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Which Historical Military Commander Was Never Defeated?

Fact checked by Brain Bartell

which historical military commander was never defeated

There are military leaders and generals all over the world, and the fact that they can command a military (just by itself) is commendable. But what’s more impressive is doing so without fail. There are plenty who have never lost a battle, in both ancient and modern times. Do you know any of them?

If you don’t, don’t worry.

You can grasp five names from our article answering, “Which historical military commander was never defeated?” below. We will list some among the greatest generals of antiquity as well as those in the more contemporary periods.

Though we cannot conclude these names as the greatest generals of all time, they are surely the toughest generals in history.

Continue reading to learn about these individuals conferring impressive titles, like “the greatest military leader.” We will provide essential information, including a brief history of the commanders curated.

The names that we will be going through are

5 Military Leaders Who Have Never Been Defeated

In Europe

Ancient

1. Alexander the Great (Ancient Greece Macedonia)

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Fast Facts

  • Birth Date: 20 or 21 July 356 BC
  • Birth Place: Pella, Macedon (Today’s Greece)
  • Death Date: 10 or 11 June 323 BC (At the age of 32) Babylon
  • Death Place: Mesopotamia (Today’s Iraq)

Alexander the Great became the King of Macedon after his father passed away. During his reign, he spent most of his time and effort into a military conquering campaign which stretched Western Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia.

  • Note: This campaign is now referred to as (by historians) “The Wars of Alexander the Great.” It was from 336 BC to 323 BC.

As implied in his name, Alexander was considered one of the greatest military leaders in history. He was undefeated in battle and credited for creating one of history’s largest empires.

The Wars of Alexander the Great

Alexander’s series of conquests started with battles against the Achaemenid Persian Empire, which, at the time, was ruled by Drius III of Persia.

Here is a brief summary of all of Alexander’s battles and the fighting theaters:

  • In Persia

    • In Asia Minor

The Battle of the Granicus River (May 334 BC)

The Siege of Halicarnassus (334 BC)

    • In Syria

The Battle of Issus (November 5, 333 BC)

The Siege of Tyre (January to July 332 BC)

    • In Egypt

The Siege of Gaza (October 332 BC)

    • In Mesopotamia

The Battle of Gaugamela (October 1, 331 BC)

    • In Bactria

The Battle of the Persian Gate (January 20, 330 BC)

The Siege of the Sogdian Rock (327 BC)

The Indian Campaign (327 BC to 325 BC)

For a more specific recap, go through his battle record breakdown, screenshotted from Wikipedia:

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Modern

2. Louis-Nicolas Davout (France)

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Fast Facts

  • Nickname: The Iron Marshal
  • Birth Date: 10 May 1770
  • Birth Place: Annoux, Burgundy, France
  • Death Date: June 1, 1823 (At the age of 53)
  • Resting Place: Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris

Davout fought many wars. Here is the long list of all that he was a part of:

The French Revolutionary Wars, which included:

  • The War of the First Coalition, which included:

(1792) The Battle of Jemappes

(1793) The Battle of Neerwinden

(1796 to 1797) The Siege of Kehl

  • The War of the Second Coalition, which included:

The French campaign in Egypt and Syria

(1799) The Battle of Aboukir

The Napoleonic Wars, which included:

  • The War of the Third Coalition

(1805) The Ulm Campaign

(1805) The Battle of Austerlitz

  • The War of the Fourth Coalition

(1806) The Battle of Jena–Auerstedt

(1806) The Capitulation of Küstrin

(1806) The Battle of Czarnowo

(1806) The Battle of Golymin

(1807) The Battle of Eylau

  • The War of the Fifth Coalition

(1809) The Battle of Teugen-Hausen

(1809) The Battle of Eckmühl

(1809) The Battle of Ratisbon

(1809) The Battle of Wagram

  • The French Invasion of Russia, which included:

(1812) The Battle of Saltanovka

(1812) The Battle of Smolensk

(1812) The Battle of Borodino

(1812) The Battle of Maloyaroslavets

(1812) The Battle of Vyazma

(1812) The Battle of Krasnoi

(1812) The Battle of Berezina

  • The War of the Sixth Coalition

(1813) The Siege of Hamburg

  • The Hundred Days

The Defense of Paris

In addition to being recognized as one of the greatest undefeated generals, Davout is known for having a lot of honors and awards. Specifically, he held:

  • The Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Legion of Honor
  • The Knight of the Order of the Iron Crown
  • The Grand Cross & Star of the Virtuti Militari
  • The Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the White Eagle
  • The Knight of the Order of Christ
  • The Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of St. Henry
  • The Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of Max Joseph
  • The Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of St. Stephen of Hungary
  • The Knight of the Military Order of Maria Theresa
  • The Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Elephant

