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Old 05-28-2019, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
8,079 posts, read 2,816,523 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Gringo View Post
Mac failed to heed the intel he was given that large units of Chinese were crossing the Yalu...
Yes, for certain values of large. Weren't there nearly a million soldiers massed on the Chinese side?
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:54 AM
 
Location: London
4,336 posts, read 3,626,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LINative View Post
You can make an argument that Pershing's
The topic is US generals, not British. I have already given the name of one British buffoon, which is not the topic. The fact is Pershing's decision was bordering on idiotic. It was not a decision made while a battle was ongoing with a fluid situation in front of him. It was pure stupidity.

Last edited by John-UK; 05-28-2019 at 08:30 AM..
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:12 PM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
4,878 posts, read 3,954,072 times
Reputation: 4127
George Custer anyone ?

Talk about a jerk.....his wife once gave him a red flannel shirt for his birthday, a Hand Made one at that, he gathered his friends around and publicly mocked her saying that a red shirt will make him a stand out target on the battlefield.....

Talk about ego....does anyone who was around during the civil war victory parade of 1865 remember his showboating with his horse, trick riding more fit for a circus than a solemn national event?

Smarts? He was last in his class at West Point when the Civil War Started, but hey, at least he was there.

Talk about Losing a war........Don't have to.The Indian I mean the NATIVE AMERICANS tell it better than I could and rightly so.

Custer has slipped in the level of heroism and continues to do so.


Although I do not know if He qualifies for the list. While he was mustered out as a Major General in 1865 he was a Lt COL when he was put back into the Infamous 7th Cavalry.
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:43 PM
 
5,338 posts, read 2,235,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LINative View Post
McClellan and MacArthur are not even close to being the worst generals in American history. I would argue that MacArthur was actually a good general. Especially if you consider all the lousy generals in the Civil War, both Union and Confederate, the Revolution and the War of 1812 in which Grandstander mentions a good example.

I don't know. McClellan had the Confederate battle plans in hand at the outset of the Antietam campaign. He had an overwhelming advantage of men, too. He literally could have finished off the Army of Northern Virginia in a single afternoon. He utterly failed to do so. The Peninsular Campaign is another example of how his dithering cost the Union a chance to end the war much sooner than they did. So if you really consider how his indecision twice cost the Union to win in 1862, I think he was a pretty awful general, no matter how much his men loved him.



I can only imagine what would have happened had Grant or Sherman or even a general such as Sheridan had those same Confederate battle plans.
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Houston
22,388 posts, read 11,525,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
List put together by amateurs. Grant was a terrible general who wasted lives. Had he not had the immense industrial and manpower of the North to refill his ranks, he would have lost. Lee could not replace his losses while Grant could. Giving Grant great credit for his generalship is like giving the guy with a minigun credit against a musket.

Macarthur was actually an outstanding general. His mistake was assuming Truman would be willing to use total force against the Chinese to keep them out of the war. In failing to do so, Truman let down the world in a manner that extends to today. Macarthur should not have argued with Truman, but Truman felt Macarthur would be a unbeatable political opponent in the next election. It was politics of the highest order, not generalship that got Macarthur.
Grant was smart enough to know he had that advantage.
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Staten Island, NY
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How about General Sooy Smith, a Calvary officer under Sherman I believe. He failed to execute a major movement as planned and subsequently was decisively defeated by Forrest's guerilla-like cavalry force.
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,365 posts, read 18,468,173 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LINative View Post

Some high level Civil War generals worse then McClellan:
- Ambrose Burnsides
- Nathaniel Banks
- Benjamin "Beast" Butler
- Don Carlos Buell
- Braxton Bragg
- John Bell Hood (as a full general)
I tend to think of Bragg and McClellan as on equal footing in generalship. Both were excellent organizers, both had grand strategic visions (McClellan's Peninsula Campaign and Bragg's invasion of Kentucky) and both were good at logistics. Of course the other things that they had in common were that neither could fight his army worth a damn, both created atmospheres of hostility among their subordinates, and both always felt that anyone but themselves was responsible when success eluded them.
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Old 05-28-2019, 03:17 PM
 
