Is Zhuge Liang not worthy of being mentioned?

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Genghis Khan is only the #7? The guy who is the reigning Civilizations Wrecked, Genetic Material Spread, and Land Wars in Asia Won champion?

Bullshit on the nr 10 for one thing. Patton was a disgrace who beat his own soldiers, and there's no real sign of him being a particularly good strategist in any way. If Patton was in a another army, his second would've (or by the rules, should've anyway) relieved him from command for conduct unbecoming of an officer.

All he did was being given a fuckton of tanks and soldiers, against the weakest front the Germans had in France, and unsurprising, his soldiers broke through.

For one example, Bernard Montgomery commanded more turning points in the Second World War (actually, Patton never commanded and turning point in the war) and seemed to do so with a lot more skill. For instance he realised that army, navy and airforce should fight in unison, and not as separate forces who do not cooperate untill a supreme commanders takes the effort to direct them to do so.

For instance while Patton was having an easy run with a heavy numeric advantage, in the meantime the British were fighting a terrible battle on the northern front in Normandy around Caen, under command of Montgomery, whose concious point was to draw as many German armoured divisions as he could. If those divisions had been free to be deployed elsewhere, likely Patton's breakout would've failed or get cut off. But because the British were fighting most of the panzer divisions, the Americans managed to break through the front.

Kahunaburger:
Genghis Khan is only the #7? The guy who is the reigning Civilizations Wrecked, Genetic Material Spread, and Land Wars in Asia Won champion?

Charlemagne is a long-standing contender (if not holder) for that... 'cos Jochi doesn't count!

Also, where is Civilis, the Batavian uprising commander? 7.000-10.000 Batavians vs 40.000+ Romans, the best army at the time, in a time where the tactics of other peoples generally consisted of screaming loudly, saying attack and waiting what would come out....

And Civilis won, destroying two entire legions and besieging the other two, and even had the winner of the roman civil war declare his intent to let Civilis take the Netherlands and most of western/northern Germany and declare it an independant state.

How many people can say 'I took on the Roman empire before its decline with a much smaller force, and I beat them for years before I had them declare me king'? Yeah, after that he messed up and he kept besieging Roman cities, so they sent some 17 legions after him (they actually took about every Roman soldier of the field army in all of western Europe for that, against one tribe of a population less than 35.000) and he had to surrender, but still, as military command goes, that's brutal.

Speaking of Romans.. Julius Caesar. The way he won battles by eroding his main battle line, spreading his soldiers out, wrecking the enemy cavalry with his auxiliaries taken from the main line and smashing the enemy battle line with his own cavalry, all undetected untill it was happening, is still the stuff of legend.

And his siege of Alesia. Better trained soldiers or not, the Gauls arrayed some serious power against him, and he won.

BlackSaint09:
Greetings my fellow escapists.
...i came across an article that was called "Top Ten Military leaders".
The list went as follows:
10:George Patton
09:Jeanne D'Arc(Forgive me if i misspelled it)
08:Attila
07:Genghis Khan
06:William the Conqueror
05:Georgi Zukov
04:Saladin
03:Hannibal
02:Alexander the Great
01:Napoleon Bonaparte

Should Zhuge Liang be on this list by definition? And if so are these people greater strategists than him?

in answer to OP's question: YES!!!!! the man may not have been king of Shu, but he personally planned and executed half of Shu's campaigns. and he wrote "mastering the art of war"

my two cents worth: (oh, BTW, i am far more a MILITARY gamer than a Video gamer, so, hear ye, hear ye. why not, right? don't take this as evil flames, btw, i'm just saying what i know:)

My list:
01:Genghis Khan
conquered the middle east, central and southern asia, india, and eastern europe with what amounted to a bunch of cattle-rustlers. the man was boss.

02:Alexander the Great
like a space marine primarch, took his trained phalanxes and beat up a large portion of the classic world...though if this earns 2 can be debated

03:Nguyen Giap
despite great technological and economic differences, defeated France, embarassed the USA, and ensured Communist victory despite horrid losses. used media in war to great effect. plus, the man was humble and preferred no credit. Bonus for cool dude.

04:Zhuge Liang
we should know...

05:Napoleon Bonaparte
see Alexander's comment, but call it europe and egypt instead...plus, general Bagration and Wellington may have a thing to say about napoleon's quality

06: William Tecumseh Sherman
essentially invented total warfare and put a big stamp in how to conduct modern war....

07:Saladin
like Genghis, but did less. he only rounded up the arab nations, then held off waves of space marines...ahem, i mean templars.

