Famous 18th Century Military Leaders

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Find out more about the greatest 18th Century Military Leaders, including George Washington, Benedict Arnold, Baji Rao I, Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson and Robert Clive.
Vote for Your Favourite 18th Century Military Leaders
 1 
Napoleon Bonaparte
(Emperor of the French (1804-1814))
Napoleon Bonaparte
16
Birthdate: August 15, 1769
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ajaccio, France
Died: May 5, 1821
French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte ruled as the French emperor from 1804 to 1814 and again in 1815. He strengthened France’s position in Europe through the Napoleonic Wars and extended his kingdom. However, he was eventually defeated by the Seventh Coalition at the Battle of Waterloo and sent to exile. 
 2 
Horatio Nelson
9
Birthdate: September 29, 1758
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Burnham Thorpe
Died: October 21, 1805

Horatio Nelson was a British flag officer whose inspirational leadership brought about several British naval victories, especially during the Napoleonic Wars. Regarded as one of Britain's heroic figures, Horatio Nelson's legacy remains influential and several monuments, including the Nelson Monument and Nelson's Column, have been created in his memory.

 3 
Simon Bolivar
(Revolutionary & Military Leader)
Simon Bolivar
12
Birthdate: July 24, 1783
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Caracas, Venezuela
Died: December 17, 1830
After losing his parents as a child, Simon Bolivar also lost his Spanish wife to yellow fever later and thus decided to devote himself to politics. He was the first president of Gran Colombia and Bolivia, and also led Peru and Venezuela in their fight for freedom, against Spain.
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 4 
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
(English Soldier and Statesman Who helped Defeat the 'Monmouth Rebellion' in 1685 )
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
8
Birthdate: May 26, 1650
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ash, Musbury
Died: June 16, 1722
 5 
Michel Ney
(French Military Commander and Marshal of the Empire)
Michel Ney
6
Birthdate: January 10, 1769
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Saarlouis, Germany
Died: December 7, 1815

Michel Ney was a French military commander. One of the 18 Marshals of the Empire inaugurated by Napoléon Bonaparte, Michel Ney played important roles in the Napoleonic Wars and the French Revolutionary Wars. Nicknamed the Bravest of the Brave by Napoleon himself, Ney was renowned for his valor in wars. 

 6 
Marquis de Lafayette
(Aristocrat and Military Leader)
Marquis de Lafayette
14
Birthdate: September 6, 1757
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chavaniac-Lafayette, France
Died: May 20, 1834

Marquis de Lafayette was a French aristocrat and military officer, who  is remembered for fighting in the American Revolutionary War, as the commander of American troops in several battles. After returning to France, he played key roles in the French Revolution of 1789 and the July Revolution of 1830. Considered a hero in both America and France, he advocated the end of slavery.  

 7 
Paul Revere
(American Military Officer & Silversmith Who Warned Boston-Area Residents that the British Were Coming During His Midnight Ride)
Paul Revere
4
Birthdate: January 1, 1735
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 10, 1818
Paul Revere was a silversmith from Boston and a Patriot in the American Revolution who is remembered for alerting his fellow Patriots, during a midnight ride, about the approaching British forces prior to the battles of Lexington and Concord. He remains immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem Paul Revere's Ride.
 8 
Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben
8
Birthdate: September 17, 1730
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Magdeburg, Germany
Died: November 28, 1794
At a time when homosexuality was illegal, Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben was openly gay. The Prussian military officer and hero of the American Revolutionary War, reportedly had a romantic relationship with his fellow military man Benjamin Walker. He is also known as someone who singlehandedly trained the Continental Army.
 9 
Maximilien de Robespierre
(French Lawyer and Statesman & One of the Most Influential Figures of the 'French Revolution')
Maximilien de Robespierre
7
Birthdate: May 6, 1758
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Arras, France
Died: July 28, 1794
Maximilien de Robespierre was a leading left-wing lawyer and leader during the Reign of Terror. He led the Committee of Public Safety and was part of the Constituent Assembly and the Jacobin Club. He was accused of establishing a dictatorship and was guillotined in 1794, thus beginning the Thermidorian Reaction.
 10 
Shaka
(Zulu Emperor)
Shaka
7
Birthdate: 1787 AD
Birthplace: KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Died: September 22, 1828

Widely regarded as one of the most influential and important monarchs of the Zulu Kingdom, Shaka reigned as the king of the Zulu Kingdom from 1816 to 1828. Through a series of influential and wide-reaching reforms, Shaka was able to re-organize the Zulu military into a formidable force. His life and work inspired the 1986 South African TV series, Shaka Zulu.

