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Who Was The Greatest Military Leader Of All Time?

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Who was the Greatest Military leader of all time?  

255 members have voted

  1. 1. Who was the Greatest Military leader of all time?

    • Alexander the Great
      69
    • Julius Caesar
      12
    • Napoleon Bonaparte
      18
    • Ghengis Khan
      24
    • Hannibal
      3
    • Douglas MacArthur
      10
    • Erwin Rommel
      6
    • George Patton
      37
    • Belisarius
      1
    • Attila the Hun
      5


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Lincoln, Grant, Sherman.........all war criminals.

Under the current definition of "war criminal" this is correct. A "war criminal" is anyone who violates Just War, which is the theory of altruism applied to warfare. Thankfully, the US was not plunged deeply enough into the influence of altruism for Just War to affect how Grant formulated his strategy to fight the south. Had the Civil War been fought under more modern philosophical influences than we would still have slavery today. Sherman, as someone who excelled at philosophy during his time at West Point, knew that his "March to the Sea" was actually a highly moral policy. In his own words to the people of Atlanta:

"You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace... You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm as against these terrible hardships of war. They are inevitable, and the only way the people of Atlanta can hope once more to live in peace and quiet at home, is to stop the war, which can only be done by admitting that it began in error and is perpetuated in pride."

http://www.sagehistory.net/civilwar/docs/ShermanAtl.htm

Sherman knew that the southern civilians were responsible for the actions of their representatives, and were responsible for the war. Sherman also knew that the reality of war would have to be brought to those civilians before the war could end.

Sherman, Grant, and Lincoln, were nothing less than heros.

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And it was not a "rebellion"........ever hear of the Constitution, state's rights, the right to break ties with the federal government and secede from the union. State sovereignty vs. federal tyranny. The south just wanted to be left alone as did the colonies when they fought England.

Yes, wanting to be "free" to enslave black people is the same as wanting to be free of English taxes and impressment. Those glorious southerners were fighting against the "federal tyranny" of enforced emancipation. :rolleyes:

Let me guess, jws1776 is a libertarian.

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I voted for Genkhis Khan. The only force in Europe who actually stopped Mongols were Lithuanians. That's because they used the same military tactics, but Lithuanian horses and riders had an advantage in forests that steppe and grassland warriors found almost alien to them. But still, Mongols were the strongest military force ever.

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It is true Hitler failed to conquer the world, but during the 3 years Germany had conquer almost of all Europe and North Africa. I can't remember where else had they conquered, I am not sure they actually conquered Russia either. Sorry....

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It is true Hitler failed to conquer the world, but during the 3 years Germany had conquer almost of all Europe and North Africa. I can't remember where else had they conquered, I am not sure they actually conquered Russia either. Sorry....

Wait a second. You claim that Hitler conquered almost the entire planet but then you can't remember if he conquered Russia? You have some reading to do friend.

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You might as well ask what is the best flavour of ice cream.

War is an art precisely because there are too many variables for it to be a science. (My apologies to any fan of the Dorsai :) )

Would Caesar have bested Patton? What about Lee versus Genghis Khan? Guderian vs Alexander...

These threads always end up as internet penis measuring contests. So much bandwidth, yet so little accomplished.

Edited by Zip
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I think I see what you mean, but if I can understand you correctly you are saying there is a possibility that even a stray dog can beat the U.S. Army?

Don't be a troll.

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He couldn't conquer India. His soldiers were tired and afraid. I don't think he really knew how to boost the morale of his soldiers.

And how do you know the victory of Alexander was because of strategy alone? You also have to consider whether he had better technology at that time or not compared to his rivals.

Alexander was best known for his close support and backing of his troops! He was one of the last great commanders to actually fight with his men, and he was very close friends with many of them. The high morale of his men was what allowed him to defeat armies that were much larger than his own. He was also one of the first generals to employ heavy cavalry and charging tactics with his companion cavalry. The reason he didn't invade India was because his cavalry and phalanx were ill-equipped to fight elephants, but admittedly also because he had never encountered the typhoons that whipped across the Indian Ocean. Some scholars actually believe that he was planning to conquer India, but became ill and decided to return to Persia.

Alexander did not posess superior technology. The persians had a huge and prosperous empire, and they were able to field any number of ranged and specialized military technologies. What the persians failed to counter was the combination of heavy armor and disipline of the phalanx and companions. The persians did have the capability to field heavier forces, but mainly preffered evading and wearing down the enemy instead of a direct decisive confrontation. Essentially Alexander remphasized the fact that quality is superior to quantity and in this case diversity.

But the reason I chose Alexander was because of his assimilation techniques. He didn't just rape and pillage like Ghengis Khan, or enforce harsh new laws like Ceaser, Alexander kept most of the existing governments in place and merely subverted the kingship to himself. He even invited the losing generals and kings to dine with him instead of being executed in the traditional manner. He kept all of the trade routes and national infrastructure intact. Alexander's goal was not to destroy the world and its prosperity, but to unite the world under one ruler. Had he not died early, his far-reaching kingdom would have remained intact because he assimilated, not conquered.

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As a ceremonial act every 4th of July, I make a point to burn a five dollar bill as a passive act of defiance and hatred for a man that manipulated the Constitution, invaded sovereign states and should have gone down in history as a war criminal and mass murderer.

While I agree that the war on the south was in many ways unjust, and Lincoln may not have been as much of an abolitionist as he is made out to be, Lincoln is not the most horrible person in history. There have been so many more terrible and hate-deserving people in this world. Is Lincoln really deserving of so much attention? Find someone more evil to burn in effigy.

Look, the civil war was fought brutally and was not really started for just reasons, but then you would also agree that we should hate our leaders for starting: the mexican american war, the war and genocide of native americans, vietnam, korea, and, most recently, Iraq. America is known for starting wars for unjust reasons and labeling them noble. The civl war is just one of many.

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Interesting though that your response would come from someone with a Dimmu Borgir album cover in their avatar - a known satanic band with a lead singer named "Shagrath"........shouldn't you be playing Dungeons and Dragons right now.

Jeez, simmer down. That comment wasn't directed at me, and this is really late, but I still feel the irrational anger. A blog isn't worth it.:worry:

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Themosticles of Athens was probably not the greatest military man of all times but I think he must rank in the top ten. He outlined the overall strategy against the Persian of which the Battle of the Hot Gates was but one phase. Having delayed Xerxes at the pass of Thermopolea (Hot Gates) Xerxes came in but to support his troops he would need to supply them and support them from sea. In came the Persian navy. Now Themosticles took a bold gamble an let out some disinformation which drew in the Persian fleet to the narrow straights about Salamis. It was here that Themosticles crushed the Persian fleet and thwarted the aim of Xerxes to crush the Greeks. The city of Athens was burned to the ground by Xerxes and his army but his strategic aim was thwarted by the destruction of his fleet. He had to retire from Greece. In later battles the Greeks whipped the Persians, for example, the battle at Plataea.

Themosticles saved Greece and he saved the West. That is why I am able to recount the history on a computer writing in English and you are able to read this. Had Persia triumphed then, the intellectual and technical history of the world would have been very, very different.

Themosticles built no empire like Alexander. He just saved our butts.

Bob Kolker

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