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Forum LockedThe greatest warrior

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C.C.Benjamin View Drop Down
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    Posted: 31-May-2008 at 10:05
Generalship is undoubtably the most important skill for a commander, but bravery and heroics draws the crowd.

What generals do you consider:

The bravest?
The hardest?
The most cowardly?

Please cite examples where possible! Cheers
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Efraz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2008 at 11:32
Well I hope you don't think it's biased.(I am not much of a nationalist) Just my opinion but I think the hardest and bravest warrior(who is also well known) is Baybars al-Bunduqdari. As far as I know I must add I am not good in Far Eastern history. I am sure there may be very though shoguns for example :)

Baybars' life story is astonishing. From Asian nomadic steppes to slave markets then to mamluk garrisons then to field command and finally to the throne of both Egypt and Syria.

He killed two sultans before him with his own blade. This requires courage, or maybe more likely boldness or daring... most writers of his time considered these actions as out of nobility but he was not a nobleman. And he surely risked his lowly life greatly many times .

As a slave soldier he fought his battles himself, always on the frontlines to ascend the ranks. He has seen the bottom two times and yet he prevailed stronger.

Most notably during the 7th Crusade against (Saint)Louis IX, In the battle of La Forbia and in the battle of Ayn Jalut before taking the throne. And also After his exile to Damascus.

He is called "Baybars the Panther" for his namesake. In Turkish his name literally means "Lord Panther". Ah, enough of him...

Also one should mention Leonidas, king of Sparta for obvious reasons among the bravest. And William Wallace and Spartakus among the toughest who are also famous but I am sure the toughest warriors were not generals or named men.

Also drawing the crowd with heroism... two names I recall one is inspired by Shakespeare naturally :) Henry V of England and his "Happy Few"  :)
And Edward the Black Prince. Both men are known to be brilliant and heroic field commanders.

Who is the most coward? I am sure his name didn't reach today but somehow I don't feel like stating a name here. Some Ottoman emperors I regard as cowardly commanders, some names can be found among the French during the first part of Hundred Years War etc.

As efraz my nick I like to accolade not degrade :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2008 at 12:47
Darius could be considered a coward. He might have won in both Issus and Gaugamela if he hadn't  fled in both occasions leading to a massive rout of his army.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote deadkenny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2008 at 13:54
I would certainly have to rank Alexander the Great up there for personal bravery.  Perhaps in a more modern era, one might consider Lannes or Ney from the Napoleonic wars.  Much later than that and 'generals' tended to lead larger numbers of soldiers from the rear, so there was less and less opportunity to show personal bravery.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote C.C.Benjamin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2008 at 17:30
My own opinion is that Pyrrhus would be one of the hardest.  According to Plutarch's Life of Pyrrhus, the man was an Alexander-esque frontline general, and never turned down a personal challenge.

When in Sicily his army was attacked by an army from Messena, the surprise of the attack caused heavy casualties. Pyrrhus takes a wound to the head, and retires from the front line at the behest of his men.  A particularly large Sicilian comes out and challenges Pyrrhus to come out and fight him, if he is even still alive.

Pyrrhus is suddenly angered by this, so much so that he strides out in fury, covered in blood, and fells the guy with one stroke to the head.  His manner and countenance was such that the rest of the attacking army lost their stomach for the fight, and Pyrrhus and his army continued unmolested.

Quote Pyrrhus, in great anger, broke away violently from his guards, and, in his fury, besmeared with blood, terrible to look upon, made his way through his own men, and struck the barbarian on the head with his sword such a blow, as with the strength of his arm, and the excellent temper of the weapon, passed downward so far that his body being cut asunder fell in two pieces. This stopped the course of the barbarians, amazed and confounded at Pyrrhus, as one more than man; so that continuing his march all the rest of the way undisturbed


And beating a Macedonian champion in single combat, before his entire army.  That would make-or-break a battle, it appears:

Quote Pantauchus, in courage, dexterity, and strength of body, being confessedly the best of all Demetrius's captains, and having both resolution and high spirit, challenged Pyrrhus to fight hand to hand; on the other side Pyrrhus, professing not to yield to any king in valour and glory, and esteeming the fame of Achilles more truly to belong to him for his courage than for his blood, advanced against Pantauchus through the front of the army. First they used their lances, then came to a close fight, and managed their swords both with art and force; Pyrrhus receiving one wound, but returning two for it, one in the thigh and the other near the neck repulsed and overthrew Pantauchus, but did not kill him outright, as he was rescued by his friends. But the Epirots exulting in the victory of their king, and admiring his courage, forced through and cut in pieces the phalanx of the Macedonians, and pursuing those that fled, killed many, and took five thousand prisoners.


He was also first on the walls of the Carthaginian fortress of Eryx:

Quote The sign being given by sound of trumpet, he first scattered the barbarians with his shot, and then brought his ladders to the wall, and was the first that mounted upon it himself, and, the enemy appearing in great numbers, he beat them back; some he threw down from the walls on each side, others he laid dead in a heap round about him with his sword, nor did he receive the least wound, but by his very aspect inspired terror in the enemy; and gave a clear demonstration that Homer was in the right, and pronounced according to the truth of fact, that fortitude alone, of all the virtues, is wont to display itself in divine transports and frenzies.


To sum up: the guy kicked ass and took names.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2008 at 17:54
Too bad an old woman killed him LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote C.C.Benjamin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2008 at 18:56
Originally posted by Vorian Vorian wrote:

Too bad an old woman killed him LOL


Well, lead to his death anyway! 

