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Thread: Generals

  1. #1
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    Default Generals

    We hear much of great generals: Alexander, Ghengis Kahn, Napoleon, Marlborough, Wellington, Slim...

    There are those that have been acknowledged as good generals, but universally overlooked on account of the limitations of the campaigns (minor wars...) they fought perhaps they were national or of small scale in their nature.

    With that, I think one of history's better generals, to be overlooked outside of his native country, must have been Ulsyses S Grant. In my opinion he had an honest/realistic brilliance devoid of frills.

    Lee and Sherman were also great generals, and I'm sure others could mention Longstreet, Stonewall Jackson etc., but if we make historical comparisons with the greats of all time - for me it has to be Grant.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Generals

    http://www.amazon.com/GREAT-COMMANDE.../dp/B0015GV6X8
    It's probably telling that those they examined were Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Horatio Nelson, Ulysses S Grant and Georgi Zhukov. I find little to disagree with in that list.
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Generals

    Yes and there are others that on might add to it e.g. Giap.

    My list was posted as an example of those we generally know and acknowledge.

    I see to recall Chevan taking exception to Zhukov, some while back?


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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    Default Re: Generals

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    Yes and there are others that on might add to it e.g. Giap.
    Good to see a candidate proposed outside the usual limited classical history and or Western perspective.

    To which I'd add Yamashita in Malaya, whose reconnaissance, planning, marshalling and landing of troops, and subsequent campaign were masterly, pretty much faultless and overwhelmingly successful. He must be one of very few commanders who rejected the offer of substantially more troops to achieve his aim.

    Slim is largely overlooked in WWII beyond those who know how well he did. More people probably know of Stilwell who, though a good fighting general but an appalling diplomat in dealing with the Chinese, did rather less than Slim in ejecting the Japanese from Burma.

    At a smaller than Alexander etc but in my view more impressive level is U.S Gen. Robert Eichelberger who, as I've mentioned in various threads, was put in command of a division which had stalled and pretty much fallen apart in the field in Papua and, without the luxury of rebuilding it in a base with imported officers and NCOs and better conditions or any of the other things which convert a dying unit into a fighting unit, in short time in the field while facing the enemy he converted it into an effective fighting unit which then defeated the enemy it could barely face before he arrived.

    For a consideration of whether or not Eichelberger was a military genius (=probably was, but open to debate) see the very slow to load paper http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...f&AD=ADA428623
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Generals

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Good to see a candidate proposed outside the usual limited classical history and or Western perspective.

    To which I'd add Yamashita in Malaya, whose reconnaissance, planning, marshalling and landing of troops, and subsequent campaign were masterly, pretty much faultless and overwhelmingly successful. He must be one of very few commanders who rejected the offer of substantially more troops to achieve his aim.

    Slim is largely overlooked in WWII beyond those who know how well he did. More people probably know of Stilwell who, though a good fighting general but an appalling diplomat in dealing with the Chinese, did rather less than Slim in ejecting the Japanese from Burma.

    At a smaller than Alexander etc but in my view more impressive level is U.S Gen. Robert Eichelberger who, as I've mentioned in various threads, was put in command of a division which had stalled and pretty much fallen apart in the field in Papua and, without the luxury of rebuilding it in a base with imported officers and NCOs and better conditions or any of the other things which convert a dying unit into a fighting unit, in short time in the field while facing the enemy he converted it into an effective fighting unit which then defeated the enemy it could barely face before he arrived.

    For a consideration of whether or not Eichelberger was a military genius (=probably was, but open to debate) see the very slow to load paper http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...f&AD=ADA428623
    Thanks for that, RS. I haven't time to read it right now, but have taken a peak - and burnt a pan of food while doing so. I've never heard of him before, but then there are many that I haven't heard of. Looks like interesting reading and will get back to you once I've read it.

    Regards

    32B.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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