Falcon84
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Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 12:43 pm

Since I've been doing some reading on one in this list I'm about to put on, I thought I'd put out the Top 10 Generals in American History.

1. George Washington. For obvious reasons.

2. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Was not a field General, but led the Allied coalition that eventually toppled Hitler's Germany.

3. Ulysses S. Grant. A horrible President, but was the only Union General in the Civil War who believed in pushing the enemy, and never letting them rest.

4. Robert E. Lee. Might be a bit higher, but his horrendous error in taking on George Meade at Gettysburg in the last 2 days of that battle forever hurt his reputation.

5. George Patton. Maybe the best Field General of the modern era. Wouldn't want him around in peace time, but damned if you don't need a Patton during battle.

6. John Pershing. Born just before the Civil War started, but was the force in building up the U.S. forces in WW I. Was an early proponent, ahead of his time, for black soldiers.

7. Omar Bradly. The quiet one, always near the bombastic Patton. Was equally as good in the field.

8. James Longstreet. The best Corp Commnader, in either army, in the American Civil War. He was ahead of his time in fashinoing attacks. The "Lost Cause" fantasy of the Southern Historians after Lee's death damaged his reputation for over 100 years.

9. Stonewall Jackson. Had he lived after Chancelorsville in May, 1863, probably would be in the Top 5. A brilliant strategist, and, like Grant, believed in constantly harrassing the enemy.

11. William T. Sherman. Broke the back of the Confederacy with his March to The Sea in 1864. Despite the fact that southerners hated him, he advocated magnamanous and lienent treatment of the south after the war.

Always fun to argue over things that can't really be proven.  Smile
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prosa
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 12:51 pm

I'd probably go with Sherman or Bradley.
Wasn't Patton considered a bit of a show-off?
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Falcon84
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:01 pm

He was, but one of the great feats by any U.S. General was done by Patton in the Battle of The Bulge when he beat the Germans at Bastogne. He was a blowhard, but he walked the walk, as well.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:10 pm

Bradley was called the "Soldier´s General" due to his low profile.
Patton´s nick name was "General Blood and Glory,... our blood, his glory" by GIs of WW2.

Jan
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NWA742
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:18 pm

Patton was great.

I love one of his quotes

"I'd rather have a German army in front of me than a French army behind me."

 Laugh out loud

How could you not like a guy like that LOL



-NWA742
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garnetpalmetto
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:32 pm

Jan - my father (to stem off any accusations that I'm lying, I was adopted by my maternal grandparents and, as such, consider them my mother and father) served with both Patton and Bradley. He absolutely adored both of them. Patton may have had unconventional ways and may have been rather bombastic, but many of his soldiers respected him and, indeed, there have been quite a few books written for those in business on how to adapt his managerial style to an office environment. Oddly enough he despised Eisenhower and felt him to be more a politican than a general...at any rate, my picks would have to be:

1) Patton
2) Bradley
3) Sherman (Odd for a Southerner to say this I know)
4) Grant
5) Stonewall Jackson
6) Hap Arnold
7) Longstreet
8) Lee
9) Winfield Scott
10) Creighton Abrams
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Confuscius
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:51 pm

Gen. Ambrose Burnside



Gen. George McClellan



Adm. Husband E. Kimmel
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Arrow
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:58 pm

You guys forgot Benedict Arnold.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
L-188
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 2:15 pm

Confucious, I take it yours is a parody list?

Anyway my top picks.

George Washington
Ulysses S. Grant
Robert E. Lee
George Patton
Omar Bradly
Stonewall Jackson.
William T. Sherman
Mathew Ridgeway
Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller
Anthony McAuliffe
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commander_rabb
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 2:43 pm

As a Naval officer (reserves), I am astounded that Admiral Husband E. Kimmel is mentioned. His role if you could call it one was minimal as that of an innocent bystander. Both he and General Short should be exonerated from their "role" on 7 December , 1941.

Generals? Well, Washington of course. But if you ask about Admirals, Chester Nimitz is without doubt, the pinnacle of naval leaders.

From an Ensign who ran his ship a ground to a 5 star Fleet Admiral, his story is most incredible. That would certainly not happen in today's unforgiving Navy.




This is one of my favorite photos that hangs in the hallway leading to my office. It shows the strain of war yet the confidence of near and certain victory.

