Who do you think were the 10 greatest generals in history?

Jul 2018
23
Pakistan
#1
The purpose of this thread is for people to share their lists of the 10 greatest generals. I will begin by sharing mine. Any suggestions are welcomed.
1. Khalid bin Walid
2. Napoleon Bonaparte
3. Yi Sun Sin
4. Hannibal Barca
5. Subedei
6. Alexander Suvorov
7. Eugene of Savoy
8. Erich von Manstein
9. Julius Caesar
10. Alexander the Great
Honourable mentions:
Bai Qi
Belisarius
Jan Zizka
Rommel
Scipio Africanus

Thank you
 
Sep 2016
1,141
Georgia
#2
I would put Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar above Eugene of Savoy, Suvorov and Manstein. I also would swap Manstein with Marlborough. Turenne, Philip II of Macedon and Gustav II Adolph deserve honorable mentions.

I am not well-read on Chinese generals and etc. So, my top 10 would be something like this :
Alexander the Great
Napoleon Bonaparte
Genghis Khan
Julius Caesar
Hannibal Barca
John Churchill Duke of Marlborough
Prince Eugene of Savoy
Alexander Suvorov
Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, vicomte de Turenne
Scipio Africanus

In no particular order.
 
Last edited:
Mar 2016
1,182
Australia
#4
I think it's kind of arbitrary to rank them strictly from 1 to 10, so I'll list them chronologically instead.

1. Alexander the Great
2. Hannibal Barca
3. Julius Caesar
4. Belisarius
5. Khalid ibn al-Walid
6. Subudai
7. Timur
8. Turenne
9. Eugene
10. Napoleon Bonaparte

Just off the top of my head. It could (and probably would) change tomorrow, or in two days. It's hard to limit it to only ten, since I usually break it down into specific eras (e.g. Ancient/Classical, Medieval, Early Modern) to go more detailed and comprehensive.
 
Jun 2013
493
Connecticut
#5
I see a lot of these "best..." lists and I was wondering. Would any of these generals be successful in modern warfare (post-WW II to 1990)? In your opinion which ones would adapt and succeed.
 
Aug 2015
2,359
uk
#7
I see a lot of these "best..." lists and I was wondering. Would any of these generals be successful in modern warfare (post-WW II to 1990)? In your opinion which ones would adapt and succeed.

You can only judge the quality of a commander based on the time he is was born in; different times require different attributes. I wouldn't criticise Richard I for being unable to halt a Panzer charge, I wouldn't criticise Rommel for being unable to charge the enemy from the front on horseback!
 
Aug 2015
2,359
uk
#8
Every time this subject appears - which is loads - I question Napoleon with his catastrophic and repeated strategic errors. Put bluntly - Egypt, Spain, Russia, 100 days
Napoleon was usually a good - if not brilliant - battlefield commander, but when you look at the bigger picture he could be severley lacking in ability and personality. Russia, Egypt and Spain all showed him in an extremely poor light.

Basically for me he was one man trying to do too much, and not trusting enough of his subordinates to listen to goid advice. He was offensively minded - sometimes recklessly so - and his ability to look after his armies in the field was lacking.

Logistics isn't half as interesting as military ability, but whilst the latter wins you battles, the former wins you wars.
 
Jan 2015
3,319
Front Lines of the Pig War
#9
The purpose of this thread is for people to share their lists of the 10 greatest generals. I will begin by sharing mine. Any suggestions are welcomed.

Honourable mentions:
Rommel
Honorable mention to Rommel for what exactly?

Failing to capture Tobruk in 1941?
Coming in 2nd place in Crusader?
Ignoring logistics and getting his army destroyed?
 
Nov 2010
7,644
Cornwall
#10
Napoleon was usually a good - if not brilliant - battlefield commander, but when you look at the bigger picture he could be severley lacking in ability and personality. Russia, Egypt and Spain all showed him in an extremely poor light.

Basically for me he was one man trying to do too much, and not trusting enough of his subordinates to listen to goid advice. He was offensively minded - sometimes recklessly so - and his ability to look after his armies in the field was lacking.

Logistics isn't half as interesting as military ability, but whilst the latter wins you battles, the former wins you wars.
Good summary

i do recall reading - a long time ago now - Paul Britten Austin's fascinating Moscow Trilogy based on witness accounts, which is now soemwhere deep in my collection.

On the preparation for the invasion there are accounts of Napoleon fanatastically gaining some of his old energy, dictating logisitical/supply orders to Berthier at an incredible rate (this was Berthier's strength) - here, there, everywhere.

2 problems - 1st making sure all the supplies all the carts and all the horses you want are actually available. And secondly there's only so much you can get on a road which only holds one cart, is blocked by soldiers and on the first sign of rain absolutely all supply plans go right out the window.

Just entirely impractical