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 Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders

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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Thu 14 Jun 2012, 12:43

The idea of this thread is to get about 10 nominees or so from which (Nordman, of course) can devise and present to you a poll on which to vote.

Not my first idea for the topic but developed when I got to thinking about how many there were. Names put forward for the poll may also be justified further when you get to vote..... we might even later get a poll of lousy statesmen who were successful mi......etc....... and even a poll on those who were lousy at both!

So into the poll-broth I hurl such onions as J. Caesar, Duke of Wellington and Ike. Please nominate other contenders - not neccesarily the ones you will vote for but we need names to make a poll interesting.
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Thu 14 Jun 2012, 22:53

I think Alexander the Great would fit, though was his statemanship as good as his generalship?
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Fri 15 Jun 2012, 04:30

Gaius Marius would qualify. Great general, commander and Consul an unprecedented three times. Particularly because he wasn't from the Roman aristocracy, although he did have to marry into the Julii to achieve the push up the political ladder.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Fri 15 Jun 2012, 09:38

Must be many others - Washington but not De Gaulle - can't think of any great military leadership of his despite the hype and his array of medals and awards.

Of course there are many coup d'etat leaders who may have made good otherwise - nothing springing to mind 'tho. Caesar may come into that as does Alexander. Whose statesmanship I question. Conquer , crucify then do as I say kind of leadership - well in Tyre, anyway, may be some people's idea of best but not mine. Depends who they are bettering, I suppose.

Come on folks, there must be some more generals due for an airing.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Fri 15 Jun 2012, 10:19

Napoleon - although like Alexander and Caesar, his was more of a self-serving, self-aggrandising type of statesmanship.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Fri 15 Jun 2012, 10:37

How about Ghengis Kahn? Not only a brutal conqueror but was also founder of the Mogul Empire, unified the tribes, religiously tolerant and responsible for bringing the Silk Road under a stable political enviroment, thus increasing trade between East and West.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Genghis_Khan_empire-en.svg


Last edited by Islanddawn on Fri 15 Jun 2012, 20:11; edited 1 time in total
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Fri 15 Jun 2012, 11:36

er any one for Stalin?
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Fri 15 Jun 2012, 11:45

Stalin? Hmmm a war-time military leader in the way one could say Churchill was, but he wasn't actually a field commander. And his purges of the Red Army before the war stripped the army of such huge swathes of experienced officers that when the Germans invaded, the Russian forces were constantly out-manoevered and could do little but retreat or surrender in their thousands and indeed tens of thousands. So not IMHO a very good military leader.


Last edited by Meles meles on Fri 15 Jun 2012, 19:51; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Didn't express myself very clearly)
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Fri 15 Jun 2012, 11:50

Thanks mels for that. I had wondered.

Right then whose for Oliver Cromwell? And I would go als for the chap who led Formosa if could even begin to spell his name......Chiang.....whatever
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Fri 15 Jun 2012, 12:50

Edward of March was a brilliant general - even as a *teenager* he showed himself to be a clever strategist.

When he became king he also proved to be a shrewd statesman. As Edward IV he negotiated successfully with the French: he persuaded the canny Louis XI, the infamous Spider King, to pay him a huge cash sum *and* a guaranteed, regular pension as well, in exchange for Edward's promise that he would go away and *stay* away - keep to his English side of the Narrow Sea.

Edward also managed to get the tiresome Scots to agree to a fifteen-year truce. (Don't know how long it lasted though.)

A superb soldier, a clever and successful statesman - and also a very popular king.
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Fri 15 Jun 2012, 13:29

Ulysses S Grant, military commander of the Federal forces at the end of the American Civil War and twice elected President of the United States.

His Administration came in for a lot of [justified] criticism regarding nepotism and corruption. Grant himself was a supporter of Civil Rights for both African Americans and Native Americans, and used the Army to crush the Ku Klux Klan. He also introduced the Fifteenth Amendment giving the vote to former slaves as well as the Naturalistion Act of 1870 allowing people of African descent to become US citizens.

The Department of Justice was also formed during Grant's Presidency.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Fri 15 Jun 2012, 19:28

How about Frederick the Great, King of Prussia ?

He was certainly an excellent general who, on ascending to the throne immediately led the Prussian armies in attacking Austria and conquering Silesia - and he continued to expand Prussian territories militarily, and supported by canny international diplomacy, virtually until his death. At the same time he successfully reorganised the Prussian army, and modernised the Prussian civil service and legal systems. He reigned as an “enlightened absolute” monarch but promoted religious tolerance throughout his kingdom and conquered territories. He was also a great patron of the arts and of philosophy (he was a close friend of Voltaire). He also apparently liked to compose flute music.
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The Man From Devana
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Fri 15 Jun 2012, 20:07

@Priscilla wrote:
Thanks mels for that. I had wondered.

Right then whose for Oliver Cromwell? And I would go also for the chap who led Formosa if could even begin to spell his name......Chiang.....whatever

Chiang Kai-Shek
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Gran
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Sat 16 Jun 2012, 07:54

I will not promote him as best, but I suppose there is always Eisenhower., and I will go along with Edward IV.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Sat 16 Jun 2012, 10:36

Eisenhower had an appealing side to his character. As president of Columbia University, an honorary post which he nevertheless took seriously, he assumed responsibility for the day to day logistics of administration. Delighted at last to have a "leader" who knew how to get things done, the gardeners approached him one day with a long-standing complaint that the students were completely ignoring the "Keep off the grass" signs and had worn a diagonal path of bare earth across the campus green area. They asked the architect of Operation Torch and the D-Day landings how best to ensure that this could at last be stopped for once and for all. Eisenhower's response: "Pave the bloody path!"

