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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Warfare Through the Ages

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Warfare Through the Ages Roman, Greek, Japanese, etc. Topics cover all manner of pre-modern warfare and empire-building and crushing.

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  #1  
Old 24 Jul 17, 10:13
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Greatest Woman National War Leader

Who ranks as the best woman to lead her nation in time of war? Any time frame (say, from 18th Dynasty's King Hatshepsut to Margaret Thatcher) is fair game.

A distinction could be made between female battlefield commanders (e.g., Joan of Arc) and national leaders (e.g., Catherine the Great) - either is fine to discuss, though the national leaders are the prime focus of this question.

Cheers,
Jon
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  #2  
Old 24 Jul 17, 10:19
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Why don't you make a few nominations?
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Old 24 Jul 17, 10:43
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Here's a starter list, more or less in chronological order:

Hatshepsut (Egypt) - Kushite rebellions

Deborah (Israel) - defeated Canaanites at Mt. Tabor

Tomyris (Massagetae) - defeated Cyrus the Great

Artemisia (Caria/Cos) - fought with Xerxes at Euboea and Salamis

Boudica (Iceni/Britain) - burned Londinium, defeated by Suetonius

Cleopatra (Egypt) - Alexandrian Wars, Roman Civil Wars

Chengtien (Liao) - fought in Korea

Tamar (Georgia) - wars to expand Georgia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Rum Sultanate)

Margaret d'Anjou (Lancasterians/Britain) - led in place of crazy Henry VI

Manduhai (Mongolia) - fought China and defeated Mongol rivals

Isabella (Spain) - Reconquista

Elizabeth I (England/Wales/Ireland) - wars in New World, Netherlands, Spain, Ireland

Njinga (Angola) - fought the Portuguese/allied with Holland

Anna (Russia) - fought the Ottoman Turks

Elizabeth I (Russia) - fought Frederick the Great (Seven Years War)

Maria-Theresa (Austria-Hungary) - fought Frederick the Great (war of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War)

Catherine II (Russia) - put down the Polish uprising, defeated the Ottoman Turks (I & II), draw with Sweden

Lakshmibai (Jhansi/India) - rebelled against the British Empire

Yaa Assantawea (Ashanti/Ghana) - rebelled against the British Empire

Indira Gandhi (India) - 1971 Indo-Pakistani War

Golda Meir (Israel) - 1973 Yom Kippur War

Margaret Thatcher (Great Britain) - 1982 Falklands War

[I'm leaving out Britain's Queen Anne and Queen Victoria, because by then the PMs really had more power to launch and end wars]
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Last edited by Jon Jordan; 24 Jul 17 at 10:53..
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Old 24 Jul 17, 17:54
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Cut Nyak Dhien for leading a guerrilla resistance through the Aceh War.

Cut Nyak Dien was a pioneer in feminism in the early 19th century of Indonesian history. She was a female leader among males, which at that time was prohibited by her religion, but she showed an outstanding quality of a leader so her men obeyed her commands. Her persistence is greatly admired up to now, once she set her eyes on taking back her homeland. She knew that her men were outnumbered but she used her logical strategy to fight the Dutch. Even with old age, blurry eyes, and acute lumbago, she fought until her last breath. She was also a true feminist.

The My Hero Project - Cut Nyak Dien



http://myhero.com/Cut_Nyak_Dien_stursula_ID_2008_ul
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Old 24 Jul 17, 18:01
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Razia Sultana was a Indian lady and fighter whom served as Sultana of New Delhi. Her life has been popularized in an Indian TV series Razia Sultan of which can be seen on Netflix.

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Old 24 Jul 17, 18:29
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Lozen , an Apache war leader,

Fighting against the horrible conditions of the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona, Lozen fought alongside her brother while evading capture by the military. Lozen, regarded by the warrior Kaywaykla as extraordinary, he said: “She could ride, shoot, and fight like a man; and I think she had more ability in planning military strategy than Victorio did.” She fought in countless battles for decades including alongside Geronimo in the last campaign of the Apache Wars.”

https://indiancountrymedianetwork.co...omen-warriors/
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Old 25 Jul 17, 06:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Jordan View Post

[I'm leaving out Britain's Queen Anne and Queen Victoria, because by then the PMs really had more power to launch and end wars]
The post of Prime Minister did not exist under Queen Anne. Walpole was the first British Prime Minister in the reign of George 1. Queen Anne had more power than George but was heavily influenced by Sarah Churchill (wife of John Churchill/Duke of Marlborough) who effectively ran the country through Anne for a number of years
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Old 25 Jul 17, 12:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonewall_Jack View Post
Lozen , an Apache war leader,

