Second, John Churchill held together the Grand Alliance of England, Holland and Austria during the long years of the War of the Spanish succession. IN WORLD WAR 1 IT WAS HE WHO RAISED THE LARGEST ARMY BRITAIN HAD EVER SEEN, WHICH EVENTUALLY LED TO VICTORY. No. You might have seen 14th Army soldiers wearing slouch hats and taken them for antipodeans but theyre most likely British. the RAF as pilots. Great Britain has a long, storied military history. They arrived just too late. While others relied more heavily on the outdated cavalry, he embraced the tank, enlarged the artillery and, in the final campaign of the war, oversaw the biggest victory ever achieved by Britain in any war in the Hundred Days Offensive, on a scale of men involved and territory fought in. If you look at all the Wars of National Survival that Britain have been through in the last Millennium, the one that in many ways is the most important is the War against Napoleon, the French Emperor. He achieved some success which appeared to be a watershed, only to be given the boot because of Churchills whimsy. About Wellington: All five are certainly worthy of consideration, but for me John Churchill had the perfect balance of tactical awareness, strategy thinking, decisiveness of action and care and consideration for those who served under him. He fought in Burma and India in a very different way to that of most other British Generals of the Second World War and indeed of most other British Generals of all time. Cromwell was a dictatorial thug! Its impossible to say that a Corps Commander was better than an army command because the Corps commander didnt have to deal with the level of responsibility the Army Commander did and the high up in the chain or command you get the more difficult the job becomes. All but one returned alive and in one piece from the war. Love him or loathe him, Cromwell's claim to greatness and his unique rise to become head of state was based firmly upon his soldiering career. Clive of India, as is his most famous name, was the man most responsible for the conquest of India by the British Empire. I WOULD DEFINITELY ADD KITCHENER AND GARNET WOLSELEY. An Admiral could not do the same job as a General nor could a General do the same job as an Admiral, as such you cannot compare Admirals to Generals simply because the skills required for their jobs are almost totally different. FM Haig has been given a bad deal since the post-WW2 period. He was one of the few commanders to come out of the Battle of France with his reputation enhanced. It also surprised his bosses in New Delhi and London, who were taken aback at the remarkable success of this remarkable man.". The United Kingdom is made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. To do this he took huge logistical and operational risks, he attacked the enemy where the enemy was weakest rather than at his strongest point, he surprised the enemy and he sought to use subtlety and guile in a very powerful and new way. Building on this experience, in 1918 the armies under Haig's command achieved the most sustained and decisive series of victors over the enemy ever achieved by British forces. Monty should not even be on this list. He showed capability in both strategy and tactics and, much like Rawlinson, he became a pioneer of modern warfare with his victory at Megiddo being considered the precursor of Blitzkrieg. Eery British General of WW2 is in Montys shadow but when one looks past that shadow people do get the credit they deserve. Thanks for that. The National Army Museum has conducted an online poll to find the top British general of all time. He gave financial support to T.E. He went on to overrun the whole of the Spanish Netherlands, what we know today as Belgium, in just a few short weeks.". By the way, Allenby wasnt moved to the Middle East after feuding with Haig despite having distinguished himself in combat. I have great confidence in him as a combat commander. He is intelligent, a good talker, and has a flare for showmanship., Highly rated American Historian Carlo DEste wrote: Overall, historians have been unkind to Montgomerythese judgments are mostly superficial and as often as not, wrong. Haig commanded the largest army ever to be put in the field by the British Empire, in the principal theatre, for three years. Without him we would not have had Hong Kong, or kept intact half our empire. North Africa was poorly supplied, poorly staffed and the Auk did what he could under exceptionally straightened circumstances. The British Isles consist of two large islands, Great Britain and Ireland, and about five thousand small islands. What are the criteria? To help you make the best choice among the hundreds of products available, we have decided to offer you a comparison of the General British History in order to find the best quality/price ratio. The Muslims beseiged Khartoum for almost a year and General Charles Gordon repelled these vastly superior numbers all this time. He had proven himself to be an effective commander of troops when he was commander of the II Corps of the BEF in the Battle of France but he would prove his worth far greater as the Chief of the Imperial General Staff. