Britain's Greatest Enemy Commander - George Washington16 april 2012, 18:07
Great Britain's National Army Museum held an online poll on Britain’s most celebrated enemies from February 13 to March 31. The poll was created to highlight the achievements of Britain’s most celebrated enemies and to draw attention to some of its lesser-known adversaries. In assembling the shortlist the main criterion was that each commander must have led an army against British forces in the field of battle (which saw the exclusion of some political enemies, like Adolf Hitler) and that they must fall within the Museum’s historical remit (from the 17th century onwards).
The poll included 20 commanders: Akbar Khan, Andrew Jazkson, Eduard Totleben, Erwin Rommel, George Washington, James Fitzjames (Duke of Berwick), Louis Botha, Maurice de Saxe, Michael Collins, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Napoleon Bonaparte, Ntshingwayo kaMahole, Osman Digna, Paul von Hindenburg, Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, Rani of Jhansi, Riwha Titokowaru, Santiago de Liniers, Tipu Sultan and Tomoyuki Yamashita.
Here are the Top 5 Britain's Greatest Enemy Commanders:
1. George Washington (45 percent of the vote in the final round)
"Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all."
George Washington, 'Letter of Instructions to the Captains of the Virginia Regiments' (1759)
George Washington. Photo courtesy of wordpress.com
2. Michael Collins (21 percent)
"There was a touch of the Napoleonic in Collins’ military brilliance. He used thorough, unorthodox methods to beat his enemy, giving tactical lessons which have not been lost since his time on other guerilla fighters in many parts of the world."
Rex Taylor, in 'Michael Collins' (1958)
Collins at the funeral of Arthur Griffith, (16 August 1922), six days before his own assassination.Photo courtesy of www.nam.ac.uk
3. Napoleon Bonaparte (18 percent)
"I used to say of him that his presence on the field made the difference of forty thousand men."
The Duke of Welington on Napoleon, 1831
"Napoleon at Fontainbleau". ©REUTERS
4. Erwin Rommel (10 percent)
"We have a very daring and skillful opponent against us, and, may I say across the havoc of war, a great general."
Winston Churchill in the House of Commons, 1942
Portrait of Marshal Erwin Rommel. Source: Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive)
5. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (6 percent)
"I don’t order you to fight, I order you to die. In the time it takes us to die, other troops and commanders can come and take our places."
Mustafa Kemal at Gallipoli, April 1915
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Photo courtesy of www.auburn.edu
Source: National Army Museum