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AlexanderTheGreat Bust

Alexander the Great was recognised as a great commander by both Hannibal and Napoleon.

This is a list of military commanders. These include the "great captains" of history, as they were styled by military historian Liddell Hart; the major leaders of the armies in the most decisive battles of world history. Also included are those who were notoriously flamboyant, incompetent or otherwise famous, such as General Custer.

Napoleon advised military men to study the campaigns of Alexander, Hannibal, Gustavus, Turenne, Eugene and Frederick.[1] Hannibal, after his defeat by Scipio, said that Alexander was the greatest of generals and that Pyrrhus was next to him in greatness.[1] Many others since then have discussed who was the greatest. In 2011, a poll of experts considered who was Britain's greatest general and divided between the Duke of Wellington and William Slim.[2][3]

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Hungarian peopleEdit


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Tigranes four Kings

Tigranes - the great Armenian warrior-king who fought against Parthia, Rome and the Seleucids.


  • Lusius Quietus governor of Judaea and one of Trajan's chief generals. See Kitos War.
  • Masinissa (c. 238 BC – c. 148 BC) was the first King of Numidia, an ancient North African nation of ancient Libyan peoples, and is most famous for his role as a Roman ally in the Battle of Zama.


  • Boudica c. 25 AD – c. 62 AD, Queen of the Iceni, led an uprising against the invading forces of the Roman Empire.






  • Arminius (16 BC–21 AD), war chief of the Germanic tribe of the Cherusci.
  • Alaric I (375–410), Gothic King, defeated several Roman armies and sacked the city of Rome.




Modun (233–192), king of the Huns

  • Attila the Hun (406–453), king of the Huns, often referred as "Scourge of God" by the Romans.
  • Bleda (390–445), a Hun ruler, the brother of Attila the Hun.


  • Agron (250 BC–230 BC) The first king to unite the Illyrian tribes together and form a kingdom. During his rule Illyria was a strong kingdom which had a strong military force, especially naval. He stopped the attacks of the Roman Empire and the Aetolians by keeping his kingdom free till his death.


  • Divodas 'Atithingva' (15th century BC) He defeated the Shamber,who was the biggest enemy of Aryans .
  • Sudas (circa 15th century BC), Indian king who defeated the ten Rigvedic tribes in the Battle of the Ten Kings
  • Mahapadmnanda (4th century BC) He uprooted all local Kshatriya dynasties and republics and form strongest Magadha empire of that time.
  • Chandragupta Maurya (Sandrocottus) (c. 340–293 BC), Maurya King who conquered the Nanda Empire and northern Indian subcontinent, and defeated Seleucus I Nicator of the Seleucid Empire and other former generals of Alexander the Great.
  • Ashoka the Great (c. 304 BC–232 BC), Maurya King who conquered Kalinga and become the emperor of largest empire in Asia and India at its time.
  • Kharavela (c. 193 BC) Emperor of Kalinga from Chedi Dynasty, who led many successful campaigns against Kingdoms of Magadha, Anga, Satavahanas and regions of Pandyan Empire. He is known to have forced the Indo-Greek king Demetrius to retreat from Mathura.
  • Vasumitra (between approx 130 to 110 BC) He was the grand son of Pushyamitra, founder of Shunga dynasty. He defeated Greeks on the bank of river Indus .
  • Vikramaditya (58–10 BC) He was the president of Republic of Malavas and organized a successful national resistance against Scythian invaders . He established 'Malav calendar' which is still practiced by Hindus as 'VIKRAM SAMVAT' or Vikram's calendar
  • Kanishka(Kanishka the Great) was an emperor of the Gurjar Kushan Empire, ruling an empire extending from Bactria to large parts of northern India in the 2nd century of the common era, and famous for his military, political, and spiritual achievements.He defeated Chinese and controlled Silk-route .
  • Karikala Chola (c. AD 270), Chola king who defeated the Pandya and Chera kings in the Battle of Venni and conquered the Singhalese kingdom.
  • Samudragupta 'the Napoleon of India' (319–380 AD), Gupta Empire king who conquered over 20 Indian, Scythian and Kushan kingdoms. His supremacy was used to accept by whole INDIAN SUBCONTINENT .
  • Chandragupta II 'Vikramaditya (380–415 AD), Gupta king who conquered 21 Indian, Greek, Persian, Kamboja, Kirata and Transoxianan kingdoms . It is said that he reached up to Oxus river, according to Raghuvansham of Kaalidas and Mehroli iron pillar inscription
  • Skandgupta (455–467 AD) He saved India from first Hun attack (Bheetari pillar inscription)
  • Yashodharman (approx 550 AD) He led national resistance against Mihirgul ' the Hun ' and terminated Huns power from India
  • Harshvardhana (606–650 AD) He won whole north India and established strongest empire of India at that time
  • Lalitaditya 'Muktaapeed' (mid 8th century AD) He stopped the invasion of Arabian and Tibetian invasion and established a large empire to defeat his north Indian rival ruler Yashoverman
  • Govind 'the third ' (8th century AD) He not only sprayed Rashtrkuta empire in whole south India but defeated the Pratiharas and Palas also and impelled them to accept his supremacy . He was the strongest king of India at that time
  • Mihirbhoj Pratihar (836–889 AD) He not only stopped Arabian invasion but did counterattack on Arabians of Sindh. As a result importance of Arabians as a political power terminated for ever . An Arabian traveler described him as 'biggest enemy of Islam on the Earth'
  • Rajendra Chola (1012–1044 AD) Conquered south India and defeated the Northern Singhalese kingdoms of Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Andmaan, and a major part of the Shailendra empire [ Today's Indonesia and Malaysia]. He also had some success against Udisa and Bengal. He was also known for his naval ability.





