My list of the Top 10 Generals ever

Jul 2018
19
Pakistan
#1
This is my (unfinished) list of the top 10 generals ever.
1. Khalid bin Walid
2. Alexander the Great
3. Julius Caesar
4. Napoleon Bonaparte
5. Hannibal Barca
6. Subedei
7.
8.
9.
10.
Could you please suggest some generals to fill in the final places. I was thinking of Manstein, Suvorov, John Churchil and Frederick the Great. Please don't forget to mention WHY your selected generals should be in the list.
 
Jan 2016
465
Macedonia
#2
Mine, as known from the "Revisiting..." thread - I haven't changed my views since then - is:

1. Chengiz
2. Alexander
3. Napoleon
4. Hannibal
5. Caesar
6. Khalid
7. Timur
8. Marlborough
9. Gustavus
10. Scipio

(then Zizka, Subutai, Belisarius, Suvorov, Turenne, Eugene, Nader Shah, Philip II, Frederick and Wellington)
 
Likes: candy321wolf
Jul 2017
2,191
Australia
#3
Ranking is pretty pointless, a lot of generals are placed a lot lower due to circumstance. I prefer to list my favourite generals, rather than the objectively "best" generals, which is entirely subjective. If I had to give my opinion, it's probably Napoleon. However, at the moment my favourite general that I'm researching heavily on is Pompey the Great.
 
Jan 2018
137
Canada
#4
Ranking is pretty pointless, a lot of generals are placed a lot lower due to circumstance. I prefer to list my favourite generals, rather than the objectively "best" generals, which is entirely subjective. If I had to give my opinion, it's probably Napoleon. However, at the moment my favourite general that I'm researching heavily on is Pompey the Great.
Agreed, not all 'top Generals' are equal in their achievements. Some Generals led armys that were very badly outmatched, but managed to somehow achieve a draw. Some Generals led armys with a crushing superiority in manpower and weapons, and only managed to achieve victory by the thinnest margins.

Also, the list of candidates should be divided into two categorys: One for the modern era,(after 1800), and one for the pre-modern era (before 1800).
 
Oct 2018
702
Adelaide south Australia
#5
I don't like lists. However, I would put Sun Tzu, circa 554-496 bce, near the top of such a list.

He wrote the brilliant "Art Of War", nearly 2000 years before Niccolo Machiavelli's 'The Prince '. Same principle; 'the ends justifies the means'

Sun's approach is the opposite of wars fought by attrition. His principles include winning without fighting, winning by gaining as much as possible and losing as little as possible.(especially men)

"The Art Of War " is still in print. I have copy. You can probably get it electronically for nothing from the Internet archive, as the book in the public domain.

Below is a Youtube reference to a 2017 BBC documentary.

 
Jul 2017
2,191
Australia
#6
Just because he wrote a theoretical piece, that doesn't mean he's instantly a top general. You could try and apply that logic to Machiavelli as well, which fails.

An example of a man who created a new army and new concept of warfare while also executing it and using it successfully is Philip of Macedon.
 
Oct 2018
702
Adelaide south Australia
#7
The Art Of War is great deal more than just a theoretical piece, and Sun was no armchair general. I make no comparison with other generals. I simply claim that Sun Tzu was one of histories great generals.


"Sun Tzu (/ˈsuːnˈdzuː/;[2] also rendered as Sun Zi; Chinese: 孫子) was a Chinese general, military strategist, writer, and philosopher who lived in the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, a widely influential work of military strategy that has affected both Western and East Asian philosophy and military thinking. Aside from his legacy as the author of The Art of War, Sun Tzu is revered in Chinese and East Asian culture as a legendary historical and military figure. His birth name was Sun Wu, and he was known outside of his family by his courtesy name Changqing. The name Sun Tzuby which he is best known in the Western World is an honorific which means "Master Sun"."


Sun Tzu - Wikipedia

As for Niccolo Machiavelli: He was a Florentine diplomat during the Renaissance, 'rubbing shoulders' with ,and surviving dealings with the notorious Borgias* among a great many others.. 'The Prince' was almost certainly based on his wide experience.


"Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (/ˌmækiəˈvɛli/; Italian: [nikkoˈlɔ mmakjaˈvɛlli]; 3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, humanist, writer, playwright and poet of the Renaissance period.[2][3][4]He has often been called the father of modern political science.[5] For many years he was a senior official in the Florentine Republic, with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry. His personal correspondence is renowned by Italian scholars. He was secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence from 1498 to 1512, when the Mediciwere out of power. He wrote his most well-known work The Prince (Il Principe) in 1513, having been exiled from city affairs."

Niccolò Machiavelli - Wikipedia
 
Jul 2017
2,191
Australia
#8
I know who these two people are ...

We don't even know if Sun Tzu wrote the Art of War, and I don't think we have much info on his military exploits. So again, it's speculation.

Generals like Philip, Alexander, Hannibal, Scipio, Caesar etc. were basically doing the same stuff that Art of War talks about anyway.
 
May 2018
442
Michigan
#9
Ranking is pretty pointless, a lot of generals are placed a lot lower due to circumstance. I prefer to list my favourite generals, rather than the objectively "best" generals, which is entirely subjective. If I had to give my opinion, it's probably Napoleon. However, at the moment my favourite general that I'm researching heavily on is Pompey the Great.
A sentiment I put out in my "Favorite Generals" thread. That being said, favorite-wise

1. Scipio Africanus
2. Julius Caesar
3. Arthur Wellseley
4. John Churchill
5. Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
6. Napoleon Bonaparte
7. Carl von Clausewitz*
8. Hannibal Barca
9. TIE: Louis Nicholas Davout/Jean Lannes
10. TIE: Alexander Suvurov/Andre Massena

*Clausewitz for his contribution to the philosophy of war as opposed to his actual battlefield or campaign generalship.
 

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