Top Ten Military Generals of All Time

The Top Ten
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a King of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty.

Alexander is the greatest general of all time because of his legacy as well as his accomplishments. Unlike many of the others listed he embraced the cultures over which he ruled and spread education and freedom more than any other ruler in history. He freed more slaves than any other human in history, built more libraries, and shaped the future of the world more than any before or since. He routinely allowed the leaders of places to keep their positions and accepted the freedom of their own beliefs, not requiring the complete servitude of many other great empire builders. He conquered without the slaughter and genocide of some of the other greats (Caesar, Khan). As a tactician and strategist he has no equal, the closest being Tecumseh (who was only defeated by a vastly technologically superior enemy only with the help of treason by the British, and had won so many victories over the American army that he was the first man to have a million dollar bounty placed on his ...more

There's a reason why the Persian Empire was the most vast at the time - because they were ruthless and intelligent. This was an empire the likes of which the world had never seen. The Persian Empire stood the tests of time and defeated anyone who dared try to stand against it. Until Alexander the Great. He was undefeated. There wasn't a single force he ever met that he didn't utterly destroy. But what made him the greatest general was not just his ability to win, but his ability to know what to do with a victory. This is where generals like Hannibal flounder. He was always the victor, but not the annihilator. He recognized the importance of the persons he conquered. He didn't strive for assimilation like other generals, in fact quite the opposite. He did spread Greek culture, yes, but he also took with him the cultures of the lands he spent time in. His empire was a beautiful melting pot of races.
The inability of his empire to survive without him says much about him as well. He ...more

He is quite simply the most accomplished general in history. He defeated the greatest empire the world had ever seen, and in doing so conquered the entire known world. His wide spread empire not only amassed the most impressive amount of land, but also the most impressive amount of races. In doing so, he mixed the races in an invulnerable exchange of knowledge and cultural accomplishments, which helped to shape the world as we know it today. He didn't conquer for the sheer glory, but for the new world that he could create because of Greek influence. It's no news that the Greeks have done more for Western civilization than almost anyone, but without Alexander, those contributions wouldn't have been nearly as widespread. He never lost a battle, and it's his brilliance as not only a general, but as a man that made that so. He never asked his men to do anything he didn't also do, and thus gained their unwavering loyalty which was critical in their conquests for years all over the world. ...more

Yes, Alexander was really the great warrior, but I doubt that he would conquer much more if he lived longer. His army even rebelled bringing him to tears when he pushed them too hard planning to campaign against India, so India remained out of his reach. He actually conquered only one great empire, but advance into Persia was much easier then it would be advance into Europe. This is for two main reasons. First - Europe has much harsher climate and seasons must be taken much more seriously. Second - Persia was a centuries long empire with well developed road system that Alexander was able to exploit and advance very quickly. Although Persia was surely able to amass much greater and better equipped army than the scaterred Illyric, Celtic and Germanic tribes would be able to, winning three major battles and a few minor battles and sieges was actually enough to conquer the entire Persian Empire. If Alexander was to exploit Europe, he would have had much more trouble with logistics ...more

Genghis Khan Genghis Khan c. 1162 – August 18 1227, born Temüjin, was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death.

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.

Started as a son of a tribal lord of a handful of troops father dies has nothing left but his immediate family an a few loyal friends. Captured became a slave. Escaped slowly built up a tribe breaking tribal traditions. Conquered rival an blood brother an eventually all the tribes. Fought in the desert snow forest steppes. Was able to form tribal bands into one of the most formidable empires of all time. Was able to recognize an promote skilled warriors an trust them with major campaigns in far away lands subdued much of Asia demolished the khwarezm empire. Started with a army with no idea of siegecraft but when he was done no city was safe. His empire survived him an died in old age. A ridiculous summary of a truly great general/leader. How is he not in top 5?

Master of organization and discipline. Contrary to common misperception, his army was not an unruly mob. They were usually outnumbered. Yet they never lost a battle until 33 years after his death (Goliath's Well, 1260AD). He turned a bunch of nomads into a well organized army. The best light cavalry the world had ever seen.

He understood now best to exploit the superior mobility his force usually enjoyed. Also, showed a flair for psychological warfare.

There are others on this list who have a good case, but Genghis Khan (born Temujin) is my personal favorite.

The greatest military leader to ever live. Unlike leaders like Alexander the Great and others who inherited the throne, Genghis Khan came from nothing to rule what would become the largest empire in history.

