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Sun Apr 15, 2012, 02:01 AM

George Washington named Britain's greatest ever foe

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/9204961/George-Washington-named-Britains-greatest-ever-foe.html

The American was voted the winner in a contest run by the National Army Museum to identify the country's most outstanding military opponent.

He was one of a shortlist of five leaders who topped a public poll and on Saturday was selected as the ultimate winner by an audience of around 70 guests at a special event at the museum, in Chelsea, west London.

In second place was Michael Collins, the Irish leader, ahead of Napoleon Bonaparte, Erwin Rommel and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

21 replies, 2968 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply George Washington named Britain's greatest ever foe (Original post)
T_i_B Apr 2012 OP
Art_from_Ark Apr 2012 #1
The Straight Story Apr 2012 #3
Art_from_Ark Apr 2012 #4
muriel_volestrangler Apr 2012 #8
T_i_B Apr 2012 #5
Tom Ripley Apr 2012 #20
dimbear Apr 2012 #2
Kaleva Apr 2012 #11
Confusious Apr 2012 #6
damyank913 Apr 2012 #7
Confusious Apr 2012 #17
T_i_B Apr 2012 #9
Confusious Apr 2012 #16
MichaelMcGuire Apr 2012 #13
Odin2005 Apr 2012 #10
ikri Apr 2012 #12
Marr Apr 2012 #14
tabasco Apr 2012 #18
T_i_B Apr 2012 #19
Rex Apr 2012 #15
mdmc Apr 2012 #21

Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 03:41 AM

1. I would think that Britain's "greatest ever foe" would be France of the Middle Ages,

specifically, the France that battled England over a period of more than 100 years, from 1337 to 1453.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 04:05 AM

3. "To qualify, each commander had to come from the 17th century onwards" (nt)

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 04:13 AM

4. That's what I get for not reading the link

Nevertheless, limiting the candidates to "commanders from the 17th century onwards" seem diminish the meaning of "greatest ever" foe.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 08:16 AM

8. Britain was Scotland and England (and Wales) before the 17th century

Go back earlier, and you'd probably also include William Wallace and Robert the Bruce leading Scotland against the English, or Edward I against Scotland, and Wales. Or William I against Harold ...

It was also qualified by "had to have led an army in the field against the British", so it's very much down to individuals. Only Joan of Arc would be well known as a successful leader from the Hundred Years' War period, and I think her leadership was morale-based, rather than strategic of tactical.

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 04:22 AM

5. Yep

Looking before that you've got Joan of Arc and also King Phillip II of France, not to mention a few Vikings & Romans to contend with.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 03:11 AM

20. Do you honestly think they are ever going to give that honor to the French?

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 04:02 AM

2. William the Conqueror has got to be a little tiffed. n/t

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Response to dimbear (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 12:44 PM

11. Yes, he did beat Harold the Conquered at Hastings

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:51 AM

6. I would have placed Bonaparte and Rommel

ahead of Washington.

The only reason I can see is that they didn't win that war, so they still got some hard feelings.

Either that, or they're just kissing up.



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Response to Confusious (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 08:03 AM

7. I think it's more to do with what Washington...

...accomplished in light of what he had to accomplish it with.

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Response to damyank913 (Reply #7)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 08:06 PM

17. From what I've read

He also had two things going for him. Distance, and the British public that was tired of the war.

Those are two major things.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 11:30 AM

9. I think winning wars fought against us has to count for quite a lot

When looking for our greatest foes.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #9)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 08:05 PM

16. Bonaparte had most of Europe against him


And fought most of his battles either with fewer or equal manpower. And won pretty much every time. It's just the British are stubbon and kept at it. That, and the Russian winter.

Personally, I think he was one of the greatest generals ever.

Now as a Human being, he left much to be desired.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 03:40 PM

13. It would have been interesting to view every contender.

 

Last edited Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:27 PM - Edit history (1)

Bonnie Prince Charlie


Is more famous worldwide for his last battle at Culloden in 1746 and the Legacy left. .


But had before won several or more battles against Government forces
The most famous being immortalised by a well know Scottish song 'Hey Johnny Cope'



Johnnie Cope

Chorus
Hey, Johnnie Cope, are ye wauking yet?
Or are your drums a-beating yet?
If ye were wauking I wad wait
To gang to the coals i' the morning.


Cope sent a challenge frae Dunbar:
'Charlie, meet me an' ye daur,
An' I'll learn you the art o' war
If you'll meet me i' the morning.'

Chorus

When Charlie looked the letter upon
He drew his sword the scabbard from:
'Come, follow me, my merry merry men,
And we'll meet Johnnie Cope i' the morningl

Chorus

'Now Johnnie, be as good's your word;
Come, let us try both fire and sword;
And dinna rin like a frichted bird,
That's chased frae its nest i' the morning.'

Chorus

When Johnnie Cope he heard of this,
He thought it wadna be amiss
To hae a horse in readiness,
To flee awa' i' the morning.

Chorus

Fy now, Johnnie, get up an' rin;
The Highland bagpipes mak' a din;
It's best to sleep in a hale skin,
For 'twill be a bluidy morning.

Chorus

When Johnnie Cope tae Dunbar came,
They speired at him, 'Where's a' your men?'
'The deil confound me gin I ken,
For I left them a' i' the morning.

Chorus

'Now Johnnie, troth, ye werena blate
To come wi' news o' your ain defeat,
And leave your men in sic a strait
Sae early in the morning.

Chorus

'I' faith,' quo' Johnnie, 'I got sic flegs
Wi' their claymores an' philabegs;
If I face them again, deil break my legs!
Sae I wish you a' gude morning'.

Chorus

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 12:26 PM

10. Thank you, Brits!

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #10)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 01:15 PM

12. Thanks to a handful of people, history could have been quite different

Washington fought for the British Empire in the (then) colonies during the French and Indian War but despite good service he was never given a full commission in the British army. In Washington's time, the officer ranks of the British army were filled by people who had bought commissions rather than appointments being given to people who knew what they were doing, there were a few reasons for doing so but it made sure that only the upper classes could afford to buy their way into the army (plus, when an idiot bought a commission the army got to keep the money when they were inevitably killed). Commissions without payment were possible and, in hindsight, Washington should have been given the full commission that he desired. But for a few people at the top of the British military wanting to keep the riff-raff out of the officer ranks of the British Army, Washington might have been leading the British forces in the Revolutionary War.

Britain didn't get rid of paid-for-commissions for nearly 100 years after the Revolutionary War and during that time (and pretty much for the entire time the system was in use by any army) the times where battles were lost can almost always be traced to an officer, with little or no military training but a full purse, being an idiot.

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 03:48 PM

14. I'm really surprised they didn't go with Bonaparte or Hitler.

Or Ghandi, for that matter.

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Response to Marr (Reply #14)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 08:11 PM

18. Hitler fucked things up rather royally for the Germans

Don't see him making the list.

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Response to Marr (Reply #14)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 02:56 AM

19. "had to have led an army in the field against the British"

That means that you can't have Ghandi for obvious reasons, and Hitler never lead an army in the field himself.

Of course the fact that this was a contest run by the National Army Museum may have something to do with this rule.

Looking beyond military leaders you'd have to put Ghandi somewhere at the top of the list.

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 03:51 PM

15. Joan of Arc.

nt.

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 06:47 PM

21. ..

 

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