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Top 10 Most Successful Military Commanders

KGB99 . . . Comments

There have been many men who have achieved great successes through their military knowledge and actions. But only a select few military geniuses can truly be considered the greatest military commanders who ever lived. This is a selection of the ten greatest. If you think someone else deserves to be here, or want to have a guess at ranking 11 – 15, be sure to tell us in the comments.

10

Georgy Zhukov

250Px-Georgi Zhukov In 1940

Georgy Zhukov would lead the Red Army in liberating the Soviet Union from the Axis Power’s occupation and advancing through much of Eastern Europe to conquer Berlin during World War II. He is one of the most decorated heroes in the history of both Russia and the Soviet Union. After the fall of Germany, Zhukov became the first commander of the Soviet occupation zone in Germany.

9

Attila the Hun

Atilla-1

Attila the Hun was the leader of the Hunnic Empire which stretched from Central Asia to modern Germany. He was one of the most fearsome enemies of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires. Attila was well known for his cruelty. He invaded the Balkans twice and marched through Gaul.


8

William the Conqueror

William The Conqueror

William the Conqueror led the Norman invasion of England which was the last time that England was successfully conquered by a foreign power. His army defeated the English army at the battle of Hastings preceding his march to London. English resistance was futile as he took control of England and his reign would begin. He would make many major reforms to the traditional Anglo-Saxon culture of England and bring into existance the Anglo-Norman culture.

7

Adolf Hitler

Hitler-480

Hitler led Nazi Germany and the Axis Powers in occupying most of continental Europe and parts of Asia and Africa. He defeated and conquered France while holding off the U.S., British and Russians during World War II. His armies would gain numerous victories through their mastering of the military tactic; Blitzkrieg. Hitler ultimately lost the war and committed suicide.

6

Ghengis Khan

Ghengis Khan 2

Ghengis Khan was the founder of the Mongol Empire; the largest contiguous empire in history. The Mongol Empire occupied a substantial portion of central Asia. He achieved this through uniting many of the nomadic tribes and confederations in northeast Asia and strategically raided much of the area in China and throughout Asia. The Mongol Empire would go on to include most of Eurasia and substantial parts of Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. Ghengis Khan waged successful campaigns against the Western Xia and Jin dynastys as well as the Khwarezmid Empire through excellent military intelligence and tactics.

5

Hannibal Barca

Bust Of Hannibal

Hannibal invaded the mighty Roman Empire through the Alps. He defeated the Romans in a series of battles at Trebia, Trasimene and Cannae. Never personally losing on the battlefield to the Romans, he maintained his Carthaginian army in Italy for more than a decade after the Second Punic War. He is considered one of the greatest military strategists ever, his Roman enemies even adopted some of his tactics for their own use.


4

Napoleon Bonaparte

T054740A

Napoleon was a General during the French Revolution. He would eventually take absolute control of the French Republic as Emperor of the French. He became King of Italy, Mediator of the Swiss Confederation and Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine. He reformed the government and economy of the island of Elba when he was exiled there.

3

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar Statue

Julius Caeser took absolute control of the Roman Republic and it’s armies. He defeated the optimates led by Pompey in a Civil War, and defeated the Gauls at the battle of Alecia during the Gallics Wars, led by Vercingetorix who had united them against the Romans. He was ultimately murdered by Brutus.


2

Alexander the Great

Alexander The Great Biography

Alexander the Great conquered much of the known world by the age of 30. He crushed the once mighty Persian Empire, defeated the much larger army of Darius III at the battle of Issus, and influenced the spread of Hellenistic culture throughout his empire. Alexander mastered the use of the phalanx formation in his armies.

1

Cyrus the Great

T373813A

Cyrus the Great was the founder of the Achaemenid Persian Empire through his conquering of the Median, Lydian and Neo-Babylonian Empires. His empire spanned across three continents. Unlike many others, his empire endured long after his demise due to the political infrastructure he created. He is considered by many to be equal if not greater than Alexander the Great in his accomplishments.

Notable mention: Douglas MacArthur, Ramses the Great, Robert E. Lee, Sargon the Great, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin, Pyrrhus of Epirus, Scipio Africanus, Mao Zedong

This article is licensed under the GFDL because it contains quotations from Wikipedia.

Contributor: KGB99



  • carpe

    I agree that Hitler shouldn't be on the list because he let his generals do all the work, with Rommel being the most talented. But of all the officers on the American side, Patton was the one general that the Germans were so afraid of that, during the invasion of Normandy, they kept several divisions in reserve until he entered the battle field.

    • Aulia

      Well, I think that if you do not go you might regret it…you can alwyas go for like 10 minutes, say hi and leave :)And you are right…what the Lord has done will be an awesome testimony!

  • kakazed

    the problem with having a list written by people in the western world, is they tend to leave out great middle eastern commanders. Especially muslim ones. Think that the first muslim army was 313 that smashed and army of 1000 in the battle of Badr under the leadership of Muhammed(peace be upon him). There were many great muslim commanders, the most famous was Khalid bin al Walid. He is hailed as one of the greatest generals of all time, UNDEFEATED, in all battles.

    here is an extract of a long wikipedia article:

    Khalid fought over a hundred battles in his campaigns against the numerically superior forces of the Roman Empire, Persian Empire, and their allies, and remained undefeated throughout his career, a fact that his admirers point out when regarding him as one of the finest generals in history. His greatest strategic achievement was his swift conquest of the Persian Empire and conquest of Roman Syria all within just three years from 633 to 636. He also remained military Governor of Iraq from 632–633 AD and Governor of Qinnasrin city in Northern Syria.

    Much of Khalid's strategical and tactical genius lies in his use of extreme methods.in order to account for the numerical inferiority of his own forces. He used his highly mobile army effectively against less mobile Persian and Byzantine armies, specially his elite light cavalry (see Mobile guard).

    One of Khalid's greatest tactical achievement was at the Battle of Walaja, where he was the only other military commander in history, along with Hannibal at Cannae, who successfully used the double envelopment maneuver against a numerically superior army. His most decisive victories were at the Battle of Walaja and Battle of Yarmouk.

    i personally feel, that if more research was done, he would be number one on this list.

    • Montreal

      I agree a 100%. Let me point out that he even fought once with only 3000 men vs 20000 to 40000 Byzantine men. And he won with only 7 deaths. That's number one in my book.

      • guest

        I second the guy said that this list is very euro-centric. The only non-westerners you could find were from 2 to 3000 years ago? Are you out of your mind? What about the Ottoman Mehmet II, who took Constantinople by building a wooden highway OVERNIGHT to spring a dawn-time surprise? And the highway was FOR HIS SHIPS. Or, what about Selim the Grim, who took Egypt, Arabia, and much of Central Asia? And, I have to second the guy above, that Khalid belongs in the top 5 of this list.

        • sorry im not to good on middle age history especiealy the middle east so thats why

          • Siddiqui

            Its really noble of you to accept it. I admire that.

    • Sebastian

      Seeing the rogues gallery above it is simply to his credit that Khalid bin Walid has been omitted. Defeating the muslims at Uhud, united Arabia in the Ridda wars, then crushed both the Byzantine and Persian Empires within 2 years. The lands he conquered have retained their Muslim identities and today he remains an inspiration for the freedom fighters of the world.

    • tstrubi

      I believe that he shouldn’t be number one because if you have to even do research about him that should seal his fate. If he isn’t even well known today how can you say that he was that great? He couldn’t have had that large of an impact if almost nobody even knows who that is. And citing Wikipedia as a source to prove he is a good leader is really professional. I’m sure he was probably a good leader but a military leader like all humans should be judged on their lasting influence. He has little to none even compared to other “non-white” leaders. I would put Sun Tzu far ahead of Khalid bin al Walid. Plus who did he defeat in battle, what great military commander did he defeat. I agree that he probably deserves a spot on this list but I think that the great Prussian General, Military/Political Theorist, and author of Vom Kriege (On War) Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz should be number one because he literally wrote the most influential book on warfare in Western Civilization and he beat another legendary commander in Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.

      • geter

        yeah, he beat napoleon. The Duke of Wellington defeated napoleon who was outnumbered nearly 2 to one, and after napoleons elite guard shattered 14 prussian battalions, and had it not been for napoleons lack of cavalry he would have won the battle of waterloo.

    • kal

      Not number 1 but in the top 5. Subodai was a better general.

    • Name

      Peace be upon him ,haha without his sword there wouldn’t be any Islam at all LOL

    • phatius

      OMG!! again with this guy. He won 100 battles, and 95 of them were against peasent armies, Perians again 500 years past prime, Byzantines were laughable at best. Who didnt beat them should be the real question!

  • kiwiboi

    the problem with having a list written by people in the western world, is they tend to leave out great middle eastern commanders.

    kakazed – so, educate us…write us an interesting list or two.

    • Persia

      In Arab world, they are not allowed to question their beliefs for the most part. So they are used to
      try backward searching for reasons to support it. Not only as you well said his argument is
      self
      destructive already. But also trying backward to fake a research… ,he ignores the fact that the
      already number one (Cyrus) was an eastern at first place. If you shrink east or enlarge another part!
      As desired then while some entertainment companies might appreciate your work, there might not be
      the same else where.

      • Sargon

        Do you know why Iranians hate Arabs? Simply because the Arabs, not the Romans, Greeks or others, are the ones who ended Persian tyranny in Iraq and Iran forever and started new era of Arab Empires that included all Persain lands. The result of that still resonate today because most Persians are Muslims, an Arabic religion. And the Persians who are not Muslims really, I mean really hate to accept reality :)

        • Gogo

          …no, the reason it is because the Arabs sacked every Persian city they came across. Same reason they hate Alexander, the Mongols and Timur Leng. Historians from the side that won tend to whitewash accounts of their atrocities, hence the quote “History is written by the victors”.

    • Shan

      Khaid Bin Waleed
      Suleman the Magneficent
      Tariq Bin Zayaad Conqueror of Spain
      Babrosa, The Admiral
      Tamerlane (Taimoor)
      Babbar founder of the mughal empire in India

  • jajdude

    Guns indeed on this one.

  • wainboy

    Cyrus the clear winner there…. CYRUS FTW!!!!

  • josh116

    I know this may sound crazy but I hope no one takes it the wrong way. I have always had a strange respect and fascination towards Hitler. I am amazed how he could get an entire country to buy into the garbage he was spewing. What was it about him that made him such an influential leader??

    • RW

      Fertile ground.

  • tookyb

    I think notable mentions should go to Sulla and Marius who were great military commanders in their day and who really paved the way for Caesar to do what he did.

    Marius transformed the Roman army by allowing head count, or the lowest classes, into the army, when Rome was in desperate need of troops after a spate of hopeless generals.

    Thutmose the 3rd should probably get a notable mention as well.

    How about a list of the 10 worst military commanders? There are quite a few Romans who would make that list!

  • Randallphobia

    bigski is right. Hitler had the kind of charisma that could sell ice to an Eskimo or sand to a resident of the Sahara. If you were to list the greatest SPEAKERS of all time, then Hitler belongs on the list because of his frightening way of taking over a crowd of educated people. (Remember that Germany had the highest literacy rate in the world when Hitler came to power.)

    • Kopsterr

      Hitler also came to power legally so it would have been hard for them to just depose him. especially because very quickly he used an “emergency clause” in their constitution to create a dictatorship.

  • Ali hayat

    So where the heck is Khalid bin al walid ??? i dont think i have to meintion it but you can check him out on wikipedia on somewhere if you do want to …

    " Kh?lid ibn al-Wal?d (592-642) (Arabic: ???? ?? ??????‎) also known by Sunnis as Sayf-'ullah al-Maslul (the Drawn Sword of God, God's Withdrawn Sword, or simply Sword of God), was one of the two famous Muslim generals of the Rashidun army during the Muslim conquests of the 7th Century.[1] (See also: 'Amr ibn al-'As.) He is noted for his military prowess, commanding the forces of Muhammad and those of his immediate successors of the Rashidun Caliphate; Abu Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattab.[1] He has the distinction of being undefeated in over a hundred battles, against the numerically superior forces of the Byzantine Roman Empire, Sassanid Persian Empire, and their allies, he is regarded as one of the finest military commanders in history. His greatest strategic achievements were his swift conquest of the Persian Empire and conquest of Roman Syria within three years from 633 to 636, while his greatest tactical achievements were his successful double envelopment maneuver at Walaja and his decisive victories at Firaz, Ullais and Yarmouk. "

    I guess that is enough to merit a mention in the list……. & surprisingly, he isnt even mentioned in the notable exce[tions… weird…

    • Name

      Don’t forget Mahond LOL and his deadly sword.

  • Kreachure

    Interesting list.

    But er, if Cyrus is the most successful commander in history, then why isn't there a whole bunch of blockbuster movies and TV mini-series about him like most others in there do?

    Sad as it may sound, that's how most people come to hear about great figures in history. So, lacking these, many people simply don't know or have heard very little about Cyrus the Great, which wouldn't be fair if this list is anything to go by.

    DEAR HOLLYWOOD: Show Mr. Cyrus more respect, darn you!! :P

    • hamidreza

      i am persian.there is not a whole bunch of blockbuster movies and TV mini-series about him because of my goverment.my regim is ayatollah regim.they are muslem and enemy of persian culture.they want to destroy cyrus the great tumb and persepolis(Achaemenian capital).but all 75 million people who live in iran loves their culture and history.we call cyrus the great as father of iran.he is father of us.father of human right in the world.

      • vvvvv

        ur dumber than a sled mule

  • Justin

    Eisenhower… he beat Hitler during his campaign, and contained Stalin during his presidency, thus, taking care of two of the people on the list. Other than that, Ghengis should probably be number 4 and Napoleon number 5, thus moving Hannibal to #6, only because… he took out pretty much all of Asia. Kublai Khan could be mentioned, here as a foot note to Ghengis, on #11-20, or a number in and of his own right on this list…. though he really only picked up where Ghengis left off, he did redirect an entire river into a city to tear down its walls… which, for the day, is pretty awesome.

    • jer

      that river redirect…where do i find info on that?

    • John H

      Eisenhower did not beat hitler, Zhukov and the Russians had much more of a part in his down fall. Containing Stalin he had a large part in

  • Emar

    I Salute Alexander thye Great as #1 military commander.

  • Emar

    hye=the

  • BALTIC BURST

    frankly, I believe the greater commanders would be the COs on the battlefield who have to make those split second decisions that could either kill all there men, or save them

  • carp

    Robert E Lee?

    • Colt

      Yes robert e lee he led a ragtag group of rebels on a four year campaign against a numerically superior and fully industrialized enemy and did damn well always fighting honorably

  • ghengiz khan the great

    hey kgb99 you are asking for slaughtering with your disgusting list!!.ghengiz khan is incomparable to any of this pathetic inferiors.he build the largest empire on earth from scratch,extending from china sea to hungar.this is three times bigger than alexander.his sons and grandsons build the china and russia of today.

  • ghengiz khan the great

    to add a few more important points.Ghengiz khan through his great mongol empire is directly and indirectly the biggest foctor for European rennainsance/revivalism and thus the birth of the modern age we are in today

  • Nope

    good list. I also think it would be interesting to see a top ten worst military commanders list. Because i know their out there and thier blunders are often fun to hear about.

  • Metalwrath

    I think you should add Sargon of Akkad in this list, who in around 2200 BC (if my memory serves me correctly) militarilly united all the city states of Mesopotamia into one empire under his rule. I believe its a first in history of humanity… a great empire with a centralised military power. Hence, as a first, this deserves a mention.

    Great list by the way.

  • Mr.Graves

    Ghenghis Khan should be first on the list; he accomplished more with less than anyone else in history. Once his empire was established he was never defeated and was in the process of conquering Europe- all Europeans would be at least partially asian now and there would have been no France, Germany, etc (this is hypothetical of course, based on the idea that the land could have been retained, which is very unlikely)- without anyone being able to defeat his forces, except he was more interested in family affairs and called the army back to settle a dispute with a son. In fact, Khan's interest had little to do with military conquest aside from amassing as much power and wealth as he could to leave to his family, so war came second after family affairs- that is probably the only reason Europe isn't called 'Little Mongolia' today. (That's meant to be lighthearted)

    Furthermore, he conquered more of the known world in proportion to his time than any leader in history, he developed what was in the future to be called the 'Roman retreat' tactic and perfected warfare from atop of a horse, along with establishing massive supply lines and infrastructure before they had running water. He enabled entire armies to travel vast wastelands and survive, to fight with bows from horses, to seige and take down castle structures with no prior sapping experience.

    He invented new forms of diplomacy and cultural seeding that hadn't been used by his people's before, and when that didn't work:

    -He wiped entire civilizations off of human history- we know they existed and he had them destroyed, but we have no idea who they were, because he literally had the entire culture eradicated from history- millions of people- simply because one of their kings insulted his messengers. We don't even know the name of their culture or what their people called themselves (there are guesses).

    I'm not advocating that as 'cool' or 'admirable' but on the scale of military conquerors, you can pretty much go into any military academy or university history department and no one is going to argue that anyone in history has even come close to Ghenghis Khan's accomplishments.

    The story of Khan's life is fascinating- born to a tribal chieftain with ared crystal in his hand, his family murdered before him and escaping to the wilderness, saved by a friend and then coming back to destroy his family's killers. Khan inveneted war tactics that had never been used before, and believed that it was his destiny to conquer everything he saw, to unite heavan and earth under him. And he did it.

    Also, he died completely drunk and wasted in the sack on the wedding night of his, I don't know, billionth wife.

    He would have made Hitler wet himself just by simply growling at him.

    • Horseman

      No No No!! It was Attila who died in the sack..pleeease??

  • Nicosia

    My baby boy is named Cyrus… We call him Cyrus the Great :)

  • Aadilz

    Henry V? He was a purty cool guy. In success I’ve always thought Joan of Arc was top notch, she kind of saved her country from submission to the English. Saladin managed to break up Christian control of Jerusalem and that would give way to the Ottoman empire, one of the longest modern non-dynastic empires. (469 years)

    BUT! I do digress —

    It’s a good list.

  • astraya

    Off-topic completely, but I have to tell someone somewhere.
    Someone in the apartment 2 above our committed suicide by jumping last night. When we looked out (and down – we’re on the 12th floor) we saw police and ambulance and someone lying on the ground. They inspected him then covered him with a sheet. I’ve never seen him round (or maybe I have), but my wife knew him by sight.
    I just needed to tell someone that. Sorry.

  • LordCalvert

    Instead of Hitler you should have given the honor to his Generals. Hitler didn’t invent Blitzkrieg, but his stubbornness did force the German army into a bad position and got them beaten by the Russians.

  • warningdontreadthis

    :D Persia kicks ass!
    1-0 To Persia! haha, in your faces Alex.

  • warningdontreadthis

    astraya: Wow, that brought the mood down.

  • MT

    .15 Astraya

    Sorry you had to experience that. Talking about it even to strangers will help you feel better.

    I like this list. War is hell. But obviously some people have personal wars they are fighting. The Golden Gate Bridge commission has decided to spend the money for “suicide prevention” fencing on the bridge. That may give some people the chance to pause and re-think their options.

    10 Methods of Death

    #7. Fall from a height

    If possible aim to land feet first

    A high fall is certainly among the speediest ways to die: terminal velocity (no pun intended) is about 200 kilometres per hour, achieved from a height of about 145 metres or more. A study of deadly falls in Hamburg, Germany, found that 75 per cent of victims died in the first few seconds or minutes after landing.

    The exact cause of death varies, depending on the landing surface and the person’s posture. People are especially unlikely to arrive at the hospital alive if they land on their head – more common for shorter (under 10 metres) and higher (over 25 metres) falls. A 1981 analysis of 100 suicidal jumps from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco – height: 75 metres, velocity on impact with the water: 120 kilometres per hour – found numerous causes of instantaneous death including massive lung bruising, collapsed lungs, exploded hearts or damage to major blood vessels and lungs through broken ribs.

    Survivors of great falls often report the sensation of time slowing down. The natural reaction is to struggle to maintain a feet-first landing, resulting in fractures to the leg bones, lower spinal column and life-threatening broken pelvises. The impact travelling up through the body can also burst the aorta and heart chambers. Yet this is probably still the safest way to land, despite the force being concentrated in a small area: the feet and legs form a “crumple zone” which provides some protection to the major internal organs.

    Some experienced climbers or skydivers who have survived a fall report feeling focused, alert and driven to ensure they landed in the best way possible: relaxed, legs bent and, where possible, ready to roll. Certainly every little helps, but the top tip for fallers must be to aim for a soft landing. A paper from 1942 reports a woman falling 28 metres from her apartment building into freshly tilled soil. She walked away with just a fractured rib and broken wrist.

    • jerr-bear

      preachy-ass

  • somerandomguy

    I think that Pyrrhus of Epirus should have made the list instead of just honorable mention. After all, Hannibal said that Pyrrhus was a greater general than him.

    The general I would have wanted to see was Belisarius. After all, he managed to capture Rome and Carthage with very limited resources.

  • somerandomguy

    Oh, that, and he was the last man to be granted a Roman triumph.

  • Burgerbuddy

    You should also include Flavius Belisarius..

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

    He should be in the #8 spot, replacing William from the list..

  • Mark

    One thing i find amazing about genghis khan (who should have been #1) is that it’s assumed that aboout 0.5% of the world are his descendants

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

  • Ren

    What about George Washington?

  • Canuck

    I also take exception with the inclusion of Hitler as a great military commander. Unlike some of the other leaders on this list (Alexander the Great, Napoleon), he never personally lead his army in battle. He was nominally their commander in chief, but I feel if you wanted to include a German WWII commander you should have used Rommel, Manstein, or Guderian.

  • Nat

    I think it should be mentioned that Alexander never lost a battle?
    Unless its another legend, like Cleopatra’s beauty.

  • Randallphobia

    What about Gustavus Adolphus? Had he not died so young, he could have ended the Thirty Years War earlier. He’s often called the Father of Modern Warfare, & Napoleon studied Adolphus’ tactics. He’s still studied today. Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustavus_Adolfus

    Burgerbuddy & others are absolutely right about Belisarius. The guy could’ve reconquered the Western Roman Empire had he gotten support from Emperor Justinian & the government of the Eastern Roman Empire.

    William the Conqueror, though a good general, took advantage of a fractured situation in England. He was smart enough to pick a time when Anglo-Saxon England was falling apart. He should lie between 11 & 20 on a list like this.

  • Lisandro

    Hannibal fought against the roman republic, not the roman empire.

    I’d preffer Salahadin Ayyubi in the top 10 and no Hittler (or his generals, that I would list as 11), Salahadin was the guy who united muslim world against the crusaders and regained their holy ground.

    As for Hitler, he wasn’t a succesful military commander, he was a succesful politician.

