| FORUM | ARCHIVE |                    | TOTAL QUIZ RESULT |


  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Generals/leaders who won a war against the odds.
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login


Welcome stranger, click here to read about some of the great benefits of registering for a free account with us and joining us in our global online community.


Generals/leaders who won a war against the odds.

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Author
Craze_b0i View Drop Down
Shogun
Shogun
Avatar

Joined: 06 Jun 2009
Location: UK
Status: Offline
Points: 200
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Craze_b0i Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Generals/leaders who won a war against the odds.
    Posted: 03 Aug 2009 at 08:10
Looking at our top 100 generals list one can see a lot of generals who won their campaigns but they did so fighting for a side that was favourite to win anyway. What Generals or political leaders are there who, through their own leadership, won a war against the odds?
 
Napoleon in his early wars perhaps, pre 1812 that is.
 
From English history I would say two examples.
 
William the Conqueror. He out-generalled Harold in 1066, though obviously that was mostly one battle. But Harold could have won if he had waited and taken time to gather more men.
 
Secondly Edward IV. during the Wars of the Roses the Yorkists supporters were usually outnumbered by their Lancastrian counterparts. This was true in both the first and second phases of the wars. But by acting decisively Edward took advantage whereas his opponents were cautious and indecisive.


Edited by Craze_b0i - 03 Aug 2009 at 08:12
Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
DSMyers1 View Drop Down
Colonel
Colonel
Avatar

Joined: 09 Aug 2004
Status: Offline
Points: 628
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DSMyers1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2009 at 13:22
Genghis Khan's whole life was against the odds.

Jan Zizka is an excellent example.

Lots of guys on the Top 100 Generals list.
The Top 100 Generals

God is my Judge
Back to Top
rider View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar

Joined: 09 Aug 2004
Location: Norwich, UK
Status: Offline
Points: 5520
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2009 at 07:07
P. E. von Lettow-Vorbeck...
Back to Top
graceht View Drop Down
Janissary
Janissary


Joined: 30 Sep 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 10
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote graceht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Oct 2009 at 08:33
What about Alexander the Great? He was only 17 when he came to the throne, after his father was assassinated, and yet he conquered the Persians and nearly half the world.
Grace Thompson
Back to Top
SPQR View Drop Down
General
General
Avatar

Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 914
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SPQR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Oct 2009 at 05:33
Another would be Julius Caeser in Gaul, throughout the entire war and every battle the Romans were outnumbered. The entire strength of Caesar's army was only 120,000 while the Gauls numbered to be around 3 million, the wars would result in the Gaul's being defeated and having several tribes wiped out. Gaul would remain a loyal and one of the most "Romanized" provinces until the fall in 476 A.D..


Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.

- Albert Einstein
Back to Top
SPQR View Drop Down
General
General
Avatar

Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 914
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SPQR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Oct 2009 at 05:38
Originally posted by graceht graceht wrote:

What about Alexander the Great? He was only 17 when he came to the throne, after his father was assassinated, and yet he conquered the Persians and nearly half the world.


Ahh of course Alexander, the man was a true supernova. I read somewhere recently of when Julius Caesar was sent to govern Spain in his early years. He was found weeping at a temple of Hercules before a statue of Alexander. When he was asked why he was so upset, he replied "Do you think I have not just cause to weep, when I consider that Alexander at my age had conquered so many nations, and I have all this time done nothing that is memorable."
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.

- Albert Einstein
Back to Top
rider View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar

Joined: 09 Aug 2004
Location: Norwich, UK
Status: Offline
Points: 5520
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Oct 2009 at 05:47

Tokugawa Ieyasu would fit as well, I suppose.

Back to Top
markdienekes View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 23 Apr 2011
Status: Offline
Points: 3
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote markdienekes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Apr 2012 at 01:53
Hannibal's initial Spanish campaigns - where he beat a supposedly 100,000 strong tribal army made up of several tribes at the battle of the River Tagus, when his force was thought to be around 20,000. Using a river and a natural bend of it, and conducting some pretty nifty strategic moves through the day and night to switch banks and throw off the enemy, then persuaded them to come after him and attacked them in the river with his elephants and cavalry, before crossing it with his own infantry and putting the army to flight is a sadly often neglected battle of Hannibal's career.

