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Of course it seems that Marshal Grigory Kulik is Oby's type of general. I swear that guy makes the worst general mentioned so far look like Clausewitz by comparison.

Edited by Agiel
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"Turned wrong way round, the relentless unforeseen was what we schoolchildren studied as 'History,' harmless history, where everything unexpected in its own time is chronicled on the page as inevitable. The terror of the unforeseen is what the science of history hides, turning a disaster into an epic.”

 

-Philip Roth, The Plot Against America

 

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Mikhail Tukhachevskii:

Just a traitor bribed by III Reich, member of Fascist counter-revolutionary conspiracy.

 

Anyway these peoples are theorists, they don't participate in real war and because this they can't be described as best generals.

 

 

You deserve to be cemented into his grave and used as a vase for floral tributes.

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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For the aficionado who wants a wildly successful but almost totally unknown German general may I present Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, probably the single most successful commander of the entirety of WW1. Defeated multiple British invasions with aplomb, invaded British territories and ended the war better supplied than at the start despite a total blockade. And yes, I was reminded of him by the Chinese Expansionism thread.

 

Plus he told Hitler to go asterisk himself too. If a few million more Germans had done that the world would have been a far better place.

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Mikhail Tukhachevskii:

Just a traitor bribed by III Reich, member of Fascist counter-revolutionary conspiracy.

 

Anyway these peoples are theorists, they don't participate in real war and because this they can't be described as best generals.

 

 

You deserve to be cemented into his grave and used as a vase for floral tributes.

 

Preferably head first so we have a spot to stick flowers ........  :biggrin:

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For the thoughts to spark..

 

Napoléon Bonaparte (he knew what conscription was for)

 

Ulysses Simpson Grant (he invented the American way of war)

 

Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke (he knew what railroads and telegraphs were for)

 

Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre (he prevented the enemy from winning what became what I call the Great War[1914-1945])

 

George Catlett Marshall, Jr. (the architect of eventual victory in the Great War)

 

Võ Nguyên Giáp (he utterly defeated his enemy in the central theater of the Cold War[1946-1989])

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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Sup, gents. JFS told me about this thread and it's time to bring in some Greeks. After all, they invented military theory. (In the West. As far as we know.) So without further ado: Iphikrates of Athens (c.418-c.353 BC).

 

Greek city-states rarely had the means to maintain armies on long campaigns abroad; they preferred to bring out their citizen armies briefly but in massive numbers and fight major battles. But at some point during the Corinthian War (395-386 BC), the Athenians realised that this business was a bit costly, because they kept getting massacred by the Spartans. So they decided instead to hire some light-armed mercenaries and fight a war of raids.

 

Enter Iphikrates, the son of a shoemaker. Even though he had no military experience of any kind, he led said mercenaries with such consummate skill that his enemies learned to fear them like children feared the bogey-man, and basically refused to march out from the safety of their walls for fear of being caught in the open. The Spartans were the only ones who dared, until at one time Iphikrates struck a column of Spartans on the march and thoroughly ruined their ****, killing hundreds while losing - as far as we know - not a single man.

 

With feats like these, Iphikrates turned the war from a near-certain Athenian defeat into a stalemate. He crushed the Spartans again at Abydos by ambushing them, forcing their commander to fight to the death while the rest of his army ran for their lives. The Athenians now realised what sort of man they had at their disposal, and in the ensuing decades, whenever things got really rough, they would send Iphikrates - and he invariably set things straight, while training his men to brutal efficiency and recouping the cost of his campaigns along the way. He was a master of stealth and surprise, a strict disciplinarian and an innovator, able to use few men at low cost and low risk to achieve disproportionate gain.

 

When another Athenian mercenary general went to help Egypt revolt against Persia, the Persian king pointed out that this was a violation of the peace between Athens and Persia, and demanded official Athenian support against the revolt. The Athenians, of course, sent Iphikrates. At this point he complained that he could not be so effective in Egypt, because the Egyptians did not know who he was - meaning he had to do without his customary advantage that the mention of his name made men **** themselves. Even the Spartans at one point abandoned an entire operation when they heard that Iphikrates was coming to reinforce their opponents.

