Who was the Best?

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by Ftoomsh, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    It is always fun to start "Who was the best?" arguments. Here is my list in relation to 17th C and 18th C.

    Q1. Who was the best General?

    A1. Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov (Алекса́ндр Васи́льевич Суво́ров, r Aleksandr Vasil‘evich Suvorov; Russian Prince and Generalissimo born 1729 – died 1800). Suvorov is one of the few generals in history who NEVER lost a battle, being undefeated in over 60 large battles while frequently being at a numerical disadvantage. Many historians consider Suvorov the greatest general of all time.

    Q2. Which was the best unit of its own era.?

    A2. Many consider the Polish Winged Hussar to be the greatest unit of its own era.

    Q3. Who was the bravest General?

    A3. My personal pick is Ney. The Wikipedia entry says "Michel Ney (French pronunciation: [miʃɛl ˈnɛ]), 1st Duc d'Elchingen, 1st Prince de la Moskowa (10 January 1769 – 7 December 1815), popularly known as Marshal Ney, was a French soldier and military commander during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He was one of the original 18 Marshals of the Empire created by Napoleon. He was known as Le Rougeaud ("red faced" or "ruddy")[1] by his men and nicknamed le Brave des Braves ("the bravest of the brave") by Napoleon.

    Q4. Who was the best Nemesis of Napoleon?

    A4. Many would name the Duke of Wellington. who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Some would name Heinrich Friedrich Karl Reichsfreiherr[a] vom und zum Stein (25 October 1757 – 29 June 1831), commonly known as Baron vom Stein for various historical reasons. My vote goes to...

    Admiral Sir William Sidney Smith, KCB, GCTE, KmstkSO, FRS (21 June 1764 – 26 May 1840) was a British naval officer. Serving in the American and French revolutionary wars, he later rose to the rank of admiral. Napoleon Bonaparte, reminiscing later in his life, said of him: "That man made me miss my destiny". It's very interesting to read his story.
  2. Ogon

    Ogon Active Member

  3. Ogon

    Ogon Active Member

    In terms of best units I would agree that Polish Winged hussars were probably the most effective cavalry unit of 17th c. For example 17th c. Swedish infantry, considered to be the best infantry in Europe after 30 Years War always lost to numerically much weaker Winged Hussars, in the battles of Kirholm 2,000 winged hussars pulverized 8,000 of elite Swedish infantry. In 18th c. and early 19th century good infantry became the backbone of of battlewinning armies, and the 1st prize goes to British muskets. They ruled the battlefield until the arrival of breech loading rifles in the Prussian-Danish War.

    BTW calling Winged Hussars what they are called can lead to an erroneous and treachery assumption that they were somehow related to hussars. They were not. Unlike Hussars Polish WH were armored heavy cavalry unit relying on the their weight and the shock power not on speed. I feel that even GSC fell victim to that assumption making the WH speed more like a light cavalry unit. They were slow and heavy but effective. I do not know why originally in Poland someone called them Hussars in the first place. In Polish they were just called Husarze or Husaria whereas light cavalry Hussars were called Huzarzy and did not exist in Poland until the Napoleonic Wars. Close enough but a completely different type of cavalry.
  4. Nowy

    Nowy Well-Known Member

    However I feel little bit strange question "who was the best", I can cast my answers there.

    A1. Napoleon Bonaparte.
    A2. Polish Winged Hussars
    A3. No one. I prefer generals good strategist and not hot brained bravado while poorer commander as like Ney was
    A4. Napoleon's own ego. There were more men which made lot of troubles for Napoleon and his final collapse, however anyone did this alone.

    If I may add few remarks to your statements I could say that

    1. Suvorow was not the best general withou a doubt.
    He fought mostly against weaker opponents e.g.
    - poorly armed Cossacks and others rebbels
    - poorly equiped Polish insurgents
    - outdated Ottoman and Tatars
    When he fought against equally stong enemy as like French revolutionary armies, he was not so successful and not so brilliant commander. He of course won some battles in Italy, but mainly thanks to Austrian allies big support e.g. at Novi in fact Austrian general Kray won the battle, while Suvorov ordered almost useless repetitive bloody assaults there.
    Later his Russian army was crushed in ill-prepared Swiss coampaign and Tsar kept Suvorov in disgrace.

