History Essay Structure Example: Tactics

In regards to only tactics, which general would come out on top between Napoleon, Hannibal, Alexander the Great, and Subutai?


War – a phenomenon, that has become an integral part of the history and often had a decisive influence on its course. During the war manifested the talents of  army leaders. Among many other clearly distinguished figures of Napoleon, Hannibal, Alexander the Great and Subutai. To compare their talents the only criterion we will make tactics.

In the first place I would put Hannibal. He had a great siege tactic. It is evidenced by the  fall of mighty Sagunto 219-218r. B.C. An important element of Hannibal troop tactics were ambush, attack from behind or other vulnerable places. This we can see in the battles At Lake Tracimene, Trebbiya and especially of Cannae, where the superior forces of the opponent were crushed by Carthaginians. [1]

About Napoleon, tactics were one of the reasons of his success, but not the main. I agree with Lorein Petre, who wrote, that «His talents lay elsewhere, in the strategic and administrative areas of war. Napoleon had the ability to visualize with great clarity the military situation confronting him and to determine the most profitable course of action.»[2] I even think, that his quick, aggressive strategy influenced on tactics. Besides, David G. Chandler noted Napoleon studying the earlier commanders, particularly Frederick the Great.[3]

Everybody knows about Alexander`s  legendary courage, fraternal relations with soldiers and motivational skills. But the tactic of his army, based on phalanx of trained soldiers, was created by his father, Philip II. [4]  Practically the same is situation with Subutai. He was the general of one of the most powerful army of his time, organized by Genghis Khan. Nevertheless, they had some own tactical decisions, that show their talents. Alexander avoided phalanx main problem– being not effective for hilly surface.[5] Subutai was one of the first, who used siege machines not in siege, but in the battle.[6]

In conclusion, there is not a consensus between historians in this question. And I don`t think, that it will sometimes be. Alexander, Napoleon, Subutai and Hannibal were really talented generals, used tactics successfully, won a lot of battles and left their marc on history. That`s why there will always be arguments for discussion.


1.Morey W.C. Outlines of Roman History. 1906. Retrieved from http://www.forumromanum.org/history/morey15.html
2.Lorein Petre quote. Retrieved from http://www.napolun.com/mirror/napoleonistyka.atspace.com/Napoleon_tactics.htm
3. David.G.Chandler quote. Retrieved from http://www.napolun.com/mirror/napoleonistyka.atspace.com/Napoleon_tactics.htm
4. Wasson D.L. The Army of Alexander the Great. 04.04. 2014. In Ancient history Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www.ancient.eu/article/676/
5. Wasson D.L. The Army of Alexander the Great. 04.04. 2014. In Ancient history Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www.ancient.eu/article/676/
6. Tucker S.C. 500 Great Military Leaders [2 volumes]. 16. 12. 2014 Retrieved from https://books.google.com.ua/booksid=SZHgBQAAQBAJ&pg=PA720&lpg=PA720&dq=subutai+siege+engines&source”

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