Alexander the Great was indeed a great military leader for quite some reasons. Starting from his earlier life, he had a lot of events that equipped him with valuable experience to be a military commander. Also, the closest people that were around him also urged him to try his best, and this contributed to his leadership skills. The parents to Alexander and his education also played a very crucial role in equipping him with the right qualities to be a good leader. He used these skills learned to become a superior military officer in the future (Bosworth, 17). Despite his excellent leadership skills and the achievements he made in the army, there are still a lot of critics that say he was not a good military leader. One is because he may have used authoritative kind of ruling. Some scholars argue that this was the right ruling technique for a military officer following the nature of the people he was leading. This paper seeks to look into details his good leadership skills and bad leadership skills as a military officer. Therefore, Alexander the Great, one of the true greats as a military commander, although some accuse him of cruelty, strong actions were needed to rule his men.
Alexander used new equipment and technology to perfection. He used to scout his enemies as well as their terrain before the battles to avoid being caught by surprise. In fact, there is only one occasion that Alexander was caught by surprise, and that was in the fight of the Hydaspes River in India when his men moved on to what he taught was the opposite river bank though it turned out to be a small island in the river (Ferrill, 34). Despite the situation, he still managed to come up with the right strategy that enabled his men to get out of the trap successful. The use of the new technology played a very great role in making him a successful leader. He had the equipment that he could use to defeat the enemies easily. He was also very opportunistic. This made him take advantage of any available opportunity to win the battles that he was involved in.
Alexander the Great military brilliance disagreement but the groundworks for his great strategies and techniques were grounded by Philip. Philip, his father, used to teach a group of men. He taught them how to a spear known as the Sarisa that gave his infantry a merit when confronting in a column since they had the potential of striking their blow before coming up with a range of conflicting army infantry swords (Tanner, 44). Because of this technique that Philip taught the young army, Alexander was able to learn them and apply them in the real battles that he had in the future. Philip prepared his army to perfection. As at the moment when Alexander was inheriting the army, the army had been subjected to some battles, out of which they won many. They were also fit as they had excellent tactics to win their oppositions. Philip also had a group of engineers that developed different types of barricade engines, artillery, and catapults that flung missiles and spears using tightly wound fibers and ropes as twisting devices. This made it very easy for Alexander to rule over the army. This coupled up with his right upbringing explains why he was a great military leader.
Furthermore, Alexander the great was at the focal point if every skirmish, so that he could take up any opportunity to cause damage and take the most risk. Alexanders armies moved without haste and sometimes they could suddenly appear in places where it was perceived that he could not reach. With their position for fierceness, they had the ability to scare or demoralize armies that were opposing them into fleeing and scattering, enabling them to get rid of them. Alexander massacred towns and cities that were resistant; by doing this, he reinforced fear in armies that did not belong to the country. Moreover, sieges of Alexander were consistently persistent and drawn out (Alexander the Great, 34). He had filled the river with much dirt in a bid to be able to get a wide range of firing.
Also, Alexanders personal bravery, as well as exploits, inspired a great sense of buoyancy in his men. The confidence he instilled in his men, made them do anything and take up any commands from him like obligatory marches which they did for up to twenty miles in a single day. In Alexanders first campaign, as written by James Romm, he persuaded and convinced his men, in particular, those who were proceeding against Thracians pulling and rolling large and heavy carts from high hilltops to low-level grounds under their shields. Similarly, it was a drawback or rather a bad testimony to his skills and experience as a warrior when his army left behind one another with those that had good tactics. This created a 50-year time of recurrent warfare as well as instability in different nations.
Conversely, some arguments refute the heroism of Alexander arguing that he was not a great leader. They argue that Alexander engaged himself in numerous acts of violence and destruction under his leadership at the military. For instance, he destroyed the ancient city of Persepolis as well as knocking down renowned and prominent religious figures as well as statues. Furthermore, they also argued that he had a brash, bold personality and was also short tempered. He was a drunkard who heavily drank and after drinking often resorted to violent options to mitigate even small dilemmas. Despite this trait being ideal for a military, he often got into trouble with the civilians. This intrigued a negative perception about him by the citizens. However, the Westerners perceived him as a heroic man. He had a rocky relationship with the Persians, and they even resort to getting revenge after doing them wrong. He had destroyed Persepolis after Xerxes who was the Persian burned the Acropolis. Alexander was also so full of himself or rather egocentric as he thought that he was not just better than the mythical war heroes, but rather that he was the infallible Son of God.
Another argument that fathoms that Alexander was not a great leader were his dependent on the army. He was a good commander but a poor politician who did not know how to articulate people issues. He needed to train his army so that they could be loyal to him and it is considered that by fully depending on his army he came close to ultimate failure. For instance, his motive for invading Persia was to conquer its land and plunder its riches. This shows that his intentions in engaging in some of the war were not positively intrigued but sometimes based personal self-interest and greed. When he could be a good leader, he could not have had such as idea as grabbing other peoples land and plundering its riches. Moreover, he was considered as an over ambitious person who pushed his men or rather arms to the extreme limits. It was out of his bad leadership that when him together with his men when they got to the modern day India, all his men abandoned him in the union. They asserted that they did not want to go, however, hi, he wanted to go.
In conclusion, it is evitable from the above discussion that Alexander the great was in no doubt a heroic leader whose legacy still lives. He had made major achievements as the military leader. Despite, some people refuting that he was a great leader, there is much evidence to ascertain that indeed he was an outstanding leader whose leadership was beyond normal.
Tanner, Stephen. Afghanistan: A military History from Alexander the Great to the Fall of the Taliban. Da Capo Press, 2003.
Ferrill, Arther. The origins of war: From the stone age to Alexander the Great. Westview Press, 1997.
Bosworth, Albert Brian. Conquest and Empire: the reign of Alexander the Great. Cambridge University Press, 1993.History.com Staff. "Alexander the Great." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 17 May 2017.
"Alexander the Great." Biography.com. A&E Networks Television, 28 Apr. 2017. Web. 17 May 2017.
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