My List of the Greatest Commanders in History

Jan 2015
5,574
Ontario, Canada
I think Barclay was Scottish and German. He inherited his name "Barclay de Tollaigh" from a Scottish clan that migrated to Russia due to the 1688 Glorious Revolution but he along with his family were ethnically (or at least culturally) Baltic Germans. I can't remember where I read this, probably Leggiere or something, but Barclay's entire staff was German and he only spoke in German. This really increased resentment at Barclay's policies and also because the Germans had sided with Napoleon during the 1812 campaign.
 

Kirialax

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
4,852
Blachernai
Have you considered Abu Ahmad al-Muwaffaq for his command during the Zanj revolt? Tabari's unusually detailed account (v. 37 of the English translation) points to a highly-competent military leader, especially at the organizational and logistical levels.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,350
I think Barclay was Scottish and German. He inherited his name "Barclay de Tollaigh" from a Scottish clan that migrated to Russia due to the 1688 Glorious Revolution but he along with his family were ethnically (or at least culturally) Baltic Germans. I can't remember where I read this, probably Leggiere or something, but Barclay's entire staff was German and he only spoke in German. This really increased resentment at Barclay's policies and also because the Germans had sided with Napoleon during the 1812 campaign.
Sounds like stuff spread about the amry by those he disleked Barclay and intrgued to get him replaced.

Barclay entire staff was not German. (Ermolov was his cheif of staff for instance) German staff officers were common. I seriously doubt he only spoke German.
Barclay was also raised in St Peterberg by hus Aunt, not in the Baltic proveinces.

"Totally without money or military connections , he soldiered for fourteen years as an NCO ina dragoon regiment until his unsual talents were noticed by Prince Repinin, who gave him a commision and made him his adjutant"

"Borodino, Napoleon against Russia 1812" Christopher Duffy - Page 38.

How could he served 14 years as a NCO and be Peinin Adjuitaant if he only spoke German?
 
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Feb 2018
34
Texas
What about Jochi Khan? He led an army of at least two tumen over the Tien Shan mountains (highest peak 24000 feet) in the middle of Winter. It completely compromised the Kwarezemian deployment which assumed the Mongol Army would appear far to the north and threw it into disarray. After debouching from the mountain passes which were at 14-15000 feet in elevation, Jochi immediately engaged the forces that he encountered. He correctly realized that by engaging and not withdrawing as his deputy Jebe Noyon advised, his action would more likely result in more enemy forces being detached from the main army in the North easing the main Mongol Army's advance. Jochi and his army went on to conquer numerous cities and defeated the enemy army in battle.

Neither Hannibal nor Napoleon faced a more hazardous crossing. Show me another commander who accomplished what Jochi did under similar circumstances. I contend that there are none and for that reason I nominate him as one of great captains of history for this singular feat which has never been equaled.
 
Jan 2015
5,574
Ontario, Canada
And killed in Franco-Prussian. 'S not really why he might be considered important:
Battle Studies - Wikipedia
Yes I know, but being a military theorist doesn't make one a good military commander. Military commanders are ones who command armies. If writing books was enough then Clausewitz would have won the Napoleonic Wars. That isn't to denigrate their scholarly efforts at all.
 
Jan 2015
5,574
Ontario, Canada
What about Jochi Khan? He led an army of at least two tumen over the Tien Shan mountains (highest peak 24000 feet) in the middle of Winter. It completely compromised the Kwarezemian deployment which assumed the Mongol Army would appear far to the north and threw it into disarray. After debouching from the mountain passes which were at 14-15000 feet in elevation, Jochi immediately engaged the forces that he encountered. He correctly realized that by engaging and not withdrawing as his deputy Jebe Noyon advised, his action would more likely result in more enemy forces being detached from the main army in the North easing the main Mongol Army's advance. Jochi and his army went on to conquer numerous cities and defeated the enemy army in battle.

Neither Hannibal nor Napoleon faced a more hazardous crossing. Show me another commander who accomplished what Jochi did under similar circumstances. I contend that there are none and for that reason I nominate him as one of great captains of history for this singular feat which has never been equaled.
Sure the Tumen generals could apply. I need to do more research into the subject.
 
What about Jochi Khan? He led an army of at least two tumen over the Tien Shan mountains (highest peak 24000 feet) in the middle of Winter. It completely compromised the Kwarezemian deployment which assumed the Mongol Army would appear far to the north and threw it into disarray. After debouching from the mountain passes which were at 14-15000 feet in elevation, Jochi immediately engaged the forces that he encountered. He correctly realized that by engaging and not withdrawing as his deputy Jebe Noyon advised, his action would more likely result in more enemy forces being detached from the main army in the North easing the main Mongol Army's advance. Jochi and his army went on to conquer numerous cities and defeated the enemy army in battle.

Neither Hannibal nor Napoleon faced a more hazardous crossing. Show me another commander who accomplished what Jochi did under similar circumstances. I contend that there are none and for that reason I nominate him as one of great captains of history for this singular feat which has never been equaled.
What is the primary source for this? Christopher Atwood published a 2017 papers ‘jochi and the western campaigns’ that puts him with subutais army campaigning across Central Asia to the Irtysh river from 1216-1218. He is then with Genghis khans army when it splits up at otrar in 1219-20 as per rashid and juvaini This is supported from juvaini to the yuan shi biographies of subutai and yelu seche/xieshe, which indicates he participated in the quyli river battle near the Irtysh. Jebe crossing the tien Shan around this time is taken from the Persian sources reporting him conquering the Kara khitai and the Ishmael bio in the yuan shi. Since he reunited with Genghis khan near Samarkand. So it seems implausible for jochi to be with him, and he was almost certainly not the de facto commander in the central Asian campaign.

In general the mongol princes never had supreme command authority until the empire broke apart, outside of perhaps Hulegu in 1256-60. Source distortion may end up painting this mistaken picture, such as western sources getting reports of batu, and dynastic sources in Persia/China praising the princes by default, but when all the records are put together their command is at best ‘pro forma,’ to use Paul buells phrase. Batu for example was studied by hodong Kim, with the conclusion that he was rather mediocre or incompetent if anything.
 

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