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How would you rank the greatest US generals?
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Captain Bearcat Offline
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Post: #101
RE: How would you rank the greatest US generals?
Some people here seem to think that if a general commanded the biggest army in the biggest war, then he's an all-time great general. But that's not always the case. Some of the best generals fought in small wars, or due to their youth commanded smaller units during the great wars.

My list:
1) Stonewall Jackson
2) Norman Schwarzkopf
3) Winfield Scott - brigadier general in war of 1812, winner of the Mexican-American War in one of the most impressive campaigns in history, and as the "Grand Old Man of the Army" he conceived the Anaconda Plan that defeated the South in the Civil War. After his march on Mexico City, the Duke of Wellington proclaimed him the "greatest living general."
4) Winfield Scott Hancock - the Union's best Corps Commander in the Civil War, wounded while defeating Pickett's charge
5) Billy Mitchell - father of the US Air Force and technically an Army general
Honorary mention - General Marshall, who laid the groundwork for winning the Cold War by building up our European allies and by keeping us out of the Chinese Civil War in the late 40s (although he was Secretary of State at the time).

It's easy to confuse Winfield Scott and Winfield Scott Hancock. Oddly enough, both ran for President on major party tickets.

I don't include any from WW2 here because our generals in the European theater (other the Patton) only attacked when they had overwhelming odds. They didn't take many risks because they thought that time (and Russia) was on their side. This was a major strategic error that allowed the Commies to control Eastern Europe and the Balkans after the war. In the Pacific theater we had some great leaders but they were all Admirals (and this asks us to rank Generals).
03-23-2017 01:11 PM
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Post: #102
RE: How would you rank the greatest US generals?
(03-23-2017 01:11 PM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  Some people here seem to think that if a general commanded the biggest army in the biggest war, then he's an all-time great general. But that's not always the case. Some of the best generals fought in small wars, or due to their youth commanded smaller units during the great wars.

My list:
1) Stonewall Jackson
2) Norman Schwarzkopf
3) Winfield Scott - brigadier general in war of 1812, winner of the Mexican-American War in one of the most impressive campaigns in history, and as the "Grand Old Man of the Army" he conceived the Anaconda Plan that defeated the South in the Civil War. After his march on Mexico City, the Duke of Wellington proclaimed him the "greatest living general."
4) Winfield Scott Hancock - the Union's best Corps Commander in the Civil War, wounded while defeating Pickett's charge
5) Billy Mitchell - father of the US Air Force and technically an Army general
Honorary mention - General Marshall, who laid the groundwork for winning the Cold War by building up our European allies and by keeping us out of the Chinese Civil War in the late 40s (although he was Secretary of State at the time).

It's easy to confuse Winfield Scott and Winfield Scott Hancock. Oddly enough, both ran for President on major party tickets.

I don't include any from WW2 here because our generals in the European theater (other the Patton) only attacked when they had overwhelming odds. They didn't take many risks because they thought that time (and Russia) was on their side. This was a major strategic error that allowed the Commies to control Eastern Europe and the Balkans after the war. In the Pacific theater we had some great leaders but they were all Admirals (and this asks us to rank Generals).

I don't remember Hancock doing much other than salvaging Gettysburg. His side kept getting licked in the east.
04-03-2017 08:42 PM
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