    Worse that Suvorov allowed his bloody soldiers made many war crimes, when they killed lot od civilians in Ochakiv or Warsaw suburb Prague and other places. Some poeple which know these facts called him simply the "Bloody Butcher". Other people which disliked his weird bahaviours and mimic called him "Old Monkey". Only Russian propaganda made him later a great general.

    He was cruel also for his own soldiers when he ordered crazy and bloody assaults many times.
    So, I could only say that Suvorow was somehow lucky general, becouse he mainly fought against weaker enemies.
    They were sometimes numerous, but big quantity of weaker troops mean nothing against well armed and equiped veterans.

    2. Ney personally was brave man, but not so brillant general. He made many troubles for his soldiers and Napoleon e.g. Jena, Eylau, Portugal, Spain, Russia campaigns. He can fought as a lion, however general should be smarter than lion.
    Do not you mind that he lost much more soldiers almost without any combats on the way to Moscow, than he lost during winter reteat? His ill prepared cavalry charge at Waterloo finally lead to deafeat. His pure bravado was useless there.

    3. Polish Winged Hussars in fact started as light cavalry which in late 16th C wore helmets, armours, took longer lances and more melee weapons. Then became heavy, but still fast cavalry. They still relied on speed, manouvers and repetitive shock charges without a doubt. That's why they ruled battlefields through many, many years. However they became outdated when muskets and artillery fire power became main battle tactics in 18 th century.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
  5. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    I agree that Ney was brave but not a good General (or Marshal). We agree on Winged Hussars. The other items, well, you answers are good answers too. It becomes a matter of opinion.
  6. condor_fly

    condor_fly Administrator Staff Member

    Ukraine Cossacks heading by Hetman Bogdan Khmilnicky was the best army in 17 century [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  7. Nowy

    Nowy Well-Known Member

    Dream your dream, it is nothing bad, but tell us why this the best army did not win any wars at that time?
    They allied with Tatars, Moldavians, Russian, Transylvanian, Swedes, Prussian, Ottoman armies and finally did not win against heavily weakened PLC. They heavily outnumbered Polish or Lithuanian forces many times and can not won e.g. Zamosc, Konstantinov, Zbarz, Zborow, Mozyr, Berestechko, Bela Tserkva, Loew, Kamenets Podoski, Suceva etc.

    Cossacks were defeated many, many times in many battles and finally asked Tsar's, Sultan's or PLC King's protection.
    Why they were the best in 17th century, when they existed only seven years during bloody Khmelnytsky uprising and they finally did not win. They only won some early battles against supprised and seriously outnumbered Polish.
    These Cossacks made lot of war crimes as like killing almost all prisoners of the war at Lvov or after Battle of Batoh.
    So, how they can be the best army in 17th century?
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
  8. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    I'm really worried about those galloping white horses with yellow smiley faces on them. Do they keep galloping after I scroll them off my screen? Do they ever get tired? If a horse gallops in a forest but you don't see it, is it really galloping? What is the sound of one horse not galloping? Is the old frog in the pond ever swallowed by a thirsty horse? These are questions for a Zen master! ;)
  9. Foeurdr

    Foeurdr Moderator Staff Member

    For good commanders of the 17th century I would propose :
    - Spinola which distinguished himself during the Eighty years war (war of independance of the Netherland) and Thirty years war. He died during a campaign from disease.
    - Maurice of Nassau who successfully modified the protestant force and the way to fight. Died during the siege of Breda by Spinola
    - Gustave II Adolphe, he also reformed the army and the bringed new ways of warfare. Died during the battle of Lützen leading a cavalry charge
    - You also have Albrecht von Wallenstein or Bernard of Saxe-Weimar, The Thirty year war saw many good commanders.
    - And for he second part of the 17th century I raise Vauban, master of fortification and siege warfare !
    - Koniecpolski for the PLC.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  10. Daddio

    Daddio Moderator Staff Member

    I feel we are all going a little crazy waiting for the beta to come out!
    Masher, [PR]Ernest and Ftoomsh like this.
  11. Ftoomsh

    Ftoomsh Well-Known Member

    Yes, indeed. Did you see the Zen references?

    "The old pond,
    A frog jumps in.
    Plomp!" - Zen koan

    "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" - Zen riddle.

    "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" - Zen-like philosophical riddle.

    Who was the best? was meant to be a fun non-nationalistic discussion as it never directly mentioned nations.

