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Post Reply Your country's greatest military leader?
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Posted 9/18/17 , edited 9/18/17
Since the British ones are well known I'll mention some of the Caribbean ones.

Fidel Castro (Cuba)
Toussaint L'ouverture (Haiti)
Chiefs Anacaona, Guacanagaríx, Guamá, Enriquillo, General Henri Christophe, (Dominican Republic)
José Maria Chacon (Trinidad)
Victor Hughes (Guadeloupe)
Chief Joseph Chatoyer, (St Vincent and the Grenadines,)

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Posted 9/18/17 , edited 9/18/17

walker1455 wrote:

The OP wants us to talk about who we think is the single best military leader in our countries history. You know what though? the best military leaders in Canadian history rarely ever get any credit. So I'm gonna bend the rules and talk about two of them. Fight me.

General Arthur Currie

Probably THE best general in Canadian history. Currie was commander of the Canadian Corps in the First World World War after the previous Commander, Julian Byng, had been promoted. During his tenure, Currie turned the Canadian Corps into an accomplished fighting force (more so than it already was anyway). His study of the French battle at Verdun lead him to reform the corps away from the usual trench warfare model into an army that focused on reconnaissance, platoon tactics, careful staff-work and preparation, and coordinating unprecedented amounts of artillery for counter-battery and infantry support.

He gained a reputation as a master of set-piece battles and as one of the most capable commanders on the Western front, a title he earned through achieving impressive victories during the Allies' Hundred Days Offensive at the end of the war. All this is made more impressive by the fact that he never had a formal education in a military school. He joined the militia as a bankrupt real-estate speculator and learned everything he knew through war-time experience and through his own meticulous nature.

Rear-Admiral Leonard W. Murray

This guy doesn't get as much credit as he deserves, quite frankly. Murray was the commander of the North-Atlantic Theater during the Second World War, and was responsible for the crucial task of protecting allied shipping across the ocean from the German u-boat wolf packs. His job wasn't all that glamorous or filled with glorious victories against the enemy, as he spent almost all of his time behind a desk, but he had the difficult task of taking a small navy of inexperienced sailors and using them to protect US and Canadian convoys as they made their journey to the UK.

Over the course of the war he oversaw the implementation of the successful "small ship anti-submarine" strategy, built up the Canadian navy to 332 vessels and lead the overall administration and coordination of all allied air and naval forces in the North Atlantic. Considering we never hear stories of u-boats constantly crippling allied shipping I'd say he did a pretty good job. Unfortunately his career came to an end when he was scapegoated by the government for being "responsible" for the Halifax riots by Canadian sailors on VE day and was promptly hung out to dry.


in addition I'll offer some of the following for consideration.

https://legionmagazine.com/en/2011/05/canadas-25-most-renowned-military-leaders/

Both Murray and Currie are on that list of 25.

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Posted 9/18/17 , edited 9/18/17

walker1455 wrote:

Considering we never hear stories of u-boats constantly crippling allied shipping I'd say he did a pretty good job.


I'm somewhat intrigued by this sentence as in the UK the large number of allied ships lost to u-boats is frequently covered in our history of WWII. In the Atlantic I think the allies lost 3,500 merchant ships and 175 warships

I am not trying to belittle your suggested military leader as I don't know anything about the individual to comment either way. I just found it odd that your view of the situation is so different to ours.

Is this a sign of the different perspectives used when teaching history? The areas you guys focus on are probably areas we skip over and vice-versa.
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Posted 9/18/17 , edited 9/18/17

MidoriNoTora wrote:


walker1455 wrote:

Considering we never hear stories of u-boats constantly crippling allied shipping I'd say he did a pretty good job.


I'm somewhat intrigued by this sentence as in the UK the large number of allied ships lost to u-boats is frequently covered in our history of WWII. In the Atlantic I think the allies lost 3,500 merchant ships and 175 warships

I am not trying to belittle your suggested military leader as I don't know anything about the individual to comment either way. I just found it odd that your view of the situation is so different to ours.

Is this a sign of the different perspectives used when teaching history? The areas you guys focus on are probably areas we skip over and vice-versa.


I think I was probably speaking too generally and thinking, "well, since Britain was never starved out we must have done a good job with the Battle of the Atlantic" rather than focus on the specifics of how many ships were lost, (and how many of those were lost in single trips) Though you are right, I don't remember the nitty gritty details of how many ships were lost being covered in class. My own "War and Peace in history" class in university focused mostly on how the Second World War effected Canada. Since we were never in danger of being starved and bombed out by the Germans I think we probably thought of the Battle of the Atlantic in a different way (it was a crowning achievement for the inexperienced Canadian navy vs. It was a time of uncertainty while we were under siege).
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Posted 9/18/17 , edited 9/18/17

walker1455 wrote:


MidoriNoTora wrote:


walker1455 wrote:

Considering we never hear stories of u-boats constantly crippling allied shipping I'd say he did a pretty good job.


