Q&A Friday #23: Could Patton Have Beaten Napoleon?
Question: “Do you think Patton could have beaten Napoleon?” — nowingnut
Answer: Of course, Patton had tanks! =D
Actually, I probably should have skipped the question because I don’t think it can truly be answered, but I couldn’t resist the cheap joke!
But, here’s a short answer anyway: As often as not, it’s superior weaponry and supplies, a culture that has some sort of relative advantage in war making, or being the first to grasp a revolutionary new tactic that prepares the way for a great general. Take that same general and move him into the past or present and gifted though he may be at warfare, it’s entirely possible that he’ll no longer be effective.
You can compare generals from the same time period, but weapons, strategies, and situations change so dramatically from era to era that it’s impossible to really know who would beat whom.