The shades of generals

How will General Petraeus be remembered?

General Sir John Moore, British Army, commander of British forces in Spain November 1808 – January 1809

General Robert E. Lee, US Army and Army of the Confederacy, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. June 1862 – April 1865

Generalquartiermeister Erich Ludendorff, German Reichswehr, deputy to Hindenburg and commander Western Front, July 1916 – September 1918

Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein, German Wehrmacht, commander Army Group Don, later Army Group South, November 1942 – March 1944

Général Maurice Challe, French Air Force, Commander-in-chief in Algeria, December 1958 – April 1960 (see here section 3.1. pp41ff.)

General Creighton Abrams, US Army, Commander Military Assistance Command in Vietnam, July 1968 – June 1972

There is a small demi-pantheon of career soldiers who salvaged their professional reputations in spite of local (Moore) or ultimate defeat. Their moral standing (Manstein) and political activities (Ludendorff, Challe) are another matter.

General David Petraeus, US Army, commander Multi-National Force, Iraq, January 2007 – present.

may still join them. Or he can be a team player instead and just be remembered as a loser.

Author: James Wimberley

James Wimberley (b. 1946, an Englishman raised in the Channel Islands. three adult children) is a former career international bureaucrat with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. His main achievements there were the Lisbon Convention on recognition of qualifications and the Kosovo law on school education. He retired in 2006 to a little white house in Andalucia, His first wife Patricia Morris died in 2009 after a long illness. He remarried in 2011. to the former Brazilian TV actress Lu Mendonça. The cat overlords are now three. I suppose I've been invited to join real scholars on the list because my skills, acquired in a decade of technical assistance work in eastern Europe, include being able to ask faux-naïf questions like the exotic Persians and Chinese of eighteenth-century philosophical fiction. So I'm quite comfortable in the role of country-cousin blogger with a European perspective. The other specialised skill I learnt was making toasts with a moral in the course of drunken Caucasian banquets. I'm open to expenses-paid offers to retell Noah the great Armenian and Columbus, the orange, and university reform in Georgia. James Wimberley's occasional publications on the web