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"Best General of the French and Indian War" Topic

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22 Jun 2018 1:08 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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979 hits since 21 Aug 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian21 Aug 2017 1:08 p.m. PST

Which general was the best?

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP21 Aug 2017 1:21 p.m. PST

The guy who won. Wolfe.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP21 Aug 2017 1:21 p.m. PST

Probably Montcalm, he was able to consistently beat larger British forces throughout most of the war-

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP21 Aug 2017 1:25 p.m. PST


Dan Beattie Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member21 Aug 2017 2:20 p.m. PST


Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP21 Aug 2017 2:32 p.m. PST

Not that Scottish one that managed to get his entire column wiped out by a few Indians. He was quite heartless too.

Garde de Paris21 Aug 2017 2:35 p.m. PST

Gunfreak, that is SOOOO bad! Colonel Munro "…was quite heartless too" thanks to Maqua!


Personal logo Toy Soldier Green Supporting Member of TMP21 Aug 2017 2:52 p.m. PST

The guy that runs the 54mm F&IW game at Recruits but failing that then Wolfe.

Duc de Brouilly21 Aug 2017 3:11 p.m. PST

De Levis. Came back and beat the Brits on the Plains of Abraham.

basileus66 Inactive Member21 Aug 2017 3:20 p.m. PST

Pitt… Ok, he wasn't a general, but he was the true architect of victory.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP21 Aug 2017 4:08 p.m. PST

Basielus66, you have a good point, Pitt turned the war around.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP21 Aug 2017 4:30 p.m. PST

I'm reading Parkman currently. With all the infighting and arguing among the colonies, it really is a wonder that the British managed to win.

Steelkilt21 Aug 2017 5:44 p.m. PST

I vote for John Bradstreet, even though he wasn't promoted to general until 1772. His battling Battoe-men and the 1758 sack of Fort Frontenac after the catastrophe at Ticonderoga are epic achievements!

Jeigheff Inactive Member21 Aug 2017 6:22 p.m. PST

James Wolfe. If you want to include Pontiac's Rebellion, then I'd have to include Pontiac himself and ultimately, Henry Bouquet.

Andrew Preziosi Supporting Member of TMP21 Aug 2017 6:30 p.m. PST

Henry BUCKET ! wink

Personal logo Unlucky General Supporting Member of TMP21 Aug 2017 9:01 p.m. PST

François-Gaston de Lévis, Duc de Lévis – a no-brainer for me. He was part of the taking of Fort William Henry, successfully defended at Carillon, missed the Plains of Abraham (good move) and won the bloodiest battle at Saint Foy in a marvellous come-back – just not good enough. Strategically neither he nor Montcalm could win in isolation but put up a hell of a defence and made the British pay dearly. Unlike Wolfe or Montcalm, he lived a comparatively long life to tell his tale – died aged 68.

historygamer22 Aug 2017 4:59 a.m. PST

Montcalm was good, but part of being a good general is getting along with the civilian overseers, which he did not. That poor relationship hurt their cause.

There weren't many battles that allowed a rating of tactical ability on either side.

The English devoted more and sustained resources to the war, so it is hard (and somewhat unfair) to measure the efforts of their generals vs those of France.

Amherst conducted a classic siege operation against Louisbourg. He coordinated a three pronged attack on Montreal – with the different columns arriving within days of each other. He did more than a credible job overseeing the military land operations across the continent.

Don't underestimate the Royal Navy either, that strangled supplies and reinforcements to New France.

My picks would be:

1. Amherst (he won)
2. Wolfe
3. Montcalm
4. Forbes (conducted a masterful campaign of fortified positions)

Some other commanders of note on both sides, but they weren't generals.

Duc de Brouilly22 Aug 2017 11:20 a.m. PST

I was always surprised at Fortescue's account of the Battle of Quebec: he seems to be trying to find excuses for Montcalm and saying that Wolfe got lucky. Not what you'd expect given his usual views on the British and the French!

Cluck Amok22 Aug 2017 9:17 p.m. PST

"The guy that runs the 54mm F&IW game at Recruits". . . I'm that guy. More of a quartermaster than a general ; ) I don't know enough to pick a best general, but no single battle has captured my imagination more than the Plains of Abraham, where both Montcalm and Wolfe lost their lives. Parkman's telling is heartbreaking.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Aug 2017 5:29 a.m. PST

General Militia Draft/Conscription – Can't argue it had a larger impact on the outcome of the conflict than the efforts of any one commander …

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2017 3:39 p.m. PST

Montcalm was good, but part of being a good general is getting along with the civilian overseers, which he did not.

Because Montcalm was a man of honour and honesty, and Vaudreuil was anything but. The Governor General was rife with corruption and graft, and meddled with Montcalm's running of the military. Montcalm did very well considering the circumstances

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2017 4:12 p.m. PST

Don't underestimate the Royal Navy either, that strangled supplies and reinforcements to New France.


After Historicon this summer I was talking to one of the historians at the Fredericksburg battlefield. He felt that the Union Navy never got the credit that was due to them in their role in the ACW.

I think the same can be said about the Royal Navy's role in the FIW. After de Levis won at St. Foy, he could not drive Murray from Quebec City. So all he could do was watch for which ships appeared in the spring first. It was the British and he hightailed it back to Montreal.

Again, Vaudreuil did little to stop British ships from sailing close to Quebec City. His gun batteries were too small, and too few. Same with the usual tactics like blockades and fire ships. Vaudreuil and the other governing officials arrogantly thought the St Lawrence was too unpredictable and dangerous for anyone but the French to safely sail down.

It's interesting to read about a young Captain James Cook and his efforts to get the British ships safely past Quebec City.

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