Top Ten Military Generals of All Time


The Top TenXW

1Alexander the Great

Alexander died when he was 32. He had come to the throne at 20. In 12 years he led a Macedonian army to the edge of the known world and conquered all in his path. If he had not died I doubt western Europe or Africa could have stood in his way and we would know look at his empire on par with the roman or British empire each of which took hundreds of years to build with countless generals.

No other general is even thought of let alone referred to as Great. Great because he took armies further, motivated his men from the front of the line and faced the enemy on their terran but always on his terms.

He took an army to the ends of the earth, literally, and from with that he brought hellenic culture, philosophy, and technology to the world.

He is legend.. Period.

He took a greek army to the far Indies there was nothing left to conquer, the world was his - Rome total war Greek intro

Alexander the great is jesus you know that

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2Tran Hung Dao

If the Mongolian Empire had the strongest army in the world during that period of time, then the one that defeated that army three times must be even more fearful. Therefore, 1 vote for Tran Hung Dao.

Under his command, Dai Viet (currently Vietnam) armies defeated 2 major Mongolian Invasions in 1285 and 1287. His victories over the mighty Mongol Yuan Dynasty under Kublai Khan are considerably the greatest military feats in world history with strategies of protracted people's war.

The greatest general ever. One of the famous hero I vietnamese history

Tran Hung Dao is the best general!

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3David IV of Georgia

In 1121 he, with his army of 55.000 men won against seljuks. Their army composed of 600.000 soldiers. The battle of Didgori is often regarded as battle of "miraculous victory". Before the battle David ordered his troops to block their way back addressing soldiers that they would either win or die there. Over 70 percent of seljuks were killed and rest were taken in prisoners.

He was very young when was crowned. He inherited not only political and economical problems, but disastrous results from earthquakes of previous years. But in several years he managed to gain victory on Seljuks, who were hazardous for Europe and thus he saved not only his own country, but Europe too.
His name was widely spread in contemporary world and in Europe he was compared to St. Peter. He was savior also of Armenia and Shirvan (territory of modern Azrebaijan). These countries were quite week by that time, they asked the king David the Builder, to take them under his protection. By the way, the king was the only, who managed to free Ani, former capital of Armenia, and give it back to Armenians. So, his strategic point of view was covering quite a wide territories and what's main - he was not an Emperor, but maintained national state structure in each country, who went under his protection.
He managed to begin the Golden Age of Georgia, which lasted almost 2 centuries. That's why he is called Saint King David the Builder!
He was the greatest!

One of the greatest Military General world have ever seen... King who rebiult from ruins his country and made it strongets in East Europe... He deserves being FIRTS!

Although some numbers might be exaggerated, David the Builder managed to win when odds were at least 1:5 against him. He is one of the greatest generals of all time!

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4Napolean Bonaparte

Simply a titan of military history. His enemies like his allies were all in awe of his boldness and talent. Sure, he lost battles, but a great general is not judged on the battles he lost, but the battles he shouldn't have won. And Napoleon from day one of his military career defied the odds.
Maybe the greatest soldier of all time.

This guy would have whipped all of these other generals in about ten minutes the only reason he lost was because he had all of europe and I mean all of Europe against him

First of all at least spell his first name right... He was a godlike figure whose amazing charisma and military genius brought him victory after victory on the European continent, and in Egypt. He was the Alexander the Great of his time, the modern Caesar, and none could stand against him. His great flaw that ultimately led to his defeat was his belief in his own invincibility, that grew out of previous military victories that he had won.

Napoleon has certainly done much more good for the world than bad. Many people label him a tyrant and military dictator, and in some ways he was. However he was the embodiment of the French Revolution. He was building an empire, but at the same time he was spreading the ideals of liberty, equality, and brotherhood, bred out of the French Revolution. He freed enslaved peoples in Croatia and Poland (so much that his name is mentioned in the Polish national anthem) and wrote a law code that remains with France to this day, and is the base for most other western law codes. Napoleon was a great man, if not the greatest man, to ever have lived.

My personal favorite in modern generals..