  • bigski

    Including Hitler would be the same as including FDR! Also William The Conqueor as a battlefield commander was ok but the outcome of his victories were unintentional.Defeating the Anglo-Saxons at the time was not like defeating most of Europe as other commanders accomplished.Aside from that quibble i did learn something about Cyrus the Great i didnt know.Now i have to read up on him to.Zhukov is also questionable the almost unlimited manpower he had and massive American supplies it would be hard not to lose.But I digress. Interesting list and should generate lots of comments.

  • 12055z

    Best list for a while, I’m actually gonna read up on some of these.
    Very interesting :)

  • bigski

    Josh 116- His Salesmanship ! Listen to his speeches he was very convincing.

  • astraya: if you need to talk, my myspace is myspace.com/lizzyxo. it private but you can still message me.

  • josh116

    Bigski- you may be right about his salesmanship. I just find it in incredible that he could convince an ENTIRE COUNTRY that eradicating a race of people was a good idea. It wasn’t like it was just a group of germans, but the whole nation. Just imagine had he not been such an evil fuck, what if he had used his political savvy to promote something good. He could have been a great man.

    Great list…I have to read up on some of these guys.

    I’ve also heard of the Genghis Khan descendant thing. Its pretty incredible. There was a great show on the science channel that claims they have found the scientific version of Adam, a man from who all humans can trace their origins. I forget the name of the show but its fascinating.

  • Renegade

    Hmmm, I think another notable general would be Erwin Rommel. He’s the man the lead the North Africa campaign for the Nazis..I mean honestly..the man was such a brilliant general he made Hitler nervous enough to take him out of battle and into a non-important area, which, as it turned out, cost him North Africa.

  • josh116

    Randallphobia – I wasn’t aware of the fact that germany had the highest literacy rate in the world at the time. Wow, that makes it even more incredible. I guess knowledge truly is power, whether evil or otherwise. I would love to see a list of the greatest speakers. Who would you guys think would be number one??

  • Ali hayat

    Directly from wikipedia, so i aint lying… u may check.

  • azkikr

    temujin should be number one…

  • Mom424

    josh116: Hitler just told folks what they wanted to hear. There was a huge feeling of anti-semitism already prevalent. He just took advantage of it, and gave the german populace a target for their leftover rage (WWI). He wasn’t a magician but a great manipulator. It can and has happened again, far too easily.

  • mike d

    Jean Luc Picard deserves an obvious mention.

  • Mike d: You are my hero =)

  • josh116

    Mom424 – I completely agree with you. It can and will happen again. That’s the scary part. Same thing GwB did after 9/11 to get us into Iraq…

    Mike D – Picard couldn’t hold a candle to the evil emperor from Star Wars…lol

  • craig

    this list needs horatio nelson, arthur wellesley, erwin rommel, bernard montgomery, alfred the great, erich ludendorff and maybe Karl Dönitz

  • nice list

  • craig

    Also, he died completely drunk and wasted in the sack on the wedding night of his, I don’t know, billionth wife.

    wasn’t that Attila the Hun

  • josh116

    Drunk in bed with one of many many wives…now that’s how I wanna die!!!

  • anthony p

    I cant believe im saying this, it was good to see hitler on this list, despite being sadisticly evil he was very good at what he was doing so giving credit where credit is due he was very good at taking over other countries.

  • craig

    it was hitlers fault german failed in russia he couldn’t decided where to attack and ended up moving his men around 3 different advances if he had choosen one the russia would be dead before stalingrad

  • Blogball

    Really good list, I just had a little problem with the word “successful”. Maybe dominant or influential would have been a better word for some of these guys. Kind of like I would call Jim Jones a dominate or influential Pastor because his people followed him and did anything he asked even drink poison Kool-Aid.
    But I wouldn’t call him Successful. JMHO

    • sid

      true dude!….."successful" is not suitable for use with barbaric people!!!

  • ABrutalKind

    I just want to point out to those that feel that Hitler should not be on the list, that Hitler required absolute control over the military(which is why they ended up losing). But FDR and Churchill where not as directly involved with troop movements as Hitler was. He would not let his generals make movements without his consent. Anyway so he does kinda deserve to be up here though I can see your point about how great an orator we was.

  • Reyairia

    I think Khan should be higher up on the list, after all, he’s the one that conquered the most territory.

  • craig

    i read that on d-day hitler was asleep and no one would wake him up so it took hours to mover panzar devisions from calais to normandy

  • Talanic

    Seconding a few here; I’m inches from my history degree, so here’s a few cents.

    Hitler doesn’t deserve to be there. He was a charismatic thug; good at telling people what they wanted to hear from him. If they didn’t want to hear from him, he had a boatload of other thugs that would make them do what he wanted anyway. That’s a good summary of how he came to power in Germany; a mix of flattery and violence. His actions were primarily driven by megalomania; he didn’t believe he COULD lose.

    Genghis Khan is probably the most impressive military commander I have ever encountered. Conquering China alone is a great feat. China AND Russia? Pretty fantastic…and in the only documented clash between Mongols and Europeans, the Mongols won (though by that time, Genghis had already been dead for years…and the army turned back on hearing of trouble back home).

    How about Caliph Omar? He’s the first Islamic leader to have taken Jerusalem. Looking back on him makes me feel ashamed. He treated people of my religion a lot nicer than we treated people of his religion; he refused to enter Christian churches, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, because he suspected that it would cause radical members of his faith to claim those holy places as their own, igniting further conflict. If only we had people of that class of wisdom today, on BOTH sides.

  • greg

    Sargon of Akkad?
    King Henry V?

  • Talanic

    Okay, got ninja-posted with some people about Hitler. Here’s what I can contribute to this discussion:

    Hitler’s military expeditions were largely successful due to the blitz strategy and the sorry condition of his opponents. He began by picking on smaller countries (Poland, Belgium) which stood absolutely no chance. Then he turned to France.

    France was in terrible condition at the time. Most of World War I had occurred in French territory, and the French Army – though the largest in the world at the time – had grown up with stories of how terrible World War I was. Make no mistake: WWI was TERRIBLE, almost beyond belief! French soldiers had no wish to relive such hell. They weren’t willing to fight, so they didn’t.

    Hitler was then faced with Great Britain, which had lost quite a bit when France fell. Britain held out, but was probably going to crack eventually; the island couldn’t last forever without importing food from its colonies, and Hitler’s blockade was cutting into that heavily. He also began a bombing campaign aimed at crippling the Royal Air Force to the point that a land invasion could occur. If such invasion had taken place, it would have been over quickly; Germany had a massive advantage of numbers.

    Britain was in bad shape, and only getting worse, but here’s the glaring mistake Hitler made in his first campaign against someone who was ready to fight. After the Nazis bombed civilians (by mistake, actually; they were trying to destroy Britain’s air bases), the British responded with an airstrike against Berlin, killing ten people. Hitler was enraged, and ordered the Luftwaffe to attack London and other major cities. Continuously. With no more concentration on destroying the RAF.

    From there, it got worse and worse for the Blitz. Losses were negligible in the first months, low in the next few, and then started climbing. Military growth in Britain was unhindered, allowing them to not only rebuild what they had lost, but also finish perfecting radar and integrate it into their defenses. Hitler’s tantrum cost him Britain.

    Worse than that, he’d decided to attack the Soviet Union sometime around 1930. Now that a war was in full swing, he didn’t see why not. After all, he had a non-aggression pact with the Soviets; they wouldn’t see it coming! He’d just send his troops up, take the Baltic regions for the oil refineries and other goodies, and then mosey into Moscow.

    He attacked in June. Stalin, on hearing of the attack, didn’t believe it. When he did believe it, he believed it a mistake. When he knew it was deliberate, it was too late for many of his troops.

    Even with their initial success, Hitler’s troops had to go hundreds of miles through hostile territory, undersupplied and planning to pillage as they went. There was nothing to pillage. Standard Russian defense tactics include making sure that when your enemy takes your land, he gets nothing but bare dirt.

    The Germans also weren’t prepared for the weather, even before winter came. They couldn’t handle the terrain, the crappy roads, or the mud. When they couldn’t get as far as they expected as fast as they had hoped, Hitler started changing objectives around. His generals unanimously supported taking Moscow. He didn’t care; after all, HE was the CHOSEN ONE.

    When the Germans started to lose, Hitler threw another tantrum. They couldn’t lose. He was the one commanding them, and he was invincible. He demanded that they fight to the death. No surrender, no retreat. Somewhere around a million German troops were lost.

    And it is true that, on D-Day, there was a special armor group that only Hitler had authorization to give orders to. They were in the right position to repel the invasion, and could have made it there easily. Hitler, though, liked to sleep in until around noon. Nobody was willing to wake him up early to get his authorization.

  • greg

    Hitler was a great military leader, within the respect of leading a military. But, he certainly was not “great” in history.

  • craig

    61. Talanic
    a few things to say if the raf had been destroyed there was still the royal navy to defend the channel also, if we could fight them straight off the beaches our forces would have been able to fight them off i believe there was war games done on this matter after the war.

    also i think hitlers generals wanted him to go after some more oil in russia somewhere but i might be wrong

    but other than that great post

  • craig

    on a slightly different point one of the reasons operation barbarossa failed was because italy fucked up its invasion of greece meaning hitler had to spend a month sorting it out instead off invading russia

  • Renegade

    Josh116-GwB and Hitler are two rather different scenarios. Bush is NOT a public speaker and does NOT have a way with words. The way he got us into Iraq was because the CIA, himself, and all of the higher ups truly did believe that there were weapons of mass destruction. It wasn’t manipulation, it was our government being deceived. I mean honestly..you can’t put the two of them in the same boat for loads of different reasons..

  • josh116

    Renegade – Let me clarify my previous comment. I’m not putting GwB and Hitler in the same category, not by a long shot. GwB couldn’t speak his way out of a wet paper bag. I was just comparing the situations, which isn’t really a good comparison either. I was drawing the parallel between the germans being blindly lead into the holocaust and americans being lead into Iraq. Such a nation of intelligent people should have more sense than we have shown.

    Regardless of the tactics used to decieve the populace, you must admit that we have been lead into an unneccesary war which had nothing to do with the previous situation which brought us into war in the first place. I can’t stand Bush as much as the next person with common sense, but I would never place him in the same breath as an evil fucker such as Hitler.

    I guess all I’m really trying to say is following blindly can be a horrible thing…

  • josh116

    Renegade – I just reread your comment and I realized you said that GwB, and the CIA actually truly believed there were WMDs. I have no proof to argue otherwise but my gut tells me that they knew exactly what was and wasn’t there in the first place. I’ve always felt GwB went into Iraq to finish the job his father started, but like I said before, I have no concrete proof of this, its just IMO. Last time I checked, Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, which is the reason we went to war in the first place. A crusade against terrorism is pointless. We will never be able to stop terrorists. If you kill one, there will be 10 more to gladly take the place give their lives for the cause. It is soooooo much bigger than just America vs. Terrorists. This is part of a war that has been raging since the Catholic Church has been in power. Muslims and Catholics have never, and will never live peacefully. Religion is the true evil of this world. But now that I have completely gone off topic I’m gonna shut up now and wait for you guys to prove me wrong, which I’m sure you will…lol

  • TheAwesome

    Really, Hitler? Hitler was a TERRIBLE military commander. He had no clue how to run a military campaign. He was incredible at leading people and getting them to follow him, but he was an awful tactician.

  • MartinL

    But — Josh116 and others — following blindly is what a people will do when the rational answers don’t seem to be showing up on the horizon, where the questions are “Why are we in this mess?” and “What should we do?” Hitler and Dubya were able to put their respective agendas over on their respective citizenry by making the answer sound simple, the solution straightforward: Jews or terrorists, hunt ’em down and clean ’em up. It’s easy to rouse a pack of primates to extreme aggression; that’s what we are, and that’s what we do. No leader’s first impulse would ever be to tell his people, “Now hold it, let’s not point fingers, let’s analyze the situation here first and try to work out a rational course of action.” How much of human history is about a people quietly recovering from devastating conflict and going on to build a civilization, or about raising a nation without a drop of blood shed, or a single instance of treachery? Yeah, not many pages of that in the annals. We *should* be suspicious of the man who steps up to the lectern and says, “I have the answer, and it’s oh, so simple.” But we’re not, because we crave simple answers. And the simplest answer is unbridled, sweeping slaughter. And that won’t change until we become a race of beings with absolutely no use for the men on the above list.

    We’ve got a few millenia to go before we see the dawn of that epoch, folks.

  • Englandexpects

    a few millenia try never there will always be war its a fact of nature

  • AutoFocus

    I would add Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli General who is credited with the Six-Day-War Victory. In 1967 Israel was under the threat of immediate attack by the armies of Four much larger Arab countries, and the worldwide opinion was that it will reach an early end.

    Instead, the Israeli army under Rabin’s command, defeated a force three time their size, conquering an area three times larger than the State of Israel and ending the war in only six days. It is considered one of the greatest victories in modern era.

    An interesting fact is that the same Rabin was elected as Prime Minister 34 years later, and started the Peace negotiations with the Palestinians, in the ultimate goal of exchanging these conquered lands for peace. He was assassinated by a Jewish extremist for this effort for Peace.

  • /b/

    Charles Martel needs a mention on this list if only because he stopped the Muslim onslaught the would have more than likely conquered all of Europe.

  • Patrask

    Hitler? The same guy who thought attacking Russia was an awesome idea? Please,,,If anything, Rommel should’ve been there,

  • Randallphobia

    /b/: Charles “the Hammer” Martel’s winning of the Battle of Tours is one of the greatest victories in history. Without this victory, our reality would probably be very different. His innovations foreshadowed a lot of what was to come. However, I think that he should be ranked somewhere above 20, below 10, but above William the Conqueror. Martel’s victory was much more important than William’s. I can say that as an admitted Anglophile.

  • josh116

    Patrask – Hitlers spot on this list justified. Despite some of his mistakes(which I am thankful he made…lol)he still conquered much of Europe. Which in modern times is something no other can lay claim to. Just his ability to lead a nation and make them follow hiw twisted ideals is accomplishment enough to garner him a spot on this list…IMO

  • Randallphobia

    josh116, I know that I’m repeating earlier sentiments here, but they deserve to be repeated: Saying that Hitler was a general is like saying that FDR or Churchill were generals. He was a brilliant (though insane) politician, but he was no general. He knew just enough to usually spot good or bad plans when he saw them, but Germany did the best when he let his generals do their own thing. FDR & Churchill figured out how to rely on their best commanders as Hitler was loosing this skill.

  • josh116

    Randallphobia- I understand your point. I honestly don’t have the historic prowess to debate you in any type of educated argument. So here is my retort, your a poopy head!!!! Lmao jkkk…I guess I’m still arguing on the side of Hitler because of his incredible oratory skills. It baffles me how one man can lead a nation to the gates of hell and they don’t question him. And I guess the ones who did question him quickly found themselves the receipients of bullets to the head…

    I’ve never heard of Charles “The Hammer” Martel but he sounds like a fascinating person…wikipedia here I come!!! Little known fact about Martel, he was the inspiration for hundreds of professional boxer names…lmao

  • Johandus Maximus

    Great work on this list, I’m definitely going to read up a bit more about some of these guys. Personally I find these historically-themed lists much more interesting than the pop-culture lists :D

  • Randallphobia

    I need to stop reading the replies here. I just gave my wife a lecture of Gustavus Adolphus. I was stopped 5 minutes in when she cracked up & told me that I was in full “teacher mode,” & I hadn’t even realized what I was doing.
    This actual history teacher is signing off.

    Again, great list even if I do disagree with a few placements.

  • MKO

    I think you would have to include Robert E Lee for success of strategy without results. He kept untrained, under equipped soldiers against a strong military for almost 5 years based on strategy alone, and who’s methods were the taught and practiced for the next hundred year by West Point.

  • Peeves

    Who writes the descriptions for the list items? They sound like 4th grade book reports. You must get lots of ad revenue so pay someone (or more than one person) to write better stuff! And then pay someone to edit! The lists are great but the words are garbage.

  • Peeves: the advertising money goes towards the cost of running the site – which is nearly $1,000 per month (not including my time).

  • Renegade

    Josh116-Well see here’s the thing. Bush got his initial information about the WoMD from the CIA..so imagine yourself in his position. You honestly don’t know any better yourself, cuz you’re not the brightest man around (talking about Bush, not you btw..no hostilities intended) and you’re currently trying to deal with the threat of terrorism in another country. The best strategic move you can make in the position is to act on the intelligence you are given and remove the reported threat before it eliminates you because your defenses are all threaded up in one region. Unfortunately however the reports were incorrect and from that point, instead of just withdrawing (as we should have), we turned it into a crusade that was pretty much pointless because Iraq was EONS away from getting nuclear technology.

    I totally agree with your probable opinion that America should have never entered this “war” (more like cat fight >.>) in the first place. However comparing what Bush did with what Hitler did is like comparing apples to bananas. Sure they probably both did have side ideals they wished to achieve, however Bush is only trying to eliminate the extremists, not all of the muslims. On the other hand you had hitler who decided to kill every Jew he could get his hands on, along with Roman Catholics and other people who didn’t fit his definition of perfection. In other words where Bush is trying to eliminate people who are ACTUALLY a threat to the world, Hitler decided to eliminate people who had nothing to do with the war so he could blame all of the wrongness in the world on them, a tactic to shift the blame from him to them.

    I just want to clarify this, I’m not trying to say that Bush has been a great amazing president, because frankly he’s been an idiot. I’m just trying to make a point that what Hitler did and what Bush did through their manipulation are not, and never will be, the same.

  • Ethan

    I don’t believe Hitler was a good choice.if you are going to pick a politician as a leader there are better choices.William Pitt for one.

  • Kiribub

    How the heck does this list NOT include Gaiseric of the Vandals?

  • josh116

    Peeves – The name of the site is LISTverse…not Encyclopediaverse…if you want more information on the lists just go to wikipedia.

    JFrater – Pay no attention to guys like peeves, people like him will never be satisfied. I’m new to your site and I love it. Keep up the great work. How often are new lists posted?? My new mission in life is to be one of the fools who post “first”…lol

    Renegade – I completely understand your point. But IMO, if Bush went into Iraq because of supposed WMDs, there were other countries with actual real proof of these types of weapons. Why not go to Iran?? Saudi Arabia?? North Korea?? That’s what worries me, the fact that he went in with the intention of getting rid of the weapons, what is stopping from doing it to any other country he pleases?? It smells fishy to me, but once again it is all IMHO. Your exactly right in saying the comparison of Hitler and Bush is not a good one. I guess my blind hatred for Bush has made me biased…lol. But can you really blame me for hating such a fool??
    VOTE OBAMA!!!

  • Renegade

    Josh116-I am also worried about those countries as well…the difference is that if we WERE to invade those countries they would retaliate with their weapons. By going into Iraq with his initial knowledge the objective would be to stop another U.S. hating country from gaining weapons that could be a threat to our country. At this point invading the nation’s that already do have them doesn’t really make too much sense because of the threat of nuclear war, something we want to avoid at all costs.

    As for the vote obama thing..I’m going to avoid a debate about that one…I personally hate both candidates and think they’re too busy trying to solve one problem and they’re ignoring all the others. McCain’s tax plan is plain idiotic while I don’t agree with Obama’s health care plan and think that his views on global warming are ridiculous. Honestly I don’t think either candidate can give America what is needs and have a bad feeling about the next few years

  • Emar

    Renegade.. “In other words where Bush is trying to eliminate people who are ACTUALLY a threat to the world,”

    ‘common,you know bette than that………………… :D

  • Josh116: there is a new list posted every day – and occasionally a “your view” and (more recently) a videocast list. Oh – and as for “first post” – check out the commenting FAQ:

    If you use the phrase “first post” or similar phrases, your comment will go in to a moderation queue for one of the administrators to approve it. This is because we don’t allow “first post!” comments – they are annoying.

    :)

  • Renegade

    haha, I don’t know whether to take that to mean that the extremists aren’t a threat or to mean that Bush isn’t doing it to eliminate the threat. I’m going to assume that it’s that latter for common senses sake and address that. As I’ve conceded, Bush is indeed a bit on the loony side, however he is smart enough to recognize a threat when he sees one. I mean damn, the most basic of animals can do that. I honestly agree the a movement against terrorism is a good idea. However I think that the military Generals, whose job is warfare, should have been allowed control over it instead of the idiots in office. Had that been done the entire affair would have been much more organized and in turn much more efficient. Unfortunately it did not work out that way and look at the mess we are in now..-sighs-

  • josh116

    Renegade – Honestly I don’t feel too good about the next 4 years either, regardless of who wins. I just think Obama will do a better job on most issues.

    JFrater – I hadn’t seen the rule before, thanks for the warning. Though my dream has been slightly crushed I’ll refrain from doing it. If ever I am “first” I’ll just comment and celebrate in my heart…lol

  • Historian

    Genghi Khaan is undeniably the greatest!!! He won so many battles only due his millitary tactics and strategies. In almost all his battles he was outnumbered by his enemies!!! He was, and is the greatest genereal ever to live!!

  • meltingbridge

    I think that an Islamic general (probably Khalid bin al walid) should definitely be included in the Top 10. The Islamic Empire expanded from Saudi Arabia and created an empire twice as large as the Roman Empire of Tiberius in 100 years. That accomplishment is certainly more succesful than beating the Anglo-Saxons (sorry William the Conqueror).

  • timmy the dying boy

    At risk of beating a dead horse, Hitler should not be on the list. Save him for the Ten Worst list. His armies succeeded early in the war not because of him, but in spite of him. Later on, his continual contrariness toward those who actually knew what they were doing only hastened the end.

    That said, I don’t think Zhulov belongs on the list, either. About all he knew was brute force, and was able to beat Germany at the speed he did only by accepting a casualty rate of over 4 to 1 compared to his adversary.

  • k1w1taxi

    Welcome aboard Josh and renegade. Nice to see new names that argue their point instead of the opponent.

    I am another in the anti Hitler group pretty much for the same reasons as already outlined above. Also the statement
    *He defeated and conquered France while holding off the U.S., British and Russians during World War II.*
    is flat out wrong as at the time of the invasion of France Hitler was still observing his non aggression pact with Stalin whilst the USA was still a Neutral.

    I also share the reservations about Zhukov and would also add Julius Caesar to the maybe not Top 10 list as he also took over what was at the time the supreme fighting force in the world. Another name that does not belong anywhere near this list is Mao Tse Tung, who I see amongst the notable omissions,. The only reason he is an omission is that he was a complete incompetent as a military commander.

    Finally I would also support the call for one of the Muslim Generals, probably Khalid bin al Walid. Not because I have any expertise in the area but that Wiki entry posted above hints at a pretty extraordinary ability.

    Cheers
    Lee

  • ohrmets

    Genghis Khan should be #1! If I remember correctly, he did conquer the most territory in history.