 11 
John Paul Jones
4
Birthdate: July 6, 1747
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Arbigland, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland
Died: July 18, 1792
John Paul Jones was an American Revolutionary War naval commander. Named the Father of the American Navy, he was part of the Continental Navy against the Kingdom of Great Britain. He later joined the Imperial Russian Navy and became a rear admiral. His life later inspired an Alexandre Dumas novel.
 12 
Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher
(Prussian field marshal)
Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher
4
Birthdate: December 16, 1742
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Toitenwinkel, Rostock, Germany
Died: September 12, 1819
 13 
Qianlong Emperor
(Emperor of China)
Qianlong Emperor
7
Birthdate: September 25, 1711
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lama Temple, Beijing, China
Died: February 7, 1799
The Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty was the fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor and reigned over China from 1735 to 1796. Known for the economic prosperity and military prowess his kingdom gained under his rule, he continued to indirectly rule as the Retired Emperor even after his abdication.
 14 
Charles Edward Stuart
(Military Leader)
Charles Edward Stuart
14
Birthdate: December 31, 1720
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Palazzo Muti, Rome
Died: January 31, 1788
Charles Edward Stuart, also known as "The Young Pretender” and “Bonnie Prince Charlie,” was the son of Prince James, and the grandson of James II. He is best remembered for his role in the 1745 Jacobite Uprising, and his subsequent failure, which became the subject of many folk songs.
 15 
Ahmad Shah Durrani
(Founder of the 'Durrani Empire')
Ahmad Shah Durrani
4
Birthdate: 1722 AD
Birthplace: Herat, Afghanistan
Died: October 16, 1772
Ahmad Shah Durrani reigned as the first Emir of the Durrani Empire from 1747 to 1772. Credited with founding the Durrani Empire, Ahmad Shah is also considered the founder of modern Afghanistan. The Durrani Empire thrived under Ahmad Shah's reign and he was succeeded by his son Timur Shah Durrani.
 16 
Robert Clive
(The First British Governor of the Bengal Presidency in British India)
Robert Clive
8
Birthdate: September 25, 1725
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Styche Hall, England
Died: November 22, 1774

Robert Clive was a military officer and the first British Governor of the Bengal Presidency in British India. Nicknamed Clive of India, Robert Clive is credited with laying the foundation of the East India Company rule in Bengal. He won the Battle of Plassey in 1757, which enabled him to establish Company rule in Bengal.

 17 
Karl Von Clausewitz
5
Birthdate: July 1, 1780
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Burg bei Magdeburg
Died: November 16, 1831

Carl von Clausewitz was a Prussian military theorist and general. As a theorist, Clausewitz stressed the political aspects of war. His book Vom Kriege, which talks about military strategy, has been very influential despite the fact that it was unfinished at the time of his death. His ideas also influenced personalities like Karl Marx, Mao Zedong, and Leon Trotsky.

 18 
John Graves Simcoe
(British Army General Who Founded the City of Toronto and Abolished Slavery in Canada)
John Graves Simcoe
6
Birthdate: February 25, 1752
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cotterstock, Oundle, England
Died: October 26, 1806

John Graves Simcoe was a British Army general best remembered for founding York (present-day Toronto, Canada). Simcoe, who served as the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, was responsible for introducing institutions like trial by jury, courts of law, freehold land tenure, and English common law. John Graves Simcoe also played a key role in abolishing slavery in Canada.

 19 
Chief Seattle
(Tribal chief)
Chief Seattle
4
Birthdate: 1786 AD
Birthplace: Suquamish, Washington, United States
Died: June 7, 1866
Chief Seattle was a Suquamish and Duwamish chief who was a close friend of David Swinson "Doc" Maynard and is remembered for his amicable relationship with the white settlers. The city of Seattle was named after him. He is widely known for his speech on Native American land rights.
 20 
William Bligh
(Military Leader)
William Bligh
7
Birthdate: September 9, 1754
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Plymouth, United Kingdom
Died: September 7, 1817
 21 
Francis Marion
(Military officer)
Francis Marion
5
Birthdate: February 26, 1732
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berkeley County, South Carolina, United States
Died: February 27, 1795
 22 
Tadeusz Kościuszko
(Statesman, Engineer)
Tadeusz Kościuszko
4
Birthdate: 1746
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mieračoŭščyna
Died: October 15, 1817

Tadeusz Kościuszko was a Polish-Lithuanian statesman, military leader, and military engineer. Thanks to his participation in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's fight against Prussia and Russia and his role in the American Revolutionary War, Tadeusz Kościuszko is widely regarded as a national hero in the United States, Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania.

