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Thread: Greateset American General and Why?

  1. #61
    Hoarding ASL items....... Kevin Kenneally's Avatar
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    Re: Greateset American General and Why?

    Does General Confusion count?

    He is ALWAYS on the battlefield when soldiers forget his plans....
    Kevin Kenneally
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    Re: Greateset American General and Why?

    No one has mentioned Winfield Scott. His 1847 central Mexico campaign was brilliant. Marching deep into enemy territory, well away from his coastal base, he ended by cutting himself off from his supply lines entirely, throwing himself between enemy forces, defeating them in turn, and occupying the enemy capital, forcing an end to the war.
    (Grant-haters on the list should consider the similar Vicksburg campaign.)
    Matt Ridgeway was certainly underrated. Not just anyone could take what was essentially a beaten army, and a multi-national one at that, and turn it around so rapidly.

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    Forum Guru wrongway149's Avatar
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    Re: Greateset American General and Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcloud6 View Post
    Some would say the Homma did not do very good considering how long MacArthur's forces held out considering they were out of strategic lines of communications to the United States and the Japanese had air and naval superiority. The delay down the Bataan peninsula could be consider a text book delay in the face of a superior enemy. It just came to no fruition because the UD highest command decided not to come to the rescue. (Not saying that they could nor should have). But the delay in the conquest of the Philippines hurt the Japanese strategic timetable and bought time for the US to rebound for a counteroffensive almost immediately in summer of 1942 (The Solomons Campaign, which was originally under the command of MacArthur)
    The more I try and understand this battle, the more I appreciate it's execution. (and the fighting withdrawal is hard in ASL, too!) MacArthur loses some points for not hanging around to direct it personally. Did he know no rescue was imminent?
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    Forum Guru Fort's Avatar
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    Re: Greateset American General and Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by wrongway149 View Post
    The more I try and understand this battle, the more I appreciate it's execution. (and the fighting withdrawal is hard in ASL, too!) MacArthur loses some points for not hanging around to direct it personally. Did he know no rescue was imminent?
    MacArthur was ordered by the CinC to get himself out of there...three times.
    “You’re never beaten until you admit it.”- George Patton

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    Forum Guru BitterPill's Avatar
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    Re: Greateset American General and Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenF View Post
    No one has mentioned Winfield Scott. His 1847 central Mexico campaign was brilliant. Marching deep into enemy territory, well away from his coastal base, he ended by cutting himself off from his supply lines entirely, throwing himself between enemy forces, defeating them in turn, and occupying the enemy capital, forcing an end to the war.
    (Grant-haters on the list should consider the similar Vicksburg campaign.)
    Matt Ridgeway was certainly underrated. Not just anyone could take what was essentially a beaten army, and a multi-national one at that, and turn it around so rapidly.
    The Iron Duke might agree with you:

    When news of his victory [in Mexico] reached the foreign press, world opinion of Scott changed overnight and he was hailed as one of the "greatest living soldiers" by the Duke of Wellington, who had previously called him insane.

    http://www.tennesseehistory.com/archive/volpg.html
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    Re: Greateset American General and Why?

    Not just anyone could take what was essentially a beaten army,
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    Forum Guru Fort's Avatar
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    Re: Greateset American General and Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisM View Post
    His notable lack of success on hte battlefield counts against him though. I give Washington credit for realizing that by keeping an Army in the field - victory was inevitable: but he took a lot of beatings and didn't have any big strategic wins like Saratoga. Yorktown was pretty much just a siege and he doens't even win that wihtout teh french navy. He was a great leader and administrator - not sure I'd put him up there with great battlefield tacticians like Patton, Jackson and Gavin.
    Washington has a notable record of strategic thinking and tactical success on the battlefield...Trenton, Princeton, etc..

    Leading the types of troops he had to any victory over the Army he faced in opposition is an incredible feat of Generalship and courage.
    “You’re never beaten until you admit it.”- George Patton

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    Re: Greateset American General and Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fort View Post
    Based on what? One battle....Gettysburg?

    Lee was absolutely brilliant in every campaign in which he participated.

    He could see the writing on the wall and made a big gamble...which he lost.

    I still say George Washington. Against incredible odds with a world superpower as his opponent he won the most important war in US, maybe even world, history.
    Those are my two favorites. Didn't Lee marry Washington's Granddaughter? I know Arlington cemetery was Lee's property then confiscated, he didn't seem to mind through. My Godfather is Robert E Lee (direct descendant)and my Dad's best friend. That is why I became interested in military affairs at a young age because I am named after him.

    Yep,
    Bob

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    Re: Greateset American General and Why?

    @#44. I thought it was smallpox, not scarlet fever that was passed on to the Indians via contaminated blankets? At any rate, European diseases like smallpox, measles and mumps killed more Native Americans between 1500-1900 than bullets. The bottom line though is that they were treated shamefully and are still too much ignored.

    Anyway...

    Lot of good choices and reasons given. I'd have to go with Washington, Grant and Lee.
    Washington's armies usually fought against the greatest odds and he also had both the most to lose and most to gain: his life or independence. He fought battles when he thought he could win, retreated when necessary, and managed to hold his starving, poorly supplied Continental Army together for 8 long years.
    Lee, from 1862 to 1864 managed two invasions of the North after defeating superior armies soundly, but for the most part Northern generalship was subpar. With even odds I believe he would have isolated Washington and won independence for the South... so I'm glad he didn't. Even facing very long odds, he still managed to stalemate Grant until basically his army was starved. He was both a good offensive and defensive general, IMO.
    Grant's campaign against Vicksburg showed both his tenacity and his ability to think through the many problems facing him. He was outgeneraled by Lee though, IMO, but again his tenacity in keeping his army moving south to Richmond despite their heavy losses was superb. On the other hand, he never really faced a real defensive challenge, so how he would have handled that, we'll never know. Then there's also that thing at Cold Harbor...

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