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best commander of all times

Discussion in 'Non-World War 2 History' started by ray243, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. AL AMIN

    AL AMIN New Member

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    yeah i know bit attila finished them and saladin wasnt persain
     
  2. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Atilla didn't finish the Roman empire, he entered it and won a few battles but he was defeated in the end. The only man to have truly "conquered" Rome was Odovakar, and that was much later.

    Kaiser: as you know I am no expert on Asian history, but in general the peoples of Central Asia can be characterized as nomadic; they do not generally form solid states of sedentary populations, which means they can be succesful in war if they have a strong leader but they can never make their gains last.
     
  3. Zhukov_2005

    Zhukov_2005 New Member

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    That is, indeed, another fine example. Cao's 150,000 strong army (I believe that is the correct size, although I have heard 800,000!) against Liang's 50,000. And the destruction of Cao's navy, stroke of genius! Liang is undoubtedly another great leader, and his victory in this battle, although aided by a plague on Cao's forces, is quite surprising.
     
  4. Kaiser phpbb3

    Kaiser phpbb3 New Member

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    I think that man Zhuge Liang is a pure genius. I tend to side with 800,000 because that's what various books,including comics seemed to have claimed. Of course i seek clarifications on this. I think the most wonderful was using strawmen to "borrow" 100,000(or 10,000) arrows. and then setting fire to the ships because they were linked by chain...His mastery of the weather forecasts was simply stunning also.
     
  5. Kaiser phpbb3

    Kaiser phpbb3 New Member

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    For some reason,i don't get you Roel. Of course Genghis Khan was great because he could keep the tribes together which after Kublai,none could do so.
     
  6. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    He was definitely a great leader, but he was helped by the fact that his enemies lacked, well, any leaders at all. :wink:

    Don't worry, it's just me rationalizing again. I take the fun out of every heroic action. Don't mind me.
     
  7. ray243

    ray243 New Member

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    what about the empty city scheme?
     
  8. 2ndLegion

    2ndLegion New Member

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    Saladin wasn't so great a general as he was a conqueror. He encouraged rifts in Islam to make it easier for his loyal army to conquer the warring parties, he put his loyal Kurdish Generals in very important positions, he gave favor to the jewish community and got favors from them back, such as when a jew saved him from a Shiite Assasination plot in Egypt, if Druze myths are to be believed he had the same policy with them, he placed loyal populations in important places, such as the way he encouraged jews to move into Jerusalem to consolidate the conquest of the city.

    His great accomplishment was starting as the leader of a small band of Kurds, and under the command of his father and his fathers boss, and ending up as the ruller of a great empire.

    Unfortunately Kurdish Rule was not too popular, and the last of Saladin's family was burned treacherously by it's own soldiers as they went into a wooden tower to watch the fleet of the Fifth Crusade sail away.
     
  9. Revere

    Revere New Member

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    ROMMEL!!! :D
     
  10. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    REASONS!!! :lol:
     
  11. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    He's got quite a few defeats on his name I'm afraid... Any reasons for your choice?
     
  12. Kaiser phpbb3

    Kaiser phpbb3 New Member

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    i don't think defeats disqualify one from being a great or good commander roel
     
  13. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Harold Godwinson was a very competant commander who only lost one battle. Sadly he died during it (which was why he lost) and that is all everyone remembers about him.
     
  14. hahnficken

    hahnficken New Member

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    Those flipping Normans, killing off the king!

    BTW there is going to be a MEGA re enactment at Battle next year to celebrate the 940th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. People are getting excited about it already!
     
  15. 2ndLegion

    2ndLegion New Member

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    You mean Oath breaker harold, liar Harold, Usurper Harold, anti-piety Harold, Harold the thief, gluttonous Harold, and Harold defiler of Churches, and everything else the french and the Pope said about him?
    :D :D

    Harold didn't know the first thing about Propaganda, Public Relations, and countless other non military essentials to win, he even let the case against him in the Papacy win because he didn'[t even bother to show up in Rome to defend himself.