I'm somewhat intrigued by this sentence as in the UK the large number of allied ships lost to u-boats is frequently covered in our history of WWII. In the Atlantic I think the allies lost 3,500 merchant ships and 175 warships

I am not trying to belittle your suggested military leader as I don't know anything about the individual to comment either way. I just found it odd that your view of the situation is so different to ours.

Is this a sign of the different perspectives used when teaching history? The areas you guys focus on are probably areas we skip over and vice-versa.


I think I was probably speaking too generally and thinking, "well, since Britain was never starved out we must have done a good job with the Battle of the Atlantic" rather than focus on the specifics of how many ships were lost, (and how many of those were lost in single trips) Though you are right, I don't remember the nitty gritty details of how many ships were lost being covered in class. My own "War and Peace in history" class in university focused mostly on how the Second World War effected Canada. Since we were never in danger of being starved and bombed out by the Germans I think we probably thought of the Battle of the Atlantic in a different way (it was a crowning achievement for the inexperienced Canadian navy vs. It was a time of uncertainty while we were under siege).


The arguement is that we sacrificed the battle of the St. Lawrence to win the Battle of the Atlantic. At least from some writers. The corvette fleet and the merchant marine took heavy casualties in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence and all the way up the St. Lawrence river.

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Posted 9/18/17 , edited 9/18/17


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I guess I'm going with General MacArthur. He helped liberate the Philippines during WWII, oversaw Japan's military occupation and in turn helped turn a country that was one of our greatest then enemies into a long lasting ally and helped fight back the communists on the Korean Peninsula. Sure, he wasn't perfect especially in regards to some of his more controversial plans during the end of the Korean war that got him yanked from command, but at the same time Modern Asia and in turn in world would be a completely different place in a bad way without him.
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I guess I'm going with General MacArthur. He helped liberate the Philippines during WWII, oversaw Japan's military occupation and in turn helped turn a country that was one of our greatest then enemies into a long lasting ally and helped fight back the communists on the Korean Peninsula. Sure, he wasn't perfect especially in regards to some of his more controversial plans during the end of the Korean war that got him yanked from command, but at the same time Modern Asia and in turn in world would be a completely different place in a bad way without him.


Ah, MacArthur. Few American Military leaders reach his level of genius or his level of flaws. In the pre-WWII era, the USA had a plan to deal with it's possessions in the Philippines if war came with Japan: Evacuate to the Bataan Peninsula, which would be heavily fortified, and stocked with everything needed to withstand a long siege, ammo, food, medicine and other vital supplies. There the army would wait out until the navy had defeated the Japanese fleet, at which point reinforcements would arrive.

But Douglas MacArthur had a different plan: With him as the leader of the new Philippine army, give him enough airpower and he'd defeat the Japanese at the beaches.

MacArthur made several errors: He misrepresented to Washington the readiness state of the Philippine army, so as to make it easier to get the airplanes he wanted; and he badly underestimated the amount of time before the Japanese would attack. He seems to have convinced himself that because of his own reputation, the Japanese would not attack the Philippines. Like many men of monumental ego, he built a false reality, one that came crashing down on him on the morning of December 8, 1941 (local time).

Word came of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In fact, one of the most well-known parts about the attack on Pearl Harbor was that a flight of B-17 bombers coming in from California were expected, throwing off the primitive radar warning system, and that the planes got caught in the air raid as they were coming in to land. Those bombers were on their way to the Philippines. Back on the island of Luzon, the American air commander requested permission to bomb Japanese airfields on the island of Formosa. MacArthur refused. As it turns out, those airfields were covered with fog, and could've been bombed without much interference. MacArthur would again refuse. It is speculated that MacArthur was desperately hoping that the Japanese would bypass the Philippines, because MacArthur had to know that his forces were nowhere near ready. As the commander, he was responsible. But later that day, the fog cleared and the Japanese would launch their bombers, and through a foul up of epic proportions, caught the entire American air force on the ground. The US fliers had been up, came down to refuel, all of them, and were caught and destroyed on the ground. It was at that moment that the Philippines were lost.

The attempt to battle the Japanese at the beaches was a complete failure. MacArthur had been seen by few during those few days. However, he mentally recovered, and would with great skill manage the retreat on the island of Luzon to the planned citadel of Bataan. There was plenty of ammo, but there was no food, no medicine and the planned fortifications weren't what they needed to be, if it all. Had MacArthur gone along and prepared for siege, US and Philippine forces might have held out until 1943, tying up Japanese forces that were needed elsewhere.

MacArthur would recover and launch the island hopping campaign in the Southern Pacific to retake the Philippines.His genius would be on full display during the next few years. However, he would have a bad habit of declaring victory while there was still fighting and dying to be done, often declaring areas pacified that American and Australian soldiers were still dying to make safe.