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BO__einG
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 2:57 pm

Yeah Admiral Kimmel!! jk.

I think Nimitz was pretty good,

How about General MacArthur who lead the assault on Red/Yellow/Blue beaches of Incheon in Korean War?
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kalakaua
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:23 pm

Don't forget Gen. MacArthur! He led the Pacific Theater.

"I SHALL RETURN!"
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copaair737
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:25 pm

I would have to say, my ancestor, General Pershing, was one of them. He was a great general during WWI. Along with Pershing, General Erwin Rommel of Germany was one of my ancestors too. Maybe I should become a military leader.

-Copa
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BN747
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:29 pm

You guys forgot Benedict Arnold.

Hey take it easy... Benedict was actually a brilliant officer and great guy who just happen succumbed to the one thing that has brought down many a great people. A piece of ass (loyalist) that he could not resist. Obviously, it wasn't worth it.

As Brilliant as Lee, Jackson and Longstreet were... there were not American Generals.. they were the enemy of the United States of America and certainly belong within the ranks of Benedict Arnold in the worse way.

BN747
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MxCtrlr
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:33 pm

Don't forget Gen. MacArthur! He led the Pacific Theater.

"I SHALL RETURN!"


My father-in-law was left behind in the Pacific when MacArthur pulled out. He took the food stores with him and left the Marines behind to fend for themselves. His "historic" photo of his promised "Return to the Philippines" was scripted at best, since the island had been long secured well in advance of his pompous "return".

MacArthur was a blow-hard PR General. Eisenhower was a master tactician as was Nimitz (Eisenhower's counterpart with the Navy in the Pacific).
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garnetpalmetto
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 4:25 pm

As Brilliant as Lee, Jackson and Longstreet

1) Believe it or not, Lee, Jackson, and Longstreet had rather distinguished careers in that little war prior to the CIvil War - the Mexican-American War.
2) Funny, the US Army would disagree with you. Go onto Fort Jackson and you'll see streets named after Lee, Jackson, Longstreet, and a few other Confederates.
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BN747
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 4:49 pm

True Garnetpalmetto, not only that, many bases are named after Confederate Generals (so are schools and buildings). But all this came in the wake of the 'Lost Cause' campaign to rehabilitate/justify the 'Southern' image.

But their noteworthiness comes from the Civil War where they were generals.. not the previous battles. In making their claims about the civil war.. you might as well toss Rommel in the too.


BN747
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Arniepie
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 7:33 pm

What did you Americans think of General Norman Shwarzzkopf (hope name is spelled correct)?
[edit post]
 
KROC
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:06 pm

A few that haven't been mentioned yet.

Henry H (Hap) Arnold
William F. (Bull) Halsey
Lewis Burwell (Chesty) Puller
 
Falcon84
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:12 pm

Well, I wasn't including Admirals in my list-I was focusing simply on Army Generals.

And while I've been known to share the sentiment above abot Lee, Longstreet and others, who turned Rebel, the DID have fine careers in the U.S. antebellum Army, and they WERE Americans when they fought in the Civil War.

Someone mentioned McCarthur-maybe the most over-rated General we ever had. He was out for himself; abandoned his troops on the Philippines, and later sullied his reputation when he got into politics and showed himself to be a lunatic.

As for Schwarzkopf, I don't think a General who "led" a 2-month war deserves mention among the greats.

The most under-rated and under-appreciated? Longstreet. The best Corps Commander in the Civil War, and made a scapegoat by revisionist southerners after Lee's death.
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Arniepie
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:23 pm

After viewing this site I would give my vote to Henry H.(Hap) for being the only 2 times 5 star general ,once in the Army and once in the Air Force.
http://www2.powercom.net/~rokats/generals.html/

P.S. If link doesn't work just GooGle for american generals

[Edited 2004-09-29 13:30:06]
[edit post]
 
JRadier
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 11:07 pm

I've got another list then most of you, for me the best U.S. generals of all time are in no particular order:

General Dynamics
General Motors
General Electric
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FDXmech
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 11:26 pm

>>>As Brilliant as Lee, Jackson and Longstreet were... there were not American Generals.. they were the enemy of the United States of America and certainly belong within the ranks of Benedict Arnold in the worse way.<<<

Interestingly, Gen. Lee was Lincolns first choice to lead the Union Army against the Confederacy. Unfortunately his allegience to Virginia prevented him from taking that position.

