Napoleon vs Caesar:Who is the greatest general ever?

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Peter, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. Ashutosh Lokhande

    Ashutosh Lokhande Senior Member Senior Member

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  2. Peter

    Peter Pratik Maitra Senior Member

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    Actually Napoleon defeated the British repeatedly. I have a great hatred for the now defunct British empire. The British empire had the strongest naval force during that time and had lots of military power. Yet Napoleon fearlessly took them head on.
     
  3. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Oh, no, just the chapters dealing with Julius Caesar and Bonaparte, but I have read the entire book and it's worth it.
     
  4. Peter

    Peter Pratik Maitra Senior Member

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    I would request you to choose between them ---------- Napoleon and Caesar.
     
  5. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Napoleon as the better general, because more commanders have studied his tactics and applied his methods over the years, I believe.

    I would choose Gaius Marius over Julius Caesar as well.
     
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  6. Ashutosh Lokhande

    Ashutosh Lokhande Senior Member Senior Member

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    ceaser had a better style statement so Ceaser > Napolean. the twigs they wear around the head looks so Godly and Cool :D
     
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  7. Razor

    Razor STABLE GENIUS Moderator

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    I can understand your admiration of Hitler, given your strong anti-Rus stance or maybe some other ideas you have.
    But Hitler was not a General, he was Chancellor of Germany. The highest military rank he had was some enlisted soldier rank in WW1 (in which it is rumored he lost one of his balls.)
    Besides I heard that some of his military decisions were actually not very smart and against what his generals advised him.
     
  8. Peter

    Peter Pratik Maitra Senior Member

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    On topic, who is your favourite between this two "maharathis"????
     
  9. jouni

    jouni Senior Member Senior Member

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    He was the supreme commander of the army, just like Caesar and Napoleon were. Also he conquered at least two times larger area than either of them. I dont admire him, neither am I anti-russian. Just stating the obvious.
     
  10. Razor

    Razor STABLE GENIUS Moderator

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    Of the two choices, my personal choice would be Napoleon.

    But if I were to go on a world conquering spree, I would gain the strength of Subutai, the most trusted general and right hand man of Chinghis Khan.

    Everybody knows Chinghis Khan, Subutai today is much less known.
    He is the one that conquered from China to Persia to Rus to Poland and everything in between. Conquered several dozen nations, fought maybe hundreds of battles, rarely lost one. Used strategies like bio-warfare, siege warfare, psychological warfare and so on.
    In terms of land conquered and maybe even battles won, this general probably tops them all.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
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  11. Peter

    Peter Pratik Maitra Senior Member

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    Actually Genghis Khan and his generals were very ruthless and barbaric. Of course Napoleon and Caesar were also ruthless but they were less barbaric than Genghis Khan. We should not forget that Tamer Lane and Babur,the two who attacked India, were all related to Genghis by marriage or by blood.

    Also when Genghis Khan conquered Russia/Poland they were very sparsely populated compared to western Europe/Italy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  12. Razor

    Razor STABLE GENIUS Moderator

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    "were very ruthless and barbaric": People are a product of their times. For eg.: A hundred years back in KL, when a member of my community walked on the streets, a drummer would go ahead asking all low castes to keep a certain distance away, to prevent pollution. This would be considered barbaric now. Blacks were treated pretty much like animals in early 19th century (and before and not just in Amerik), this would be considered barbaric now. These days I have seen friends call each other "madar..." which would be considered barbaric/uncultured in the past.
    So when "historians" say Chinghis was a barbarian, I would take it with a pinch of salt as they are comparing to today's standards. Brutality in battle is expected, and is actually a good thing. There are cases in which armies have surrendered when they heard the enemy was too merciless to those who oppose.
    Supposedly he was very tolerant on religious matters.
    And the stories of his rapes, I find it difficult to swallow. It is said that he raped anywhere b/w 8k-10k. He was in power for about 20 years.
    Which implies 20*365= ~7300 . Which means he raped more than one woman, every single day of his life in power, whether it be peace (rare) or pitch battle, whether it was Sunday or Christmas or Diwali, no days off.

    Yes, Timur is a direct descendant of Chinghis and Babur is also kinda related to Chinghis. The name "Mughal" is of course Persian for Mongol.

    "Also when Genghis Khan conquered Russia/Poland..":Yeah the population density was pretty low among Slavs, but more important factor is how good their army was and how smart their generals were. Population density was less of a factor.