 

It's a shame we don't have more details about his various campaigns, but all evidence suggests that few in the centuries to come could match his prodigious levels of badassery.

 

Through his relations with Thracian royalty (his wife was a Thracian princess), he also for a time had custody over a captive little boy - none other than the future Philip II of Macedon, conquering genius and father of Alexander the Great.

Edited by Dessek
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Hm. I'll throw in ... Zafar Khan.

 

A Turk general of the Delhi Sultanate in Northern India. From general historical records, he's supposedly one of the few generals known who never lost a battle in his lifetime. Indeed, he even managed to win his final battle which killed him. (So depending on just how you want to view that) - Although to accompany that fighting record, his army commited a fair few atrocities.

 

Back in 1299, apparently he took on a Mongol Horde (around 200,000 Mongols) which led to the battle where he lost his life. But to go with that, myths and stories of the time (from both Indian and Mongol sides) say that he terrorised the Mongols before that final battle and that he had become such a force of fear to the tribesmen, that whenever their horses refused to drink water they would say "He has seen Zafar Khan!"

 

Frankly, anyone who can scare the Mongols that badly has to be respected on some level.. ;)

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"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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General Gotovina

y166052648905593.jpg

 

He frakked up the Yugoslavian army so bad, they are still hurtin today.

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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General Gotovina

y166052648905593.jpg

 

He frakked up the Yugoslavian army so bad, they are still hurtin today.

 

Catering corps generals don't count.

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I would also like to offer Demosthenes the Athenian (d. 413 BC; the general, not the orator). His career saw as many defeats as successes, but considering the circumstances he clearly did what he could and I think it's fair to judge him one of the greatest generals of Antiquity.

 

His first campaign saw him marching unsupported into unknown territory and losing almost all of his men against light-armed enemies. Not a great start, of course, and he cleverly refused to go home after this, aware of the good Athenian democratic habit of executing generals who failed. However, he quickly learned from his mistakes. The following year he won the first real pitched battle of the Peloponnesian War (of Athens vs Sparta), destroying a numerically superior enemy force by anticipating their Spartan general's plan; he then promptly exploited the victory by rushing on and attacking the enemy's approaching reinforcements at night, slaughtering hundreds and effectively knocking one of Sparta's allies out of the war.

 

His next major triumph was the battle on Sphakteria. Long story short, the Athenians had trapped some 400 Spartans on an island, but they didn't know how to proceed; a populist politician boasted he could resolve the issue within 20 days. This politician clearly didn't know a thing about warfare, but he was clever enough to bring Demosthenes along, who indeed resolved the issue in a good deal less than 20 days. Arming all his rowers as light troops, he landed some 8000 of them on the island, but simply refused to engage the Spartans hand-to-hand; he exhausted them with small task forces of missile troops swarming all around and constantly attacking them from behind. Eventually, worn out, thirsty and demoralised, the Spartans surrendered. This was of course unheard of - the Spartans carefully cultivated their myth of invincibility - and it showed all of Greece that even Spartans could be broken. More importantly, it gave the Athenians leverage in the form of nearly 200 irreplacable Spartans as hostages. The Spartans immediately began suing for peace.

 

This established Demosthenes' reputation for getting stuff done, and getting it done in a hurry. While he failed a number of times in the following year, this was mostly due to his campaigns lacking support, or because his choice to retreat was sound in the circumstances. The Athenians did not forget about his abilities. Some years later, when they faced a terrible stalemate in Sicily, they promptly sent Demosthenes to go sort things out.

 

Basically, the Athenians had been laying siege to the mighty city of Syracuse, and a series of pitched battles near the walls had failed to decide the issue. The soldiers were demoralised, the fleet was getting waterlogged and the situation was looking ever better for Syracuse. Demosthenes' arrival with fresh men was like a punch in the gut for the Syracusans. He decided that the only way to win would be a quick, unexpected strike against a key position - heights overlooking the city - which, true to form, he would carry out at night.

