Who is history's all-time greatest military leader?

Haggis

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Military leader, not civilian leader. Doesn't matter if they were shit at administering their empire, only matters that they were incredible at gaining that empire through war.

Is it inevitably going to come down to Alexander vs Genghis?

Or are other candidates realistic? Napoleon? Hannibal? Julius Caesar? Subutai?

History buffs of CHB - who you got as history's #1 military leader, and why?

:hat
 

SwollenGoat

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alexander beats genghis...........alexander relied less on others and was personally present at most of the battles

I know you excluded 'civilian' but Ill still toss Napoleon out there because he was so much more than simply a brilliant general

hannibal,of course,was every bit as brilliant as alexander,but he had a tougher row of beans to hoe

same could be said of scores of other generals who were equally brilliant but on smaller stages,or in what was essentially defensive war...........

in short,I dont know :conf
 
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Haggis

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alexander beats genghis...........alexander relied less on others and was personally present at most of the battles

I know you excluded 'civilian' but Ill still toss Napoleon out there because he was so much more than simply a brilliant general

hannibal,of course,was every bit as brilliant as alexander,but he had a tougher row of beans to hoe

same could be said of scores of other generals who were equally brilliant but on smaller stages,or in what was essentially defensive war...........

in short,I dont know :conf
Could just as easily say that Alexander was trained from birth to inherit the known world's best army (and then improved it) whereas Genghis grew up in slavery and willed his army (and his nation) into existence by sheer force of his own personality.

Genghis was also personally involved in everything, until his armies were running wild on multiple continents at once.

Genghis also faced tougher opposition, and showed more tactical originality and flexibility. :thumbsup

:hat
 

Deebo

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Show dem balls bro
not even a little bit

he was dead before any important conquests and relied on his generals when alive outside some very early,and possibly fictitious encounters.......
I think Ziyad was the greatest Muslim military leader in terms of what he got accomplished. From slave to soldier to conquering Spain. Took less than 10,000 soldiers into battle against over 100,000. Dismantled the Spanish armies and killed the Spanish King all in one battle. That, right there, is one bad motherfucker.
 

Haggis

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Sulla might be in for a shout in terms of dominating every opposition he faced, (including fellow Romans) and never taking any kind of significant loss. Such a charismatic and dominant military leader that instead of fighting him, an opposition army defected en masse to his side and took up arms for him........ and that happened twice.

:hat
 

SwollenGoat

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Could just as easily say that Alexander was trained from birth to inherit the known world's best army (and then improved it) whereas Genghis grew up in slavery and willed his army (and his nation) into existence by sheer force of his own personality.

Genghis was also personally involved in everything, until his armies were running wild on multiple continents at once.

Genghis also faced tougher opposition, and showed more tactical originality and flexibility. :thumbsup

:hat
nah

I mean,yeah,Alexander was groomed to be what he was.................thats true

Tougher opposition for Genghis?

Nah

Id say its a mixed bag as far as personally being there............Genghis used massive armies that HAD to be controlled with loyalists...........at least after he united the mongols...............Alexander made more with less through personal intervention.............

All things equal,Id pick Alexander ftw in a head to head .........

Hell,Id pick Napoleon over Genghis..........

And a host of NAZI generals,TBH............
 
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Haggis

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nah

I mean,yeah,Alexander was groomed to be what he was.................thats true

Tougher opposition for Genghis?

Nah

Id say its a mixed bag as far as personally being there............Genghis used massive armies that HAD to be controlled with loyalists...........at least after he united the mongols...............Alexander made more with less through personal intervention.............

All things equal,Id pick Alexander ftw in a head to head .........

Hell,Id pick Napoleon over Genghis..........

And a host of NAZI generals,TBH............
Only one foreign general has successfully invaded Russia in the winter. (To my knowledge, anyway.)

And it wasn't Napoleon.......

:hat
 

SwollenGoat

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I think Ziyad was the greatest Muslim military leader in terms of what he got accomplished. From slave to soldier to conquering Spain. Took less than 10,000 soldiers into battle against over 100,000. Dismantled the Spanish armies and killed the Spanish King all in one battle. That, right there, is one bad motherfucker.
while the achievement was impressive one needs to be kinda skeptical of numbers like the claimed 100,000 opposition I think..........LOTS of ancient battles claimed outlandish numbers.................often to 'prove' how great the winners were...........

that said Islam spawned a ton of great generals...............and Id say the victories over the Byzantines were more impressive than those in the west,generally speaking
 

Bachafach^^^

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alexander beats genghis...........alexander relied less on others and was personally present at most of the battles

I know you excluded 'civilian' but Ill still toss Napoleon out there because he was so much more than simply a brilliant general

hannibal,of course,was every bit as brilliant as alexander,but he had a tougher row of beans to hoe

same could be said of scores of other generals who were equally brilliant but on smaller stages,or in what was essentially defensive war...........

in short,I dont know :conf
Devil's advocate time.

