Commander with most battles won in history?

Mar 2016
1,097
Australia
#21
AS long as your comforatble with 13% of his campaign were total disasters with consistent massive mistakes from start to finish. Very good in cetrian circumstances. Amazing bad in others.
Well, you're the most blatantly biased anti-Napoleon poster on this entire site, so maybe your opinion on him isn't entirely trustworthy. If you put aside your blind hatred of him for a moment you'd recognise his military brilliance.
 
#22
Concerning Khalid and Samudragupta, one should be a bit sceptical of the whole numbers that have been provided, especially if it's a religious text (for Khalid) or Samudragupta himself who is making the claim. I guess the way to resolve such issues is to determine which battles we can actually name, but am I right in thinking that the historical record for the Gupta period is pretty poor when it comes to details?
 
Last edited:

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,887
#23
Well, you're the most blatantly biased anti-Napoleon poster on this entire site, so maybe your opinion on him isn't entirely trustworthy. If you put aside your blind hatred of him for a moment you'd recognise his military brilliance.
I do recognize his military brilliance but he;s also a deeply flawed commander. I've repeatedly said so. You don't recognize those flaws and makes judgements as if they did not exist.

Why is it that Napoleon's fans take ANY cirticism as some sort on affront and that it must be blind to his good qualties like the whole false choiec is either you must admit he was greatest commander of all time, or you are denying that he had good qualities at all,

He was brillant. but also deeply flawed.
 
Jul 2018
497
Hong Kong
#24
AS long as your comforatble with 13% of his campaign were total disasters with consistent massive mistakes from start to finish.
Disaster ? Yes, but in varied extent. Massive mistakes ? Yes, but certainly they're not so simple, unskillful and apparent as many ordinary people thought. Whether which side(s) score the ultimate victory or defeat, the entire course must be very complicated with mixed result — magnifying the impact of any single person would obviously limit our scope. Military operation is one of the most sophisticated thing done by human being, it looks easy to comprehend and talk on paper, but reality is far beyond your grasp of knowledge and information. It's not easy for us to see through the "tide" of the whole situation. The simple judgment of right and wrong is merely the reflection of our sense of superiority. There're a lot of people doing that in this world.
 
Likes: WhatAnArtist
Mar 2016
1,097
Australia
#25
Disaster ? Yes, but in varied extent. Massive mistakes ? Yes, but certainly they're not so simple, unskillful and apparent as many ordinary people thought. Whether which side(s) score the ultimate victory or defeat, the entire course must be very complicated with mixed result — magnifying the impact of any single person would obviously limit our scope. Military operation is one of the most sophisticated thing done by human being, it looks easy to comprehend and talk on paper, but reality is far beyond your grasp of knowledge and information. It's not easy for us to see through the "tide" of the whole situation. The simple judgment of right and wrong is merely the reflection of our sense of superiority. There're a lot of people doing that in this world.
An unfortunate trend for military historians is viewing everything with perfect hindsight. They act as if the correct solution is so simple and obvious, and yet if it were then no mistakes would have been made. Armchair generals are very frustrating.
 
Feb 2018
205
US
#26
Khalid is not likely to have fought more than 5-10 notable armies: 200 battles(!) is a meaningless number. Is it more prestigious defeat 2 armies of 40,000 men or 100 armies of 300 men? Don't get me wrong, he's an extraordinary general by any standard, but the source problems here as massive. He could be recommended for brilliance in a lot of ways, but this doesn't seem to be one of them. The largest army Khalid would have fought, at Yarmuk, is estimated by Walter Kaegi at being no larger than 15,000-20,000 men, though it was likely larger than his own.

Peter Crawford says: " The recording of the opening phases of the Muslim attacks on Persian territory must be treated with caution. The sheer number of ‘battles’ fought in the period from late spring 633 to April 634 gives the suggestion that even the most minor of skirmishes was promoted to the stature of a ‘battle’ and that the
number of enemies faced was heavily exaggerated for propaganda purposes. The formulaic nature of some of the battles may also encourage scepticism regarding their historicity."


He fought fought in four distinct wars: against Mohammmed as a (key) subordinate, against the other Arabic Tribes, the Sassanids, and the Byzantines. The Byzantines were bankrupted by the Sassanid War (Heraclius had to get money from the church to fund his campaigns) and would not have had much time to get their just-reconquered territories back online. The Sassanians were defeated and underwent a civil war right before the Arab invasion.