The Mongolian army was at one point invading Japan and Europe at the same time with success, something not to be accomplished before or since. Even after the death of Genghis Khan who was an active participant in battle, his empire continued to thrive under the tactics and strategies he utilized.

Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar, known by his cognomen Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician and military general who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire.

Julius Caesar rocks. Despite being and AMAZING politician, he was an even better strategist. Being able to pull of more wins where you shouldn't have versus obvious wins is something else. Note that the only way to get Caesar out of the picture was assasination, not the usual civil what because they knew Caesar would blow them out of the sky!

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 ...more

Few commanders have ever enjoyed the loyalty in which Caesar’s legions had for him. Even fewer have won as many pitched battles as he. With odds usually stacked against him, Caesar utilized brilliant tactics and discipline to overcome all odds. Fighting battles in most corners of the known world, he conquered all of Gaul and then even Rome itself. Aggression, preparedness, ingenuity and courage, his legacy has been carried through the ages making him a household name even still to this day, and his battle tactics studied by most military minds ever since. In my opinion, no military commander since has displayed such a well roundness mixed with as high of success rate.

He is the greatest general being the first general to use what is thought as steel gladiolus, his Calvary extraordinaire were deadly and he used scorpion bows that were in turn deadly if the enemy were on a charge. his army had a great disciplined in combat and sendemly retreated. he would make conversation with his soldiers and gave them hope even at damning odds. It is said his army never fought for rome but for caesar alone. Now that was loyalty and the strengths of such a general

Hannibal Barca Hannibal, fully Hannibal Barca, was a Punic military commander from Carthage, generally considered one of the greatest military commanders in history.

Brilliant general. Battle of Cannae was a masterpiece. Once was trapped in a valley at night by a larger Roman force got out by tricking the Romans into thinking he was going to charge them by tying torches to oxen and sending them out the valley towards the Romans. Romans brought all their troops to the place they thought he was about to try break through while he left the valley by a route they had just left open to him as they moved to help their friends. Battle of Lake Trasimene was a amazing piece of deception. While he was the man who almost beat Rome, he was also the one who forged it in to the empire we remember it as in the fires of his war with them. They learnt the tactics that gave them an empire from him.

This genius gained victory after victory against the mighty Roman Empire. As a military general none is equal to this man. He should be on top of the list. He combined various warriors from different races into one superieur and effective army. He made good use of terrain and laid ambushes. He studies his adversaries and thus knew his enemies before engaging them. Above everything else his tactics made him win battles. This guy is the Einstein of military warfare. If Sun Tzu was the writer of the War Bible then Hannibal Barca is Jesus Christ. He was capable of annihilating entire armies. If the system in Carthage was comprised similar to the Roman Empire then nothing would be able to stop Hannibal Barca. The only thing that stopped Hannibal was the lack of support he had from Carthage. One has just to look into one of his battles and everyone will agree that he should be on top of this list.

Hannibal was such a brilliant leader that even after he died, Rome was scared of Carthage rising back to prominence. To the point that Rome actually felt the need to not only invade, beat them, burn their city, tear it to the ground literally - by which I mean actually dismantle all buildings - but they then even salted the earth it was built upon so that nothing could be built there again. Admittedly, Genghis Khan was good, built a great empire, BUT that was due to the fighting style of the mongols themselves, their enemies couldn't withstand the hit and run horse bowmen with recurved bows...it was kind of like the Conquistadors with their guns taking out the Aztecs (who only used stone/ bone/ sharpened wooden weapons) with disease and guns and horses (which were introduced to the Americas by Europeans).

This, on top of the fact that the guy marched over mountains with elephants, after getting his engineers to build rafts to take them and his army (including the elephants) ...more

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.

Tran 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

In reality, Tran Hung Dao's army was not at all a strong army compared to the Mongolian Empire's, but instead very thin and would not last in a head-to-head fight. He employed a unique tactic which was trapping the Mongolian army in the empty citadel of Thang Long, which the imperial court and citizenry had evacuated from beforehand (the Mongolian army believed that the imperial court is still in the citadel). Consequently, they were trapped in the city until their rations were drained (when the citizenry evacuated, they also tok their resources, including food and water); this is when Tran Hung Dao's army struck the weakened enemy. This strategy was repeated 3 times.

Napoleon Bonaparte Napoléon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the Revolutionary Wars.