On the polar extreme of Lee was Burnside, the namesake of...........you guessed it............the "Sideburn".

[Edited 2004-09-29 16:29:33]
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 11:32 pm

Any opinions about General Westmoreland of Vietnam fame?

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 11:36 pm

I'll agree that while Longstreet was under-rated, I'd say even more under-rated was Winfield Scott. The man played a pivotal role in 3 wars, helped bring an end to the Aroostook War, and most importantly, defined the strategy that eventually won the Civil War with his Anaconda Plan.

Also underrated, the Swamp Fox, General Francis Marion, who was one of the pioneers of guerilla warfare using irregulars against a larger, better-equipped regular force.

The only one people cite who I'd absolutely have to disagree with is Washington. During his ordered instigation of the French and Indian War, his Fort Necessity was a poorly conceived disgrace, considering Washington was a surveyor. During the Revolutionary War, his only major victories came as a result of his enemy's gross incompetence (aided at the Battle of Trenton by their drunkenness). Washington, like Eisenhower, was a great political general, but a miserable field officer.
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slider
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 11:37 pm

In the history of warfare, there is no general that liberated more people, covered more ground and killed more of the enemy than General George S. Patton.

His exploits are legendary. His accomplishments unparalleled. His bombast certainly outrageous at times, but he was a master strategist, historian, manager, and delegator. He was also an accomplished athlete, orator, and innovator.

The movie Patton is *fairly* accurate, but there is so much more written about and by the man that portrays him more accurately, I'd recommend reading about him.

While it can be said about many generals and battle commanders, it is absolutely not a stretch to say that the course of civilization was changed due to Patton.

I'd highly recommend "Patton on Leadership" edited by Alan Axelrod.
 
MD-90
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 11:37 pm

How can anyone place Grant above Lee? Or mention Sherman at all? Sherman's army, with his express permission, raped, pillaged, and plundered the south like no other military force has ever done so before or since in the US. Not the British and certainly not the measly (in comparison) 9/11 attack.

I would definately rank George Washington as being number one on the list. I also respect Forrest, although he wasn't a general, of course.
 
KROC
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 11:51 pm

MD-90. Put away your Rebel Flag bro. The Civil war is long over. Don't hate Sherman cause he was the first to say "The roof, the roof, the roof is on Fire...". Fire up the General Lee and take a drive.

And Falcon... Well, I wasn't including Admirals in my list-I was focusing simply on Army Generals.

Perhaps you should have said Best US Army gen. then huh?  Big grin
 
FDXmech
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 11:53 pm

>>I also respect Forrest, although he wasn't a general, of course.<<<

Do you mean Nathan Bedford Forrest? He went from Private in 1861 to Brig. General in 1862 then eventually Lt General. The only man on either side to do so.

So brilliant was he that Rommel actually studied his tactics.

Probably the best General of the Civil War.




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MD11Engineer
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Wed Sep 29, 2004 11:54 pm

Another one: Brigadier Lucius D. Clay

He singlehandedly organised the Berlin Airlift in 1948.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
FDXmech
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:02 am

But to me the man who actually made the Berlin Airlift successful was General William Tunner. An organizational genius. He transformed the airlift to operate like clockwork.
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Falcon84
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:08 am

Do you mean Nathan Bedford Forrest? He went from Private in 1861 to Brig. General in 1862 then eventually Lt General. The only man on either side to do so.

He always like to say "keep up the 'skeer", when chasing his enemy. In other words, don't let them rest.

Early in the Civil War, the Rebel Army was blessed with great Calvary Commanders-Jackson and Forrest being the best. Both were aggressive ,and rode circles around the Federals. But the Federals, to their credit, built up a Calvary that, by the wars' end, was equal to the Rebel Army's.

Forrest was one of the great Calvary commanders of all time. Unfortunately, he's more famous for something else, the bastard.
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MD-90
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:15 am

Oops, he was a general. All I could remember was the Lt. part.

But the Federals, to their credit, built up a Calvary that, by the wars' end, was equal to the Rebel Army's.

If Kentucky hadn't been prevented from seceding, it's doubtful that would've happened.



Don't hate Sherman cause he was the first to say "The roof, the roof, the roof is on Fire...". Fire up the General Lee and take a drive.

Don't hate Sherman because he commanded his army to commit more war crimes than any other US leader in history?


