Who do you support?


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Who do you support?

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aug 6, 2007, 7:35am

We were in the pub last night and the subject of wargamers and their weird relationship with generals came up. There is a tendency amongst wargamers to adopt one particular general as their own and then "support" him with a vociferousness seldom found outside South American soccer fans.

Which begs the question. Are you a Napoleon or Patton man? The Manchester United of historys generals.

Or are you one of the few, the proud and the irretrievably commited who favour Mack, McClellan, Darius or Model? The historical equivelant of those few freezing fans huddled in the rain lashed stands to watch the Kiddiminister Harriers go down three-nil in the opening stages of the cup.

aug 7, 2007, 1:30am

I always liked Wellington rather than certain continental generals.

Over the last year I've done a lot of reading on WWII topics and found my admiration for Montgomery growing. That he seems to really annoy a sizable number of people also amuses me and adds to my respect of him. Mention of him is generally enough to get an animated discussion (vicious argument) started!

aug 7, 2007, 6:39pm

Joaquín Blake & Marshal Suchet of the Napoleonic Wars. Lettow Vorbeck in WWI. US Grant. Marcus Aurelius and Aetius. Zhukov and Rakkosovsky. I prefer Patton to Bradley. Alexander's lieutenant Ptolemais. I'm neither a Rommel nor a MacArthur man. I admire George Marshall. Alexander, Caesar and Napoleon I find of interest as a military historian but I regard themas mass-murdering ego-maniacs.

I like DH Hill, Baron Thiebault, Porter Alexander and those hard-working staff guys: Moxley Sorrel, Lejune, St. John Liddell, Jedidiah Hotchkiss, Horace Porter, George Scovell, Berthier, Bedell SMith, Caulaincourt, Walter Taylor, Pelet, and of course, Ammianus Marcellinus.

aug 8, 2007, 3:04pm

I don't usually "support" generals. It's my contention that when gamers (or those interested in military history for that matter) support generals they're putting their own personal feelings ahead of any objective assessment of that general's merits and/or shortcomings
I'd say that most generals (like people) have their good days and bad days and some of their days are destined to be contentious, regardless of the complexity of the situation at the time.

However I must admit to being partial to Aetius myself! Now if only I could find a decent biography for him or a good history of his campaigns...

aug 11, 2007, 6:00pm

Of course, but I'm not after an objective assessment of a general's merits, I'm interested in which generals seize the imagination.

Myself, the men that stick in my mind are;

Grant racing to dictate his memoirs to support his family before his death from cancer.

Wellington in Goya's portrait of him immediately after Waterloo.

John Buford, fighting a desperate holding action at Gettysburg and riding himself into an early grave.

Garibaldi, terrible, mercurial, innocent.

aug 15, 2007, 4:06pm

A difficult question. I don't really 'support' generals, but I am interested in how their performance relates to their fame. To quote one example: I'm not particularly impressed by Montgomery's record. However, he was undoubtedly the right commander at the right time (and a lot more effective than many other British commanders), so he became very famous. On the other hand Conrad von Hotzendorf was an immensely clever general, yet very much in the wrong place at the wrong time. With a panzerdivision in 1940 he might have become famous, instead he met failure.

sep 5, 2007, 5:51am

Well, if I had to choose I guess it would be John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough. A general who "never fought a battle he didn't win and never besieged a town he didn't take." He also managed to successfully command a messy coalition of forces for a long period of time.

Redigeret: okt 21, 2007, 12:04pm

I suppose I will always 'support' the Commander who had the support of the troops he led as they are the only audience a leader has to impress. Do that right and boy do you make an impression on the enemy. My favorite is Bert Hoffmeister (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bert_Hoffmeister) who was one of The Generals from Canada during WWII.

okt 18, 2007, 7:00am

If you go by Commanders who had the support of their troops, then both Montgomery and Patton would fit, as each was loved by their own men. The primary reason that Bradley was Patton's superior in the chain of command despite being of lower rank part of the time is that Eisenhower knew Bradley was good at tempering Patton a little and smoothing the feathers Patton ruffled. :>

I've always been partial to Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. I didn't like Montgomery much once upon a time, but I'm learning to understand him now. Montgomery and Patton actually had the same objective of advancing as much as possible with as little human cost as possible. They just differed in their methods. Patton was one to charge in and count on keeping his enemy off-balance enough to keep casualties light. Montgomery was one to build up overwhelming force to crush the enemy resistance before it could cause heavy casualties.