2022-01-13 兰陵笑笑生 6564

Was Washington a better general than Napoleon?


Furkan Stark
, knows Turkish
Sorry for the Americans but this is funny George Washington was a good general but not close to Napoleon.
Napoleon compares only with people like Julius Caesar, Hannibal, Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great.


George biggest victory is arguably a mere tactical withdrawal. General Washington was rarely victorious in battle. In fact, he lost many more battles than he won!
Comparing him to a seasoned military genius is downright ridiculous!
Subutai, Jebe, Alexander the Great of Macedonia, Gaius Julius Caesar, Hannibal, Khalid bin Waleed, Salahuddin, Alexander Suvorov, Civil war general George Thomas of the unx who never lost a battle are on the same level or comparable to,
Le Petit Caporal.

Le Petit Caporal(法语,不懂)。

Charlee Dinegar
Although Washington would never have compared himself to any of the notable commanders you’ve mentioned, Washington did accomplish one overarching and paramount goal;
He Won His War.
Caesar, Alexander, Napoleon Bonaparte along with so many others may have won many battles, but they ALL eventually fell either to disease (Alexander) or were defeated. And please remember that Salahuddin was fought to a standstill by Balian of Ibelin at Jerusalem. Salahuddin was forced to grant absolutely safe passage to every man, woman and child who wanted to leave the Holy City.
But never forget that a general does not need to win battles; they need to wear down their enemies and win their war.


Matthew Marsh
Not entirely true.
Napoleon didnt fight 1 war, he fought 7. The Wars of the coalition.
He won the first 4
Was forced to retreat (Russia) on the fifth but did not actually surrender (a Draw).
Lost 6 and 7.
So that makes his record 4–2–1


Alain Vu
Winning a war depends on many things including your respective force compared to the enemy force, your technology advantage, other external elements that impact the war like political considerations etc. But you can judge a general on the tactics and strategies he used against his enemy independently from the outcome of the war. Romel was a great general, although his country ended losing. Using whether someone loses or wins a war to judge a general is a poor criteria.


Ryan Daly
Washington won on the backs of the French without whom he would of been hung as a traitor to the crown who he initially pledged his alleigence to. Also his enemy (who used to be his brothers in arms) was fielding a massively underequiped army because their main concern was the huge threat from the European wars which were actually global wars. As was seen in the war of 1812 once Britain sorted out the threats from Europe they had no problem backslapping the irksome rascals over the pond. Perhaps if this was also the case during the revolution then the full attention and might of the British could of shown the colonists exactly who they were against and ultimately been totally squashed.


Bernard Ossman
Washington was not a tactical general or military genius. He probably was not even average in these areas (Arnold was probably the best the colonies had to offer). Washington was a great leader who trusted and listened to his more tactical subordinates (especially Greene, Knox, and Lafeyette), understood the value of spies, and somehow got an underequipped and undertrained army to hang on long enough for the greatest fighting force at the time to realize their efforts were better spent elsewhere (with a ton of help from the French, Spanish, and Dutch).
He was the right guy for the job.


Roger Throm
Yes. Apparently Washington knew he couldn’t win against England outright so he fought a war of attrition, hoping (and praying) for the intervention of foreign powers. It came when France got involved. Yet, I think, without Washington’s stalwart leadership and tenacity the colonies would have folded.


Steinar Vilnes
I would rate Khalid Bin waleed clearly over Saladdin though. I would rate Saladdin together with people like Frederick the Great, as even though he accomplished a lot, he really lost some battles as well. Khalid Bin Waleed however defeated the second and third most powerful states in the world at the time, without a numerical or tactical advantage, and truly belong among the all time greatest generals, and propably the most underrated of them all.