    I’d put Alexander the Great behind him at #2, in part because of the long-lasting influence he had in spreading the Greek culture and language all over the world.

  • somerandomguy

    “How the heck does this list NOT include Gaiseric of the Vandals?”

    Well, Gaiseric wasn’t all that great of a commander, he just took control of favorable conditions. Most of the African troops had been removed to the North where most of the fighting was occurring, and the troops that remained were weak and divided.

  • brettc

    I agre with those saying Hitler should not be included: the Blitzkrieg thru France and Belgium was about the only time where the outcome of forcing his generals to go against their better judgement worked. In almost all other cases, notably the assaults on Moscow, Grozny/Stalingrad, Kursk, and the “stand fast” orders to every subsequent battle were disasters. As was the Battle of the Bulge, Operation Bodenplatte (the immolation of the Luftwaffe on New Year’s Day 1945) and the defence of Berlin.

    Zhukov was definitely a lucky, if ruthless general: he beat the Japanese (twice), the Germans (multiple times) and managed to outlive Stalin.

    If you want one general of the 20th century who was very successful, Allenby’s campaign through Egypt, Palestine and Syria in 1917-18 (with the Australian Light Horse – and some Kiwis too – leading the way, natch) was perhaps the most striking and successful, not to mention least expensive in (Allied) casualties for ground gained in either world war.

    Oh and William the Conqueror very definitely did not have a beard. The Normans used to rip the beards of the conquered Saxons (as per Peter the Great in Russia): he was clean shaven.

  • Ali hayat

    Damn… no o ne replied to me, not even JF himself ( no. 41 )

    • i think pakistani army chiefs general ashfaq parveez qayani and musharraf should be there.

  • Ali hayat

    I guess i will get some now that i have mentioned it…

  • Ali Hayat: JFrater is always watching :) I prefer to let others respond if possible – especially on lists I didn’t write – I know our intelligent readers often have much smarter things to say than I do! I suspect the absence of Khalid bin al walid is due to cultural differences – we in the west don’t know (as general knowledge) all of the Eastern and Arabic histories. Thankfully we can rely on people such as YOU to fill in the gaps in our knowledge – so thanks :)

  • Ali hayat: “I guess i will get some now that i have mentioned it…” hehe – you got lucky this time :)

  • dr. Hannibal Lecter

    I know people have said this before, but I have to say it too.

    Hitler? He was the exact opposite of what one would call “a successful military commander”. His generals were some bad ass military commanders, but Hitler..he was just lucky he had them. Hitler was a good speech motivator, but that’s about all he was.

    IMHO, if one of his generals had his power, most of us would be talking German on daily basis :-)

  • Randall

    I’ll add my voices to those who’ve said that including Hitler here was a bad idea. He in fact made VERY poor military decisions (except on those occasions when he got lucky), was an extremely poor delegator and administrator (militarily and otherwise) and was certainly NOT a capable general who could lead armies in the field (unlike Napolean).

    No no… take Hitler off there. Does not belong. Period.

  • meltingbridge

    @ dr. Hannibal Lecter– I certainly do not believe Hitler’s name belongs on a list of military commanders under any conditions, but I do not think any of his generals would have won the war either. Only someone as convincing and shrewd as Hitler could have kept the European powers from going to war in the late 1930’s. That is probably the greatest diplomatic achievement of all time.

  • dr. Hannibal Lecter

    Also, the part about Hitler: “He defeated and conquered France”; this is not really a military achievement. The French were still in WWI in their minds: had no armored units and relied on Maginot Line.

    Some say french tanks have six gears, 5 reverse, and one forward in case they are ever attacked from behind :-P

  • Randall

    Lecter:

    AGAIN, you open up your mouth and put your foot right in it.

    A) The German generals you refer to could NOT have won the war if they had “had Hitler’s power.” 1) They were not all, by any means, competent generals. In fact there were really only a handful that you could call truly brilliant in a military sense. Many of them were capable–but far more of them were simply toadying administrators with deep-set Prussian attitudes that were, in some ways, as out-of-date as the mindsets of their French counterparts at the start of the war. 2) Germany never, in fact, had any real chance against American production capacity nor, it can be argued, against Russian manpower and tenacity. Some historians have argued that a capably planned focus of energies by the Germans MAY have defeated the Russians, but other historians find this doubtful. Basically, better military leadership for Germany in WWII would have simply meant a longer, bloodier conflict. But the outcome would have been essentially the same: German defeat.

    B) It is not true that France had no armored units. Nor did they simply “rely” on the Maginot line. This is an adolescent’s assessment of why France was so quickly defeated, and like all such assessments, is based on “folksy” type “knowledge” and is, in essence, wrong. French defeat was a combination of bad politics, bad strategy, and bad tactics on the ground. The specifics are numerous and complex, and can’t be boiled down to the generally-held, but inaccurate, notion that the French simply hunkered down behind the Maginot and got out-maneuvered. In fact, on many occasions the French army fought heroically and effectively, but as always were undercut by supply problems, piss-poor leadership, and German superiority in arms and equipment and often tactics.

    We do at least agree Hitler does not belong on this list. He was a lousy “general” in every respect and was responsible for his country’s ultimate defeat and ruin. He doesn’t belong in the same company with Cyrus the Great and Alexander and Caesar. Napolean maybe–but even Napolean outclasses him in most every way.

  • dr. Hannibal Lecter

    “AGAIN, you open up your mouth and put your foot right in it.”

    Not your problem.

    “1) They were not all, by any means, competent generals.”

    Thank you Captain Obvious.

    “It is not true that France had no armored units. Nor did they simply “rely” on the Maginot line.”

    Well, of course they _did_ have armored units, but they were hardly comparable to German.

    I have no intention of debating with you so you can continue profiting on my generalizations, I have work to do.

  • JayBe

    Nice list.
    Obviously could be longer.

    what about Ho Chi Minh?
    He wasn’t a conqueror but in a huge technological inferiority he managed to deffend his country against Japan, France and USA.

  • erin

    Dates would be nice for each entry

  • Where’s Saladin?
    Where’s the Desert Fox?
    Where’s Ulysses Grant?
    Where’s Lee?
    Where’s George Washington?
    Where’s Nobunaga?
    Where’s Sun Tzu?
    Where’s El Cid?

  • Soldier

    Define “Success”.

    “Theater” accomplishment, taking the most ground, lasting effect on the world as it exists today, prevailing against odds?

    Ceasar’s victory at Alesia is incomparable when you consider his numerical inferiority and seemingly horrendous tactical disadvantage. Besieging a redoubt and encircled simultaneously? Those odds can only be characterized as hopeless, and yet…..

  • Marv in DC

    Can I get a little love for Cincinnatus?

    Also Zhukov was a very good commander. I think people sometimes have the misperception that Russia was automatically going to win any time that they were invaded. Hitler’s attack really had Russia on the ropes and they were very close to folding completely. It was only Leningrad withstanding a siege for three years, Moscow barely holding on and the battle of Stalingrad that really saved Russia. Zhukov was the commander in at least Leningrad and Moscow and was the one how saved both situations. (I am not sure about Stalingrad but I think by that point he may have already been the head General for Russia.) I know that there are many other factors in the Russian victory but it was very touch and go for a siginificant amount of time.

  • Aadilz

    (this is sort’ve aimed at Jfrater#102)
    It’s not even a western world type of divide. Saladin is held in high regard by Europeans too, they described him as chivalrous, almost moreso than their own Christian knights.

    Saladin was also a more generous and proper person, holding close to the core beliefs of Islam involving goodwill to others and peace. He only executed prisoners after being provoked to do so. His empire treated Christians, Jews and Muslims equally, AND he was friends with Richard the Lionheart — who, to end the war wanted his brother to marry Saladin’s niece.(I could have the relatives wrong but you get the point)

    I dunno, it just seems odd that some people are missing, some who managed to make their own names for themselves. Claiming it’s an ignorance that can be attributed to either side (eastern or western) is fallacy — because I live in the U.S. and I know all the other people on the list and more and I don’t even study them.

    I just think a list has to be more heavily reasearched and looked at before it’s put out. Otherwise you leave off important components because you don’t even bother. I find it odd that all ‘most successful military commanders’ are the first ones that come to mind, and no one else.

    P.S. I think Hitler’s success can actually be attributed to Erwin Rommel

  • bucslim

    Not sure you’re correct about Hannibal. He lost to Scipio at Zama. Where supposedly the two generals met personally on the battlefield. He’s an obvious selection here, but I think I’m right about Zama. Scipio chased his ass off the continent and slaughtered them at Zama.

    Marius was no slouch either. Every other Roman general at that time was some mincing rich dude who would wet themselves at the sight of the German horde. (Save Sulla) His campaigns are the stuff of legend.

    Come to think of it, Julius Caesar and Pompey kicked ass too.

  • Randall

    Aadilz:

    “P.S. I think Hitler’s success can actually be attributed to Erwin Rommel”

    A common fallacy. Rommel is the German general everyone knows. But in fact the Blitzkriegs in the west and the early success in the East were not Rommel’s doing. Other generals were in command of those operations. Rommel made his name for himself primarily in the Africa campaign (where he was in fact eventually beaten, let’s face it—though in part due to superior allied intelligence gathering and codebreaking).

  • somerandomguy

    Cincinnatus didn’t use all that amazing of tactics, just a simple infantry and cavalry combination. It’s Cincinnatus’s willingness to give up power that put him in the history books, not his military prowess, as there are many Roman commanders who never lost a battle.

  • Randall

    Lecter:

    ““AGAIN, you open up your mouth and put your foot right in it.”

    Not your problem.”

    It is when you keep showing up here, letting whatever foolish crap you decide to let fly from your mouth, without first checking your facts. This is a major pattern of yours, something you’ve done here time and time again. And then you get indignant when challenged. Somebody has to correct your inaccuracies, deliberate falsehoods, distortions, and other silliness.

    ““1) They were not all, by any means, competent generals.”

    Thank you Captain Obvious.”

    Cute, but YOU are the one who made the RIDICULOUS statement that “if the German generals had Hitler’s power, we’d all be speaking German now.” YOU made an absurd statement… and I’m mocked for correcting it? Uh huh. Sure.

    But see, I’ve had to correct absurd, over-the-top, unsupportable statements of yours before.

    ““It is not true that France had no armored units. Nor did they simply “rely” on the Maginot line.”

    Well, of course they _did_ have armored units,”

    But you see, you made a definitive statement that they did NOT. AGAIN—you did not check your facts, you just let whatever blather you wanted to slip from your mouth (or in this case, your fingers).

    POINT being, Lecter–you’re intellectually reckless and unwilling to take the measely few seconds required to reign in your rhetoric and get your facts straight. You’ve done it here, and you’ve done it many times before on other threads. You say what you want to say and believe what you want to believe, truth be damned… and then dodge and weave and evade when challenged.

    Even if you were to humble yourself (for once) and admit you were wrong, I wouldn’t care—I’d rather you stop shooting your mouth off and start thinking more deeply before you post crap.

    “but they were hardly comparable to German.”

    And so you’ve qualified what you originally said when your exaggerated nonsense has been clearly pointed out to you. Typical. Rather than saying “okay, I was wrong,” you squirm a little and try to qualify and re-state. Nice.

  • DamienKarras

    Why the heck is Patton not on this list?
    Or even General Zod from Superman 2

  • dr. Hannibal Lecter

    Randall, why don’t you relax your sphincter a bit. Ever since I discovered LV you’ve been riding my ass like a mean hemorrhoid.

    “Somebody has to correct your inaccuracies, deliberate falsehoods, distortions, and other silliness.”

    Isn’t it too bad: THAT SOMEONE IS *NOT* YOU. When are you going to get that in your thick head: I AM NOT ONE OF YOUR STUDENTS. So mind your own damn business. IF YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT ME, DON’T REPLY TO MY POSTS. I mean seriously, HOW HARD IS IT *NOT* TO CLICK!?

    Now, this might surprise you, but the last thing I need in my life is a cocky self-proclaimed scholar from the other side of the world, dissecting my every sentence and, of course, always taking them literally. You are raping the visitors of this site and scaring people away from it with your aggressive attitude and bulging ego, which you obviously can’t control even at your age. My left knee has more people skills than you, and my left knee *hates* people more than sharp edges of a table.

    Since I know you like Wikipedia sooooooo much (because it’s smarter than you), here are a few links for you:

    Something you don’t own:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet
    Something you can’t control:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_speech
    And something you need to learn how to respect:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion

    Read those, you infectious hedge-born joithead, and learn what happens when you get out of your ivory tower!

    Being a great fan of Father Jack Hackett, I’m going to quote him here, once and for all – just for you my dear Randall (such an original nickname):

    FECK OFF!

    Now enough with the off topic discussion. I’ve stated MY OPINION, you’ve stated YOUR OPINION. This is what comments are for. FORUMS (I’m sure you’ll Google the word) are for discussions.

  • Talanic

    Okay, I return here for a few glimpses back. I do have the historical perspective to help with some things here.

    Hitler had cooperation from the Germans, but not at gunpoint. No, guns are too quick. Those who dissented, often enough, disappeared and were never heard from again. In one of Hitler’s purges, there was a musician who lived near one of the guys on the list and had a similar name; on the day of the purge, he was dragged from his house. Three days later, the Gestapo was back, apologizing profusely for the mistake and paying for the funeral, with the condition that the coffin must NOT be opened. Does that give you the creeps yet? Because it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Hitler had FEAR on his side.

    More, he had easy scapegoats; Germany had been economically thrashed by Europe after WWI (seriously, look up the Treaty of Versailles) and told that the Germans were the cause of all things wrong in the world. The government in place after WWI (the Weimar Government) hadn’t actually had anything to do with the war, but wound up saddled with all the blame for the disastrous situation afterwards. Everyone in Germany *hated* the Weimar Government. Other than that, it was traditional to hate Jews, Gypsies, and Communists–so he pinned all the blame on them.

    Would the British have been able to hold off Operation Sea Lion? It’s something we can only really speculate on. If the RAF was destroyed, then the Luftwaffe could probably have guaranteed the ability of the Germans to land troops. Brits are fierce, but they were outnumbered. Defending is usually the advantageous position, but not when you don’t have air superiority.

    As far as Iraq, WMDs, etc:
    Iraq was bound by the UN Resolution 687, the one that ended the Gulf War. Weapons inspectors (The UN Special Commission – wiki them if you like) were to be allowed full access to all military installations, laboratories, etc. Everything. Violation of this resolution would be an act of war. Weapons inspectors were routinely impeded, brought to the wrong place and lied to about where they were…yeah, if Hussein had nothing to hide, he sure was looking guilty about it. The first statements by Scott Ritter, chief of those weapons inspectors, after they left Iraq for good in 1998, indicates that he believed Iraq still had WMDs or the capability of building them quickly; he even wrote a book about it (though he did not advise an invasion; he hoped diplomacy could win the day). Soon after that, he reversed this declaration, but this raised a bunch of questions: why did he change his mind during a time when he no longer could see Iraq?

    Things came up that cast more guilt on Iraq–though some proved to be forged. It is known that Iraqi officials met with Nigerian officials in 1999, to discuss potential trade. Uranium was not mentioned at the meeting, but is Nigeria’s primary export. Conclusions were jumped to. Here’s the major question that will probably be another “Who Shot JFK?”: Who forged those documents? They came to the US through the UK, France and Italy (thus making it seem like they were backed up; we’d heard it, the UK had heard it, France had heard it, and Italy had heard it; we couldn’t ALL be wrong, could we?), but it doesn’t guarantee that they didn’t originate here.

    Anyway, the whole situation was muddled, but the fact remains that if Iraq actually had more WMDs (there were SOME, but not enough to actually have constituted even a minor threat) then, by treaty, the entire UN would have the right to attack. This was a unique situation.

  • CurtShmurt

    What about Bill Halsey? He was hot tempered but lead the Americans through a difficult time and ultimately won the US the war.

  • CurtShmurt

    In the Pacific

  • CurtShmurt

    And what about Montgomery? He kicked ass too.

  • Bill

    What, no American military commanders??? We have a long history of great generals. They beat the British Empire twice when they were considered unbeatable; conquered Mexico (briefly) and the Southwest; conducted the first ‘modern’ war (the Civil War) using tactics and inventions that European generals would later use during the 20th Century; ‘tamed’ the American West (I know, I know…); entered a stagnated European war in the 4th quarter and largely brought it to an end; and then provided the largest portion of help in taking the world back from the Axis powers when it seemed all hope was lost…then the politicians in Washington screwed it up for our military in the decades after that.
    Here’s a short list of American names that SHOULD be on that list: Washington, Jones, Decatur, Jackson (Andrew and Thomas), Scott, Lee, Grant, Sherman, Dewey, Pershing, Lejeune, Eisenhower, Patton, McArthur, Sprague, Nimitz, and so many others. What I’m getting at is that we have a fine military tradition (until 1950 at least, considering one’s personal politics).
    From a world history view though, KGB99 had a huge list of fine commanders from many centuries to tackle, so it’s easy to see how he could of missed some commanders from a nation that has only been around the last 232 years. Good list, keep em’ coming.

  • CurtShmurt

    Didn’t Hitler reply when asked by one of his Field Marshall’s which way he thought the Americans would sway,”They speak English”.

  • Randall

    Lecter:

    “Ever since I discovered LV you’ve been riding my ass like a mean hemorrhoid.”

    A) don’t flatter yourself (especially with… the disgusting metaphor).

    B) I’ve hardly “ridden your ass.” What I’ve done is call you out when you’ve come on here and spouted complete and utter nonsense, which you’ve done repeatedly on other threads.

    ““Somebody has to correct your inaccuracies, deliberate falsehoods, distortions, and other silliness.”

    Isn’t it too bad: THAT SOMEONE IS *NOT* YOU. When are you going to get that in your thick head: I AM NOT ONE OF YOUR STUDENTS.”

    And you’re the poorer for it. A HELL of a lot poorer. I’ve wondered on many occasions whose student you actually WERE. They did a piss-poor job, whoever it was.

    But if not me, who? Are you arguing that you’re not to be challenged when you make absurd and/or incorrect assertions (as you do, frequently)?

    “IF YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT ME, DON’T REPLY TO MY POSTS. I mean seriously, HOW HARD IS IT *NOT* TO CLICK!?”

    Obviously I can say the same thing to you. But I can also ask you where you get off with this. On other threads you’ve rattled off long posts spouting your warped views and holding forth on them like you were some unimpeachable authority. And then when challenged, as I said, you twist and evade, and fail to ever face up to the fact that you’ve been wrong, repeatedly. It’s your monumental arrogance and unreasoning intellectual stubbornness in the face of *multiple* facts that has irked me from the beginning.

    But you’re right about one thing (and here’s the difference between you and me—I admit when I’m wrong) it’s not seemly of me to drag feelings of bad blood from other threads onto a new one. Your statements here meant nothing, (incorrect as they were) but I went after you for them in a harassing fashion. This amounts to persecution, and I was wrong for behaving thusly. For THAT I apologize. (For correcting you I do not apologize).

  • CurtShmurt

    Randall,
    Hahah

  • artmadd

    Cortés and Pizarro should be in that list, probably in the top 5. They both conquered empires with a handful or men, if that is not successful I don´t know what that means.
    Also Rommel is an obvious choice instead of Hitler. And the bizantine general Belisarius should be somewhere.

  • Randall

    CurtShmurt:

    Montgomery was in fact (sadly) not the great general the British wished him to be, though he was by no means bad. He was, in fact, a capable leader who was good to his men and was methodical in his tactical planning; he was also, however, overly-cautious and sometimes very slow to act. One might even call him “indecisive,” although I’m not sure many historians would agree that such a label would stick. He occasionally showed signs of being narrow-minded, militarily, although he showed almost equal signs of adaptiveness. In a sense his character seems to have been a wash.

    The trouble was that Britain was suffering from a severe lack of winning generals after the start of the war. Once Britain was beaten off the continent, they had few opportunities to address German advances in land engagements, and the ingominious defeat (if remarkable rescue) at Dunkirk had not helped morale. When Montgomery began making inroads against Rommel, the British finally had a winning general to rally behind, and so his mystique was born. But like Patton, it’s questionable how much of Montgomery’s mystique was really deserved. In both cases you can say that a lot of it was. But with both men there’s also some measure of doubt. They had their flaws. In the end, they both worked capably *within* the framework of larger armies–but the idea of either Montgomery or Patton being *overall* great generals—I wouldn’t be so quick to get behind that one.

    Similar things could be said about Halsey. He did not in fact win the war in the Pacific for the allies—in that endeavor he had a great deal of help (there were many very capable and heroic US naval figures in WWII) and guidance from a great commander, Chester Nimitz. But as a fighting admiral, it can be well argued that Raymond Spruance was as capable, and perhaps more, than Halsey. Halsey made mistakes. What’s admirable about him is that he was a fighter–tenacious and shrewd. But the same can be said for many other great military commanders in WWII. Halsey was a character as well, and one that went down far better than the occasionally offensive George Patton or the often prima-donnish and patrician Douglas MacArthur.

  • CurtShmurt

    “fighter-tenacious” Didn’t you just describe a war leader? Anyhoo, good points, well taken.

  • CurtShmurt

    Nimitz rocked too, I just couldn’t remember his name.

  • Randall

    CurtShmurt:

    Yes, certainly, a “war leader,” but from that I would not infer that he would belong on a top 10 list of the most successful.

    Which, again, is not to say that I am criticizing Halsey overly. He was a great admiral, surely. I’m merely pointing out that, given all the choices there are, he wouldn’t make my Top 10.

  • CurtShmurt

    Chesthair Nimitz we call him here in the old Army and Navy.

  • CurtShmurt

    But he won a campaign….in the Pacific no less…I suppose I can concede his skin condition(what is it called again?) had something to do with it…Still though….y’know

  • CurtShmurt

    Plus I noticed there were no Egyption generals mentioned. They weren’t as famous as the Romans were but they also kicked ass in their day…remember; they beat the Hyksos…eventually

  • CurtShmurt

    And pretty much conquered the known world of their time

  • CurtShmurt

    Twice!

  • Randall

    CurtShmurt:

    Nope, sorry Curt… ancient Egyptian military campaigns amounted to, primarily, keeping barbarians at bay to the south, east and west, and maintaining a bulwark against Hittite and Assyro-Babylonian expansion. Egypt, for much of its history, kept to itself, with the exception of the period when Ramses II (The Great) ruled an Egyptian empire which stretched up the Levant nearly to Asian Minor. (Ramses clashed with the Hittites but later made peace with them).

    But the achievements even of Ramses pale next to those of Alexander, for instance.

  • CurtShmurt

    Well, I’m going to get out of this pissing contest. I guess you just know too much.

  • CurtShmurt

    But don’t believe all your sources.