Don't ever disobey the almighty State, then, because it's your master.
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:15 am

I'd highly recommend "Patton on Leadership" edited by Alan Axelrod.

THAT's the one I was thinking about, Slider! Excellent book

How can anyone place Grant above Lee?

Answer: Grant won, Lee didn't.

Or mention Sherman at all?

Alright, MD-90. As a fellow Southerner, I realize that we're taught early on to drink the Kool-Aid that says that Sherman was an evil bastard who ate small children for breakfast and fought dishonorably against the brave, but poor, piteous Southerners. Hell, one of the reasons why Columbia is a dump is because it burned to the ground during Sherman's occupation of it - meaning very few antebellum buildings exist.

So why mention Sherman? First of all, consider what the man did. In one fell swoop the vestiges of the Old South and the will to fight with it. As for your contention that his soldiers were ordered to pillage, I say mularkey. His soldiers were under standing orders not to, but as occurs with conscript armies, discipline is often difficult to enforce. Infrastructure was selectively destroyed so that insurgency would be hampered but rebuilding efforts could still take place. Those doctrines are still utilized by US forces to this day.

Second, consider that the man was loved by contemporaries - his relationship with Grant mirrors the Patton/Bradley relationship and even his antagonists held him in high regard. I'd say it's an amazing mark that Joe Johnston was one of Sherman's pallbearers and that Sherman's relationships with Beauregard and Bragg were unaffected by the war.

Lastly, Sherman was a pragmatist. His actions were not conducted out of spite, but simply to end the war in as quick a matter as possible. The man was, at heart, an anti-warrior. On war itself he said that:
Its glory is all moonshine; even success most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families.
You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out.


Meanwhile his analysis of the upcoming war that he would play a key role in is spot on and highly prophetic
You people of the South don't know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization! You people speak so lightly of war; you don't know what you're talking about. War is a terrible thing!

You mistake, too, the people of the North. They are a peaceable people but an earnest people, and they will fight, too. They are not going to let this country be destroyed without a mighty effort to save it ...

Besides, where are your men and appliances of war to contend against them? The North can make a steam engine, locomotive, or railway car; hardly a yard of cloth or pair of shoes can you make. You are rushing into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical, and determined people on Earth -- right at your doors.

You are bound to fail. Only in your spirit and determination are you prepared for war. In all else you are totally unprepared, with a bad cause to start with. At first you will make headway, but as your limited resources begin to fail, shut out from the markets of Europe as you will be, your cause will begin to wane. If your people will but stop and think, they must see in the end that you will surely fail.



[Edited 2004-09-29 17:32:34]
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FDXmech
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:22 am

General Grant was so tenacious in engaging the Rebels, taking huge losses. That he was hated by none other than, Mrs Lincoln, calling him a "butcher".
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Goose
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:25 am

General Curtis LeMay, USAAF & USAF. Chief of the B-29 bombing campaign in the Pacific, against Japan. Directed the firebombing campaigns against Tokyo and other Japanese cities. Was head of the Air Force in the Pacific which dropped the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ultimately ending the war.

He managed to show that you could indeed break the back of a country's war effort and their national resolve through air power; he also was willing to kill as many enemy citizens and sow as much destruction as was necessary to accomplish that goal.

Served as the USAF general-in-charge during the Cuban Missile Crisis - and formulated a first-strike plan against Cuba. When McNamara told the Joint Chiefs (including LeMay) after the Crisis that they had won, even though they'd never hear that from anyone, McNamara quoted LeMay as saying "Won? Hell! We should go in and wipe 'em out today!"

LeMay believed that it was inevitable that the United States and the Communists were going to confront each other. He figured that the US should strike first while they still had nuclear superiority.
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PPGMD
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:46 am

Bradley was a good general but he wasn't the best general for going against Monty during WWII. IMO I think that there would have possibly been less screw ups with Patton in that slot than Bradley, that slapping incident really hurt the Ike because I believe that Patton would have made Ike's senior field generals more even.

You would have Monty that is the intense planner, taking it very slowly, and Patton, he believes that he should always be on the offensive, because if you take a break you are also giving the enemy a break too. Also Patton had a better idea of how to deal with Monty because he understood how the British military at the time work (Monty came out and told him).

