Who was the worst American general or battlefield tactician? - Page 10

June 18th, 2005  
Custer was also very young, and as many powerful, skillful young men are, he was brash, overconfident, and he thought he was immortal. those are bad qualities to have, but idont think they make him the worst ever. I still stick with Burnside. Although, I havent seen anyone mention Gen. Joseph Hooker, he was pretty bad too.
June 19th, 2005  
Hooker had reasonable record as a Corps commander (I Corps at Antietam for instance). There are some evidence that he may have been suffering from a severe concussion during the battle of Chancellorsville. The pillar he was leaning against reasonably early in the fighting was hit by a cannonball and knocked him silly. After that he wasn't the same General.
My pick is still Burnside.
June 26th, 2005  
I'd say MacArthur wasn't a good leader. He blamed others and caused heavy losses in American lives. Some documentary or book stated that MacArthur ordered marines to attack or something during WWII when an alternative could have been made to spare all American lives. It was something like that.
July 1st, 2005  

Topic: General George Armstrong Custer

His inexperience and failure to listen to intelligence killed all of his men and himself.

"George Armstrong Custer was elevated to the rank of General by a battlefied commission during the Civil War. He had emerged from West Point at the bottom of his class where he had amassed a huge number of demerits. His success in the Civil War might be attributed to his unorthodox methods and the wild charges he led with no concern for the scouting reports, if he ever read them. He had the highest casualty figures among the Union division commanders. However, he himself emerged unscathed. He personally accepted the white flag of surrender from Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. "

His personally accepting the white flag of surrender was him being at the right place at the right time.

For mor information reference the link below.

July 22nd, 2005  
All Generals seem to have good days and bad days, MacAuthurs invasion of Inchon was brilliant the rest of his action in North Korea was a bit of a farce. He also seems to have taken all the credit for the war in the Pacific when much of the credit should go to Chester Nimitz. Now another American General who has only been slightly mentioned who seems to have juggled history to his advantage is Mark Clark. It was Mark Clark who went behind the planners back for the Anzio landings in Italy and gave the General in charge of these landings instructions not to move away from the beach head until he had got enough men and material ashore. Well we all know what happened there, it gave the Germans enough time to through a cordon around the beach head and shell it to bits. Mark Clark was later made commander of the forces at Anizo and when he broke out he was given written orders to fight his way across Italy and trap the German army that was in retreat from Monte Casino, what did he do, he decide to take Rome from the south and become the first General to do so for several thousand years. The small force he sent to stop the German retreat from Monte Casino was overwhelmed. Now if he had done what he was told he could have brought an end to the war in Italy, but no the Germans got through the lines and set up defence line after defence line and the war raged on. What did say about ignoring his orders, he said he thought there was a large force of Germans in Rome, was there, NO
July 22nd, 2005  
after all the effort that went into cassino, then he did that!!!!
July 23rd, 2005  
The capture of Rome was quite a morale boost for the Allies, though I wouldn't weigh it against what could have been if he did not prioritize that movement.
July 23rd, 2005  
Oddly enough I think Mark Clark is a good choice for the modern winner, everything I have read of his actions throughout the entire Italian campaign were far from flattering.
July 23rd, 2005  
Originally Posted by MontyB
Originally Posted by CavScout
Major General Benedict Arnold....why you ask? Because he chose the wrong side...
You could say that about Lee as well.
(Wasn't he given the option to lead the Union army at the beginning?).
Yes, but I will now try to as best as I can quote my history books on this subject. "Before the American Civil war people said 'the United States are after the war people started to say 'the United States is.'" What this shows in the change of attitude of the American people following the war. Before the war most Americans (no doubt those in the 11 states that seceded) were loyal to their state first, country second. Most Americans did not think of themselves as Americans, especially not those from the south, but instead as Virginians or Georgians or New Yorkers. Lee himself said that he could not bring himself to fight against his home state, to fight against his fellow Virginians. And besides, Lee proved he was a damn good leader. I believe that it was Lee, not Jefferson Davis, who was the leader of the C.S.A. only because everything in that country was geared towards war and Lee was the commander of the Confederate Army. As I was taught in my history classes when I was younger. There were three key components of the Civil War; Industry, Men and Leadership. The Union had the advantage in terms of men and industrial output but the Confederates had far better leaders. Even though the Union seemed to have the advantage the South still came very close to winning the war. But to me Lee's greatest move was to surrender. Lee is quoted as saying "If I can make it to the (Blue Ridge?) mountains I could continue to fight the war for 20 years." However he did not and instead chose to surrender, saving probably tens of thousands of men. It is a shame that Lee did not live to see his American citizenship renewed.

Originally Posted by Charge 7
He was a great cavalry commander in the Civil War fighting gainst the South. He was a very poor Indian fighter though. Being very bad against one opponenet and very good against another doesn't indicate he was the worst overall.
I personally don't think that Custer can take all of the blame here. I feel that he was left out to dry by his superiors, he was disliked by many high ranking officers in the Army, the President certainly didn't seem to like him, and he had no way of knowing that General Crook had already been pushed back. Now I can not guarantee the validity of this, but I have also heard that General Gibbon's, who was supposedly to be bringing up the rear in support of Custer seemed to be taking his time in moving to meet the enemy, taking a whole day to cross territory that too Custer and his men less than one hour to cross. Yes, Custer was a Cavalry commander and Gibbon's had an infantry battalion, but I doubt that Custer rode across the northern plains at a full gallop at all times.
July 23rd, 2005  
Correct me if I am wrong here because it is entirely possible I am wrong as the US civil war isnt big in New Zealand but for all of Lee's qualities did he ever win a battle on offence?

I know he was seemingly excellent on defence but I cant recall any of his offensive victories.