Who is the greatest military commander of all time?

Just a bit of fun to begin the academic year! Feel free to add your own ideas, or leave a comment to explain your reasoning.

If you select ‘other’, please leave a comment to tell us who you chose!

(P.S. click on the speech bubble above to view comments)

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10 comments on “Who is the greatest military commander of all time?

  1. Duke of Wellington! Without a shadow of a doubt. Never losing a battle in which you had personal command is pretty impressive, when you spend almost your entire adult life in military command. Combined with his wit, strategic vision in the Peninsular, management ability in India, amazing lack of ego considering his stature, and his final, cataclysmic and legendary defeat of Napoleon… Wellington was a God General. All this despite his inability to conduct efficient sieges.

  2. Georgy Zhukov: peasant, career soldier (the most decorated in Soviet history), understated legend. Arguably the first practitioner of WWII style deep battle at Khalkhin-Gol in 1939, he survived immense political pressure and the personal jealousy of Stalin to lead the Soviet Union to victory on the bloody Eastern Front and to superpower status! I believe he deserves the accolade because of his continued neglect within Russian politico-military museums.

  3. Wellesley, for me. In addition to what Louis said Wellesley was almost unique amongst the commanders listed as he was always prostrate to the political machinations of the day, which were rather tumultuous as far as support for campaigns was concerned (the Whigs and the Peninsula/Pitt and suppression of Revolutionary zeal). He had very little political power himself and so his military victories are even more preeminent. Agree on the sieges, however, and maybe his absolute abhorrence of pomp conflated with his aristocratic hauteur did much to alienate the men under his command.

  4. In my opinion the German Panzer commanders of World War II should be represented on this list. Hoth, Guderian and Rommel were fantastic Panzer commanders, especially Guderian. Guderian deserves a place on the list for his part in the development and application of Panzer theory and his role in the co-ordination of hundreds of Panzers on both the Eastern and Western Front, as well as his brilliant manipulation of limited resources as he attempted to defend Germany’s eastern front in 1944-45 in the face of both Hitler’s interference and overhwleming Soviet resources.

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