Let's compare Alexander the Great or Ghengis Khan to Napoleon. Alexander the Great outnumbered most of his enemies, and he had better troops. Yes, Alex was very good, and I'll get to why I favored Napoleon. In Khan's situation, no one was ready. Europe was busy at war with each other and everyone else wasn't prepared with the Khan's brutality. In Napoleon's case, he had the element of suprise after he declared himself l'empereur. They knew what to expect afterwards, and EVERYONE was against Napoleon. Even with entire Europe against him, he still won. Not slimly, but but by a ways. His only mistake was invading Russia as Hitler did. Surviving a little less than decade with all of Europe in his iron fist that one man (except Napoleon) could not do alone I think should give him the #1 spot. This says he wasn't just the best tactician to ever live, but also an astute leader like Julius Caesar.

Napoleon often fought outnumbered, and had an entire civilized continent against him. He invented many new military strategies and even the Metric System, all of which led him to victory. His flaw was that he didn't expect the Russians to burn down their own capital to stop him, yet they did.

Let's be honest with ourselves. Did Alexander the Great conquer all of Europe even when battling literally the rest of Europe. No. Not even Caesar could pull that off. Now I pay my respects where they are due, and don't get me wrong; Alex and Caesar are great and all, but Napoleon is on a whole new level.

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 ...more

Nguyen Hue

He used special tactics to move troops quickly. That is for soldiers to tie each other with hammocks and in turn replace goose and resting man. That is why it greatly shortens the travel time.

Nguyen Hue or King Quang Trung was very talented 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 with 200,000 soldiers 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.

Dai De Nguyen Hue Quang Trung is unbeatable because he did the impossible many times. He defeated 30 Qing armies, 20 Siamese armies, a French navy, and some others. The cool thing is that he had to fight with multiple overwhelming odds and his enemies had the advantages. And even better is he did all of this in 4 years. He was about to go and make Vietnam a huge empire by conquering China and other kingdoms. Sadly he died before he could do so but if he had lived for 10 more years, half of Asia would be under his control and Vietnam would be a world superpower fighting against powerful countries such as Russia, Britain, and America.

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...

Võ 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.

I get that this man rescued Vietnam and united the country, yet how is this a bigger achievement then Genghis Khan, an outcast who as a twelve year old was abandoned in the Mongolian plains, who then united the Mongolian tribes by himself, who then defeated and conquered most of Asia and Russia with an army who at the start of the conquest had never seen a stone wall before (the largest empire the world has ever seen at that), who then created a dynasty with the affect that 1 in 200 people on earth are descended from him. If Genghis hadn't got sick the whole of Europe and Asia would now be part of a Mongolian empire.

George Washington George Washington was the first President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

I agree George Washington was a great leader however, he was not one of the greatest 100 generals even. General Washington had extreme luck in every series of events that happened throughout the Revolutionary War. Back to even his British military career he was just about average. Same as in the Revolutionary War he never did anything great just good enough to accomplish what needed to be accomplished. He did benefit from being an inspiring leader and that is a list he would be in the top ten he did have the ability to inspire men to follow him this showed in all of the parts of his life.

That along with the odds make him a great but underrated general.

Washington prevailed in a civil war against the most powerful Empire the World has ever seen, the British Empire that at one time ruled a quarter of the worlds population and covered a third of its arable land mass.
He ran the British out of Boston without firing a shot, but by moving artilery through the black of night and build a fortress for it that over looked Boston harbor. He was able to strategically retreat at the right times knowing that it was more important to hold his force together than to win a battlefield victory against an enemy that outnumbered him often as much as ten to one.

Despite the odds against him, he prevented the British from marching north along the Hudson river to cut America in half from the New England colonies where most of the American manufacturing was located then. He did that with smoke and mirrors, harassing the outlying areas of British control leaving them feeling insecure about the logistical base in New York.

Then when the time ...more

Underrated as both a General and as President. Name a military leader other than Washington that defeats the greatest Army in the world, and then leads the new country "without force"
Washington was able to do what Julius Caesar did, except Caesar did it with the worlds greatest army and by force. An amazing leader, win/lose/draw, he wins in the end in all areas! Proclaimed an average Military man by many, there was nothing "Average" about Washington..."BY GEORGE" (who else had their name used in place of GOD by the people he led? )

George Washington was one of the greatest generals of all time definitely higher up on this list but at least its #9. Still, after the American Revolutionary War, when George Washington was going to retire, the king of England heard this and said, "If he does this, he will be the greatest man ever." I think that would be a bit amazing if the leader of the opposing army said that about me, I would be feeling pretty good about myself.

