Who was the worst historian in history

Military history: the worst generals of all time - a list

The historian and journalist Jan von Flocken (born 1954), who lives near Berlin, has portrayed the outstanding military leaders in history from Hannibal to Patton in three books. In the following, he presents his personal list of the biggest rivets that led entire armies to disaster.

10. Charles the Bold of Burgundy (1433–1477)

The ability to learn was not his strong point. Although he had already suffered two severe defeats against the Swiss infantry (Grandson March 1476, Murten June 1476), the Burgundian Duke Karl stuck to his outdated tactics. His knights blew up against the closed infantry formation made of halberds and spears with an inserted lance like on the medieval tournament ground. Then the men were torn from their horses and beaten to death. Also at Nancy in 1477 Charles acted with blind valor again and lost battle and life on January 15th.

9. Rodolfo Graziani (1882–1955)

Even his well-groomed uniform did not make Rodolfo Graziani a war hero. The advance of the Italians into Egypt, which he commanded in the autumn of 1940, was extremely chaotic. Parts of the troops panicked from their own artillery fire, and officers left their positions. After a few kilometers, Graziani stopped and waited to see what the British would do. They quickly counterattacked, captured more than 150,000 Italians with just 25,000 soldiers, and captured 400 tanks and 1,200 artillery pieces. Half of the Italian colonial empire in North Africa was lost within eight weeks. Graziani declared that "I am not responsible for this" and lost his command.

8. Pyrrhus of Epirus (318-272 BC)

The king from Epirus in northern Greece gave his name to a fictitious victory. Pyrrhus took on the Romans in southern Italy, placing too much trust in his favorite weapon, the war elephant. Although he won at Heraclea 280 and Ausculum 279 BC. BC, but with horrific losses (Pyrrhic victories) because the unpredictable elephants often trampled their own ranks. Soon the Romans saw through his rigid warfare and decisively defeated him in the battle of Beneventum. Pyrrhus had to withdraw miserably from Italy and died in a street fight in the city of Argos.

7. Andoche Junot (1771-1813)

Napoleon's childhood friend Andoche Junot held high command posts in the French army, although he was completely unsuitable for it. At Austerlitz in 1805, still acting sensibly under the supervision of his master and master, he failed at the first independent command. In Portugal, in 1808, Junot suffered a bitter defeat against Wellington at Vimeiro and concluded the humiliating surrender of Cintra. As a corps commander in the Russian campaign in 1812, he operated in the battle of Walutino completely apathetically and “in such an unscrupulous, cowardly manner” that Napoleon had to send him home. Troubled Junot jumped out the window in 1813.

6. Guido de Lusignan (+1 194)

The stubbornness of the King of Jerusalem, who had ruled since 1186, ushered in the downfall of the Crusader states in the Middle East. Against the advance of the Muslim sultan Saladin, Guido de Lusignan chose the worst possible strategy in 1187: advance through waterless terrain. In order to save the besieged city of Tiberias, Guido set out on July 3, 1187 on the almost 25-kilometer march; He left the water carts behind to speed up the march. On the parched plateau of Hattin, his roughly 20,000 men (including 1,500 knights) promptly fell into the trap. Close to dying of thirst and without any cover, the army was destroyed in the hail of arrows from the Saracens. Jerusalem fell three months later.

5. Redvers Buller (1839-1908)

The British general Edvers Buller had earned rather dubious fame in the war against African Zulu tribes in 1879 and in the suppression of uprisings in Egypt. During the fighting he always sat at the table to eat; He considered military intelligence to be superfluous. As commander-in-chief in the Boer War of 1899/1900, Buller culpably underestimated his enemy and, despite oppressive numerical and technical superiority, lost the battles at Colenso and Spionskop. Mocked by the soldiers as "Reverse Buller" (defeat buller), he was suspended from duty in 1901, while his salary was halved.

4. Karl Mack von Leiberich (1752–1828)

He had served as a good bureaucrat in the Imperial Austrian Army for a quarter of a century, but in 1805 Karl Mack von Leiberich made himself the greatest laughing stock of recent military history. His mission: stop the advance of Napoleon's troops north of the Danube until reinforcements arrive. In the battle of Esslingen on October 14th, he suffered a setback and retired to Ulm fortress. Here, after only five days, he completely lost his nerve and surrendered without a serious siege. With him 14 generals and 27,000 men went into captivity without a fight. A court martial sentenced Mack to death. Thanks to Imperial grace, he was released after three years of imprisonment.

3. George A. Custer (1839–1876)

Rarely has a general acted so arrogantly. George Armstrong Custer's early fame as a cavalry leader in the American Civil War (1861–1865) went to head. Driven by ambition, he wanted to win the decisive victory over the Plains Indians on his own. At Little Bighorn in 1876, Custer renounced proper investigation and also committed what Napoleon said was the greatest sin of the general - to share one's own armed force in the face of a numerically superior enemy. As a result, his considerably better armed 7th US Cavalry was defeated by the Indians in the ensuing battle; Custer fell in battle.

2. Douglas Haig (1861-1928)

His wrong decisions and his unbelievable ignorance cost hundreds of thousands of lives in the First World War. On the Somme in 1916 and in Flanders in 1917, the British Field Marshal Douglas Haig chased his soldiers against the German positions with heavy artillery barrages and machine gun salvos without cover. On the first day of the Somme battle alone (July 1, 1916), the British counted 57,470 dead and wounded. Haig rejected the use of machine guns because they were "a severely overrated weapon" and "put the soldiers in a passive and pessimistic mood". The man had truly earned his nickname "Butcher" (butcher).

1st Semyon Budjonny (1883–1973)

Semen Budyonny was still a cavalry sergeant in the tsarist army. His friendship with Stalin earned him the title of Marshal of the Soviet Union. The catastrophic boiler battle