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Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/2/2016 22:28:13


Gengis Khan
Level 6
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Who would you say is the best Tactician or military leader of their time?
Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, Napoleon?

In terms of theory and relevance to the modern day, I would go with Sun Tzu, even though he was a strategist, and more of a philosopher, (some even claim Sun Tzu never existed), I would say that for me,
he is the best strategist of all time.
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/2/2016 22:30:48


Darth Darth Binks
Level 56
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One of the most unpredictable leaders I know of is Harald Hardrada. Dude lit a bunch of sparrows on fire to burn down a walled-in city.

Alexander the Great never lost a battle, so I guess that says something.
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/2/2016 22:34:12


Genghis 
Level 52
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I'll always be a Hannibal guy.
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/2/2016 22:38:30


Жұқтыру
Level 55
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Napoléon, he really amazes me. France was so bullied, yet he kept on winning and winning. He rarely suffered losses except in «l'aventure égyptienne», and to the end of the war (1812to1815), after his army was fully wrecked in the 1812 War. And even in those last 2 years, he still managed to wreck the foe's armies consistently. then he got sent to Elba. And then, if that wasn't enough, he went back to France with 1,100 soldiers and reconquered France in a few weeks and faced pretty much all of Europe again, and he was eventually defeated by Wellington, though not before he defeated Blücher.

A great deal of his success can be attributed to him introducing the military draft, which no other European country really had the same kind, but still, he was outnumbered all the time, in all the wars, and outgunned, too.

Edited 5/2/2016 22:40:49
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/2/2016 22:45:39


Medium Rare
Level 28
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Having little technology/resource advantage over his many opponents, Frederick II, King of Prussia.

Military tactician and strategist, diplomat, politician and persuader:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_the_Great
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/2/2016 22:47:31

FakeAndRandomKing
Level 25
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The greatest tactician/military leader of all time is Cao Cao when his conquest of Northern China from 189AD to 213AD then he become King of Wei at 216AD then he died in 220AD posthumously as Emperor Wu of Wei by his successor Cao Pi after he abdicate Emperor Xian to end the Han Dynasty

Edited 5/2/2016 22:51:43
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/2/2016 23:13:03


GeneralPE
Level 56
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Alexander is the greatest, then Napoleon. Gustavus, Genghis and Hannibal are the second tier. Than we have guys like Caesar and Frederick. They were good, but good like a skiller in football/soccer - holding the ball too long and almost losing, but then miraculously getting out most of the time. The most underrated are Marlborough, Wellington, Rommel, and Jackson. That last one especially. If he had complete command of Confederate forces instead of Lee from the outset, they would've won.
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/2/2016 23:17:02

[wolf]japan77
Level 56
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I'm gonna have to go with Genghis because He conquered Russia in the winter, something rarely accomplished, and Also successfully conquered Afghanistan, something also difficult to do(Just ask the Americans or the Russians)
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/2/2016 23:30:06


Жұқтыру
Level 55
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Some of these are almost ridiculous, in my thought. Tell me why any of these, other than maybe Alexandros of Macedonia can compete with Napoléon.

Also, I'm really hesitant about adding antique figures, historiography is not very good.
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/2/2016 23:33:24


Major General Smedley Butler
Level 49
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The Mongols conquering Russia isn't really impressive considering Russia was pretty divided and it didn't really extend to even the Urals. They lost to the Egyptians (Mamlukes saved North Africa, don't deny it) while the Vietmanese also defeated them.
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/2/2016 23:41:47


Darth Darth Binks
Level 56
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Xapy, I'm not saying Napoleon is worse than my Harald, but Napoleon didn't smuggle himself into a city in a coffin, dig under a wall, and light birds on fire, to take out Sicily for the Byzantine Empire.
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/2/2016 23:55:30


Darth Grover
Level 50
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Darth Vader. Duh.
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/3/2016 00:32:21


Zephyrum 
Level 60
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To be fair, the irritating and obnoxious Three Kingdoms Fanboy guy actually does have a point.

China had a fair amount of great military leaders at that time.

Xu Shu for one, in his first ever battle, he broke through a formation (The Eight Gates) which had never been defeated before, and was the first men to find a weakness for it.