    Overall, I want to see discussion of the game, nation and unit balance, not arguments about culpability for historical events which occurred many hundreds of years ago. Let it go, people! :)
  12. Nowy

    Nowy Well-Known Member

    Hmm, do you think that it is good call somebody the best, who made a horrible war crimes?
    These way you suggest let it go for these crimes!

    I do not discuss there culability, but it would be good to know something about who was the best and why was the best.
    Somebody who had not impresive achievements in warfare or generalship can not be the best, I suppose.
    Somebody who made horrible war crimes can not be the best !
  13. condor_fly

    condor_fly Administrator Staff Member

    What "cossack's war crimes" are you tolking about?
    lol [​IMG]
    Now get your "proves" about "cossack's war crimes" and send it to the Hague tribunal, and, I have no doubt, your speech about "cossack's war crimes" will be ended in a madhouse [​IMG]
  14. Nowy

    Nowy Well-Known Member

    I already mentioned in this thread two cases. If you want I can add much more, but this not a topic there.
    I asked you why you think that Cossacks army under Bohdan Khmelnytsky was the best in 17th century.
    That was short lived army which made lot of crimes and that is obvious that they were not the best.
    I could show you many armies which were much better at that time.
    For instanse PLC, Swedes, French, Dutch, English, Spanish etc.
  15. From 1632-1718 the Swedish army was outstanding, remember the population at that time was only 2,5 million people, all enemies population was about 30 million at least, and much richer, Swedish domestic regiment were both better and more reliable than mercenaries.
  16. Sorry 1631-1718 is right!
  17. Nowy

    Nowy Well-Known Member

    Hmm, you medley few untrue things there.

    I appreciate Swedish army which was very good killing machine which introduced modern tactics and weapons.
    This army was well trained, suficiently armed, equiped, used modern musketry system, regimental guns and modern organization which other nation soon adopted in own armies. They perforemd very well in many campaigns and wars.

    However their enemies had not so big population as you suggested.
    For instance PLC had 12 mln men, many German states or Denmark had even smaller population than Sweden.
    Swedish army included many nationalities and mercenaries too. There were lot of Germans or Finns etc.
    So, that was not true that all their enemies had about 30 million while Sweden had only 2,5 million.

    What is more Sweden alos lost some wars. Polish army crushed Swedes several times, however at that time Swedes were allied with Prussia, Cossacks or Transylvania while Poland already was seriously weakened and waged wars with Russia or Ottomans. Swedes of course won many battles, but finally during all Nothern Wars they were defeated.

    Do not get my wrong. I appreciate Swedish army and could agree, they were very, very good, but they fough too many wars and final outcome was not good isn't it. Other nations which also fought too many wars or had too many strong enemies also get into troubles.
    [PR]Ernest likes this.
  18. Foeurdr

    Foeurdr Moderator Staff Member

    The swedish were the first to introduce a true national army system if I remember well. With a new way of recruiting men and arming them well despite their limited ressource and where certainly the best armed and trained army of Europe. (Finns are considered part of Sweden so I count them in this idea)
    You can always add mercenary but they don't rely on them as much as most nations.
    All army know setback, I would consider more the number of their achievement than if they ever been defeated or not.

    I add Koniecpolski in my list of really good commanders of the 17th century, he has many achievement against various opponent.
    Nowy likes this.
  19. Furious Peasant

    Furious Peasant Active Member

    Sorry if I sound like a spolier but this thread and the whole discussion is pointless in my opinion.
    "Who was the best?" What makes sombody the best? Why is this and not that the best? Its like comparing aples and pears. One like the one thing more. Others like other things more.

    Is a general the best because he won many battles? Or is the general the best who avoided wars and battles and saved as many lives as possible? It depends on your personal point of view.

    Another example: What makes "Polish winged husars" better units than French Kings musketeers, the Ottman Spahi or Western Europes Cuirassiers and Lanciers Guards? (The polish husars were a copy of the serbian/ hungarian husars and the stradioti who both copied weapons and tactics from the Ottoman cavalry. The word "husar" comes from Hungary not Poland!)

    If you take all the gloryfication and silly patriotism away you will finally realisze that the individual person and not the affinity to a special unit or nation makes the difference.

    If you still disagree whatch this video, he explains it very clear:
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  20. Foeurdr

    Foeurdr Moderator Staff Member

    Sure it's totally pointless but fun nonetheless, it's more "who do you think was a good general or good soldier/army".
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