  • Randall

    Curt:

    No pissing match, just friendly commenting. You must be VERY new to this site if you thought THAT was a pissing match with ME. Your suggestions were quite good, actually… I just had to play devil’s advocate, in a sense.

    As for my sources—too numerous to mention, encountered at various institutions of higher learning. :-)

  • bigski

    Lecter & Randall cant we all just get along ?

  • Patrona

    general michel aoun

  • Canacan

    Ataturk. Kemal Ataturk. I am not sure why he isnt added. He is the Military leader who saved the Turkish after the fall of the Otterman empire. His military rules are still in place today and ATATURK is an idol in Turkish Culture. I currently work in a military base in Istanbul where his picture is everywhere. He seems to be a man whos military changes are still in place today. I think he should be added as a military great – and I think that every turk would agree with that. Turkey has the 4th largest army inthe world due to his work.

  • Koan

    I don’t know why you’ve placed Alexander the Great at the second place.

    He is known as Alexander the Macedonian and he defeated the Persian army many times and you are putting him after some Persian Military Commander. Not so fair.

    Also he didn’t influence the spread of Hellenistic culture, he fought against the Greeks and conquered them in the first place. He only influenced the spread of Macedonian culture.

  • josh116

    I have a question for anyone with the knowledge to answer it….from what I’ve read, the movie “300” was loosly based on true events. But what I wanna know is how much of it was true and would that garner whoever it was that lead the spartans a spot here?? Atleast for the way they held out against impossible odds?? I’m sure most of the movie was fiction, but what truth is in it??

  • dbugn

    No mention of Cromwell and his psalm singing army?..undefeated..New Model army

  • Blade

    Ghengis Khan should be higher onn the list.

  • MDWhite

    Hitler ? Hitler was a moron in terms of military strategy; he may well have been a captivating national leader (and I mean that in a purely evil sense), but he often over-ruled his generals with grandiose schemes that bore no grasp whatsoever of either strategy or tactics. His push to invade Russia, his failure to properly utilize the Luftwaffe against England in 1940, his inept naval strategy, his inability to react decisively to the D-Day invasion, on and on. A list without Grant, Washington, Sherman, Jackson, Lee, Slim or Wellington is a charade.

  • Brosiusjb

    Yeah Hitler was a dunce. His major success was ending the German depression that befell them after WWI. He built a major army out of almost nothing even though he wasn’t allowed to. But, Hitler was a moron. He had a nonaggression treaty with the Ruskies but choose to invade anyway. He bet the farm that he could conquor England and thus giving the allies no possible way to establish a foothold, but he was wrong. So he expanded the war and cut his forces in two because he had another front to defend against. He was a babe in the woods in terms of strategy and had he not run head long into a number of allied traps the war might have turned out far differently. My grandfather was in the Battle of the Bulge and was located at the point where the Germans almost had our forces surrounded. They knew that this was a last ditch attempt by a desperate man, they knew if they could fight this back they would be much weakened, and it was on to Berlin. They did and the rest is history. Although I hear the “Nazi style” party in Austria is coming back about and regaining popularity.

  • Ali hayat

    :-) JF, you are most welcome & you can count on me all the time. Anyway i hope next time more research will be done …

  • dr. Hannibal Lecter

    Randall, or should I call you Ginger? OK, Ginger it is.

    @Ginger:

    “A) don’t flatter yourself (especially with… the disgusting metaphor).”

    A damn well placed metaphor. And being ridden by you is by no means flattering.

    “And you’re the poorer for it. A HELL of a lot poorer.”

    Bahahaha, and you’re telling ME not to flatter myself?? Don’t YOU flatter yourself, eejit. Who the hell do you think you are? Gandhi? Get used to it: I DON’T RESPECT YOU BECAUSE YOU DON’T RESPECT ME. PERIOD.

    “They did a piss-poor job, whoever it was.”

    Yeah, well, your mom didn’t teach you how to respect others, and I didn’t insult her. She probably did all her best, but sometimes it’s just futile.

    “But if not me, who?”

    Why do you give a crap, eh? You’re not my teacher and you’re not my daddy (thank God for that), like it or not, you’re just some random “dude” on the Internet called Ginger. You’ve read the article about the Internet, did you?

    “Are you arguing that you’re not to be challenged when you make absurd and/or incorrect assertions (as you do, frequently)?”

    By you? Yes, PLEASE don’t challenge me. This is a formal, polite request from me to you. You think you can do that without breaking your ego?

    “Obviously I can say the same thing to you.”

    No you CAN’T. Because *I* have told *YOU* repeatedly that I don’t want to discuss anything with you. Still, you keep replying to my posts like a madman; insulting me and forcing me to insult you. Is it possible that you have nothing better to do? How does a self-advertising über-scholar like you manage to accomplish such a noteworthy quest is beyond me.

    “it’s not seemly of me to drag feelings of bad blood from other threads onto a new one.”

    Really? Is that so? So what does this mean: “On other threads you’ve rattled off long posts spouting your warped views and holding forth on them like you were some unimpeachable authority.”? Does it refer to this thread? NO. Did you repeat it in every thread? YES.

    Oh by the way, does the line above refer to my posts or your posts? It is a bit confusing for us dumb Balkans.

    “For THAT I apologize.”

    Don’t you even try pretending to be a good girl, not even for a second. That apology is as hollow as paris hilton’s head, and that is as hollow as it gets. You’ve insulted me in so many ways in so many threads that you finally can’t apologize enough. So, NO, apology not accepted. I know, “you don’t care”.

    I have a deadline tomorrow, so I’m just going to quote you Ginger and wrap this up for good: Peddle your nonsense somewhere else, worm.

    *Now* you can have the last word, as usual.

  • brettc

    Actually, one prominant general who has not been mentioned so far (even though he’s an Admiral) is Kohlhammer (see Weapons of Choice). Abbsolutely top choice.

    As for Macarthur, as an Aussie I wouldn”t even spit on his grave – absolutely a hopeless and totally self absorbed personality (yeah, as if that doesn’t apply to most Generals) who made his name by appropriating the expertise and sacrifice of others. Nimitz was the power leader of the Pacific war.

    There’s actually a lot to be said about Bomber Harris of Bomber Command: the air war against Germany has never received proper recognition for the destruction of the Nazi regime. Enormosus resources were devoted to the Defence of the Reich (thousands of artillery pieces, millions of soldiers and defence workers, let alone the bulk of Germany’s air defences and high-technology industries). While not as great in total terms as that of the Russians, as far as expenditure of economy, effort and manpower it was proportionally at least as effective, and possibly a greater reason for Germany’s defeat.

  • somerandomguy

    josh116-
    Much of the 300 is based on real events, although many of them were dramatized. The Spartans really were able to hold off the army until the the secret passage was shown by Ephialtes. However, the Spartans were hardly the “uber-soldiers” that the movie portrayed, and mostly owed their success to the ability to hold position, not show fear, and superior weapons and shields. The Persian elite immortals only had wicker shields compared to the wooden shields of the Spartans.

    The Persians were unused to phalanx combat which the Greeks used, which was a formation where the men lined up in a row, holding their shield in their left hand, guarding the man beside them. The main danger of a phalanx, which is getting outflanked, did not apply here until the secret mountain pass was revealed.

    The commander, Leonidas, however, would not go down as one of the most successful commanders, though, as this was the only battle he fought in that I know of, and he didn’t use amazing tactics, simply relying on the strengths of the Spartan hoplites. If there was a list of bravest generals, though, he’d probably top the list.

  • josh116

    Somerandomguy – Thanks for the info. I knew Hollywood did their usual dramatization of the battle but its cool to know that it actually happened. I’ve read that the troop numbers were greatly exagerrated, which I would suppose is true as well. From what I’ve read the spartans had about 5000 troops and not 300…but I don’t know what the actual numbers were. That story just fascinates me. Leonidas must’ve been a bad ass motha f*cka!!! Lol

  • Randall

    Lecter:

    “Why do you give a crap, eh?”

    Well, because I care about the truth, Lecter, and I care about accuracy and the facts. It’s key to my life and my profession, and I was brought up to hold truth, honesty, and accuracy as important and vital to being civilized and rational. As I’ve said, in my opinion you’ve made a habit of playing loose with the facts and with truth here time and time again. You’d like to get away with it, I’m quite sure, and not be challenged by me or anyone else. Good luck with that. It isn’t going to happen. Not as far as I’m concerned.

    “By you? Yes, PLEASE don’t challenge me. This is a formal, polite request from me to you. You think you can do that without breaking your ego?”

    This has nothing whatsoever to do with my ego. This has to do with someone (you) wishing to say whatever they want, regardless of facts or truth in a PUBLIC FORUM, and not be challenged on it, ever. And nope, sorry. I’m not going to accede to that. I’d be glad, however, to accede to a less hostile form of rhetoric. But on the other hand, you clearly have it in your mind that I “started this” in some way, way back when. Which is silly, and childish. You offer up your statements on a public forum, and I respond to them. I do the same thing all the time. And I know, as a reasonable adult, that I have a choice at that time: either to accept the “risk” of being challenged or insulted/attacked, or not—which means to not post things on a public forum. And if I do so choose to post, and I am challenged/attacked/insulted, my choice then is to either respond in kind or to ignore the challenge/attack/insult.

    You have the same choices.

    I would point out, also, that is CERTAINLY not like I am following you around on this site, deliberately trying to pick fights with you. I know quite well that I could find several examples of exchanges you had with other individuals where I chose not to “join in” and contribute, because I felt I had no reason to.

    This isn’t “personal,” nor is it some “quest” I’m on. You’re acting like this is some private affront that it being directed solely at you. Hardly. I simply feel that when someone posts something in a public place, they then comprehend that they are opening up their statements to equally public criticism, challenge, and argument.

    Why does THAT bother you so much, one wonders?

    “No you CAN’T. Because *I* have told *YOU* repeatedly that I don’t want to discuss anything with you.”

    Then you’re free not to respond to me. When you make, however, untrue or outrageous statements, yes, I intend to point them out as such and challenge them. That is what I do here.

    “So, NO, apology not accepted.”

    That’s up to you. However, the apology I offered was NOT for previously insulting you nor for challenging you on previous occasions. Rather, my apology was SIMPLY for overreacting on THIS thread, which I feel I did do, and for dragging the bad blood from previous arguments onto this thread, which I feel was unseemly and wrong of me.

  • somerandomguy

    Well, according to the wikipedia article, the 300 only stands for the Spartan hoplites, but leaves out the 400 Thebans, 700 Thespians, 900 helots (Spartan slaves/serfs)1,000 Phocians, and
    2,800+ other Greek allies. But still, the modern estimates for the Persians is about 200,000 (2 million is just too large of a number to feed, so Herodotus probably got it wrong), so there’s no way around it, Leonidas was VERY ballsy.

  • bigski

    Dont be badmouthing MacArthur #155 If it wasnt fom him you would be eating sushi instead of vegimite.He He He

  • josh116

    Somerandomguy – Wow…5000+ versus 200,000+….those are still impossible odds!!! Have there ever been other battles with such odds?? I would love to learn more…

  • somerandomguy

    I’m not so sure about that. I think the biggest factor that led to an American victory was our ability to just outproduce the Japanese. I can’t find anything really exceptional that Douglas MacArthur did, and if anything, he was too slow to act in the Philippines at the beginning of the war, and too eager to join in a full war with China in the ’50s, a war which Mao Zedong would have gladly accepted. It was a good move on Truman’s part to sack him, even if he was popular.

  • somerandomguy

    Well, there’s always the battle of Mogadishu,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Mogadishu_(1993)
    which shows what happens when an elite fighting force faces untrained soldiers, even if the political consequences afterwards kind of turned it into a defeat.

    Then there’s the battle of Blood River
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Blood_River
    between the Boers and the Zulus, showing how a few men with guns can beat men with spears if they have a defensive position. The battle was 464 Boers to over 10,000 Zulus, yet only 3 Boers were injured (none died) and about 3000 Zulus were killed. If it wasn’t for the technological advantages, I’d almost nominate Andries Pretorius, the Boer commander of that battle, after whom Pretoria was named (by his son with an even more awesome name, Marthinus Pretorius)

    Oh, and for a war that is very lopsided, check out the statistics on the Winter War
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_War
    It should make you very afraid of Finns, even if they did lose the war. One Finn, named Simo Hayha, nicknamed “White Death,” killed over 500 Russians in sub-zero weather using iron sights instead of telescopic sights, until he got half his head blown off, which didn’t stop him from living to the ripe age of 96.

  • kiwiboi

    “the biggest factor that led to an American victory”

    somerandomguy – you’re American, right? ;)

  • Randall

    somerandomguy:

    It is not at all fair to levy the criticism against MacArthur that he was “too slow” to act in the Phillippines at the start of the war. The loss of the Phillippines was, unfortunately, a foregone conclusion from the beginning, given that the American force there was small and that the Pacific fleet had been wiped out at Pearl Harbor. This was, in fact, the very value of the Pearl Harbor attack to the Japanese at the start of the war—it gave them free reign in the Western Pacific, as American carriers could not dare to move that far west to protect the Phillippines without full fleet/battleship escort. There is little, if anything, then, that MacArthur could have done to prevent the loss of the islands.

    As for MacArthur not having done anything substantial, this too is off-base. MacArthur coordinated and managed the entire allied effort in the Pacific and east Asia–in short, all those areas not under Nimitz’s purview–and kept the war running on a shoe string until production capacity could manage a simultaneous war in the European Theater as well as the Pacific. Until then, Europe took precedence, and MacArthur had to make due with what he had. In that sense he did a remarkable job, managing to keep the Japanese from taking New Guinea completely and thus threatening Australia. (To name just one accomplishment). It was in large part a defensive war until Guadalcanal, but a defensive war that was well handled.

    On the other hand, MacArthur’s administration style left something to be desired, yes… he seems to have had a tendency to pit his junior commanders against each other. Although it’s not certain that he orchestrated this or if it was simply the happenstance of the times—again, he was working with what he had to work with. But when he got better men under him (my dad’s commander, for instance–General George C. Kenney–my dad was a bomber pilot in New Guinea and the Phillippines and was one of “Kenney’s Kids”) MacArthur’s operation ran well and got things done.

    Also, his liberation of the Phillippines was brilliantly staged and worked well.

    Except for the brutal fighting in the island campaign though, we must remember that the Pacific was primarily an air war—and MacArthur had the good sense to let men like Kenney run the show for him, and he gave them the room they needed to operate.

    Let’s remember also that MacArthur’s later operation at Inchon, in the Korean War, was a brilliant piece of tactics.

    He was also an EXTREMELY capable and brilliant administrator of post-war Japan—sensitive to the needs and sense of honor of the Japanese people, managing to make it clear that he was their master for a time, but that he was not there to be their tyrant. He tamed and changed that society for the better for all time–dragging it out of a near-feudal, brutal authoritarian dictatorship into democracy. No small accomplishment

    The man was a gigantic prima donna with delusions of grandeur at times, but he was no slouch.

  • bigski

    WEll said Randall !

  • somerandomguy

    Yep, I’d agree, well said. I suppose my main point was that while MacArthur may have done a good job of handling the war, I think the main factor that led to our victory was our ability to outproduce the Japanese. Even though we were only using 15% of our forces in Japan (last I read), the Japanese never really stood much of a chance at winning the war once they attacked us, unlike in the European theatre (which is much of why our resources were concentrated there).

    Even if the Japanese had managed to conquer New Guinea and even Australia, they still had the war in China at a standstill. I just don’t see the Japanese being able to conquer all these places and being able to actually turn the conquered regions into colonies in time for them to aid the war effort. There were just too many factors against the Japanese, and the main factor in their favor was that there were no other major powers in the area.

    I do find MacArthur’s personality a bit distasteful at times, though, so perhaps that’s why I’m more eager to be against him than for him. I will agree, though, he did do a remarkable job on handling post-war Japan, even if he did create that huge confusion nowadays concerning how much Hirohito was involved in the war effort.

  • somerandomguy

    Oh, but the major reason I think it was good that he was sacked was not that he was incompetent (not that he was), but that he was too belligerent.

  • Renegade

    Hmm, well in regards to the Spartans they had another advantage that was indeed surprisingly useful. This was that they were all, at least I believe all from what I learned in history, homosexual. Because of this they felt a deeper reason to defend each other which is why so many of their tactics were so useful. Plus the terrain they chose was indeed hella genius. Just big enough for them to fit in, just small enough to allow too many enemies to get through. Leonidas may not be considered one of the greatest generals because of his few recorded battles, but he was indeed very clever in his tactics.

  • Renegade

    *not too many..my bad there

  • krug

    Zhuge Liang

    from the three kingdom era in chinese.
    in an era where most military geniuses were put together to outwit each other.
    Zhuge Liang defeated an enemy 9 times unil he succumb absolutletly.

  • Hmm

    The bust of Hannibal reminds me of Donald Pleasence.

  • Lawrence

    What happened to the man who trounced Napeleon? The Duke Of Wellington. Arthur Wellesley. He was never defeated in the Peninsular War and forced Napoleon’s surrender.

  • snow white

    I think that Hitler should be the first. He had shown his strength during world war 2. He made the people surprise. Didn’t he make?

  • Randall

    Renegade:

    “…This was that they were all, at least I believe all from what I learned in history, homosexual.”

    No, Renegade, no. (puts hand to forehead, shakes head) No.

    Yes, the Greeks had an entirely different definition of sexuality than we today do (see my post in the “facts about the Romans” thread from a while back–if you’re interested I’ll find the link–I just don’t have time right now to rephrase my scholarship, sorry) and they were even said to have the idea that fielding a group of warriors who were lovers would make them fight better, more fiercely—but this was not *standard* practice, nor were all Spartans gay.

  • Renegade

    I see, alright my bad on that one. I’d would actually be interested in the link when you get a moment. Thanks for making the clarification.

  • robneiderman

    I’m glad to see this list is finally on listverse. I’ve thought for a long time that it was an obvious list that should be here (maybe that’s why it was missing for so long…too obvious). I even started cooking up my own list, but then I realized I can’t be bothered. I hadn’t gotten as far as ranking, but I’d pretty much decided on Alexander for #1. Being undefeated definitely pushes you closer to the top.
    Here are some candidates I was considering for my list in addition to most of the guys who made THE list. I only skimmed the comments, (I get so annoyed with Randall playing the superior and everybody fighting with him, can’t we be more respectful?), so forgive any repetition.
    Grant
    Sherman
    Khalid ibn al Walid
    Belisarius
    Frederick the Great
    Rommel
    Epaminondas of Thebes
    Duke of Marlborough
    Patton
    Washington
    I have to agree with the person who said Hitler shouldn’t be on the list. A head of state isn’t necessarily a military commander, even if he insists on wearing a uniform.

  • robneiderman

    On a side note, I’ve always had a problem with the widely-stated fact that the Norman Conquest was the last successful foreign conquest of England. The Glorious Revolution of 1688 was a Dutch invasion, led by William of Orange. I’ll accept that there are arguments against it being a conquest (so many Englishmen supported William and Mary), or against it being totally foreign (Mary Stuart being English royalty), but you could make a strong case for it as a foreign conquest.
    And then there are times when a claimant to the throne invaded with a mostly foreign army, like Henry Tudor.
    I’m not equating the other invasions with 1066, but in many ways they at least qualify as foreign conquests.

  • somerandomguy

    The whole homosexual +fighting bond thing did actually get used by Thebes, which was one of the dominant city-states in Greece before the Macedonians defeated them at Chaeronea. Mind you, the bond of this “sacred band” was no contest to the strength of Alexander the Great and his men, who defeated them. Go #2! Oh, and I think he’s better than #1, but that might be because of my over-romanticized views of Classical Antiquity.

  • Randall

    somerandomguy:

    Actually, it was Alexander’s father, Philip, who defeated the combined Greek armies at Chaeronea. (Not just Thebes, but Athens and other Greek city-states finally banded together to fight Philip there. As we know, they failed. Too little too late).

    But I agree… Alexander is superior to Cyrus. Alexander’s military prowess was clearly greater, and his empire was larger.

    • Kim

      Cyrus is the one whose empire is known as the largest one in ancient history so, you know, I believe Alexander certainly didn't best him on that. Also his lasted about three hundred years after his death unlike Alexander which was split apart so Cyrus is clearly better in those regards.

  • bigski

    Im starting to lean toward randall being smarter than lecter !

  • somerandomguy

    Well, yes, it was Philip that was the head commander in the battle. But it was Alexander and his troops that broke through the line to win the day.

  • Du

    seriously, where is sun tzu? the author of the art of war? still valid in modern warfare?

    or is this only for military conquests only, and not the masterminds behind it?

  • k1w1taxi

    Can someone please explain why Americans keep throwing up the names Sherman and Grant.Assuming the personages meant are Philip and Ulysses S. respectively.

    Nothing I have ever read about their careers shows any outstanding ability on their parts. Both of them achieved their success in fairly conventional manner against an enemy that was largely well beaten whilst they had superior numbers and quality (physically) soldiers and a vastly superior military industrial base behind them.

    No, they may have been good but they do not belong on this list. In fact their military opponents probably have a more deserving case. For many of the other US generals throughout history the same *criticism* applies. However it is hardly their fault that the US is usually the 600lb gorilla in any fight.

    For my mind the only probably deserving US generals among those regularly quoted are Robert E Lee and Eisenhower (I reserve judgment on Washington due to a lack of knowledge on his specific military accomplishments). Though given Ike’s role as SCAFE how much of his brilliance was military in nature and how much *merely* logistics and what weighting should be applied is possibly worth discussing.

    Cheers
    Lee

  • astraya

    I’d rather assume that the personage meant is William T Sherman. Otherwise, US Uncivil War history not being my thing, I’ll keep out of this.

  • jbjr

    patton-ike-MacArther

  • Randall

    k1w1taxi:

    Sherman and Grant were very good generals, and better than you’re characterizing them… but I’d agree with you, I wouldn’t place them on a list of the Greatest, or Most Successful Military Commanders. Robert E. Lee *was* superior, probably–but again, with all the world and all of history to choose from, they wouldn’t make my list of Top 10.

    Top 20 though, probably.

    Eisenhower—no, however. Eisenhower was, yes, a very good general. But he was not really a field commander. He was an administrator, a top-brass guy. He was a great leader of OTHER generals, who WERE field commanders, and great ones. He knew how to command and knew how to make decisions. But I’m not sure he was the same KIND of general as an Alexander.

  • bigski

    I put Robert E. Lee above Grant & Sherman. He accomplished much more with what he had (tactically anyway) than the former.We still dont like Sherman in the south because of what he did.Some people consider him a war criminal like the Irish do Cromwell.

  • k1w1taxi

    Randall 187

    Re Eisenhower. Exactly what I was trying to put across though much less articulately than you.