Robert E. Lee Robert Edward Lee was an American and Confederate soldier, best known as a commander of the Confederate States Army. He commanded the Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War from 1862 until his surrender in 1865.

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 ...more

One fact that is often forgotten about Lee is that he was not the commander of the confederate forces in the Civil War. He commanded one army, and with that single army conducted the total defense of the CSA. He was not allowed any command over the total war strategy used by his country, and had no control over resources, troop movements, and logistics that go into winning a war. The fact that his country mismanaged resources, did not collaborate in a cohesive defense, and offered not means of production for a prolonged war, illustrates how important and effective Lee's tactics really were. While the union were able to focus their whole war strategy in concert against the south, Lee became the south as he won victory after victory against larger, better equipped, better trained, and better fed troops. No other commander on this list had to fight with such handicaps, and no other commander would have seen Lee's success if they had to. It's easy to say that since the confederacy lost, ...more

Lee is overrated, and certainly isn't in the same class as the greatest of world history. Gettysburg was winnable, and likely the war with it due to the spectre of the peace democrats looming over the 1864 election. But due to mistakes by Lee and by his subordinates like Ewell and Hill, whose blunders he is as much responsible for as their triumphs, he was outmaneuvered by George Meade and lost both the battle and war decisively- the only war in which he was ever a major player.

Moreover, Lee's level and frequency of success declined markedly and immediately upon the death of Stonewall Jackson. While there were obviously other factors in play, I believe it's reasonable to give Jackson a healthy share of the credit for Lee's early success, or alternatively to fault Lee for his inability to coach up lesser officers to execute adequately to maintain that success.

Lee was undermanned and without resources to replenish needed arms and ammunition, as well as soldiers, in the field. However, his strategy and courage helped the south win amazing victories.

Gettysburg should have been an astounding win for the south however, Ewell who had been injured earlier in the war, lost his nerve and retreated back into the town after his troops had run the North off the highground. Had he stayed put, things would have becoming mighty interesting.

Lee is definitely one of the great generals of all time. Even fighting for a cause that he didn't believe in. He did honor home, and family.

The Contenders
George S. Patton George Smith Patton Jr. was a General of the United States Army who commanded the U.S. Seventh Army in the Mediterranean theater of World War II, and the U.S. Third Army in France and Germany following the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944.

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.

During the War in Africa, which ironically ended today on May 11, 1943 with the signing of the Axis surrender to the allies, was because of Patton's bold moves. Before World War II, he was involved in the tank design for the Americans towards the end of World War I. He was the reason why we had the tank division of World War II. Granted, he slapped soldiers with PTSD, (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), but he was important in defeating the Desert Fox. His use of artillery to batter the Germans was the reason for taking Africa, and he was the cause for the Axis losing so much of their supplies. This has caused many to call Patton's victories "inferior," but in actuality, it was he who caused that shortage in the first place. He also helped quench the Germans in Sicily, by making an extremely bold attack, by coming through the shore, and beating the British General Montgomery to Sicily. He then helped strike quickly and at irregular times, to help prevent the ability for the Germans to ...more

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.

War is meant to be fought by warriors, not timid politically correct paper pushers like Eisenhower and Bradley. Patton was correct about the Nazi/democratic party analogy as well as the looming Russian threat. Eisenhower compromised the end of the war by constantly appeasing the british, trying without success to hold him back in Sicily, halting Pattons army when he could have pushed straight thru to Berlin and promoting Bradley over Patton. Patton was constantly held in check even though his strategies were far better than anything Ike and Bradley could pull off. Eisenhower was a politician who never experienced combat and Bradley was never respected by the troops like Patton. My grandfather was part of Pattons third army and had nothing but respect for him. Also the troops loved the profane speeches where as Bradley was kind of an unknown element. That "GI General" nickname Bradley was given is nonsense and was pure baloney created by Ernie Pyle.

David IV of Georgia David IV, also known as David the Builder, of the Bagrationi dynasty, was a king of Georgia from 1089 until his death in 1125.

In 1121, he led his army of 55,000 men and 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. ...more

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

Due to the time frame of DAVID his tactics and strategy can only be compared to the bravery and superiority of the spartans who sacrificed themselves to protect Greece. Though he was out numbered greatly his leadership against extreme odds has proved that he was a superior general. The proof of his success not only against the seljuks but his "miraculous victory" also led to the protection of other countries. Because of his wisdom and guidance in each country he protected led to the Golden Age of Georgia. Because of this he was given the name of Saint King David the Builder! For these reasons he deserves being first General of all history.

