20. The Greatest Lesser-Known General in History
Mongol general Subutai (1175 – 1248), known as “Bagatur” (The Valiant), is probably the greatest military commander that so few people had ever heard of. He was the Mongols’ most brilliant and successful general, and the main military strategist of both Genghis Khan and his successor, Ogedei.
Hailing from a humble background, Subutai left home at age fourteen to join the Mongol army. Genghis Khan liked him and appointed him his door attendant, and from that close proximity to Genghis, Subutai learned the basics of strategy and the Mongol art of war. He rose through the ranks, and eventually directed over 20 campaigns, conquered or overran 32 nations, and won 65 battles. He holds the distinction of having conquered more territory than any other commander in history.