I would keep you list, but drop Bradley and put Arnold on there, he along with Billy Mitchell helped guide (Billy bringing it to the headlines, and Hap for guiding the USAAF forward including keeping Boeing alive so they could get aircraft like the B-17 and B-29 which the AAF couldn't afford at the time).
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Falcon84
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:48 am

Garnettpalmetto, that last post put you on my respected list. Excellent post! Well done.

And LeMay was the father of the modern Air Force, no doubt, but he was the nut who tried to push us into a nuclear exchange with the Russians in the Cuban Missile Crisis. The man was a wee bit on the extreme side.  Smile

And MD-90, I suggest you read this piece. It's on the "Lost Cause" syndrome that showed up in the south after Lee's death. It is, without a doubt, what you still believe, to your detriment. It is a lie that was fostered by southern revisionists, to justify the war, and to make hero's (Lee and Jackson), and to find scapegoats (Longstreet) for their loss in the war.

[Edited 2004-09-29 17:58:25]
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KROC
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:03 am

Get off my man LeMay Falcon, lol. And I agree, even before I got down to this post, Garnettpalmetto was added to my RR list. Well done bro.
 
Falcon84
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:08 am

KROC, a spade is a spade, and a nut is a nut, bro.  Laugh out loud
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PPGMD
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:13 am

The movie Patton is *fairly* accurate, but there is so much more written about and by the man that portrays him more accurately, I'd recommend reading about him.

Fairly accurate my ass, it portrays the events correctly, but it really doesn't show the attitude in the right light. Remember that senior consultant for the Patton movie was Bradley, who hated his guts after the war.

Which is funny because Patton always supported Bradley publicly during WWII, though his diary contains his personal criticism of Brad.

May I also suggest the book Patton, a Genius for War.

Also Patton could be considered the grandfather if not the one of the fathers of US tank warfare. He was the first US officer to lead a US tank attack, and started the US tank school in France, though when the tankers seem like a dead end, he went back to the Cav, he still held his belief that tanks were the future, though the post-war army wouldn't acknowledge it, so he had to be a closet tanker. He use of the tank shows that he saw it both as an infantry support weapon, and a replacement of horse cav.
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Falcon84
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:23 am

I saw someone above put the picture of Ambrose Burnside. Give me a break!!
He was a disaster as head of the Army of the Potomac, although he did do a decent job in Knoxville when Longstreet was sent south in 1863/64. But he certainly wasn't among the best. He felt, in his own mind, as he said many times, that he was unfit for command.

The only decent commanders the Army of the Potomac had were Meade and Grant. Hooker, Burnside, McLellan, Pope-none of them had a clue.
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Goose
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:37 am

And LeMay was the father of the modern Air Force, no doubt, but he was the nut who tried to push us into a nuclear exchange with the Russians in the Cuban Missile Crisis. The man was a wee bit on the extreme side.

Well, as I said, LeMay believed that the United States should attack the Communists with nuclear weapons why they still had a clear majority in terms of warheads.

As McNamara has said (McNamara served under LeMay during the Second World War and later was Secretary of Defense), namely in the documentary "The Fog of War," LeMay was willing to kill as many as was necessary to protect the survival of the United States. And he honestly believed the Communists posed a direct threat to the survival of the United States.... and saw the Soviets smuggling nuclear weapons into Cuba as evidence of that. Why else would the Russians have weapons in Cuba unless they planned to attack?

Extreme? I don't know; we know now that the Russians could back down from the Cuban Missile Crisis and still save face - That's the benefit of hindsight. But in those 13 days in October, that was still very much in doubt. It was quite possible that the Russians would attack. The Russians were acting erratically in the last days of the crisis, and the situation looked to be taking a downward slide to war (drunken tirades sent to Washington by teletype, Soviet hardliners in Khrushchev's cabinet advocating that the missiles stay in Cuba, and so on). And, if that was the case, it would have been LeMay's duty to defend the United States - and he was prepared to do whatever was necessary to do just that.

He just figured they should strike first. Maybe he figured that the only good Communist was a dead one.
"Talk to me, Goose..."
 