Saladin

Saladin was both an excellent general and an excellent human. His wars were fought without the bloodthirstiness that many of the generals on the list had. Unlike many others he showed mercy, something that truly separates him from most. He should be ahead of many on this list (especially Lee and Hue - as it is impossible to travel 600km on foot in three days, and accepting the erroneous numbers provided for his enemies - was it 1.4 million , 600,000 or as modern estimates state more like 112,000?) With Saladin, as with Alexander the war was a means to an end, something that is understated with both men. He belongs in the top 5.

Out of his time, a highly sophisticated general, who in his high manners, ethics and moral in combat, reflected the true image of Jesus, Mohammad and the holy land! Even though the night templers used all the dirty tactics against him, sacked innocent women, babies etc. Drank the blood of their victims, rapped women and burnt holy shrines, he refused to act like them and instead respected and protected everyone including his enemies. Christians as well as Muslims fought under his leadership to free the holy land. He won the hearts of everyone, that even was praised by Richard the lion heart!

He should be placed in top five. He had some attributes that cannot be found in other generals of his time. He showed respect to his opponents and unlike the crusaders, recaptured Jerusalem without bloodshed. He showed how to win over the enemies if you cannot defeat them.

He used to cut off any enforcements by sea and land. He used to seige the enemies until they give up and set them free. He wasn't looking for trouble or getting people killed. Salaheldin was trying to set peace all over the world and invite people to Islam and defend Muslims who were attacked for their believes.

Fredrick 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.

Frederick II (Friedrich) reigned over the Kingdom of Prussia from 1740 until 1786. The third Hohenzollern king, Frederick is best known for his military victories, his reorganization of Prussian armies, his innovative drills and tactics, and his final success against great odds in the Seven Years' War. He became known as Frederick the Great (Friedrich der Große) and was nicknamed Der Alte Fritz ("Old Fritz").

Fredrick The Great has to fight off four massive powers: Russia, France, Sweden and Austria. His army was extremely small compared to his enemies but he proved that a smaller army could defeat a much larger force.

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.

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu was a Chinese general, military strategist, writer and philosopher who lived in the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, an influential work of military strategy that has affected both Western and East Asian philosophy and military thinking. His works focus much more on alternatives to battle, such as stratagem, delay, the use of spies and alternatives to war itself, the making and keeping of alliances, the uses of deceit and a willingness to submit, at least temporarily, to more powerful foes.

The master of complete war, writer of the greatest war manuscript in history and a man who led his army on the ground to victory despite being outnumbered 10 to 1. Sun Tzu is way to low on the list as his teachings on warfare are the basis for modern warfare and even business and sports. When your written work applies almost universally to life and you have a top 5 victory in all history under your belt, this is far to low on the list

The Art of War might not seem like much today, but that is only because EVERY SINGLE GREAT GENERAL IN KNOWN HISTORY, either followed the strategies of this beast, or simply used the same by coincidence.

As much as I like Saladin for his mercy, Julius Caesar for his overall greatness and Genghis Khan for his bad assery and the fact that he brought great changes that has made our modern world today much better, none of these guys can compare to Sun Tzu, the General that defined success in warfare.

That might be the only thing I know about him (having read his book), but that is all I need to know to claim that there is, nor will ever be any general that compares to this one.

Why Sun Tzu?... Well... In this age which we call the modern era I.e. a span of time that includes the last five hundred years or so up until today.. he's been credited with having written, if not "THE" book then at least one of the few treatise on the subject that can be called a true classic definitive that every other literate person in the field of military strategic thought has read, re-read, and then re-re-read and sought to become heartily familiar if not out of sheer respect and love then at least within the course of their studies and/or careers... he's either a magnificent General equalled by a few but surpassed by none or the greatest public relations sales myth that never lived... I know what I believe... I voted for him afterall!

Erwin Rommel the Desert Fox Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel, popularly known as the Desert Fox, was a German field marshal of World War II. He worked under Adolf Hitler's Third Reich as a leading general and gained fame from his battles in North Africa.

Rommel was a magnificent rebel of Nazism. Fought as a soldier, a patriotic man and an honourable opponent of the Western allies. Although he isn't as great as Manstein, his character is more interesting due to repudiating war crime orders from Hitler.

