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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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Old 24 May 05, 21:49
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Post In Your Own Words - Figures in the History of World Conflict

The aim of this thread is not simply to list great leaders and famous figures, but rather it is for members to write a little about well-known figures in war history and more importantly why "you" personally feel this person stood out from the crowd. It is also about lesser known, or unknown heroes and heroines. People that you'd like others to know about.

What is it about the person, who they were, what they did, what tactics they employed, the way they handled their role, that makes "you personally" admire them or place them as a cut above the rest in the history of world conflict ? and so on.... not unlike our Name that Leader thread, but drawing that idea into something even more personal to us.

Write a bit of a bio of this person, an outline of their place in the timeline of history, and something about what it was that makes them stand out in your view. It can be as little or as long as you like, but most of all, put it in your own words and tell us what "to you" makes this person important.

I think we can learn a lot from our fellow members interests and passions for particular conflicts and individuals, as well as from the history books. If you have links to further information or a photograph that you feel would be of interest and would supplement what you've said then do add same at the end of your vignette.

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  #2  
Old 24 May 05, 21:51
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Edward "Weary" Dunlop

Sir Ernest Edward "Weary" Dunlop (Lieutenant Colonel)
Force Commander and Senior Medical Officer - 2/2 Australian Casualty Clearing Station.

Australian

1907 - 1993

Weary Dunlop, as he was affectionately known, was a surgeon. He grew up in Victoria and in his youth loved horse-riding and athletics. As a sportsman he was a champion boxer, and he played for Australia's national rugby team, The Wallabies. He made medicine his career, studying at Monash University and then becoming a ship's surgeon and travelling to London.

When WW2 broke out, he was eager to enlist and offer his services in aiding the sick and wounded. He served in the Middle East, and in Indonesia, where he was later working, he was captured by the Japanese and became a POW. Sent to work on the Thai-Burma railway, he acted as in his capacity as surgeon, but also had the unenviable task of deciding who was fit for labour. Dunlop cared for the troops as a doctor and as a commander, and as a mate. He would argue with the Japanese officers that certain prisoners were not fit to work, and he saved the lives of many, against the odds, not just with his medical skills, but by stepping in front of bayonets to spare other men's lives, sometimes ending up being tortured himself, but never hesitating. He witnessed bashings and executions, worked his way through epidemics, carried out amputations and all manner of procedures in filthy and primitive conditions, and with virtually no equipment and no drugs. He hunted down extra food for the starving men and cared for them in every way he could, even while he suffered pain, illness, and endless beatings and punishments himself.

He was compassionate and forgiving and ceaselessly dutiful. He did his job under unimaginable circumstances and he changed the lives, and saved the lives of many. Weary Dunlop was given a knighthood in recognition of his contribution. He was/is warmly regarded by his fellow countrymen, and to me, he is a shining example not only of a dutiful citizen in a time of crisis, but of what it means to be brave, what it means to be a human being, what it means to honour your own abilities, what it means to honour others, and what it means to face your own mortality and that of those around you. Above all what I learned from his life is to let hope conquer fear.

Weary Dunlop was given a state funeral when he died aged 85 in 1993, which thousands of people attended.

"I have a conviction that it's only when you are put at full stretch that you can realise your full potential."



References and Further Reading
http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-...ary-dunlop.htm
http://www.abc.net.au/btn/australians/dunlop.htm

Autobiography: E.E. Dunlop - The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop, published by Penguin
Biography: Sue Ebury - Weary: The Life of Sir Edward Dunlop, published by Penguin
Margaret Geddes - Remembering Weary, published by Penguin
Alan Drummond - Weary Dunlop, published by Green Barrow
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Last edited by Avalon; 24 May 05 at 22:49.. Reason: Adding Photo
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Old 17 Jun 05, 22:53
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Ira Hayes

Here is a guy who I can really relate to -Johnny Cash did a ballad about this man.

http://thegoldweb.com/voices/irahayes.htm
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Old 17 Jun 05, 23:51
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Excellent thread idea.