 23 
Kazimierz Pułaski
5
Birthdate: March 6, 1745
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: October 11, 1779

Kazimierz Pułaski was a Polish nobleman, military commander, and soldier. Dubbed the father of the American cavalry, Pulaski is credited with creating the Pulaski Cavalry Legion and reorganizing the American cavalry. He played an important role in the American Revolutionary War and is remembered for fighting for the independence of Poland and the United States.

 24 
Baji Rao I
(Peshwa of Maratha Empire (1720-40))
Baji Rao I
13
Birthdate: August 18, 1700
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sinnar, Maharashtra, India
Died: April 28, 1740

Baji Rao I was a peshwa, or chief minister, of the Maratha empire in India. His conquests led a massive blow to the Mughal Empire. In spite of being married to Kashibai, he took a second wife, half-Muslim Mastani, a story that was retold in several movies later.

 25 
Grigory Potemkin
(Russian Statesman, Army Officer and Lover of Empress Catherine the Great)
Grigory Potemkin
7
Birthdate: October 11, 1739
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chizhevo, Russia
Died: October 16, 1791

Grigory Potemkin was a Russian statesman, military leader, and nobleman. A favorite of Catherine the Great, Grigory Potemkin was appointed governor-general of Russia's southern provinces in 1775. An influential personality, Potemkin supervised the construction of several important edifices, such as the Tauride Palace. He is also credited with founding the towns of Ekaterinoslav, Sevastopol, Kherson, and Nikolayev.

 26 
Jean-Jacques Dessalines
(Haitian General)
Jean-Jacques Dessalines
5
Birthdate: September 20, 1758
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Guinea
Died: August 17, 1806

Jean-Jacques Dessalines was an important figure and leader of the Haitian Revolution. He went on to rule an independent Haiti, which became the first country to abolish slavery permanently. Considered one of Haiti's founding fathers, Dessalines reigned as the emperor of Haiti from 1804 until his murder in 1806. Today, he is regarded as an icon of Haitian nationalism.

 27 
Nathanael Greene
(Major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War)
Nathanael Greene
4
Birthdate: August 7, 1742
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Potowomut, Rhode Island, United States
Died: June 19, 1786
 28 
Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
(French Royal, Statesman and Regent of France (1715 - 1723))
Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
5
Birthdate: August 2, 1674
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saint-Cloud, France
Died: December 2, 1723

Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, was the regent of the Kingdom of France from 1715 to 1723. He was the son of Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, and Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate. He was named the regent of France for Louis XV, who succeeded to the throne at the age of five. Philippe died months after Louis attained majority.

 29 
Joachim Murat
(Former King of Naples (1808 - 1815))
Joachim Murat
4
Birthdate: March 25, 1767
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Labastide-Murat, Cœur-de-Causse, France
Died: October 13, 1815
Joachim Murat, the king of Naples, came to be known for his outrageous dress sense and earned the nickname The Dandy King. Married to Napoleon’s sister, Caroline Bonaparte, he was also a Marshal of France and earned the title of the First Horseman of Europe.
 30 
José de San Martín
(Military Leader, Politician)
José de San Martín
5
Birthdate: February 25, 1778
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Yapeyú
Died: August 17, 1850

José de San Martín was an Argentine general who played an important role in the Spanish American wars of independence. San Martín is considered a national hero of Peru and Argentina. The Order of the Liberator General San Martín, the highest honor conferred by the government of Argentina, was created in his honor.

 31 
Benjamin Tallmadge
(Military Leader)
Benjamin Tallmadge
5
Birthdate: February 25, 1754
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: East Setauket, Brookhaven, New York, United States
Died: March 7, 1835
 32 
Louis-Nicolas Davout
(Military commander)
Louis-Nicolas Davout
4
Birthdate: May 10, 1770
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Annoux, France
Died: June 1, 1823
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn
9
Birthdate: November 2, 1767
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Buckingham Palace, England
Died: January 23, 1820

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn was the father of Queen Victoria. His army career took him to Canada and the West Indies, making him the first royal family member to stay in North America. He was also the governor of Gibraltar and played a major role in Canada’s development.