He was almost like Robert E Lee and James Longstreet all in one. He was respected on both sides like what Robert E Lee was in the Civil War due to his sense of honour and military genius. Longstreet on the other hand since he was realistic that the war was lost (similar to how he knew that the Confederates will lose at Gettysburg if Lee didn't heed his warning) but he was ignored by Hitler about the true facts (similar to how Lee ignored Longstreet's warning that his attack at Gettysburg will fail). He was a soldier who refused to acknowledge himself as a "Nazi", courageous to defy Hitler's orders, a man of honour and a true patriot to his country.

He was a good general indeed, he was skillful and swift until he got the "Desert Fox" title. Even though he joined the German Nazi soldier but he doesn't really act like a typical Nazis, instead he still humane. When he was stationed in France during the Atlantic Wall construction, he didn't torture the French labors but he gave those labors salary from their hardwork. When Hitler asked him to deport the Jews, he didn't deport the Jews but he spared the Jews. The Afrika Korps was never accused of any war crimes, and Rommel himself referred to the fighting in North Africa as Krieg ohne Hass war without hate.

Too bad, Hitler asked him to commit suicide just because Rommel disagree with Hitler's policies and acts.

The only German officer who should not be considered a "Nazi". He infact refused to join the Nazi Party. He was just an honourable soldier doing what's right for his country only to realise later what crimes Hitler and the SS had done were wrong. Because of that he supported the conspirators to remove Hitler from power after knowing Germany can no longer win and Hitler is leading them to destruction which will later lead him to commit suicide. He's not one that favours Hitler and his ideals but a man of honour and a loyal patriot to his country.

Erich Von Manstein

Manstein was easily the best general during World War II. "What about Eisenhower?" You say, just look at how unorganized and a wreck D-Day was. Manstein, on the other hand, is the reason Germany conquered France and held out as long as they did on the Eastern front. The reason why he failed is that Hitler didn't give him enough authority as he should've been given. He is very brave too, as he regularly spoke out when Hitler suggested a stupid idea, something that most couldn't. This political aspect also made him a very influential person during WWII.

Awesome guy, he literally could have had Germany win WWII if not for Hitler (which I don't even know why he's on the list, people like Von Moltke deserve to be here more than him). He wasn't an idiot like other German staff, knew tanks and airplanes were the future, and was basically Rommel's counterpart in the East, and that was where people like Rommel were most needed. Although I agree this guy should be top 10, I still argue for Von Moltke te Elder to be on the list. He was 40 years ahead of his generation, established the first General Staff, understood tanks and logistics, and steamrolled the Austrians and the French even with inferior equipment. He 'accidently' only sent about 30,000 troops to deal with a 130,000 French army, and they STILL managed to win a crushing victory.

A pure military genius, he could have won the Second World War for the Nazi Germany had he been given the freedom of actions that he asked Hitler so many times. His idea for an attack trough Ardennes has led to an almost complete victory over France and her allies in 1940. In East he starting distinguishing himself by conquering the most fortified port in the world at that time (Sevastopol) in a bloody fight. Then he saved the Southern part of the German Eastern front by conducting a masterful retreat in the winter of 1942-43, only for stopping the Soviet offensive in whan it is called the Third Battle of Kharkov. His defeat at Kursk was mostly caused by the inability of Army Group Center to put enough pressure on the Northern part of the Soviet bulge, although he was nearly to achieve a breakthrough into the enemy's rear, being stopped by the stiff Soviet resistance and Hitler's decision to halt the operation "Citadel". In 1943-44 he showed good skills by inflicting huge Soviet ...more

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.

King David of Israel

As a boy, David killed a lion with his bare hands.

David then killed a bear. His first battle was fought against the Philistines, in which he saved the Israelite army from certain doom after slaying a fully armed 9'9ft warrior with just a slingshot. He also conducted a campaign against the Philistines in which he killed thousands. David then successfully invaded the lands of Geshurites, Gezrites, and the Amalekites. The Amalekites retaliate by capturing his wives and many more people which prompts King David to defeat them in a hostage rescue. Later on in his career, David takes the city of Jebus and renames it Jerusalem. Soon after David is crowned King of Israel, the Philistines attack; though they are unsuccessful. Israel then faces the Philistines and their allies - the Moabites, Zobah, Syria, and Edom. Not only are they defeated, but David conquers all of their lands and enslaves their people. Another War erupts when the Ammonites torture Israelite messengers after ...more

King David the great grand father of the Arab Jews, Jordan and Palestine, not Ashkenazi Russian Jews, had the greatest kingdom that ever existed. God gave him rule over all beings, including Humans, Animals, Plants, the Wind and Demons.

