Oldest commander to win a battle

Jan 2016
471
Macedonia
Villars was 81 in 1734 when he led the French army in the War of the Polish Succession, but I'm not sure if a battle took place under his command. Aurangzeb is known to have commanded in person up until his 80s and Khosrow I to have won battles in person in his late 70s.

Tilly, Suvorov, Moltke, Subutai, Bai Qi, Berwick, Blucher and Suleiman the Magnificent all won battles in their early 70s, and Kutuzov, Montecuccoli, Timur, Rundstedt, Foch and Gaius Marius in their late 60s.

Do you know any other general to have won a battle (while leading in person) after his 70th, 75th or 80th year?
 
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Sep 2013
631
Ontario, Canada
Yes, in the fall of 554 CE, Narses became the last general to receive a Triumph in Rome, for a total victory against the Franks. He would've been about 75 years old.

I don't think he engaged in any further military actions afterwards, though he never lost a battle. He lived until either 86 or 96 years old, depending on the chronology you pick.
 
May 2018
880
Michigan
Allegedly, King Massinsa of Numindia led troops into battle in the Third Punic War (149 BC). Massinsa also served under Scipio (and earlier, fought against him) in the Second Punic War (218 BC), almost 70 years later.

Laelius, Scipio Africanus Minor, and Massinsa all met at some point during the war. Although the source for this is highly questionable (Scipio's Dream, a fictional work by Cicero).
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,181
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Well ... not the oldest ever, but I have to mention Jean De La Valette, Grandmaster of the Order of Malta [previously Hospitallers].

He was 70 when he leaded the last charge of the knights of his order defending "The Religion" [they called in this way their stronghold] at Malta against an enormous Ottoman Army. The Order won, despite the incredible inferiority.
 
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Apr 2014
242
Liverpool, England
Enrico Dandolo, Doge of Venice, was reputedly 97 at the time of the siege of Constantinople in 1204. I am not sure in what sense he was in command of military operations, but he seems to have led at least the Venetian contingent in the (seaborne) attack.
 
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Dec 2013
297
Arkansas
Enrico Dandolo, Doge of Venice, was reputedly 97 at the time of the siege of Constantinople in 1204. I am not sure in what sense he was in command of military operations, but he seems to have led at least the Venetian contingent in the (seaborne) attack.
Enrico was blind at the time IIRC. And though he was the organizer and prime mover of events and was present at the siege, I don't think that would qualify as "leading" forces into battle.
 
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