People usually subscribe victories to Ghengis Khan that weren't his. A lot like Napoleon getting credit for a lot of things his Marshalls accomplished. Obviously Chinggis and Napoleon were great at finding talent which is 90% of being a great military leader.

But Chinggis didn't conquer Rus(Subotai went on a scouting mission, the Rus didn't actually submit until 1236, almost a decade after Chinggis death), he didn't conquer the Jin(was likely killed during a battle with the Tanguts, so no Chinese kingdom at the time actually fell to Chinggis) and of course didn't conquer the Song, that was his grandson after 30 years of warfare.

Also historically you can argue the stage for the Mongol empire was always set. Their had been massive steppe empires throughout history. It tended to ebb and flow the Mongols weren't even the last they were just the most successful. You had these massive population explosions facilitating mass migrationd that would conquer and terrorize their surrounding neighbors for centuries.

The Jin were nomads, the Khitans(Kara khitai/tanguts) were nomads, the Bulgars, Huns, Cumans, (hell the German people's probably originated from western Eurasia) all establish large steppe empires. So it portends one to say that a great Khan was inevitable due to the societal structure and history of much of Eurasia.

Xiongnu
12029

Goturk khanates
12028

Khitan empire
12027



One big difference between Chinggis and other steppe empires in his being long time successful is diplomacy. The Mongols were essentially a steppe army with all of its centuries of refined combined arms blitzkrieg warfare with the backing of massive state apparatus, starting with the Uyghurs who voluntarily submitting and provided the Mongols with the means for civil administration.
 

Haggis

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russia didn't exist when Genghis' forces invaded that place................

the Rus,BTW,invaded russia :yep
Pffft..... there was no Red Army, sure, but it was still a cunt of a place to attack in the winter...... although now I think about it, Genghis was probably gone by that point.... hmmmm...... :think1

Anyway, there's pros and cons to all of them. Genghis was a much better administrator than Alexander was, but that's irrelevant to the question. Answering "To the strongest" when you're asked on your deathbed who you want to take over for you, isn't exactly the recipe for a stable empire. :lol:

:hat
 

Deebo

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Show dem balls bro
while the achievement was impressive one needs to be kinda skeptical of numbers like the claimed 100,000 opposition I think..........LOTS of ancient battles claimed outlandish numbers.................often to 'prove' how great the winners were...........

that said Islam spawned a ton of great generals...............and Id say the victories over the Byzantines were more impressive than those in the west,generally speaking
I thought as far as the old records go this was pretty fairly counted as both Spain and Persian records stated the 10,000 to 100,000. Especially Spain. Honestly he's only one of the couple Muslim army commanders that we learned anything about in school. They didn't have a lot of them on the curriculum in the '70's.

Also I'd say as far as the Byzantines being conquered is concerned I don't consider it as great of an accomplishment because the Byzantine society was already diminishing and the Turks (was it the Turks?? I can't remember) had a massive, massive army.
 

Duo

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alexander beats genghis...........alexander relied less on others and was personally present at most of the battles

I know you excluded 'civilian' but Ill still toss Napoleon out there because he was so much more than simply a brilliant general

hannibal,of course,was every bit as brilliant as alexander,but he had a tougher row of beans to hoe

same could be said of scores of other generals who were equally brilliant but on smaller stages,or in what was essentially defensive war...........

in short,I dont know :conf
I agree it was Alexander. Before becoming Genghis Khan, Temujin was decisively defeated by Jamukha in 1187 at the Battle of Dahlan Balzut, sending him into a period of virtual silence for eight to ten years, then he lost a rematch in 1203.

The closest Alexander ever came to being defeated was at the Battle of the Hydaspes, but he won that battle against King Porus and annexed Punjab.

For me, that's the difference. Alexander was undefeated and untied in battle, where Genghis Khan has two bad defeats on his record.
 
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Bachafach^^^

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nah

I mean,yeah,Alexander was groomed to be what he was.................thats true

Tougher opposition for Genghis?

