Water-who? George Washington Defeats Napoleon To Be Named Britain's Greatest Ever Military Opponent

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GEORGE WASHINGTON
George Washington: Britain's greatest-ever foe | Alamy

A poll conducted by the National Army Museum has voted George Washington the most formidable military opponent ever faced by Britain.

The American fought off four other leaders to victory. A long list was put to an online poll in February and the matter was then settled by a closed vote among 70 guests at museum over the weekend.

Michael Collins surrendered a commanding lead after St Patrick's Day in March saw a dramatic increase in votes for the Irish revolutionary, who eventually finished second.

He did, however, outfox the great military commander Napoleon Bonaparte, who despite conquering much of Europe was battered into third - possibly the Frenchman's most painful defeat since the Battle of Waterloo.

Erwin Rommel, the German who resisted the Allied invasion in Normandy during World War II, and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the mastermind behind the Allied forces withdrawal in Gallipoli in 1915, came fourth and fifth respectively.

The conditions for the candidates were that they were from the 17th century onwards and that they led an army in the field against British forces.

As reported by the Telegraph, Dr Stephen Brumwell, who had championed Washington, commented: "As British officers conceded, he was a worthy opponent."

Washington, the 'Father of America' was the first President and defeated Britain in the American Revolutionary War between 1775 and 1783, before going on to oversee the writing of the Constitution in 1787.

Although Washington only came fourth in the online poll, Brumwell and his other supporters won over those with the final vote, describing the leader as "courageous and inspirational".

What do you think? Is George Washington the right choice?