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"Revised: Top five generals of the Seven Years War." Topic

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01 Jan 2018 4:07 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Revised:Top five generals of the Seven Years War." to "Revised: Top five generals of the Seven Years War."
  • Removed from 18th Century Discussion board
  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

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Personal logo Cardinal Hawkwood Supporting Member of TMP19 May 2017 5:24 p.m. PST

List in order, if you wish, your choice of who you think may well rate in the "Top Five" commanders of the Seven Years War. Let us keep it to the SYW.
In no particular order .

Ferdinand of Brunswick
Frederick II
François de Chevert
Prince Henry of Prussia

Personal logo Cardinal Hawkwood Supporting Member of TMP19 May 2017 5:25 p.m. PST

This one is Good.

Sobieski19 May 2017 5:36 p.m. PST


(several honourable runners-up)

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP19 May 2017 6:45 p.m. PST

Fredrick…Braune…Daun…Coote(India)…Ferdinand of Brunswick..Honorable mention to Peter the 3rd of Russia who won it for Prussia w/out firing a shot.

Personal logo Narratio Supporting Member of TMP19 May 2017 6:53 p.m. PST

Daun, Seydlitz, Ferdy of Brunswick, Loudon, Freddy II… although the more I look at Coote (thanks jurgenation)… I may have to revise this.

UpperCanada19 May 2017 7:00 p.m. PST

Wolfe would have to be in the top 5…just for territory achieved.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP19 May 2017 7:20 p.m. PST


inverugie20 May 2017 1:54 a.m. PST

Wolfe's gains were subsequently reversed by Levis, so on the basis of territory 'gained' both or neither. Then again, Amherst defeated Levis, so …

The 'top commander' concept is difficult without criteria. Frederick II must be considered a 'top commander' at the strategic and operational levels, but weak at the tactical level. Chevert is a very good tactician, but never operates independently at higher levels: Seydlitz is similar. If you take Duffy's 'Russia's Military Way to the West', Saltykov actually comes out of it quite well.

Chokidar20 May 2017 4:27 a.m. PST

You have to take the Russians with a pinch of Saltykov…

Kevin C Supporting Member of TMP20 May 2017 5:56 a.m. PST

If we are measuring leaders by what they achieved, then Clive must also be considered. Realize, however, that I don't think he could have held his own in battle against the others mentioned above. That said, you have already mentioned Coote, who was a great commander in India.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP20 May 2017 12:54 p.m. PST

Prince Henry
Ferdinand of Brunswick
Freidrich II

olicana21 May 2017 4:07 a.m. PST

For the Brits I would also offer Clive as a solid candidate for long term achievement. He allowed the Brits to rob that massive, hugely wealthy country blind for the next two hundred years.

As they say, you can only beat what's put in front of you.

21eRegt21 May 2017 3:40 p.m. PST

I've always respected Prince Henry (Heinrich) for what he accomplished with the troops given him.
Frederick the Great seems a no-brainer.
Not sure who else.

Hard for me to vote for Wolfe since his battles would be glorified skirmishes in Europe.

Sobieski21 May 2017 4:07 p.m. PST

Interesting that nobody's mentioning Lacy, Loudon, Dessauer, or Ziethen.

Ramming22 May 2017 6:21 a.m. PST

Browne (bit early I know)

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP22 May 2017 5:56 p.m. PST

There are a lot of variables to consider: a good understanding of the "Art of War" ( logistics, lines of supply and communication, strategic movements of the army, etc.) French generals , even the bad ones, were competent at the management of an army.

The Austrian generals Browne and Daun were good strategic tacticians and I'd include Ferdinand of Brunswick and Prince Henry of Prussia and Marshal Broglie in this category. An example is maneuvering your opponent out of a defensive position without resorting to battle. They were also good stewards of their armies, not risking them all in one battle.

Frederick was probably the best general in terms of tactics on the battlefield, although eventually his opponents figured out what he was going to do. Daun also had his moments, particularly in his development of attacking with converging columns.

Of course, winning on the battlefield is probably the best measure of a good General, so on that basis my top five are:

Frederick II
Ferdinand of Brunswick
Prince Henry of Prussia

Osterreicher02 Jun 2017 6:54 p.m. PST

For Army Command (grand strategic & strategic)

i. Friedrich – audaciousness, confidence, unafraid
ii. Prinz Heinrich – very careful, husbanding, and manoeuvred well
iii. Prinz Ferdinand – good strategic skills against vast numbers, and commanded multi-national army well.
iv. von Browne – brilliant strategic vision, and battlefield management .
v. de Broglie – solid if late in the game, great organizational vision
vi. (honorable mention) von Loudon – strong strategic gifts as well as battlefield skills

For battlefield command (operational & tactical)

i. von Seydlitz – firmest grasp of the devastating use of cavalry
ii. von Zieten – all arms commander, saving the day at Torgau
iii. von Loudon – from a brigade of Genzer to a wing, very skilled, tenacious and determined
iv. O'Donnell – strong cavalry skills, who bested von Zieten
v. von Lacy – great organizational and staff skills to begin the transition to independent divisions (as at Hochkirch)

von Winterfeldt11 Jun 2017 8:05 a.m. PST

Frederick the Great

As runner up


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