  • Gilgamesh King of Uruk
  • Hammurabi King of Babylon conquered many native peoples.
  • Nebuchadrezzar II King of the Chaldeans and conqueror of Judah.
  • Tiglath-Pileser III King of Assyria. Conqueror of Israel, Syria, other lands that became Assyria, force Judah to pay tribute.
  • Sargon King of Akkad. Created strong Akkadian kingdom.
  • Ben-hadad King of Aram. Often fought Israel and, on occasion, Judah.


Persian EmpireEdit

Seleucid EmpireEdit

  • Seleucus I Nicator (358BC–281BC),One of Alexander the Great's officers that fought in the Wars of the Diadochi after his death.
  • Antiochus III the Great (241–187), Ruler of the Seleucid empire, fought aganist Ptolemaic Egypt and Rome. Also lead expeditions into Bactria and India.

Parthian EmpireEdit

Sassanid EmpireEdit

  • Ardashir I, established the Sassanid Empire by conquering the Parthian Empire and defeating King Artabanus IV after several years of brutal warfare. Artabanus IV was killed in 216 ending the 400-year rule of the Parthian Empire. Ardashir I conquered the provinces of Sistan, Gorgan, Khorasan, Margiana (in modern Turkmenistan), Balkh, and Chorasmia. Bahrain and Mosul were also added to Sassanid possessions later as well. He defeated Roman Emperor Alexander Severus in 232 at the Battle near Ctesiphon.
  • Shapur I conquered the Mesopotamian fortresses Nisibis and Carrhae and advanced into Syria. But was defeated by Timesitheus at the Battle of Resaena in 243. He defeated Roman emperor Philip the Arab (244–249) at the Battle of Misiche. In 253 he defeated Roman Emperor Valerian at the Battle of Barbalissos. This resulted in the conquest of Armenia and invasion of Syria, and he plundered Antioch. Valerian marched against him, but was defeated and captured at the Battle of Edessa by Shahpur I. The outcome of the battle was an overwhelming victory, with the entire 70,000-strong Roman force being slain or captured.
  • Narseh, in 296, fed up with incursions made by the Armenian monarch Tiridates III, Narseh invaded Armenia.Surprised by the sudden attack, Tiridates fled his kingdom. The Roman emperor Diocletian dispatched his son-in-law Galerius with a large army to Tiridates's aid. Galerius invaded Mesopotamia, which Narseh had occupied hoping to check his advance. Three battles were fought subsequently, the first two of which were indecisive. In the third fought at Callinicum, Galerius suffered a complete defeat and was forced to retreat. Later Galerius would have his revenge and defeat Narseh. The end result was a peace treaty.
  • Shapur II, led an expedition through Bahrain, defeated the combined forces of the Arab tribes of "Taghleb", "Bakr bin Wael", and "Abd Al-Qays" and advanced temporarily into Yamama in central Najd. He resettled these tribes in Kerman and Ahvaz. Arabs named him Shabur Dhul-aktaf which means "The owner of the shoulders" after this battle. A twenty-six year conflict (337–363) began in two series of wars with Roman Empire, the first from 337 to 350 against Constantius II. Although often victorious, Shapur II made scarcely any progress. The second series of war began in 359 with Shahpur II conquering