Nah

Id say its a mixed bag as far as personally being there............Genghis used massive armies that HAD to be controlled with loyalists...........at least after he united the mongols...............Alexander made more with less through personal intervention.............

All things equal,Id pick Alexander ftw in a head to head .........

Hell,Id pick Napoleon over Genghis..........

And a host of NAZI generals,TBH............
Yeah but Alexanderthe Great is like Donald Trump. Where as Trump got a small loan of a million dollars from his dad, Alexander the Great got a small loan of the greatest army in the world at that time. Was taught by fucking Aristotle and his dad's grizzled as fuck Macedonian barbarian captains who were already planning on invading Persia before Phillip died.

Chinngis was a slave at one point.
 

SwollenGoat

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Devil's advocate time.

People usually subscribe victories to Ghengis Khan that weren't his. A lot like Napoleon getting credit for a lot of things his Marshalls accomplished. Obviously Chinggis and Napoleon were great at finding talent which is 90% of being a great military leader.

But Chinggis didn't conquer Rus(Subotai went on a scouting mission, the Rus didn't actually submit until 1236, almost a decade after Chinggis death), he didn't conquer the Jin(was likely killed during a battle with the Tanguts, so no Chinese kingdom at the time actually fell to Chinggis) and of course didn't conquer the Song, that was his grandson after 30 years of warfare.

Also historically you can argue the stage for the Mongol empire was always set. Their had been massive steppe empires throughout history. It tended to ebb and flow the Mongols weren't even the last they were just the most successful. You had these massive population explosions facilitating mass migrationd that would conquer and terrorize their surrounding neighbors for centuries.

The Jin were nomads, the Khitans(Kara khitai/tanguts) were nomads, the Bulgars, Huns, Cumans, (hell the German people's probably originated from western Eurasia) all establish large steppe empires. So it portends one to say that a great Khan was inevitable due to the societal structure and history of much of Eurasia.

Xiongnu
View attachment 12029

Goturk khanates
View attachment 12028

Khitan empire
View attachment 12027



One big difference between Chinggis and other steppe empires in his being long time successful is diplomacy. The Mongols were essentially a steppe army with all of its centuries of refined combined arms blitzkrieg warfare with the backing of massive state apparatus, starting with the Uyghurs who voluntarily submitting and provided the Mongols with the means for civil administration.
kinda what I been sayin,no?

anyway,as far as pure generals go,a lot has to do with later propaganda and 'victories' ascribed to them won by subordinates and the rest........

for instance,Monty is seen as the best english general of WWII but he wasn't...........a guy like Slim was at least as good...........

Zhukov was seen as the best russian general,but Rokossovsky was almost certainly better...........

the NAZIs had a TON of guys probably better than any allied or russian general............

sorta why I admitted I didnt know,right off the top because so many brilliant guys simply never got the same sort of exposure or they fought on the losing side or whatever.............

Total package though,Im picking Napoleon..............he understood everything,from politics to logistics to fighting itself............
 

SwollenGoat

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I thought as far as the old records go this was pretty fairly counted as both Spain and Persian records stated the 10,000 to 100,000. Especially Spain. Honestly he's only one of the couple Muslim army commanders that we learned anything about in school. They didn't have a lot of them on the curriculum in the '70's.
the logistics alone of maintaining 100,000 men in the field make it unlikely...........Id be surprised if they had half that number tbh.........

I am willing to be convinced by reliable records though..................thing is,reliable records didnt really exist at that point

100,000 warriors in 700 ad would have been a huge chunk of the total population..........



Also I'd say as far as the Byzantines being conquered is concerned I don't consider it as great of an accomplishment because the Byzantine society was already diminishing and the Turks (was it the Turks?? I can't remember) had a massive, massive army.
the turks BEAT the Byzantines,eventually,in the 15th century

Im talking the early wins when islamic armies took control of the middle east and asia minor from a far more prime Byzantine empire..........the 8th century more or less........
 
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Duo

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Jun 14, 2012
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Only one foreign general has successfully invaded Russia in the winter. (To my knowledge, anyway.)

And it wasn't Napoleon.......
Depends on how "successful" is defined. Napoleon took Moscow and held it for six weeks before choosing to withdraw after his pyrrhic tactical victory at Borodino. The Central Powers did not take Moscow before the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, and Hitler failed to take Moscow, but Napoleon indeed took and occupied the Russian capital on September 14, 1812, leaving Moscow on October 19, 1812.
 
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