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Which general in history had the biggest command in terms of troops?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by the_diego, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. the_diego

    the_diego Member

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    In world war 2, I'm guessing it was Eisenhower towards the end of the war. Himmler's 2-million command at the final stand of Berlin shouldn't count since it was basically a ghost army, and Himmler himself was not a tenured general.

    In world war 1, I'm not sure whose army (divided into different fronts) was the biggest, before the inevitable decimation in battle.
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    How are you defining "command". Why Ike rather than Marshal? The Red Army was bigger than that of the combined Western Allies.
     
  3. chibobber

    chibobber Member

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    Bradley's 12th Army Group should be considered,depending on definition.
     
  4. the_diego

    the_diego Member

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    Bradley had close to a million when the Ninth Army was removed from Monty and transferred to him. Well, we have to qualify this to include only field commanders, so Chiefs of staff or Secretaries of War don't count. I'm still guessing Ike since he commanded an entire front, while the Soviets had three independent commanders under Stalin.
     
  5. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    The Chief of Staff of the PLA appears to currently be a gentleman called Li Zuocheng.
    Almost 5 million regulars and reserves under his command.

    The WW2 Red Army swelled beyond 11 million men at its peak.
    Can Stalin be defined as its 'Commander'? Certainly wore a uniform, though given his eventual acceptance of delegation I'd definitely be looking for which Soviet Marshal had the largest command.
     
  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Was Ike a "field commander"?
     
  7. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    I am guessing ,Marshal Georgy Zhukov, and Marshal Ivan Konev field commanders, should be strong contenders for the largest number of troops directly in their command. as both approached Berlin, in two groups , because of the sheer size of the Soviet army. Omar Bradley would be my other choice. If I had to bet I would choose Zhukov .
     
  8. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    I think it probably has to be Zhukov.
    Perhaps while commanding all groups in the defence of Moscow the best specific 'mass' of men directly under control?
    It would take digging about to be certain of figures but he was an active and involved commander of vast armies, plural, throughout the war, beyond his 'executive' status & in a way I'm not sure any historical soldier can quite compete with for scale.
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Looks like (from wiki so it's far from certain) that the Red Army fronts may have exceeded a million men at least on paper. Zhukov wasn't the only one to command a Front though.

    Vasilevsky had 3 fronts and 1.5 million under his command during August Storm. Mac had ~1.25 million under his command during the invasion of the Philippines significantly more were assigned for Olympic under his command, not sure how many were in theater though by the time the war ended.


    At what point does one stop being a "field commander"?
     
  10. toki2

    toki2 Active Member

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    Red army. General Mao Zedong.
     
  11. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    By the time the People's Liberation Army was in the running I don't think Mao qualified as a field commander.
     
  12. JJWilson

    JJWilson Active Member

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    Chester Nimitz certainly had a few hundred thousand maybe millions of troops at some point? He didn't have the most under his command, but if I can I like to bring up the lesser noticed generals and countries to the forefront :p
     
  13. Ken The Kanuck

    Ken The Kanuck Member Patron  

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    In history is the question.

    I believe that the answers given pertain to WWII.

    Is this what the OP wanted?

    KTK
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I think that part was open but under most (but perhaps not all) interpretations of the question I think the answer will be from WWII. The problem is deciding exactly what is meant by the question. From some of the clarification I got the impression combat command was implied so Ike for instance wouldn't count (nor would Marshal or FDR for the US similarly for the Soviets).
     

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