    Cheers
    Lee

  • Dubya

    You mean to tell me I didn’t make this list. Now I gotta add one more thing to my Bucket List.

  • mmb300

    William the conqueror should not be on this list, he got lucky.

  • naser

    without any dobt the first is CYRUS THE GREAT who was the founder of freedom,peace,justice and humanity.he is first and will be first forever.

  • Randall

    naser:

    Uh….. I BET you’re Iranian, huh? naser?

    Well far be it for me to insult your (apparently) national hero… but Cyrus had nothing whatsoever to do with freedom, peace, justice, or humanity. He was, like his successors, a brutal and rapacious despot with absolute power over his people.

    Now, this makes him no worse than any other near eastern monarchs of the day, nor was he worse than his even more cruel followers, Darius and Xerxes. One can argue that the Assyrians were crueller still, of course… but in general the historical judgement is that these guys, be they Medes, Persians, Babylonians or Assyrians, etc., were not sweet-tempered humanists by nature. They exercised, as I said, total and absolute power over their subjects, who were their unqualified slaves.

    Let’s not get silly, naser. Your ancient ancestors (assuming you ARE in fact Persian) have a lot of things to be proud of. But freedom, justice and humanity aren’t among
    them.

    • Kim

      Did you know that Cyrus the Great created one of the first declarations of human rights (i.e. the Cyrus Cylinder) and also was known to keep the local customs and laws of his conquered lands? Or even that those conquered people would call him "father" for everything he did? How many despot, power hungry rulers are known for that?

    • ACM 22

      persians shouldnt be proud of justice and freedom???? so i think that the first ever human rights charter just magically appeared from the sky or the babelonyains just out of nowhere decided to free the jews or the cyrus the great was not the first king to not use slaves but actually pay the workers. read some history you idiot

  • warningdontreadthis

    Thanks Randall, really thank you so much. You just don’t think before you act do you? You don’t think about the girl who has little confidence in herself and clings on the idea that maybe her ancestors were great people and better than the assholes who control her country now.
    Maybe she might be having a shit life right now, but theres a postive side to it right? No you just destroy everything, you’re so fucking cynical it disgusts me. Honestly I used to admire you, but every single thing I’ve liked you’ve ripped to shreds and spit on it.

  • bigski

    Dang #194 Randall`s a teacher. When he see`s someone say something stupid or incorrect he cant let that go unanswered and I dont blame him !

  • warningdontreadthis

    there should be limits…

  • kani

    i think,im 100 procent sure that khalid ibn al walid was the best general in the history of humankind, also Cyrus can be equal to him,Alexander was nothing more than a gay who had no other job only to give command just conquer the perisan empire,all that work is attributed to his father Philip II.
    when we are listing the best generals surely the best are Subutai the Mongol,Khalid ibn al Walid the Muslim,Cyrus the Persian,Sargon the Akkadian,and Eannatum the Sumerian-the last one is the inventor of war shield sword cavalry empire,everything, all the others are pussies.just see William the Conqueror the top ten generals in the world-the man who conquered a farming willage aahahah

  • bigski

    Alright Randall time to eat kani`s lunch were waiting !

  • Randall

    warningdontreadthis:

    I’m tempted to answer, “fuck you,” warning… sorely tempted. And if you’d prefer that, fine, we can end it here.

    But you’ve been around here for a while, and I believe we’ve talked before, so I feel it’s incumbent upon me to explain something to you.

    To begin with, you’re jumping to some wild conclusions, aren’t you? How do you know Naser was a girl? Did I miss something? We don’t even know for a fact he or she was Iranian–I simply guessed (unless, again, I missed something). And yet, you felt it necessary to launch into an angry tirade against me… on the basis of what?

    The truth is the truth, warning. PARTICULARLY when it comes to history. THIS IS THE VERY PROBLEM we deal with in our world all the time–people wanting to skew and alter facts and truth to make themselves “feel better” or look better or to cover up prior crimes and injustices. If Naser had been a Turk who was claiming that the Armenian genocide had never occurred, and I had responded to him or her, would you have still jumped all over me? Or if he/she had been a German who denided the Holocaust? Or a Japanese who denied Nanking? Did you think about that?

    We are not in the business, Warning, of building up people’s self-images through lies and distortions. That leads to NOWHERE. Because eventually the truth comes out–and what happens to that house of cards they’ve built their worldview on? Did you think of THAT?

    Now, if you want me to guess, I’d say that Naser was probably Iranian, and was in fact spouting propaganda he/she had picked up through government teachings. AM I HERE to pity his or her poor poor feelings and thus SUPPORT the bullshit he/she’s been fed? I don’t think so. I have too much respect for Truth for that, and for historical FACT. It isn’t “cynicism” to stand up for the truth and to say to someone who has assailed it, “NO, that’s wrong.” This is no matter of “opinion.” We are addressing HISTORY and FACT. Unless, as I pointed out, you’d like to consign ALL history to mere opinion, and thus let the Holocaust deniers and Armenian genocide deniers and the lunkheaded rednecks in the US who dismiss things like the Trail of Tears and so on—unless you’d like people like THAT to have their way.

    The power to face unpleasant facts, Warning–ESPECIALLY about one’s OWN HERITAGE–is vital to maintaining a strong mind and strong critical thinking skills. And without these properties of the intellect, we are DIMINISHED and our civilization begins to falter. Get enough people with YOUR attitude, that we should just let people have their little self-confidence-building beliefs—even if they contradict truth–and enough people subscribing to such beliefs—and pretty soon truth is lost and meaningless, and we might as well be living in a sort of Orwellian world where facts and history are rewritten to suit us.

    Is that what you want?

  • kani

    randall, according to you who is fighting for freedom and justice?
    according to me nobody,that nation or union who says that fights for human rights lies.
    everybody fights for money,power, and wealth.
    the europeans had listed only indo-european generals, in previous page i saw 12 best medieval soldier and the lissting was terrible ,horribel,they listed the longbowman,huscarls,halberdiers as the best medieval soldiers, and what did this soldiers conquer?nothing.
    we can warmly say that the best medieval soldiers were the Mongol horse archer,Mamluks, and Rashidun Cavalry who succeded to win both the byzantines and Persians at one time.
    and finally the best warrior and military commander is Khalid ibn al Walid or known as the Sword of God.
    the man could direct his horse with his leg and menatime can ride and fight with two swords, he killed in duell the best warriors in his time in the world Roman,Persian,Hun mercenaries,Turks,Germans,Franks,Slavs,Armenians,Black Africans ect.

  • Randall

    Kani:

    You were doing okay citing Khalid ibn al Walid, who was unquestionably a great general, and you were somewhat correct in pointing out the injustice in the way this list ignored him (though you’re hardly correct in claiming the list to be western-centric, given the selections). But to cite Sargon and Eannatum? Come on. Unquestionably great figures in human history—after all, how many people from 4000 years ago do we still remember? But their empires were comparatively tiny, basically being confined to the Tigris and Euphrates valleys.

    And the silly, rather childish insults directed at Alexander… please. His empire was the largest in human history, in land area, and he defeated the vast Persian Empire in a single campaign. And sis father, Philip, was dead before Alexander even set foot in Asia.

    Sticking to corrections like the unfair omission of Khalid ibn al Walid is good, kani. Going overboard into hyperbolic propaganda to make yourself feel good in a nationalistic sense is childishly silly.

  • MS

    I’d include Alexander Suvorov in the list. He isn’t as famous because he never led a grand continent-scale invasion but he never lost a battle in his long military career.

    On the other hand Hitler was a terrible military commander – Germany’s success was due to 1. much more competent actual general in charge and 2. poor preparedness and leadership of their opponents early in the war. Many of Germany’s later defeats, like during Battle of Stalingrad, were mainly due to Hilter’s poor decisions.

  • kani

    randall:

    how can you say that alexanders empire was the largest in the human history wen whe now was not,
    the was Macedonian Empire – 5.9 million km² large the Achaemenid Persian Empire – 6.5 million km² large (under Darius the Great), and the Han Chinese Empire -was 6 million km² large which both empires makes larger than the empire of alexander, do not mention the Umayyad Caliphate the Mongol Empire which were 2 and 5 timess larger than the empire of Alexander.
    how many people do wo know 4000 years ago only 3 people Sargon the Great,E

  • kani

    Eannatum and Naram-Sin, we can firmly conclude that Sarons empire was not only in Mesopotamia, he conquered Iran Iraq Turkety Syria, in his recordings says that he sailed to the syrian sea in to unkown land where he conquered those people.
    Sargon probably conquered Egypt and the Harrapan Civilization,all this attributes makes him one of the greatest warriors and military strategiest,but definititely the doctor of science for war and strategy was Khalid ibn al Walid, i ask you a question?
    what will done Khalid ibn al Walid if he had an army like alexander and bee their king???
    again you forggot Subutai the Mongol Comander, the unique man in this green earth who conquered 5 times more than alexander himself.

  • wiggin

    hey, what about ender?

  • Jose

    Im sorry, but Adolf Hitler was not a military leader, he was a politician. All of Germany’s victories (and loses) come from the generals within the werhmacht, not Hitler.

  • bigski

    Read a history book or two Jose ! Said with love.

  • hakan bagci

    there was ottomans, conqured countries from 3 continent and ruled old world for 700 years.. (1299 – 1922) in the list no man from this empire… strange isn’t it…

  • archangel

    I am not quite sure but should Qin Shi Huang Di be mentioned on this list for conquering and unifying all the kingdoms of China, making an empire that lasted 1000 years as he wanted?

    Mongol Empire was largest land area and Temujin (Genghis Khan) was a great general, though one does need to keep in mind that most of Mongol territory was sparsely inhabited and the societies that did inhabit them were far from technologically and economically advanced.

    Ottomans, 700 years? What?

  • Maroon

    Hitler shouldn’t be on that list! While he did institute the Blitzkrieg and won several battles, ultimately his arrogance and craziness cost him the war! He won easily in France because the French forgot about WW1 and he only got the jump on Russia because Stalin was willing to believe his crap about wanting “peace”. Blitzkrieg can only work if you have large amounts of oil which Germany didn’t have and if the battles are quick. Hitler’s long expedition into Russia ignoring the need for winter clothes because of his arrogance (this went so far as Generals who requested winter clothes were labeled failures and insincere.) When he realized the need for oil he diverted a large amount of his army to the south to capture the oil in the Balkans which helped is his ensuing losses at Moscow and Leningrad. Also, his total belief in the need to finish the racial war in his country found Hitler refusing to send supplies to his units instead choosing to send them to concentration camps until the end. And as a final cherry on top, Hitler was ordering units that didn’t exist in the battle for Berlin while yelling at his advisers for being failures if they tried to point out the obvious.

  • Forgotten Army

    I personally think that you should add Khalid bin Al waleed, I mean please. in a 3 year process only, he invaded much of the Persian empire and most of roman Syria. he also successfully mastered a double evolvement in the battle of Walaja. I mean, doesn’t he deserve credit on what he did?

  • bader

    I think Khalid bin al walid should definitely be in the list,
    he has never lost a battle !

  • Ian

    What?! No Lee? Paton? Jackson? Ramses the II?

  • John

    Kahlid bin al walid remain undefeated in his entire life even he won 100 of battles ,i love khalid he is number 1

  • Jackson

    Stonewall Jackson who was general Lee’s right hand man repelled seven union armies at one time Lee said himself that he would not have accomplished as much as he did without Jackson he is easiest one of the greatest tactition’s of all time he kept the union army at bay until his death

  • yahooanon

    Hitler? Seriously? One of the most incompetent military leaders in human history?

    No.

  • yahooanon

    “No” as in, “he shouldn’t be on this list,” that is.

    He *was* an idiot. Just to be clear.

  • Mark

    216. anon : “Top 10 Most SUCCESSFUL Military Commanders” Adjectives matter, read them first…

  • Jeff

    This list is almost entirely europeans. The first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang Di. United the kingdoms and led armies of hundreds of thousands strong against others of similar size while the europeans were fighting with thousands, 10s of thousands at the most. He laid the groundwork for an empire that is today, nearly 2x the size of the Roman and Macedonian (Alexander’s)empires. Typical western bias.

  • AAK Khan

    this is completely rubbish

    Hitler, Nepoleon, Hannibal are not worthy of saying successful military commanders because they all lost.

    what do you see in those losers that you say them successful.

    on other hand william’s and georgy’s effects of military invasions were only in england and russia particularly, not the whole world.

  • AAK Khan

    it seems you have a special negligiance for the great conqueror of middle ages(islamic period) and islamic warriors.

    you failed to mention great islamic warriors who changed the whole course of history such as Arab warriors i.e Khalid Bin Walid, tariq bin ziad,saladin , great Mughals of india, turkish Sultans of middle ages

  • Dionysus

    NO WAY!!!
    Best commanders maybe, but the most successful must be Ghengis Khan. He started from scratch and build up the greatest empire of all time, the biggest.

    And even in this top, if just some say that Cyrus is as great as Alexander, how can you put him as #1, in front of Alexander?

  • kk

    What about Muslim Leaders like Tariq Bin Ziad who kiked the ASS of roman and persian Empires and sultan Salah ud di Ayubi who Made King Richrd to lick his own blood

  • AAK Khan

    why would you think muslims not worthy of saying “successfull military commanders”

    that’s because islam slaps on the face of ‘europeans’ from the very birth of it.

    at manytime in history islam ruled large parts of white europe.i.e SPAIN, RUSSIA, BALKAN, POLAND, ROMANIA, HUNGARY, UKRAINE, ITALY, FRANCE(parts of last two).

    now aren’t muslims worthy to say great and successful military commanders.

    you must name your list!!!

    “10 MOST SUCCESSFUL NON-MUSLIM MILITARY COMMANDERS”

  • SS

    what about gjergj kastriot skanderbeg?
    he was one of the most succesful military leaders against the ottoman nation

    he fought for quite some time and thwarted the ottoman army’s

    he was also one of the first people to use guerrilla tactics as a main form of assault over 500 years ago…
    phail….

  • Baxter

    Hitler was a god-awful militry commander. He had no strategic mind whatsoever. His appearance on this list is merited by the achievements and the intelligence of his generals, not by his own. By your logic, Zhukov’s victories should be attributed to Stalin.

    Ideology aside, there are a thousand military commanders who deserve higher placement on this list than that buffoon.

    Other than that, another interesting list.

  • Diplo

    Great list. Perhaps you could expand the list and make it into a series. A couple of fun topics could be: Greatest Conquerors (Ghengis, Caesar), Greates Liberators (Bolivar, Washington) and Greatest Generals by region (Of the Americas, Europe, Asia, etc.).

    Also it would be fun to see a list including the Generals who won even though they were greatly outnumbered (Like the Spartans).

  • BazfromOz

    If someone suggests Ludendorff, as they have, how about the man who figured very largely in his and Germany’s defeat in WWI? Sir John Monash, described later by Montgomery as “the outstanding general of the western front”

  • Alexander The Great

    The only undefeated commander in history deserves to claim the #1 spot in history. Alexander first united a fragmented empire built by his father-an empire largely hostile to his rule at the beginning of his ascent to the throne. He then used that empire to expand Hellenistic influence to the edges of his map, going as far as human endurance would permit him. He routinely fought battles in which he was outnumbered 4 to 1 by conservative estimates, sustaining minimal casulties. He perfected military techniques tat outmatched everything else in his world-even using them to defeat elephants in unfamiliar terrain. And he did it all before he was thirty.

    Top that, Cyrus

    • Mr. Irani

      All that may be true,however Alexander did this through violence and barbarism.When he won the war against the Persians he burnt down the Persepolis and enslaved the local population.
      On the other hand,Cyrus the Great after winning the war against Babylon,freed the Jewish population,allowed the Babylonians to rule themselves and practice whatever religions they want.Also put forward the first HUMAN RIGHTS DECLARATION.In the Old Testament Cyrus the Great is mentioned as Saint.
      Now top this Alexander.

  • Jay Poe

    Funny how this list is most successful Military commanders but most of them lost in their campaigns and were killed or died prematurely.

  • ides of march

    some one might have said this aready but hitler lost be cause HE was a bad general…hitlers generals should be up here not him…and i have kinda thrown the rest of this list out too because hilter is on it as a good general…also to jay poe, those that live by the sword die by it.

  • Aryan Shahi

    I would like to add for sake of discussion some of the overlooked Indian military commanders:

    Chandragupta Maurya: the founder of the first Indian Empire- the Mauryan Empire. By 20 years of age, he had conquered Alexanders Macedonian satrapies and defeated Seleucus I Nicator, defeated the powerful local nanda dynasty, and established centralized rule across South Asia. His empire encompassed lands from Selucid Persia & Afghanistan in the west, Kashmir & Nepal in the north, Bengal in the east, and the Deccan Plateau of Southern India. I believe he more than any other Indian military commander has a strong case to be mentioned on this list IMO. The man was the first to unify the lands of the Sub-continent, that in itself is a major accomplishment!!

    Shivaji: if this was a list of unconventional military commanders, then Shivaji would be amongst the top. During his skirmishes with various Indo-Islamic dynasties, of which the chief was the Mughal Empire; he innovated rules of military engagement of that era. He pioneered guerrilla tactics to perfection, which leveraged strategic factors like demographics, speed, surprise and focused attack to defeat his enemies. He is the founder of the Maratha Empire, which at its zenith encompassed most of northern, central and eastern India. Plus, his navy was sucessfull in keeping the British, Dutch and Portuguese at bay for decades on the Indian western coast.

    Ashoka the Great: Is more of an honorable mention, considering his military prowess was supported by the fact his grandfather Chandragupta I had done most of the hard work conquering and consolidating (although Ashoka did expand the empire further west into Iranian Baluchistan, east into Burma, the Pamir Knots in the north and the Southern tip of India to Tamil Nadu). His impact was greatest as a ruler of the vast Mauryan Empire. But I thought I’d mention him nevertheless, one of the greatest emperors of world history no doubt.

    Other notable Indian military leaders worth mentioning:

    Babur
    Akbar the Great
    Rajaraja Chola I
    Tipu Sultan
    Samudragupta
    Prithviraj Chauhan
    Vikramaditya
    Ranjit Singh

    Other leaders worth considering:

    Nadir Shah
    Saladin
    Shapur I
    Shah Abbas
    Tamerlane
    Ahmad Shah Durrani

    BTW, If Sung-Tzu was a masterful strategist (which he undoubtedly was), Chanakya (the author of the treatise The Arthashastra and the brains behind the foundation of the Mauryan Empire) needs to be given equal respect. He was amongst the first political realists along with Thucydides and the other Greek philosophers.

    And IMO Genghis Khan takes the cake. Alexander and Cyrus i feel are toe to toe, but Ill give it to Cyrus, who founded the largest empire at the time and ruled it as benevolently as anyone did throughout history. Plus, Alexander-the prodigy that he was- after relatively easily conquering the once mighty Persian empire, he encountered stiffer resistance in Afghanistan and onwards into the plains of the Punjab in India- which signaled the end of his empire-setting days. Additionally, concerning Genghis Khan- I don’t find it right to say he conquered ASIA as I frequently come across people claiming (I guess generalizing can be considered, but in such instances one can’t be ignorant of history)- most of it yes, but the majority of South Asia was relatively unmolested- due to successful defeats of the horde courtesy of the Khilji dynasty at the time.

    Final word- maybe it would be appropriate to separate top military commanders of the classical/medieval/modern periods..just a thought..would allow us to better classify their accomplishments to scale.

  • hot sauce

    ghengis khan should have been number 3

    attila deserves more credit. and alexander the great should be on the list
    also general george s patton(old blood and guts)

  • RICK

    U FORGOT HARI SINGH NALWA THE ONLY MAN IN HISTORY TO WIN THE AFGHANS

  • TJ

    Wow seriously why don’t you people get a fucking life… Every list posted someone has some bullshit reason why the list should go “There Way”, Bitch this is not Burger King..

    But Very Great List..

  • saruhagu

    1.alexander the great
    2.khalid bin walid
    3.chenjiz khan
    4.hannibal barca
    5.napolean bonaparte
    6.julius caeser
    7.marcus agripa
    8.deva pala
    9.chandragupta mayrya
    10.erwin romel
    11.marshall zukhov
    12.joseph britz tito
    13.saladin
    14.mehmet
    15.timur

    the list goes on,. its very hard to decide..

  • ronoc218

    what about these, how can you think Hitler was good, yes he was inspiring and led his country through harsh times, Winston Churchill should take his place because he was the one that hammered him into the ground.
    What about William Wallace, Richard the Lion-Heart, George Washington, Alfred the great and Alexander the great, or even sitting bull for crying out loud, you know nothing about proper commanders.

  • prasannaab

    Why here did not add Sarath Ponseka(Srilanka army commander)he is the most sucsessful commander in the world…..

  • demirah

    wht!!! no khalid ibn AL-walied he never been defeated ever he should be #1

  • demirah

    oh,khalid ibn AL-walied defeted the Persian Empire and the roman oh and hercules he kicked his ass

  • labaria

    I think that Ghengis Khan is the greatest general that has ever lived. His tactics are still studies and used by all of the major military and military academies in the world. I also think that Shaka Zulu should be included in the 11-15 list: He was also a great general with very innovative tactics.

  • labaria

    I think that Hitler, William the bastard and Marshall Zhukov should be removed from this list. Hitler was no brilliant tactician. As a matter of fact, he is the main cause of the Germans losing the war; as commander-in-chief, he should have listened to his generals. William the bastard conquered England because of the English being tired after fighting and defeating a Scandinavian invasion in the north and then force marching to Hastings to confront him. Zhukov won because of Stalin’s ruthlessness. Zhukov’s victory is analogous to the Iranian tactics in the Iran-Iraq war in the late 70s. In that war the Iranians used unarmed teenagers to clear mine fields by walking through them. I also think that if Napolean is on this list, so should the Duke of Wellington. Alfred the Great, Saxon king of England, should also be on this list.

  • iluvlistverse

    great list! cyrus and alexander were really great!
    hitler is also ideal for this category.

  • Paul X

    Where is Moltke?

  • CtB

    Hitler is much a military commander as a President. He was a head of state. and a bad ‘military’ leader at that. He was so pissy that his commanding officers wouldn’t wake him when the Allies invaded Normandy, and even before that he made the decision to cancel the truce he had and invade Russia… which Germany ended up using 2/3rds of it’s manpower and machine against. Fighting on the Western Front would have gone much different, and probably ended in German victory if Hitler hadn’t made the paranoid decision to attack Russia.