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. The war escalated in unprecedented destructive power and methods of delivering death and new methods of neutralizing any enemy advantage and creating new advantages had to be constantly revised. He showed the future of battlefield tactics and for that he makes my list. WOLSELEY FOUGHT ON CANADA ,INDIA, WEST AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST.. This made Clive famous and led to the British being able to equalize power between them and the French in the region, an equality that only lasted until Clives absence when the French retook power. It ranks above lieutenant-general and below field marshal which is now only awarded as an honorary rank. The British Isles have a rich history going back thousands of years. While these Generals dined grandly in safety planning and playing at war. Nothing like it had been seen before and there was no formal training for commanding such a large army and its demands. Who is the greater general, the one who win 25 out of 25 battles or the one who wins 145 out of 150 battles ? He should be number 1. Unfortunately few of us in Britain really know much about our history. Everyone has heard of the phrase Lions led by donkeys which was supposedly said by an anonymous German general. I also accept that maybe some of these unfortunate Generals contributed (eventually) to the allied victory but to put laud them as some of our very best? It comprises the whole of the island of Great Britainwhich contains England, Wales, and Scotlandas well as the northern portion of the island of Ireland. Wingate in particular deserves a listing there was, and still is in some sections, inbuilt prejudice against anything special or non conventional in the British Army. The defence of World War 1 generals is just plain wrong. The one gt uncle who was killed died on 3rd May 1917, at Roeux, Arras (3rd Battle of the Scarpe) with the 8th Black Watch, 9th Scottish Division. Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide. Has he no champions? Horrocks and Wingate do qualify there is nothing that says they had to be army commanders rather than generals. Dave, London, Best guerrilla fighter - William Wallace.Edward O'Neil, Whitburn, West Lothian, Cromwell set the standard for a modern army on which all armies are now modelled. Orde Wingate then a Brigadier, who organized the Chindits under Slims Burma campaign. There is very little between Wellington and Marlborough. A Brief History of Great Britain narrates the history of Great Britain from the earliest times to the 21st century, covering the entire island England, Wales, and Scotland as well as associated archipelagos such as the Channel Islands, the Orkneys, and Ireland as they have influenced British history. Britain has to give most empires independence due to the low inclination and wealth to maintain an empire. My Grandfather fought at Imphal as a private and would never, ever hear a bad word about "Uncle Bill".Mike Thomas, High Wycombe, UK, The BBC may edit your comments and not all emails will be published. In fact no official units IIRC, just some individuals who found themselves serving in (e.g.) Finally, John Churchill's tactical triumph on Whit Sunday 1706, when he defeated the French army at Ramillies, demonstrated his own brilliance in the field. British History section of the BBC History website. He later in life admitted he just liked the sound of it and had made it up. Great Britain, island lying off the western coast of Europe and consisting of England, Scotland, and Wales. He never 3. He only lost one major engagement in the entire war Market Garden and played a major role in the successful execution of Overlord and the defeat of the Ardennes Offensive. His record of success is greater than any other general of his era except Aleksandr Suvorov. As CIGS, he was responsible for deciding what theatre got what in terms of manpower and logistics, and for choosing the commanders of the various theatres and armies. Great Britain became an island about 8000 years ago. A great General must now be measured by his ability to adapt to the theatre of war as it changes through the ages, the ability to keep the men under his control as safe as reasonably possible and ultimately his success in battle (preferably a speedy victory). The 100 Best English and British History Books provides a reading list for those serious about history. The Muslims killed him, stripped him naked, defiled his body, caeved his head off and plaved it on a spike. I agree wholeheartedly with Steven Scots post. I personally think that the only thing he needs is a strong immediate commander. No mean feat and without that spirit and model leadership, India may very well have fallen, putting an entirely different blush on the eventual outcome. I had guessed at Clive, Wellington and Montgomery but forgotten the others. Top 10 British Generals, 1700 1945 1. Privacy Policy | TopTenz T-Shirts | Sponsors. Haig knew that and with his commanders tried again and again to introduce new approaches to battle tactics, techniques and weapons. He had a grasp of both the immediate and wider strategic details, and was a master of maneuver and tactics. His ability to maintain good relations with political elements in the UK as well as in Spain and Portugal ensured that he was never undermined for non-military reasons. While undoubtedly a daring and skilled tactician and a competent organizer, perhaps Clives greatest strength was his mastery of politics. Find the top 100 most popular items in Amazon Books Best Sellers. Local elections: The party leader interviews. Dickens novels such as Oliver Twist often focused on poor people, and his He was inventive with both tactical and strategic operations while not being reckless, and he held down significant numbers of Japanese troops which otherwise could have been used to oppose American operations in New Guinea, the Philippines, Iwo Jimo and Okinawa. Some worked and some didnt, but in the end, the learning curves and evolved training, experience and intelligent use of new weapons all led to the events of 8th August 1918. Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide. As for the Auk, he may have had some success in the Desert but he picked poor army commanders Ritchie in particular was chosen just to be his mouthpiece and failed to conduct a coordinated defence against Rommel at any stage prior to 1st El Alamein and even 1st El Alamein was muddled affair where much went wrong. The Discover unique things to do, places to eat, and sights to see in the best destinations around the world with Bring Me! Napoleon won far more major battles than both of them combined, he did lose battles (always heavily outnumered) but claiming his record is worse than Wellingtons and Suvorovs is more than debatable. Funny .. It was not a detailed assessment but few Top Ten lists are. What's the best general history of religion in the United States? He then marched through the middle of the Nawabs camp to break a siege where the enemy had 40,000 cavalry, 60,000 infantry and 30 cannons. The Americans did not like him because he was right and it is they that have blackened his name. And if the portrayal of Haig here was, as you put it, the revisionist 1960s version then he surely would not have been in the list at all because, as your said, Haigs reputation as a capable commander was destroyed in the 1960s. His record of success is greater than any other general of his era except Aleksandr Suvorov.. Really? United Kingdom, island country located off the northwestern coast of mainland Europe. The problem is, Haig was CEO and as it is in any large corporation, lack of success leads to criticism and/or dismissal of the CEO. Peter Snow is a retired BBC TV presenter and author of At War With Wellington. Yet despite the failures of the Somme, Rawlinson was a visionary. IN SOUTH AFRICA HE WAGED A SUCCESS COUNTER INSURGENCY WAR AGAINST THE bOERS. Id rank him good rather than great, if only for his lackluster performance in France in 44, but youre absolutely right about his personality causing so many problems. From Mary Beard on Ancient Rome to tales of Soviet espionage, delve into the past with these recently published works Lawrence. Top 10 Shockingly Rich Celebrities & Their Net Worth, 10 Awesome Greek Gods Youve Never Heard Of. After the battle of Waterloo he said: "Next to a battle lost the deepest misery is a battle won.". Wellington however set the Standard off tactics and battle which all modern commanders still copy and learn from.Chris, Auckland, NZ, It is difficult because they come from different fighting eras. Was it tens of thousands of young men or hundreds of thousands? England and Wales were formally united in 1536. I would put Brooke above Monty. It was Alanbrooke who insisted that the Mediterranean was cleared for Allied shipping before any invasion of continental Europe took place, it was he who demanded that the Italians be knocked out of the war before an invasion of France took place, and finally it was he who insisted that the northern, cross-channel invasion of France received full support and that nothing be transferred to southern France. hide. The term is often used as a synonym for the United Kingdom, which also includes Northern Ireland and a number of offshore Field Marshal Lord Alanbrooke a supremely capable general called Monty the best tactical general Britain had since Wellington but bemoaned the fact that Monty was completely ignorant of politics and almost incapable of dealing with others of a similar rank. In his detailed plans he planned for only modest goals keeping in mind the weather and terrain involved and the morale of his men then trained his men thoroughly for the task he had set them. Unlike Hannibal, I sought to use data to determine a generals abilities, rather than specific accounts of generals achievements. 5 comments. And as you will discover, the best General British History are not always the ones at the highest prices! Left-wing figures like AJP Taylor and Joan (Oh ! With Simon Schama, Michael Kitchen, Samuel West, Lindsay Duncan. They knew that he was going to win the next battle. As for Allenby, I understand that he was re-assigned after his Third Army suffered what was considered exceedingly heavy losses at Arras, after initial gains. Im not arguing that Wingate wasnt a uniquely inspired man who did something very unauthodox to the British system and did it very well but the contribution of his Chindits did not outweight the contribution of the 14th Army, and Bill Slim was far more important to the victory in that theater than Wingate. Wolfe only really had one independent command and while that was Quebec his part in it gets caught up in the romantic iconography of him dying as he won the battle. Willing but unskilled and not fully trained by mid 1916, Haigs training period for his new armies was squeezed by the pleas of the French suffering at Verdun. The German generals who stage-managed Verdun, say, dont get anywhere near the hatred Haig and French endure. Montgomery is another controversial figure of history, with his legacy caught up in nationalistic arguments and his less flamboyant command style overshadowed by the Blitzkriegs of the day. When it comes to understanding the history of England, it's often difficult to know when you should be using the terms 'England' or 'Britain'. or Arthur Wellesley 1 st Duke of Wellington. Discover the best Great Britain History in Best Sellers. Wellesley won the Peninsular War. The ice melted and the sea level rose. Up there with Caesar and Napoleon (with whom he had a lot in common).Sean Lang, Cambridge, UK, Bill Slim for me. Made up of modern works, it covers English and British history from the medieval period to the early modern and modern period. In 1918, the American General John Pershing, remarked that Haig was the man who won the war. He was not good at communicating his plans or intentions to subordinates or superiors and it is little wonder that he lost the trust of the 8th, Alanbrooke and Churchill when he couldnt even make his corps and division commanders aware the role they were supposed to play. Horrocks was a superb tactical general, hidden by Montys shadow in many respects, and he deserves recognition (though I may be stretching it to ask for him to be included). He quickly gained the respect of the troops of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force by moving his HQ to a position closer to the front, visiting the troops regularly in the frontlines, reorganizing the EEF into an effective Corps system and imposing discipline and professionalism on the whole command. Take a chronological journey through the key periods in England's past, and discover how the changes that the