Leicester historian in 'Greatest General' debate

Posted by mjs76 at Apr 14, 2011 02:41 PM |
Oliver Cromwell loses out at the last hurdle to Arthur Wellesley and ‘Uncle Bill’.

In recent months, the National Army Museum has been running an online poll to find Britain’s Greatest General. Visitors were asked to choose from 20 possible candidates, ranging over four centuries from Fairfax to Montgomery.

The top five were shortlisted and featured in a live debate which took place at the Museum last Saturday with each of the quintet championed by a notable historian. Dr Andrew Hopper from our School of Historical Studies stepped into the ring on behalf of Oliver Cromwell. (Andrew is an expert on the Civil War and has written a biography of Thomas Fairfax but ‘Black Tom’ didn’t make the shortlist…)

Unfortunately, Andrew was unable to sufficiently persuade the assembled military history enthusiasts and when the final voting was counted the result was a joint win for the Duke of Wellington, victor of Waterloo, and Bill Slim, commander of the ‘forgotten army’ in Burma during WW2.

BFBS covered the event and there is a three-minute video report on the British Forces News website. The debate was also covered by Radio 4’s Today programme which compiled comments from the five competing historians on its website.

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