Published On: Mon, Apr 16th, 2012

George Washington voted Britain’s Greatest Foe

America’s first President, George Washington was recognized by the National Army Museum to identify Britain’s most outstanding military opponent.

The Telegraph reports that the special event at the museum in west London resulted in the announced list which features the Irish leader Michael Collins, Napoleon Bonaparte, Erwin Rommel and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Dr Stephen Brumwell, who had championed Washington, said:

“As British officers conceded, he was a worthy opponent.”

Brumwell continued:

“Washington scores highly as an enemy of Britain on three key grounds: the immense scale of damage he inflicts upon Britain’s Army and Empire – the most jarring defeat that either endured; his ability to not only provide inspirational battlefield leadership but to work with civilians who were crucial to sustain the war-effort; and the kind of man he was. As British officers conceded, he was a worthy opponent.”

"The Porthole Portrait" by Rembrandt Peale, 1823

“The Porthole Portrait” by Rembrandt Peale, 1823

The shortlist of five were selected from an initial list of 20 candidates, drawn up by the museum’s curators.

George Washington received 30 of the 70 votes, with Michael Collins coming in second place with only 14 votes.

Each leader qualified by being post-17th century onwards (the period covered by the museum’s collection) and had to have led an army in the field against the British, thus excluding political enemies, like Adolf Hitler.

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