But then I guess it could be argued Carthage had the superiority, so it probably doesn't count, though I'm not sure another Carthaginian commander at that time could have won that battle!
Back to Top
Shingen The Ruler View Drop Down
Knight
Knight
Avatar

Joined: 01 Mar 2011
Status: Offline
Points: 51
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shingen The Ruler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2012 at 11:36
Originally posted by rider rider wrote:

Tokugawa Ieyasu would fit as well, I suppose.



I know this is an old post, but if you're still around, I'd like to ask: How so?
Back to Top
Rugila View Drop Down
Janissary
Janissary
Avatar

Joined: 05 Nov 2011
Status: Offline
Points: 23
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rugila Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Apr 2012 at 03:58
The “persian Napoleon “-Nadir Shah.His only interests were war and conquest. Once,he was discussing with priest about the life after death, priest explained that in paradise there will be eternal bliss and etc. Nadir Shah asked  whether there will be warfare,struggle,gaining victory  in paradise? Priest said- No! There will be only peace! Then Nadir Shah remarked: “If it’s so, your  paradise really worth nothing”

Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest Group
Guest Group
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Apr 2012 at 09:27
Sciprio Afircauns victor at Zama

Antioucs of Secludia

Alaric of the Visigoths
Back to Top
Al Jassas View Drop Down
King
King


Joined: 08 Aug 2007
Status: Offline
Points: 5000
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2012 at 00:34
Originally posted by fusong fusong wrote:

Sciprio Afircauns victor at Zama


 
What odds did he beat? Both armies were almost equivalent in strength. He controlled the seas and nearly all Carthage's allies abandoned them. The war was a done deal well before Zama.
 
 
 
Al-Jassas
Back to Top
Captain Vancouver View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 30 Sep 2010
Location: Vancouver Isle
Status: Offline
Points: 2153
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2012 at 02:22
Ho Chi Minh. He held out against Japanese occupation, French attempts at re-colonization, and a decade of US assault, thirty years plus, and prevailed in the end.
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest Group
Guest Group
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2012 at 02:28
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

Ho Chi Minh. He held out against Japanese occupation, French attempts at re-colonization, and a decade of US assault, thirty years plus, and prevailed in the end.

I call him Uncle Ho! Big smile
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest Group
Guest Group
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2012 at 08:27
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Originally posted by fusong fusong wrote:

Sciprio Afircauns victor at Zama


 
What odds did he beat? Both armies were almost equivalent in strength. He controlled the seas and nearly all Carthage's allies abandoned them. The war was a done deal well before Zama.
 
 
 
Al-Jassas


Well I guess I shouldnt had singled out Zama Embarrassed
But how about his Iberian campaign not to mention Afircanus didn't beat any old depot this was Hannibal the general which despite his loss was better than Alexander the Great 


Edited by fusong - 25 Apr 2012 at 08:27
Back to Top
Al Jassas View Drop Down
King
King


Joined: 08 Aug 2007
Status: Offline
Points: 5000
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2012 at 08:49
Africanus never faced Hannibal in Iberia. They fought once in Zama and Africanus won on Hannibals shadow of a once glorious army.
 
Plus defeating a great general doesn't make you great. Napoleon lost several battles against mediocre generals to say the least yet no one disputes his generalship other than the occaisional nationalist Englishman.
 
Al-Jassas
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest Group
Guest Group
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2012 at 11:11
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

Ho Chi Minh. He held out against Japanese occupation, French attempts at re-colonization, and a decade of US assault, thirty years plus, and prevailed in the end.


Nah, he was a politician, revolutionary political leader more or less. I could be soon eating my words, but i don't think he ever defeated an opposing army in the field let alone even lead one to a battle itself?!
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest Group
Guest Group
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2012 at 11:26
I wish to put forward Brusilov. While it may seem superficially that he had the advantage on paper, on the ground the man had to motivate a poorly motivated and demoralised army to succeed in an offensive where the defender had the advantage. That he did as well as he did makes him one of the finest generals of WWI along with the likes of Allenby and Monash.
Back to Top
lirelou View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 26 Mar 2009
Location: Tampa, FL
Status: Offline
Points: 1346
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2012 at 15:55
Captain V, you should at least read a bio on Ho Chi Minh. You would know that he spent the great majority of WWII in China, and did not enter Vietnam until the Japanese were already losing the Pacific War. Viet Minh actions against the Japanese were conditioned by the need to conserve their strength for the inevitable French return, and their most active field commander appears to be have been Nguyen Binh, who provided the downed U.S. pilots that Ho Chi Minh delivered to get his foot in the door with the OSS.

