Essay about History´s Greatest Military Captains

Essay about History´s Greatest Military Captains

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There are many qualities one requires to be a successful General, they can be divided into two categories as I see it: those of character, that is, personal leadership, and those of professional and tactical capacity. When it comes to command in the field, the first category is slightly more important than the second, although it is useless, of course, if separated from the second, and vice versa. Alexander III of Macedon and Hannibal of Carthage are considered among the greatest generals to have ever lived.
Alexander's legendary feats and his ability to grasp the strategic and tactical situation are absolutely worth studying for all military leaders in learning the art of war. What he was able to accomplish before he was thirty-three years old is nothing short of a Herculean effort, very much similar to his own hero, Achilles, from Homer's Iliad. Alexander had founded some 70 cities, many bearing his name, both as strongholds and cultural and trade centers, thereby spreading Greek ideals and knowledge eastward as far as China. When Rome gained control of the Hellenistic world after 190 B.C.E., Greek culture rapidly infused that of Rome, and together they formed the basis of modern western culture. Alexander deployed the new technologies and equipment to perfection. He almost always scouted his enemies and their terrain before moving against them to avoid getting caught by surprise or at a disadvantage. Alexander also put himself at the center of each skirmish, where he could do the most damage and assume the most risk. His armies moved swiftly, sometimes suddenly appearing in places he was thought unable to reach, and with their reputation for ferocity they often were able to demoralize or scare opposing armies into scattering ...

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...onomic instruments of power in coordination with military force to achieve his objectives. In the same vein, when examining the transcendent military genius of Hannibal, there cannot be two opinions. He occupied hostile lands for fifteen years against a plethora of armies and their respective generals. Wonderful as his achievements were, we must also consider the lack of support that he received from Carthage. There is no way to properly compare the Generalships of Alexander and Hannibal due to not only the different enemies, Alexander fought a Persian Empire in its waning hour whereas Hannibal fought Scipio as Rome was reaching the height of her power, but also completely different styles of stratagem. What we can say is that both Generals were brutally effective and during their prime commanded among the deadliest fighting machines the Mediterranean had ever seen.

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