  • ronoc218

    what, u have got 2 be joking Hitler, he was defeated by the british with a little help from the Russians Churchill should be up there, napoleon he was defeated by the British with some Germanic states support, lord Nelson or the duke of wellington should be up there you know nothing about commanders or even warfare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    you know nothing

    you know nothing

    you know nothing

    you know nothing

    you know nothing

    you know nothing

    you know nothing

    you know nothing

    you know nothing

    you know nothing

    you know nothing

    you know nothing

    you know nothing

    you know nothing

    • reply

      um you are SUCH an ignorant you pathetic nationalist nelson won few naval battles when he was eather out numbering the oponent or when the other battle ships were inacive he should be in the top 50 plus he got killed in trafalgar by a bullet in a shoulder that pussy, Then Wellington he is probably known for one thing, beating a maraly low, tired and out numbered french army AND he had the help of the spanish, the portugeese the irish the scots the welsh, the austrians, all that outnumbering the french two to one; THAT IS LAME then Churchill did not beat the nazi all he did was resist their attacks the real winner of WW2 are the AMERICANS and the RUSSIANS!! the english onley supported the americans in men and maps who were delivered to them by the french resistance so SHUT UP you IGNORANT brat.
      YOU KNOW NOTHING
      YOU KNOW NOTHING
      YOU KNOW NOTHING
      YOU KNOW NOTHING
      YOU KNOW NOTHING
      YOU KNOW NOTHING
      YOU KNOW NOTHING
      YOU KNOW NOTHING
      YOU KNOW NOTHING
      YOU KNOW NOTHING
      YOU KNOW NOTHING

  • therush

    This list is just brimming with fail. Where is Frederick the Great? When Napoleon’s soldiers took Berlin Napoleon went to the Frederick the Great statue and said something to the effect of “If this man was still alive I would not be here.”

    Hitler was a great military commander…for the Allies. He completely bungled every major operation. D-Day he wouldn’t let Rommel move men and machines down to Normandy because he was convinced the attack was coming further north. When von Manstein (who should be on this list) took Kharkov despite being laughably outnumbered Hitler ordered him to change strategy. Manstein was so upset he resigned his post.

    The absolute most stunning omission is Khalid ibn al-Walid. In a period of about ten years he straight pimp-slapped the two most powerful empires (Persian and Byzantine) into submission while being constantly outnumbered. Check out the Battle of Yarmouk. Khalid and his boys were outnumbered in the neighborhood of 3-1 by the better equipped Byzantine Empire and he managed to double-envelop the much larger force and stab like 50,000 (at least 45% of Byzantine force) to death while suffering minimal casualties. I guess since he lost a few battles that would drop him off… oh wait, Walid was undefeated in the 50 or so engagements he commanded.

  • labaria

    I do not think that Frederick the great should be on the top ten list. If not for the pro-Prussian policies of Tsar Peter11, Frederick the Great would have only been a foot note in history.

  • Jarly

    Where’s Khaled Bin Al-Waleed?

    Where’s Saladin?

  • patsy

    @astraya (15): im sorry to hear that my freind. may peace be upon you and an death to your enemys. say hello to your wife for me and give her one from me thanks and good bye.

  • mark

    except bonaparte not a single one of above could be hailed as a succeddful military commanders.i read a comment above by a moslem i think regarding Khalid ibne walid.I did some research on him and he is without a doubt the most successful general in the history.His military achievements and success has been recognized by even those who dont like moslems.Battle of yarmouk fought against the romans is considered to be the most decisive victories of all time.His personality and achievements are worth reading out.
    thanks

  • gambit

    khalid bin walid – top 10
    king shaka – expanded list
    paul kruger – expanded list

  • SamS

    Hitler wasn’t a military commander and Napoleon lost nearly every battle with Nelson.

    England/Britain has won 95% of all it’s battles and wars for 900 years and don’t get one commander on the list?

    Where’s King Edward V, Oliver Cromwell, the Duke of Wellington, Lord Nelson? What about Viking commanders like Hardrada?

  • ved basu

    Where the hell is Field Marshall Erwin Rommel “The Desert Fox”??, George Patton?, Bernard Montgomery,

    • Brad

      Or General MacArthur….

  • military_strategist

    Actually, Hitler was a military commander. Like every military leader, he had talented generals who worked for him. But it was Hitler who overruled his generals and ordered German forces through the Ardennes forest in 1940, which is probably the single most genius maneuver in modern military history.

  • Salah

    Where is Salahuddin (Saladin)?

    • loko

      its Sala Ad Din or Saladin

  • juan carlos

    Cyrus the “great” is clearly overrated… My first will be Jan Zizka, the famous Hussite leader who defeated 5 crusades against him… Cyrus was a morron!!!!

    • Mr. Irani

      Moron is spelt with only one 'R'.Now who is the MORON….????

  • Getsuga Tenshou

    @SamS

    "Hitler wasn’t a military commander and Napoleon lost nearly every battle with Nelson.

    England/Britain has won 95% of all it’s battles and wars for 900 years and don’t get one commander on the list?

    Where’s King Edward V, Oliver Cromwell, the Duke of Wellington, Lord Nelson? What about Viking commanders like Hardrada?"

    Nelson never once faced Napoleon, dammit. Nelson was an admiral while Napoleon was a General. Well you ignored Marlborough, Britains greatest general.

    @ ronoc218

    "napoleon he was defeated by the British with some Germanic states support"

    Also add to "some" Russia , Austria, Prussia, Sweden, Spain and Portugal.

    • london art

      ronoc218 you are absolutely wright but you forgot to say that the french were outnumbered two to one and out flanked and that wellington only won two major battles against napoleon , Napoleon beat 5 different coalitions and conquered more land in europe than britain would have ever dreamed of conquering

  • military_strategist

    @257: I’d have to agree with you that Cyrus should definitely not be number one on this list. Defeating a bunch of crudely equipped ancient tribes in the Iranian plateau does not make you the greatest military leader in history. But your statement about Jan Zizka (although he was an expert military tactician and introduced some revolutionary ideas) certainly does not make him a greater leader than Alexander the Great or Napoleon.

    As for Saladin, just because he won a couple of battles over some disorganized crusaders (who were fighting thousands of miles from their base of support in the 12th century), this does not make him one of the top ten military leaders in history. As far as muslim or arab generals are concerned, Khalid bin Walid or even Suleiman the Magnificent would have been far better choices for this list.

  • I think King Leonidas, Akbar the Great, Robert E. Lee, or Patton should’ve deserved a spot in the top ten.

  • MUJIBUL

    good list but where the hell is Salah-udin-ayhbhi. he should atleast be between 10-5. And i think alexander the great should have been 1st and barca to be a little higher.

  • Cannae

    Salah-udin-ayhbhi,Welington, Tariq and Charles Magnus

  • Cannae

    But the greatest of all was Anibal Barca

  • rookerbill

    No one even mentioned Tamerlane, another undefeated commander. Hannibal did lose a battle, by the way, just not on Roman soil

  • yazzazin

    dont base a great leader on who defeated who
    clearly alexander and napoleon are te greatest base on what they achieve ,alexander forge one of the largest empire and remain undefeated ,napoleon rise to power from a simple boy from a little island to become a emperor without a royal bloodline and achieve great victories
    write a civil code that even some of those are still use this days

  • yazzazin

    forgot to say napoleon build an empire too and had an era was name after him

  • ganstawitnogun

    there is a Korean naval admiral named Yi Soon-Shin. He destroyed the japanese invaders. They had around 23 battles and won all of them. The most amazing one was when he had only 13 ships left because of some idiot in the army, losing the rest, and he beat the Japanese who had like 300

    • Sargon

      Yi Soon-Shin should be in the the list. Khalid bin Walid too.

  • ganstawitnogun

    Yi-Sun-Sin’s navy also had a great disadvantage. They were always heavily outnumbered, even with Ming(China)assisting them. Most of their marines didn’t have weapons as great as the japanese. ex: Muskets > Arrows, Swords > Spears, Armor > Uniforms. Japanese had it all, but they we’re just annihilated. Japan invaded Korea twice(not in terms of battles, but in terms of starting a war during the Imjin War). The first lasted 5 years and Japan’s goal was to get a passage way to Ming, so they can conquer them, but Korea refused, so Japan tried to take down Korea first. In 1596, 5 years after the start of the war, Japan “signed” a treaty, but it was just an excuse to get their navy and army back to Japan. A year later, Japan’s second invasion happened, this time with a bigger army, more supplied and better prepared. Japan, once again got pwned. Unfortunately, Yi-Sun-Sin died in the final battle :(. But in the end, Japan surrendered and the Imjin War ended. Not only should Ming be thanking Yi-Sun-Sin (mainly cause, even though they we’re assisting Korea, they, like the japanese soldiers, were raping our women and stealing our property) for stopping the japanese from invading, so should India, the Jurchens, and the Vietnamese, because Japan was planning to invade them all after conquering Korea and Ming. Yi-Sun-Sin was a great leader, and the Imjin War was a very historic point in east asian history. Admiral George Alexander Ballard of the Royal Navy, considered Yi a great naval commander, and compared him to Lord Nelson of England: “It is always difficult for Englishmen to admit that Nelson ever had an equal in his profession, but if any man is entitled to be so regarded, it should be this great naval commander of asiatic race who never knew defeat and died in the presence of the enemy; of whose movements a track-chart might be compiled from the wrecks of hundreds of Japanese ships lying with their valiant crews at the bottom of the sea, off the coasts of the Korean peninsula… and it seems, in truth, no exaggeration to assert that from first to last he never made a mistake, for his work was so complete under each variety of circumstances as to defy criticism… His whole career might be summarized by saying that, although he had no lessons from past history to serve as a guide, he waged war on the sea as it should be waged if it is to produce definite results, and ended by making the supreme sacrifice of a defender of his country. (The Influence of the Sea on The Political History of Japan, pp. 66–67).”
    Even the japanese praised Yi-Sun-Sin. Admiral Tetsutaro Sato of the Imperial Japanese Navy mentioned the Korean admiral in his book published in 1908: “Throughout history there have been few generals accomplished at the tactics of frontal attack, sudden attack, concentration and dilation. Napoleon, who mastered the art of conquering the part with the whole, can be held to have been such a general, and among admirals, two further tactical geniuses may be named: in the East, Yi Sun-sin of Korea, and in the West, Horatio Nelson of England. Undoubtedly, Yi is a supreme naval commander even on the basis of the limited literature of the Seven-Year War, and despite the fact that his bravery and brilliance are not known to the West, since he had the misfortune to be born in Joseon Dynasty. Anyone who can be compared to Yi should be better than Michiel de Ruyter from Netherlands. Nelson is far behind Yi in terms of personal character and integrity. Yi was the inventor of the covered warship known as the turtle ship. He was a truly great commander and a master of the naval tactics of three hundred years ago. (A Military History of the Empire (Japanese: ??????), p. 399)”
    Unfortunately, not many people from the West side of the world know about Yi-Sun-Sin and his great accomplishments, but Cyrus Ftw anyway.

  • ali hazara

    i belive that genral musa khan hazara chagazi should be in 10 to 15 list,he was from pakistan with mongolian background and he was chief of army staff of pakistani army when indian tried to inved pakistanin 1965.indian army was 3 time bigger and powerful,and pakistan was new born country.he was man who defended his country and defeded indians,he join the army as soldier and end up as chief of army staff,i think he deserve to be in list,thank you

  • jjr

    The U.S. wasn’t in the war and Hitler had not yet broken the non-aggression pact he had with the Soviet Union when he took France.

  • kurt meyer

    Rommel The Desert Fox must be on that list, a genius of Blitzkrieg and a great knight.
    Long live to the AK

  • DocT

    How can Alexander be #1, Genghis’s Empire was more than 4 times biger than Alexander’s. While a major chunk of Alexander’s empire was Desert & mountains; Genghis Khan Conquered Plains, Business Routes & kingdoms with most of the gold at that time. China, Asia & Europe was far more advanced, Richer & more densely populated in 12th century AD than African desert, Persia, & Greece, in 330 BC

  • thomas

    Leonidus?

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  • odetome

    Temujin, one of Genghis's generals deserves a mention. Won every battle of over a hundred fought. Co-ordinated a pincer movement between two armies 1000 miles apart. And one of the only commanders ever to launch a successful winter campaign.

  • Ibn javed

    why did not they include Khalid Bin Waleed in the list. He fought hundreds of wars and never lost. Being a master at the art of using cavalry, he scored victories against the mighty Romans and Persians even when his forces were highly outnumbered. Check out wikipedia for his profile.

  • mashi

    Where is Geroge Kastrioti- Albanian general who fought off the ottoman empire for 26 years until his death from old age. With an inexperienced army he managed quiet a feat and defeating Nayles and the Sultan of the Ottomans

  • histbuff

    3 points.
    1. you cannot separate politics from war and strategy. Every general/commander has political conciderations to contend with.
    2. A top 10 list is impotent without clear parameters and definitions.
    3. throughout recorded history there are probably 100s of superb commanders based on different criteria that all warrant mention.

  • Koorosh Sedigh

    However Cyrus the Great was different from the other military leadres in that he was a true liberator the way he gave freedom to the Jews in Babylon and also by putting forward the first Human Rights Declaration some 2500 years ago.

  • mahshid

    Alexander was wild man then he can`t greater than my king(Cyruc)

    Cyruc war for peace and justice but Alexander war for wealth,Alexander distroyed my country.

    Arabian came Iran and clam our culther.Alexander as the same as arabian.now he is greater than Cyruc?

  • marine213

    How about Khalid ibn-al-Walid?? He is known through out the Muslim world to be the sword of god having won all his battles, conquered the levant( Syria, Lebanon, Jerusalem, Iraq), Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and all of the maghreb which opened the doors to spain and portugal for Arabs.

    Source: Wikipedia ( Which states him to be one of the greatest and most successfull general in history.)

  • M.Owens

    Sun Tzu? I can't remember his exploits off the top of my head so search please.Besides he laid down ground rules for warfare that are still applicable today.

  • Yamama

    What about castro destroying wave after wave of soldiers using guerilla warfare

  • OSMAN TALU

    The Most Successful Military Commander is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. 2nd is Fatih Sultan Mehmet who conquered Constantinople in 1453, carrying ships over hills overnight into blocked Bosphorous canal for siege at the age of 21.

  • I_Damian

    There are quite a few things wrong with this list. Minor things, such as "Julius caesar took absolute control of the Roman Empire". It's true, he did, but only after all of his victories, against both Gauls and Romans. The way the list is written makes it sound like he became absolute dictator of Rome, then went a-conquering.

    William the Conqueror was hardly the military mind of the century. His army came so close to defeat at the battle of Hastings that if one were there at the time, one would have concluded before the battle was even over that William was defeated. He was saved only because the Saxon king was slain mid-battle and his troops became demoralized. Basically, a fluke. Makes a great military genius winning by fluke does not.

    I think Adolf Hitler being on this list as a great military mind is a joke. It has to be. Hitler certainly had a lot of qualities where rallying a nation is concerned, and taking huge political gambles (occupation of Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia, re-militarization of Rhineland) which all paid off for Germany, but where anything military is concerned, Hitler was utterly inept, and ultimately cost Germany the war.

    The rest of the list is pretty dandy. Although I've always had an opinion that Alexander the Great wasn't really all that great, just very bold and very lucky, but since not a soul would ever agree with me on that, I won't argue with his position on the list, as popular opinion has the day. =D

  • MOODI

    check out KHALID BIN AL WALEED

  • Dowtman

    Couldnt be bothered to read the other comments because your so very very wrong about hitler, he was not a commander, he was not even a military man. After being a soldier in WWI his role was purely political, any military success can be attributed to his generals

  • ben

    where are sun tzu and lord toranaga, granted they never spread beond japan, but sun tzu pretty much wrote the book on surgical strikes. and toronaga not only concured every nation state in japan, becoming the first sogun, he also show increadible forsite by writing an extensive set of legacy journals which gave detailed instructions to sucssors alowing the shoganate to maintain ultimate control several generations after his death.

    i don't even know why hitler was on the list, he was an unstable psycho, who could play a crowd, and had a small army of stratagists, engineers, and pr guys who knew what thy were doing. as far as i'm concerned that only make him slightly better than bush light with his three month excusion into irac which had no piont and is currently giong into it's 13 year.

  • rao ali

    top 3and most succesfull all over the world muslim commanders……………………………………….khalid bin waleed………..tariq bin ziyad………….sallahuddin ayubi…………….

  • zubair khan

    There are many great genrals in human history so The title should be chaged , i have some titles . Top 10 undefeated Genrals of history (by victory analysis), Top 10 conquirers (by area) , Top ten genrals who defeated Great superior Army(by army count) . ETC

  • zubair khan

    I think Spartan King Leonidas I and his 300 knights should be mention here , they were really brave and Leonidas was great militry Genral of tactical warfare.

    i am unable to understand why he is not in list . he defeated many times to great superior forces of his time

    Khalid bin Walid should be mentioned here he was undefeated in all of his battles almost 100……

  • persian boy

    persian powerful emperor Cyrus the Great.

  • persian boy

    In response,warningdontreadthis : Iranians are very civilized.
    illiterate! Go make a little study!!!

  • caspian

    cyrus!!!!!!! information of this site is not valid.. look like the wikipedia that We should not trust to that`s information.. According to my own personal studies i think that Alexander the Great and Attila were the gratest Military Commanders .

  • caspian

    Where the validity of this site approved? Where the validity of this site approved? Cyrus made on the Jewish imagination has been said many victories of Cyrus is not valid. Even valid documents about Iran to the whole Achaemenid rule does not exist. i think that Alexander the Great and atila were the best

  • AraSh

    Cyrus The Great = My Love
    He Is Iranian's Fother And world's Fother

  • ???

    ???? ???? ??? ???????? ? ???? ???? ???.?? ????? ??? ??? ?? ???? ??? ?? ???? ??? ? ??????? ???? ??? ?? ?? ?????? ??????? ?????.???? ???????? ????? ?? ?? ???? ????? ? ?? ?????? ?? ?? ??? ?? ????.?? 2500??? ??? ?? ????? ???? ??????? ???? ? ?????? ????.?? ?? ?????? ???? ?????? ?????? ?? ????? ? ???? ?? ??? ??? ??? ???.

  • kouroush

    only Cyrus the Great

  • joe

    1. Genghis Khan
    2. Khalid bin Waleed
    3. Hannibal

  • IRAN

    only IRAN only CYRUS the great

  • James

    historically correct,its really hard to choose just 10 but i think u did the best

  • dogankaya81

    Fatih Sultan Mehmet Ottoman-Turkish
    Yavuz Sultan Selim Han- Ottoman-Turkish

  • pepe

    Hannibal Barca was defeated by Publius Cornelio Escipion (Africanus) in
    Zama, near Cartago. This was the end of Cartago.
    I think that Escipion should be on this list.

  • Tea

    Unbelievable, Hitler is greatest military commander? Half of these people on the list are loser and failures. More politicians than generals. Napoleon lost in Russia badly and several times before and after. Hitler is more politician than military leader lost in Russia and committed suicide. Alexander had short carrier good strategist failed in India. Cyrus the great WTF!!! If he built long lasting empire why would not nominate Egyptian pharaohs their dynasty lasted much longer than Persian empire that couldn’t control tiny Greece. Julius Caesar it’s joke he is pure roman politician who was in the right time and right place. His legacy was great but no military achievements. Can anyone tell me in have many real battles He won. Hannibal great leader but he failed. You can go and win every damn game in preseason but if loose Superbowl you not worth to be greatest in history. Think about that roman republic was young and not as strong like in latter days and he still misjudged his ability and could not deliver. Because of his mistakes his motherland was reduced to ashes.
    Same goes for Atilla lost his war. Zukov on other hand won almost all his battles. Helped defeat Germany and was victories in most important battles.he should be much higher where he is. Among all these people only
    One I see as military success. Genghis khan lived to his 60s since he was 20 up to end of his life he was in war. There is only one defeat in his resume and that even when was ambushed. Think about numbers over 100 of battles most of the outnumbered no formal education, largest empire pre gun era, conquest of hundreds of different cultures. His empire didn’t last? His empire tripled since he died and it was not feasible to be controlled when it gets that big. Anyway we talking about military commanders not about how good of politicians some one is.

    • Swag Master

      again, Subutai…..he was attributed with many of Ghengis’s victories.

    • phatius

      Come on bro, whats your argument, obviously you havent studied crap about military strategy. Napoleon is the best, not based on opinion, He faced army after army in their prime, REAL armies, and subdued all of europe except Britian who for some reason did not attempt to decisively engage napoleon on the continent until 1812

  • kurosh

    cyrus the great …

  • ronaldo

    i'm sure that cyrus the great winner…

  • When Hitler was conquering Paris, he only had to contend with the British and the French. He was not "holding off the U.S., British and Russians". His invasion of France took a few months and at the time, the Soviet Union and the USA were not involved in the fighting. Hitler and Stalin had a non-aggression pact at the time and the USA was still neutral.

  • eisenhower?

  • Kyle

    i dont kno y but in most of the lists its all about WEST!!!!!!first of all if u need to add a list then do som research before adding things just cuz u dnt know sum1 doesnt mean he/she is lesser than who u think…….now its clearly the Khalid Ibn al walid fought over 100 battles n is undefeated but yet tehre is no sign of him……y is that so my advice wud be do some researchh before making a list!!!!!!!

    • alexander

      ur right his the best ever

    • phatius

      Nooo!!! He never faced a real legitimate opponent, yes he beat the persian, WHO CARES!!!! They were nearly 500 year past their prime, oh and he didnt best the romans, he defeated a pathetic byzantine empire that was not even close to comparable to Rome in its prime, come on he was very talented but in the end never faced anyone. Not to mention the byzantines didnt even have real roman troops!

  • gaudat

    So I don't know why Khalid Ibn Alwalid isn't anywhere in the list, he's one of the top 3 military commanders in history and engaged in over 100 battles and remained undefeated by the vast armies of the byzantine empire, persia and roman syria.

  • alexander

    the best militiry commander ever existed his name is Khalid ebin il-walid the one who defeated both persian and roman empire erease them from the map in middle east and conquered the persian putting an end to their empire, are u aware of him!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • alexander

    the best militiry commander every existed his name is Khalid bin il-walid the one who defeated both persian and roman empire erease them from the map in middle east and conquered the persian putting an end to their empire, are u aware of him!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • khalidi

    who ever did that ranking must change it now coz khalidi bin walid is the great general of all time . Don’t tell us ur lie history we know ourstory cos alexender the great like how u call him eveen get lost & he found him self in america thinking that he is india . And he gave them a name red india thinking that he is india pls change it now no. 2 is khengis khan cos no more your lie read the texture then u will see if u don’t know .

  • Tor

    What about Frederic II the great?

  • Gangfight

    Where is Sun Tzu?

  • dear friends, Cyrus as known as his peaceable nature and thats rhe reason he is higher than others

    the Cylinder of Cyrus today keep in united nations

    it was the first human right charter of the world! in 539 BC!!

    the United States Constitutions is inspirated from the Cyripedia book !!!