08: Gutsavus Apolphus (my favorite, but still on the bottom)
when all other protestants had failed, he single handedly took on the catholic confederation. literally the Theo Roosevelt of Sweden. died heroically in a winning battle

09:Leonidas of Sparta
Thermopylae. and i say this BEFORE i saw 300

10:George Patton
despite his loud mouth and asinine commentary, he did take a newborn US Army and make it a winning force.

honorable mention: Scipio Africanus: he took what was to become the roman legions and whooped Hannibal's ass with it.

why not:
09:Jeanne D'Arc(Forgive me if i misspelled it)
i agree, she had charisma on her side, and motivation, but not much else. she had poor political support and most of her sucess was found in her offcier corps
08:Attila
he was threatening, but it took more than Attila to sack Rome.
05:Georgi Zukov
PLEASE!!! the man was a number cruncher who played human wave games.
03:Hannibal
he was just ballsy, like Patton. Scipio Africanus did for him.

sorry if my answers were short, my post is already long

EDIT: should read entire thread...you guys have some serious points there, especially crazy ol' Monty..he deserved better credit.

karchevs lawyer:
06: William Tecumseh Sherman
essentially invented total warfare and put a big stamp in how to conduct modern war...

Ooooo, that's a toughie there... I'm inclined not to credit any of the ACW commanders for anything since I view attrition warfare and total warfare with a great deal of... nnnnnn... contempt, for lack of a better way of putting it. No disrespect, because having said that, he was good at what he did and with what he had (which wasn't much for most of the early stages of the war) and with the war progressing as it had been, he was rather compelled to fight in that way.

Anyway, I come from the Prussian school of militaristics! *arrogant sniff* =P

And when you contrast the American Civil War with the Wars of German Unification, which occurred at more or less the same time, the differences are quite stark, both in the way the officers are trained and the mentality of the command structure, which impacts on the dynamic of a battle, which at this time were s'damned large that they became more operational actions due to having actions across a front typically more than twenty kilometres wide (can't deploy quarter of a million-plus men, cavalry and artillery otherwise). Go Koeniggraetz and Sedan!

Have been a raging von Moltke the Elder fanboy for a while now... ¬_¬

BlackSaint09:
Greetings my fellow escapists.
So there is this local History magazine here in Estonia where i live that has many many wonderful articles regarding history in it. However when browsing through this months edition of said article i came across an article that was called "Top Ten Military leaders".
The list went as follows:
10:George Patton
09:Jeanne D'Arc(Forgive me if i misspelled it)
08:Attila
07:Genghis Khan
06:William the Conqueror
05:Georgi Zukov
04:Saladin
03:Hannibal
02:Alexander the Great
01:Napoleon Bonaparte

Now please forgive the mistakes in the names however they have been translated from my native language into english.
Now. What i thought is this. If i recall correctly then Zhuge Liang isn't a military leader rather a strategist. However i must admit i do not know much about the Three kingdoms era other than what i read off of wikipedia and Dynasty Warriors.
So i guess the questions are as follows. Should Zhuge Liang be on this list by definition? And if so are these people greater strategists than him?

You make a valid point Zhuge Liang or even Sima Yi should have been mentioned in the top military minds but this artical has forgotten the greatest military leader of all Sun Tzu, like he should be mentioned above all of those people he should be the top out of all of them, he is the one who wrote the book on war strategy and how to be a war leader.

SckizoBoy:
snip

At least they're better than Zapp Brannigan.

Those poor killbots.

RaikuFA:
At least they're better than Zapp Brannigan.

Those poor killbots.

Haig would disagree... Zapp Brannigan's Big Book of War was his bedtime reading... -_-

SckizoBoy:

As much as I admire Hannibal, he was a terrible strategist and, on close inspection, supremely unwilling to take risks

Just a note on this, i'd say marching over the alps is a pretty bug risk.
Also i remember seeing a documentary on TV that said that Hannibal lost support (didint get reinforcements and such) from the leaders in Carthage adn that it was major reason he failed in italy. Not really a reliable source so i wont take it as fact, but if so his situation might have been that of Rommel, losing due to attrition.

karchevs lawyer:
5:Georgi Zukov
PLEASE!!! the man was a number cruncher who played human wave games.

He also figured out that his army of fresh conscripts with lightly armoured tanks was much better off rushing in and over the German army than trying to slug it out at range with a vastly superior force.

Zhukov figured out you could boost units of conscripts by assigning them a few veterans. Quite a feat in an army that tried to win by shoving a pile of their own corpses over enemy positions.

His operations against the Japanese army, pretty much undefeated at the time, were also a huge succes, in which Zhukov invented his own little blitzkrieg before the Germans demonstrated to the rest of the world how that worked.

