Worst Armchair Generals

Jun 2010
Who were some notable people in history who could talk the talk and appeared to have sound theoretical knowledge on warfare, but ended up being poor generals?
Nov 2018
You've been reading memoirs of the defeated generals and believed their excuses, I see. They loved to blame their misfortunes on Hitler or on someone else, not themselves.
That's a typical thing in military history.
The reason I put a question mark after my post, is because I was not quite sure if it was true that Germany would have won without Hitler.

And I was in no doubt that if I was wrong, there would be someone who knows more about WWII, than me, that would enlighten me. :):hug:

At least Hitler did what he could to make Germany lose the war.


Forum Staff
Aug 2016
Sir Henry Clinton, commander of British forces in America, 1778-83. Fairly strong grasp of strategy but terrible people skills meant that most other officers either ignored his advice or failed to understand his orders.
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Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
Hitler. The occasional audacious bit of brilliance, a knack for fine detail that often escaped the generals who should have known was impressive, but his insistence for the bulwark "fortress city" defense strategy from '43 onward was quite destructive. He should have just appointed Model or some other very competent general as the theater commander for the OstHeer and stuck to the big picture instead of trying to play general.

Churchill. His entire career he believed himself to be greatly skilled but he was the worst sort of amateur. WW1 and WW2 would have been more successful had everyone just ignored what he said. Very good at giving speeches though, he should have just stuck to that!

Pretty much every US president after FDR. I'd say the worst were LBJ (poorly micromanaging Vietnam) and GWB (poorly micromanaging Iraq and Afghanistan).