country has seen can be traced through English Heritage's sites. Wingate, by my assesment, falls into the same category as Robert Baden-Powell, and T.E. The war did not stand still and what was tried last time may not work next time. His skill as a general allowed the English to hang on in France longer than they had any right to.Mike, Oxfordshire, UK, These are all relatively modern - what about Henry V? He tried to outwit the enemy and dislocate him mentally, rather than trying to overcome him by force alone. Brian Horrocks commander of XXX Corps who as a battalion commander covered the Dunkirk rettreat and as corp commander was responsible for commanding ground forces in the ill-fated Market Garden operation but a very practical, truly human leader who deeply cared for his men and the plight of civilians. However Haig did accomplish a few positive things as well. Haig was the commander of British forces that saw the greatest series of victories in the British army. BuzzFeed As Is Something for He wasnt a foolproof genius. A comprehensive historical survey of the British Isles. Strangely enough, I had 7 grandfathers and great uncles who all went to the Western Front of whom one uncle received the MC with the Royal Warwicks, a granddad and gt uncle were in the 51st Highland Division, a granddad was in the 52nd Lowland Division, a gt uncle was in the 9th Scottish Division, a gt uncle was in the RAMC and another was in the REs. Who could be ? Is he out of fashion as the butcher Haig is now in? The result is a system for ranking every prominent commander in military history. The General Strike of 1926 and the worsening economy led to radical political changes, and women were granted the same universal suffrage as men (from age 21 instead of previously 30) in 1928. History is one of the most important topics to study, and we've found the best history books to read right now. Thirdly, in holding together the Grand Alliance, he established Great Britain as a major power for the first time both in Europe and the wider world. The Duke of Wellington was outstanding in everything he did. The Commonwealth of Nations was formed to join the new states. (chronological)Joshua: Joshua was an ancient Israelite commander and Moses successor. reviewing THE LIST I WOULD ELIMINATE Rawlinson AND PLUMER. However, over the months, the Tommies gained experience and improved. Monty should be on he was a great general and your comments about him were spot on. What happened in Britain: The World: 700,000 BC: People migrate to 'Britain' from Europe. Everything he did was based on ensuring that his men came first. going to a famous blogger if you arent already Cheers! His victory at Amiens called the Black Day of the German Army by Erich Luddendorf was the first battle in history where the efforts of infantry was closely supported by mass artillery bombardment, mass cavalry charges, mass armored advance and aerial support. During that war he had learned contempt for the established higher command and, on the Western Front, it was this contempt that saw him replaced by Byng after feuding with Haig despite having distinguished himself in combat. For Before he arrived there were localized groups of armed troops defending commercial interests of the European nations, and he received his first taste of warfare in the First Carnatic War. 130,000 BC: Neanderthal Britain The dominate human species is Neanderthal. He loves the limelight but in seeking it, it is possible that he does so only because of the effect upon his own soldiers, who are certainly devoted to him. The whole of Britain natiowide was in uproar and demanded parliament send him reinforcements. Meanwhile, Clive had but 540 British Infantry, 600 British Sailors, 800 Sepoys, 14 field guns and no cavalry. Claiming Foch played a little part in it is kind of pushing it in a biased way, he was essential for the dynamic of the Allied strategy towards the end of the war. Liked it? He was instrumental in establishing a new nationwide ex-servicemen's welfare organisation, the British Legion, 1918-28.". Historians on the other hand however have been robustly defending Haig since the 1980s. Perhaps the referance to the Lions led by Donkeys phrase threw you but the entry on Haig in this list does not portray him as the Butcher that his greatest critics do. His 14thArmy was an amalgamation of British, Australian, New Zealanders, Indian and African troops, yet he fostered a spirit of unity within them that wasunequaledby any other army of the war. Great Britain is an island located within the British Isles and it is the ninth-largest island in the world and the largest in Europe. Take a second to support Toptenz.net on Patreon! Had the generals been better organised and more caring with regards to our young soldiers casualties would have been reduced significantly. Robert Lyman, a former army officer, is a military historian and biographer of Bill Slim. "There are now more biographies on Oliver Cromwell than almost any other Englishman, with more than 30 appearing in the 20th century alone. The Making of Modern Britain and A History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr provide, in my opinion, the best general history of Britain in the 20th century. Furthermore the confusion that reigned in the 8th army, the failure of the Auk stamp his personality upon the 8th, the failure of his hand picked army commanders to do the job and the desperate political situation at home of the need for a decisive victory over the Germans for British morale and prestiege before the Americans got involved meant that Auk was far from fired on a whim, and had it just been a whim Alanbrooke would not have allowed it. Of our fighting youth been lost at Kings College Department of War Studies with special Robustly defending Haig since the 1980s ve never heard of, but i thought this post was. Naked, defiled his body, caeved his head off and plaved it on spike. 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