And for Rockwell admirers:

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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Sat 16 Jun 2012, 11:22

MM but Edward IV started on the finishing line - king - and for this reason I did not put Charlemagne on my list. Perhaps being super hyperactive before and after counts as statesmanship - and accidently becoming crowned emporer with it - neat.
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Vizzer
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Sat 16 Jun 2012, 12:08

The thing about Dwight Eisenhower is that he was a military staff officer par excellence. He never saw action himself in either the First World War or the Second World War and never commanded an army in the field. He was a consummate politicians' soldier.

This contrasts markedly with his contemporary Douglas MacArthur who saw plenty of action and field command in the Philippines, in Mexico, in France during the First World War, in the Pacific during the Second World War and in Korea. He was unquestionably a soldiers' soldier and was mistrusted by civilian politicians.

Is there a moral in there somewhere?
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alantomes
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Thu 21 Jun 2012, 20:10

Marlborough springs to mind. He would probably have gone further if his wife hadn't fallen out with Queen Anne.

A comment on MacArthur "he wasm istrusted by civilian politicians". This probably arose from the brutality he shewed in repressing US civilians during the depression. I believe he quite brutally put down a meeting of farmers?

Regards...................Alan
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Wed 27 Jun 2012, 14:48

According to AJP Taylor, Michael Collins was shaping up to be on this list having ticked all the boxes which according to Taylor designate a leader who can successfully migrate from military to civil life, though his assassination meant that we will never now know just how influential or effective a politician in the fledgling Irish Free State he may have become.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Thu 28 Jun 2012, 23:58

Without doing a wikki lookup, it is about time that I mentioned Ashoka of India circa 200 BC at a guess. Ashoka was the Hitler of his day as he overran everything in his path in all directions with wanton cruelty and merciless rampage. Then, one day when happening upon the results of his latest massacre he was so sickened that he had a 'road to Damascas' moment and renounced warfare. Thereafter he became a Bhuddist with nothing but peace, harmony goodwill and good works on his mind. His people quickly took to Bhuddism - well they would wouldn't they, given his fearsome reputation re the opposition. However, He never wavered in his new, improved attitude and the people and his new found religion thrived. Pity Hitler didn't suddenly become a Seventh Day Adventist or similar. Now I had bette look him up because he was a most interesting man.
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Fri 29 Jun 2012, 10:48

I've been neglecting this forum (for which I apologise) so I missed this one! I see Oliver Cromwell has been taken, so I'll nominate two more:

Edward III, one of England's greatest monarchs and a formidable soldier (Sluys and Crecy being the most famous victories). He had a highly successful reign, raising Parliament's status and stabilising the country after the problems his parents created. Furthermore, his wars against France were as much about protecting his existing French lands and subjects, and those of his continental allies, as pursuing his own claim to the French throne.

Also, the Emperor Vespasian. Showed himself a first rate commander, first as Legate of the Second Augustan, then as General during the Jewish Revolt and the Year of the Four Emperors. Had a shaky start to his political career, true, but rose to become Emperor, succeeded in bringing Rome out of the chaos of the civil wars that followed Nero's death and led a successful and stable period in office. He had a sense of humour and didn't take himself too seriously... and fell asleep during one of Nero's recitals, which definitely earns his laudes in my book! His son, Titus, looked destined for great things if his career hadn't been cut so short. It's a pity Domitian stained the Flavian dynasty's legacy.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Sat 30 Jun 2012, 00:09

AN, an aside - fill me in here. Was Domitian one of the Domitii family- Ahenobarbus and that lot? If so they were ever a pain when and whereever they were. Nothing but trouble once they had a mind to take charge. I suppose there are families throughout history who could be said to have been the same. Might make an interesting topic.
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Giraffe
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Sat 30 Jun 2012, 18:52

I think the definition of 'successful military leaders' has been stretched a bit here!
Stalin? Murdered his best generals, and sometimes played the others off against one another, for politics.
Chaing Kai-Shek? Roundly beaten by the Japanese, and then by the communists. Kept in power only by the US Navy in that little pond between him and Mao.
Washington? A great leader, but hardly a great soldier. Often out-manoeuvred by very average Brits.
Eisenhower? A great politician, appointed to oversee great soldiers, and stop them fighting each other, instead of the Germans.

Edward, etc, had the advantage of starting out as kings, so they were both soldier and statesman from the outset.

I'd have to go for Genghis and Napoleon, who started form humble beginnings, fought their way to the top, and having got there,
dealt with kings and leaders as though they had been born to it. (and born to it with a nasty streak, perhaps?)
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Anglo-Norman
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PostSubject: Re: Best Statesmen who had been successful military leaders   Sat 30 Jun 2012, 19:20

@Priscilla wrote:
AN, an aside - fill me in here. Was Domitian one of the Domitii family- Ahenobarbus and that lot?

To the best of my knowledge there was no link. Domitian was Titus Flavius Domitianus, so 'Domitianus' was his cognomen (nickname/personal name) whereas with the Domitii, Domitius was the nomen (family name). I assume 'Domitianus' was derived from his mother, Flavia Domitilla (who also had no link to the Domitii, so far as I know).
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