Fighting against the horrible conditions of the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona, Lozen fought alongside her brother while evading capture by the military. Lozen, regarded by the warrior Kaywaykla as extraordinary, he said: “She could ride, shoot, and fight like a man; and I think she had more ability in planning military strategy than Victorio did.” She fought in countless battles for decades including alongside Geronimo in the last campaign of the Apache Wars.”

https://indiancountrymedianetwork.co...omen-warriors/
I've always thought it interesting that there are virtually no female war leaders in the Western Hemisphere, though Lozen would be the closest - probably due to the lack of existing written records. I guess with the United States in a more or less continual state of deployment, unless things change the next female president will be the first large national woman war leader.
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Old 25 Jul 17, 12:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
The post of Prime Minister did not exist under Queen Anne. Walpole was the first British Prime Minister in the reign of George 1. Queen Anne had more power than George but was heavily influenced by Sarah Churchill (wife of John Churchill/Duke of Marlborough) who effectively ran the country through Anne for a number of years
Thanks - I had an image of post-Civil War kings and queens having Parliament run everything, but it sounds like Queen Anne still had the power to make and end war (I suppose with some parliamentary limitations, including finance). Did Britain still use a Privy Council as a kind of war cabinet during Anne's reign?

Thanks again for your insight!
Jon
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Old 25 Jul 17, 13:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Jordan View Post
Thanks - I had an image of post-Civil War kings and queens having Parliament run everything, but it sounds like Queen Anne still had the power to make and end war (I suppose with some parliamentary limitations, including finance). Did Britain still use a Privy Council as a kind of war cabinet during Anne's reign?

Thanks again for your insight!
Jon
Anne was the last monarch to veto bills and she appointed and dismissed ministers. Britain's war effort appears to have been largely run by Lord Godolphin the Lord Treasurer and the Duke of Marlborough both who were members of the Privy Council with ready access to the Queen through the Duchess of Marlborough who was keeper of the Privy Purse. Anne's reputation as a bit of an indecisive nonentity was largely based on the Duchess of Marlborough's memoires written after she and the queen had fallen out ( a sort of obitchery). Late 20th century research paints a rather different picture.
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Old 25 Jul 17, 14:54
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Anne was the last monarch to veto bills and she appointed and dismissed ministers. Britain's war effort appears to have been largely run by Lord Godolphin the Lord Treasurer and the Duke of Marlborough both who were members of the Privy Council with ready access to the Queen through the Duchess of Marlborough who was keeper of the Privy Purse. Anne's reputation as a bit of an indecisive nonentity was largely based on the Duchess of Marlborough's memoires written after she and the queen had fallen out ( a sort of obitchery). Late 20th century research paints a rather different picture.
Interesting - and makes sense why Churchill had a pretty liberal hand in dealing with the coalition. Would that make her the last English monarch with any semblance of "absolutism" (using that term very loosely)?
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Old 25 Jul 17, 15:47
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Interesting - and makes sense why Churchill had a pretty liberal hand in dealing with the coalition. Would that make her the last English monarch with any semblance of "absolutism" (using that term very loosely)?
In that she was prepared to override Parliament probably. But a great many elected presidents around the world are prepared to do that - the Polish president just has and they're not normally described as absolutist
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Old 25 Jul 17, 20:36
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I know that if Miss Saigon was reading this thread, she surely would have submitted for consideration:

The Trung Sisters.

Quote:
With Chinese rule growing extremely exacting, and the policy of forcible cultural assimilation into the Chinese mould during the Southward expansion of the Han dynasty, Thi Sách made a stand against the Chinese. The Chinese responded by executing Thi Sách as a warning to all those who contemplated rebellion. His death spurred his wife to take up his cause and the flames of insurrection spread.


In AD 40, Trưng Trắc and Trưng Nhị, after successfully repelling a small Chinese unit from their village, assembled a large army consisting mostly of women.[5] Within months, they had taken many (about 65) citadels from the Chinese, and had liberated Nanyue.[6] They became queens regnant of Nanyue and managed to resist subsequent Han attacks on the country for over three years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tr%C6%B0ng_Sisters





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Old 04 Sep 17, 17:52
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I know that if Miss Saigon was reading this thread, she surely would have submitted for consideration:
The Trung Sisters.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tr%C6%B0ng_Sisters

The Trung Sisters are a good catch!

I drafted a chapter on them but got stuck because there are few contemporary sources, and those were written by the enemy/winners (sort of like Boudica, but less sympathetic). From what I can tell, the Vietnamese didn't get around to talking about them until around the 1400s (IIRC), while the Chinese had a few AARs from their general and some stuff from the 400s, a lot of it being along the lines of, "I can't believe they would let women lead them!"

There is a good bit of archeological evidence about the fort near modern Hanoi where they made their stand.
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Old 09 Sep 17, 20:14
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