Who was the worst American general or battlefield tactician? - Page 11




 
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July 23rd, 2005  
Claymore
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
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.
That depends on how you define offense. If you mean from a strategic point of view then the answer is no. But then Lee certainly fought battles in which he initiated the attack and won. An example of this would be Chancellorsville - considered his crowning achievement.

Lee at heart was always an advocate of an offensive war and never passed up the opportunity to attack when he could reasonably do so.
August 12th, 2005  
mmarsh
 
 
Ok I going to offer a suggestion thats going to ruffle a few feathers.
But hear me out

As a Battlefield Commander only, not as a Commander-in-Chief.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

Why his record says it all. 3-5. The battles he clearly won were Princeton, Trenton, and Yorktown and to be fair he would not have won at Yorktown had it not been for the French.

Some of the worst campaigns in the War such as in Pennslyvania (Germantown and BrandyWine) and New York (White Planes, Brooklyn Heights) were fought under his command.

Gates, Morgan, Arnold were all better tacticians...

Ok Im sure someone will disagree...
August 12th, 2005  
03USMC
 
 
Yeah Gates had retreating down cold. Woulda been better had he remembered to take his army with him though.
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August 12th, 2005  
mmarsh
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 03USMC
Yeah Gates had retreating down cold. Woulda been better had he remembered to take his army with him though.
Whoops my bad I meant Nathaniel Greene.

Gates was a mixed bag, he won a brillent victory at Saratoga and lost at Camden, leaving his army behind. He was replaced by Greene.
August 13th, 2005  
Claymore
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
Gates was a mixed bag, he won a brillent victory at Saratoga and lost at Camden, leaving his army behind. He was replaced by Greene.
The only problem with this statement was that Gates really didn't have much part in the victory at Saratoga. Certainly the bulk of the credit for the victory must go to Arnold. Gates was not in active control of the battlefield (if he had been he would have known what Arnold was doing) and frankly out of his league against Burgoyne (yes I know that's really saying something). I disagree that he was a mixed bag at all. The only reason I didn't vote for him over Burnside is the numbers of troops killed because of their individual stupidity.
One further point regarding your earlier post about Washington. I agree that he wasn't the most skillful of generals, but he did inspire his men. I believe that he was personally responsible for the victory at Monmouth - he stopped the retreat and relieved Charles Lee (effectively ending his career). So I cannot agree that he would qualify as the worst ever.
August 14th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
RankIt,

MacArthur actually had the second most land taken in the shortest amount of time of all US ground commanders in WWII. Oh and I don't know where you got that casualty figure idea. Mac's losses were 1/10th of Patton's who was, btw, the number one most land gained per time US ground commander.


Damien435,

Custer saw the massive size of the Sioux camp from the heights above. He didn't have to attack a force dozens of times his size. His arrogance in his belief in his unit's superiority to a "non-professional" force was what led him to disaster at the Little Bighorn. His actions against a force he did perceive as professional were somthing else altogether.
August 14th, 2005  
mmarsh
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claymore
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
Gates was a mixed bag, he won a brillent victory at Saratoga and lost at Camden, leaving his army behind. He was replaced by Greene.
The only problem with this statement was that Gates really didn't have much part in the victory at Saratoga. Certainly the bulk of the credit for the victory must go to Arnold. Gates was not in active control of the battlefield (if he had been he would have known what Arnold was doing) and frankly out of his league against Burgoyne (yes I know that's really saying something). I disagree that he was a mixed bag at all. The only reason I didn't vote for him over Burnside is the numbers of troops killed because of their individual stupidity.
One further point regarding your earlier post about Washington. I agree that he wasn't the most skillful of generals, but he did inspire his men. I believe that he was personally responsible for the victory at Monmouth - he stopped the retreat and relieved Charles Lee (effectively ending his career). So I cannot agree that he would qualify as the worst ever.
You are right about Arnold, but Arnold was under Gates and Gates was the CIC of the Continental Army. Subordinates do not recieve credit for victory even if do they wind up doing all the actual leg work.

Monmouth wasnt really a victory. Its true that the Americans were able to hold the field but they failed in their principal objective which was to destroy the British rear column. Like Saratoga the real hero was a subordinate General Von Steubal who managed to stop an American rout.
On the other hand it goes back to what I said up top. At best it was a draw, at worst a minor defeat.

As for your last point he was very good at inspiring his men as well as good Aide to camp and logistician. Thats why I said Battlefield commander.
August 26th, 2005  
welshman15
 
My grandfather was in the Italian campaign, and he had nothing good to say about Mark Clark. Certainly, his combat leadership style was Sir Douglas Haig-ish in his insistence on throwing troops headlong into fortified positions.
August 28th, 2005  
LeEnfield
 
 
Mark Clark was also in charge of the American forces during the Battle for the Huertgen Forest in 1944, and this was right bloody affair and troops were just thrown in willy nilly, many American units lost 80% of there strength during this battle. There are some quite good stories about this battle on the web.
September 12th, 2012  
Farragut
 
Have to say that the Confederate generalship in the West left much to be desired, indeed in my humble opinion the war was lost/won (depending on ones sympathies) in this theatre of operations. The poorest general? Well, for me it has to be Pemberton and not just because he allowed himself to be shut up in Vicksburg. Swiftly followed by Bragg of course!