Although money, military equipment, and manpower are crucial factors when fighting a war, the greatest generals in history have demonstrated that strategy and tactics can be just as decisive (and destructive). These extraordinary men have stood out due to their innovative strategies, intelligence, and their ability to lead their troops to victory. Their actions often changed the outcome of critical battles and sometimes entire wars, turning them into well respected and admired historical figures.
Over the years, the nature of warfare has changed dramatically, and with it, the role of generals in the army. Today, they rarely appear on the battlefield and their freedom of action is much more limited than in the past, when rulers trusted their generals absolutely, allowing them to do as they deemed necessary. Thus, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to assume that the greatest generals in history carried out their duties far before our time. This does not mean that contemporary armies lack capable generals, but it is evident why they get far less credit for their actions than those who fought major battles in the past.
The greatest generals in history were able to reach this status by fighting in a time when conquering land and expanding one’s territory was common practice. In this sense, some of them benefited greatly from belonging to the 10 greatest empires in history, which we covered in a previous post, since they were constantly exposed to military conflicts. Hence, their participation in numerous conflicts, gave the generals the chance to devise new tactics and find innovative ways to achieve victory.
As stated above, the greatest generals in history are often admired for their achievements and extraordinary ability to improvise on the battlefield. Nevertheless, some of these men also proved to be ruthless, showing no mercy towards their enemies and even conducting massive slaughters.
Yet whether they deserve our admiration or not, learning more about the ten greatest generals in history is surely worthwhile. Check out these great leaders of men.