Famous Military Leaders - List of Famous Military Leaders

Military Leaders are the leaders of the military forces—armed forces, armed services, military, military machine, war machine—of a nation. Military leaders influence others by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish the mission, and have the legal authority to lawfully exercise control over subordinates by virtue of their rank or position. Warlords who exercise absolute civil power and individual autonomy in regions where the government is weak are also considered to be military leaders. History is replete with the legends of military leaders and revolutionaries who left their indelible marks on human civilization. Alexander the Great, who established one of the largest empires of the ancient world, is undoubtedly one of the best known military leaders. Ancient China’s Sun Tzu was not just a brilliant military leader, but also the author of ‘The Art of War’, an ancient Chinese text on military strategy. While Saladin, William the Conqueror and Henry V were the famous military leaders who lived during the Middle Ages, Oliver Cromwell, Shivaji and Peter the Great were courageous warriors of the Early Modern Period. Even though a majority of military leaders throughout history have been men, brave ladies like Joan of Arc, Boudicca, Laskarina Bouboulina, and Lakshmibai have proven that women too can be powerful military leaders. Read on to discover about the life and works of various famous military leaders from all over the world.

The Most Famous Military Leaders

NameBirthdayNationalityBio
William Wallace1270ScottishWilliam Wallace was a Scottish knight who was a central figure in the Wars of Scottish Independence
Che GuevaraJune 14, 1928ArgentinianChe Guevara is one of the most revered and legendary political figures in world history
Joan of Arc1412FrenchJoan of Arc was a young woman who led the French army to victory over the British in a crucial battle during the Hundred Years' War
Ariel SharonFebruary 26, 1928IsraeliAriel Sharon was an Israeli general and politician who later on served as the eleventh Prime Minister of Israel
Crazy HorseAmericanCrazy Horse was one of the most celebrated Native American warriors to have ever lived
Heinrich HimmlerOctober 7, 1900GermanHeinrich Himmler was a German Nazi military commander and a close associate of Adolf Hitler
Olusegun ObasanjoMarch 5, 1937NigerianOlusegun Obasanjo is a former President of Nigeria who held the position from 1999 to 2007
Reinhard HeydrichMarch 7, 1904GermanReinhard Heydrich was a high-ranking German Nazi official during the World War II
Herbert SobelJanuary 26, 1912AmericanHerbert Sobel was a commissioned officer in the U.S
Simon BolivarJuly 24, 1783VenezuelanSimón Bolívar was a Venezuelan military leader who was instrumental in independence of several Latin American countries from the Spanish rule
Erich Ludendorff

Erich Ludendorff

Erich Ludendorff was a well-known German General

GermanApril 9, 1865123 views

Chesty Puller

Chesty Puller was a US lieutenant general who served during the World War II

AmericanJune 26, 189887 views

George Armstrong Custer

George Armstrong Custer was a ‘US Army’ officer who fought during the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars.

Stonewall Jackson

Thomas Jonathan Jackson, better known as Stonewall Jackson, was a famous ‘Confederate’ general who served during the American Civil War.

AmericanJanuary 21, 182490 views

Vidkun Quisling

Vidkun Quisling was a Norwegian army official and a politician, who supported Hitler during Nazi invasion of Norway

NorwegianJuly 18, 1887147 views

Reinhard Heydrich

Reinhard Heydrich was a high-ranking German Nazi official during the World War II

GermanMarch 7, 1904364 views

Benjamin Lincoln

Benjamin Lincoln was a major general in the Continental Army

AmericanJanuary 24, 1733112 views

Erwin Rommel

Erwin Rommel was a German general

GermanNovember 15, 1891272 views

Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler was the infamous dictator of Germany who carried out the genocide of Jews and was majorly responsible for the World War II

GermanApril 20, 1889308 views

Edward Dunlop

Weary Dunlop was an Australian surgeon who was captured by the Japanese during the World War II

AustralianJuly 12, 1907121 views