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The 10 Greatest Conquerors in The History of The World:
Guess Who is Number One !





The history of mankind is one sculpted by the results of epic wars. From the earliest forms of society through to the modern day, the fates of entire civilisations have been decided by the swords of soldiers and the commands of their leaders.

What better list to create, therefore, than one celebrating the greatest military leaders to have ever graced the annals of history. Here we have done just that – join us as we countdown the top 10 conquerors of all time.

10. Timur aka Tamerlane

Taking the number 10 spot on our list of great conquerors is Timur, otherwise known as Tamerlane, a Turkish ruler from the 14th century. Timur oversaw the restoration of the Mongol Empire of Genghis Khan.

He was a revered military leader and conquered large parts of West, South and Central Asia to become the most powerful ruler in the Muslim world. As founder of the Timurid dynasty, his army was feared across the continent and historians have estimated that his military campaigns were responsible for the deaths of 17 million people, earning him a barbaric reputation.

9. Hannibal Barka

Hannibal Barka, simply known as Hannibal, has earned his position at number nine on the list for his historic exploits against the Romans. Indeed, he is widely considered to be the Roman Empire’s greatest adversary, leading the Carthaginian forces against Rome in the Second Punic War.

Living 200 years before the birth of Christ, Hannibal is best remembered for marching elephants across the Alps but in military schools throughout history he has been used as a shining example of a master tactician. He fought the Romans with smaller, poorly equipped armies but constantly came out on top.

8. Napoleon Bonaparte

Moving forward about 2,000 years, the man coming in at number eight on the list of greatest conquerors in the history of the world is the unmistakable Napoleon Bonaparte. Standing at just five-and-a-half feet tall, Napoleon might not have been the most physically imposing but on the battlefield he was unmatched in his military prowess.

Living from 1769 to 1821, he rose to prominence in the European wars which followed the French Revolution. First as a general and later the Emperor of France and the King of Italy, Napoleon spent the best part of two decades leading his armies to war across the continent, recording countless famous victories on the way. At his peak the little man reigned over more than 70 million people.

7. Francisco Pizarro

The man placed seventh on the list is Francisco Pizarro, a Spanish conquistador who lived from 1471-1541. In the story of how Spain came to rule much of South America the name Hernan Cortes has often dominated the history books, but in reality Pizarro’s exploits were far more notable.

He led three expeditions across the Atlantic and on the third one he defeated much the Incan Empire with no more than 160 men on horseback. Taking advantage of more advanced technology but also showing a brutality in the execution of his opposition’s leaders, Pizarro altered the face of history when he conquered modern Peru.

6. Cyrus the Great

At number six on the countdown is Cyrus the Great. It is a name perhaps not as well known as some in this exclusive collection but Cyrus’ military might ought not to be underestimated.

Cyrus conquered the Median Empire and Lydia, becoming Persian king by 546 BC. Seven years later, Cyrus defeated the Babylonians and liberated the Jews and by the time of his death in 530 BC he was the ruler of the largest kingdom the world had ever seen. Not only was he almost unbeatable on the field of battle, his political leadership is also evidenced by the fact that his empire, which spanned three continents, would live on for a long time after his death because of the infrastructure he put in place.

5. Julius Caesar

It is hard to talk about great military conquerors and not talk about the man who holds the fifth place on our list: Julius Caesar. As the most famous ruler of history’s most famous empire, Julius Caesar led the armies of the Roman Republic to victories across Africa and Europe.

The subject of a Shakespeare play, the respected military and political leader was eventually assassinated by Brutus in 44 BC. But in the years before Caesar had used his military nous to extend the reaches of the Roman Empire to territories far and wide.

4. Attila the Hun

Few names in history illicit such a fearful response as Attila the Hun. The leader of the barbarian Huns, the fourth greatest conqueror on this list plundered and pillaged everything in his path.

Attila lived in the 5th century. With an empire that stretched from Central Asia right across to modern Germany, he was one of the most fearsome enemies of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires. Attila was well known for his cruelty and took no mercy on his enemies, making him an often-vilified military leader, but an exceptional one nonetheless.

3. Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great once remarked: “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.” Well, the man who sits at number three in our countdown of great conquerors was certainly a lion-like leader.

By the age of 30 Alexander had conquered much of the known world through military force. He took down the mighty Persian kingdom and his empire spread from Gibraltar to the Punjab, while he also made Greek the lingua franca of his time. Using the phalanx formation in his armies, the ruler revolutionised the art of war during the period of ancient history and deserves his position near the summit of this exclusive list.

2. Genghis Khan

The man occupying the second position on the list of great conquerors is Ghengis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire – the largest contiguous empire in history. He created such a huge empire by uniting many of the nomadic tribes and confederations in northeast Asia while also asserting his dominance with a sword in his hand.

He lived from 1162-1227 AD. Like Attila the Hun, the name Genghis Khan has become synonymous with gruesome and brutal warfare. The Mongul warlord sacked villages and towns across modern day Asia, showing a ruthless hunger for power and expansion while leading by example in the heat of battle. In his lifetime he conquered 4,860,000 square miles, more than any other ruler in history.