 34 
Philip John Schuyler
5
Birthdate: November 20, 1733
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Albany, New York, United States
Died: November 18, 1804
 35 
Alexander Hamilton
(American Revolutionary and Founding Father of the United States)
Alexander Hamilton
4
Birthdate: January 11, 1755
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Charlestown, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Died: July 12, 1804

Known as America’s one of the most influential Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and served as the first secretary of the treasury. He also fought in the American Revolutionary War and was considered as a leading votary of the strong central government.

 36 
Benedict Arnold
(American Military Officer Who Served During the Revolutionary War)
Benedict Arnold
25
Birthdate: January 14, 1741
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Norwich, Connecticut, United States
Died: June 14, 1801

Benedict Arnold was an American military officer who betrayed his country when he joined the British forces in 1780. Because of his betrayal, his name became synonymous with traitory in the United States. His story of betrayal has been depicted in popular culture and he has been portrayed by actors like Owain Yeoman and Ciarán Owens.

 37 
Banastre Tarleton
(Former lieutenant colonel at the end of the American Revolution)
Banastre Tarleton
4
Birthdate: August 21, 1754
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Died: January 15, 1833

Banastre Tarleton was a British politician and general. He served in the American Revolutionary War where he was a lieutenant colonel. An iconic figure, Tarleton has been portrayed in several films, such as Sweet Liberty, The Patriot, and Amazing Grace. He has also been depicted in many TV series and novels.   

 38 
Prince Eugene of Savoy
(Austrian Army Commander)
Prince Eugene of Savoy
4
Birthdate: October 18, 1663
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 21, 1736

Prince Eugene of Savoy was a field marshal who served in the army of the Austrian Habsburg dynasty and of the Holy Roman Empire. One of the most influential military commanders of his generation, Prince Eugene served three Holy Roman emperors in a career spanning 60 years. Consequently, he played important roles in many battles, including the Battle of Turin.

 39 
Alexander Suvorov
4
Birthdate: November 24, 1729
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: May 18, 1800

Aleksandr Vasilyevich Suvorov was a distinguished Russian General, remembered for winning every battle that he had commanded. Known for his thumping victories at the Battle of Rymnik and Siege of Izmail during the Russo-Turkish War and for his contributions during the French Revolutionary Wars, he won many awards and tittles and wrote several military manuals, including The Science of Victory.

 40 
Henry Knox
(Former United States Secretary of War)
Henry Knox
4
Birthdate: July 25, 1750
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 25, 1806
 41 
Mikhail Kutuzov
(Military officer)
Mikhail Kutuzov
4
Birthdate: September 16, 1745
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: April 28, 1813
 42 
Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany
4
Birthdate: August 16, 1763
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: St James's Palace, London, England
Died: January 5, 1827
 43 
Anthony Wayne
(Senior Officer of the United States Army (1792-96))
Anthony Wayne
4
Birthdate: January 1, 1745
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Easttown Township, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: December 15, 1796
 44 
Tarrare
(Showman)
Tarrare
9
Birthdate: 1772 AD
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: 1798 AD
 45 
Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis
(One of the Leading British Generals in the American War of Independence)
Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis
4
Birthdate: December 31, 1738
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Grosvenor Square, London, England
Died: October 5, 1805
 46 
James Wolfe
(Officer)
James Wolfe
5
Birthdate: January 2, 1727
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Westerham, United Kingdom
Died: September 13, 1759
 47 
Maurice de Saxe
2
Birthdate: October 28, 1696
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Goslar, Germany
Died: November 20, 1750
 48 
Thomas Gage
(Military Officer)
Thomas Gage
4
Birthdate: 1721 AD
Birthplace: Firle, England
Died: April 2, 1787
Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau
3
Birthdate: July 1, 1725
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vendôme, France
Died: May 30, 1807
 50 
Usman dan Fodio
(Fulani Scholar, Sunni Islamic Teacher, Revolutionary, and Founder and First Caliph of Sokoto Caliphate )
Usman dan Fodio
3
Birthdate: December 15, 1754
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Gobir, Nigeria
Died: April 20, 1817