I have to go with General Isaac Brock. Brock was born on one of the Channel Islands (can't remember which) and enlisted in the British Army. He served with distinction in both Denmark and the West Indies before being transferred to Canada. Brock was not happy with his posting to Canada which he considered to be a colonial backwater. For many years he eagerly applied to be given command of a unit in Wellington's army. In 1812 his application was accepted but he declined the offer, realising that war with America was inevitable and that his talents were needed in Canada. During the War of 1812 Brock led a small force composed of British regulars, Canadian milita, and First People's' and sucessfully stopped the Americans from seizing Upper Canada. Time after time he defeated the larger American forces in battle. Furthermore, he cemented alliances with the First Peoples of Canada that were to prove crucial to the final defeat of America. His most spectacular military feat was the capture of General Hull's army at Detroit without the loss of a single man. He then went on to send the Americans reeling back across the border at the Battle of Queenston Heights. However, tragically he was killed by an American sniper during this battle while leading a desperate charge to recapture the heights(which the Americans had temporarily seized.) At his funeral the British fired a 21-gun salute and several thousand people attented. Which is an amazing number considerin the size of Upper Canada in 1812. Later on, the Americans at Fort Niagra across the border also fired a salute to their fallen enemy. Without Isaac Brock Canada would almost certainly be an American state. This short summary is not nearly large enough to discuss everything that Brock accomplished. Check out the large number of pages that Wikipedia has on this remarkable man:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Brock
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Old 18 Jun 05, 09:04
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With apologies to Mim - as I need to do a little research on some of this stuff--- I will -and then edit it later.

"Guys" I plan on getting to:

Cheif Joseph
Crazy Horse
Red Cloud
Sitting Bull
Geronimo

-maybe-
Cochise
Quanah Parker

-John Buford
-Stephen Decatur

-----------------

Vercingetorix


-oh yeh and Otto Carius:
http://www.achtungpanzer.com/gen4.htm

Whose only claim to fame for me - is that he was a big time Tiger Ace that came from my Great Grandparents' old not so big town in Germany (Zweibruecken - in the Rheinland-Pfalz)

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Old 18 Jun 05, 11:15
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Captain Karl Muller.

