Discussion in 'World History' started by LOLZ, Oct 11, 2007.
HI, who do you think is the worst military commander in world history?
Whichever military leader planned France's defenses to hold back a potential German invasion .
Kim Il Sung and any head general of the North before Grant.
Heinrich Himmler. Man built a defensive line running West to East against the Russians, with the front running North to South.
Frederick Stopford; he was way too old and too cautious to be commanding a force at Gallipoli, he slept through the landings and refused to command his men forward at a point where it would have made a huge difference in the campaign.
Sir Douglas Haig--sent 100,000's of British troop into what was basicly a swamp ( British bombardment had destroyed the nateral drainage ) at Ypre's. One of his aids went to the front and stated " We are sending our men into that? " Haig had NEVER been to the Western Front lines and had no idea what the trenches looked like.
I would dispute that Haig was really one of the worst, though. At that point, there was little else that could be done effectively and there was pressure to produce results. Given the circumstances no one else would have done much better.
I would also nominate Haig. I mean he could have stopped it and attacked on another location. Anyway he was responsible for the worst casualities in British history and truly deserved a Pour le Mérite!
Well the attack went on for @ 4 months when it was know they couldn't achive their objectives @ 2 weeks into the attacks. Cost 310,000 English their lifes.
If you're referring to the role of Commander in Chief I'm not sure Winfield Scott could be described as a bad commander, after all the Annacona plan was essentially put into practice and it can be argued that the cumulative effects of its two main aims dealt the Confederacy heavy blows. MacLellan was hardly an amazing field commander but he did turn the motley collection of troops outside Washington into the Army of the Potomac through effective organisation and training. Halleck continued this process of training and equiping the vast numbers of volunteers and conscripts, again hardly a brilliant field or strategy commander but at least of some use.
I doubt I would consider any of those three as candidates for the worst general ever as all had some saving grace.
Surely the worst of the worst are not even remembered in the annals of history.
The worst you can think of will be the worst.. of the best.
Maclellan doesn't get enough credit for turning 100,000 volunteers and rabble into a real army--acourse as far as using that army..........
Yeah his use of troops was hardly anything to write home about. I think Lincoln summed MacCellan's campaigns best when he called the Army of the Potomac "MacCellan's Bodyguard"
MacCellan would get the award for the SLOWEST General.
Even when he got hold of the three cigars he just had to procrastrinate.
(The horses were tired ... was my favourite of the excuses to Lincon)
Unfortunately with the notable exception of Pope (and briefly Burnside) most of the commanders in the East tended to be cautious in the extreme, causing no end of annoyance to Lincoln and later Grant.
Why Kim Il Sung?
Lord Lucan who sent the Light Brigade torwards the turkish cannons
I agree: the worst military commander in history was probably the leader of a tribe or kingdom who inherited the job and got his force totally wiped out through sheer stupidity. Professional soldiers who rise through the ranks of militaries have to be at least vaugely successul to get promoted and achieve command (for instance, Haig is generally regarded as being a successful Corps commander).
Well for some like Bazaine political influence made them to generals. That should not be forgot, too.
Others on this list could be:
- Bazaine: Commander of the French Rhine Army during the Franco- German war of 1870/71. Did not take any initiative, was beaten at Vionville by a lonely German corps, retreated and eventually surrendered at Metz.
- Czar Nicholas II.: Lost ww1 in the East due to his stupidity and stubbornness.
- General William Elphinston: Due to his lack of taking the initative and believing wrong promisses he lead his forces into doom in the first Anglo- Afghan war.
- Adolf Hitler: Shall I add anything here?
- Josef W. Stalin: If Hitler is listed he has to, too. He was only so clever to give his generals finally free hand.
- Major General Aitken: The man who tried to conquer Tanga in 1914...
I could remember more later.
Whichever Prussian was in charge of the mess that was Auerstadt deserves special mention. When the main body of your army is driven from the field by a single enemy corps which it heavily outnumbers you know you're in trouble.
Separate names with a comma.