It has been argued by many that the Philippines should've been bypassed, as a great many civilian casualties would take place (lives would be saved, of course, but the odds are that more lives were lost than would be saved). The argument goes that MacArthur wanted to retake the Philippines to salvage his offended honor and pride. Others point out that MacArthur has a point on the political necessity of retaking the Philippines as soon as possible.

Passing over a number of his flaws, foibles and genius, we go to Korea. In 1950, US forces in Japan were poorly trained, little more than a glorified police force. The military budget had been cut to the bone, and as Harry Truman's Secretary of Defense would say, then they kept cutting. But the training level of US forces was inexcusable and entirely MacArthur's fault. He would miss the intelligence signs of the coming NK invasion.

But with the invasion in full swing and US forces fleeing in desperation, within the opening days of the war, his genius asserted itself with him planning a counterattack via an invasion at Inchon...which due to it's extreme tides, is one of the worst places for an amphibious assault to be launched (the water goes up, and then it goes out, leaving miles of mudflats, and any shipping there stuck as sitting duck targets). It was audacious and it worked.

But he would again misread enemy intentions, first missing the Chinese infiltration of hundreds of thousands of "volunteers", and then underestimating that threat, allowing his army to be divided and nearly annihilated. His career would end without having the chance to redeem himself against the Chinese.

MacArthur would be a visibly effective war leader for the American people. He would achieve great things and great victories. He was a genius. But he was also a man who had massive blind-spots and could be self-delusional. His ego was such that he could not understand in some instances what he had done that so offended others in the military and political hierarchy, and it is that failure that led to his being fired by Truman. William Manchester dubbed him an "American Caesar", which is as accurate a description as anyone has yet come up with for this complicated military commander.
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I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned Creighton Abrams. His successes at Arracourt and the relief of Bastogne are the stuff of legend, and he had a long and noteworthy career as a general officer, including the founding of the modern Ranger regiment and the transition to the all-volunteer army. If we're talking tactical leaders, and not just generals, Abrams is one of the best.
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Posted 9/19/17 , edited 9/20/17

walker1455 wrote:

The OP wants us to talk about who we think is the single best military leader in our countries history. You know what though? the best military leaders in Canadian history rarely ever get any credit. So I'm gonna bend the rules and talk about two of them. Fight me.

General Arthur Currie

Probably THE best general in Canadian history. Currie was commander of the Canadian Corps in the First World World War after the previous Commander, Julian Byng, had been promoted. During his tenure, Currie turned the Canadian Corps into an accomplished fighting force (more so than it already was anyway). His study of the French battle at Verdun lead him to reform the corps away from the usual trench warfare model into an army that focused on reconnaissance, platoon tactics, careful staff-work and preparation, and coordinating unprecedented amounts of artillery for counter-battery and infantry support.

He gained a reputation as a master of set-piece battles and as one of the most capable commanders on the Western front, a title he earned through achieving impressive victories during the Allies' Hundred Days Offensive at the end of the war. All this is made more impressive by the fact that he never had a formal education in a military school. He joined the militia as a bankrupt real-estate speculator and learned everything he knew through war-time experience and through his own meticulous nature.

Rear-Admiral Leonard W. Murray

This guy doesn't get as much credit as he deserves, quite frankly. Murray was the commander of the North-Atlantic Theater during the Second World War, and was responsible for the crucial task of protecting allied shipping across the ocean from the German u-boat wolf packs. His job wasn't all that glamorous or filled with glorious victories against the enemy, as he spent almost all of his time behind a desk, but he had the difficult task of taking a small navy of inexperienced sailors and using them to protect US and Canadian convoys as they made their journey to the UK.

Over the course of the war he oversaw the implementation of the successful "small ship anti-submarine" strategy, built up the Canadian navy to 332 vessels and lead the overall administration and coordination of all allied air and naval forces in the North Atlantic. Considering we never hear stories of u-boats constantly crippling allied shipping I'd say he did a pretty good job. Unfortunately his career came to an end when he was scapegoated by the government for being "responsible" for the Halifax riots by Canadian sailors on VE day and was promptly hung out to dry.


While I can't argue with the choice of Arthur Currie I can't believe you chose a useless desk jockey like Rear-Admiral Leonard W. Murray over Major General Bert M. Hoffmeister, the most decorated officer Canada had during WWII . Hoffmeister truly led his command , putting himself in harms way more then anyone cared to count . Men like Hoffmeister are why the CAF is the respected military force they are not cowards like Murray.
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Posted 9/19/17 , edited 9/20/17

outontheop wrote:

I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned Creighton Abrams. His successes at Arracourt and the relief of Bastogne are the stuff of legend, and he had a long and noteworthy career as a general officer, including the founding of the modern Ranger regiment and the transition to the all-volunteer army. If we're talking tactical leaders, and not just generals, Abrams is one of the best.


