National Army Museum - Britain's Greatest General?

Discussion in 'The Barracks' started by von Poop, Apr 8, 2011.

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Who would you vote for in the Army Museum's 'Britain's Greatest General' debate?'

  1. Oliver Cromwell

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. The Duke of Marlborough

    14.9%
  3. The Duke of Wellington

    9.5%
  4. William Slim

    48.6%
  5. Douglas Haig

    27.0%
  1. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    National Army Museum Debate:

    Britain's Greatest General | Targeted Talks | What's On | National Army Musuem
    Glad to see the case for Haig being made.

    Added the final Five to a poll here (Happy to add more... personally I'd still vote for Alanbrooke, but the choices seem to be based on those famed more for field command.).
    ~A

    Edit: Actually, I won't add more - let's stick with the NAM choice of Five.
     
  2. John Lawson

    John Lawson Arte et Marte

    As with all great British Generals, it's who did the most, with the least, most often. Oh! and won - just what the Politicians (and currently the MoD want).
     
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I'm going for Haig, he lead the British Army to Victory against the most powerful military Nation at that time.
    The British had to change from a small Professional army to a huge army of 'civilians in uniform' to go on to defeat the might of Imperial Germany.
    Many painful lessons on the way but learning & adapting all the time.
     
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I'm torn.
    I think it's excellent that Haig seems to be finally getting at least some of the recognition he deserves, but Cromwell did remarkable things at a time when the concepts of 'formal' armies, and the control thereof, were still in a pretty formative phase.
    And Wellington... well, he's Wellington isn't he...
    Not many British cities or Towns without a Wellington or Wellesley Street, and rightly so.

    Hmmmm.

    We seem to have missed the online poll (which makes me wonder if I missed a thread on here? :unsure:)

    Full list:
    Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum

    Final Candidates:
    William Slim | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum
    The Duke of Wellington | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum
    The Duke of Marlborough | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum
    Oliver Cromwell | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum
    Douglas Haig | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum

    And those that didn't make the final cut.
    If Fairfax had got through, I'd probably have chosen him, as much as a man of immense common sense, as a General.

    Thomas Fairfax | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum
    Robert Sale | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum
    Robert Clive | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum
    John Moore | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum
    Jan Smuts | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum
    James Wolfe | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum
    Herbert Kitchener | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum
    Gerald Templer | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum
    Garnet Wolseley | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum
    Frederick Roberts | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum
    Edmund Allenby | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum
    Colin Campbell | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum
    Bernard Law Montgomery | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum
    Archibald Wavell | Britain's Greatest General | Online Exhibitions | National Army Museum
     
  5. KevinC

    KevinC Slightly wierd

    How did Jan Smuts miss the cut? ;)
     
  6. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    I went for Slim in a thread in 2005 and my opinion remains the same. Although the last five list covers other periods.

    My vote goes to Slim also.

    Quote:
    There is a difference between leadership and management. The leader and the men who follow him represent one of the oldest, most natural and most effective of all human relationships. The manager and those he manages are a later product with neither so romantic nor so inspiring a history. Managers are necessary, leaders are essential.
    Field Marshal, Sir William Slim
    Australian Army Journal, November 1957

    Field-Marshal, The Viscount Slim, KG, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, GRE, DSO, MC.
    Slim was the epitome, or if you like the quintessential professional soldier. His charisma and energy for the job at hand was admired by those who fought with and for him.

    Commissioned as an officer (2nd Lieutenant) in the Royal Warwichshire Regiment in 1914, he was badly wounded at Gallipoli and fought in France & Mesopotamia.

    He commanded all levels from platoon to army group in combat with the exception of battalion. His career was one of selfless service and devotion to duty.

    In the early days of WW2 he was always leading the action commanding the 10th Indian Infantry Brigade against the Italians in Eritrea and the Sudan (1940-1941), then the 10th Indian Division against Iraqis and Vichy French in Syria (1941).

    He was appointed commander of Burma Corps, and then XV Corps. Slim assumed command of the Fourteenth Army in February 1944 with an offensive toward Arakan. By June 1944, Slim's "Forgotten Army" had decisively won the Imphal / Kohima battle restoring allied prestige, and proceeded to recaptured Burma. At war’s end, Slim was commanding Allied Land Forces, South East Asia.

    His humble background, and lead from the front attitude inspired his troops and gained him unreserved respect. His Military career was fulfilled when his appointment in 1948 as Chief of the Imperial General Staff, the first Indian Army officer ever to serve as the professional head of the British Army.

    He was also Governor General of Australia whilst still being a serving Field Marshal and a Knight.
     
  7. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    Very short short list, went for Wellington, for various reasons, one of which his quote: I don't know what effect these men will have upon the enemy, but, by God, they frighten me!!!
     
  8. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Finally plumped for Wellington.
    He is Wellington after all.
    I think my final choice was based on the fact he was so 'professional' in an era where the amateur still ruled much of the roost, his achievements were on such a grand scale and obtained largely off his own good direction. To successfully fight Continental Wars in a time of relatively primitive communications, Transport etc. was quite some thing.
    Napoleon would surely rate near the very top of any Worldwide list of Military commanders through time, and Wellesley was instrumental in his defeat.

    For a few extra points - His quotes are blinders ("Publish & Be Damned!"), and he definitely had the best address I've ever noticed for anyone. 'No.1, London' is pretty hard to beat
     
  9. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Gone for Cromwell.

    Could do with another one...
     
    von Poop likes this.
  10. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Threw my lot in with Wellington, been reading about his campaigns and he was as effective, Calculating and professional as any of the others, and he defeated Napoleon and his forces.
     
  11. airborne medic

    airborne medic Very Senior Member

    Bit of a tough one....Slim IMHO did a lot in a forgotten theatre of war......
     
  12. idler

    idler GeneralList

  13. Peccavi

    Peccavi Senior Member

    Now if you had voted on Commanders - it had to be Marlborough. The others are simple Generals.

    Who else had the skills to hold together an Allied Army of Brits, Austrians, Dutch and (some) Germans over the course of many campaigns and never lose a battle.
     
  14. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member

    With out a doubt from the poll I would go for Oliver Cromwell. What about George Monck?
     
  15. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member

    Now if you had voted on Commanders - it had to be Marlborough. The others are simple Generals.

    Who else had the skills to hold together an Allied Army of Brits, Austrians, Dutch and (some) Germans over the course of many campaigns and never lose a battle.


    Cromwell not a commander ????
     
  16. John Lawson

    John Lawson Arte et Marte

    Not many voting!:rolleyes:
     
  17. Assam

    Assam Senior Member

    The RUSI spent a day or 2 arguing the point, it was assessed that the top British General Was Bill Slim amazed he has been left out:(:(:(:(

    Regards

    simon
     
  18. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Heart says Slim.
    Head says Wellington.

    Different eras, theatres and opposition, who can ever really compare!

    It's like comparing Rooney with say Bobby Charlton. OMG what am I talking about, BOBBY it's got to be BOBBY!!!:D
     
  19. Cracker1

    Cracker1 Junior Member

    How did Jan Smuts miss the cut? ;)

    He wasn't British.:huh:
     
  20. the warlord

    the warlord Junior Member

    out of all five
    cromwell wins by a mile
     

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