Yeah fate is a cruel mistress.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Samara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2008 at 19:39
Originally posted by deadkenny deadkenny wrote:

I would certainly have to rank Alexander the Great up there for personal bravery.  Perhaps in a more modern era, one might consider Lannes or < id="google-toolbar-hilite-0" style=": Yellow; color: black;">Ney from the Napoleonic wars.  Much later than that and 'generals' tended to lead larger numbers of soldiers from the rear, so there was less and less opportunity to show personal bravery.

Agree with you, Ney, during campaign of Russia and in the battle of Berezina, he was probably the most bravous general of great army.




Edited by Samara - 31-May-2008 at 19:43
"All is loose, just the honour"

Francis in the battle of Pavia
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Efraz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2008 at 19:54
:)) well I knew Benjamin would give a detailed example I was waiting for that :)

Pyrrhus is a good one. Yes he is hard. But didn't know the details, thanks.

Now I think of two more men: John Hunyadi. as being originally a peasant originated knight he ascended rank finally to the throne by his personal glory. And Danishmend Ghazi who enslaved Bohemond of Anthioch. He was present at Battle of Manizkert. He was among the leading Turkoman leaders who conquered Anatolia. He was there in the Battle of Dorylaeum. And fought against the First Crusaders. He is all known for personal valour. He is a romance hero like Baybars.


Edited by Efraz - 31-May-2008 at 19:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote C.C.Benjamin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2008 at 08:55
I quite liked King John the Blind of Bohemia at the Battle of Crecy.  I don't think anyone reasonably expected a blind man to go to the front lines in battle, did they??

I suppose Richard the Lionheart at Jaffa probably deserves a mention, as apparently it was his valour that won the day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kurt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2008 at 10:48

Being from Trabzon, I always liked Mithridates IV., so though he wouldn't be number 1. on the lists, he's definitely up around there somewhere. And that's no mean comment, considering i think that the ancient greek and roman civilizations are by far the most over rated civilizations in history.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xi_tujue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2008 at 11:12
hmm I think the bravest warriors all died be4 becoming famous :p

charing a horde of enemies all alone
I rather be a nomadic barbarian than a sedentary savage
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saber Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jun-2008 at 18:38
Well Temujin, or Genghis Khan, definately deserves the title of the hardiest and the boldest.
 
At age 12 he was constantly pursuited by his fellow tribesmen, and had to resort to living in caves or earth holes living off grass and worms or rats.
 
As a teenager he tried to attack a group of horse thieves who stole his horses, and escaped with the horses.
 
In battle he was injuried a number of times, the most serious injury was to a arrow shot to the neck which nearly killed him. The man who shot him later came and confessed it, and asked to be killed if Temujin wished so. Temujin instead of punishing rewarded him and made him one of his generals, and gave the man the name Jebe(mongol for arrow)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xristar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jun-2008 at 21:21
Originally posted by xi_tujue xi_tujue wrote:

hmm I think the bravest warriors all died be4 becoming famous :p

charing a horde of enemies all alone


"“Live” and “Hero” are mutually exclusive terms." -Murphy's law.LOL

Defeat allows no explanation
Victory needs none.
It insults the dead when you treat life carelessly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maximus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jun-2008 at 04:59
 
Chesty Puller comes to mind.

Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller fought in Haiti and Nicaragua in the early part of the century, then the Pacific Theater during WW II.  As a Lt Gen in the Marine Corp on Guadalcanal he called in Naval gun fire on his own position to hold back the Japanese while his surrounded Battalion was rescued.  Later on Guadalcanal his battalion held off a Japanese Regimental assault at Henderson Field where he lost 70 men, the Japanese lost 1400.  He was shot twice and hit by shrapnel several times.
In Korea, he led his Regiment at the landing at Inchon.
He was awarded more than 20 medals including the DSC, Silver Star, Bronze Star and Navy Cross - 5 times.
He's a Marine Corp Legend. 


Edited by Maximus - 04-Jun-2008 at 05:00
I often wonder if there is still a majority of American voters who can discern a charlatan from a statesman?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mr_T Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2009 at 21:37
Sultan IV.Murat was really a strong warrior,his weapons were more than 50 kilos,and he was like a dinasour in the battle field.
 
 
Too bad he died so young.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Basmachi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-May-2009 at 00:46
Of course Enver Pasha...

He was a really great commander. When he graduated from military school, firstly he scattered gangs of Balkans. After First Balkan War, he modernized Ottoman Army. And in Second Balkan War, he re-conquered Edirne. After that, he and his friends went to Trablusgarb(Libya) to organize a resistance against Italian invasion. After WWI he went to Turkestan to lead Basmachi Movement. He resist against Russian Imperialism with limited armoury. His martyrization was an epic story. He killed by mitrailleuses while riding horse against Russian army with only a sword.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sun Tzu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-May-2009 at 00:42
Horatius defending the bridge over the Tiber river in Rome against Estruscan forces. My father talks a lot about Chesty Puller, he was pretty amazing as well as Alvin York.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Emperor Barbarossa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jun-2009 at 15:56
Perhaps not a general, but the Anglo-Saxon that held off the Vikings at Stamford Bridge for hours until they took a boat under the bridge and stabbed him with a spear. Bravest general could possibly be Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Confederate cavalry commander who lead daunting raids at the front of his men.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Whiteice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2009 at 02:07
I was gonna say Horatious, but Sun Tzu beat me to it...
 
Hmm....I'm completely blank right now on heroes....I guess I'll think of one eventually.
 
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