While the soviets definately overworshipped him, Zhukov is still a brilliant military commander, especially considering the extremely poor quality of soviet commanders in general.

Blablahb:

While the soviets definately overworshipped him, Zhukov is still a brilliant military commander, especially considering the extremely poor quality of soviet commanders in general.

Funnily enough, I recently learned why the Soviet generals in World War 2 were below average. Stalin's old generals had once taken their forces out on manoeuvres without his permission, so he had them all shot.

Stalin was a douche.

SckizoBoy:

And I don't think Julius Caesar ever fought the Celts, the Gauls, definitely, and '100000' is hardly the highest estimate of how many of them were killed in combat (Plutarch... perennial propaganda meister, reported a million deaths and another million enslaved). The modern accepted figure of barbarian combat effectives during the Gallic Wars was approx a quarter of a million (while the Romans fielded about half that number).

Gaius Julius Ceasar did fight the celts. The Gauls are the name for the Celts in what is now France. Celtic culture spread from Ireland to France, there was even a Celtic kingdom in modern turkey. Celt is very lose term, largely defined by artefacts and speaking a similar language. Its got be lose because only because they did not leave any written records. If you only define Celt as the pre Roman culture living in what's now the UK and Ireland, Ceaser launched 2 expeditions into the SE of England. These more of the equivalent of airstrikes and regime change, rather than a real attempt to add Britain to the empire. Ceaser also achieved decisive victories over Roman armies led by rival Roman generals. The level of fame that he achieved is such that his versions of his name, in the local language, was still be used as the title of rulers in the 20th century. I think last to go was the Tsar of Bulgaria in 1946, 1998 years after Gaius Julius Ceasar death. I believe the last holder of the title is still alive and entered Bulgarian politics.

I don't know who Zhuge Liang is, but where the fuck is Rommel? The man was a tactical genius and could easily have led the nazis to a victory in WWII if it weren't for his "accident".

Trucken:
I don't know who Zhuge Liang is, but where the fuck is Rommel? The man was a tactical genius and could easily have led the nazis to a victory in WWII if it weren't for his "accident".

By the time Rommel died Germany had already lost the war. Army group central had been crushed in operation Bagration and the western Allies were in Paris. Rommel has a good reputation largely because his battles took place in the France and North Africa. He fought a clean war, the desert war was free of civilians and Germans troops did not take part in massacres there. What war crimes there were in North Africa the Italians did. The reality is that Rommel was one of number of gifted German generals but the others fought in the east and carried out orders regarding the murder of Jews. Manstein was probably the best German general of the war but his commands were solely in the east and thus comprised. It was Manstiens plan that defeated France in 1940.

Kahunaburger:
Genghis Khan is only the #7? The guy who is the reigning Civilizations Wrecked, Genetic Material Spread, and Land Wars in Asia Won champion?

Other people appear to have achieved similar kinds of genetic success. Irish geneticists have discovered a marker carried by one in five men from northwestern Ireland. They also noticed something else these men shared in common: their last names.

People with certain Irish surnames, such as O'Neil, have long been thought to have descended from a dynasty of Irish kings known as Uí Néill. And the Uí Néill, founded by a fifth-century warrior known as Niall. Recent genetic studies suggest that Niall bequeathed his Y chromosome to over 2 million Irish men alive today.

The Inca king Atahualpa kept 1500 women in his harem. The Babylonian king Hammurabi had thousands of slave "wives" at his command. The Aztec ruler Montezuma had 4,000 concubines. The Indian emperor Udayama preserved sixteen thousand consorts in apartments ringed by fire. The Chinese emperor Fei-ti had ten thousand. Each of these people produced scores of offspring.

But in the full sweep of human history, being the ancestor of a few million men is not much to brag about. After all, every human male alive today descended from a single man who lived in Africa some 230,000 years ago, just about the time our species Homo sapiens was emerging.

Asclepion:

Kahunaburger:
Genghis Khan is only the #7? The guy who is the reigning Civilizations Wrecked, Genetic Material Spread, and Land Wars in Asia Won champion?

Other people appear to have achieved similar kinds of genetic success. Irish geneticists have discovered a marker carried by one in five men from northwestern Ireland. They also noticed something else these men shared in common: their last names.

People with certain Irish surnames, such as O'Neil, have long been thought to have descended from a dynasty of Irish kings known as Uí Néill. And the Uí Néill, founded by a fifth-century warrior known as Niall. Recent genetic studies suggest that Niall bequeathed his Y chromosome to over 2 million Irish men alive today.

