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Total War: Shogun 2 Heaven » Forums » Total War History » Who was the Greatest Leader in the world?
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Topic Subject:Who was the Greatest Leader in the world?
Baalite
Ashigaru
posted 10-10-12 06:03 AM EDT (US)         
I'm sure this is a topic that has been discussed many a time on these forums, but really does it get old?

Who really was the greatest leader in the world? The are many things to consider, tactical brilliant (such as Hannibal at Cannae), sheer accomplishment (Genghis Khan come to mind), as well as leading by example (like Alexander leading the charge himself). Or is it the ability to rally a people and seize an opportunity (Arminius at Teutoburgerwald)?

Obviously there will always be discussion on the greatest, such a generalised term, but what are your thoughts?

Ask the experienced rather than the learned.
We will either find a way, or make one - Hannibal Barca
Throw your soldiers into positions whence there is no escape, and they will prefer death to flight. If they will face death, there is nothing they may not achieve.
- Sun Tzu

You can get more with a gun and a kind word than you can with just a kind word- Al Capone
AuthorReplies:
Agrippa 271
Ashigaru
posted 10-18-12 03:42 PM EDT (US)     1 / 15       
The problem with this kind of question is that it's so broad of a subject, you can't really cover everyone who deserves to be mentioned. I could bring up guys from the ancient world like Caesar, Hannibal, Scipio Africanus, Alexander, etc, from medieval times, like the Black Prince of England, or from the early Modern Era, like Gustavus Adolphus. And that's not even considering all of the people later on. I'm sure we could list dozens of great leaders in the twentieth century, like Rommel, Patton, Ridgway, MacArthur, etc. And that's just military leaders. What about all the business and religious leaders?

Not trying trash the question completely, but if we're going to discuss this, can we specify this a bit more? Or at least set up some kind of tournament . Actually, that's a good idea....

Death is a (vastly) preferable alternative to communism.
"Idiocy knows no national or cultural borders. Stupidity can strike anyone, anywhere." -- Terikel

[This message has been edited by Agrippa 271 (edited 10-18-2012 @ 03:43 PM).]

Baalite
Ashigaru
posted 10-20-12 07:26 AM EDT (US)     2 / 15       
A tournament? How would that work?

Ask the experienced rather than the learned.
We will either find a way, or make one - Hannibal Barca
Throw your soldiers into positions whence there is no escape, and they will prefer death to flight. If they will face death, there is nothing they may not achieve.
- Sun Tzu

You can get more with a gun and a kind word than you can with just a kind word- Al Capone
Scenter102
Ashigaru
posted 10-20-12 08:13 AM EDT (US)     3 / 15       
I think agrippa means that everyone would nominate a leader in two divisions, one for military leaders, like Rommel and Ceaser, the other for cultural leaders like Mother Theresea and Josef Stalin.

Then every nomination would be paired with another nominee, which forummers could debate and then vote.

And then it would progress to another stage in a tournement fashion.
Agrippa 271
Ashigaru
posted 10-20-12 05:12 PM EDT (US)     4 / 15       
Ok let's get this straight, Stalin was not a cultural leader. He was a mass-murdering dictator along the same lines as Hitler, who brought Russia to a new low on the places-I-would-not-want-to-live scale. Not trying to be a jerk here, but do not mention Stalin in the same sentence as Mother Theresa without pointing out that he should spend eternity being put through the bloody eagle by a bunch of angry Vikings. If you ever read a biography about him that had access to the Soviet Archives, you will know what I am talking about.

I just want you to know that before you say it where people are less understanding. His....evilness/tyranny/extremely unpleasant to discuss exploits are less well-documented compared to Hitler. And less well known.

/rant

Other than that, yes, you are right. Something along those lines. We should probably limit ourselves to one time period for each round, or something like that.

Death is a (vastly) preferable alternative to communism.
"Idiocy knows no national or cultural borders. Stupidity can strike anyone, anywhere." -- Terikel
srlj3721
Ashigaru
posted 10-22-12 06:21 AM EDT (US)     5 / 15       
Not trying to excuse what Stalin or Hitler did but think how did they get to power? someone thought they must have been talking sense.(well i guess hitlers party was the democrtic solisalist workers party-ironic no?)

plus Stalin would qualify as a cultural leader as he was dictator/ruler/commusnist party head(honestly i have no idea) and led his country for quite a while and i dont think he was spesficly assosiated with the milatry

Again i know he was a mass-murdering evil tyrant


but the tornament idea is a good one

Rome 2 is coming
celebrate with this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZIPeGN7CPQ
Pitt
Daimyo
posted 10-22-12 08:19 AM EDT (US)     6 / 15       
The name of Hitler's party was the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers' Party). It was hostile to democracy and the Weimar Republic's system of government. The name was meaningless however: the NSDAP was virulently anti-communist and hostile to unions, sought and received donations from industrialists, and first came to government with the support of other right wing parties in the Reichstag.

"Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French." - P.G. Wodehouse, The Luck of the Bodkins

[This message has been edited by Pitt (edited 10-22-2012 @ 10:01 AM).]

Agrippa 271
Ashigaru
posted 10-22-12 03:18 PM EDT (US)     7 / 15       
I could go into a huge argument about how the Nazis didn't like communism and unions because of their nationalist ideologies, but I'm pretty sure Pitt already knows what I would say, so I'm not gonna kick a dead horse.

Hitler was very charismatic (sadly), and Stalin....was a pragmatic bastard. Among many other things.