Giap is the general who opposed the French in the North (and Nguyen Binh in the South, sent their by HCM in 1946). As Panther notes, HCM was the civil leader. As such, he concentrated his efforts on keeping the leadership of the Party while remaining a figurehead for Vietnamese nationalism. He was certainly successful at that, as proven by your own posts. The French abandoned the idea of making Vietnam a colony by 1948, so after that the war was really about who would govern the country. HCM's boys were not about to allow any Party other than their own. They intended to break more than a few eggs to create the conditions for communism, and could thus not allow any competing political movements such as the VNQDD, whose leadership they had started bumping off in August 1945. HCM was masterfully equipped to keep the people (and the world) believing that it was about colonialism. Within the Party, he did not always have the backing he needed. Other strong Party members such as Truong Chinh had, at times, more power. Yet he so successfully built himself up as the 'Father of his country' that even when out of the center of decision making, his views had to be considered.

Definitely one of the most talented politicians of the 20th Century. Since you seem to be inclined to favor Socialists, I would recommend you read Sophie Quinn-Judge's book Ho Chi Minh: The Missing Years  and David G. Marr's Vietnam 1945: The Quest for Power.
Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master
Avatar
PM Honorary Member

Joined: 06 Dec 2004
Location: Luxembourg
Status: Offline
Points: 13238
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2012 at 22:00
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Plus defeating a great general doesn't make you great. Napoleon lost several battles against mediocre generals to say the least yet no one disputes his generalship other than the occaisional nationalist Englishman.
 
Occasional? Smile
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.

Back to Top
Captain Vancouver View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 30 Sep 2010
Location: Vancouver Isle
Status: Offline
Points: 2153
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2012 at 03:03
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

Captain V, you should at least read a bio on Ho Chi Minh. You would know that he spent the great majority of WWII in China, and did not enter Vietnam until the Japanese were already losing the Pacific War. Viet Minh actions against the Japanese were conditioned by the need to conserve their strength for the inevitable French return, and their most active field commander appears to be have been Nguyen Binh, who provided the downed U.S. pilots that Ho Chi Minh delivered to get his foot in the door with the OSS.

Giap is the general who opposed the French in the North (and Nguyen Binh in the South, sent their by HCM in 1946). As Panther notes, HCM was the civil leader. As such, he concentrated his efforts on keeping the leadership of the Party while remaining a figurehead for Vietnamese nationalism. He was certainly successful at that, as proven by your own posts. The French abandoned the idea of making Vietnam a colony by 1948, so after that the war was really about who would govern the country. HCM's boys were not about to allow any Party other than their own. They intended to break more than a few eggs to create the conditions for communism, and could thus not allow any competing political movements such as the VNQDD, whose leadership they had started bumping off in August 1945. HCM was masterfully equipped to keep the people (and the world) believing that it was about colonialism. Within the Party, he did not always have the backing he needed. Other strong Party members such as Truong Chinh had, at times, more power. Yet he so successfully built himself up as the 'Father of his country' that even when out of the center of decision making, his views had to be considered.

Definitely one of the most talented politicians of the 20th Century. Since you seem to be inclined to favor Socialists, I would recommend you read Sophie Quinn-Judge's book Ho Chi Minh: The Missing Years  and David G. Marr's Vietnam 1945: The Quest for Power.
 
Let me get this straight Mr L, when you say the French "abandoned" their colony, are you suggesting that they had a sudden attack of guilt, and desired to reverse eight decades of riding roughshod over the aboriginals, and to leave them to their own devices, indeed, to stay on as helpers until they had the best liberal democracy that French blood could buy? That's quite a dollop of altruism, and curiously, one out of keeping with the policy still current at that time towards other colonies.
 