He was a ancestor to Messiah (Jesus Christ) and he foresaw and wrote prophetic about the messiah in the psalms (in Bible) as God's millennial king who will bring peace and prosperity to the world!

A patriarch of three western religions, killed giants, conquered his enemies, wrote songs, and the father of some of the greatest minds in the area at the time.

Ulysses S. Grant Ulysses S. Grant was an American soldier and statesman who served as Commanding General of the Army and the 18th President of the United States, the highest positions in the military and the government of the United States.

Most definitely the greatest general from the Americas. For all the talk of him being a ‘Butcher’, people always forget that the battle which gave him that reputation (Cold Harbor) was the only proper battle (not counting small skirmishes and the like) he lost he EVER lost in his entire career.

Three enemy armies destroyed. Victories when having a larger army, victories when outnumbered. Immediately took the initiative away from Lee and forced Lee to react to him until Lee surrendered. Unlike Lee his victories were decisive. Unlike Lee he nurtured a brilliant group of subordinates and replaced incompetents. Unlike Lee he coordinated armies on all fronts, not just his own. America's best general.

Perhaps one of the most underrated generals in American history. He was brilliant in seeing the large goals of the campaign. Although he may not have inflicted casualties in the Overland and Petersburg campaigns. His victories always served a great strategic purpose. He destroyed 3 armies, fostered great leadership under him, and in many ways won the war for the union.

Before confronting Lee's army, Grant was not known as a butcher. Statistics show that Lee lost a far higher percentage of his troops. The moniker of butcher arrived only as Grant was required to throw his troops against entrenched forces who were hoping that, in time, public opinion in the North would give way, that is, before Grant's army was successful.

Georgy Zhukov

Could stand up to Stalin, a merciless paranoid dictator, and walk away alive on every occasion, commanded the defences of Leningrad, Moscow and Stalingrad (the most important battle in modern history) and drove the Germans all the way back to Berlin to see them sign an unconditional surrender to the Soviet Union and the Allies.

A general beloved by the Soviets, respected and even admired by the West, he is the greatest general of modern history and quite possibly the reason the USSR won the Eastern Front, and with it, the Second World War as a whole.

Shiloh no doubt was a good experienced commander however he wasn't as good as many portray him

1. ) in his winning battles he outnumbered the Germans at least 2-1 or more
2. ) had more failures than defeats
As an example he failed to penetrate the German East Wall at Seelow Hights so long that he missed of Stalin enough to have another general to help him because he sloppily committed all his reserves in one foul swoop
3. ) many g or get he was in charge mainly when the Germans invaded a x the Red Army though lacking equipment make horrid defensive positions and decisions that nearly cost Russia the war

Without him this list would be in German
In all seriousness he inherited an army of peasants and obsolete tanks and never lost a battle with them (Rzhev was a stalemate that resulted in German retreat) against the best army in the world at the time.
In the process he turned the Red Army into the largest and best army in history with shock troopers, guardsmen and snipers which were arguably the best troops of the war at the end.

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.

Alexander Suvorov

National hero of Russia, generalissimo, field marshal general, field marshal general of the Holy Roman Empire, great marshal of the Piedmontese troops, cavalier of all the Russian orders of his time, Count Suvorov-Rymniksky and Prince of Italy the count Count Suvorov-Rymniksky, Alexander Vasilievich Suvorov is a Russian general, founder of Russian military theory. In total, he gave more than 60 battles and did not lose a single one; he repeatedly defeated significantly superior in numbers enemy forces. Known for his great caring for soldiers.

Soldiers are the lifeblood of the army. Suvorov promoted hygiene and self reliance among his troops. That lead to high moral amongst his men who were healthy and able. He spent much time personally training and teaching his men how to think, without relying on corporal punishment. Hygiene in an 18th century army he died of old age at 70 having lead a successful campaign against revolutionary France the year before.

People no offense but Suvorov is a general who should at least be next to Napoleon on skill level. In fact he would be able to defeat Napoleon if he met him in the battlefield due to that he has better Cavalry and Infantry + Conditioning/Training than that of Napoloen's forces. Napoleon would only out beat Suvorov in a artillery barrage;however, due to superior cavalry and infantry (which deals most kills) Suvorov would be able to win victory after several hours of tough melee combat (just like Suvorov always did).

Easily, the greatest Russian general. Repeatedly beat Ottoman forces at a time when the Turkish troops were considered to be superior to the Europeans despite always being outnumbered. Liberated Ukraine, Crimea and Moldova. Would have freed Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Constantinople if it were not for the collaboration of Britain, France and Austria with the Turks.