The onset of the First world War was greeted by partizan crowds on the streets of Vienna, Berlin, Paris and London. The cheering throng of people anticipated a quick war with tales of herosim and glory. Yet in the stalemate that followed only the exploits of one man seemed to live up to the hype of August 1914. For a few brief months the daring raids of Captain Karl Muller and the crew of the SMS Emden captured the attention of the German public at large and the Kaiser in particular.
At the onset of war during a council of Spree's far east squadron Karl Muller asked for permission to detatch his ship for raiding duties in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and was granted permission.
In a short if somewhat dazzling career the Emden sank 16 British merchantmen sank two enemy warships as well as destroying harbour instalations.
Beginning on September 9 in the Bay of Bengal the neutral Greek ship Pontoporos with 6,500 tons of coal for the British was inspected. The Hague Convention allowed the cargo to be confiscated but not the ship so the Germans chartered the vessel which joined the little group as a supply ship.
Over the following couple of days the empty troop ships Indus and Lovat were sunk, usually by placing scuttling charges on them, the Kabinga was captured and used as a prison ship and the collier Killin was captured and later sunk as she was too slow to keep up
On September 14 the Emden chased down then sank the Trabboch and then sent the prison ship Kabinga to Calcutta, the prisoners lining the deck and cheering the Germans in recognition of the way they had been treated. On leaving the Trabboch exploded spectacularly which attracted the Clan Matheson to the Emden, only to be sunk.
On the night of September 22 Emden attacked Madras, a major Indian port, firing 125 shells in ten minutes into the oil storage and destroying 350,000 gallons of oil. The local forts returned 6in fire but failed to score any hits. As well as the physical damage this attack did considerable damage to British prestige and caused major disruption to shipping.
On September 25 she sank Tymeric near Ceylon and then captured Gry Fevale for use as a prison ship. Over the next couple of days the Foyle was sunk and the collier Buresk captured.
On September 28 the Gry Fevale was sent to Colombo with prisoners, who again cheered their German captors in thanks for their excellent treatment
Her next victims started on October 15, sinking the Clan Grant, Ponrabbel, Benmohr, Trolis and Chilkana and captured the collier Exford over the next couple of days. An American ship took the prisoners to port and the Emden headed for Penang for her most daring attack yet.
The Emden arrived at Penang in the early morning of October 28 and using her false forth funnel and flying the white Ensign slipped past the harbour pilot into the harbour. There was concern that there may be two French armoured cruisers in port but the only warship they sighted was the Russian light cruiser Zhemchug.At 0518 Emden raised the German Ensign and after a ten minute battle scored torpedo hits breaking the Russian cruiser in half.
Emden sprinted for the harbour exit and saw an unidentified vessel which she opened fire on. Emden immediately ceased fire, and later apologised, when it was realised that the vessel was an unarmed patrol vessel. Soon after Glenturret, a merchant ship carrying explosives, was sighted and boarded (still inside the harbour) but almost immediately the boarding party had to be recalled as the French destroyer Mousquet was sighted and quickly sunk Emden rescued thirty six crew, most of them badly injured.
As Emden left Penang Pistolet, a sister ship of Mousquet, arrived and started to shadow Emden, fortunately a rain squall blew up and the two ships became separated.
The raid badly damaged Allied prestige and caused shipping to come to a halt in the region The sailing of the great Anzac troop convoy was also delayed for a third time, the previous delays owing to Emden and Graf Spee, whilst the escort was beefed up.
It was not until the following month that the Emden reappeared, planning a raid on the wireless and cable statioin on the Cocos Island but her luck had run out. A landing party failed to stop the alarm being raised and the message was picked up by HMAS Sydney who detatched herself from escorting the Anzac convoy to answer the call. Unaware that the message had been intercepted or of the close proximity of the Sydney Captain Muller awaited the return of his shore party before departing. It was a decision that was to end his brief career. The faster and heavier gunned Sydney soon heaved into view leaving Muller nowhere to run. For the next half an hour Emden was hit repeatedly, over 100 times during the entire action, and Captain Muller decided to beach her before she sank . Karl Muller was the last man to leave the stricken vessel and spent the rest of the war as a POW.
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Old 14 Oct 05, 01:11
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John Ericsson - The Engineer

I previously posted this as a thread. I think it proper here











John Ericsson was there for his adopted country when after leaving his homeland of Sweden in 1826, he showed the British what Leonardo had in mind with his propellar driven Tug. Something like 1834 or so. The Brithish didn't buy his Tug. However they did pay very close attention - experimenting with their own small craft in time. They eventualy built a brig called Rattler - with prop - soon enough. This was about the same time USS Princeton was launched... but thats getting ahead of myself...

While John was in England, a visiting and very rich American Naval officer, Robert F Stockton, stumbled upon this "genius mechanical engineer" from the Swedish Army and in fact bought the Tug for his familys business. He also coaxed Ericsson to come to work for him in America.

In the mean time, Stockton - due his money and connections - managed to secure the priviledge of project managing the build of his own steam powered, screw driven warship to command. The sloop USS Princeton.

Ericsson was the hired brains & superintendent/designer behind it, including its guns and equipment, with but one exception being an 11inch "Peacemaker". A design Stockton had fostered and built against Ericsson's learned advice and voraciously constant protests. The gun was much heavier than Ericssons design and required major revision of structural elements while building. Ericsson had designed the ship for his newly tested and improved 11inch smooth bore "Orator" gun. He had to rebalance the design of the ship to accomodate a heavier gun after much construction had been accomplished.

As a result, Peacemaker - a huge wrought iron gun - was placed aboard USS Princeton at the foc'sle. Orator was relegated to the aft deck, while Stockton took every opertunity to claim all credit for the mighty warship. The Peacemaker very much was a product of Stocktons inexperience. Far from the warship. The vessel was expressly of John Ericssons mind & designs. As arrogant & unyielding as both men were... John Stockton was a desirous fool in regards Peacemaker.