Amida and he took Singara and some other fortresses in the next year (360). In 363 Emperor Julian defeated a superior Sassanid army in the Battle of Ctesiphon, but was killed during his retreat at the Battle of Samarra. His successor Jovian (363–364) made an ignominious peace, by which the districts beyond the Tigris which had been acquired in 298 were handed over along with Nisibis and Singara, and the promise not to interfere in Armenia. The outcome was a strategic victory for Shahpur II. Shapur II invaded Armenia, where he took King Arshak II prisoner and forced him to commit suicide. Shapur II subdued the Kushans and took control of the entire area now known as Afghanistan and Pakistan. By his death in 379 the Sassinid Empire was stronger than ever before, considerably larger than when he came to the throne, the eastern enemies were pacified and had gained control over Armenia.


Middle AgesEdit





  • An Lushan (General during Emperor Xuanzong's reign, a Lushan is of Sogdian descent)
  • Yue Fei (Chinese general during the Southern Song Dynasty) known for his legendary tattoo saying "Ultimate Loyalty, Serve your Country"
  • Yang Ye (General serving the Later Han and Northern Song Dynasties)
  • Han Shizhong (Chinese general during the Southern Song Dynasty) fought beside Yue Fei in the campaign to drive out the Jin Jurchen dynasty
  • Zhu Yuanzhang (First Emperor of the Ming Dynasty) led the rebellion against the Mongol Yuan Dynasty
  • Sun Tzu (a heroic general of the king of Wu, Helü) Most famous for his work The Art of War, one of the most famous books on military strategy.



in 896, annihilated the entire Byzantine army in the Battle of Anchialus in 917.

  • Ivan Asen I – recovered Bulgarian territories from the Byzantines and ultimately restored Bulgarian independence.
  • Kaloyan- Also known as the 'Romanslayer', during the Fourth Crusade, he crushed the Latin Crusaders at the Battle of Adrianople and defeated them repeatedly afterwards thus sealing the fate of the gravely weakened Latin Empire.
  • Ivan Asen II

Byzantine EmpireEdit


Rashidun Caliphate GeneralsEdit

Umayyad Caliphate GeneralsEdit

Abbasid Caliphate GeneralsEdit

Mashriq Muslim Dynasties GeneralsEdit

Zengid dynasty: 1127–1250Edit

Ayyubid dynasty: 1171–1246Edit

Mamluks: 1250–1517Edit

Maghreb Muslim Dynasties GeneralsEdit


Durrani EmpireEdit

Turkic Muslim GeneralsEdit






Ottoman EmpireEdit




  • Cnut the Great (King of England, Denmark, Norway, and parts of Sweden)
  • Rurik (founder of the Rus' rule in Eastern Europe)
  • Erik the Red (colonizer of Greenland)
  • Leif Ericson (explorer who is considered to be the first European to reach North America)
  • Olaf Tryggvason (king of Norway from 995 to 1000. He forced thousands to convert to Christianity. He once burned London Bridge down out of anger because people were disobeying his orders)
  • Bagsecg (A Viking who Invaded and pillaged in England in 870, But was killed in 871 at The Battle of Ashdown)
  • Oleg of Novgorod (Varangian prince (or konung) who ruled all or part of the Rus people during the early tenth century, launched attack on Constantinople)

