America's Greatest General

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by LandonL, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. LandonL

    LandonL
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    Out of curiosity, I want to see how much disagreement there is over this issue. I personally vote for George S. Patton, Jr.
     
  2. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    Patton did a great job of beating the Germans but I would hardly call him the greatest. Have you read his autobiography? (War as I knew it or something like that). He had some pretty nutty ideas, not necessarily the most stable individual I have ever studied. Of course his theology was a mess also, reincarnation and all that.

    My vote would go to Stonewall Jackson. Good testimony, great leader, superior record in combat. Of course his was cut short. There are many others I would put ahead of Patton. George Washington would have to be in the top 5. I like Thomas Sumter from the revolutionary war, he was an amazing general.

    Another of my favorites has always been John Pershing for his vast experience. This man fought the Sioux, the Apache, the Mexicans, the Spanish, the Russians, and the Germans.

    I also love the story of Maj. General William Dean who lead the 24th Infantry Division in Korea. Overrun by North Korean forces he took out a tank with a hand grenade, posed as an enlisted man when captured, escaped and made his way south to link up with other U. S. Forces. I don't have all the facts right here in front of me but that's the story the way I remember it. I would later serve with the 24th in Desert Storm, but that was later.
     
  3. Major B

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    On a tactical level, Patton ranks very high, but he was no strategist; Bradley was the soldier's favorite, but a plodder. Ike was an organizer, but never commanded in the field. MacArthur was very good, but not as good as he thought (Chinese caught him napping strategically). Washington was a great leader of men, but lost most of his battles. Lee took too long to understand the power of the new weapons (see: Gettysburg). Forrest was a talented amateur, Sherman a war criminal, Grant a street fighter with the advantage of overwhelming numbers and logistics. Jackson died too soon.

    The man I choose is little known today, but he never lost a major battle. He was a prominent commander with 60 years of service. He fought the British, the Indians, the Mexicans, and lastly his own. His exploits increased the size of the US by 25%. While old and pushed aside, his strategic plan is what was eventually used to defeat the South (sorry, Dr. Bob).

    In our century, no one even approaches him.

    We have had no greater soldier than "old fuss and feathers," General Winfield Scott.
     
  4. Major B

    Major B
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    ON this board, disagreement can be predicted to be vast.
     
  5. JGrubbs

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    My vote would go to Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson as well!
     
  6. Kiffin

    Kiffin
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    My Rankings would be,

    1. Robert E. Lee
    2. Stonewall Jackson
    3. George S. Patton
    4. Douglas MacArthur
    5. Nathan Bedford Forrest

    Honorable Mention: Not a General but Navy Admiral Chester Nimitz is often overlooked as a WW2 Hero.
     
  7. JGrubbs

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    I would have to include George Washington in my top five.
     
  8. LandonL

    LandonL
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    I just finished reading Patton's Autobiography, which is what prompted me. And in terms of a good general, isn't this something where theology should be left out? I mean, everyone agrees that some people were great military commanders without agreeing with their theology.

    I don't know much about Winfield Scott, though.

    As far as the modern era and tank warfare goes, though, I really don't think there's anyone better than Patton. Perhaps his philosophy of constant advance just appeals to me. I'm not sure. I'd like to get ahold of his war diary and read that...anyone know if it's published?
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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  10. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Dr. B.

    Didn't know Dayan was an American. When did that happen?

    J
     
  11. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    Moshe Dayan? Wow Dr. Bob, you really pulled that one out of the air. I thought we were limited to American Generals, no offense to the other fine nations represented on BaptistBoard. If we open the door to the rest of the world then there would be many others to consider.
     
  12. Kiffin

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    Washington is a Very Good Choice for the Top 5!
     
  13. mioque

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    I wouldn't include Washington myself, he was a great political leader, but a lousy general.

    There is however this French aristocrat de Lafayette who fought on the US side, who I will nominate just to stir up trouble.
     
  14. Squire Robertsson

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    As for General of the Army George Washington, one must remember he fought the first "guerrilla" war. Unlike his British foes, his objective was not necessarily the destruction of the oppossing army nor the capture and occupation of the enemy capitol. (Not that he wouldn't have liked to destroy Howe or Clinton, but an amphibious landing to capture London would have been a bit of a stretch.) His objective was simply to field an organized military force of reasonable strength. He succeeded because his Army existed. As long as a Continential Army remained a viable force, the British army failed. We faced much the same factors in Vietnam War.

    [ June 03, 2004, 05:39 PM: Message edited by: Squire Robertsson ]
     
  15. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    William T. Sherman
     
  16. KenH

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    "Stonewall" Jackson
     
  17. JGrubbs

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    For taking the Union army on a 800-mile trail of pillage, burning, and rape through Georgia and the Carolinas in 1864-1865??
     
  18. Major B

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    I will make one more effort to get some discussion about Winfield Scott. Not only was he by far the most successful strategist and tactician in US Army history, he was the commander and trainer of Grant, Lee, Longstreet, and many more of the later greats who served under Scott in Mexico.
     
  19. rsr

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    Scott certainly wouldn't be a bad choice. His campaign in Mexico, against a numerically superior force operating within its own country, is an often-overlooked triumph.

    And he was one of the few in the North (or South) to realize how protracted and bloody the Civil War would be. While poor health prevented him from carrying out his strategic plan, much of it (splitting the South by controlling the Mississippi, blockading Southern ports) was adopted by the North.
     
  20. Melanie

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    can we start a thread to include the world......
     

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