Zhou Yu set fire to a whole fucking fleet of thousands of ships by using an ancient version of 9/11: fire ships. Also by using the wind to his advantage and an inside-man chaining up all ships (claiming it was for to avoid seasickness; since they were chained, they couldn't escape the fire attack).

Guo Jia captured Guan Yu, a man so legendary in might and knowledge he is still known as "God of War" in China, by hijacking the castle he was protecting. With a small squad consisting of himself, his lord and his guards and a couple more troops, he got inside the castle, jacked a ballista and used it to destroy boulder traps.

Sima Yi also has a record of zero losses since he took charge of tactics (his only recorded defeat was when he was still just a soldier, and it was on the aforementioned battle of Chibi where Zhou Yu set fire to a whole fleet), and he managed to supress unrest in two chinese provinces, strike a coup AND defeat all invading forces very swiftly, all at the same time with only the help of his family.

Zhuge Liang, the widely known "sleeping dragon", also has an impressive military record and managed to hold the falling kingdom of Shu for several years with his intellect. The king was seen a coward and useless by his subjects (look for it, Liu Shan; his reputation is worse than Karl Goldberg's), and he, as the minister, kept the war machine working with little to no resources, defending from their nothern neighbor which had approximately twenty times their population, was more stable and had a lot more income.

And, of course, there is Cao Cao. He wasn't the best guy to take the lead in battles, but he was a damn fine minister and made the economy of the provinces he had control of flourish when everyone's worries was to not die. He also succesfully unified half of China, the second half would later be conquered by Sima Yi's sons and grandsons.

Some personal favorites of mine include Belisarius, whose military campaign, couples with Justinian's ingenious administration, grew to spread the light of the roman glory to Europe once more, for the last time; Domingos Jorge Velho destroyed a long-lasting refugee fortress in Brazil through smallpox infection and without direct conflict; Carl Mannerheim defeated the soviet war machine using only cold, Simo f*cking Hayha and more cold; Gustavus Adolphus turned cold, cold and more cold into a great power.

Edited 5/3/2016 00:35:25
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/3/2016 01:18:10


GeneralPE
Level 56
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I forgot Belisarius and Narses. They were good too.
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/3/2016 01:24:55


Medium Rare
Level 28
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@Жұқтыру

Tell me why any of these, other than maybe Alexandros of Macedonia can compete with Napoléon.

ATG (or, AofM) had huge technological and organizational advantages against most of his adversaries.

Napoleon was tactically (and politically, at least with the Francos) brilliant, so much so that he almost won at Waterloo (guessed wrong on the Prussian support). His legacy includes, though, gigantic strategic (and political, outside France) blunders. Freddy II had none of these drawbacks, and talked/fought his way out of his wars with every possible combatant. The Seven Years War cements this view. Neither Alex nor Bonaparte had to face anything similar. Remember, too, that England was throwing her allegiance around Europe to guarantee strife, which aided Napoleon in many conflicts.

Also, I'm really hesitant about adding antique figures, historiography is not very good.

Agreed.
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/3/2016 01:38:56


Medium Rare
Level 28
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Also, all should refrain from mentioning Chinese leaders. Given the massive advantage in the energy production of Eastern China, via coal, the Shanghai win was inevitable:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Measure_of_Civilization
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/3/2016 02:06:35


Жұқтыру
Level 55
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His legacy includes, though, gigantic strategic (and political, outside France) blunders.


Overambition/cockiness is the only real blunder I can think of, but overambition worked many times, like in Austerlitz.

Politically, he was super-popular, and managed to ally old foes, or bring them under French influence (Helvetia), so that by the time he invaded Russia in 1812, the army was called "L'armée de 12 langues" - the 12 tongue army.

He made the country more free, less oppressive, and this led, unluckily, to a weaker country overall, but I would not call it a politic blunder. It's a bit of a pity that Napoléon did not succeed in uniting Europe.

But even after he was pretty much slain in 1814, the British, Preußisch, and Austrian governments all wanted to sign a fair deal with Napoléon, and were pretty reluctant to invade France (but Russian government insisted on it).

Freddy II had none of these drawbacks, and talked/fought his way out of his wars with every possible combatant.