The Inca king Atahualpa kept 1500 women in his harem. The Babylonian king Hammurabi had thousands of slave "wives" at his command. The Aztec ruler Montezuma had 4,000 concubines. The Indian emperor Udayama preserved sixteen thousand consorts in apartments ringed by fire. The Chinese emperor Fei-ti had ten thousand. Each of these people produced scores of offspring.

But in the full sweep of human history, being the ancestor of a few million men is not much to brag about. After all, every human male alive today descended from a single man who lived in Africa some 230,000 years ago, just about the time our species Homo sapiens was emerging.

Yeah, but how many of those guys screwed up Asia and parts of Europe so thoroughly that we're typing this in English instead of in Chinese or Arabic?

No Rommel? No Caesar(s)?

They have Bonaparte as the top choice? At least they mentioned Zhukov he gets overlooked on these kind of lists. But is he even worthy of a top 10 list? Probably not.

To answer your question, they probably don't include Zhuge Liang mainly because that this isn't the best of lists.

To be honest, I don't think I like these lists. What was great from the 1100's is different than what was great in the 1940's.

direkiller:

Lionsfan:

I'll say something nice now before you think I'm a total jerk, but your English is fine.

Now to the vitriol:

Why in fuck's name is Patton on that list?! The man was a fucking ponce who's only defining attribute was his big mouth. I'll conceded that while his post-war conduct was actually admirable (even if not at the time), he had virtually no clue about logistics, his strategic judgment was lacking to be almost non-existent and didn't seem to understand the word 'cooperation'. He's just Montgomery, replacing the caution with profane bombacity! However, I'll be damned before I start dismissing his skill as a tactician, but even then, were he to be in the Germans' position, I doubt he would've fared half as well. Look at the numbers, he always won from a numerical, aerial and technological advantage.

(Sniped but yes I did read it)

Patton's on there because they had to work an American in there somehow and he happens to have a movie not dealing with the Civil war, looked bad in a movie, made an ass of himself on tv(MacArthur), and/or a complete unknown to most Americans(Pershing).

but your right Patton's moments were rather sparse:
He had one gold moment(the march to Bastogne)
and a few silver moments (Julio Cárdenas,Saint-Mihiel)

Think you misquoted me on accident, when you meant to quote SckizoBoy's huge post here

Considering we conquered two fifths of the world surprised there are no British generals. I mean Wellington never lost a battle and defeated Napoleon while Robert Clive aka Clive of India conquered huge swathes of India. Lastly John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (an ancestor of Winston Churchill) essentially went around Europe kicking ass and is considered the greatest British commander ever. Surely Patton and Joan of Arc can't hold a match to these and many other men's achievements.

Everyone! Stay away from Lu Bu!

That is my only contribution to this

I think the list should be called "Top Ten Military leaders that the average people have heard of that are not, any anyway, connected to the Nazis"

That said, I would nominate Flavius Belisarius to the list. He could produce amazing victories with small armies. See the battles of Dara, Ad Decimum, and the capture of Ravenna in 540.

BlackSaint09:
Should Zhuge Liang be on this list by definition? And if so are these people greater strategists than him?

I'm very glad and surprised that you have heard of Zhuge Liang, and admires him this much. Also, your English is pretty good. However, I disagree with you. He is not a great military commander. Let me explain very briefly:

Basically Liang is a great politician and administrator, not a great general or military commander. It is very important to note that he was not a commander before Liu Bei's death (hereafter refereed to as LB), and even after LB died he was one of two people LB left the Shu kingdom to (the other is Li Yan), so although he is now the chief military commander.

In terms of military achievements, he actually lost the vast majority of the battles he was commanding, i.e. all six Northern expeditions + five of the six southern expeditions. He was not a significant commander at 赤壁之戰 ("red cliffs", Wei invasion of Wu after uniting Northern China), which was commanded by ZhouYu. Also he did not have enough influence over LB to avert the disaster of 猇亭之戰 (Shu invasion of Wu after GuanYu's death), which was one of the three major battles of the era. He is also characteristic for being an extremely cautious commander, which is why "empty city" worked for him.

In history, he had two great achievements, neither are military:

1) Predicting the split of China into three kingdoms, and the basis for each kingdom's existence.

2) Aiding Liu Bei's son and administrating the kingdom and staying loyal to the Liu dynasty after the death of Liu Bei. Pursuing the dream of uniting China, which was the dream of his dead master (LB). This contrasts sharply with Li Yan's faction after LB's death, who were not loyal to LB. Li Yan probably was the majority faction within Shu after LB's death.

