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Who do think was the greatest general or military leader history?
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28 / M / A series of tubes
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Posted 3/16/08
Master Chief
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27 / M / Los Angeles, Cali...
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Posted 3/16/08
and i'd say its impossible to determine, though some of my favorites are alexander the great and ghengis khan and flavius aetius (who defeated attila the hun) and charles martel

in american history, i'd say general robert e. lee (during U.S. civil war, gave the union a real whipping), general patton, and general rommel (german commander in WWII)

i'm a big fan of military history so i know these things
Posted 3/16/08
Erwin Rommel or Heinz Wilhelm Guderian
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23 / M / Terra
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Posted 3/16/08
napoleon bonaparte


i think adolf hitler is good 2 :P

wait sorry... hitler not a military leader or general... well hes a good political leader
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27 / M / Los Angeles, Cali...
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oh i also like general beliasarus and general Narses (byzantine empire). nearly reconquered all of the former roman empire with very limited resources in only a few years. truly masters of the game.
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26 / M / Sydney, Australia
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Posted 3/16/08

jmsberg wrote:

Master Chief


You made me lol irl. =3 I'm sure you understand me.

Best general would be the one who didn't get to fight. No one died due to his mistakes. =3
I really don't know of any generals that didn't actually get to fight in any wars, but thats what I think makes a good general, "winning" without losing any of their men (and nowadays, women).

Darth Vader.
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Posted 3/17/08

o0James0o wrote:

napoleon bonaparte


i think adolf hitler is good 2 :P

wait sorry... hitler not a military leader or general... well hes a good political leader :P


yes hitler is good i vote fer him!
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Posted 3/17/08
It depends on the qualities you want. There is no fair way of judging because there is more to consider the more advanced teh wweapons are. Alexander the great never used artillery. Would he have been great if there were cannons at the time? I know it is a bizarre question, but for all we know you could have been lousy at judging artillery fire. Maybe he would have been known as a lousy leader if he had been born in the 17th century. You never know. Also we do not know enough about ancient times. At some important battles, we only know the results, sometimes just stories of a battle taken place.

Robert E.Lee never failed in planning. However, that is not enough to ensure success. His plans were always depending on a good leader carrying out his mission. That's why he lost when Jackson died. Then again, he barely ever had enough men to really fight the enemy, which may be why antietam was a loss, so it's not fair to put blame. Maybe he would have been truly great if he had more men. And what could he do really? Too few provisions, too few guns, too few men. You can not really judge his abilities. But I have heard people claim Sherman was better. General Rommel had a little bit of a one-track mind. In Africa he had always the same plan: push through, drive them towards the sea. However, he ahd too little fuel, too long supply lines, and there was great uncertainty thanks to the royal marine. So he was more or less forced to do the same thing. So you can't tell, but from ww2 there should be people that were better on the Geramn side, like Manstein. From the napoleonic age I've heard Ney was better, and that some generals critized Napoleon's planning. Among other things foe being to simple-minded and too demanding of the soldiers (not because it became too harsh on them, but because they could easily fail, and then the whole plan would fall apart, like the marches).

Also one thing to remember is that you can use a general's plans if you are born after him. Therefore I would pick one that inspired a strategy, the first strategy in history, which among others inspired Friedrich the great: Epaminondas. The inventor of strategy, first one to give different units different tasks, to work in unison with the army as a whole.
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28 / z
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Posted 3/17/08
I beg to differ. Throughout the history of mankind there have been many great military generals/leaders.
Alexander the Great, Adolf Hitler and most notably Sun Tzu.
Who is he?
Sun Tzu (Chinese: 孫子; pinyin: Sūn Zǐ) ("Master Sun") is an honorific title bestowed upon Sūn Wǔ (孫武; c. 544 BC - 496 BC), the author of The Art of War, an immensely influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy. He is also one of the earliest realists in international relations theory.