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5Hannibal Barca

Hannibal Barka will forever be remembered as the man who brought Rome to its knees. Such a feat has seldom been repeated, and many of my friends would never have even heard of Carthage were it not for him. Every battle he fought, the Romans had every advantage, numbers, terrain, you name it, the Romans had it. But the one thing they didn't have was Hannibal. He was, defeated, it's true. But as I said, Rome still had every advantage. The general who beat him did not beat him purely out of military skill the way Hannibal did.

His strategies and tactics are still studied in most of the modern military academies
He spend 17 years with his army in roman territory, destroying one roman army being their armies outnumbered, worse equipped and tired in almost each occasion.

Traveled through Spain, France, and the Alps to reach Rome then fought outnumbered, without supplies, and with just mercenaries that he kept from killing each other. Winning almost every battle with opposition from his homeland and without naval support. Almost destroying Rome and forcing allies of Rome to defect. If only he could have brought siege weapons across the Alps then history would replace the Romen Empire with the Carthagien Empire.

Greatest general of all time. He destroyed Rome on it's own soil, with less than 20,000 men. I don't know what he would have done if he had more.

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6Julius Caesar

Very few generals can boast having one so many pitched battles at such damning odds. He was a brilliant tactician, able to make effective use of his troops to achieve various and often unorthodox tactical advantages. To add to this, he was able to wage and win a civil war against a powerful general with an army of equal discipline and greater numbers AND the weight of legitimacy against him. He could not have done just anything to win the civil war. The politics of civil war in Rome were extremely tricky, and only a brilliant man could win a war while acting within the socio-political constraints of Rome to preserve his popularity and establish his supremacy.

Most others like to mention Alexander "the Great" as the greatest general. Granted, he did some spectacular things, that should be remembered. However, we should not remember generals purely for the spectacular aspects of their leadership. Regardless, if we did, Caesar would still be near the top of the list, considering his frequent victories in extremely adverse situations, the tremendous feat of defeating an enemy of vastly greater size while besieging a town at the same time, and finally winning the tremendously difficult Civil War.

On this list, a Vietnamese general named Tran Hung Dao is named number one, but even the slights amount of research would show any historian why he was successful against the Mongol hordes: HORSES. Horses do not survive very long in the southern reaches of China, let alone in Vietnam... The Mongols were successful largely because of the way they used horses. Onc deprived of that, there is virtually no chance that a Mongol army is going to succeed in such different and unfamiliar (let alone unfriendly) territory. If the Vietnamese had marched into Northern China and defeated the Mongols in an open field, then I might reconsider.

Military genius who conquered Gaul and defeated the great Pompeii to become dictator of Rome. He was known as the destroyer of tribes, he killed 500,000 Germans who tried to cross the roman border. His siege of Alesia was a great military achievement.

Julius Caesar conquered modern day France, Belgium, the Netherlands and England. Despite being out numbered, ill supplied, and facing adverse conditions he was almost always victorious in battle. In addition to conquering new territory for Rome he defeated Pompay (and he optimate allies) and the Egyptian army.

He staged 2 raids only, into Britain not England never conquered it

He saved Rome and gave rome couple of centuries of time

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7Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan ruled the largest contigious empire in the world to date: The Mongol Empire. It pretty much covered almost ALL of Asia and some parts of Eastern Europe. The Mongols pretty much killed anyone who got in their way and nobody could've stopped them. Even the Abbasid Islamic Empire couldn't stop them. Of course they were defeated off by the Mamluks, but remember the only reason they didn't conquer Western Europe was because their king got sick. Otherwise, who knows how the history of the world could've changed considering that Western Europe pretty much took over the entire world.

The story of Genghis, at least from his perspective, is miraculous. Son of a Mongol chieftain, he and his family were kicked out of their clan and left to die on the desolate Mongolian plains when his father died without naming his heir and his bondsman took over and expelled the potential threats to his rule. Why did he not kill them? Because the plains should have been enough to do the job. But they didn't, Genghis' family survived, and over many years, Genghis managed to go from nothing to leader of a few outcasts like himself, to leader of a clan, to leader of his former clan and others, etc etc until he managed to fully unite the entirety of the Mongol steppes. This in itself was an amazing achievement.

