It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Greatest Military Leaders

page: 3
<< 1  2   >>

log in


posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 08:26 AM

posted by INc2006
“ . . for the first time I see you supporting Americans for once!
[Edited by Don W]

Surprised? Not for me. I always support America, but not always Americans. 1) I like to think America stands for the encouraging words found on the Statue of Liberty the French gave to America on its first centennial. "Give me your tired, your poor . . yearning to breathe free . . Send these, the homeless . . to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door." Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus.”

2) I like to think America stands for the words inscribed on the portico of the US Supreme Court Building in W-DC, “Equal Justice Under Law.” When I see America or responsible Americans falling short of those worthy aspirations, I feel under no obligation to blindly “defend the flag” at any cost, nor do I subscribe to the jingoistic litany “my country right or wrong” as Senator Schurz (R-Wi) said in 1872, but rather, I feel it is important to challenge whoever is responsible for the shortfalling.

“ . . but hey George Washington deserves some credit. But I’ll say Napoleon can be just as remarkable. Or Genghis Khan, Saladin, Alexander the Great is way better . . Alexander defeated the first ever continental empire, the Persian Empire and went all the way to India! Napoleon took over France, defeated the Austrian Empire many many times, defeated the Prussians, but like all great generals they try to reach too far, and just like Hitler he sent his army to Russia, which sent his campaigns bye-bye . . ”

Everything you said is true, Mr I-6. No denying that. I believe historians say the Battle of Marathon, 490 BCE, is regarded as a crucial battle in history. A turning point. If the Greeks had lost or the Persians had won, then the world as we know it would have been dominated by Persian laws, customs, thought, philosophy and culture, instead of what came to be known in the West as Greco-Roman. Google and Wikipedia however gives that distinction to the earlier naval Battle of Salamis.

Everyone acknowledges that Napoleon introduced new battle tactics which caught the old established militarists long on strategy but short on tactics. As I read it, prior to Napoleon, maneuver was the crucial component of land warfare. And not much killing of the enemy. Napoleon substituted attack and crushing the enemy as the new modus operandi of war. He was better at it mainly due the large supply of conscript (draft) Frenchmen while the other armies depended on career soldiers, who were not to be expended lightly. The trench warfare of World War 1 could be said to have been the last war fought in Napoleon’s style.

George Washington, OTOH, was a wealthy, privileged Virginia planter who decided for whatever reasons to be part of the creation of a new world order. See reverse of the $1 bill. Novus Ordo Seculare. Secular as opposed to sectarian.

Regardless, Washington recognized very early into the struggle that his job was not to win, but not to lose. To engage in that tactic for 6 years - 1775 - 1781 - required as much political skill as it did military skill. A rag-tag bunch of ill fed, ill equipped and ill led - at the lower ranks - was so well managed that the larger and best trained, equipped and supplied army of the day, the British Army, was ultimately brought to heel. In so doing, Washington, more than any other single man, founded an “empire” that has endured in roughly the same style more than 200 years. Not an insignificant achievement and in my mind, the only way to measure “greatness.”

[edit on 12/16/2006 by donwhite]

posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 09:34 AM

Originally posted by donwhite
Regardless, Washington recognized very early into the struggle that his job was not to win, but not to lose. To engage in that tactic for 6 years - 1775 - 1781 - required as much political skill as it did military skill.
[edit on 12/16/2006 by donwhite]

Very Correct. the Continental Congress at one point looked to replace Washington mainly do to the fact that he was losing. He was in fact losing battles rather that committing his whole army to certain destruction during certain key battles. Live to fight another day would be the motto Washington made his own. While he at times could be boldly decisive, he was also quite aware of the limitations of his forces. He never pressed unless he knew he held the advantage, which wasn't often early in the war.

posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 09:42 AM

posted by pavil

Very Correct. Live to fight another day would be the motto Washington made his own.

"He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day." Unk.

Another verse I recall cut into a .45 1911 Colt:

Be not afraid of any man
No matter what his size
When danger threatens,
Call on me, I will equalize.

posted on Dec, 23 2006 @ 04:34 PM
Why not Carl von Clausewitz? He put together probably the best and most coherent account on what war is and it is this account that has defined much of what modern warfare is.

posted on Dec, 23 2006 @ 06:15 PM
i never heard of him, but i'm not too informed in this...

posted on Jan, 2 2007 @ 08:27 AM
I think that Hitler should be on the list. Yeah he may have been the 'bad guy' or whatever, but you have to respect him for his command and passion! He rallied his country into taking over the most part of Europe and in the end it took an alliance of a few of the most powerful nations to bring him down!

posted on Jan, 2 2007 @ 09:59 AM

posted by malganis

I think Hitler should be on the list. He may have been the 'bad guy' but you have to respect him for his command and passion! He rallied his country into taking over the most part of Europe and in the end it took an alliance of the most powerful nations to bring him down! [Edited by Don W]

I never thought of him. As a general. It is hard for me - maybe impossible - to be objective about Hitler. He has so much baggage, which we ought not to ever overlook. (I had one cousin who got a Purple Heart at the Battle of the Bulge. A go-home wound.) Germans are by nature detail freaks. Last month the History Channel showed a newly opened German achieves from War 2 containing 50 million files, including every mundane detail you can imagine. Jewish people, on their way to die, had their head lice counted and categorized by size. Then the Jews had to sign their report. Which achieves have become an invaluable asset in learning just who went where to die.

