Who were the GREATEST commander in history?

Discussion in '1800-1914' started by Lucky13, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Who rises above the rest, who's star is the brightest one in sky? Was it Alexander, was it Caesar, Hannibal, Napoleon, Grant or even one of the 20th century commanders? Tell me, who do you think have had most influence on history?
     
  2. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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  3. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    That poll is rather silly (at best) and is for 'conquerers' not commanders. I do not have an answer for this question - there are too many great military leaders in human history to put one above the other.

    There are hundreds of people who had massive impacts on our history, and they're not known by the vast majority of people.

    I don't see how Ghengis Khan can be ranked above Alexander the Great or how Alexander the Great can be ranked above Henry V or how Henry V can be ranked above Heinz Guderian or how Heinz Guderian can be ranked above Hernan Cort├ęs...and so on...and so on...

    But it'll be a good debate, if enough get involved...!
     
  4. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    In order to conquer.... you must be able to command !!

    Charles
     
  5. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    No you don't. Hitler did not command a single army in World War II - but it is reasonable to suggest that he achieved the conquest of almost all Europe.

    To conquer you must have people who know how to command; you don't have to have that ability yourself.
     
  6. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I too dont really see how you pick one commander to be the greatest of all times. They all served in different capacities and different time eras. As PD said it is too difficult.

    Now we can discuss commanders but to rank one the best I think is difficult.
     
  7. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Defining the qualities of "greatest" is a start:

    Innovative
    Inspirational
    Courageous
    Successful
    Lasting Legacy
    Pro-active

    Conquering alone does not make you "great"
     
  8. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    For the WW2 and immediate postwar era, General George Marshall and Admiral Earnest King rank at the very top.
     
  9. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    Do you want to give any reasons for those choices, sys?
     
  10. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Neither were known as brilliant strategists and tacticians. But both were consumate organizers who knew how to pick outstanding subordinates.

    Both of them oversaw the organization, training and supplying of the US military which grew in small in size in 1938 to 1945 where they commanded the greatest and strongest military in history.

    In the end, WW2 was decided on who could get the most out of their countries industrial base, and the US won in that regard.
     
  11. enven

    enven Member

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    There are too many 'brilliant strategists' to list...Personal favorites are preference to each person.

    For personal favorites, *before 1900's*:
    -Hannibal
    -Hamilcar Barca
    -Alexander ( King Phillip)
    -Carl Von Clausewitz
    -Napoleon
    -Jakov Alexeevich Potemkin

    Man...There are too many tacticians to pick/list...I don't like this question!
     
  12. magnocain

    magnocain Member

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    In my mind at least, Napoleon, Alexander the Great, Hannibal, and Hitler stick out as the most important commanders in history, with Alexander the Great the most important. After all, Alexander is the only one that conquered half the known world (on foot), and forever earned the word "Great" after his name. I dont know of anyone else called "_______ the Great". If that helps anyone.
     
  13. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    The thread is about THE GREATEST you think Hitler was a great Commander?

    :rolleyes:

    .
     
  14. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    I wouldn't rate commanders with the ability to organise as the best; especially when they had the advantage of the U.S industry. But that's your choice, sys...

    magnocain, if you read through history you'll quite a few people with 'the Great' in their title.

    Sargon 'the Great' the Akkadian King whom destroyed the Sumerian civilisation and created an empire that encompassed all of Mesopotamia and stretched west to the Mediterranean. (approx. 2340 BC.)

    Constantine 'the Great' the first Christian Emperor of the Roman Empire whom not only introduced christianity en masse to the world of Rome but also reunited the East and West Roman Empires - the last man to hold Rome together. (r. 324 - 337 AD)

    Cyrus 'the Great' the creator of the Achaemenid Persian Empire; the largest empire known to man at the time. The empire encompassed the Near East and Eygpt, Thrace and Asia Minor to the west and north-west India in the east; which made up almost 1,000,000 square miles of land and 70,000,000 inhabitants. (r. 559 - 529 BC)

    To name three; there's more ...like 'the Great' Elector of Prussia (17th Century) and Frederick 'the Great' of Prussia (18th Century).
     
  15. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Hitler was a lousy Commander. He did not listen to his actual Generals and let his ideals and politics get in the way.

    As for people titled with "Great". There were many. One that comes to my mind (because I visited his family grave in the crypts in Berlin in January) is Fredrick the Great.

    However the majority of these people gave themselves the title "Great" so it carries no weight.
     
  16. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    Frederick II deserves the title 'Great' though. (r. 1740 - 1786 AD)

    His political and military genius expanded Prussia throughout his reign, and constantly upset the balance of European power. His invasion of Silesia being, possibly, the most bizarre, risky and genius political invasion in history.
     
  17. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    No arguements there though.
     
  18. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    I'm reading Iron Kingdom - The Rise and Downfall of Prussia (1600 - 1947) by Christopher Clark at the moment. It's a great and informative book but I think he misses the essence of Prussia. He skips over the vital military reforms in a few pages and the wars fought by Prussia never see a full chapter.

    I'm also reading Warfare in the Ancient World by Brian Todd Carey. So, this thread might be good for me to start throwing random (non-famous) names out.
     
  19. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    You need to go to Berlin and see the Germanic Museum that has to do with Fredrick the Great. It is a very informative and well done museum. You can also go in the basement and see all the graves of the Kaisers that were in Fredricks family. It is really neat. I can post some pics here later when I am not at work. Hell it will probably have to wait until next week since the Inlaws come today and I go to Munich this weekend.
     
  20. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    But ultimately, thats what makes a good commander great. The ability to effectively use all the advantages they have in resources.

    I should also have mentioned that General Marshall was also responsible for the implementation of the "Marshall Plan" which effectively stopped communism in western europe.

    He was a man who not only helped win the war, but win the peace.
     
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