My list of the Top 10 Generals ever

Jan 2015
5,176
Ontario, Canada
#51
I'm TRIGGERED!!!

Truly, I would have picked Oda Nobunaga over Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
One thing I never understood was how Hideyoshi won Shizugatake. Some sources would have you believe that a mere cavalry charge routed Shibata's army. But that is so strange that it is definitely out of context.
 
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Jan 2015
3,047
Rupert's Land ;)
#52
.
9) Ritter Erwin Rommel. I'm sure he's overrated but he achieved good wins.
What wins? :oops:
Every battle he fought he lost, or at best a draw, with the exception of ONE battle at Gazala - at which he had complete intelligence and order of battle of his opponent, thanks to poor American encryption.

Siege of Tobruk - Loss
Crusader - Loss
Alam Halfa - Loss
1st Alamein - Loss
2nd Alamein - Loss
Mendenine - Loss
Mareth Line - Loss
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
7,973
#53
Only Wellington was ever in a position to accomplish this. You can't be a major power on the continent and fight a war which involves constant retreating and indirect maneuvers.

However Generals must adapt to circumstances, be objective in your evaluation of the situation, sometimes you have to cut your losses. A General who does not consider retreating as a rational option is one that is not flexible,

Napoleon was incapable of this, and delayed, prevaricated , refused to be rational and objective thus making his defeats catastrophic.

A General incapable of adapting to circumstances and things only of attack is one with serious flaws.
 
Jul 2018
347
Hong Kong
#55
Siege of Tobruk - Loss
Crusader - Loss
Alam Halfa - Loss
1st Alamein - Loss
2nd Alamein - Loss
Mendenine - Loss
Mareth Line - Loss
Highly bias detected ! The British superiority in logistics and military resource in the North African front (particularly in AD 1942-43) was a "common sense" among the WW2 fans, the German defeat had little to do with the poor military command of Rommel. In fact, his great victory at Gazala alone already proved himself one of the best German military commanders in the age ! (half of his army was formed up by the "Italian army" !)

The British victory at Crusader was largely due to the lesson learned from its defeat at Battleaxe, thus became smarter overall.

Except Rommel and his staff's superb command and his 88mm guns, what the great advantage else he had ? Not to mention that half of his troops was those inferior Italian, which only equipped with light tanks even in their armoured division. Combined with the serious fuel shortage, how Rommel did much in such desperation ? His only chance was a "quick victory" over the British counterpart by surprise and rapid attack, thus produced the failed attempt at Alam Haifa and 1st Alamein, and then his numerically inferior army (with fuel in serious shortage) was overwhelmed in the subsequent course of the campaign....

Rommel was equally strong as Montgomery and Auchinlack in military leadership.
 
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Jul 2018
347
Hong Kong
#56
One thing I never understood was how Hideyoshi won Shizugatake. Some sources would have you believe that a mere cavalry charge routed Shibata's army.
No, the key factors that Hideyoshi won the battle of Shizugatake were the below :

1. Sakuma Morimasa advanced too farther, leaving himself basically isolated and unsupported by the other troops of Shibata army ; thus when Hideyoshi's army rushed to the battlefield from the Mino Province (marched across 52km in 5-7 hours !), Sakuma's army was easily overwhelmed with obvious numerical superiority. Shibata Katsumasa who were going to rescue him was unfortunately killed and his troops was routed ! As a result, the entire western flank of the Shibata army began to crumble, succumbing to the vast Hashiba army.

2. Maeda Toshiie's 2,000 troops "retreated" and "abandoned" his liege Shibata Katsuie when he saw the hope of victory had been lost ! This was a crushing blow to the losing Shibata army. (later Maeda Toshiie joined the side of Hideyoshi and became one of Hideyoshi's most trustful right-handed man in the subsequent Toyotomi Era)

3. Who could forecast that Hideyoshi's 15,000 army was able to return so swiftly from the distant Mino Province less than half a day !? As the motto said, "god speed is crucial for military victory".
 
Jan 2015
5,176
Ontario, Canada
#57
For further context I've read books on the subject of Hideyoshi which only mentions the cavalry charge at Shizugatake (was it by Kato Kiyomasa? I don't remember). But it seemed doubtful that a cavalry charge could have routed an entire army.
 
Jul 2018
347
Hong Kong
#58
Cavalry charge....well, you’d better know that the Japanese horse is pretty short, not quite suited for melee charge. On top of that, Japan is too heavily surrounded by mountainous and hilly regions to performing the power of cavalry. Instead, a series of “wooden palisade forts” was usually utilized and erected around the battlefield as the key weapon for offensive or defense in strategic area. In such context, cavalry was never a major instrument for the Japanese Sengoku military used in combat, it wasn't really a highly-organized and capable fighting force until the late Meiji Era, by which the large real cavalry army was built and played the significance role in the war of 1894-95 and 1904-05.

I’ll plan to write an article in the blog section about the Battle of Shizugatake based on the Chinese source I read, stay tuned.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
4,702
#60
What wins? :oops:
Every battle he fought he lost, or at best a draw, with the exception of ONE battle at Gazala - at which he had complete intelligence and order of battle of his opponent, thanks to poor American encryption.

Siege of Tobruk - Loss
Crusader - Loss
Alam Halfa - Loss
1st Alamein - Loss
2nd Alamein - Loss
Mendenine - Loss
Mareth Line - Loss
That's at best incomplete. Rommel gained his reputation against the English BEFORE those. That's when the Tommies in the desert ended up feeling somehow he knew all their moves in advance, nothing could stop him, and the task was pretty hopeless. Ignore that, and the whole war in the western desert ends up kind of not making much sense.

El-Agheila – Win
Mersa el-Brega – Win
Unternehmen Skorpion – Win
Battleaxe – Win
Unternehmen Theseus – Win
Gazala + Fall of Tobruk – Win
Mersah Matruh – Win

And before that:
Crossing the Meuse – Win
Avesenes-Cateau – Win
Arras – Win
Cherbourg – Win
 
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