FDXmech
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:49 am

>>>Hooker, Burnside, McLellan, Pope-none of them had a clue.<<<

Though it could be argued that Grant used an army well trained by Mclellan.
Mclellan (The Virginia Creeper) was no field General by any stretch of the imagination.
You're only as good as your last departure.
 
na
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 2:01 am

Referring to Grant and Sherman, the two top generals who crushed the confederacy: True is that both were the only Union generals who actually had a plan how to do it and didn´t stop from it after the first major blow Lee and others gave them. That surely makes them great Army leaders. But both weren´t the very best field generals the Union had when it came to battle, Sherman even never won a major battle as commander.
So I would throw in two names here who actually were stunning fighters who led from the front and mostly won:


- Winfield Scott Hancock (Grant´s best subaltern and easily as talented as Longstreet as a corps commander, never committed a blunder and excelled even in battles his superiors lost. He was before anyone else the victor of Gettysburg and a great motivator )

and
- George H. Thomas, Sherman´s best, and independently operating partner (and the only leading general of the civil war who never lost a battle, north and south).

Btw both were more sound and honest characters than Grant and Sherman. Thomas died too early to harvest the glory he deserved, Hancock had a quite remarkable and straightforward postwar-career narrowly missing presidency.



Re.Burnside: He has to be on the Worst 10 list for sure.
McLLellan was a great Organisator, but his love for what he created made him a overcaucious, thus failing field commander. The fact alone that he was actually in the position to destroy Lee´s army 3 years before the war ended, but didn´t do it has to make him unsuitable for a top ten list.
 
MD-90
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 2:53 am

As for your contention that his soldiers were ordered to pillage, I say mularkey. His soldiers were under standing orders not to, but as occurs with conscript armies, discipline is often difficult to enforce.

Now THAT is absolute malarkey. Sherman knew exactly what his soldiers were doing and approved of it. Judge a man by his actions, not his words. He approved of the raping, pillaging, and plundering.


The man was, at heart, an anti-warrior.
LMAO.


You are bound to fail. Only in your spirit and determination are you prepared for war. In all else you are totally unprepared, with a bad cause to start with. At first you will make headway, but as your limited resources begin to fail, shut out from the markets of Europe as you will be, your cause will begin to wane. If your people will but stop and think, they must see in the end that you will surely fail.

Gee, maybe that's why the South never wanted to fight a war in the first place. But Lincoln vowed that no one would leave his glorious State.



In a July 31, 1862 letter to his wife Sherman explained that his goal was "extermination, not of soldiers alone . . . but the people." Beginning in 1862 Sherman ordered his army to burn the towns of Randolph, Tennessee, and Vicksburg, Jackson, and Meridian, Mississippi after the Confederate army had evacuated. "Meridian no longer exists," Sherman wrote to Grant in the spring of 1863. This was all apparently a rehearsal for the burning of Atlanta after the Confederate army had left the city, an act that Sherman’s chief engineer, Captain O.M. Poe, said was of no military significance at all.

Just three months after Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Sherman was given the assignment of eradicating the Plains Indians from the western territories to make way for the transcontinental railroad. In his memoirs Sherman wrote of how he instructed his army that, during its assaults on Native American villages, "the soldiers can not pause to distinguish between male and female, or even discriminate as to age." Most of Sherman’s raids on Native American villages were planned in the winter months, when families would be together, according to Sherman biographer John F. Marszalek. A year before his death in 1889 Sherman wrote a letter to his son in which he expressed his deep regret that his armies did not kill every last Native American.

Even Sherman biographer Lee Kennett, who lionizes the general, concludes that had the Confederates somehow won the war they would have been "justified in stringing up President Lincoln and the entire Union high command for . . . waging war against noncombatants."

Written by Thomas diLorenzo.
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:00 am

True is that both were the only Union generals who actually had a plan how to do it

And again, the plan belonged to Winfield Scott.

Though it could be argued that Grant used an army well trained by Mclellan.
Mclellan (The Virginia Creeper) was no field General by any stretch of the imagination.


I always love looking at correspondence between Lincoln and McLellan. Seeing the frustration grow and grow on Abe's part is, if anything, somewhat humorous. After McLellan wrote to Lincoln informing him that the army was nearly ready to move, but needed more horses because his were fatigued, Lincoln wrote back - ""I have just read your dispatch about sore-tongued and fatigued horses. Will you pardon me for asking what the horses of your army have done since the battle of Antietam that fatigues anything?"