    Say what you want, but conquering an empire the size of the British empire at its height, on horseback in the 12th/13th century , is not an easy thing, to say the least.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
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  13. ghost

    ghost Senior Member Senior Member

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    @Peter sir,

    Even though both were great generals,both have their fair share of faults and the rise of Napoleon from down to his position contrary to the royal blood line of Caesar ,is more inspirational.I will choose Caesar,due to the following reasons:

    1 Napoleon studied and held Caesar in a very high regard.He studied his tactics ,how he administered ,how he motivated his soldiers etc etc ,so we can safely say that Caesar was the "guru" of Napoleon in many ways.And since there is a saying "chela" kitna bhi bada ho jaye "guru" "guru" hi rehta hai.

    2 Caesar was a great learner,he was good at learning from his mistakes,and not repeating them.Caesar in his career made the mistake by not crushing the Pompeians, before becoming involved in the Alexandrian War.Napoleon who had studied Caesar in great detail repeated the same mistake by failing to conclude his campaign in Spain ,before embarking on the disastrous Russian invasion of 1812.It is one thing to make a mistake,it is other to repeat it ,when example has been set before you.

    3 Caesar never faced any major failure or loss,if he would have, not been assassinated,that to because of treachery behind his back.He would have gone ahead ,to win many more conquest. Where as Napoleon had number of failures,he failed in his invasion of Russia,when his forces were defeated at Leipzig,and he was forced to exile in the island of Elba.In the battle of Waterloo ,where Napoleon was eventually decisively beaten and ousted from power.Which led to his captivity ,until his death.

    4 Napoleon army had advantage over most of his adversaries,there is no comparison between artillery and muskets versus bows, arrows and sabres which most of his adversaries were equipped with.Where as Caesar had to fight swords against swords,spears against spears.

    5 Caesar was cunning,shrewd and a great thinker,his ability to take quick decision ,adapting to situation and the craft of making his moves like a chess player makes him a greater general.While Napoleon studied and made himself ,Caesar was born and naturally gifted with a sharp mind,which was the main reason behind his rise as a great general.He knew that there is no need of fighting ,when you can win over adversaries by the dagger of sweet talk.
     
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  14. Peter

    Peter Pratik Maitra Senior Member

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    Actually I am a univ. student so you can drop the sir.

    I agree with the point that you have made about Caesar being Napoleon`s inspiration. I also admit Napoleon made a lot of mistakes.

    However I would like to admit that Napoleon did not fight bows with his muskets. He faced the modern western armies of Prussia,Russia,Austria,Spain and Great Britain. In fact he faced 2 to 1 and sometimes 3 to one odds and yet he came out on top. As for his invasion and defeat at Waterloo and Leipzig, he had little choice. Napoleon was the target of five coalitions. He was forced to fight these coalitions. He defeated 4 coalitions and lost against the last one. All nations were very afraid of his military capabilities so they were forced to unite in coalitions. Even enemies like Prussia and Austria united as one.

    As for Caesar he is definitely one of the greatest generals out there. His legacy is so great that the German and Russian term for king is Kaiser and Tsar/Czar respectively.

    ( Do check out the Battle of Austerlitz video. It is a great documentary by BBC.)
     
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  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    There can be no comparison between military personage because their operating environment and their wherewithal was not the same.

    All military personage recognised as great are found great as per the contemporary time they operated and with the wherewithal they had.
     
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  16. Peter

    Peter Pratik Maitra Senior Member

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    Still Sir, if there is a choice between the two who would you choose ???
     
  17. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    At the time of Napoleon British, Russia, Prussia and Austria have the cannons and Muskets just like the French.

    Caesar's adversaries are not that advanced, they are barbarians like Gauls, Germanic tribes etc..etc..

    Roman army is disciplined and these barbarians even though they have numbers resorted to mass attacks which became advantage for Romans.

    If we see the adversaries that Napoleon faced Duke of Wellington, Tsar of Russia and others are as capable as Napoleon and are better equipped that Caesar's enemies.

    Yes Napoleon made of mistake of invading Russia there by weakening his army.

    It is always difficult to face enemies like Britain, Russia and other powers combined.
     
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  18. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    The battle in the Teutoburg Forest
     
  19. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    This battle is like Guerilla warfare, The Legions went deep into the forest and Germanic Tribes set up the trap to annihilate them. The forest is Dark and the terrain is difficult to even walk.
     
  20. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Don't know about the "greatest" general, but I think Hannibal was one of the craziest.
     
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