That's right....since the other threads got so much positive feed back and info, lets see who we think are some of the great men who made such battles/campaigns possible.
Here's some of mine and why.
Alexander the Great- young (early to mid twenties) when he started out with only 30,000 Greek hoplites and carved out a nice piece of realistate for himself
Julius Ceasar- first man to bring an army across the Rubicon and turn the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. Not to mention his campaigns and victories against the Guals and Germans.
Also from this time would be Marc Anthony (Ceasar's one time Lieutenant and then Cleopatra's lover and traitor to Rome.) and Julius' nephew Octavius who fought Anthony in the civil war after Julius' assassination, won, changed his name to Augustus Ceasar and proceeded to expand the Empire like none before him.
Sparticus- yup, the fairy Led a slave revolt of untrained and undisciplined slaves against one of the mighties military machines ever seen and almost won.
skipping a few hundred years...
Napolean- sure he eventually lost, but for a while there he conquered, and more impressively, intigrated nearly all of Europe into a massive fighting machine. His army to invade russia was 600,000+ men, the largest ever assembled up to that time. Just ORGANIZING such a massive fighting machine took expertise.
Duke of Wellington- He's the one who beat Napolean, already a great leader, ergo, he must be slightly better.
Robert E. Lee- One hell of a general who did more with far less. Always outnumbered, with inferior weapons, uniforms and supplies, the Army of Northern Virginia kicked the crap out of every Federal army sent to destroy it.
Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson- First he holds the line at the first battle of the civil war, turning a Confederate retreat into a confederate victory. Then he goes on to be the best lieutenant to Lee. He marched his men farther and faster than anyone thought possible.
George Patton- This man was so politicall incorrect you just got to love him. And on top of that, he was a hard chargin' General who kicked alot of ass.
Erwin Rommel- excellent commander of combined arms forces, specifically armor. If he had his divisions released during Normandy, it's very likely he would have hit so hard that the Americans, Brits and Canadians in Normandy would have landed in Wales somewhere.
Gen. Vandergrif- Did a hell of a job taking Guadacanal with his tired and sick Marines against ungodly odds despite being left behind by the navy.
and that's it for now. I know it's alot, but hey, thats what this is all about, to get ALL the great leaders.
William T. Sherman introduced the idea of total war to the South.
Lt. Col Sir James Macdonell, saved Hougoumont for the British at Waterloo, ensuring a victory. To quote Military History magazine, "No troops but the British could have held Hougoumont, and then only the best of them."
"Monty", I think is seriously overrated. He was competent, yes...but not a genius. But the Brits needed a "Desert Fox" of their own at that time and since Montgomery managed to beat Rommel at El Alamein...they tried to create the illusion of him being better than Rommel.
How did he beat him? Supplies...the German supply situation was bad at that time, the British one good...and Monty was competent enough to wait for Rommel at his fortified position and bide his time, and not to go out into the Desert and try something, like being wilier than the Fox...
If he had the British would most probably would have lost (again). I think Montgomerys performance in France/Belgium /Dutchland (Market Garden was a brainchild of his, perhaps he wanted to show the world that he too could be "dashing" like Rommel or Patton) showed IMHO that he was not that brilliant. His fame pretty much came from one succesful foxhunt...
But I also miss one name on that list: Hannibal.
He was perhaps the most brilliant general in ancient times, the scourge of the Romans, who could not beat him during a period of 15 years. He was a veritable genius...with a grasp of tactics that seems unchallenged by anyone. Although his side lost in the end...
Jozef Klemens Pilsudski -"Jozef Pilsudski will remain in the memory of our nation as the founder of independence and as the victorious leader who fended off a foreign assault(soviet union) that threatened the whole of Europe and its civilisation. Jozef Pilsudski served his motherland well, and has entered our history forever"
US of "F"ing A and if you don't like it you can kiss my bass
i'm american and i'm thinking modern so i'll say chargin' charlie beckwith,richard marcinko, gen. tommy franks, gen. swartzkoff(spelling sorry?), and the last one....drum roll.....Donald Rumsfeld! i know he does'nt wear a uniform but i think he will be remembered as a great military strategist how he shapes the new military of light and fast. he was an air force pilot, was'nt he? please don't rake me over the coles here this is just my opinion.
Patton for what a general should have been back then and Norman Schwarzkopf for what a general should be today.
My vote for a old school warrior goes to King David. Historically he was the warrior king of Israel and kicked ass and took foreskins. Probably cemented half the resentment in the middle east today with all surrounding nations.
A great general should be able to win both the battle and the war.
Hannibal won almost every battle, destroying several consular legions, but was still defeated in the end, bringing Carthage down with him. Spartacus won several battles against Roman legions, but his slave army was defeated in the end with thousands cruxified.
Napolean and Robert E Lee were both brilliant battlefield generals but failed to win the war in the end. One lost his empire and the other lost his country. Indeed, I read somewhere that Robert E Lee lost more men in his battles than Ulysses S Grant, although he commanded smaller armies.
Other generals were great when they command corps: Patton and "Stonewall" Jackson never commanded the entire army. They are tactical commanders, or theater commanders, but not strategists.
Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan are said to be an empire builders, winning every battle they fought and founding empires larger than any had seen. But unlike the Roman Empire and the British Empire, neither lasted beyond the second generation.
For the truly great (but not sexy) generals that won the war (but not necessary the battle):
Ulysses S Grant & William T Sherman - better generals than the over-rated Robert E Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson. Both won great battles (Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Atlanta), and worked together in a strategy in 1864-5 that ultimately destroyed the Confederacy.
Frederick the Great - lost as many battles as he won, but ensured the survival and expansion of Prussia.
Dwight D Eisenhower - never fought a battle but won the war in Europe.
Douglas Macarthur - never commanded a battle himself, but won the war in the Pacific.
And - yes - the Duke of Wellington. Never won brilliant victories like Napolean, but his Peninsula Campaign drained the French armies of their best generals and troops. He fought the Battle of Waterloo well, though not brilliantly, to ultimately put an end once and for all to Napolean.
Isn't it strange that the less worshipped generals are usually the better ones?