My take on it is that the French tended to cling voraciously to their empire, falling back to intermediate positions only when military force or geopolitical reality made themselves abundantly clear. They fought allied forces in Syria, Madagascar, Dakar, and North Africa during WW2. Immediately aftewards, they struggled to hang on to Indochina, despite changes in terminology along the way, until defeat in 1954. So too in Algeria, and other spots in Africa. Even after the wave of independence in Africa in 1960, France still attempted to shore up some sort of Francophone community through economic and cultural means. These were folks who didn't believe the party was over until the cops showed up.
 
Why wouldn't the Vietnamese believe the struggle at that point was about colonialism? The French were still there, and still shooting. After eighty years of clutching and pawing, why would they read a lot of significance into suggestions of "colonialism lite", if they would just put down their guns?
 
 
PS- The Marr book looks interesting. I'll see if I can get a hold of it.


Edited by Captain Vancouver - 26 Apr 2012 at 03:05
Back to Top
Centrix Redux View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai
Avatar

Joined: 15 Mar 2011
Location: Archuleta Mesa
Status: Offline
Points: 124
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Centrix Redux Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2012 at 09:03
George Washington and his Continental Army.
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest Group
Guest Group
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2012 at 09:11
Originally posted by Centrix Redux Centrix Redux wrote:

George Washington and his Continental Army.


Good pick. I'm going to go with General Winfield Scott and his campaign into Mexico.
Back to Top
Centrix Redux View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai
Avatar

Joined: 15 Mar 2011
Location: Archuleta Mesa
Status: Offline
Points: 124
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Centrix Redux Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2012 at 09:17
Taylor in Mexico... before Scott got most of his force anyway.
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest Group
Guest Group
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2012 at 09:23
Taylor was a fine general but i'd still put my money on Scott. Tactically or strategically, Scott was our preeminent 19th century military thinker. Too bad he never wrote a book? Did he ever publish any papers in his time?
Back to Top
Al Jassas View Drop Down
King
King


Joined: 08 Aug 2007
Status: Offline
Points: 5000
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2012 at 09:39
Originally posted by Centrix Redux Centrix Redux wrote:

George Washington and his Continental Army.
 
You mean the guy who lost all his battles against Howe despite outnumbering himBig smile.
 
Al-Jassas
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest Group
Guest Group
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2012 at 09:41
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Originally posted by Centrix Redux Centrix Redux wrote:

George Washington and his Continental Army.
 
You mean the guy who lost all his battles against Howe despite outnumbering himBig smile.
 
Al-Jassas


Ah, but he was our Giap. Now pardon me while i duck for cover...
Back to Top
Centrix Redux View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai
Avatar

Joined: 15 Mar 2011
Location: Archuleta Mesa
Status: Offline
Points: 124
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Centrix Redux Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2012 at 09:43
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Originally posted by Centrix Redux Centrix Redux wrote:

George Washington and his Continental Army.


Good pick. I'm going to go with General Winfield Scott and his campaign into Mexico.
 
 
Perhaps you forgot the header in the op.....who won a war against the odds.
Battles are part of that process not the entire process.
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest Group
Guest Group
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2012 at 09:44
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Africanus never faced Hannibal in Iberia. They fought once in Zama and Africanus won on Hannibals shadow of a once glorious army.
 
Plus defeating a great general doesn't make you great. Napoleon lost several battles against mediocre generals to say the least yet no one disputes his generalship other than the occaisional nationalist Englishman.
 
Al-Jassas


but doing away with Phoneican Iberia isnt the hardest thing in its self Hannibal or no Hannibal
I agree with you on Napoleon though
Back to Top
Centrix Redux View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai
Avatar

Joined: 15 Mar 2011
Location: Archuleta Mesa
Status: Offline
Points: 124
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Centrix Redux Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2012 at 09:45
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Taylor was a fine general but i'd still put my money on Scott. Tactically or strategically, Scott was our preeminent 19th century military thinker. Too bad he never wrote a book? Did he ever publish any papers in his time?
 
 
You asked so here ya go.
 
Memoirs of Lieut.-General Scott, LL. D (1864)
 
 
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.01
Copyright ©2001-2018 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.188 seconds.