RF wrote:Was Alexander better than Genghis Khan, and all the other Asian warlords?
From my point of view (taking into account only
the battles themselves, not the administration of the empire or its durability) the Macedonian surpased the Mongols (Genghis, Timur, Ogodei, etc), because:
- he had much fewer resources to use (men, material, cavalry pools, etc). Most modern estimates range from 30.000-50.000 for Alexander's shock-army (the one that slowly crept through the Peloponesus-Asia Minor-India), whilst Genghis and others could use, at the height of their power, at least 200.000 cavalrymen.
- he faced relatively much more tougher adversaries - just think of the battles for Megalopolis, Antioch, Issus and Gaugamela. And now think about battles for Legniza, Beijing...
And about the "relative" part in my above phrase: Alexander used a pretty common mix of heavy infantry/cavalry/skirmishers (with a mdoerate advantage confered by the phalanx), that is his enemies (especialy other Greek peoples, but also the Persians, that hired hoplite mercenaries) were prepared for such things.
On the other hand, the force of the horse archers/cataphract combo came as a shock to most people the Mongols fought (except, of course, their battles between the tribes)
- his great victories came almost always while heavily outnumbered, while the Mongolian cavalry had at least parity with the enemy (at least from what I've read so far. The one exception I know so far is the battle for Delhi, 1398)