Aside. On the German people and why good people do bad things. Let me remind that Germany as a country was a wreck when Hitler came to power. 1933. The Great Depression was bad in the US, but it was worse in Germany. The Weimar Republic had been made a weak central government by design and intention of the League of Nations. Germany was saddled with payment of war reparations beyond its ability to pay. The English liked it. The Americans liked it. The French liked it. Germany would be kept from competing with their respective favorite industrialists. Money will out.

Inflation was extreme in Germany. Everyone’s savings had been wiped out. Indeed, inflation was accelerating so rapidly that saving was made dangerous. What would buy a loaf of bread today, would not buy half a chaos tomorrow. Social chaos was barely days away. Worse than anarchy, Germany was about to be plunged into savagery, into warring segments, each with its own war-lord. The end was in sight. You cannot imagine a worse condition for an urbanized society. 1932.

The French had lost the 1869-1871 Franco-Prussian War and now in War 1, France had lost 3 million KIA out of a 40 million population. One third of its single men. One third of its young woman would remain unmarried and childless. For the French it was the Dylan song, “War No More.” German President Von Hindenburg was over 80 years old. He was never a political leader, but a war hero, a father figure and a replacement for the deposed Kaiser. Hitler’s Nazi Party - National Socialists - much national, little social - had the largest block in the Bundestag but not a majority. When he was named Chancellor - prime minister - he formed his first government with right wing parties.

Hitler may have been chosen because he was virulently anti-communist. Europe outside the new USSR was teetering between fascism on the right and communism on the left. It was obvious capitalism as practiced in Europe in the 1920s-30s had failed to function economically. The propertied class gambled on Hitler.

There was no grand conspiracy of the Krupp’s, Messchermitt’s, Farben’s and etc. Hitler was the supreme opportunist. He did not make his move towards tyranny until the following year - 1934 - when Von HIndenburg died. Hitler persuaded the Bundestag to merge the office of president with chancellor and to be called the Reich's Chancellor. It was yet another year of Nazi consolidation before he would assume dictatorial powers.

By this time, Hitler’s early supporters knew it was too late to stop him, but since Hitler was still a practicing capitalist, they hoped all would turn out well. There was money, much money, to be made under Hitler's building programs and his not so subtle rearmament of Germany.

Resume. Everyone seems to agree the Battle of Stalingrad was the turning pont of War 2 in Europe. This may flatter the Soviets more than they deserve. If the Allies had not have driven the Germans and Italians out of Africa, Hitler would have had the oil he desperately needed, from Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Hitler would have either by-passed Stalingrad or never attacked it at all. It that case, he would have divided his army into 2 groups, and not 3. The resulting two stronger forces would have made easy picking of Moscow and Leningrad. No one realized then how significant Rommel’s defeat in Africa would turn out to be. After discussing generals and leaders, it seems to me it is impossible to separate the military from the political. There is some of both in any and more so in the really successful people.

Had the allies not split Italy away from the Axis Powers by defeating Italy in 1943, Hitler would not have had to put 40 divisions and some of his best generals into the defense of Italy. Had not the Allies invaded France - two times - Hitler would have had 100 more divisions and more good generals available to face the onslaught of Stalin’s two armies rushing to Berlin. The USSR might well have run out of manpower first, as Stalin used it up so wantonly and so politically. Losing 3-4 soldiers for each German killed.

[edit on 1/2/2007 by donwhite]

posted on Jan, 7 2007 @ 12:05 AM
Cyrus of Persia, much love to my man.
Hitler. If he hadn't been bogged down in Russia and if only the Italians made greater generals than they do pizzas and suites...who knows.
Patton. No poor bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won the war by making the other poor dumb bastard dye for his country...well, I loved the movie.

posted on Mar, 6 2007 @ 05:24 PM
Great military commanders...

William Slim took a demoralised army and defeated the Japanese in Burma, the only commander to defeat a Japanese army. This was a fluid war that differed from the simple island hopping escapades in the Pacific where the US could concentrate vast resources on small areas in frantic and bloody engagements where the outcome was never really in question. He was a military pioneer who understtod that job in hand and the need to psychological dominate the Japanese - which he did. He shunned the attention and was modest in his achievements unlike some of his contemporaries and their attatched press corps and trinkets.

Nelson's genius is legendary. He constantly rewrote the rule-book.

Haig should raise a few hackles, but his tactics (not the stereotyped WW1 pointless waste arguement) resulted in less British casualties compared to the other combatants, the creation of an vast trained army (the Britsh army pre War was very small), and treated its horses better pretty well. Besides, he was on the winning side with France and the late arrivals.


posted on Oct, 18 2008 @ 12:09 PM
reply to post by donwhite

Yet more deluded American Propaganda! To describe George 'wooden teeth' Washington as a military leader is ludicrous. He was a leader of a rabble of clog wear peasants who lost every major battle and in the end were bailed out by the French! The war of independence was the real WW1 as the British were fighting the French, Spanish & Dutch as well. Victory came from logistics & expense for the British Tax payer not 'Military brilliance'!

Americans go on about 1776 but never mention 1812 when they lost, because no-one was around to save them!

As for Eisenhower, may I remind you the Americans showed up late again, and it was the Russians who won WW2 due to the immense sacrifice (20 million)

You were on your own in Vietnam and you lost! Even today you need British Expertise to help you win any battles in Iraq & Afghanistan.

You may be bigger but your not better!

posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 12:05 PM

new topics

top topics

<< 1  2   >>

log in