Norm Smith Medallist
- Dec 27, 2017
- AFL Club
- North Melbourne
If Hannibal had the armies behind him of the last lot you mention he’d be comfortable sitting in that group. Maybe even on top. Did you deliberately leave out Alexander?He was in Italy for well over a decade, so his logistical train was pretty good (off-the-land) and he had an established land route through Spain and running through Northern Italy. And as you said, his army were a smaller disciplined force.
He did beat some smart cookies and some very good Roman armies, but as we both know, it took the Marian reforms for the Roman army to become a truly elite force.
I would still put him in a the tactical/operationally brilliant, strategically average category of historical generals, as history is determined by your success at the end. He can join guys like Rommel, Model, Konev, Patton, Pompey, Montgomery, Clark, Kessering and Guderian, although he would be the best in this category. Guys like Rokossovsky, Manstein, Saladin (big fan of his), Cyrus the Great, Caesar (his campaign in Gaul is a superb military study), old Genghis Khan and even Nimitz, I would put in the good at both strategy and operations category.
What the Mongols achieved in such a short time puts Genghis, and his sons to a lesser degree, right up the top of best strategists and generals that have ever existed. At the tactical/operational level, there was none better than Hannibal Barca.