Which Famous General Are You?

By: Zoe Samuel

Which Famous General Are You?
Image: Wiki Commons by U.S. Army

About This Quiz

Every nation has, at some time or another, had an army. Even the Vatican had its own army, in the middle ages and Renaissance. Armies fulfill one of the key responsibilities of any nation: protecting its citizenry from invasion. Armies are often employed for their most common nonessential purpose: invasion, but these two binary poles aren't the only use of armies. Today, troops mobilize in times of natural disasters, and they consult on infrastructure, sometimes taking part in major civic building projects. The interstate highway system, for example, was built with USAF use in mind, hence the very long straight sections long enough to use as runways.

At the head of every army is one or more generals. Some generals come and go without notice. As Teddy Roosevelt once observed, you will never know of a great general without a great war. Some people have risen in the ranks at the "right time" if a war can be called the right time, and become part of the list of great generals. The more one reads on the subject, the more one observes that the thought and skills that go into being a good general are not that different from what they were thousands of years ago. Given this, it is possible to make an apples to apples comparison of generals, regardless of the period.

Answer our questions, and we will take stock of your skills and run your numbers against our list of generals, telling you which famous general you are! Mount up! It's time to go to the front!

How far out do you plan the course of your career?
I look to the full arc of my life.
I'm planning 20 years ahead.
I only plan a couple of days at a time.
I plan five years at a time.

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How would you describe your style of management?
Strict, but reasonable
Active
Trusting and delegatory
Distant and cold

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How do you shop for food for your household?
I look at the history of our needs and find a pattern, buying in accordance with the pattern.
I buy more than we could possibly need, so we'll be sure to have enough.
I never buy enough.
I estimate how much I need based on what everyone wants, but make sure to buy healthy things.

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What element will give you the upper hand most decisively, when fighting on a desert continent with a coastline?
A seaborne supply line
Pinning the enemy against the sea, without a fleet to use for an escape
A second wave attack from a gunship
Local soldiers with terrain knowledge

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How would you reward an underling?
Give them more responsibility
Give them a medal
Share a meal with them
Give them R&R time

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Without knowing the specifics, what kind of tool would you want, if we told you that you had to build or fix a thing?
A hatchet
A hammer
A wrench
A screwdriver

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How do you decide on your wardrobe for the day?
I plan my wardrobe a week at a time, with the weather report in hand.
I wear the same thing every day.
I wear whatever will blend in that day.
I try to stand out as much as possible.

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How do you manage client expectations?
I tell them that nothing is certain.
I warn them that we face either total victory, with costs, or total loss.
I tell them I'll do anything I can to prevail.
I tell them that the solution may not be what they think it is.

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What is the best way to win a war that has not yet happened?
Use spies to undermine the enemy's will to fight
Bomb the enemy into submission
Initiate regime change
Alter the enemy's local economy to remove their incentive to fight

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What is the biggest long term threat to a nation's stability?
Lack of international interdependence
Nuclear war
The slippery slope to paying the Danegeld
An economy relying on corruption

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How do you approach unproven technology?
Let the skunkworks handle it
Find how to use it to get an edge right now!
Use it, but don't rely on it
Reject it

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What is the single most important thing needed to win a war?
Supply lines
Initiative advantage
Intelligence
A stable economy

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How do you occupy your time when you don't have a project?
Reading
Sports
Learning new skills
Making my own new project

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Where do you feel the authority or your boss ends?
As soon as I'm put in charge of a thing and given a goal, my boss cedes their ability to criticize me.
My boss can always veto my actions.
My boss can't micromanage me, but they can sure make my life difficult if I don't take their notes on board.
It does not end, anywhere.

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How do you keep safe when you are out and about?
I bring the tools needed to make threatening me not worth the time.
I wear clothing that marks me out as someone too tough to meddle with.
I have eyes in the back of my head.
I don't travel alone.

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How do you plan a budget for appliances, durable goods, etc.?
I look at the estimated lifespans of our appliances and plan to have the money to fix them until they need to be replaced.
I buy new ones every couple of years, in a cycle.
I let things break, then see how long I can do without them before getting them fixed.
I plan to keep them fixed until the new versions cost less to run, and then I replace everything.

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When do you think most armies surrender or retreat?
When casualties rise above 50%
That's not relevant since the new paradigm doesn't leave time for that kind of decision making in war.
When there is no clear path to victory
When they are surrounded and without the resources to escape

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What is the most culturally corrosive stimulus?
Myths about the enemy
Ideology
Comfort and cowardice
Economic dependence on immoral products

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When is open hostility warranted?
When a head of state demands it
When total destruction is possible in a period too short to engage in diplomacy or conventional warfare
When a nation's boundaries are tested
When a rival claims victory against a nation

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Where do the greatest threats to any nation come from?
Its allies
Russia
Its rivals
Within

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What is your preferred mode of warfare?
Clandestine, using spies
Nuclear
Guerrilla
Conventional

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What will utterly destroy any army?
Breaking supply lines
Killing the leadership
A pay stoppage
A protracted siege

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Which of these do you find the most terrifying?
Blindness
Paralysis
Being cut off
Societal collapse

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How do you shake off the cobwebs when you've had a lot of time off?
Train again, beginning from the beginning
Just jump straight into work
Take some time to get back in shape
Put myself in a situation where I have no choice but to use the skills that are rusty

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When you are in the midst of a struggle, what is your strategy to win the day?
Find the path of least resistance.
Overwhelming victory through overwhelming force
Come at the problem from multiple angles.
Find the source of the issue, rather than try to deal with the issue itself.

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How do you handle failure?
I study it as if it were done by another person, and learn from it.
I wouldn't know.
I rage and turn in on myself a bit.
I cut out the failed part of myself, no matter what the cost.

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What is the single best quality in a military leader?
Flexibility
Resolution
Trustworthiness
An eye for conflict

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When is the appropriate time to declare war?
When the head of state decides
After firing the first volley
When you have taken your enemy's second city
As soon as diplomacy is met with hostilities

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How do you stay on the cutting edge in your profession?
I remain constantly at work.
I study all the latest advancements.
I emulate the skills and strategies of my competitors.
I learn from people smarter than I am.

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How would you deal with an isolated incident of disobedience?
Reiterate my orders
Fire the insubordinate subordinate
Relieve the disobedient one of their responsibilities
Public punishment

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You Got:

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