I mentioned Revolutionary France ''. But that wasn't the point.
 
Oct 2016
888
Merryland
#17
I'm thinking in terms of reputation / record
no one knows how many military geniuses were out there without the right war
or maybe superior generals saddled with mediocre armies (Archduke Charles of Austria?)
I've read commentators suggest that Joe Stilwell would have been the best battlefield commander in the US Army but he got stuck in China

I'm aware of the generals in the ACW. WWII USSR may have had dozens of great generals but I know nothing about them (Zhukov? Rosskovsky?).
 
#18
What do you mean by speculate ? You started to talk about Alexander's army and it's level of professionalism. If you don't want to study that period and have a discussion about it, than don't mention it and don't talk about level of talent presented in Alexander's army. This is just ridiculous.
I used Alexander's army as an example of the difficulties in defining "talent". You have not addressed the point about defining talent at all. I find it fruitless to discuss about particulars unless the basis is somehow clarified - you seem to be comfortable in discussing about level of talent without defining what talent is in this context.

On Eumenes I'll just say that it seems we have a different view on his professionalism (how it is defined) and about him being defined as a commander. I might be wrong about the commander issue, but I'd really need to reread my Plutarch for that discussion.

All of this could've been easily solved by you just saying : ,, yeah, France of 17th century is also good example. I agree with you ''. Instead, you have never even acknowledged my point about 17th century France.
This is addressed in detail in my post #11 (even mentioning that the French can be used as an example). There are also other cases where actually reading my posts might have produced more useful discussion...
 
Sep 2011
4,860
#19
But you still decided to mention Swedish of that period and not French. It's probably historical bias you have.
Well, shouldn't we also factor for size then, if managing bias is a thing?

France in the period in question had about ten times the population and resources of Sweden. Parity would mean one Swedish quality commander for every French. Which wasn't quite the situation.

The Swedish 17th c. situation also makes it improbably "genius" is some kind of innate thing that just appears. Considering the lack of a pool of people to draw from beginning with the group of young officers Gustav II Adolph gathered around him, military ability was clearly something that was cultivated. And it didn't end with the death of the king either.

(Yeah, I know, if done like that due to the Swedish 17th c. trick of making something out of as good as bugger all will always makes them look good by comparison. ;))
 
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Sep 2016
751
Georgia
#20
I used Alexander's army as an example of the difficulties in defining "talent". You have not addressed the point about defining talent at all. I find it fruitless to discuss about particulars unless the basis is somehow clarified - you seem to be comfortable in discussing about level of talent without defining what talent is in this context.

On Eumenes I'll just say that it seems we have a different view on his professionalism (how it is defined) and about him being defined as a commander. I might be wrong about the commander issue, but I'd really need to reread my Plutarch for that discussion
You have no idea what you are talking about. That's what I see. So don't tell me what point I have or have not addressed.

Again, you lack knowledge about Alexander's army and period. This is obvious. So stop talking about that and do some reading.

You can't talk about Eumenes, if you have such limited knowledge on him. Plutarch is waiting for you.
 
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