 

Unfortunately his army wasn't experienced enough or familiar enough with the terrain to make this work. They were too many, too, and to top it off there were men among the enemy who spoke the same dialect as part of Demosthenes' army, which led to friend and foe getting horribly confused in the darkness. The attack failed miserably.

 

To his credit, Demosthenes then advised that the Athenians should just give up and go home. His attack was a last hope, and with it crushed, there was no point staying. But the other generals didn't agree. The Athenians stayed, and eventually they lost everything - over 150 warships, tens of thousands of skilled rowers, thousands of infantry, everything. When Demosthenes was captured among the last straggling survivors, dying of hunger and thirst, he was immediately executed. The Syracusans knew not to let such a man fight another day.

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I'd have gone for Alcibiades rather than Demosthenes. Not the greatest general ever but one of the most interesting and colourful, certainly. Shame Thucydides died a bit too early to detail much of the stuff he was involved in excluding the Sicily debacle- which was going OK while he was there.

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"Colourful" is probably the nicest word that can be applied to him. "Seven-layer bastard" is closer to the mark. More of a scheming politician than a general though, which is why I chose Demosthenes.

 

Still, I agree, you can't help but admire a guy who was apparently so much of a genius that when he tried something for the first time and wasn't immediately the absolute best at it, people suspected him of failing on purpose.

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Dessek, can you have an avatar please? Your current picture looks like oby's and keeps freaking me out.

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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General Gotovina

y166052648905593.jpg

 

He frakked up the Yugoslavian army so bad, they are still hurtin today.

 

Catering corps generals don't count.

 

 

Well, I was planing on mentioning you, but that would be unfair. No one can match your title of General Faliure.

Edited by TrashMan

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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In the war atrocities category, I would like to add:

 

Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller

(1897-1947)

 

General_F.-W._Mueller.jpg

 

Known as "The Butcher of Crete", Müller was a Nazi general most well known for his occupation of Crete starting in 1942.  Probably the most famous, but certainly not only, of his atrocities was the Holocaust of Viannos, a 3 day guerilla campaign that resulted in the death of some 500 civilians and the burning of nearly 20 villages.  He was tried by the Greek courts in 1946 and executed by firing squad in 1947.

Edited by Keyrock

rowsdower_sig.jpg.0f13980282a9229af0f1609eb6dee060.jpg
I wonder if there is beer on the sun

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That chap who led the Ten Thousand back from the battle of Cunaxa has always piqued my interest, was it Xenophon? Can't quite remember, but the feat supposedly inspired Alexander.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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That chap who led the Ten Thousand back from the battle of Cunaxa has always piqued my interest, was it Xenophon? Can't quite remember, but the feat supposedly inspired Alexander.

 

Was many, but Chirisophus was the general one.  

 

Always thought it was Swan.

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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How about Raja Raja Chola I (another one of those leaders who got 'The Great' added to their name after they died).

 

One of the greatest Tamil Emperor's of India around 900-1000 AD, generally considered one of those all around polymaths who excelled in multiple subjects, but the important ones here was his grasp on strategy and his ability to use land armies and navies in combination, all backed up with political manoeuvres.

 

 


Rajarajan began his career by the conquest of the Chera country. He defeated Chera King Bhaskara Ravivarman, whose fleet he destroyed in the port of Kandalur. He also seized Pandya Amara Bhujanga and captured the port of Vilinam. By his campaign against the Singhalees he annexed northern Ceylon, building a number of stone temple in the Ceylonese capital Polonnaruva, of which one now stands to Shiva. It was at about the 14th year of his reign (AD 998-999) that most of his triumphs were achieved. He conquered the Gangas of Mysore(capital at Talakad), the country of Nolambas (Bellary and Eastern Mysore), Tadigaipadi (the district of Mysore), vengi (southern part of Northern Circars), Coorg (kudamalainadu) and the Pandyas. Having overcome the Cheras and Pandyas Rajarajan assumed the title "Mummudi Cholan". The Western and the Eastern Chalukyas of the Deccan were conquered next. His naval campaigns included victories over Lakswadeep and Maldives which laid the foundation for the later chola imperial naval conquests by his son Rajendra Chola.