  • Jason

    Where’s omar bin khattab??????????

    • amir

      omar is bad man
      he dont great because ali ibn abi taleb was malek(king)

  • Ismail

    Khalid ibn Walid. Oh boy this guy is massive. He pretty much wiped both persians & Romans of the map. I think Islam should be the strongest military conqueror in history

    • I think peace is better than Killing, When Cyrus Conquered the Babylon, He didnt Kill even 1 person, Thats becuz hi is No.1

      But Islam Start with Killing People , When Mohammad Saw the persian didt accept Islam He ordered To Attack Iran!!! Religion Whit Force! Isnt rediculous?!

      • Actually, you’re wrong, Islam was an emerging religion at the time, and having a new Islamic nation built in arabia would have greatly hindered economical interests of both the Persians and the Romans to say the least, remember that arabs were tribes, sometimes waring amongst themeselves, but did little to nothing to affect the trading routes until that point in time, now if they were to become an organized state, they would impose taxes on the traders around them to use their land, religion wasn’t what those wars by Moslem armies were all about, it was a survival test, and they did great on it.

        As for how great Khalid ibn Al Walid’s achievements truly are, imagine today’s Tuareg people with U.S and Russians as neighbours, what Khalid did is lead those Tuareg like people (with technological disadvantage) and defeat US and Russia of the day, what is more he was almost every time outnumbered, add to that that he was never defeated in all his recorded battles against and with the Moslems, and you got a man who deserves a spot in the top 3 greatest millitary achievers of all times.

        The only advantage that I can tell about Khalid’s forces, is that they would follow their “God’s Sword” wherever he led them to, and do whatever he ordered them to do, and they were very resilient and tough, that’s why they could enter what seemed losing battles time and time again, and still win thanks to Khalid’s plans being carried away down to the letter.

        I can still go on and on, but you get the idea by now I hope.

  • ACM 22

    this is a good list but where is Sun Tzu?
    the guy literally wrote the Art of War

  • HBM

    Where is Khalid ibn Al-Walid? He led the fighting of a 100 battles in his lifetime and did not lose any of them. He also brought down the two super-powers of his time – the Byzantine (Roman) and Sassanid (Persian) empires – through his military expertise. I think he deserves a spot on this list.

  • Justin

    I am curious why General Sun Tzu, George Patton, MacArthur, and Field Marshal Rommel are not on this list. They are some of the best military generals of all time. And Sun Tzu should be #1 because his art of war book is the perfect strategy. Sun Tzu wrote the book on war.

  • Joe

    Nathan Bedford Forrest

  • faz

    There is a difference between Cyrus the Great and the rest of them
    he never killed civilians and used to release slave and not to take people to slavery. he never destroyed any city and if he occupied any country its people had same rights as Persian and equal.
    in his time no one worked as a slave and even the women who were pregnant and not able to work still receiving salary.

  • faz

    There is a difference between Cyrus the Great and the rest of them
    he never killed civilians and used to release slave and not to take people to slavery. he never destroyed any city and if he occupied any country its people had same rights as Persian and equal.
    in his time no one worked as a slave and even the women who were pregnant and not able to work still receiving salary

  • Kaveh

    No doubt , SYRUS THE GREAT is NO 1

  • CNDH

    Where would you place the likes of Gen George S Patton, Field Marshals Slim, Montgomery & Rommel?
    Nice listing, good job!!

  • hamoon

    cyrus???????he he he.it is a joke.

  • Adel

    And wehre is the Nader Shah-e Afshar of Iran? Surely he was more successfull than some of these 10 persons.

  • Ali

    Cyrus the Great ; Proud of Persia …

  • salam

    there is a great name that no one can ignore that is, ‘Tariq bin Ziyad’. History is not only those written by so called western hitorians, Read it from the real perspective.

  • Librator

    Cyrus the Great was Kindest king of all time ! He was Savior of jews !

    I Admire him !

  • Herodoto

    Is very cheap just make judgment based in Nationality.
    “be successfull” meanes “highest during of one empror”, empror of “cyrus” was established 300 years. he was “successfull” eticaly too for declaration of first document of human right now is in british museam.
    impire of Chengiz khan was more larg but little yars such as Alexandre.
    “cyrus” is first for historical reason

  • Ali

    Nader Shah Afshar were one of the best militaries in the world. as an iranian if I want to choose best ever iranian(persian) commandar surly I will choose Nader Afshar, I accept Cyrus the great was so great man he recover humanity in the world he talks about some thing that now people are thinking about it, but Nader start with nothing and finish with a powerfull power. ???? ??? ?????

  • nice list :)

  • Ursa Major

    XiangYu, the conqueror. 20, 000 versus 300, 000.

    In 207 BC, Xiang’s army advanced towards Julu and he sent Ying Bu and Zhongli Mo to lead the 20,000 strong vanguard army to cross the river and attack the Qin forces led by Zhang Han, while he followed behind with the remaining majority of the troops. In a decision which has become legendary in Chinese history, after crossing the river, Xiang ordered his men to sink their boats and destroy all but 3 days worth of rations, in order to force his men to choose between prevailing against overwhelming odds within 3 days or die trapped before the walls of the city with no supplies or hope of escape. Despite being heavily outnumbered, the Chu forces scored a great victory after nine engagements, defeating the 300,000 strong Qin army. After the battle, other rebel forces, including those not from Chu, came to join Xiang out of admiration for his martial valor. When Xiang received them at the gate, the rebel generals were so fearful of him that they sank to their knees and did not even dare to look up at him.

  • Ursa Major

    “Cyrus is considered by many to be equal if not greater than Alexander the Great in his accomplishments.”

    Alexander the Great vs Darius III (Battle of Gaugamela)

    47, 000 (modern est.) vs 52,930 (modern est.) 93,930 (ancient est. – worst case)

    Ratio = 1:1.13 or 1:~2 (worst case est.)

    XiangYu verses Liu Bang (Battle of Julu)

    20, 000 vs 300, 000.

    Ratio = 1:15

  • sepehr

    its obvious that cyrus the great is the best from all aspects

  • Mehran

    Cyrus The Great was the true empera of all time he almost conquered the whole world in his time but not with violence but with humanity…how can anyone compare him with alexander who burned persepolise and the one who was gay !!! All alexander did was to conquered achamenian empire which cyrus the great had built he did nothing else but cyrus the great made the first universal empire with his charisma and humanity that why everyone called him father (ref to Herodute book)…thats why we still call him father ! in undying memory of our father Cyrus The Great

    • Swag Master

      Also, anyone who’s trying to put down Alexander–At age 20 (yeah people aren’t allowed to DRINK at this age, at least in the United States current day) he became the damn Emperor of Macedonia. While this is actually an older age as compared to many (King Henry VIII of England, age 12 I believe), he began his conquest of Persia, the greatest Empire at the time, and within 10 years conquered the whole damn country! There is no one who conquered that vast area/that many armies in such a short period. And to those who say he was cruel, he brought Hellenic culture to Persia which would be not half as cultured as it is today with that insight of intelligence. If he didn’t die at the tender age of 30, he would have potentially conquered the entire world. As Plutarch once said “when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.” Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but he was just older than a teenager when he conquered the largest damn empire on earth.

  • nick

    cyrus the great, yea he’s a wonderful man!

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

    • Swag Master

      this list isn’t about how good of a person he was…the question is who are the most sucessful Military commanders in history. Julius Caesar did beat his opponents, but he was incomparable to his successor, Caesar Augustus (Octavius), who, by your criteria, would have been #1 on this list because he first off DECLINED being emperor TWICE until it was forced on him. People literally gave up a free republic for an Empire/Monarchy just because they loved him so much. Then, they changed his name because he won so much, so his name literally means “Caesar Victor.” To top all of this, his people labeled him a GOD. The Roman Empire, potentially the greatest empire ever, named 1 man a GOD…..

  • nick

    who is khalid ibn al walid that you say?
    he’s like you? one person with many name?
    psychotic muslim
    even i don’t hear his name!!
    khalid ibn al walid :)))

  • mahdi

    tank i.m iranian

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  • HLAN

    Sun Tzu!!!! He wrote the book on war!!!

  • Dardan

    what about SCANDERBEG (Gjergj Kastrioti) the albanian who defended Christianity for 25 years. Albania was the last castle to stand still against ottoman empire. He was a true hero…i think he should be mentioned here…

  • mr.amir

    i am iranian and i love cyrus the great!!!!!!!111

  • alizr2

    only Cyrus the Great

  • Romin

    what about khalid ibn walid, he never lost a battle not one, his sword spread the islamic empire he defeated the Romans and persians greatly outmatched all most occasions

  • Scotaric

    Hitler was not a military commander. In fact, it is very heavily argued that his intervention in military decisions sped up the defeat of Germany.

  • Swag Master

    uh what about Subutai? Conquered more land than any military commander in history? Surely he has to be included on this list…there’s no way he is anything less than top 5 tactical commanders of all time. He commanded two armies that were over 1,000 miles away from eachother AT THE SAME TIME IN THE SAME WAR and won both battles. No one on this list (Maybe Alexander, almost definitely not Cyrus) could do what he could. Around the age of 30 he was one of Ghengis Khan’s primary Generals–the only one that wasn’t in Ghengis’s family. No one could devise better tactics on a battlefield than he could.

  • Alceister

    Terrible list, if only because some of the entries weren’t actual commanders and had as much ability as any other man. Notable mentions list is equally terrible or worse.

  • Iftakhar

    This is the most biased list ive ever seen its evident that this person has no understanding on what a great general is, when deciding the qualities needed in making a great general the following factors must be taken in to consideration:
    -The quality of opposition
    -The weapons they had compared to there opposition
    -Manpower of both forces
    -Casualties had and inflicted on the opposing side
    -Generals strategic plans in gaining the victory
    -The resources they had available to them vica versa

    When looking at all these factors from such an angle i can conclude Khalid-Ibn-Waleed is the best general of all time followed by Subetia and Hannibal unlike hype jobs like Alexandra who defeated a Persian army less inferior then there own in 40 years of warfare which Khalid-Ibn-Waleed did in a matter of 3 years while taking care of the Byzantine at the same time. lol Alexandra couldn’t even defeat the Indian tribes when they entered India pathetic.

  • Iftakhar

    Alexandra the hype job couldn’t even destroy the empire while Khalid-Ibn-Waleed literally destroyed the Sassind empire off the map

  • WarROCKS

    I think that perhaps a few more deserve at least an honorable mention nod: Simon Bolivar, San Martin, George Washington, and Ho Chi Min as examples of successful revolutionary military leaders that I believe were more impressive than Zhukov. Especially the first two…

  • person

    Hitler doesn’t deserve to be on this list. He made the most horrible decision of all by invading Russia (he should have learned from Napoleon), and he actually could have pulled it off because of German might, but he wanted to go south for oil instead of completely conquering Moscow. Because of this, he choked out on supplies and ended up failing.

  • Igor Itkin

    From military view I would propose Temur Leng. Began as a art of condotier, he rised to a king of great state, mostly from him conquered. His greatest success was a victory against turcks and caption of sultan Bayazid 1.

  • lil bear

    yae right nepolean shouildnt be apart of this list and alexander the great conquered all of cryis the greats empire and ceasar conquered most of that but not all of this so alexander the great is the greatest

    • jerr-bear

      hahahahahahahahaha

  • DGMdragunov

    Hitler was actually a pretty mediocre commander. His generals, on the other hand, were excellent. The reason the war ended so quickly was Hitler’s rash, stubborn decisions that sealed the Third Reich’s fate. If he had let his generals do their job, Germany would not have been in such ruins in 1945.

  • History-Fan

    I’m just a huge fan of military history and a few people that I think deserve attention are: Duke Wellington, who constantly beat down and eventually crushed Napoleons forces while being outnumbered and out supplied constantly. George Washington, again outnumbered out supplied while facing tremendous adversity. Thomas Cochrane, who liberated numerous countries and possessed extreme cunning and legendary courage. Finally George Patton, who was admired by his enemies as much as his own men!!
    I think these men definitely deserve consideration!

  • anytus

    Belasarius belongs in the top 5.

    Robert E Lee was a simple tacticianeer. Sherman was the only general with any vision both on how to win the Civil War, and also on how war should be waged in general. No one today would pick up a book on Lee’s campaigns, but Sherman is still relevant…and he belongs on the list, not as an honorable mention.

  • Anton_Kutovoi

    I guess that there should be Alexander Suvorov instead of Zhukov . And where such people like Nobunaga Oda or Zhuge Liang ?

  • Jonnathon

    Oh wow. No mention of the great Khalid Ibn-Walid? This is utterly retarded. Gen Khan @ 6? Oh wow. They where the only two commanders to win over 100 battles. No other commanders had achieved this. Khalid Ibn-Walid took down the Roman empire. They where HEAVILY outnumbered and HEAVILY out-kitted and STILL beat the Romans. Man this article is dumb.

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  • daniel

    you should have argon he was The first king to unite the Illyrian tribes together and form a kingdom. During his rule Illyria was a strong kingdom which had a strong military force, especially naval. He successfully stopped the attacks of the Roman Empire and the Aetolians by keeping his kingdom free till his death.

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  • Chinpo

    You forget Khalid Ibn Alwalid the undefeateble

  • charlie

    wow , what’s wrong with CHinggis haan and Julias caeser!

  • Nick

    Alexander the Great should be first and I don’t think I should explain why. If you don’t agree with me you should ask someone who teaches military strategies at a university. Everybody would tell you exactly the same think!He did in 13 years what others couldn’t accomplish in a lifetime and also he had much less resources.Cyrus sucks against Alexander, the undefeatble, the Greatest human in history.Thank you!

    And by the way, Alexander the Great was, is and will always be GREEK.

    • Sargon

      I agree that Alexander should be higher in ranking. Among top 3. Cyrus who? give me a break!

    • barcaos

      My friend’s father was in a military academy in the UK. He said Genghis was teh best .. . . . sooooo…. awks

  • Archimedes

    I don’t understand how any list like this does not list Ghenghis Khan as the greatest commander who’s ever lived.

  • Saj

    Its very suprising to exclude muslim general from the list..i know its made by eastern people so they do it in jelousy…special khalid bin walid n Saladin..khalid won more then 300 battles in just 3 years undefeated..against big empires of persia n byzentine..he conquered over 4050 cities in 3 year..he is best of them all..No one can match his achievements and tactics:-)…stop being hypocrate n admire his excel
    In war…

  • Kk

    This list is horrible first hitler was a bad military leader and all he did was send all his soldiers to one place and hope he won, and gengis khan and Alexander the great should be the top 2 because neither of them ever lost a battle

  • Julian

    I’m not sure about this, considering that Alexander conquered at least twice the amount of land and defeated far, far more resistance than Cyrus. Here’s a typical list [all land generals]…

    1] Alexander the Great [Never beaten in battle, conquered most of known world]

    2]Napoleon Bonaparte [Won several victories outnumbered 1 to 3, beaten at Waterloo outnumbered 1/2 and outflanked]

    3]Hannibal Barca [Famous for double envelopment, lost because his brother Hasdrubal was incompetent]

    4]Genghis Khan [Conquered most of known world, fourth because unlike Alexander he faced what was to superior Mongol cavalry limited resistance]

    5] Robert E Lee [Outnumbered and underfunded against powerhouse industry giant won several victories, possibly the last second world victory against an industrialized, first world nation with the exception of the Zulu Wars]

    6] General Rommel [Quantity sometimes does matter, defeated multiple allied armies in north African campaign]

    7] Saladin [Defeated masses of radical crusaders with powerful and unique fighting force]

    8] Gustavus Adolphus [Introduced the professional army. On this list solely for that fact.]

    9] Julius Caesar [Faced little resistance but conquered large swathes of land and did run up against Vercingetorix]

    10] Belisarius [Reconquered much of Roman Empire, land only lost because he was “fired”

  • Sa Majeste Hassan

    Where are the best Military Commanders, Khalid Bin Walid (R.A), Salahuddin Ayubi and Muhammad Bin Qasim… who ruled all over Arabia, Persian and ended the long reigning Sassanid and Byzantine Empires

  • my personal list would be Gauis Julius Caesar first because he was never deafted while personal on the field and won astounding victorys over larger and better supplied armys second would be sun tzu because he not only was a great general but wrote it down for the future third would be philp of macadon because he basicly laid the way for alexander fourh is hannabul bacra because he was a brillent tactcian and was only deafted because of his subornets and goverment fith is pythrus because of the magnatued of which he fought and is only behind hannabul because he lost so many men sixth general lee because he was a great solider and won so many battles agienst farly suppior armys seventh is salidin because he was not only respected among all and he was a great general eighth is gaius marius for his capablyeds as a general nighth is alexander the great because he really did what half his father did but he beat inexprienced men and won themseveral times last is neapolon because he not only lost once but twice which were fatel

  • Anya

    Notable mention for Trotsky too, please :)

  • sonia

    Any educated person knows Alexander the Great will forever be #1 on the list.

  • samuelle

    Alexander was never defeated and owned the entire world ,while still a kid himself. He lead all his battles on the front line..What do you think would happen if he had a little show down with cyrus? one thing for sure,cyrus would be well behind his troops. i mean slaves….

  • Zhaozor

    Interesting list however I don’t get why Hitler is in the list en why ghengis khan is only ranked as 6.Beside Ghengis Khan there is not a single asian general on the list nor suggested.How about these 2 Sun Tzu author of the art of war that is still studied today. Bai qi served as commander of the Qin army for more than 30 years, Bai Qi was responsible for the deaths of a total over 890,000 enemy soldiers, earning him the nickname Ren Tu (?? literally: human butcher). He seized more than 73 cities from the other six Warring States in the Warring States Period and to date no record has been found to show that he suffered a single defeat throughout his military career.

  • Bill Meadows

    My List
    Alexander
    Hannibal
    Ceasar
    Khan
    Saliadin
    Washington
    Napoleon
    Lee
    Grant
    Slim

  • Tekkedaila

    Hitler… u srs?
    Now I can’t even take this list seriously :D
    i mean c’mon, he was a terrible commander. which battles did he actually commanded and won? his strategies were terrible!
    Where is Rommel, Tang Tai Zong, Vo Nyungiap, YI Sun shin,
    jebe, subutai, Trajan, Khalid Ibn, Akbar, Charlemange, Charles XIII, Frederick, Zhuge LIang, Patton, William Slim, Odo, Gustavus Adolphus?? These guys are so much better than Hitler and Attila!

  • empoxrork

    hey ok this is a fairly good list but id like to point out that this list generally centres arround a few periods in military and cultural history and lacks some of the greatest figures in history!. let me display just a few great characters who could easilly take a place on this list. 1: augustus ceaser the first roman emporor! he toppled the senate. 2: Frederick the great even napoleon revered the man. he was a genius look him up. 3: Frederick barborrosa he united germany and he may have conquered jerusalem had he not died before the 3rd holy crusade. 4: a period you havent looked at the sengoku jidaii tokugawa ielayasu . his family were a small vassal state that ruled one province in fuedal japan . he then rose up to become shogun through warfare and the battle of sekigahara. 5: saladin. he pretty much took on all of Europe in the crusades. 6: Erwin von rommel the desert fox whom captured almost all north africa with his brilliant tactics. 7: Alexander suvorov a generallisimo in russia ! generallisimo – undefeated one of 4 in russian history! and he fought many battles had he fought napoleon history may have been different. and finally where is 8: timujin ? it’s a pretty list but it lacks allot of important military leader who can easilly topple the feats of most on this list. i believe hannibal. genghis.cyrus alexander. julius and napoleon deserve a spot here but i seriously question all others. attilla failed when faced with a proper army. william just took a week england try taking all of feudal japan! hitler was the flaw in the german war machine. if rommel were in hitlers place. we’d all be speaking german. zhukov was a miltary man but his men were disposable to him and no true tactics were involved in the massacre of the battle of the bulge. so take a close look at this list and the characters i mentioned then reassess. ( napoleon should be no. 3 atleast or ghenghis no2 napoleon took on all europe like 4 times and won. except for water friggin loo. the only battle people remember. coz painful ass woopings like. borodino. austerlits. ligny. jenna-aurstedh and the battle of the pyramids. have slowly been phased away….)

  • it

    Hitler wasn’t a true commander.

  • kekekeke

    Ok… HITLER sucked. It was his generals who did all the work. Whenever HE commanded, it all became a total failure. And where are the East asian generals like Yi Sun Shin, Tang Tai Zong and stuff.
    how bout khalid Ibn Alwalid who fought over a hundred battles and won most of them (Muslims claim that he never lost but i doubt it, they’re too biased in my opinion). Also I feel that many modern generals are missing, their battles are much harder to win and harder to conduct.
    Yes, you put Zhukov in but you should’ve also had Rommel, Patton, MacArthur, Slim and Moshe?+

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  • BenGmaN

    Hitler?! The allies scraped assassination plans against Hitler because they reasoned that his military decisions were so detrimental to the German war effort that killing him, therefor giving power to genuine military leaders, would actually prolong the war. Time and again his ego stopped him from listening to his generals, who are the ones who should be credited with the original rapid advance across Europe, and instead preventing them from making sound strategical decisions in the field.
    He scrapped plans to invade Britain, Operation Sea Lion, to open a SECOND front?! That’s warfare 101.
    There’s many many examples of Hitlers decisions, or lack of, during the latter part of the war that undeniably led to needless loss of German life and a weakening of there overall position. He was in fact one of our greatest assets.

  • shavaiz

    lolx whr is KHALID BIN WALID??? who’s success rate was 100%…
    STUPID ppl atleast u shld knw smthng abt history :S

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  • Xander

    Hitler was an incompetent military commander
    and where are the eastern generals like the muslim generals to the imperial Chinese and Feudal Japs?
    Genghis Khan is only #6??? WHAT???? His achievements are greater than Alexander and Caesar. He started off with a small tribe and then ended up with conquering half the world with Jebe and Jochi.
    plus why is Attila on the list? he is an ok general but not that great

    My list would be this:

    10 – Yi Sun Shin
    9 – Patton
    8 – Charlemagne (Carolus Magnus or Charles the Great)
    7 – Charles XII
    6 – Tang Tai Zong
    5 – Frederick the Great
    4 – Caesar
    3 – Alexander the Great
    2 – Napoleon
    1 – Genghis Khan

  • Jackson Roffud

    My list would be like this:

    1 – Genghis Kkhan
    2 – Khalid Ibn Alwalid
    3 – Napoleon
    4 – Rommel
    5 – Alexander The Great
    6 – Zhuge Lian
    7 – Hannibal Barca
    8 – Robert E Lee
    9 – Saladin
    10- Belisarius

  • preston

    I agree with every thing ,but my only thing is what about Sun-Tzu. He wrote the book on war he should be at least be on the list. With out his book the would be at a lost.