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Steffan R Blanco
He only won against the Byzantine and Persian Empires because they were weak after fighting each other for so long. Had he fight them at their strongest, I don’t think it would have been that easy. He came at the right moment


Steffan R Blanco
True but none of them formed a nation that still stand to this day

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France still exists! Both of them are different than each other. George Washington was a skilled politician and administrator more than he was a general. That’s why his nation still stands today and the French empire doesn’t. But George had little opposition after the USA was formed other than Native Americans and USA’s geography helps it to be isolated.
Moreover, Napoleon after forming his empire had to contend and battle with all of Europe’s major powers forming alliances against his empire. The most opposition George had after the USA was formed is Native Americans that had bows and spears which could be subdued rather quickly. But the UK? Russia? Nope, those were major powers in their own right not a tribe with bows and arrows.
However, It’s not as if France has totally died out they’re still a major power in Europe. Probably the strongest after Russia and UK.
As Genghis Khan eloquently put it, “You can ride a horse and conquer the whole world on horseback, it is dismounting and governing that is difficult”.
As a politician George’s much more skillful than Napoleon but as a general, Le petit Caporal takes the cake. George formed a nation in a sparsely populated, isolated with inhabitants that weren’t as advanced In warfare. Napoleon formed an empire fighting off the world’s most advanced countries and actually winning arguably the first coalition of Europe’s established powers.
To each his own.

法国仍然存在! 这两个国家是彼此不同的。乔治-华盛顿是一个熟练的政治家和管理者,而不是一个将军。这就是为什么他的国家今天仍然存在,而法兰西帝国却不复存在。但是,在美国成立后,除了美国原住民之外,乔治几乎没有反对者的存在,而且美国的地理环境有助于它的孤立。
作为一个政治家,乔治比拿破仑更有技巧,但作为一个将军,Le petit Caporal更胜一筹。乔治在一个人口稀少、与世隔绝的地方建立了一个国家,那里的居民在战争这方面没有那么先进。拿破仑建立了一个帝国,与世界上最先进的国家作战,并且实际上赢得了可以说是欧洲所有大国的第一个联盟。

Bharat Bhushan
I would also include in this list of illustrious generals — Bajirao Peshwa, who played the most significant role is establishing the great Maratha Empire that ruled most of India. He fought forty battles and won every one of them and died undefeated. By comparison, Alexander the Greek won 20 out of 20 battles, and may well have lost the last one to Maharaja Porus. The British called Bajirao the greatest cavalry general of all time.


Corleone Family
I agree Man, George Washington ovarated
Napoleon>x15 George Washington


George Washington isn’t really overrated, since most people focus on his leadership and personal virtue, not on his prowess for war.
It does take a special sort of person to have his followers clamoring for a monarchy, including some of the elite, and all of the military, and for him to turn it down.
There has only been a few people throughout history that have displayed that level of virtue.


Saul Martino
Very true - as a man of virtue Washington wins but as a general he wasnt in the same league as Napoleon who was a literal military genius.
Not that Napoleon wasnt virtuous but he is famous for his military talents not anything else.


Bernard Ossman
Even more impressive than his milatary skills were his administeative skills. The Napoleonic code unified France under one system of laws freed from past practices. It was based on common sense vs customs and superstitions. All men were treated equally under the law, regardless of their lot in life. Class privilege was eliminated. It was also implemented in areas he conquered. Napoleon was much more than a military genius.


Henrey Bradley
Napoleon nearest comparison, purely by his ability as a general, would undoubtedly be the Duke of Wellington.


Werner Hermann
What about the great Prussian Erich von Manstein?


Henrey Bradley
von Manstein is great, certainly up there, but maybe just below Naps and Welly for me.
Manstein best general of modern era? Somewhere Bill Slim is throwing a tantrum.


Rishan Jalal
von Manstein wasn’t the greatest general looking into it. Look up “Miracle of Kharkiv” that cost Germany the entire southern theatre during the war against the Soviets


Geoff Caplan
Really? Napoleon led his army to disaster in Palestine and left them to their fate when he buggered off home to France. He led his army to disaster in Russia and left them to freeze and starve to death while he buggered off home to France. His navy was trounced repeatedly by Nelson. His army was whipped by by Wellesley in Spain, and smashed during the 100 days. Not exactly a record of unbroken success…