5,338 posts, read 2,235,197 times
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McClellan would have made a superb quartermaster.
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Old 05-28-2019, 06:15 PM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
7,103 posts, read 9,857,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
I don't know. McClellan had the Confederate battle plans in hand at the outset of the Antietam campaign. He had an overwhelming advantage of men, too. He literally could have finished off the Army of Northern Virginia in a single afternoon. He utterly failed to do so. The Peninsular Campaign is another example of how his dithering cost the Union a chance to end the war much sooner than they did. So if you really consider how his indecision twice cost the Union to win in 1862, I think he was a pretty awful general, no matter how much his men loved him.



I can only imagine what would have happened had Grant or Sherman or even a general such as Sheridan had those same Confederate battle plans.
McClellan was strangely defensive for a young general in his thirties, many of whom are more aggressive (for instance compare him to John Bell Hood or the various cavalry generals). But probably the reason was that he was convinced that the Confederate outnumbered his own army!

A big part of the problem is that McClellan was receiving false reports of rebel strength by the Pinkerton detective agency. This is partially because of deliberate deceptions done by General Joseph E Johnston and later Prince Magruder to inflate their troop numbers and also because of a Confederate army reorganization that confused Union intelligence.

That is a major reason why he retreated from Lee during the Seven Days. He believed that he was outnumbered by the rebels.

I believe Lee once said McClellan was the best Union general. While this can be taken tongue in cheek (I think it was possibly a dig at Grant), it is true that unlike generals like Burnside, Pope or Hooker - McClellan made no major mistakes that Lee could take advantage of.

In other words, McClellan might not be a good general for the offense but he was a decent defensive commander who cared about the welfare of his men and he certainly was a good Army trainer and organizer. Not the best general but certainly not the worst either.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:17 PM
 
9,128 posts, read 9,215,624 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LINative View Post
McClellan was strangely defensive for a young general in his thirties, many of whom are more aggressive (for instance compare him to John Bell Hood or the various cavalry generals). But probably the reason was that he was convinced that the Confederate outnumbered his own army!

A big part of the problem is that McClellan was receiving false reports of rebel strength by the Pinkerton detective agency. This is partially because of deliberate deceptions done by General Joseph E Johnston and later Prince Magruder to inflate their troop numbers and also because of a Confederate army reorganization that confused Union intelligence.

That is a major reason why he retreated from Lee during the Seven Days. He believed that he was outnumbered by the rebels.

I believe Lee once said McClellan was the best Union general. While this can be taken tongue in cheek (I think it was possibly a dig at Grant), it is true that unlike generals like Burnside, Pope or Hooker - McClellan made no major mistakes that Lee could take advantage of.

In other words, McClellan might not be a good general for the offense but he was a decent defensive commander who cared about the welfare of his men and he certainly was a good Army trainer and organizer. Not the best general but certainly not the worst either.
McClellan suffered no catastrophic defeats and it is forgotten how important his actions were at Antietam. Had his forces not stopped the confederates there its possible the war could have had a different outcome. The victory also made it possible for Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation and not look like a loser in the process.

He was a very cautious commander, but he was also truly beloved by most of his troops. He took care of them. Did not use them recklessly. Plus, he got them the supplies that they needed.

Its easy to criticize a general who is too timid in hindsight. I wonder if part of his caution was due simply to the horrendous sight of a battlefield in that day and age. After a skirmish, hundreds were dead and hundreds more lay writhing on the ground, wounded, and screaming in pain. It must have taken a strong stomach to order men into battle in those conditions. Now, that is the job of a general and commanding officer and Mac apparently had trouble doing it. But, maybe a little understanding is in order. Maybe he loved his men so much, he couldn't bear to see that take huge losses.
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