Needing to solidify his rule, he invaded the Xi Xia of China. In a completely different terrain and facing stone walls most of his people had never encountered, as well as a professional army, Genghis brought them to heel. In his war against the Chin dynasty, facing the same problems but on a much larger scale, and this time heavily outnumbered at the battle of Badger's Mouth, he was again completely victorious. All his other campaigns, against the Kara Khitan Empire, Kwarizmian Empire, Volga Bulgars and Russians, were also successful. When he finally died in 1227, he had conquered the largest empire EVER conquered under the leadership of one man.

Genghis really was outstanding. He couldn't read or write, yet he devised a very fine decimal based structure for his armies, units of 10,000, 1,000, 100, and 10. He managed to unite tribes that for centuries had fought and killed each other, into one army, one nation. He brought down civilizations far more advanced and equipped than his 'hordes', he knew how to judge a person's character, picking the very best of generals as his inner circle (subedai and jebe among them) and, on the very few occasions that he was defeated, he managed to minimize the loss and strike back harder than before to achieve victory. Finally, he understood the usefulness of fear, and used it to a degree no general has ever matched in order to ensure swift capitulations. I'm not saying he was a good person. I actually think he was a shame to the human race, but as a military general, a leader of men, and a fierce warlord, not to mention empire builder, I believe he had no equal.

Any Guy who wins battles in conditions as different as Russian Steppes, Middle Eastern Arid landscapes and dense Urban settings is a genius. Add to that, that Genghis Khan's army was not the technologically most advanced even at that time for example their armor was much inferior than the still plated armors or chain-mail armors used by his adversaries. And more often than not, they fought without any huge numerical superiority. Therefore Generalship becomes all the more important.

He was the best

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8Võ Nguyên Giáp

He is one of the most prominent general of all time! Without him, Vietnam couldn't defeat French Colonial and America!

I come from Vietnam, I love my country and I love the World where we are living! Protect it - Make love not War!

Oh yes, the general who haven't ever been defeated. Even he defeated two capitalist empire - France and America.

Did he even win a single battle? Politician yes, feeble minded tactician at best.

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9Khalid ibn al-Walid

Khalid bin walid (R. A) is not was the most powerful military general or commander of all time and in the history of mankind.
Every time with very little troops of him he conquered large and monsterous military like persian and romans. I would say one thing about roman military that roman military were the most powerful military at that time and if I ask which nation has got the most powerful military in this generation then every one's mind will have an answer either USA or Russia. If we guage or measure power of Roman military with todays USA OR Russia's military then Roman military was 7 times powerful than USA or Russia military.

And Khalid bin walid defeated Romans and persians...
He has been honoured 'The sword of Allah' and never got defeated even once in his military career.

he is the best undefeated against romans and persians most of his armies were small and he's never lost a battle in 100 against romans and persians

He should be placed at the number one position. He took the responsibility to protech islam at its early age when islam was facing all kinds of hardships and infliction for its existence. He not only protected islam from extinction but also expanded islam accross the globe... He took all the initiative to spread and protect islam simultaneously. His ilamic world is still existing, whereas others' have perished with their depurture. His martial spirit, skill, innovation, great morality, strict discipline and above all sheer dedication to truthfulness are the main aspects of his character... But we don't find all this altogether in others' characer... Nasser imran chowdhury, BD

Most intelligent and sharp mind man

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10Nguyen Hue

Nguyen Hue or King Quang Trung was very talent in war strategies and tactics. He moved fifty thousands soldiers from Hue to Ha Noi (more than 600km apart) on foot in 3 days in the year of late 1780. He defeated Chinese Tang's army in 200, 000 soldier in one day. He defeated Thai's invasive army of fifty thousands soldiers also in few hours in another occasion. He defeated French's navy without a warship. He never lost one battle in his whole life.