Although I do agree that there should be one or two Chinese military commanders on that list. Some of the great military commanders that comes to mind are:

1) Xie Xuan (343-388CE) -- He changed a few hundred years of Chinese history by recruiting, organizing and training 北府兵 "Bei Fu Bin", which was a very significant semi independent military organisation within China even into the reign of the Tang dynasty ~600CE. He defeated an 800,000 men invasion with a force of 80,000, without losses. Then when the news of the victory was brought to him, he was playing Go, and told the messenger to wait outside and not disturb him. After the game, he says, "yes, of course I knew we would win." This is in contrast to all of the other nobles preparing to abandon the capital.

2) Yu Qian (1398-1457CE) -- He also changed a few hundred years of Chinese history by defeating the Mongols with a much inferior force. Basically, after the military defeat at 土木堡 (TuMu), the Emperor has been captured by the Mongols, and Ming China had no military forces left to counter the Mongols, who will arrive within the month. He organised a military force from the local population and defeated the Mongols at the gates of Beijing, and thereby saving the Ming dynasty.

3) Guo Zi Yi (697-781CE) -- He saved the Tang dynasty at its darkest hour, but unlike the two people above, failed to change the course of history.

I researched a bit into Chinese history, and discovered since the unification of China in 221BCE, for two thirds of the time China was united, for the other one third of the time (total of about 700 years) China was divided. Without the military genius of the three people mentioned above, China would have been divided for a lot longer, and perhaps the definition of China as a nation would be different from what it is today. These people are simply amazing.

SckizoBoy:
snip

um...are you a history teacher or something?

On a side note, if you think about the proportion of people who should make up that top ten list, I think the break up should be something like this:

3 Romans (Because without a few military geniuses you just don't get an empire that stretches across three continents and lasts 2000 years [including Byzantine, because the term Byzantine was a 19th century invention, and what we know as Byzantine empire was really the Roman empire])

2 European (Because unlike China and America, Europe was a divided mess for ~1500 years, so there had to be more military genius out of all the warfare)

2 Middle East or Indian (Long recorded history, divided territories, however they seemed to have produced more mathematicians, poets, and philosophers than military men. It's a different culture to Rome/Europe)

1 Chinese (Long recorded history, but for the most part united. Also in China, to get into the government, you must pass civil service exams [true even today]. So all famous Chinese military commanders are actually scholars and only concerned with the military as a part time interest.)

1 North or South American (Because America continent has such a short recorded history)

1 Flexible

Based on that, my top ten would be:

[Roman] Scipio Africanus (Saved Roman Republic. Changed a few hundred years of history by destroying Carthage)

[Roman] Julius Caesar (Destroyed Roman Republic. Changed a few hundred years of history.)

[Roman] Constantine the Great (Saved the Roman Empire, which lasted for another 1000 years thanks to him. Changed world history by making Europe Catholic)

[European] Napoleon Bonaparte (United Europe. Changed a couple of hundred years of history, and heavily influenced European government and legal systems)

[European] Alfred von Schlieffen (Creator of the Schlieffen plan, which is the plan used by Germany in both first and second world wars, so he changed history also)

[Indian] Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (His concept of non-violence is simply incredible, and I hope this idea makes him the man who is and will be changing world history long into the future.)

[Middle East] Cyrus the Great (United Persia, founding an empire that changed history for a few hundred years, and defines Persian identity)

[Chinese] Yu Qian (Saved China from Mongol invasion. Changed a few hundred years of Chinese history by continuing the reign of the Ming dynasty.)

[American] George Washington (Founder of USA. Changed history to this day by overseeing the writing of the American constitution.)

[Flexible] Genghis Khan (This guy is right up there with a major natural disaster that causes species extinction, so he needs no more explanation)

As you can see from the above list, just being a military genius is not enough, winning a few battles is not enough, winning a war or two is not enough, to make it on the list, you have to have changed world history for a few hundred years with your military abilities.

To be fair 9 doesn't even belong there, she was banner bearer, not a general, and Wellesley was far better then Napoleon, (battle of Assaye anyone?)

I'd argue that Sima Yi deserves the to be on that list over Zhuge Liang, if not for his battlefield accomplishments then certainly the stuff he did off the battlefield, like I dunno, corrupt an entire dynasty and over several decades take every piece of power they have.

OhJohnNo:
To be honest, Genghis Khan's famed general Tsubodai/Subotai/Whatever deserves the top spot.

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

thanks. if that list is all true, then he has an absolutely stunning record that's impossible to beat in this relatively peaceful age. fuck patton.

Genghis Khan/Subutai should be on top; largest contiguous empire in the world all conquered in the span of a single life should be worth a hell of a lot. The lack of Rommel on the list is pretty damn surprising.