1. Hari Singh Nalwa

And so we find ourselves at the exclusive number one spot on the list of the greatest conquerors in the history of the world.

And the man who resides atop of this list is Hari Singh Nalwa.

The Greek writer Euripides is famously quoted as saying: “Ten soldiers wisely led will beat a hundred without a head.”

Hari Singh is a testament to this; the man defied the odds time and time again, affirming his reputation as a truly legendary military leader.

There is a magnitude of reasons why he warrants the top place on this list and one of them is that he achieved so much with so little; whereas many of the aforementioned conquerors had the benefit of vast resources, Hari Singh relied on ingenious tactics and unparalleled courage to defeat much larger armies.

He lived from 1791-1837 and was the commander-in-chief of the Sikh Empire’s army. His military campaigns into Afghanistan to stop the flow of invaders into India, for example, brought order to turbulent areas and suppressed various uprisings. Despite having much smaller numbers, he defeated armies across India and restored the territories to the Sikhs.

Most famously, he became the only man in history to take the Khyber Pass – the mountain path that connects Afghanistan and modern-day Pakistan. It is a truly remarkable feat that illustrates his strategic brilliance in battle.

In 1804 Hari Singh was attacked by a tiger while on a hunt. Refusing the help of any of his fellow hunters, the great leader tackled the beast with his bare hands and broke its jaw, killing it instantly and earning him the moniker Baagh Maar (Tiger-killer).

There is not a military leader in the world that has not heard about and studied the exploits of Hari Singh. He remains a revered military figure who defeated his adversaries time and time again without the help of a giant empire behind him.

If you’re intrigued to to know just how such a small group of men, lead by Hari Singh, were able to defeat great armies, we  would like to invite you to learn a bit more about the strength of both mind and body that these men boasted.

Hari Singh was known for popularising certain martial arts which helped to train these men to be perfect warriors, with the discipline and strength to do anything they set their minds to. These skills have been passed through the generations and are still practiced today.


[Courtesy: Billionaires Australia. Edited for]

August 23, 2014





Conversation about this article

1: Jon Nasmith (London, United Kingdom), August 23, 2014, 6:23 AM.

True ... Hari Singh Nalwa is indeed the soldier's soldier. Everyone has tried to rein in the unruly Afghans -- but Alexander couldn't do it, the British couldn't do it, the Russians couldn't do it, and most famously and recently, the Americans couldn't do it. But Hari Singh did it! And brought the wild Afghans down on their knees. It's never been done before ... never since. With another Hari Singh today, the world would be a safer place!

2: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), August 23, 2014, 7:40 AM.

I must have been four or five years old when my mother first told me that Afghan mothers used to silence their unruly or crying child by threatening that "Haria" would take him away. On lesser occasions, it was the policeman who would "take him away". The actual expression of the Afghan mother in Pashto was: "Khamosh bash - Haria raghle!" (Be quiet -- Hari Singh Nalwa has come!) Imagine! A people who have throughout history terrified the world, were themselves terrified of this man who had finally managed to dole out justice upon them! The popular admonishment to Afghan children continues to be used today.

3: Dr Birinder Singh Ahluwalia (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), August 23, 2014, 2:06 PM.

In my humble opinion, to conquer anything (personal challenges or large conflicts) in this world, as evidenced in the history of mankind, four tenets/qualities need to be embodied in a person: Prowess of Mind (determination), Body (physique), Intellect (understanding) and Spirituality (compassion). Each of the listed warriors in #s 2-10 in this article possessed one or more of the four but never all four together. But Hari Singh Nalwa uniquely had them all, thus making him the fiercest (most determined and feared), physically fit (most daunting), intellectual (he crafted and implemented superb battle plans) and spiritual (compassionate to win the hearts he conquered and thus advanced justice)- therefore rightfully claiming the number one spot on this list. All four tenets/qualities are integral parts of Sikhism. Let us all do our part with the ones we possess to make this world a better place, as Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa did, and as many others like President Obama are still striving to do, despite the relentless opposition.

4: N Singh (Canada), August 23, 2014, 10:52 PM.

Wow! I never knew!

5: Kaala Singh (Punjab), August 24, 2014, 12:32 AM.

Hari Singh Nalwa took control of the Khyber Pass and stopped the never-ending invasions in the area that we know as India and Pakistan today. He brought stability and peace in this region. There is no other warrior who comes close to the stature of this ferocious Sikh warrior. Had he not been there, the history of this subcontinent would have been very different. In my humble opinion, had he been in-charge of the Sikh Empire instead of Ranjit Singh, the history of Sikhs would have been very different. History books in India distort history and do not talk about Sikh warriors, they mostly talk about Hindu figures whose achievements are of little consequence. (E.g., the so-called Rani Jhansi ...) It is worth mentioning here that the NWFP is part of Pakistan today only due to the conquests of Hari Singh Nalwa, and Kashmir and Ladakh are part of India today only due the bravery of this great warrior. The importance of Ladakh can be gauged from the fact that China, if it held Ladakh, would have reached Delhi in a few hours like they reached Calcutta in 1962!

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Guess Who is Number One !"

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