Can You Name the Greatest Commanders in History From a Photo?

By: Jacqueline Samaroo
Image: file James Steakley Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons / Bundesarchiv, Bild, via Wikimedia Commons / Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

About This Quiz

Do you have what it takes to be a leader?

War is never easy. In fact, it can often be extremely grueling and unforgiving. When two or more armies go head to head, the one that comes out on top is based on several factors, such as numbers, training, and equipment. However, there is one factor that is quite possibly the most important of them all; leadership!  Throughout history, countless skirmishes, battles, and wars have been won due to the guidance of great military leaders. In this quiz, we're taking a look at some of the most iconic military leaders; some of who are famous and others who are infamous.

Both large and small-scale wars and battles have been fought throughout the millennia. Through this quiz, you'll be able to take a trip throughout history - from antiquity to modern times - and test your knowledge of wars and the great military commanders who took part in them! From the Second Punic War to the Napoleonic Wars, or from the American Civil War to World War II; military commanders like Scipio Africanus, Napoleon, Ulysses S. Grant, and George S. Patton, have all served as an inspiration and strategists for their troops!

So let's see if you are a master of military leadership with our greatest military commanders quiz!

George Washington is, without a doubt, one of the greatest American military commanders of all time. George Washington is notable for being the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army and the first President of the United States.

Erich von Manstein is, without a doubt, one of the greatest (and controversial) German military commanders of all time. Erich von Manstein was a prolific German commander of the Wehrmacht during the Second World War.

Heinz Guderian is, without a doubt, one of the greatest ​(and controversial) German military commanders of all time. Heinz Guderian is notable for being a vocal advocate of the "blitzkrieg" method of warfare.

Helmuth von Moltke the Elder is, without a doubt, one of the greatest German military commanders of all time. Helmuth von Moltke the Elder is regarded as the creator of a new, more modern method of directing armies in the field.

John III Sobieski is, without a doubt, one of the greatest European military commanders of all time. John III Sobieski was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania and his military skill in wars against the Ottoman Empire was unmatched.

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher is, without a doubt, one of the greatest Prussian military commanders of all time. Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher is notable for leading his army against Napoleon I at the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig in 1813 and the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Hannibal Barca is, without a doubt, one of the greatest military commanders of all time. Hannibal Barca was a Carthaginian general who is notable for marching an army (which included war elephants) from Iberia over the Pyrenees and the Alps into Italy.

Saladin is, without a doubt, one of the greatest military commanders of all time. Saladin is notable for being the first sultan of Egypt and Syria and the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty.

Erwin Rommel is, without a doubt, one of the greatest German military commanders of all time. Erwin Rommel is notable for his nickname, “Desert Fox,” which he earned as a field marshal in the Wehrmacht.

Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck is, without a doubt, one of the greatest Prussian military commanders of all time. Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck earned the nickname, “Lion of Africa,” as a commander in the German East Africa campaign.

Alexander Suvorov is, without a doubt, one of the greatest Russian military commanders of all time. Alexander Suvorov is considered a national hero and was Count of the Holy Roman Empire, Prince of Italy, and the last Generalissimo of the Russian Empire.

Carl von Clausewitz is, without a doubt, one of the greatest Prussian military commanders of all time. Carl von Clausewitz is notable for also being a military theorist who stressed the psychological and political aspects of war.

Frederick II of Prussia is, without a doubt, one of the greatest PLACE military commanders of all time. Frederick II of Prussia is notable for his final success against great odds in the Seven Years' War and his reign as the last titled King in Prussia.

Genghis Khan is, without a doubt, one of the greatest military commanders of all time. Genghis Khan was the founder and first Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous empire (and second largest overall) in history.

Alexander the Great is, without a doubt, one of the greatest military commanders of all time. Alexander the Great was undefeated in battle and is notable for creating one of the largest empires of the ancient world by the age of 30.

Ulysses S. Grant is, without a doubt, one of the greatest American military commanders of all time. Ulysses S. Grant is not only notable for his time as the 18th President of the United States but also for his service during the American Civil War; where he led the Union Army to victory over the Confederacy.

Joan of Arc is, without a doubt, one of the greatest European military commanders of all time. Joan of Arc earned the nickname, “The Maid of Orléans,” and is notable for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years' War. She is one of the nine secondary patron saints of France.