Anyways...

The President. some Ex's also, Senators, Congressmen, statesmen were brought aboard from time to time - with train - to feel the thunderously concusive belch of Peacemaker. Robert Stockton was always the man of the moment. John Ericsson - the vessels creator and builder - was shown little regard beyond that of an employee.

On the last day of February many such souls were aboard as USS Princeton lazily sailed up the Potomic. President Tyler was 1 deck below the main gun, yet the Secretary of the Navy, a few Senators, their wives and friends, including some old lady named Dolly Madison - basically, the dignitary set - were gathered on main deck around Peacekeeper. Speeches and common revelry abounded as they would make the mighty cannon speak for their delight.

Then a (half) charge was loaded and fired by SecNav Gilmer. He, the Secretary of State, a Senator and 5 other people never heard a thing. They were mowed down like grass, by a couple ton piece of wrought iron breech and barrel that passed their way when the Peacemaker burst.

Ericsson invented the match recoil mechanisms still in use, in modern form, today. They held the mighty gun as designed throughout the burst. The barrel was missing iron from the breech to the end of the barrel. Exactly as John Ericsson had previously predicted and a primary point of many of his protestations.

Whos fault was it? Robert Stockton tried to make the case it was Ericsson's, but that boat didn't float. Ericsson was never the less ignored by the Navy after that. Expenses incurred by him in service to the Navy were most often ignored or denied

Stockton managed to duck the consequences. Strangly, America knows Robert Stockton for his exploits in California years later. But that is another story...

Incidentaly, the excellantly designed smooth bore gun - Orator - sits on the grounds of the US Naval Academy to this day. It is often miscalled the Oregon gun. Few know anything of the story behind it, or its creator.

Fast forward a whole lot of grief and 17 years.

Lets just say that John Ericsson was a very imbittered man at that point, regards all things Navy. Enter the US Navy in the form of the only officer that Ericsson respected, Joe Smith, accompanied by a shipbuilder charged with building the new armored corvette USS Galena by the name of Cornelius Bushnell.


Bushnell was looking far and wide for advice for his own commission, and prodded Ericsson with the certain knowledge that his own construct was not sufficient, and USS Iron Sides - then building - would not complete soon enough to counter CSS Merrimac/Virginia, which was being reconstructed. He was effectively persuasive in stressing the impending consequences of having nothing to counter her.

This is the part I like most!

After all that had previously occured between his adopted country & himself, John Ericsson, in his bombastic manner and gruff and grouchy way, proceeded to retrieve a small model and the plans of a floating battery that he had once personally proposed to Neapoleon III in 1854. (One wonders the near miss the world may have had, there?) It amounted to a small, shallow draft, low freeboard ship with a rotating gunhouse. Certainly not a sea going design. Bushnell was flabbergasted and begged and pleaded with Ericsson to let him show it to SecNav Gideon Welles.

His mind had been challenged, once again. Directly. By the US Navy, no less. He is known to have bragged that "his design was accepted 4 hours after it was submitted." Also that while the clerks were writing the contract - at his insistance this time - "the iron plates for USS Monitors keel were already being drawn through the rolling mill" 101 days after the contract was signed, she hit the water. She changed the thinking in all Naval circles world wide.

A turret by virtue of its train and armor offered increased protection of battery and munition. It reduced the need for a lot of heavy guns as the ship could steer a course irrespective to the bearing by which it was engaging. This was advantagous, as it allowed one to not expose a broad side to the adversary. No need for a parallel course. Caping the T became an altered tactic ever after.

Shallow draft allowed USS Monitor to get over the bar into Chesapeake Bay. Something CSS Virginia could not do as a result of her deep draft, was attack Washington DC. USS Monitor could go where CSS Virginia could not. Close to shore, interdicting CSS Virginias engagement of other vessels. Which it did.

