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The General General Thread


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Hm, there's something to be said for Sam Manekshaw. The first Indian Army officer to be promoted to Field Marshal. His career ran through four decades and five wars...

 

Sam_Manekshaw.jpg

 

That, and he's pretty good for quoting:

 

"I wonder whether those of our political masters who have been put in charge of the defence of the country can distinguish a mortar from a motor, a gun from a howitzer, a guerrilla from a gorilla, although a great many resemble the latter.

 

"If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha."

 

 

On being asked what would have happened had he opted for Pakistan at the time of the Partition in 1947, he replied "Then I guess Pakistan would have won (the 1971) war."

 

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"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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I ACCUSE!

 

a general who for me epitomises the vainglorious, cold-hearted megalomaniac who tends to achieve high rank.

 

Mark Clark, inventor of military spin doctors, blatant self-publicist, the man who sacrificed the 36th Texan Division in Italy and the general, in his lust for glory in taking Rome (of no strategic import) threatened to open fire on allied troops and allowed a German division to escape.

 

Of course, he was promoted.

 

 

ClarkAtWalkerGraveLg.jpg

 

Here we see him admiring his work as he polishes his next star.

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Wals already mentioned Clark. Obviously gets a certain reaction from Brits much like Monty- despite being perhaps the most gifted general of all time- gets from Americans.

i dunno. he was clearly vain and elaborated the truth when it suited him. but he wasn't incompetent despite the outcome of market garden. he beat rommel by waiting for 3 '-4 times material superiority. not to memtion he was fighting italians whose hearts werent in it.

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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I'm still amazed no-one has mentioned Alexander the Great yet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_the_Great

 

Guy had anger issues, and a short fuse. Everywhere he went he made priests confirm he was indeed a son of god, or a god himself. Story goes that one of the high priestesses (of one religion or another, I forget) refused to do so, which resulted in him tying her by her hair behind his horse, and galloping in the streets until she relented.

Another such story is the Story of of the Gordian Knot. The knot was supposed to be a test much like the Arthurian sword from the stone. Alexander didn't have the patience to solve it, and cut it with his sword, declaring that it doesn't matter how it was undone, only that it was.

 

A few years into his campaign in Persia, after having already conquered most of it, called all his crippled and wounded veterans, to settle there, He founded several such cities.

 

Lovely fellow was a bit of a drunk. Everywhere he went he ordered temples to Dionysus (God of wine)to be built.

While unconfirmed, story goes that in a drunken fit of pique he decided to burn the palace complex at Persepolis to the ground, leaving them the ruins they are today. This was after it had already been conquered.

Near the end of his life he would have drinking contests with his generals, some of which died from alcohol poisoning as a result.

 

Eventually a mysterious ailment sapped his strength, and killed him in his prime. I believe he died from liver failure due to alcohol abuse.

Alexander the Great had conquered most of the (then) known world when he died, aged 32.

 

That doesn't scratch the surface of course, but most people know who he is.

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Wals already mentioned Clark. Obviously gets a certain reaction from Brits much like Monty- despite being perhaps the most gifted general of all time- gets from Americans.

 

My bad for speed-reading the thread. Clark didn't like Alexander, his (British) boss and was a tool. I am glad Wals agrees.

 

As for Monty, I can imagine why Americans loathe him. He certainly doesn't come across as a sympathetic character and his cautious approach meant he was loved by his men when American generals weren't.

 

Monty: "What's your most important possession?"

 

Tommy Atkins: "My rifle, Sir!"

 

Monty: "No, it's your life. And I'm going to do my best to see you keep it."

 

As a small boy I met veterans of the 8th Army who venerated the man. American generals, new to the game, simply wanted to be done with the war and were happier to pay the blood price. They hadn't had Dunkirk (etc).

 

The best American generals of the war (Bradley springs to mind) were more... human. Patton, for all his genius, was only ever a proper two-star commander, would never be comfortable with the theatre-level of operations.

 

But, in the final analysis, nationality is merely a window on a commonality - Generals are odd. We need them at certain points in our history but dammit I'm glad I could never be one, or even want to be one.

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I'm still amazed no-one has mentioned Alexander the Great yet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_the_Great

 

Guy had anger issues, and a short fuse. Everywhere he went he made priests confirm he was indeed a son of god, or a god himself. Story goes that one of the high priestesses (of one religion or another, I forget) refused to do so, which resulted in him tying her by her hair behind his horse, and galloping in the streets until she relented.

Another such story is the Story of of the Gordian Knot. The knot was supposed to be a test much like the Arthurian sword from the stone. Alexander didn't have the patience to solve it, and cut it with his sword, declaring that it doesn't matter how it was undone, only that it was.

 

A few years into his campaign in Persia, after having already conquered most of it, called all his crippled and wounded veterans, to settle there, He founded several such cities.

 

Lovely fellow was a bit of a drunk. Everywhere he went he ordered temples to Dionysus (God of wine)to be built.

While unconfirmed, story goes that in a drunken fit of pique he decided to burn the palace complex at Persepolis to the ground, leaving them the ruins they are today. This was after it had already been conquered.

Near the end of his life he would have drinking contests with his generals, some of which died from alcohol poisoning as a result.

 

Eventually a mysterious ailment sapped his strength, and killed him in his prime. I believe he died from liver failure due to alcohol abuse.

Alexander the Great had conquered most of the (then) known world when he died, aged 32.