Frederick II really irks me as a fellow (anti-Jew, womanhater, arrogant and unlikable), but as a commander, he doesn't really have done anything to great except to take Sliesen from Austria, then say ha ha now you have to fight Austria all alone to France. Also, in the Seven Years War, as I understand it, Preußen attacked Sachsen, just as Austria wanted Sliesen back (and also different conflicts all about).

. Remember, too, that England was throwing her allegiance around Europe to guarantee strife, which aided Napoleon in many conflicts.


Every Brit will say different, but I do not think Britain played a big role fighting France. It only really fought at Iberia (taking Madeira for itself for a few years, even, though it wasn't really threatened), and did it really do more than the Spanish and Portuguese, who lived there?

Edited 5/3/2016 02:12:57
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/3/2016 02:38:19


Carlos
Level 58
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Considering only the greatest tactician/military leader (not a great political) IMO was Subutai. Defeated a lot of enemies from east china to central europe, most of them with numerical disadvantage. His armies conquered more territory then any other commander did in history (although if you consider all armies together that were controled indirectly, Genghis Khan conquered more).

Edited 5/3/2016 02:39:46
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/3/2016 02:59:03


Genghis 
Level 52
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Hannibal displayed total military genius.

He crushed an army larger than his own in not 1 encounter, but 3. His Battle of Cannae is second only to Teutoberg when you want to look at s crusting victory of overwhelming proportion.
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/3/2016 03:01:25


Жұқтыру
Level 55
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He crushed an army larger than his own in not 1 encounter, but 3.


Yeah, that's 3/4 Napoléon's many battles, numerically disadvantaged.
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/3/2016 03:28:25


Genghis 
Level 52
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Hannibal had less knowledge of the field, definition less modern weaponry, less chain of command and less supplies.
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/3/2016 03:47:35


Жұқтыру
Level 55
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So did his foes, it was 2000 years before, what d'you think?
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/3/2016 06:17:40


chuck norris
Level 58
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i have to agree with genghis, hannibal took an army, did the unthinkable by crossing the pyrennees and the alps and then defeated huge army after huge army that the romans sent at him. in one part of his campaign the romans had his army trapped so he set fire to the wool of rams and sent them towards the enemy camp to create panic, once all the romans were in a panic his men slaughtered them
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/3/2016 06:20:24


Angry Frog
Level 7
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He may not be the best, but I think it was pretty remarkable that Harold of England did when fighting off two armies twice the size of him; and nearly won.
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/3/2016 15:17:56


GeneralPE
Level 56
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Freddy II had none of these drawbacks, and talked/fought his way out of his wars with every possible combatant.

He often got himself into ludicrous situations, and made many strategic blunders. It was only his tactical genius that got him out of it.

Every Brit will say different, but I do not think Britain played a big role fighting France. It only really fought at Iberia (taking Madeira for itself for a few years, even, though it wasn't really threatened), and did it really do more than the Spanish and Portuguese, who lived there?

I disagree. The naval blockade was the number one reason Napoleon lost. In Iberia, it is true the Spanish guerrillas did more fore the coalition cause, but the Portuguese regulars were less important than the German/British troops. Then there is Waterloo, ofc.

Edited 5/3/2016 15:24:30
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/3/2016 20:43:51


Жұқтыру
Level 55
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It did take a bigger role in the last few years, in the Low countries, but naval blockade? What supplies did France need that it needed that was outside its influence?
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/3/2016 21:51:01


Medium Rare
Level 28
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He often got himself into ludicrous situations, and made many strategic blunders. It was only his tactical genius that got him out of it.

Because his strategy was constantly shifting in response to the chaos, he did often find himself in ludicrous positions, positions few else in history could have resolved. He was aided, of course, by fighting on inside lines, so he could shift things quickly. The final judgment though, might be a look at the map 100 years later...

The naval blockade was the number one reason Napoleon lost.

Agreed. It left an imbalance-of-power, like London wanted. And after Waterloo? Same thing.

Edited 5/3/2016 21:55:13
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/3/2016 22:04:10


Medium Rare
Level 28
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Who would you say is the best Tactician or military leader of their time?

I suppose "military leader" could be taken as 'commander of a military force,' or as 'commander/leader.' Many men have gone on impressive conquering sprees. But you have to hooold it...
Greatest Tactician/military leader of all time?: 5/3/2016 22:04:47


Fleecemaster 
Level 59
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Sun Tzu
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