George Washington Named Britains Worse Enemy


PDA
Stevejet
04-15-2012, 04:29 PM
LONDON (Reuters) - American revolutionary leader George Washington has been voted the greatest enemy commander to face Britain, lauded for his spirit of endurance against the odds and the enormous impact of his victory.

In a contest organised by the National Army Museum, Washington triumphed over Irish independence hero Michael Collins, France's Napoleon Bonaparte, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.

Making the case for Washington, historian Stephen Brumwell said the American War of Independence (1775-83) was "the worst defeat for the British Empire ever."

"His personal leadership was crucial," he said.

Washington was a courageous and inspirational battlefield commander who led from the front but also had the skills to deal with his political counterparts in Congress and with his French allies, Brumwell said. Above all, he never gave up even when the war was going against him.

"His army was always under strength, hungry, badly supplied. He shared the dangers of his men. Anyone other than Washington would have given up the fight. He came to personify the cause, and the scale of his victory was immense."

Almost 8,000 people voted in an online poll which produced a shortlist of five men, whose merits were debated by guest speakers at a weekend event at the museum before a final ballot of attendees.

The main criterion was that each commander must have led an army against British forces in battle - which ruled out foes such as Adolf Hitler - and that they must fall within the National Army Museum's time frame of the 17th century onwards.

Michael Collins was hailed as a great guerrilla tactician who took on and defeated British forces within the state itself. Bonaparte challenged Britain for nearly a quarter of a century across the globe before his defeat at Waterloo.

The legend of Rommel inspired fear and awe among British troops in the North African desert in World War Two, even though his battlefield successes were limited. Ataturk was involved in one of Britain's greatest military humiliations at Gallipoli and later thwarted British designs in the region and created modern Turkey.

Matthew Hughes of London's Brunel University said that Rommel and Napoleon were both great operational commanders but they ultimately achieved nothing on the political level.

"The other three are more interesting because they all achieved a political objective, something concrete that is still with us."

None of the five is particularly pleasant ideologically," Hughes added, saying that even Washington was a slave owner whose newly forged country then went on to try to destroy its native population.

(Reporting by Angus MacSwan, London newsroom 44 207 542 7918; editing by Tim Pearce)

If you enjoyed reading about "George Washington Named Britains Worse Enemy" here in the FamilyFriendsFirearms.com archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join FamilyFriendsFirearms.com today for the full version!
Vern Humphrey
04-15-2012, 05:57 PM
It has been fashionable to consider Washington a great leader, but not a great general. No one who has studied the Yorktown Campaign, and marveled at his masterful handling of an extremely complex situation (in an age before electronic communication) can consider him as anything less than a great general as well.

KathleenElsie
04-15-2012, 08:58 PM
Like to read about history.

Urzandowski
04-15-2012, 11:52 PM
Really? I would have thought it to be Gandhi.

Machinist
04-16-2012, 02:12 PM
I believe Gandhi is over rated. His courage was admirable and unquestionable but his ideas only worked against a humane opponent. Imagine his tactics against the Nazis or the Japanese.

Washington was indeed almost a miracle for us. Not only was he a good military leader, but he had the honor and character to draw the loyalty of a broad range of men to the cause and he was of such character that he was the first man in two thousand years to have absolute power in his hands and give it back to the people, and he did it more than once.

The final swipe about being a slave owner is almost true but really a smear. It does him a great injustice.

Machinist
04-16-2012, 02:16 PM
Had Gandhi not called for cooperation with the British during the war I don't see how the British could have stopped a rebellion from freeing India from the British. That was not an enemy.

Stevejet
04-16-2012, 03:04 PM
Without the Continental Army the American Revolution would have ended. With its ranks depleted to approximately 1,200 men by the end of the ordeal at Valley Forge, Washington had kept the Continental Army alive and being trained as an army. By doing so, Washington kept the revolution alive. The defeat and capture of George Washington was always the British Army's goal. He and his "name" were the revolution.

Machinist
04-16-2012, 04:29 PM
Very true.

Urzandowski
04-17-2012, 12:46 AM
I believe Gandhi is over rated. His courage was admirable and unquestionable but his ideas only worked against a humane opponent. Imagine his tactics against the Nazis or the Japanese.

Washington was indeed almost a miracle for us. Not only was he a good military leader, but he had the honor and character to draw the loyalty of a broad range of men to the cause and he was of such character that he was the first man in two thousand years to have absolute power in his hands and give it back to the people, and he did it more than once.

The final swipe about being a slave owner is almost true but really a smear. It does him a great injustice.

You are abslouetly correct, the Nazis or the Japs would have just taken Gandhi around back and shot him.
Washington however went up against a world power and won!

brigadier
04-17-2012, 05:47 PM
Right now, I would think the Brits would not only regard him as their greatest former adversary but also as a model character.

Washington WAS a slave owner and DID tolerate slavery, but a more detailed look at the situation paints a different picture. He treated his slaves like human beings and deliberately though in some ways covertly coursed the nation to gradually abolish slavery (which may have succeeded by 1870 had the civil war not happened.

While there's some reason to suspect he may have been a less then kind slave master in his younger years, he wound up doing allot for slaves and former slaves in his older years, allot more then was popular at the time.

Just because you were "technically" a slave owner doesn't mean you were abusive or OK with the institution of slavery. Heck, if I moved back in time to then and acquired a huge amount of land and $, I'd buy up as many slaves as I could, USE the institution of slavery to protect them (anyone who wanted to beat them for having a good life would be barred by my property rights to them) and start up a self-sufficiency community where everyone looks after one and other. It'd be a nice life for everyone, but you'd remember me as a cold blooded slave owner.

We often think of our nation's fall from grace post-dating the civil war but some of our original founders, including Washington complained about it happening in their own lifetime.

bluedlightning
04-17-2012, 07:32 PM
Its rare that someone would venerate a former enemy.

Machinist
04-17-2012, 07:32 PM
Washington did not approve of buying or selling a human being. The slaves were given to his wife as wedding gift or inheritance, I don't remember which, and while he could have freed them it would have left her impoverished. He insisted that they be treated well and that they all be taught a trade so they could make a good living when freed, not just have to sell their labor for almost nothing. Slave based farms then usually just supported themselves. The real wealth came from selling the extra slaves as they had children. These were very valuable. I saw one mention that two healthy slaves was worth a commercial lot in the city. Consider real estate values in NYC today to get an idea. The problem for Washington was that he refused to sell them so he was supporting and paying tax on more slaves than he needed and would not sell a few to cover the costs. When he was away serving the country his farms did not run as efficiently so he had a serious problem with back taxes. He was reduced to asking friends for help lest he loss his farms and home. Selling just two slaves would have solved his problem and selling his extra would have made him very wealthy, but he would not do it and stipulated in his will that all the slaves be freed on Martha's death.

Imagine being judged by the social standards that are popular two centuries from now. Many of us might look very bad by those standards.

melensdad
04-17-2012, 07:59 PM
I'm confused.

I always thought the biggest enemy of the British people was bad dental care.

Stevejet
04-17-2012, 10:52 PM
"Flouridation, Mandrake. Ever hear of it?" Col. Jack D. Ripper, SAC, Burpleson AFB, TX.

If you enjoyed reading about "George Washington Named Britains Worse Enemy" here in the FamilyFriendsFirearms.com archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join FamilyFriendsFirearms.com today for the full version!