My personal dark horse: Czech general Jan Zizka, who fought Crusaders on behalf of the Hussites, get a nod. His status in history is pretty minor compared to most everyone else on the list, but god damn he just would not go down.

They also left out Tamerlane, who after a tax revolt in one of his cities killed all 70,000 of it's inhabitants including woman and children and had their skulls piled up in a pyramid and had their fields sewn with salt.

cahtush:
Just a note on this, i'd say marching over the alps is a pretty bug risk.
Also i remember seeing a documentary on TV that said that Hannibal lost support (didint get reinforcements and such) from the leaders in Carthage adn that it was major reason he failed in italy. Not really a reliable source so i wont take it as fact, but if so his situation might have been that of Rommel, losing due to attrition.

A derp moment if I've ever had them. What I meant is that once he entered Cis-alpine Gaul, nothing he did seemed planned except at a tactical level and when he did reach Capua and advanced then into Magna Graecia, he did nothing to risk the numerical integrity of the African core of his army (again except tactically because that was what he knew). However, he was cursed as much by politics as any good commander since the Conservative party back home (lead by... Hanno... I keep getting confused by the homogeneity of Carthaginian names, damnit...) refused him funds and levies, so it was all up to his brothers and Gisco to do it for him.

However, I credit Scipio for overcoming this in rather flamboyant style. After Cannae, the survivors were all exiled to Sicily for the remainder of the war. Roughly eight thousand, and this was all he was given to prepare an invasion with. The Sicilians had a 'duty' to Rome but weren't particularly enamoured of it, and yet he managed to raise a corps of cavalry effectively for free ("Noble sons, you're coming with me! No? Well, you're exempt if you pay for your replacement, his training and equipment!"). He tested this out on three hundred in Messana, before applying it to the entire island.

albino boo:
Gaius Julius Ceasar did fight the celts. The Gauls are the name for the Celts in what is now France. Celtic culture spread from Ireland to France, there was even a Celtic kingdom in modern turkey. Celt is very lose term, largely defined by artefacts and speaking a similar language. Its got be lose because only because they did not leave any written records. If you only define Celt as the pre Roman culture living in what's now the UK and Ireland, Ceaser launched 2 expeditions into the SE of England. These more of the equivalent of airstrikes and regime change, rather than a real attempt to add Britain to the empire. Ceaser also achieved decisive victories over Roman armies led by rival Roman generals. The level of fame that he achieved is such that his versions of his name, in the local language, was still be used as the title of rulers in the 20th century. I think last to go was the Tsar of Bulgaria in 1946, 1998 years after Gaius Julius Ceasar death. I believe the last holder of the title is still alive and entered Bulgarian politics.

I should've seen that coming... ¬_¬ all I think of when someone mentions ancient France is Trans-alpine Gaul and little else. Yes, the Celtic influence was quite diverse, and I think the Turkish tribe you're referring to are the Galatians. I was pondering the Illyrians, thanks to that myth of the 'barbarian sons' Celtus, Illyrius and Galas...

Still, for someone who loves this kind of history, I know surprisingly little of Caesar's British expeditions... *sigh* here goes for book hunting.

And while Bulgaria was the was the last to have a titular namesake of him, every language group of Europe, north Africa and the middle east translate the word 'emperor' to some variation of 'Caesar'. Only the Romance languages and English does the etymology come from 'imperator'. I find it amusing, if nothing else (Augustus and all that).

goodman528:
[Roman] Scipio Africanus (Saved Roman Republic. Changed a few hundred years of history by destroying Carthage)

[Roman] Julius Caesar (Destroyed Roman Republic. Changed a few hundred years of history.)

Scipio - the man with whose death spelled the rise of the Roman Republic.

Caesar - the man with whose death spelled the fall of the Roman Republic.

Never fails to amuse...

[European] Alfred von Schlieffen (Creator of the Schlieffen plan, which is the plan used by Germany in both first and second world wars, so he changed history also)

Not necessarily... ultimately the Schlieffen Plan failed because the Germans were no longer as flexible as they were forty years previously to WWI, and it was adapted for use in WWII as a deterrent to Hitler for invading France. The Manstein Plan was less a rethink, not even an overhaul but an entirely different plan altogether. With your reasoning, I'd put Guderian, for revolutionising the use of tanks and its use in manoeuvre warfare. *shrug*

As you can see from the above list, just being a military genius is not enough, winning a few battles is not enough, winning a war or two is not enough, to make it on the list, you have to have changed world history for a few hundred years with your military abilities.

