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The 7 best military commanders of all time, according to Napoleon Bonaparte – Politics – Pulselive.co.ke

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Napoleon Bonaparte is one of the greatest military commanders of all time.

He brought Revolutionary France back from the brink of destruction with his Italian campaign in 1796 and 1797. He made a fool of Czar Alexander I at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805. He encircled an entire Austrian army and forced them to capitulate at the Battle of Ulm in 1805. And these are just a few of his exploits.

But he was also a student of history, and repeatedly instructed his subordinates to pore over the campaigns of seven specific commanders that came before him, arguing that it was the only way to learn the art of war and become a great captain.

“Your own genius will be enlightened and improved by this study, and you will learn to reject all maxims foreign to the principles of these great commanders,” Napoleon said.

We’ve ranked the commanders based on Napoleon’s comments and their own achievements:

7. Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736).


7. Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736).play

7. Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736).

(Wikimedia Commons)

Eugene was a field marshal and statesman under the guise of the House of Savoy, which served the Holy Roman Emperor of Austria.

Wounded in battle 13 times during his 39 year career, one of Eugene’s greatest conquests was the Siege of Belgrade in 1717 against the Ottoman Empire, in which he led a cavalry attack that helped turn the tide.

“Military science,” Napoleon was quoted as saying by Madame de Remusat, “consists in calculating all the chances accurately in the first place, and then in giving accident exactly, almost mathematically, it’s place in one’s calculations.”

“Prince Eugene is one of those who understood [this] best,” Napoleon said.

6. Gustavus Adolphus (1594-1632).


Gustavus Adolphus at the Battle of Breitenfeld.play

Gustavus Adolphus at the Battle of Breitenfeld.

(Wikimedia Commons)

Gustavus Adolphus was king of Sweden between 1611-1632, and helped put Sweden on the map.

One of his greatest victories was at the Battle of Breitenfeld during the Thirty Years War when his forces, together with the Saxons, flanked both sides of the Catholic army and annihilated the enemy.

He was killed during the same war while leading a cavalry charge at the Battle of Lutzen.

5. Frederick the Great (1712-1786).


5. Frederick the Great (1712-1786).play

5. Frederick the Great (1712-1786).

(Wikimedia Commons)

Frederick II, or Frederick the Great, was king of Prussia from 1740-1786 and greatly expanded his kingdom’s territory through his military victories.

Some of his greatest victories were at the battles of Rossbach and Leuthen during the Seven Years War, where he defeated larger armies with great maneuvering.

But despite being one of Napoleon’s seven great commanders, the French commander appeared to consider the next commander even better.

4. Henri de La Tour d’Auvergne, vicomte de Turenne (1611-1675).


4. Henri de La Tour d’Auvergne, vicomte de Turenne (1611-1675).play

4. Henri de La Tour d’Auvergne, vicomte de Turenne (1611-1675).

(Wikimedia Commons)

Turenne was a French field marshal who served Louis XIV, also known as The Sun King.

Perhaps his greatest victories came in the winter of 1674 and 1675 during the Franco-Dutch War. In December of 1674, he maneuvered around the German army and surprised them weeks later in early January, hitting the enemy’s flanks and driving them away from Alsace.

He was killed later in July 1675, as the Franco-Dutch War was still raging, by a cannonball as he was observing enemy lines.

In 1793, Revolutionary France was bent on erasing anything that had to with royalty and religion, and began destroying royal tombs at St-Denis outside of Paris.

Known as a man of the people, Turenne’s body was one of the few left untouched. His remains now reside in the Invalides.

“You seem to admire [Frederick the Great] immensely,” Napoleon once told a subordinate, according to his secretary, Bourrienne. “What do you find in him so astonishing? He is not equal to Turenne.”

“General,” Napoleon’s subordinate replied, “it is not merely the warrior I esteem in Frederick, but one cannot refuse one’s admiration of a man, who even on the throne, was a philosopher.”

“True … but all his philosophy shall not prevent me from striking out his kingdom from the map of Europe,” Napoleon said.

A few years later, after he crowned himself emperor, Napoleon annihilated Prussia during the Jena-Auerstadt campaign of 1806, and subsumed the kingdom in his empire.

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3. Hannibal Barca (247 bc-183 bc).


Hannibal crossing the Alps.play

Hannibal crossing the Alps.

(Wikimedia Commons)

Hannibal was a Carthaginian general and statesman in present day Tunisia who wreaked havoc on the Roman Empire.

Arguably his greatest conquest came during the Battle of Cannae when he compelled the Romans into attacking in unfavorable conditions, eventually wiping out their cavalry and then its entire army. The Roman historian Polybius wrote that Hannibal’s army killed 70,000 Romans.

Hannibal is also well known for impressively crossing the Alps before entering Italy and the Battle of Cannae, surviving harrowing assaults from the Gauls.

His power diminished, he poisoned himself around 183 BC.

2. Julius Caesar (100 BC-44 BC).


This painting depicts the surrender of Gallic chieftain Vercingetorix to Julius Caesar after the Battle of Alesia (52 BC).play

This painting depicts the surrender of Gallic chieftain Vercingetorix to Julius Caesar after the Battle of Alesia (52 BC).

(Wikimedia Commons)

Caesar was a Roman general and politician who is one of the greatest conquerors of all time.

Well known for his victory at the Battle of Alesia and conquest of the Gauls, he was made a consul in the first Roman Triumvarate in 59 BC along with Pompey the Great and Marcus Licinios Crassus.

But civil war later broke out between Caesar and Pompey. In 48 BC, after suffering a series of defeats to Caesar, Pompey was murdered in Egypt.

“I admire the fine campaign of Caesar in Africa,” Bourriene quoted Napoleon as saying.

Shortly after that, he fought a quick war in Anatolia — in present day Turkey — and made quick work of the king of Cimmerian Bosporus. His famous words, “I came, I saw, I conquered,” were from this war.

Caesar was afterwards made dictator, but was assassinated — stabbed to death by the Roman senators — in 44 BC.

1. Alexander the Great (356 bc-323 bc).


1. Alexander the Great (356 bc-323 bc).play

1. Alexander the Great (356 bc-323 bc).

(Wikimedia Commons)

Alexander was king of Macedonia who conquered the Persian empire, invaded India and spread Grecian culture across much of the ancient world.

Tutored by Aristotle at a young age, he became king after his father, Phillip II, was assassinated.

While he never officially ranked the seven commanders, Napoleon himself, along with many other historians, seemed to consider Alexander the best.

“I place Alexander in the first rank,” Napoleon told Bourrienne. “My reason for giving the preference to the king of Macedon is, on account of the conception, and above all, for the execution of his campaign in Asia,” adding that he admired the Siege of Tyre, conquest of Egypt and march to the Oasis Ammon most.

Alexander died from illness in 323 bc.

Like his heroes, Napoleon Bonaparte is now considered one of the greatest military commanders of all time.


Napoleon crossing the Alps.play

Napoleon crossing the Alps.

(Wikimedia)

Here’s what Napoleon had to say about “the campaigns of Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Gustavus Adolphus, Turenne, Eugene and Frederick.”

“Model yourself upon them. This is the only means of becoming a great captain, and of acquiring the secret of the war of war. Your own genius will be enlightened and improved by this study, and you will learn to reject all maxims foreign to the principles of these great commanders.”



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Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard

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Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.

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However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

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Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard

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President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

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Drastic life changes affecting mental health

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Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.

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Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

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