O.k he didn't conquer countries, or pillage or crusade and all that but his theories on the Art Of War is still being used today.
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40 / M / Closing in
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Posted 3/17/08
zuri: who do you beg to differ? I assume it is me, but please write in some letters of my name at least. As far as I know, Sun Tzu wrote war philosophy, perhaps something of conduct. The strategy I referred to is not about what an army is to do or how to do it, this is theory. It is about giving specific units specific tasks to carry out at a certain time. Like unit A attacks enemy unit B for 20 minutes, then regroup with unit C that is now to reinforce. I have not read much of sun tzu, but I have never seen such strategic thoughts among his sentences at least. Otherwise I do not get what you beg to differ. Have I said there weren't many great military minds? I have said it is hard to nominate one for the prize Greatest because the army you have, and the armies of the future might have completely different equipment, as well as the ability to be inspired by other military minds. By the by, Adolf Hitler was not a great military leader. Most of the officers of good quality did not like his interference and idiotic thoughts.
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31 / M / Toronto, Canada
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Posted 3/17/08
genghis khan. thats my opinion. dont know much about the other ppl discussed. khan kicked ass though.
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23 / M / Terra
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Posted 3/17/08

jcbotak wrote:

yes hitler is good i vote fer him!


i totally agree..... but hes not a military leader :/...


Firefly_Amelie wrote:

napoleon(?)
gee, never like wars.


napolean.... the great general/dictator/emperor of france that defence france from the multi attack of tons of other nations durin its ruin and then started a dictatorship and eventually into a emperor and conquered all of europe expect great britan and russia... he totally owns... i mean... he make france from a ruined country into a emperor that conquered most of europe..
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23 / M / Terra
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Posted 3/17/08

jestorebo wrote:

It depends on the qualities you want. There is no fair way of judging because there is more to consider the more advanced teh wweapons are. Alexander the great never used artillery. Would he have been great if there were cannons at the time? I know it is a bizarre question, but for all we know you could have been lousy at judging artillery fire. Maybe he would have been known as a lousy leader if he had been born in the 17th century. You never know. Also we do not know enough about ancient times. At some important battles, we only know the results, sometimes just stories of a battle taken place.

Robert E.Lee never failed in planning. However, that is not enough to ensure success. His plans were always depending on a good leader carrying out his mission. That's why he lost when Jackson died. Then again, he barely ever had enough men to really fight the enemy, which may be why antietam was a loss, so it's not fair to put blame. Maybe he would have been truly great if he had more men. And what could he do really? Too few provisions, too few guns, too few men. You can not really judge his abilities. But I have heard people claim Sherman was better. General Rommel had a little bit of a one-track mind. In Africa he had always the same plan: push through, drive them towards the sea. However, he ahd too little fuel, too long supply lines, and there was great uncertainty thanks to the royal marine. So he was more or less forced to do the same thing. So you can't tell, but from ww2 there should be people that were better on the Geramn side, like Manstein. From the napoleonic age I've heard Ney was better, and that some generals critized Napoleon's planning. Among other things foe being to simple-minded and too demanding of the soldiers (not because it became too harsh on them, but because they could easily fail, and then the whole plan would fall apart, like the marches).

Also one thing to remember is that you can use a general's plans if you are born after him. Therefore I would pick one that inspired a strategy, the first strategy in history, which among others inspired Friedrich the great: Epaminondas. The inventor of strategy, first one to give different units different tasks, to work in unison with the army as a whole.


so your sayin we should study stragy and the general who first wrote a book of stragey is the greatest general?... so im guessin ur sayin Sun Tzu is the greatest general?... since he wrote The Art of War in like 500 bc...
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40 / M / Closing in
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Posted 3/17/08
oojamesoo: no, that is not MY claim. As far as I know, which is not much granted, Sun Tzu wrote ideas about warfare, more than specific strategy (x is to do y at time z together with unit x2 after time z2, and such). I believe sun tzu was more into philosophing. I am not aware of him structuring specific battle plans for an army.
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27 / M / Canada
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Posted 3/17/08
I would give more kudos to military generals in the ancient world moreso than modern military leaders. First of all, they are expected to control a far greater number of soldiers than their modern counterparts and with far less effective communication equipment.

They were required to plan far ahead of the opponents and make sure their plans had proper backup in case it failed. Not to mention the fact that modern day warfare is more a war of technology than actual strategy. Trench warfare is not what I believe to be advanced strategy either.

PS: I would vote Zhuge Liang to be one of the greatest general that's assuming most of his feats are not mere over-exaggerations.

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