Fair points, but there are too many factors that contribute to the inherent impact of an individual as a military leader and that includes political context during which conflict occurred, the military norms and mores of the era, degree to which a conflict can change political boundaries in terms of both endurance and distance, general mentality of the culture from which the military leader is drawn and most importantly of all: political influence wielded. It makes comparisons virtually pointless because in nearly all cases, these various aspects are markedly different. You are thus split among three decidedly different beasts: the soldier-king (Genghis Khan, Frederick the Great and their ilk); the opportunists (Joan of Arc from the original list, Prince Eugene of Savoy etc.); and the career soldiers (John Churchill, von Moltke the Elder and so on). Thus, their ability to win battles and wars for their nations is not in question, but what is in question is their ability to act freely from the decisions and interference of whom they rule and whom rule them.

Leaving aside memory, should the only way to accord merit to a military leader on the grounds of historical staying power of his/her actions, then even your list has undeserving people on it (most notably Schlieffen) while some are missing: Peter the Great (while not militarily particularly good, he founded the Russian Empire, largest contiguous land empire second only to the Mongol Empire, and the spread of Russian culture); Alexander the Great (pan-Hellenism, the fall of the Archaemenid Empire etc.); Fatih Sultan Mehmet (relocated the Ottoman capital to Istanbul upon its fall 1453, initiated Ottoman expansion into Europe and they ended up knocking on the gates of Vienna on a few occasions, the first time within 32 years and a lot of Turkish culture remains in the Balkans); & Bertrand de Guesclin (largely responsible for the defeat of the English in the middle phase of the Hundred Years War, which doomed England ultimately, thanks to population differences, without him European politics could've been oh so different with a united English/French throne at first, then Spain/German princes/HRE/anyone close enough with sufficient leering soldiers jumping on the opportunity to expand with the inevitable civil war).

Also, no disrespect but how did Napoleon 'unite Europe' (apart from unite against him, because a fair proportion of France hated his guts) since his only appreciable allies were the Polish, Swiss and some southern Germans.

Volf:
um...are you a history teacher or something?

Nope, just love the subject...

goodman528:
I researched a bit into Chinese history, and discovered since the unification of China in 221BCE, for two thirds of the time China was united, for the other one third of the time (total of about 700 years) China was divided. Without the military genius of the three people mentioned above, China would have been divided for a lot longer, and perhaps the definition of China as a nation would be different from what it is today. These people are simply amazing.

I really should look this stuff up. The only problem I have is with the veracity of the primary sources, though I guess in general, they can't really make it up, but they can (and I know they did) inflate a lot of figures, overstated a lot of actions and placed credit where it didn't belong. One of the reasons I've never been that into Chinese history (despite being on) is because they, more than almost every other culture with a dense written record, were prone to the whole 'the victor writes the story' behaviour. I guess this is true of most (Plutarch... I so want to slap you), but at least with other ancient histories, there have always been several versions or they were written by those who had no vested interest in its outcome.

goodman528:
On a side note, if you think about the proportion of people who should make up that top ten list, I think the break up should be something like this:

3 Romans (Because without a few military geniuses you just don't get an empire that stretches across three continents and lasts 2000 years [including Byzantine, because the term Byzantine was a 19th century invention, and what we know as Byzantine empire was really the Roman empire])

2 European (Because unlike China and America, Europe was a divided mess for ~1500 years, so there had to be more military genius out of all the warfare)

2 Middle East or Indian (Long recorded history, divided territories, however they seemed to have produced more mathematicians, poets, and philosophers than military men. It's a different culture to Rome/Europe)

1 Chinese (Long recorded history, but for the most part united. Also in China, to get into the government, you must pass civil service exams [true even today]. So all famous Chinese military commanders are actually scholars and only concerned with the military as a part time interest.)

1 North or South American (Because America continent has such a short recorded history)

1 Flexible

Based on that, my top ten would be:

[Roman] Scipio Africanus (Saved Roman Republic. Changed a few hundred years of history by destroying Carthage)

[Roman] Julius Caesar (Destroyed Roman Republic. Changed a few hundred years of history.)

[Roman] Constantine the Great (Saved the Roman Empire, which lasted for another 1000 years thanks to him. Changed world history by making Europe Catholic)

[European] Napoleon Bonaparte (United Europe. Changed a couple of hundred years of history, and heavily influenced European government and legal systems)

[European] Alfred von Schlieffen (Creator of the Schlieffen plan, which is the plan used by Germany in both first and second world wars, so he changed history also)

[Indian] Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (His concept of non-violence is simply incredible, and I hope this idea makes him the man who is and will be changing world history long into the future.)

[Middle East] Cyrus the Great (United Persia, founding an empire that changed history for a few hundred years, and defines Persian identity)

[Chinese] Yu Qian (Saved China from Mongol invasion. Changed a few hundred years of Chinese history by continuing the reign of the Ming dynasty.)