  • preston

    I got to add hitler was a good comander at the beginning, but at the end he basicly went dumb. He should be at 10

  • nyx pankow berlin

    this might be slightly off topic but i feel it belongs here as i get tired reading so much about germanys “brilliant” blitzkrieg tactics. hitlers blitzkrieg mainly was successful because his army was first in the use of synthetical methamphetamine, widely know as panzerschokolade, stuka-tabletten and herman-göring-pillen. methamphetamine was was invented by the japanese in 1893, but germans invented mass production in 1934. all german troops had that stuff, not only tank and airforce crews. with meth the german soldiers were able to just go on for days with only a few hours of sleep. as time went by many soldiers were facing psychical problems and were in constant need of more. easy to see this also became a huge logistical problem at the eastern front. many soldiers were writing letters to their families pleading them to send more pervitin (the brand name).
    until 1940 the german forces received 35.000.000 tablets for the war in poland and france. later german leadership actually realized the downsides and dangers of unchecked amphetamine abuse, resulting in getting it officially blacklisted via the reichsopiumgesetz in the middle of 1941, meaning you had to have a receipt to get the stuff. but that was only theory as in reality it was not hard to obtain and german military staff simply ignored the law. massproduction was not ceased but increased. in the end of the war amphetamines were also used by the british airforce. later it was used by us-troops in vietnam and also was part of some eastern bloc forces emergency provisions (east germany).
    because pervitin was produced in such great quantities under wartime, a huge blackmarket for the remaining stocks lasted till the 1960 in germany .

  • wparena

    all wrong…they are forgetting Muslims commanders…. non of them as good as they were

  • dogan

    Tamerlame and his engineering corps should be in the list as well, nobody ever had that kind of superiority neither in the field or on paper.

  • dumisani

    shaka zulu was also a great army general

  • chupakabra

    Zivojin Misic…

  • Qasim

    This list is ridiculous. They have not mentioned Khalid bin Walid who was the greatest commander of them all. He remained unbeaten in over 100 battles and was both fearsome and intelligent

  • Qasim

    kekekeke It is a fact that Khalid bin Walid never lost a battle. He remained unbeaten and was the most brave warrior that ever lived. The man wanted to die a martyr and defeaten dozens of people on his own with the help of God. There is a reason why he never lost a battled. He was given the title earlier on as the sword of Allah. Of course Gods sword could not be defeated. You think Muslims are bised? What a clown u are. This list is biased because it was written by a western person and no mention of any Muslim Commander. Khalid defeated the Roman army who completely outnumbered the Muslims and since that day the Romans never entered the Arab peninsula again. On top of that he defeated the Persians.

  • Revilo111

    I personally think Hannibal and Caesar should swap places, as Caesar only really won because of superior, already devised military tactics (by people like Marius). Also, Hannibal fought DURING the Second Punic War in Italy (not after) and he did actually lose a battle to the Romans at this time, the Battle of Zama, where Scipio used Hannibal’s own tactics against him. Also, there was no Roman Empire during Hannibal’s time (it was a Republic). Just saying. And I’m not sure why Cyrus creating a lasting empire makes him a better general.

  • jason lloyd

    First off hitler should be on there because he is the father of the modern military age.yes true he didn’t come up with biltzkerd,he chose of to use it.it was his general of the luffwaffa who said let him use his airforce to take Britain in four weeks when hitler wanted to use biltzkerd for a mass invasion.he wanted to invade russia but onuce again his generals begged him to invade six weeks later.if anybody knows anything about a dictator they are the surpreme general.so yes he conquered more countries in the fastest then any other.also u.s use most of hitler ideas,such as first fighter jet,nuclear bomb,biltzkerd which we used in iraq the first an second war,drones(unmanned weapons),first machine pistol,ss(gestopo) or americans version(c.i.a)which was not formed until after ww2,ballistic missile and last not least he created the autobon(u.s version our expressways we drive every day so he should be up their.its not that many ppl who can take their ppl from not tought off to an world power an shape mordern military

  • alaby

    WTF napoleon only forth and after julius caesar??? he was a good general i am not deniying that but he only fought against tribes not against well organised armies, and he got beaten by the gauls when they united against him, how pathetic is that??
    Napoleon, he beat 5 international alliances, countries with organised armies and good ones to
    Caesar would have gotten his ass whooped by Napoleon dont be rediculous you should swap their places

  • Edward

    Genghis Khan is the best! He has not lost a single battle and nearly conquered the whole of europe , if he did not die of sickness, he will rage throughout europe

    • james

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  • Nathan Cramer

    Joshua Ephraim should of been on the top 10. Wasnt undefeated. Didnt control the entire world. However he did live to be 110. Many people can be the best. How many can stay on top? Hitler didnt even last 7 years. (Powell has him beat) Osama Bin Laden took on the Soviet Union and bankrupted them. Almost did the samething to the United State’s union. (US will recover they dont know what they were up against.) Bin Laden lasted 20 years as a leader in the post weapons of mass destrution era. To me thats deserves a merrit of top war strategists next to Hannibal. Alexander the great was a good leader. however he has the same problem as most of the others. He didnt live that long, nor did he know both offence and defence. (Hannibal was all offence. Robert E Lee was all defence.) All around, versitility speaking, Joshua Ephraim has my vote for the greatest all around military commandor.

  • raptorfang

    Ive never heard of this cyrus guy

  • Pat

    Don’t agree with Hitler being on this list considering he lost the war and led his country to ruin. Not to mention the numerous military mistakes he made during the course of the war.

    • kissa

      Top Generals on 100 points scale:

      1: Muhammad the Founder of Islam: 100 points.
      2: Genghis Khan: 7 points.
      3: Khalid ibn al-walid: 4.4 points.
      4: Cyrus the great: 3.7 points.
      5: Alexander the great: 2.2 points.

      Muhammad started with 375 fighter at battle of Badrs and continued winning battles until he conquered the whole arabian penunsila were it’s fighters estimated 147 thousands (391.4 times muhammad fighters at the starting battle of badr) in 7.5 years.

  • Aftab Balouch

    where is khalid bin walid, salahudin, u won’t mention them because they throw you’ll and taught you’ll lesson.

  • Haydu

    No Erwinn Rimmel?

  • gustus

    OH MY GOD!! just realised it was the “MOST SUCCESSFUL” not best.

    then yea, Hitler does deserve on the list cus technically, he was a military leader who did invade Europe… wait.. no still no… He never lasted that long and it actually was his generals… but then why is Cyrus numbro uno?

    Most successful should be like this:

    10 – Napoleon

    9 – Qin Shi Huang

    8 – Khalid Ibn Alwalid

    7 – MacAthur

    6 – Hannibal

    5 – Eisenhower

    4 – Akbar the Great

    3 – Julius Caesar

    2 – Alexander the Great

    1 – Genghis Khan

    all ranked by the most SUCCESSFUL not BEST

    Genghis deserves the uno spot cus he conquered the most land in history

    Caesar and Alex comes next because they achieved something similar to the khans

    Akbar united India

    Eisenhower liberated Europe

    Hannibal’s campaign is a masterpiece

    MacAthur beat the Japs back to Japan and liberated Korea

    Khalid won over a hundred battles… no explanation needed

    Qin Shi Huang united China

    Napoleon . . . again, no explanation needed

    For best, this would be my list:

    10 – Admiral Yi

    9 – Xiang yu

    8 – Hannibal

    7 – Julius Caesar

    6 – Napoleon

    5 – Charlemagne

    4 – Khalid Ibn Alwalid

    3 – Tai Zong the Great

    2 – Genghis Khan

    1 – Alexander the Great

    tbh, from 7 to 10 I’d put roman generals like tiberius, Scipio, Trajan, Pompey… but there were too many to pick so I just picked the original Caesar.

    I was going to put Subutai and Jebe instead of Genghis too but then I realised that Genghis was the one who defeated them and put them in command under him.

    Khalid just has an amazing record

    Xiang Yu and Hannibal to me are both very similar… But Xiang Yu was much more successful to me, but Hannibal showed superior strategy and tactics

    • kissa

      Top Generals in history:

      1: Muhammad the Founder of Islam
      2: Khalid ibn al-walid
      3: Genghis Khan
      4: Cyrus the great:
      5: Alexander the great

      Muhammad started with 375 fighter at battle of Badrs and continued winning battles until he conquered the whole arabian penunsila were it’s fighters estimated 147 thousands (391.4 times muhammad fighters at the starting battle of badr) in 7.5 years.

  • Said Harbieh

    I love Hannibal, because he’s from Phoenician/Carthaginian descent, but Cyrus was one of the greatest rulers in HISTORY, his tolerance and fairness was viewed with awe throughout the known old world.

    And to all saying he neglected Arab and Muslim generals, just remember that they fought against a horrifically weakened and fatigued Byzantine Empire, but they weren’t as historically significant.

    These leaders didn’t just change the course of their nation, but that of HISTORY. I find this persons list very accurate, Thank you for your effort.

  • Hv1945

    I feel as if the list is quite confused about what is wants to depict . I mean lets take Zukhov for example whoever made the list please take a look at German accounts of battle on eastern front . Russians won by lack of concern for casualties and overwhelming strength of numbers . no strategy or tactics were involved . Russians lacked mine clearing equipment so they cleared minefields by marching across them

    • Brian

      Correction in your analysis that the Soviets did not use any tactics. I know of one where they deliberately retreated so the German followed them deeper and deeper into Eastern Russia. This caused the Germans to spread out wider and wider, weaking their forces for which the Soviets took full advantage. This tactic was not new. They copied it from the Mongols in the 12th century.

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  • prisoner

    I am sorry to my self today
    because we in iran dont know well cyrus and all after him kings … :(

  • Hector Rathburn

    Genghis Khan was never a particularly strong military leader. The best Mongol general was Subutai. He conquered more territory than any other military leader in history.

    • Brian

      True but if it was not for the courage and leadership of Genghis Khan uniting all the tribes, there would have been no Mongol Empire.

  • john

    this = crap cyrus was beat by alexander, alexander’s greece lost to julius’s rome (though it’s debatable who’s better) and hannibal beat julius caesar. and hitler was not a commander. he only made it to corporal, and he was mainly just good at public speaking.

  • dkasa

    this cannot be a serious list. hitler and zhukov do not belong here and attila would be shaky too. I could of put my grandmother leading the frist gulf war army and she would of won also.

  • compare names

    Great points altogether, you just gained a emblem new reader. What may you suggest about your post that you made a few days in the past? Any positive?

  • I really enjoyed this post. I appreciated the short explanations of each commander, rather than outright justifying your claim. I would love to see you do another separating commanders into more specific categories such as time period or technological capabilities on the battlefield.

    Each of these commanders deserves to be recognized indeed.

  • Brian

    I find it hard to believe that Ginngis (Ghengis is a Persian name) Khan is ranked 6 according to this article. The Mongolian Empire he established had a major influence of connecting different cultures and establishing commerce had also flourished and grew during his descendants reign. His military ability and tatics far surpassed any leaders before him. Period.

  • Brian

    AGREED!! Because the bias and defamation created by European scholars and Scientists against the Mongols created a false representation.

  • Asjadullah sarosh

    totally wronged list..
    they missed greatest military general ever existed on the earth.
    Khalid bin al waleed…
    He never lost a war..

  • John

    WHERE IS SALADIN

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  • toastman

    Get rid of Hitler and Zhukov, follow what has already been suggested and possibly add Henry V the only joint English-French king, only a technicality but only 3 more months

  • Shabs

    Anyone who has done their homework will know that the greatest military
    commander of all time was the Muslim arab, Khalid Ibn Walid.
    If you have not heard of him, read the Wikipedia article about him.
    After over a hundred battles, he remained undefeated.

  • Kalten

    so is this list in order of most succesful to least? if so in my opinion its reletively close – im doing a school project on Hannibal Barca can anyone give some more info on him? thanks

  • Emmitt

    What about the legendary Sun Tzu? You can never forgot him. With only 30,000 Wu soldiers, he defeated his nemesis Nam Wah and his army of 300,000-500,000 Chu soldiers. His famed book the Art of War is studyed by almost every military general. In the book, he lays down the law on warfare. He states, ” follow these rules and you will be succesful, if you dont you will fight in darkness,”

    General Robert E. Lee lost Gettysburg because he did not follow Sun Tzu’s teachings. Hitler lost World War II beacuse he did not follow Sun Tzu’s teachings. Napolean lost his army in Russia due to not following Sun Tzu’s teachings. I can list many more military leaders that lost due to not following Sun Tzu’s teachings.

    General Dwight D. Eisenhower won the invasion of Normandy because he followed Sun Tzu’s teachings. Cyrus the Great took over the Middle East because he folloed Sun Tzu’s teachings.

  • Todd A. Bourgeois

    What about General Goerge S. Patton? In my poinion he is one of the greatest military leaders ever.

  • Kevin

    where the heck is George Washington?

  • Ryan

    Im sorry i have Five names that should be on that list
    Cao Cao
    Zughe Liang
    Sun Tzu
    Bismarck
    odysseus
    cao cao unified the whole of northern china and for the most of his life never lost a battle.
    zughe liang with absolute Genuis and cunning helped the Shu Dyansty to numerous victorys until his death
    Sun Tzu wrote the art of war which is still used in modern warfare which kind off speaks for himself
    Bismarck unified the German people under one flag for the first time since the holy roman empire and lead them to a glorious victory over France laying the foundation for modern day Germany
    Odysseus was the Greek king that came up with the Trojan horse which led to the first time troy was Conquerd

  • Brian

    Due in large part to the gradual separation between political power and military power that has been happening in recent centuries, the world’s most accomplished generals are either relatively unknown (such as Suvorov, a Russian commander who never lost a battle) or from a really long time ago and thus less well known. Khalid bin Walid had a massive impact on the world, uniting the Middle East and pushing Muslim civilization around the Mediterranean; the only civilization at the time that was peaceful and advanced enough to retain the ancient Greek knowledge for a European civilization not yet ready to take it back. But he lived a super long time ago and his historians didn’t speak a romance language, so he is not as famous. He still had a massive impact on the world. Clausewitz is actually a pretty good example of how history distorts accomplishments; he did not defeat Napoleon in battle, in fact the only battles both people were involved in (one when Clausewitz was fairly low ranking and one when he was Chief of staff to Thielemann) were Napoleonic victories. But Clausewitz was a good writer, and his book was written in a West-European language, and that made all the difference

  • Brian

    Also, Subudai should definitely be on this list, probably number two after Genghis Khan as the inventor of the tactics Subudai used. To quote Asimov’s Chronology of the World, “Other great conquerors, such as Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar, had inherited armies and a long military tradition. [Genghis Khan] had to create his own army and develop his own strategies, which far surpassed anything that had gone before.”
    There are some people on here who shouldn’t be and were obviously included because they were the political leader who employed great generals (Hitler), won easy but important battles (Hitler, William the Conqueror), or have a lot of name recognition for warfare (Attila the Hun). None of these guys were particularly innovative in their military tactics, none faced particularly genius opposition (Hitler’s generals may have, but that’s still not Hitler), and all would have been CRUSHED by Subudai, Genghis Khan, or al Walid. Attila had some skills, but mostly he just had a really big army and a paper tiger for an enemy

  • Callum

    What about orlock tsubodai of the Mongols he was only orlock to be completely undefeated he won the battles for genghis khan

  • Hamad

    If lasting effect you are looking for, above all mentioned generals, the lands he conquered remain in Arab hands even today after 15 centuries! The fact the public in the west does not know about him speaks for the lack of knowledge in the west rather than khaled’s lack of worthiness, but it is also important to note though that his tactics are still thought in the west’s most prestigious military schools even today.
    Who else took on the world’s two super powers simultaneously and prevailed?

  • romulusdetroys

    Why not Frederik the Great!? He was far superior to Hitler (who’s only great military feat was the blitzkrieg). Frederik the Great set the tone for all of Europe’s military, and modern Germany’s military style and discipline.

  • Bill Wynne

    Gen. Mac Arthur is the greatest General of all time. Stated by former combat WWII Marine Corps Sgt. William Manchester in “American Caese.r” Manchester disliked MacArthur personally. But stated he was greater than all and names them. He moved faster, with least forces, ,inflicked the heaviest damages ,and suffered the least losses, moved the farterest and fastest than any leader in history. I go along with Manchester. He was a greater statesmen considering what he did forJjapan in five years, rebuilding it to a world power.

    Bill Wynne author “Yorkie Doodle Dandy” WWII’s littlest soldier.

  • Adam

    im not surprised that Khalid Ibn al Waleed is not on this list. The man, like Alexander the Great, was undefeated in battle, and his victories are numbered around 100. That’s just one of many I could claim should be on this list.

  • Eric

    The fact that Hitler was on this list is incredibly stupid. Hitler was a terrible military leader. “Fortresses”, Stalingrad, and moving his troops to Kiev instead of Moscow, etc.

  • cdfbrown

    Putting aside for a moment whether or not this list is comprehensive in terms of world leaders, or how justifyable the nominees are, I think it should be noted that it only takes into account commanders of land forces; that is to say armies. Obviously there is more of a history to draw from and more of an opportunity to proove yourself on land, but surely there must be some naval and air force commanders who merit a place? Admiral Lord Nelson and Bomber Harris spring to mind immediately from a British perspective (despite the later backlash from the press and members of the public against Harris’ tactics).

    I’m sure I’ve heard of some impressive Roman naval commanders in doccumentaries and popular culture and whoever conceived the arial campaign in the first Gulf War must be worth consideration.

    Sadly my historical knowledge doesn’t allow me to add much more but hopefully others will have some more suggestions.

  • Dave

    WOW, this list is amazing in such a wrong way, for me Alexander the Great should be number one. Have trouble accepting Attila, Adolf Hitler, and Zhukov are in this list. Cyrus the Great shouldn’t even be number one, though I do acknowledge that he was a great commander who did mark history, but not to that point. As for William the Conqueror, its a hard debate. So many great commanders should be in this list, the likes of which are Scipio Africanus, Alexander Suvorov, Subutai, Frederick the Great, Gustav Adolf, Khalid ibn al-Walid, even Jan Zizka, some which above mentioned never lost a single battle.

  • Dave

    Forgot to mention other commanders that could have made the list, Tran Hung Dao, Vietnamese commander who is considered one of the greatest militarty tacticians in history, though is very little known about. Balisarius and Narses, both Byzantine commanders who reconquered a great part of the former Roman Empire, in the name of Justinian. World War II commanders, like Erwin Rommel, Erich von Manstein, George S. Patton, Heinz Guderian could also be a notable mention. Naval commanders like Horatio Nelson and Korean Yi Sun-sin are also some great mentions.

  • Chubombo

    Khalid Ibn Al Walid is not to be considred as eastern or western, he is the greatest military commander of all time. His tactics were taught in Nazi Germany up until the end of the WWII. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel used Khalid’s tactics in teh desert. The second in my opinion is Hitler (purely militarily) I know it is his commanders who lead the war but how hitler managed to unite and inspire a nation for a stupid cause is unbelievable. 3rd Alexander the Great, 4th Cyrus, 5th Tariq bin Ziad, 6th Napoleon, 7th Caesar.

  • Professor

    Moses defeated the mighty Egyptian army,which was the greatest empire of the ancient world.Split the red sea and brought the ten plagues on Egypt….He was the spokesman and general representing almighty G-D …..Never lost a battle.
    Moses was absolutely the number one general…. Completely documented and detailed in the old testament .

  • Mubashir

    Salah Ud dein Ayoubi
    the most popullar commander of world

  • Gyabo

    Lol Alexander being the top 2. Seriously Alexander the Great have not created his army but with Philip and even the plans to conquered the known world came from Philip. Seriously after Alexander the Great conquered the known world known by the macedon he could not conquer his own self conquest. Also with Hitler he is the worst military leader ever except his general. Seriously how about the first emperor of China without him China would not be founded and still China is still a great nation to be reckon compared with other old civilization.

  • barca

    khalid bin waleed victories in over a hundred battles never lost a battle or a duel he had 100 + duels kill em all 1v1 he ended the persian empire for good + he was the begginer of the end of the roman empire comon guys just coz u dont like arabs doesnt mean we r no good if u dont know him just look him up in wiki the guy never fought a battle while his army is more than enemy numbers :) hes one of only few leaders actualy fought with their soldiers 100+ battle and didnt get killed

  • Justin

    To those that doubt Cyrus’ accomplishments:

    He created an empire out of nothing that to this day (2500 years later) is known as Iran. His empire ruled over 44% of the world population; a number that has not been surpassed by any empire since or before.

    Cyrus, Ghenghis Khan, the Muslim generals conquered 2 or 3 existing large empires and became great. Cyrus created something out of nothing that lasted for centuries and covered nearly half the worlds population.

    Professor Patrick Hunt states, “If you are looking at the greatest personages in History who have affected the World, ‘Cyrus the Great’ is one of the few who deserves that epithet, the one who deserves to be called ‘the Great’. The empire over which Cyrus ruled was the largest the Ancient World had ever seen and may be to this day the largest empire ever.”

    Im not sure if he is the greatest general of all time, but he definitely is considered as one of the greatest men that has ever lived. Not because of his military accomplishments but the lasting legacy that he left to the world.

  • I believe that Alexandre The Great is the greatest Militaly leader of all time because God of Israel was with Him as his name is mentioned in the Bible in Isaie 45

  • w1sf0l

    U.S. Army LtGen. James Gavin: he went from Capt. to BGen. in two years because of his ability to win battles. & He never had a disaster like Napoleon had in Russia.

    & Hitler?: he commanded no armies, & his generals were opposed to the invasions of Stalingrad & Baku; they just didn’t speak up. His best field commander, Rommel, succeeded by ignoring Hitler’s orders.

  • Taha

    You Forget One of the best military commanders in history : Khalid ibn alwalid

  • james

    you are so wrong

  • Ryan

    I think Philip V of Macedon should be on the list. He beat back the Romans for around 21 years before losing at Cynocephalae due to bad conditions. Even then, he. Retained his kingdom through military force and diplomacy.

  • i would also request to know more of king Philipe Lius ,Idd Amin Dada, Napolen (iii) ,Castle of cuba will be very happy to hear from you thanks ochan emmy

  • Saifullah Malik

    Shame we didn’t mentioned Khalid ibn al-Walid, a man who faught and won all of his 53 battles, conquered the greatest empires of that time, including the Persian empire, Roman Empire, Damascus/Syria, Jerusalem whilst in almost all his battles he was heavily outnumbered, out “sworded” but yet in many cases he took minimal casulaties whilst bringing about the most casulties to the enemy.

  • ICStephens

    Hitler was an awful military commander it was people like Rommel, Manstein and, Rundstedt that led the third reich to it’s successes

  • pls read about Maharaja Ranjit Singh

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