    Besides William the Conqueror did defeat his shield wall by fiegned retreats with his knights who would then charge the pursuirs, and innovation with his archers, so in strictly military terms William is still the better man.
     
  16. hahnficken

    hahnficken New Member

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    Yeah maybe but he is still a Norman! :grin:
     
  17. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    I got all riled up & ready to dispute you... then saw the smileys :wink:

    Largely because he had better things to do than go prove himself to an official who had bugger-all power or influence in England.
    And also, why take the chance of leaving the (relative) safety of your country to travel across a hostile Europe? It is odd how many people died while travelling... :wink:

    I feel like posting my essay here...

    Right -

    1) the feigned retreat is still most debateable. It is a difficult manouver to pull off at the best of times, but in a polyglot army like William's at Hastings...

    2) What innovation with archers? Using them? :-?

    3) William was actually quite a crappy general. Look at the comparisons between his fighting record and Harold's.

    William - many sieges (mostly won) and few battles (3 or 4 pre-1066) - only one of which was actually a battle with equal forces where he was in command.

    Harold - he was England's leading military figure. He launched a complex combined-arms attack on Wales which proved so successful that they killed their own leader to get rid of Harold. This is Wales, which had been a thorn in the side of England since the Romans left, and continued to be so for the Normans. He defeated Harold Hardrada, the last great Viking, who had served with the elite Varangian Guard in Byzantium and had defeated the armies of Mercia & Northumbria.

    At Hastings, Harold did pretty much everything right (save possibly not following up the first counter-attack, although it has been argued that it was the deaths of Gyrth & Leofwine that stalled this attack), and lost by simple dumb luck.

    It should be pointed out that William had to spend the rest of his reign putting down rebellion both in England and Normandy. :wink:
     
  18. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Just post the short version, with only the bits that matter, and leave out the bits you had to put in to please your teacher... :wink:

    It's really a good essay.

    William the Conqueror's cavalry was not composed of Knights, they were just heavy cavalry. Anyone who could afford a horse and a coat of arms could serve as heavy cavalry in William's army; this included, for example, many blacksmiths' sons etcetera.
     
  19. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Roel, that is the short version - the original was 12,000 words. :grin:
     
  20. 2ndLegion

    2ndLegion New Member

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    "Largely because he had better things to do than go prove himself to an official who had bugger-all power or influence in England.
    And also, why take the chance of leaving the (relative) safety of your country to travel across a hostile Europe? It is odd how many people died while travelling..."

    He knew William was serious, and that if the Pope rulled against him he would face the greatest threat that was around, an army of Normans, with other french enlisting en masse, such as the Ageven (SP), Bertons etc etc. Had the Pope rulled against William the Battle of the Hastings would not have been possible, it is highly unlikely even William's most loyal vassals would have followed him to England had it not been a crusade.

    "1) the feigned retreat is still most debateable. It is a difficult manouver to pull off at the best of times, but in a polyglot army like William's at Hastings..."

    Nontheless William did pull off the fiegned retreats.

    "2) What innovation with archers? Using them?"

    He had some fire into the air, and some fire straight ahead so the shield wall wouldn't protect the Saxons. That is how Harold got wounded, and then of course he sent 5 knights to kill him.

    "3) William was actually quite a crappy general. Look at the comparisons between his fighting record and Harold's."

    However William did manage to defeat his enemies consistently.

    William out thought the shield wall, by fiegning retreats he got the Saxons to pursue and be vulnerable to his knights, and his use of hunnic archery techniques also hurt the shield wall.

    There is also another important thing William did during the battle. He actually fought in the front lines himself, which obviously encouraged his army because they knew their leader was sharing the dangers with them instead of just giving orders from the back, which at the time was a great advantage.

    I would also like to point out the Harold Hardradaa lost because he expected a surrender, so only brought 25% of his men to the Bridge, and didn't wear any armour which left him vulnerable to archers who shot him. Had he known there would be English ressistance to him there and brought his army fully equipted and ready, and worn his armour he would have probably won the battle.

    I agree with you that Harold was a good king, and a great commander of forces, but William was just a little bit better then him.
     

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