South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
MD-90
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:01 am

Here's one for Garnetpalmetto:

On February 17, 1865, General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Union Troops completed the long march from Savannah and reached Columbia, the capital of South Carolina. T.J Goodwyn, Columbia’s Mayor, surrendered the city to General Sherman, and requested "for its citizens the treatment accorded by the usages of civilized warfare." Also, the Mayor asked the General to provide adequate guards "to maintain order in the city and protect the persons and property of the citizens."

General Sherman informed the Mayor that he might have to destroy a few government buildings but otherwise, "Not a finger’s breadth, Mr. Mayor, of your city shall be harmed. You may lie down to sleep, satisfied that your town shall be as safe in my hands as if wholly in your own."

Three days later Sherman’s Union forces marched out of Columbia, leaving behind roughly 50% of the city they had occupied; the rest was charred, smoldering ruins. Almost 500 buildings and their contents had been destroyed including warehouses, factories, offices, hotels, schools, libraries, private residences, churches, and a Catholic convent.

General Sherman claimed that the fire had been started by retreating Confederate troops, a claim that was denied by Confederate officers as well as Columbia’s citizens. And so began a controversy that continues to this day: Who was responsible for the burning of Columbia?

Southern historians generally blame the conflagration on a vengeful General Sherman while many Northern historians attempt to justify, mitigate, and in some cases, deny the involvement of Union troops. Other versions claim that drunken soldiers accidentally set the fires and at least one historian claims that a series of small, normally safe, fires got out of control because of strong winds blowing through the city.


Gail Jarvis
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:24 am

Judge a man by his actions, not his words.

In that case, let's castigate General Forrest for his actions in the Massacre Fort Pillow as well. Also if you're going to drag in the Indian Wars as a means to discredit generals, we'll be left with pitifully few. As shameful a chapter of American History as the Indian Wars were, many of our generals played a part in them.

In a July 31, 1862 letter to his wife Sherman explained that his goal was "extermination, not of soldiers alone . . . but the people."

Gee, without knowing what's between those elipses, that's a fairly broad quote. During his time as president of the Louisiana Military Seminary (now LSU), Sherman came to love the South and its people and, as I said before, Sherman was close with quite a few Confederate generals and I think it's rather telling that even after the March to the Sea, they bore no ill will toward Sherman himself.

This was all apparently a rehearsal for the burning of Atlanta after the Confederate army had left the city

And prior to Sherman's order to burn the city, save the churches and hospitals, Bell had ordered all public buildings destroyed.

Three days later Sherman’s Union forces marched out of Columbia, leaving behind roughly 50% of the city they had occupied; the rest was charred, smoldering ruins.

Again, Sherman gave no order to burn Columbia. The burning of the city was accomplished by drunken Union soldiers acting outside of Sherman's orders.
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
BN747
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RE: Best U.S. Generals Of All Time

Thu Sep 30, 2004 4:50 am

And while I've been known to share the sentiment above abot Lee, Longstreet and others, who turned Rebel, the DID have fine careers in the U.S. antebellum Army, and they WERE Americans when they fought in the Civil War.

So is John Walker Lindh when he fought in the Afghan War... and I don't see any schools being named after him anytime soon.


Even Sherman biographer Lee Kennett, who lionizes the general, concludes that had the Confederates somehow won the war they would have been "justified in stringing up President Lincoln and the entire Union high command for . . . waging war against noncombatants."

Well it appears Sherman ended up doing the stringing. Sherman as much as you hate it, MD90, was exacting the Art of War.. that is utterly humiliate your opponent...PERIOD. To win, that is exactly what one has to do. War is not a tea party..it's the most brutal event in all human history. If war broke out today within the US.. you'd have exactly the same thing take place on americans by other americans-- there's no exception.

While you are tooting your horn for Forrest and Lee, both who were slave-holding Generals.. you yourself post in the 'Draft Thread' that the draft is nothing more than slavery and that you are 100% against it. So if you are, why are blowing these guys horn ... who choose to fight the wrong fight? They weren't stupid.. these were very educated and smart men.. but the made very grave errors in judgement. Perhaps, instead of reading all these southern revisionist views.. you such read the original articles of Succession by each State. These generals read them as soon as they were released.. and on that they made their choices. Their own self-interest eclipsed their oath to the nation... as did John Walker Lindh... except he was no general.

I'm aware that this thread is on the subject of the capabilities of US Army Generals. But certain Generals stopped being US Generals with succession and that cannot be discounted in any way shape of or form.

BN747

"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson

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