Vo Nguyen Giap is, without a doubt, one of the greatest Vietnamese military commanders of all time. Vo Nguyen Giap is considered one of the greatest military strategists of the 20th century and was a Vietnamese general in the Vietnam People's Army.

Horatio Nelson is, without a doubt, one of the greatest British military commanders of all time. Horatio Nelson was notable for his unconventional tactics, instinctive grasp of strategy, and his inspirational leadership skills.

Shaka Zulu is, without a doubt, one of the greatest African military commanders of all time. Shaka Zulu was notable for the fact that even though he was a skilled and successful military leader, he actually preferred social and propagandistic political methods.

Georgy Zhukov is, without a doubt, one of the greatest Soviet military commanders of all time. Georgy Zhukov is notable for commanding the 1st Belorussian Front in the Battle of Berlin, which resulted in the final defeat of Nazi Germany.

Charlemagne is, without a doubt, one of the greatest European military commanders of all time. Charlemagne was notable for forming the Carolingian Empire and he held the titles King of the Franks, King of the Lombards, and Holy Roman Emperor.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is, without a doubt, one of the greatest Turkish military commanders of all time. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is notable for being a revolutionary and founder of the Republic of Turkey. He was the first president, holding the title until his death 15 years later.

Julius Caesar is, without a doubt, one of the greatest military commanders of all time. Julius Caesar was notable for not only being a great military leader but also a great politician as well, serving as dictator of the Roman Republic. His assassination ultimately led to the formation of the Roman Empire.

Chester W. Nimitz is, without a doubt, one of the greatest U.S. military commanders of all time. Chester W. Nimitz is notable for being (as Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet) instrumental in the U.S. Navy’s successes during World War II.

Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden is, without a doubt, one of the greatest European military commanders of all time. Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden is notable for often being credited with the founding of the Swedish Empire and is remembered also for his success during the Thirty Years’ War.

Sun Tzu is, without a doubt, one of the greatest military commanders of all time. Sun Tzu is probably most notable for being not only an unparalleled general but also a great military strategist and philosopher. His text, “The Art of War,” to this day still influences military thinking and philosophy around the world.

Arminius is, without a doubt, one of the greatest Germanic military commanders of all time. Arminius is most notably remembered for his decisive victory against three Roman legions in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.

Scipio Africanus is, without a doubt, one of the greatest military commanders of all time. Scipio Africanus was a Roman general who is often recognized as a prodigious military strategist and one of the leading causes of a Roman victory in the Second Punic War.

Adolf Hitler is, without a doubt, one of the most infamous and most controversial military commanders of all time. Adolf Hitler is remembered as the leader of the Nazi Party and the instigator of World War II, the deadliest conflict in human history.

Paul von Hindenburg is, without a doubt, one of the greatest German military commanders of all time. Paul von Hindenburg commanded the German military during the second half of World War I and was later elected President of the German Reich in 1925.

William the Conqueror is, without a doubt, one of the greatest European military commanders of all time. William the Conqueror is notable for being the first Norman King of England, being crowned king on Christmas Day 1066, in London.

Peter the Great is, without a doubt, one of the greatest Russian military commanders of all time. Peter the Great is notable for being responsible for expanding Russia’s influence, allowing the empire to become a major European power.

Attila the Hun is, without a doubt, one of the greatest military commanders of all time. Attila the Hun is notable for being one of the most feared enemies of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires.

Napoleon Bonaparte is, without a doubt, one of the greatest European military commanders of all time. Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military leader who dominated areas of Europe, creating the First French Empire and serving as Emperor of the French.

Erich Ludendorff is, without a doubt, one of the greatest German military commanders of all time. Erich Ludendorff is most notably remembered for his victories at the Battle of Liège and the Battle of Tannenberg.

Alaric I is, without a doubt, one of the greatest European military commanders of all time. Alaric I most often remembered for his successful sack of Rome, an instrumental part of the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

Charles Martel is, without a doubt, one of the greatest European military commanders of all time. Charles Martel is notable for restoring centralized government in Francia and also reestablishing the Franks as the undisputed leader of the surrounding region through military power.

George S. Patton is, without a doubt, one of the greatest U.S. military commanders of all time. George S. Patton is most notable for commanding the U.S. Seventh Army on the Western Front in World War II.

Leonidas I is, without a doubt, one of the greatest military commanders of all time. Leonidas I is most notable for leading what is considered to be one of the greatest last stands in history; where he held back the larger Persian Army for two days until they were defeated due to a betrayal.

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