The greatest example of "the strongest commander VS the weakest commander"

Which pair is the greatest example of "the strongest commander VS the weakest commander"

  • Napoleon Bonaparte VS Johann Peter Beaulieu

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Napoleon Bonaparte VS Karl Mack von Leiberich

    Votes: 9 36.0%
  • Frederick the Great VS Charles of Lorraine

    Votes: 3 12.0%
  • Yamashita Tomoyuki VS Arthur Percival

    Votes: 1 4.0%
  • Robert the Bruce VS Edward II

    Votes: 2 8.0%
  • Georgy Zhukov VS Frederich Paulus

    Votes: 1 4.0%
  • Albert Kesselring VS Mark Clark

    Votes: 1 4.0%
  • Erwin Rommel VS Lloyd Fredendall

    Votes: 1 4.0%
  • Robert Lee VS George McClellan

    Votes: 3 12.0%
  • Issac Brock + Tecumseu VS William Hull

    Votes: 1 4.0%
  • other ideas (please specific)

    Votes: 3 12.0%

  • Total voters
    25

Mangekyou

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
7,884
UK
#42
The Romans returned shortly afterwards and went on a rampage, sacking and burning many villages and towns. They didn't conquer it because they realised it just wasn't worth all the trouble (same with Scotland). The larger impact of Teutoburg is somewhat overrated.



Attila was decisively defeated by Flavius Aetius at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains in 451.
It wasn't a decisive victory.
 
Jan 2015
5,389
Ontario, Canada
#43
Frederick against Charles is one of the best examples but Charles wasn't without his merits. In the War of Austrian Succession he outmaneuvered the French in Germany and forced them to withdraw across the Rhine. Still his record against Frederick is so bad that it is vomit inducing.

Mack is an interesting pick because he was mostly a staff officer, and a fairly good one for the time. Where as he had relatively few field commands of note. He dropped the ball in 1805 when it came to his strategic planning. Despite all of that the defeat in 1805 had more to do with the Austrians not being able to deploy in full strength prior to October. So all things considered I don't think Mack had a chance either way.

The one I have to strongly disagree with is Georgy Zhukov against Friedrich Paulus.
-For starters Paulus was only in command of the Sixth Army and his immediate superior was Erich von Manstein. Which means that Paulus' direct opponent at Stalingrad was Vasily Chuikov and his 62nd Army (briefly the 64th Army outside of Stalingrad).
-I wouldn't say that Chuikov was necessarily much better than Paulus although Chuikov made a great effort to hold the city. Chuikov did have more experience in field command where as Paulus was a staff officer.
-The deciding factor was the mismanagement of the campaign by the German High Command, in particular Franz Halder. There was no reason for the Sixth Army to have been defeated except that it lacked reinforcements, support from Army Group B and it was surrounded by three Soviet Army Groups.
-Paulus was actually a good staff officer. After 1919 he was one of the few officers which was chosen to be part of the Reichswehr. He was also an important tank expert during the interwar period. After good service as a staff officer during the 1939 and 1940 campaigns he was made part of the General Staff. He was one of the officers which planned Operation Barbarossa, and correctly pointed out that the Soviets would have 100 new Divisions after the initial success in that campaign. His performance at Stalingrad wasn't even that bad and his poor reputation is largely based on intentional slander and a false claim that he was given an order to breakout but refused.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,514
#44
Mack is an interesting pick because he was mostly a staff officer, and a fairly good one for the time. Where as he had relatively few field commands of note. He dropped the ball in 1805 when it came to his strategic planning. Despite all of that the defeat in 1805 had more to do with the Austrians not being able to deploy in full strength prior to October. So all things considered I don't think Mack had a chance either way.
How is ANY of that particularly relevant. Mack sized control of the Army against the existsing line of command (though he was supported by the Emperor), the entire strategy was his conception, when it was apparant to the rest of the generals and the begged him to withdraw as the only sensible option, Mack refused to face reality.

It was one of the owrst performances of the Entire Napoleonic wars,

Only Napoleon in Russsia in 1812 was worse,
 
Jul 2018
496
Hong Kong
#45
Only Napoleon in Russsia in 1812 was worse,
His greatest mistake was withdrawing from Moscow too late. If he retreated earlier, St. Cyr would be still holding Wittgenstein at the north, ensuring the Minsk depot stored with abundant of supplies and the route for retreat intact. Yet Napoleon insisted waiting for the "forlorn hope" of the Russian Tsar's reply for peace talk, squandering times in Moscow while giving the Russian much precious time for rallying and fightback.
 
Jul 2018
496
Hong Kong
#47
His greatest mistake was not being able to destroy Russian army.
Well, the Russian generals were not that dumbed Mack in the Ulm Campaign. It wouldn't be easy.
If you have to blame Napoleon for that, I could blame any French general in that case.

The fact that the Russian army retreated so fast, and his rearguard so tenacious, there was almost no chance to encircle and annihilate them.
What Napoleon could control was when he should "withdraw" during the campaign.
And he delayed so long at Moscow that ruined him the best timing of retreat — which would prove disastrous.

For our hindsight, if he retreated earlier, he might be in better condition and thus preserved relative larger army after the AD 1812 Campaign.
 
Sep 2016
804
Georgia
#48
Well, the Russian generals were not that dumbed Mack in the Ulm Campaign. It wouldn't be easy.
If you have to blame Napoleon for that, I could blame any French general in that case.
Napoleon didn't plan to encircle Mack though. Napoleon expected Mack to retreat and intended to fall on his line of retreat and communications with his corps.

Napoleon was actually surprised by the fact that Mack stayed and didn't move from his position.
 
Jan 2015
5,389
Ontario, Canada
#49
Oh yeah I forgot to add that Georgy Zhukov was only somewhat involved in the Stalingrad campaign. Most of his efforts were directed towards the failed Operation Mars against Gunther von Kluge and Walther Model at Rzhev. The commanders at Stalingrad were Semyon Timoshenko at first, then later Vasily Gordov (Stalingrad Front). In August they split the forces and created the Southeastern Front under Andrey Yeryomenko, who commanded that sector as well as the defense of the city. Konstantin Rokossovsky (Don Front) and Nikolai Vatutin (Southwestern Front) were crucial during the counter attack and encirclement. The STAVKA officer sent to coordinate their efforts was Aleksandr Vasilevsky who was also responsible for much of the planning of Operation Uranus and Operation Little Saturn. Zhukov only played a temporary role as a STAVKA officer early on but was sent to carry out Operation Mars, so he had no direct role in the counter attack if at all. He also didn't play a major role during the German offensive and the defense of the city but I digress.
 
Last edited:
Jan 2015
5,389
Ontario, Canada
#50
How is ANY of that particularly relevant. Mack sized control of the Army against the existsing line of command (though he was supported by the Emperor), the entire strategy was his conception, when it was apparant to the rest of the generals and the begged him to withdraw as the only sensible option, Mack refused to face reality.

It was one of the worst performances of the Entire Napoleonic wars,
We already had this debate. You are only focusing on the Ulm campaign, a time frame of 25 September to 20 October, 1805. But my focus starts in August of 1805 when the war became inevitable.
Mack's plan was bad but his actions came with the assumption that the French wouldn't be ready for war until around October, same time that the Austrians would finish mobilizing. Mack was not expecting to only have 70,000 men when the actual war broke out.

Only Napoleon in Russsia in 1812 was worse,
That's not true. Mack at Ulm or Melas at Marengo, the difference is night and day.
Battle of Berezina - Wikipedia
 

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