 

That doesn't scratch the surface of course, but most people know who he is.

Success is measured in square mileage, not personality quirks.

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Wals already mentioned Clark. Obviously gets a certain reaction from Brits much like Monty- despite being perhaps the most gifted general of all time- gets from Americans.

 

My bad for speed-reading the thread. Clark didn't like Alexander, his (British) boss and was a tool. I am glad Wals agrees.

 

I was more amused that he'd come up twice and in similar circumstances than anything. He's not really the most well known of generals- perhaps the most fitting punishment.

 

And so far as I am aware the NZ Division thought very highly of Monty which is enough for me.

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Agree with Monte. Ashamed I didn't mention Bradley already. :(

 

I'll let Monte write him up, as I suspect he's better informed than I on this one.

"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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Statistically speaking, Subutai is an interesting contender: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subutai 

 

"He directed more than twenty campaigns in which he conquered thirty-two nations and won sixty-five pitched battles, during which he conquered or overran more territory than any other commander in history.[1]"

 

Essentially, Europe was spared by the fact that Ogedei Khan had died (back in Mongolia), and the Mongol princes were therefore obligated to travel back to elect a new Great Khan. If this death had not occurred, then Subutai's Mongols would have been washing their boots in Lisbon's harbour.

 

 

Closer to modernity:

1) For special achievement in "Organisation and Post War reconstruction" I'd nominate Mustafa Kemal Ataturk for both his backbone and organisational skill (on and off the field) - the man dragged a medieval Ottoman Empire into modernity as a secular Nation-State. Work currently shamefully and steadily undermined.

2) For technical skill in the category: "Campaign, Special Achievement for Front-sized invasions", Alexander Vasilevsky  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_Storm), who planned and prepared Operation August Storm, which in 10 days crushed the Kwantung Army (1.2m+)

"The operation was carried out as a classic double pincer movement over an area the size of the entire Western European theatre of World War II."

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I find it very hard to give much credit to generals like Patton and Montgomery who achieved the feat of winning victory with an army superior in men, fuel, ammunition, replacements, tanks, guns, ships, and military intelligence, and with uncontested air supremacy to boot. By the time of the D-Day landings, the defeat of Nazi Germany was an absolute inevitability. Utterly idiotic plans like Monty's Operation Market Garden and the American bloodbath in the Hürtgenwald only served to make the war drag on longer.

 

 

I'm still amazed no-one has mentioned Alexander the Great yet.
 

 

People ITT appear to be making a conscious effort to avoid the clichés. It's been noted that we're ignoring Zhukov, von Manstein and von Rundstedt. Also no Patton, Rommel, Wellington or Napoleon yet.

 

It's hard to argue with the greatness of Alexander, though. Someone did mention Darius III, his enemy, who gets a bad rep due to his running away from battle more than once, but who actually was known at the time for being in exceptional physical shape and very brave; it's likely that he fled the field knowing that the vastness of his empire would allow him to raise more forces for another round provided he didn't die.

 

That business about Alexander being the son of Amon/Zeus was mostly politics. He only had himself declared the son of God when he got to Egypt, which notably had a tradition of regarding their rightful king as a son of God, and another tradition of revolting against any king who was not regarded as rightful, and another tradition of being notoriously hard to conquer. Egypt was the only part of the Persian empire ever to succesfully break away for any length of time, and had only recently been reconquered by the Persians (proving, incidentally, that the Persian empire was not in decline). Alexander was smart enough to realise that he absolutely had to make sure they were indeed worshipping him as the son of God.

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So, you can't spell most of the time, but you do punctuate exquisitely well. :D

"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 do have some reservations against American General Douglas MacArthur. I must say however that he is the source of many great quotes.

 

"Last, but by no means least, courage - moral courage, the courage of one's convictions, the courage to see things through. The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. It's the age-old struggle - the roar of the crowd on one side and the voice of your conscience on the other."

 

"I promise to keep on living as though I expected to live forever. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul."

 

"The powers in charge keep us in a perpetual state of fear, keep us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant sums demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real."

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"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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I do have some reservations against American General Douglas MacArthur. I must say however that he is the source of many great quotes.

 

"Last, but by no means least, courage - moral courage, the courage of one's convictions, the courage to see things through. The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. It's the age-old struggle - the roar of the crowd on one side and the voice of your conscience on the other."

 

"I promise to keep on living as though I expected to live forever. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul."

 

"The powers in charge keep us in a perpetual state of fear, keep us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant sums demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real."

 

I like the quote about him of "The best and the worst things you hear about him are both true."

Edited by Agiel
Quote
"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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Why so many clowns during US Generals?

 

I've never met a strong man who couldn't laugh at himself.

"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 promise to keep on living as though I expected to live forever. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul."

 

 

That sounds very Kreia   :grin:

 

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.

 

"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.

 

Seems like an interesting chap, any idea where I could read more about him? (Aside from Wikipedia. Duh.)

Edited by aluminiumtrioxid

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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Seems like an interesting chap, any idea where I could read more about him? (Aside from Wikipedia. Duh.)

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demosthenes_%28general%29#References

 

:D

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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Seems like an interesting chap, any idea where I could read more about him? (Aside from Wikipedia. Duh.)

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demosthenes_%28general%29#References

 

:D

 

 

You mean http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcibiades#References :p

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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Ah, ok misread the way those quotes interacted. :p

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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