I don't call Stalin a cultural leader mostly because he was a political leader first and foremost. Granted, he did change a lot of the USSR's culture, but that was for political purposes. Stalin could be best described, in my opinion, as a power-monger.

Death is a (vastly) preferable alternative to communism.
"Idiocy knows no national or cultural borders. Stupidity can strike anyone, anywhere." -- Terikel
Pitt
Daimyo
posted 10-22-12 09:02 PM EDT (US)     8 / 15       
I could go into a huge argument about how the Nazis didn't like communism and unions because of their nationalist ideologies, but I'm pretty sure Pitt already knows what I would say, so I'm not gonna kick a dead horse.
I suspect that you'd trot out Jonah Goldberg again. And I know that the overwhelming consensus of actual historians and academics is that his book is horse manure.

But I'd agree with your statement above if it's construed narrowly - to the extent that they had an ideology, Nazis were nationalists (and racialists) above all, and everybody who disagreed with them was a traitor to the Fatherland and the German people.

Between Stalin and Hitler there's not much to choose; people can quibble over who killed more, about whether mass murder is worse if it's motivated by racism or by semi-communist ideology, but they were both utter bastards who inflicted untold misery upon millions of people. Stalin was on our side in the war (at least after 1941), and he mostly killed his own people and Germans, so his crimes have slightly less resonance with much of the west.

"Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French." - P.G. Wodehouse, The Luck of the Bodkins

[This message has been edited by Pitt (edited 10-22-2012 @ 09:06 PM).]

Agrippa 271
Ashigaru
posted 10-23-12 05:08 AM EDT (US)     9 / 15       
Between Stalin and Hitler there's not much to choose; people can quibble over who killed more, about whether mass murder is worse if it's motivated by racism or by semi-communist ideology, but they were both utter bastards who inflicted untold misery upon millions of people. Stalin was on our side in the war (at least after 1941), and he mostly killed his own people and Germans, so his crimes have slightly less resonance with much of the west.
Yep. That's pretty much it, but in far more eloquent terms than I could put it

Death is a (vastly) preferable alternative to communism.
"Idiocy knows no national or cultural borders. Stupidity can strike anyone, anywhere." -- Terikel
Feliks
Ashigaru
(id: Joshooarh)
posted 10-23-12 01:16 PM EDT (US)     10 / 15       
I read a book on Stalin when I was in school (probably around age twelve / thirteen). I can't remember the name of it, but it only covered his life whilst leading the USSR and it was really rather brief, which was thankful because it was the most incredibly biased piece of writing I have ever read and I read it at a time when I had no other information with which to question it. It basically focused on the good that Stalin did for the country whilst in a beautifully PC and nice for children to read manner - left out practically every initiative that ended in death for anyone.

Needless to say, I wasn't actually told to read from this book; I just found it in the library one day. It probably deserves to be burnt.

[This message has been edited by Felix36 (edited 10-23-2012 @ 01:17 PM).]

Agrippa 271
Ashigaru
posted 10-23-12 03:35 PM EDT (US)     11 / 15       
Well, the biography I read on him was biased too, but the author had access to the old Soviet archives...

Death is a (vastly) preferable alternative to communism.
"Idiocy knows no national or cultural borders. Stupidity can strike anyone, anywhere." -- Terikel

[This message has been edited by Agrippa 271 (edited 10-24-2012 @ 06:26 AM).]

Earl Scruffles
Ashigaru
(id: generalscruff)
posted 11-20-12 03:09 PM EDT (US)     12 / 15       
My personal favourite will always be Alfred the Great, but his achievements are different to that of the all-mighty conqueror. It's a very subjective question

But I won't go to England due to the prescence of scruffy in shottingham. - Scenter102
This is Scruff we are talking about. I can't think of anything I don't see Scruff doing just for the hell of it. - Agrippa 271
The cake was made by Scruffy and it was... a rude shape. - Liam
monkey in a suit on a cycle - Scenter102 describing Scruffy
Awesome Eagle
Spear of Mars
(id: awesomated88)
posted 11-20-12 03:49 PM EDT (US)     13 / 15       
My favourites would have to be the usuals;
Trajan, Augustus, Julius Ceaser, Alexander the Great.....

There can be no ONE greatest leader, but there can be a group of people who had ability and drive to be great leaders and used those talents to further their aims.

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it- George Santayana
History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are- David C. McCullough
Wars not make one great- Yoda
ShieldWall
Ashigaru
posted 11-21-12 07:32 AM EDT (US)     14 / 15       
Alfred the Great is an interesting addition. He defended Wessex and kept Anglo-Saxon England alive for a couple more centuries. It was a close run thing as Wessex was almost overrun at one point, but ultimately his method of combating the Danes by building fortified towns, or burhs, severely dented their ability to complete a conquest and at the same time gave him and his successors a very firm base from which to launch campaigns of their own, and these ultimately reclaimed England. Yet his achievements go far beyond political survival, he was a very learned man and had quite a profound impact on the British legal and political system, laying the foundations for what has been exported to many corners of the world.
Average Citizen
Ashigaru
posted 11-23-12 03:06 PM EDT (US)     15 / 15       
Scipio Africanus (On and off the field), Atilla the hun, Surovov, Zhukov, Cyrus the great, Hannibal (Barca), Pagondas (Inventer of battlefield tactics), Phyruss of greece (heh), Edward IV (War of roses, France), Khan, Alexander, Napoleon. But seriously, Surovov was pretty legendary.
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