Michael Robinson
Agreed, his career wasn’t entirely successful but those few defeats are interspersed among victories at Toulon (Retaking a port from the British), his Italian Campaign (Napoleon’s 37,000 vs 60,000 Austrian and Piedmontese), Ulm (60,000 prisoners taken), Austerlitz (Defeating Austria and Russia simultaneously), the Napoleonic blitzkrieg that was the War of the 4th Coalition (Prussia all but crushed in weeks and Bennigsen’s Russians defeated at Friedland), Wagram (where he defeated the Austrians again), Dresden (Winning while outnumbered), the Six Days Campaign in Northern France (4 victories in 6 days) and finally Ligny (A victory against Blucher although not a decisive one).
In addition, it is kind of hard to attribute Wellesley’s victories in Spain and Portugal as Napoleon’s tactical failures as the two of them never faced off against each other there. In Iberia, Wellesley defeated many of Napoleon’s subordinates (e.g. General Junot, Marshals Soult, Jourdan, Massena and Marmont), but not Napoleon himself as at the time, he was busy further east with the Austrians, Russians, Prussians and marrying Archduchess Marie Louise (She could count as him being busy with an Austrian though). Waterloo in 1815 was the only time they fought each other directly in modern day Belgium.


Geoff Caplan
The overall result of Napoleon’s adventures was to kill millions and lead his country to catastrophe. His conduct in Palestine was so brutal his own generals were appalled - his abandoning of his starving troops was shameful. He was directing affairs in Spain with an army he had formed and trained and which was carrying out his policies. He never managed to build a viable navy. He lost the largest army in history during his disastrous Russian adventure. His overall strategy was a total failure, despite his tactical successes. And the 100 days was an exercise of pure ego which again killed many thousands. Not someone I greatly admire.
Was he a better general than Washington? For sure - Washington was hardly a military genius. The Revolution was a sideshow for Britain at the time and wasn’t particularly popular at home - in the same way that Vietnam wasn’t popular in the US. Britain was occupied with more important conflicts elsewhere, to put it mildly, and the supply lines were extremely problematic. Even so, without the help of France and Spain Washington would have been crushed.


Stanislas Frenzel
“The overall result of Napoleon’s adventures was to kill millions”. Never put things in perspective do you? Funnily enough, apart from Russia in 1812, Napoleon was never responsible for any single Napoleonic war. He always defended the French Revolution against monarchies. But British propaganda tells you he was a warmonger…At least he wasn’t the cynical one funding wars for others to fight. Remember British troops counted only for 37% of the coalition force at Waterloo…


Keith Rockefeller
Most serious American military historians or history buffs are not going to rate Washington in the same league as Napoleon Bonaparte. Our best general in the 18th/19th Century would have been Scott or Grant. Napoleon was still better than them, but they had a chance.
Washington was a better statesman. He was more in the line of the great Roman Cincinnaticus who took up the mantle of power and voluntarily gave it up at his peak. This was a trait that even Bonaparte remarked was remarkable.
If we needed a man to lead armies in a great campaign, no one beat Napoleon. If we needed a man to lead a fledgling Republic, no one beats Washington. (Yes, I am an American).

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Jonathan Kravitz
I don’t see a point in coloring generals from different time period when they aren’t facing similar enemies. Personally, I don’t know much about Grant’s military tactics other than he was very aggressive(statistically, he was very aggressive. He led battle after battle in short notice, however, he had the means to replenish his men, so it’s ok), however, I believe he could have demolished Napoleon for the simple reason of advancement of technology. Musket may have stayed the same with tweaks to percussion cap but cavalry improved with the repeating rifle, their cannons shot farther and more accurately(12lb field artillery), and knowledge of rails would make the ability to outflank or reposition would be decisive.
Hell, Patton, Rommel, Pershing, Zhukov, Eisenhower, McArthor, and Montgomery to bake a few led hundreds of thousands of men and would be able to defeat Alexander in an hour at max. Technology makes generals less “great”, and I really don’t understand how to compare two generals


James LaBare
Washington wasn't on Napoleon's level, but he did have a good strategic mind. He knew full well that he couldn't beat the British in the field, so he did the right thing, just making sure his army existed. There was only one way that he could succeed, make the British decide it wasn't worth the money and time to subdue the colonies.


Sassan Behzadi
While you can't compare Napoleon's military genius with Washington's ’above average' military career; there is one area where Washington truly outshines Napoleon. At the height of his power Napoleon made himself an Emperor while at the height of his, Washington reluctantly accepted the position of President and then after 8 years retired to his farm.


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