So for example, while the Arab sources present the battle of Muta as being a significant Byzantine army, it is more likely to have been a small and inexperienced frontier/auxiliary force because there was still uncertainty over the Persian course of action. Walter Kaegi stresses the extremely meager local Byzantine forces that were in position to defend the Levant, which means the many of the 'battles' like at Dathin (estimated at 300 men) and Fahl were likely over very small forces, though Ajnadayn was at least over a legitimate force (even if still small). In the immediate years right before the invasion, the Byzantines were busy restoring control over Syria and Palestine, not fortifying it and raising new levies.

The Persian's likely fielded few if any of their imperial troops prior to al-Qadisiyah (which Khalid did not fight, as he was fighting the Byzantines), and Khalid likely only fought frontier armies made up of local tribesmen and some garrison troops in 633-4. Shahrbaraz, the Persian Emperor, only could send a 10,000 men imperial army to deal with the Turkic invasion in Armenia in 630, and this army was completely destroyed. He was assassinated shortly after this.

The overall conclusion is that Khalid was the key commander in making the Arabic expansion possible, but didn't fight against a fraction of what the Arabic sources claim.

Bai Qi may well have fought a large number of important battles - there certainly was enough high intensity warfare in his era. Does the Shiji actually provide enough detail to determine this though?

Lastly, I would never put much trust wikipedia for history. I've seen way too many errors.
 
Feb 2018
205
US
#27
An unfortunate trend for military historians is viewing everything with perfect hindsight. They act as if the correct solution is so simple and obvious, and yet if it were then no mistakes would have been made. Armchair generals are very frustrating.
Very true. I am reminded by a quote of Andre Beaufre when he observed the oft-hidden, practical difficulties Maxime Weygand was having during the 1940 German invasion disaster:

“Once more this brings home sharply how difficult it is for a commander to impose his way of thinking. Once he has made his decision known, everything conspires against him; on top of the doubts which must exist in his own mind are piled the information coming in of the course of the operation and the objections of his subordinates."
 
#28
Khalid is not likely to have fought more than 5-10 notable armies: 200 battles(!) is a meaningless number. Is it more prestigious defeat 2 armies of 40,000 men or 100 armies of 300 men? Don't get me wrong, he's an extraordinary general by any standard, but the source problems here as massive. He could be recommended for brilliance in a lot of ways, but this doesn't seem to be one of them. The largest army Khalid would have fought, at Yarmuk, is estimated by Walter Kaegi at being no larger than 15,000-20,000 men, though it was likely larger than his own.

Peter Crawford says: " The recording of the opening phases of the Muslim attacks on Persian territory must be treated with caution. The sheer number of ‘battles’ fought in the period from late spring 633 to April 634 gives the suggestion that even the most minor of skirmishes was promoted to the stature of a ‘battle’ and that the
number of enemies faced was heavily exaggerated for propaganda purposes. The formulaic nature of some of the battles may also encourage scepticism regarding their historicity."


He fought fought in four distinct wars: against Mohammmed as a (key) subordinate, against the other Arabic Tribes, the Sassanids, and the Byzantines. The Byzantines were bankrupted by the Sassanid War (Heraclius had to get money from the church to fund his campaigns) and would not have had much time to get their just-reconquered territories back online. The Sassanians were defeated and underwent a civil war right before the Arab invasion.

So for example, while the Arab sources present the battle of Muta as being a significant Byzantine army, it is more likely to have been a small and inexperienced frontier/auxiliary force because there was still uncertainty over the Persian course of action. Walter Kaegi stresses the extremely meager local Byzantine forces that were in position to defend the Levant, which means the many of the 'battles' like at Dathin (estimated at 300 men) and Fahl were likely over very small forces, though Ajnadayn was at least over a legitimate force (even if still small). In the immediate years right before the invasion, the Byzantines were busy restoring control over Syria and Palestine, not fortifying it and raising new levies.

The Persian's likely fielded few if any of their imperial troops prior to al-Qadisiyah (which Khalid did not fight, as he was fighting the Byzantines), and Khalid likely only fought frontier armies made up of local tribesmen and some garrison troops in 633-4. Shahrbaraz, the Persian Emperor, only could send a 10,000 men imperial army to deal with the Turkic invasion in Armenia in 630, and this army was completely destroyed. He was assassinated shortly after this.

The overall conclusion is that Khalid was the key commander in making the Arabic expansion possible, but didn't fight against a fraction of what the Arabic sources claim.

Bai Qi may well have fought a large number of important battles - there certainly was enough high intensity warfare in his era. Does the Shiji actually provide enough detail to determine this though?

Lastly, I would never put much trust wikipedia for history. I've seen way too many errors.
Exactly the kind of response I was looking for. Maybe there is a user who can shed similar light on Samudragupta. To repeat what I implied earlier, a king who claims he won 100+ battles is not a reliable source, but it would be interesting to see what can actually be said about his campaigns.
 

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