Nguyen Hue (1752-1792), also known as Emperor Quang Trung is a military genius. He was known for breaking the 30 armies of China's Manchu (in 1789) and 20 Siamese armies (in 1785).
The people of Vietnam are respected him! Forever...

Because he had never lost to any enemies in his life

Yes I know he is the best general-king with fastest army.

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11Robert E. Lee

Lee was a decent defensive general, but poor when on offense. His offensive campaigns basically destroyed the Army of Northern Virginia by bleeding it to death.

How many enemy armies did he destroy? His famous victories are very overrated. Shortly after Chancellorsville the army he defeated was stopping him at Gettysburg with heavy losses.

His great strength was not defeating the Union armies he faced, but in defeating the enemy commander, causing them to retreat after taking a stinging but, non-decisive blow. All the Union armies he defeated were capable of fighting again, very soon after their defeats.

When Lee faced a general he could not intimidate (Grant) he was forced to fight a skillful but ultimately losing campaign. In that campaign he inflicted defeats comparable to his earlier ones, the difference was that the opposing general was not intimidated. Once that happened his army was doomed, since he was never able to inflict a decisive defeat tat destroyed the enemy army.

Overall Lee was a good general, but one of the best in history? Not a chance. Great generals do not have their armies destroyed

He was a great general who led under fed, poor clothes, out numbered Confederate troops and won countless battles, he ended up losing only because of human wave attacks and ruthless Ulysses grant whom didn't care how many men he lost and kept coming

Lee was a master tactician, who lead a bare foot and half-starved army under rebellion. Every other general on this list had international recognition of his country at time of service. General Lee did not. So remember that when you a evaluate his deeds in the field

Military leaders must be judged with their circumstances in mind. Always outnumbered, outgunned, and under supplied. The best evidence was the respect his enemies had for him. I wouldn't put him first on this list, but top ten without a doubt.

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12Erwin Rommel the Desert Fox

Excellent leader as well as great human being. His army did not committed any war crimes. Under his command axis army was almost have have won north african campaign. With his small army and badly outnumbered he was able to pull out remarkable victories.

Erwin Rommel - easily the greatest military mind of the 20th century, with day light second, and certainly in the top few for all time. Many do not realise how incredibly close he came to single handedly winning WW2 for the axis, despite far inferior forces and supplies at his disposal.

Rommel should be #1 because the tactics he enforced in battle are what America wins with today. The allies did not break out of Normandy until he was wounded!

Non-political opinion. Simply the best at tactics.

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13George Washington

He lost plenty of battles, I mean he lost the city of New York to the British and was never able to recover it until after the war. It was only through sheer luck he caught the Hessian's sleeping at Trenton and gained the momentum he needed to win the war. The only reason he won is because of a few decisive battles and because the troops absolutely loved him. He was a great general but really given too much credit.

Very underrated. Defeated the most powerful nation on earth at that time. George did what he had to to archive victory, ultimate victory. Maybe he didn't have any great battles that he won but, he did win the war.

A Leader of the First Order. Loyal to his superiors as well as his subordinates. Physically Brave and Imposing while maintaining his humility. A man of vision, who had the tools, fortitude, and Focus, to see it through. The world owes much to this man.

His soldiers had no weapons and supplies at first and were up against the most powerful nation on earth. He still won though which just shows how good of a leader he was.

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14Georgy Zhukov

27th REALLY?

He turned the tide of the ever-losing War in Eastern Europe. He is the greatest Soviet (and Russian, for that matter) to come out of the country.

In a Red Army rigidly controlled and even micromanaged by Stalin he was able to tactfully and deftly maneuver Russian troops in ways never before done and win battles where he was doomed from the start. I don't believe he ever lost a single battle as a commander and was easily the greatest military leader in a war that included many of our histories best.

He was tactically astute and lead the Red Army from utter defeat to becoming the most powerful on Earth. Long live the motherland!