What relief? The 101st didn't need relieving they just needed the idiots in the Air force to stop giving their supplies to the Jerries.
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Ranwolf wrote:


outontheop wrote:

I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned Creighton Abrams. His successes at Arracourt and the relief of Bastogne are the stuff of legend, and he had a long and noteworthy career as a general officer, including the founding of the modern Ranger regiment and the transition to the all-volunteer army. If we're talking tactical leaders, and not just generals, Abrams is one of the best.


What relief? The 101st didn't need relieving they just needed the idiots in the Air force to stop giving their supplies to the Jerries.


Oh, look, it's ranwolf sharing his incredibly poor understanding of history and military matters again.

Yes, airborne units are designed for independent operations and are never, ever used in high-intensity conflicts with the explicit understanding and plan that they be used to temporarily hold a key position to afford space and time for a more heavily equipped unit to exploit their delaying action. Said no one knowledgeable on airborne operations, ever.

Yeah, I'm sure they could have effectively counterattacked and transitioned to the offense with all their nonexistent tanks and SP guns organic to the 101st. The only reason 101st had any ability to hold out in Bastogne in the first place (poor German tactics aside) was because they had two Combat Commands (essentially, brigades) of 9th and 10th Armored Division and a battalion of tank destroyers (the 705th) in the pocket with them. For some reason, people always conveniently forget there was the better part of a division of tanks and tank destroyers in Bastogne with the 101st.

Also, there was no USAF until 1947.
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Posted 9/19/17 , edited 9/20/17

outontheop wrote:


Ranwolf wrote:


outontheop wrote:

I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned Creighton Abrams. His successes at Arracourt and the relief of Bastogne are the stuff of legend, and he had a long and noteworthy career as a general officer, including the founding of the modern Ranger regiment and the transition to the all-volunteer army. If we're talking tactical leaders, and not just generals, Abrams is one of the best.


What relief? The 101st didn't need relieving they just needed the idiots in the Air force to stop giving their supplies to the Jerries.


Oh, look, it's ranwolf sharing his incredibly poor understanding of history and military matters again.

Yes, airborne units are designed for independent operations and are never, ever used in high-intensity conflicts with the explicit understanding and plan that they be used to temporarily hold a key position to afford space and time for a more heavily equipped unit to exploit their delaying action. Said no one knowledgeable on airborne operations, ever.

Yeah, I'm sure they could have effectively counterattacked and transitioned to the offense with all their nonexistent tanks and SP guns organic to the 101st. The only reason 101st had any ability to hold out in Bastogne in the first place (poor German tactics aside) was because they had two Combat Commands (essentially, brigades) of 9th and 10th Armored division and a battalion of tank destroyers (the 705th) in the pocket with them. For some reason, people always conveniently forget there was the better part of a division of tanks and tank destroyers in Bastogne with the 101st.

Also, there was no USAF until 1947.


I was trying to make a Band of Brothers reference but hey go ahead be an asshole.
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Posted 9/19/17 , edited 9/20/17

Ranwolf wrote:


outontheop wrote:


Ranwolf wrote:


outontheop wrote:

I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned Creighton Abrams. His successes at Arracourt and the relief of Bastogne are the stuff of legend, and he had a long and noteworthy career as a general officer, including the founding of the modern Ranger regiment and the transition to the all-volunteer army. If we're talking tactical leaders, and not just generals, Abrams is one of the best.


What relief? The 101st didn't need relieving they just needed the idiots in the Air force to stop giving their supplies to the Jerries.


Oh, look, it's ranwolf sharing his incredibly poor understanding of history and military matters again.

Yes, airborne units are designed for independent operations and are never, ever used in high-intensity conflicts with the explicit understanding and plan that they be used to temporarily hold a key position to afford space and time for a more heavily equipped unit to exploit their delaying action. Said no one knowledgeable on airborne operations, ever.

Yeah, I'm sure they could have effectively counterattacked and transitioned to the offense with all their nonexistent tanks and SP guns organic to the 101st. The only reason 101st had any ability to hold out in Bastogne in the first place (poor German tactics aside) was because they had two Combat Commands (essentially, brigades) of 9th and 10th Armored division and a battalion of tank destroyers (the 705th) in the pocket with them. For some reason, people always conveniently forget there was the better part of a division of tanks and tank destroyers in Bastogne with the 101st.

Also, there was no USAF until 1947.


I was trying to make a Band of Brothers reference but hey go ahead be an asshole.


You were being an asshole to the entirety of CCA 4th Armored (the head of the relief force), CCB 10th Armored, CCR 9th Armored, and the USAAF, while stating flagrant untruths about history, so yes, I *will* be an asshole when I call you out for making an asshole-ish claim.

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