USS Monitors low, nearly swamped freeboard is by design of Ericsson. It offered the, untofore unproven advantage of using the water itself as armor upon armor.

This is what many don't know. This was a man that had been used and abused by people representing our government - for thier own personal gain. Its a sad fact. He was also Royaly screwed by the British Navy. This former Swedish Army Captain of Engineers had come to a very bitter view of anything Naval, but at the very moment that it burned on his soul most - at a time his country needed him greatly - John Ericsson came to his adopted countrys aid.

He most certainly changed the world.

You can make whatever you wish of this man, the propellar, his financial ineptitude, his overbearing personality, his gun design, his engineering genius, or the Civil War...

This man was a patriot!

But that's just my opinion.

Nuff said, I think!

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Last edited by Admiral; 28 Feb 06 at 02:12.. Reason: Spellin! Shoulda staid n skuol...
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Old 25 Oct 05, 09:39
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John Wharton & Joshua Humphreys - Early American Ship Builders

Two men instrumental in Continental & early US Navy ship building & design.

John Wharton was Joshua Humphreys older partner. He was likely somewhat a mentor as well. By no means does this detract from Joshua though. They both believed strongly that a small Navy wishing to ply the waves on a sea of much greater Naval might must do so with bigger, faster, stronger & all around better vessels of each rate

In essence, their philos somewhat held as is seen in a few of our Revolutionary Naval warships - they were roughly 20% larger & heavier than ships of equal British rate. (Ex. 32 vs. 32) It is known that Humphreys delivered a sheaf of plans - likely as much of Whartons work, as his own - to the Marine Commitee shortly after it's inception that suggests this as well.

A good place to start would be with the American Revolutionary Frigate Randolph(32) built by Wharton & Humphreys at their Philadelphia ship yard, easily within eyeshot of the Continental Congress & the Marine Commitee itself. What is certain is that they were influential in their opinions to either body.

Alliance(32), Raliegh(32), Hancock(32), make for an interesting study in that although built by others to Marine Comittee plans - likely influenced, shaped or possibly even drawn by Wharton/Humphreys, - it might still be possible to see any kinship of design or individual idiosyncratric differences due the actual builder.

Often, the plans were delivered to the builders after the vessel had been brought up to a considerable state of completion, meaning that the builders had been working from their own interpretations & ideas. How much they may have strayed is little known.

The only US held plans for any of the 4 vessels I mention are Randolphs. By virtue of the capture of most of our Revolutionary built warships - English Captains truly coveted them - the "lines" of most of them exist in British Naval Establishment records for the purpose of crewing, provisioning & repair of them while in service.

As Joshua Humphreys is credited with the design of the fledgling United States Navys first six super frigates of the Constitution(44) class, the current mystery is: Could some of them truly be sisters? The answers can be known. They might reveal much of our fledgling Revolutionary & Early US Naval thinking & engineering roots.

Additionally, another question yet truly to be resolved to my satisfaction is:

Is the Constitution(44) class a refinement of a leap in naval engineering?

A "cousin", if you will?

Or is it the leap itself?


Simply put... a good & proper study has not yet occured.

This is likely why few have heard of Joshua Humphreys...

Much less John Wharton.

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Old 25 Nov 08, 20:46
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Old 26 Nov 08, 20:39
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Li Hung Chang (my avatar) was a great politician in the Qing Dynasty. He knew how to manipulateate a time of crisis in 19th century China to finance his private army (the Huai army). He would often go beyond the rules of the imperial court in Peking (with the justification of "a crisis in China") to appoint his own local officials to provinces in order to gain more local support for his army's campaigns. This brought his army much success during the Nien and Taiping Rebellions.

Unfortunately, years later, when the Chinese were defeated by Japan in Korea in 1895, many Chinese hated him simply for negotiating a peace treaty with the Japanese (even though it was unequal, but what could he do about it when his side was the defeated one?). They believed him to be a traitor just for this.
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Old 29 Nov 08, 05:20
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Great Topic!