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15George S. Patton

Sorry, can't agree with this selection. Great generals defeated foes who outnumbered them, or by employing amazing tactics. Germany was at the verge of defeat at the hands of the Russians even before D-Day. So the western Allies attacked France when much of Germany's armed forces were busy in the East. Patton therefore wasn't taking on a superior foe, but a half defeated and depleted enemy. In France the Allies had complete air superiority and harassed German ground forces incessantly. Patton had little Luftwaffe opposition. And for the most part, he was well supplied, unlike the Germans. Of course he accomplished many things and helped defeat the Nazis. But he doesn't belong on a list with Alexander the Great and Hannibal. Of course, we'll never know if he could have defeated Germany's best troops if they were well supplied, only had to do battle on one front, and had a strong Luftwaffe to support them.

Offensive in planning, attacking, and commitment. Even his logistical methods were far advanced than those he fought with or against. Decision in the heat of battle was something given to only those to whom it was in all human interest to succeed. A vision of the battlefield gained from the vision of the past. Patton used that vision to defeat his enemy. His lust for achieving glory was his only defeating quality. He fought Rommel on even tactics and won at every turn. Hitler was not affraid of Patton but his generals were. He was certain to reach Berlin if not for Allied political positions that held up the war and increased loss of life. Patton for the age and the moment in the world at war was the best leader and the best combat soldier to win.

Because no bastard has won a war by dying for his country. He has won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

In my eyes he was one of the greatest generals of all time and should at least earn himself the top 5 list. He was a great motivational speaker and a great tactician. Obviously the greatest General of World War 2

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humble and not a tyrant, even fed the enemies

Saladin planned his attacks well, only fought with reason and gave his enemies freedom after his enemies killed even his own family.

It's our wits that makes us man.

The greatest, most humble general ever.

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17Fredrick the Great

This man took the worst of situations and made the very best of them. Prussia had a strong military and that was about it. It had divided territory, a weak economy, a small population, and had a small land area compared to powers such as France and Russia. He proved to the world that Prussia was a force to be reckoned with and could easily contend with the larger European powers of the time.

He pioneered what he called 'The Oblique Attack', was studied and admired by Napoleon, and was able to defend Prussia against three European Empires allied against him with limited resources at his disposal.

You call the Seven Years War the French and Indian War? This man was the seven years war! (He won at least)

Napoleon and Hitler looked up to Frederick. That says enough for me.

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18Sun Tzu

Never lost a battle, even when outnumbered 10 to 1. Put himself on Deadly Ground (read the book) with his troops, thereby leading by example. And my personal favorite, turned a group of hookers (read: king's concubines) into a fighting force just to pass the interview and get the job!

Wrote the Art of War which shaped military history forever and predicted the outcomes of many battles.

Creator of the Art of War, Grandfather of Guerilla Warfare, Changed the way wars are fought forever, And his strategies and tactics are still used today. Why is Sun Tzu not #1

One of the most brilliant general in our history

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19Erich Von Manstein

He was not only the most brilliant strategist of all our generals, but he had a good political sense. A man of that quality was too difficult for Hitler to swallow for long. At conferences Manstein often differed from Hitler, in front of others, and would go so far as to declare that some of the ideas which Hitler put forward were nonsense.

Probably the greatest strategic genius in WWII. He was able to fight many successful defensive battles against a massively superior enemy. If Hitler had allowed him freedom of action on the Eastern front, we may have had an entirely different outcome, At the very least it would have taken the Soviets far longer to push into Germany.
Compared to him Zhukov was a joke, who only ever won a battle by outnumbering the Germans 10-1.

The man who defeated the Allies in France deserves to be on this list

Very professional general and an expert military strategist for both offense and defense

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20Horatio Nelson

Greatest British admiral of all time hence the best naval tactician ever! Nile, trafalgar, when face by two different navy's both with superior numbers. Britain didn't the biggest empire in the world, for no reason. Navy was key for expansion and Nelson was at the fore front of Britain's navy.

The best british navy commander in british history. From spain to nile until denmark. He travelled far and win many major victories including the sea battle against napoleon fleet in nile 9napoleon not present though)

The victor at the Nile, Copenhagen, and Trafalgar cemented his great role in world history. The wooden walls of England were often held together by Nelson.

Should be top 15. Doing battle at sea if far greater a task

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