Persia (during the Middle Ages)Edit

Sassanid EmpireEdit

Muslim IranEdit

  • Ya'qub-i Laith Saffari, was the founder of the Saffarid dynasty in Sistan he defeated Ibrahim ibn Ilyas Samanid ruler of Herat in 867 who was sent by governor of Tahirid Khurasan, Muhammad ibn Tahir during the Abbasid Caliphate
  • 'Ismail Samani, father of Tajiks took the city of Talas, the capital of the Karluk Turks in 893. Later established Samanid boundaries of Transoxiana and Khorasan by defeating the Saffarids.
  • Imad al-Daula, defeated the Turkish general Yaqut from Abbasid Caliphate at Baghdad in 934 establishing Buwayhid Confederacy of Persian revivalists within Abbasid Caliphate.
  • Shah Ala ad-Din Muhammad, by 1205 had conquered all of eastern Great Seljuq Empire and declared himself Shah In 1212 he defeated the Gur-Khan Kutluk and conquered the lands of the Kara-Khanid Khanate, now ruling a territory from the Syr Darya almost all the way to Baghdad, and from the Indus River to the Caspian Sea known as the Khwarezm Empire. It was he who brought the wrath of Genghis Khan to the Muslim world by killing his ambassadors.
  • Jalal ad-Din Minkbarny with a badly equipped army decisively defeated the Mongols at the Battle of Parwan which forced Genghis Khan to face Jalal himself at the Battle of Indus in 1221.
  • Ismail I, founded the Safavid Shia state in Azerbaijan in 1502, and had incorporated all of Iran by 1509.
  • Shah ‘Abbas I, defeated the Uzbeks after 10 years of constant warfare at the battle of Herat in 1597. In 1603 he took Baghdad and in 1605 Basra from the Ottomans and by 1611 Shirvan and Kurdistan as well. In 1602, he expelled the Portuguese from Bahrain. In 1615, he killed more than 60,000 Georgians and deported a further 100,000 in Tblisi after a rebellion. A united army of the Turks and Tatars was completely defeated near Sultanieh in 1618. In 1622 he took the island of Hormuz from the Portuguese: much of the trade was diverted to the town of Bandar 'Abbas. The Persian Gulf was now a Persian Domain.
  • Nadir Shah Afshar, rose to power during a period of anarchy in Persia after a rebellion by Afghans and both the Ottomans and the Russians had seized Persian territory for themselves. Nader reunited the Persian realm and removed the invaders. He became so powerful that he decided to depose the last members of the Safavid dynasty, which had ruled Persia for over 200 years, and become shah himself in 1736. His campaigns created a great Iranian Empire. In 1738 conquered Kandahar. Invaded the Mughal Empire and He defeated the Mughal army at the Battle of Karnal in February 1739, he was assassinated in 1747.
  • Muhammad Khan Qajar, In 1795 he attacked Georgia and also captured Khorasan. Shah Rukh, ruler of Khurasan and grandson of Nadir Shah, was tortured to death. He was the First Persian ruler to make Tehran, then only a village, a capital.