In North America

3. George Henry Thomas (The United States)

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Fast Facts

  • Nicknames: “Rock of Chickamauga,” “Sledge of Nashville,” “Pap Thomas,” among others
  • Birth Date: July 31, 1816
  • Birth Place: Newsom’s Depot, Virginia, U.S
  • Death Date: March 28, 1870 (At the age of 53)
  • Death Place: San Francisco, California, U.S
  • Resting Place: Oakwood Cemetery, Troy, New York, U.S

George Henry Thomas is a name often left out when discussing the best American general ever, though it shouldn’t be. He was a general in the Union Army and played a notable role in many battles in the Civil War. Here is a brief summary of them:

  • 1st Decisive Union Victory: Thomas beat Confederate Brigadier General George B Crittenden and Felix Zollicoffer at the Battle of Mill Springs (January, 1862).
  • Siege of Corinth: Upon being promoted to Major General (April 25, 1862) Thomas was appointed to command the Right Wing, which was comprised of four divisions of the ex Tennessee Army as well as the ex Ohio Army, and lef them to capture Corinth (April 29, 1862 to May 30, 1862).
  • Battle of Stones River: Thomas commanded the Center Wing of the newly arranged Cumberland Army under Rosecrans and led them to successfully stop a Bragg victory.
  • Battles for Chattanooga: A bit before this battle, he succeeded Rosecrans in command. He led the Army to triumph by capturing Lookout Mountain and storming, on the next day, the Confederate line on the Missionary Ridge.
  • Battle of Nashville: Thomas attacked Nashville on December 15, 1864 and destroyed the opponent Army in only two days. From this victory, he received the nickname “The Sledge of Nashville.”

In Asia

Ancient

4. Han Xin (China)

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Fast Facts

  • Nicknames: One of the “3 Heroes of the Early Han Dynasty,” “God of War,” “King of Qi & Chu,”
  • Birth Date: 231 BC
  • Birth Place: Huai’an, Jiangsu
  • Death Date: 196 BC
  • Death Place: Xi’an, Shaanxi

Han Xin was one of the most famous military generals in Chinese history. He served under Xiang Yin as well as Liu Bang. Xin is among the greatest military strategists in Ancient China, starting with his plan for Liu Bang to conquer the Three Qins in Guanzhong, where he had soldiers pretend to be repairmen for the gallery roads between Guanzhong and Hanzhone, while secretly sending another Army through to make a surprise attack on Zhang Han.

The names of his other battles were:

  • The Battle of Jingsuo
  • The Battle of Anyi, Battle of Jingxing, and Battle of Wei River (All part of the Northern campaign)
  • The Battle of Gaixia

Modern

5. Baji Rao (India)

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Baji Rao is one of the world’s Generals who never lost a battle.

Fast Facts

  • Birth Date: August 18, 1700
  • Birth Location: Dubere, Sinnar, Maratha Empire (Today’s Nashik district, Maharashtra, India)
  • Death Date: April 28, 1740 (At the age of 39)
  • Death Place: Maratha Empire’s Raverkhedi, (Today’s Khargone district, Madhya Pradesh, India)

At an early age, Rao was trained as a warrior, going on various military campaigns with his father, and as a diplomat. When he was 20 years old, Rao was appointed as Peshwa, and he succeeded his father, Balaji Vishwanath.

Battles

  • Against the Nizam: Starting with a guerilla attack in 1727, he destroyed the Nizam’s territories in the North and forced them to sign the Treaty of Mungi Shevgaon.
  • Battle of Bundelkhand: With 35,000 horsemen, Rao helped Chhatrasal against a Mughal force led by Muhammad Khan Bangash. Chhatrasal, to thank Rao, gave him a large jagir and his daughter. Before he died, he also handed a third of his territories to Rao’s Marathas.
  • Battle of Dabhoi: Rao combated against an irked force of 40,000 to protect the Maratha’s right to collect taxes in Gujarat.
  • Battle of Delhi: With 50,000 calvary troops, Rao marched to the Mughal capital in November 1736 and defeated the Mughal force in March 1737.
  • Battle of Bhopal: Rao besieged the Nizam (who was helping Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah and his force of 80,000) and chopped off outside provisions. This eventually forced the Nizam to cease fighting and sign a peace agreement (January 1738).

Conclusion

Now, you know at least 5 names to answer, “Which historical military commander was never defeated?” Hopefully, this article has been informative and interesting. If it was, please leave us a comment below. If you have anything else to share on this topic, leave it in the comment as well. We also welcome any follow up questions. Do not be shy about reaching out!

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