Otto Eduard Leopold Von Bismarck! The son of a Prussian Military officer and a British Diplomat. Spoke fluent English and German. 1st Chancellor of The German Empire, 1st Chancellor of the North German Confederation, Furst (a rank in the Emperor's court), 21st Chancellor of Prussia, The " Iron Chancellor!"

The Unifier of Germany, won 4:1 odds against France, Austria and the republic of Hanover. In my opinion he perfected the use of Early trench warfare, Closest advisor to 2 of the 3 German Emperors before being dismissed by (the infamous) Wilhelm II, Created a great Memoir: [I]Gedanken und Erinnerungen.[I] or in english my thoughts and memories.

Around the age of 73 he started trying to get other European Countries from allying with France for he sensed a great war!

After being dismissed by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1895 he made two INCREDIBLY acurrate predictions:

"After Fredrick the Great's death there came Jena, The Crash will come 20 years after my departure."

"One day the great European War will come out of some damned mess in the Balkans!"

He died in 1898(+20=1918!).

World War I Began after the assasination of Franz Ferdinand in the Balkan Country of Serbia.

If any of you need a picture of him look at my Avatar.

That's all i got! so long! ,
Jonah

P.S. Besides you can't go wrong with a mustache like that!
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Old 19 Oct 09, 20:53
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Dr. Joseph Warren in Revolutionary War

Someone who comes to mind is Dr. Joseph Warren who died at The Battle of Bunker Hill. He was one of the anti-British leaders in Boston prior to the revolution. He was the one who provided Revere and Dawes with the information that the British were going to Concord to seize the colonial arms. During the battle of Lexington and Concord, he slipped out of Boston and led the militia which went against the British on their way back to Boston (they took most of their casualties on the way back, as thousands of militiamen swarmed towards the fighting).

While he was the leader of the Massachusetts goverment, he was appointed a major general, but is commission was not to take effect until three days after The Battle of Bunker Hill. He fought as a private, and died there. According to the Wikipedia article, his body was exhumed 10 months later, and was identified by Paul Revere, by a false tooth Revere had put in his mouth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Warren

I think that Joseph Warren is an excellent example of someone who was a real American and inspired others by his example.

Last edited by lakechampainer; 19 Oct 09 at 21:01..
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Old 12 May 10, 03:53
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informative post
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Old 31 Aug 10, 04:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggotman View Post
Great Topic!


The Unifier of Germany, won 4:1 odds against France, Austria and the republic of Hanover. In my opinion he perfected the use of Early trench warfare, Closest advisor to 2 of the 3 German Emperors before being dismissed by (the infamous) Wilhelm II, Created a great Memoir: [I]Gedanken und Erinnerungen.[I] or in english my thoughts and memories.
that!
Heard of the Maori? not only did they come up with trench warfare due to no experience in the European theater they took it past the level it reached in The Great war, had their tactics been observed more closely by either side the war would have been far shorter, i wont go into detail, i could talk for yonks on this subject. look up books by a guy called James Belich if you want to learn more.


My figure?

The White Raja
James Brooke, this guy was totally kickass. he single-handedly founded a nation and destroyed the power of the south pacific pirates. unfortunately info on this guy is scarce and my two sources are the semi fictional Flashman series and Wikipaedia, if there are any good websites or books on this feller please link me!
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Old 06 Sep 10, 18:06
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My pick would be Gabriel Dumont.
Metis military leader throughout the Uprising and a much more realistically grounded mind than his boss Riel.
Dumont could speak six languages, was an excellent shot, and when allowed to roam free with his forces inflicted several sharp reverses and rebuffs on far more numerous Dominion troops with far superior firepower to his.
It was he who also advocated abandoning Batoche and fighting a Guerilla style resistance but Riel rejected this plan.
Even when forced to stand directly in front of the massed Dominion firepower he still held for days untill ammunition ran low and the situation became untenable.

He man not have won a macro-historical victory but for popping unsung out of the woodwork and for the success he was able to achieve with the limited forces under his command Gabriel Dumont is a captivating figure in military history.
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