  • Lalitaditya Muktapida (8th century), Kashmiri king who conquered a number of Indian, Uttarakuru, Kamboja, Turkic, Tocharian, Tibetan and Dardic kingdoms.
  • Devapala (9th century), Bengali Pala king who conquered the Northern Indian, North-East Indian, Andhra Pradesh, Huna and Kamboja kingdoms.
  • Pluikeshi II the great who defeated king Mahendraverma of Pallava kingdom and then famed Harshavardhana and only one king in India who received the delegation from Emperor Khusro III of Persia to Help him check the onslaught of Arab Muslim Invasion.
  • King Govinda III of RASHTRAKUTA kingdom
  • King Krishna III of Rashtrakuta Kingdom
  • Raja Raja Chola I (AD 985–1014), Chola king who Conquered Chera, Pandya kingdoms. Rajaraja invaded and burnt Sri Lanka to the ground in AD 993. He also invaded Chalukyas, Kalinga and Vengi nations.
  • Rajendra Chola I (11th century), Tamil Chola king and naval commander who conquered the Pala Empire, Srivijaya Empire, Sri Lanka, and the Chalukya, Rashtrakuta and Pandya dynasties.
  • Bakhtiyar Khilji, laid the foundation of Muslim rule in Bengal by defeating Lakshman Sen in 1205.
  • Zafar Khan (13th century), Muslim Indian general who defeated invaders from the Mongol Empire.
  • Alauddin Khilji
  • Tuluva Sri Krishna Deva Raya, Tulu: ತುಳುವಾ ಶ್ರೀ ಕೃಷ್ಣದೇವರಾಯ, Kannada: ಶ್ರೀ ಕೃಷ್ಣದೇವರಾಯ, Telugu: శ్రీకృష్ణదేవరాయ) also known as Krishna Raya (AD 1509–1529), was the famed Emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire. The rule of Krishna Deva Raya marks a period of much military success in Vijayanagar history. On occasion, the king was known to change battle plans abruptly and turn a losing battle into victory

Sri LankaEdit

  • Parākramabāhu I (1123–1186), King of Polonnaruwa who unified the three sub kingdoms of the island and undertook military campaigns in southern India and in Myanmar.
  • Gajabâhu I, King of Rajarata led a successful invasion of Chola territory.
  • Dutthagamani Abhaya, King of Rajarata, unified the island and ended the first Chola occupation
  • Vijayabâhu I, King of Polonnaruwa, unified the island and ended the second Chola occupation


  • Takeda Shingen, daimyo during the Sengoku period of Japan. Known for the famous phrase "Swift as the Wind, Silent as a Forest, Fierce as Fire, and Immovable as a Mountain" on his standard; demonstrating his political and military strategies.
  • Uesugi Kenshin daimyo during the Sengoku period Japan. Known as the "Dragon of Echigo for his prowess on the battlefield, considered the primary rival of Takeda Shingen.
  • Sanada Yukimura, retainer of Takeda Shingen, praised as "a hero who may appear once in hundred years" and "crimson demon of war". In legend, he is the leader of the Sanada Ten Braves.
  • Minamoto no Yoshitsune, general whose decisive victories brought down the Taira clan during the Genpei War.
  • Oda Nobunaga (1534–1582), warlord during the Sengoku period of Japan. First of the three unifiers of Japan.
  • Toyotomi Hideyoshi, seized control over Japan after the death of Oda Nobunaga.
  • Tokugawa Ieyasu, finally ended the Sengoku period, pacified and united Japan, and founded the Tokugawa shogunate that would last over 250 years.
  • Date Masamune, daimyo during the Edo period of Japan. He went on to found the modern-day city of Sendai. He was more iconic for being called dokuganryu the one-eye dragon.



  • Trưng sisters, The Trưng sisters (Vietnamese: Hai Bà Trưng; literally: two ladies Trưng) (c. 12 - AD 43) were leaders who rebelled against Chinese rule for three years, and are regarded as national heroines of Vietnam.
  • Ngô Quyền, general who led the struggle for independence against the Chinese In AD 938.
  • Lý Thường Kiệt who defeated Song China in 1075.
  • Tran Hung Dao, general during the Trần Dynasty. Lead the armies that thrice repelled Mongol invasions of Vietnam.
  • Lê Lợi, A military commander and founder of the le dynasty, he is among the most famous figures from the medieval period of Vietnamese history.
  • Nguyễn Huệ known as Emperor Quang Trung (光中皇帝; Quang Trung Hoàng đế ). He was also one of the most successful military commanders in Vietnam's history









Modern eraEdit


Vladimir Vazov Mihail Savov




Brigadier William Patrick Bewley 1937-