[American] George Washington (Founder of USA. Changed history to this day by overseeing the writing of the American constitution.)

[Flexible] Genghis Khan (This guy is right up there with a major natural disaster that causes species extinction, so he needs no more explanation)

As you can see from the above list, just being a military genius is not enough, winning a few battles is not enough, winning a war or two is not enough, to make it on the list, you have to have changed world history for a few hundred years with your military abilities.

I must, am afraid, question your list. Firstly, I think there should be more Europeans than Romans, because Roman expansion was more of a gradual thing and only one or two commanders really stood out. And this may just be my lack of knowledge of the continents, but I can't name any really great American leaders.
Firstly, I would remove Julius Caesar, as his achievments were political as much as anything, and other Roman leaders have equalled his achievments (ie Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius). I would replace him with Wellington as a European for being the only general to constantly win against the French Empire (and Assaye). Also, Von Schlieffen would go, because he had an impact on history certainly, but not one that demonstated his ability (trench warfare=bad). I would replace him with someone like Frederick the Great, for creating a powerful Prussia, which had a big impact on history. Gandhi, while a great man, was not a military leader, so I think Saladin should replace him for uniting Arabia and recapturing Jerusalem. George Washington, while he did help create the American Constitution, was not a particularly good military commander, so if an American is necessary I'd go with Eisenhower, as the man who oversaw Operation Overlord, the liberation of France and the Low Countries, and the Invasion of Germany.

BlackSaint09:
Greetings my fellow escapists.
So there is this local History magazine here in Estonia where i live that has many many wonderful articles regarding history in it. However when browsing through this months edition of said article i came across an article that was called "Top Ten Military leaders".
The list went as follows:
10:George Patton
09:Jeanne D'Arc(Forgive me if i misspelled it)
08:Attila
07:Genghis Khan
06:William the Conqueror
05:Georgi Zukov
04:Saladin
03:Hannibal
02:Alexander the Great
01:Napoleon Bonaparte

Now please forgive the mistakes in the names however they have been translated from my native language into english.
Now. What i thought is this. If i recall correctly then Zhuge Liang isn't a military leader rather a strategist. However i must admit i do not know much about the Three kingdoms era other than what i read off of wikipedia and Dynasty Warriors.
So i guess the questions are as follows. Should Zhuge Liang be on this list by definition? And if so are these people greater strategists than him?

Anyone who invades Russia in winter automatically loses any and all rights to the descriptive "great military leader" or similar.

I would like to remind you all that this is a magazine that i have no part in making.
Second i would like to apologise for absolutely forgetting to differentiate between "Romance of the three kingdoms" and the actualy bloody three kingdoms era.
Third i would like to ask if there wasnt a strategist/military leader from the Japanese army considering they won a fight against the Russians after conquering several parts of China?

And last i would like to say that im not very smart when it comes to history.

SckizoBoy:
... ...

The reason for including Schlieffen is simple, I didn't want to include Hitler.

Of course Napleon united Europe, that's why Europeans use Civil law and Brits use Common law.

People's positions doesn't matter, if they are king, soldier, or opportunist, the key is their ability to do what others around them failed to do and in doing so, changed the course of world history. Those ten certainly did change world history.

Chinese history is very well recorded, and very honest. The reason is very simple, in Chinese history it is a great honor to disagree with the current emperor, speak your mind at court, and be punished. If you do this, then your family can brag about it for generations. The greatest enemy of a Chinese emperor is his officials, whenever he does or doesn't do anything, there will be officials submitting official documents to say he is wrong. The voice of the people. This was one of the three founding principals of the Republic of China (1912), unfortunately communists won the civil war. However you only have to look at the number of people in China jailed under the "Inciting subversion of state power" law (most famously Liu XiaoBuo) to see this tradition is not lost.

Varanfan9:
Meh there is probably plenty of generals people want on that list that didn't make it. Personally I would want Sherman up there but whatever. Opinionated list is opinionated. Make your own if you want.

As in Tecumseh Sherman? The man burned a relatively lightly defended South. He's a bastard not a top ten general. Sure he was pretty good in command, but nowhere near a top ten list. Actually I don't believe a single person from the Civil War would deserve it except maybe Thomas Jackson, and that's a stretch. I think the one that impressed me the most was Forrest though. Impressive cavalryman, pulled off some high risk tactics that gave him victories he had no right to get, and had no military training to boot. Heck, even Sherman said he'd catch Forrest if it cost ten thousand men and bankrupts the treasury. Too bad his men kept getting taken from him. Anyway like I said, I doubt anyone from the American Civil War should be on this kind of list.

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