 

Even as he expaned his realm as far as Sri Lanka in the south, he built hospitals and improved irrigation to ensure the health and feeding of his subjects and his armies. One of the things that history shows us is that this guy made sure to share the glory with his army and never stinted on looking after his soldiers.

 

By the time he died, his titles included:

 

Abaya Kula Sekaran   -   The one who protects

Azhakiya Cholan   -   Handsome Cholan

Ranamuga Bhimar   -   Bhima (valiant Pandava prince) in the Warfront

Ravikula Maanickam   -   (Gem of the Descendents of Sun)

Raja Sarvakngar(Sarvagnan)   -   Royal Omniscient

Cholendra Simhar   -   (Chola Lion)

Keralanthagar   -   Destroyer of Kerala(chera)

Sanda Parakiramar   -   The famous one who performs valiant deeds in the battlefield

Singalanthagar   -   Destroyer of Sinhalas

Nithavinothar   -   One who does soemthing innovative all the time

Nigarili Cholar   -   The incomparable Chozha

Panditha Cholar   -   The learned Chozha

Pandiya Kulanaasini   -   Destroyer of the Pandiyan race

Mummudi Cholar   -   Chola worn all the three crowns of Chera, Chola and Pandya

Jananathar   -   Peoples King

Jeyamgonda Cholar   -   Victorious Chola

Keerthi Parakiramar   -   The famous one who performs valiant deeds

Chola Narayanar   -   Vaishnavite Chola

Arul Mozhi Varmar (Arumozhivarmar)   -   The one who utters precious words (Arumai + mozhi)

Sivapathasekaran   -   Humble Slave at Lord Siva’s feet

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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General Gotovina

y166052648905593.jpg

 

He frakked up the Yugoslavian army so bad, they are still hurtin today.

 

Catering corps generals don't count.

 

 

Well, I was planing on mentioning you, but that would be unfair. No one can match your title of General Faliure.

 

 

I think it's rude to put me forward and not give some of my stellar achievements in that respect.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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That chap who led the Ten Thousand back from the battle of Cunaxa has always piqued my interest, was it Xenophon? Can't quite remember, but the feat supposedly inspired Alexander.

 

Was many, but Chirisophus was the general one. 

 

The chap who led them was Cheirisophos. The chap who did all the cool tactical stuff was Xenophon. It seems from the story that Cheirisophos was picked as the new leader because he was a Spartan, and the Spartans are the default leaders when things get sticky, but really Xenophon showed more initiative and ended up soon being the joint leader or the de facto leader of the Ten Thousand. On the other hand, we only know about this stuff because Xenophon wrote it down, so he may have overplayed his own part a little bit...

 

It is said that the relative ease with which the Ten Thousand managed to escape the Persian Empire (some 60% survived, which is totally awesome I guess) encouraged later Greeks to believe that the Persians were weak, and that a united Greece could crush them. This is a bit ironic considering the fact that the Persians clearly made no concerted effort to destroy the Ten Thousand. They basically just chased them off into the mountains, to die of cold, hunger, and local tribes. From the Persian point of view this "someone else's problem" approach was extremely effective, because it removed the Greeks from Persian heartlands right away, and caused them to be whittled down by semi-autonomous mountain tribes who fought to protect their homeland and therefore didn't cost the Persians any money.

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We could always throw in mention of this guy..

 

Pyrrhus.JPG

 

Pyrrhus of Epirus: The man who won his battles, but lost his war due to the costly nature of his victories over time.

How many generals actually lead to fresh sayings and new terms used in the language?   The good old pyrrhic victory.

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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Although he did die from a rooftile to the head, which isn't high up there when it comes to glorious deaths

 

Just goes to show, you can't guard against everything.

 

Actually, no it doesn't. Wear a ****ing helmet. At least in this case.

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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