lessthanpleased wrote:Given the little I know, I would rank the Chairman first. While Mao lacks the panache of the fictional Zhuge Liang (and probably the historical Kongming as well), at the end of the day what the Chairman did worked from a military standpoint.
I would rank him above Sun Tzu: just as Sun Tzu reportedly learned lessons from military strategists of the past, so did Mao. But Mao, rather than being a mere academic or theoretician, used his knowledge to turn hordes of peasants into a force that brought a government to its knees, created revolution, and survived the aftermath to be the absolute ruler. What he didn't synthesize from Sun Tzu, he surely synthesized from Machiavelli, Napoleon, and probably even Julius Caesar in his Account of the Gallic Wars, all of which would have been studied by an academic during his time period.
The amount Mao accomplished is almost unthinkable given the resources he was allocated. He outshines even the fictional Zhuge Liang insofar as he began with similar resources (the hearts of the peope) and did what the deity never could: unified China.
The man was a genius. Not a very nice person, or even good person towards the end, but a stunning tactician.
Mao took most (if not all ) of his miltary teachings from Sun Tzu.