Which country produced the best military talent?

Aug 2010
i'll say Germany for the late 19th century and 20th century because of there General staff which gave excellent training and formed an officer elite that was the envy of europe. a person could join the cadets at an early age and then over the years advance through a series of military schools that would leave them well trained for any staff work.

America presently has top quality training colleges for its officers with the use of highly advanced battle simulations and war games that are no douth creating some truly fine leaders.
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Jan 2011
It kind of depends on what you mean. If you mean overall commanders, I'd actually have to go for Germany- Guderian and von Manstein were probably the two best generals of the 20th century.

America produces great NCO's and junior officers, but our only great generals were Pershing, Scott, and possibly Sherman. Schwarzkopf was good, but I hesitate to attribute greatness to him. The strength of the US military is its logistical prowess and the initiative of small unit leaders, not clever grand strategies.


Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
Canary Islands-Spain
United Kingdom can't be among the leaders of land warfare. Due to being involved in continental affairs sporadically only, it hadn't had strong land based only for many time. Despite that fact, it has been able to put in the field extremly good generals, some of them masters of their age. But for each British general, you can find many more of other countries.

However, it would be the first in naval warfare, and the situation reverses in comparation to other countries, for each good naval commander, you have several Britons.

I would say that during the last thousand years, the land based struggle involves Germany and France, but I tend to go with Germany.


Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
Military leadership is not dependent on nationality. Good leaders tend to emerge when circumstances demand rather than be produced en masse by the staff colleges and miltary academies. Not to say that these insitiutions don't produce capable leaders, but the truly inspired leaders do not necessarily come from these places or from countries that have them.
Of the 19th and 20th centuries I have to say the Germans, the USSR had some good ones too such as Chuikov, Rokossovsky, Koniev. It's a tough question though. There's so many variables in war that aside from completely obvious incompetence it's hard to judge.

I don't think Schwartzkopf was a bad general, he seemed quite adept at herding hordes of cats (a good general manages chaos well) but when you have all the assets in your favor what other way can it go? I have unproven for modern US generals. Who has America picked a fight with that can really defend themselves? Iraq was a basket case, Afghanistan was virtually in the stone age. Not really hard to look good beating up cripples and the developmentally disabled.

I also wonder just what would happen if US generals were all of a sudden to lose all of their information gathering means. Could they fight a war similar to WWII without the modern high tech assistance?

Maybe we should discuss just what makes a good general also?
Dec 2011
Mangas if we're only talking 19th & 20th century what about Pershing, Patton, Bradley, MacAurthur, Leman, McRaven, Powell, Petraus, Clark, just to name a few.
I think that the US military would still lead the way without high tech assistance, we had since the civil war till the end of vietnam, why couldnt we again?
Aug 2010
being self thought on military theory is important for the making of a good general. a good general should study military history hard and red it constantly, when you know you will be fighting in a certain country then read up on its history, any military campaigns fought there and study its geography. when napoleon was made head of the army of italy to prepare for fighting there he read the Memoirs of Marshal de Catinat, a biography of Prince Eugene of Savoy, three volumes about Prince Eugene's battles, Saint Simon's Guerre des Alpes, and a book about Jean-Baptiste Francois de Maillebois' Italian campaigns.

also i believe clausewitz really hit the nail in his chapter on military genius in which he described the qualities that made a good general. strong moral courage is very important as you have to deal with a fast changing and stressful situation so you have to be resolute and self confident
Aug 2011
Mangas if we're only talking 19th & 20th century what about Pershing, Patton, Bradley, MacAurthur, Leman, McRaven, Powell, Petraus, Clark, just to name a few.
How can you even compare someone like Patton with generals like von Manstein or Guderian. Dont get me wrong, most of these men were in fact great generals, but they are still nowhere near the best German generals.