Stonewall Jackson

The true genius behind the greatness many attribute wrongly to Robert E. Lee. Read Jackson's letters, and biography written after the war, he had a concise plan to eliminate the threat of federal invasion and was constantly turned down by the short sighted Aristocrats, Lee and Jefferson, because he wasn't "one of them."

The Shannendowa Valley Campaign is a strategic masterpiece, and is studied thoroughly by modern military schools. Jackson is certainly the greatest American General of all time.

Really 57? You got to be kiding. He whooped yankee butt over and over again while bein outnumbered and outequipped. He is still studed at every military academy in the world. If he would have lived, good chance that Gettysburg would have turned out different as well as the war. That would have been something to behold, everyone on Jersey Shore speaking with a Southern accent. Best of all, he was a West Virginian.

This man led an army of mainly farmers and at best semi-professional soldiers and inspired, lead, and trained them into the most courageous, disciplined, and effective army in the war. They were known as "Foot Calvary" they covered 130 miles in 3 and 1/2 days.

Jackson should be rated above Lee...Lee was an aristocrat, Jackson was a common man. Lee was where he was because of his aristocracy. Had he and Davis followed Jackson' lead the south would have won its independence.

Joshua (Bible)

Great as it can be, men's strength comes from this world. Joshua's strength comes from domain above. For anyone fancy the real power, this man is whom you should look into.

Although he was awesome, Joshua won because God was with him. Example: the walls of Jericho. So, I suppose that this is more of a vote for God.

Leading the Israelite army and conquering every enemy in his way. He never lost a single battle in his life

He was courageous as a young man and like David trusted God and God fought for him.

Mehmed II

The "Byzantine were on its last legs" is the same excuse brought up in 90% of defeats. In the distant future, I wouldn't be surprised if someone were like "France barely had an army when it fell to Germany".
For anyone, literally anyone, intrigued by warfare. The number of meticulously crafted plans by the 21 year old is simply jawdropping. From the poisoning to the amphibous ships, psychological warfare, the use of massive artillery at that time etc. This all shows that constantinople (the city targeted by muslims for 6 centuries by then) was no small enemy. And even if it "supposedly" were, the tactical and strategical genius of Sultan Muhammad Al-Fateh show that he was and is one of the best in history

His name is Sultan Muhammad Al-Fateh. Ruler of Ottoman Empire and conqueror of Byzantine Empire. He siege Constantinople, the most impregnable city in the world, for months. At the end, he ordered a European military engineer to develop a very large cannon, bring it across Bosphorus Straits, and bombard the city wall. He is a very pious muslim ruler.

He order to move ottoman ships from land,because byzantine defense were blocking them at sea. Unbelievably, they moved ships from land with human power. When the sun rise up,byzantine soldiers were shocked, all ottoman ships were passed the block.They thought that it was a magic stuff but it was mehmed's move

One of the greatest Generals in the history who conquered Constantinople from the Byzantine Empire which neither any other empire or person could.

Attila the Hun Attila, frequently called Attila the Hun, was the ruler of the Huns from 434 until his death in March 453.

Attila the Scourge of God, the ruler of the Hunnic Empire, (434-453) which stretched from the Ural River to the Rhine River and from the Danube River to the Baltic Sea. During his reign he was one of the most feared enemies of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires. He crossed the Danube twice and plundered the Balkans, invaded the Eastern Roman Empire, attempted to conquer Roman Gaul (modern France), invaded Italy, devastating the northern provinces, but was unable to take Rome. He planned for further campaigns against the Romans but died in 453.

Brought the Roman empire to it's knees. It took the full force of the Romans, the Visigoths, and the Alans to fight the Huns and DRAW. Not defeat him, they pulled a stalemate. 3 armies against him and they weren't victorious and yet people put this guy below George S Paton?

Ponder this. Rome fell due to multiple large Germanic tribes conquering their territory, including Visigoths, Ostrogoths, and Anglo-Saxons. It takes pretty hardcore people to do that. But why would they try? Because Atilla used his might to kick their butts. Long story short, he is better than the people who conquered the greatest empire of all time.

"The scourge of God" possibly the coolest title ever given, however, his ambitions were never realised, never being able to take Rome or Constantinople and his empire collapsed after his death, this is why he is placed far behind people like Alexander the Great and Hannibal Barca

8Load More
PSearch List