One of the many, many generals of history who had ridiculously well-known affairs.

One of the many, many generals of history who had a ridiculous extramarital affair.

2003-2012: General David Petraeus may be the most successful American commander of this millenium. He masterminded the successful “surge” against Iraqi insurgents and held numerous command posts there, he directed the Central Intelligence Agency for more than one year, and he coordinated an extramarital affair involving personnel throughout the national security apparatus.

1941-1942: Until his momentum stalled and was then reversed at El Alamein, “Desert Fox” Erwin Rommel won victory after victory with the Afrika Korps while perfecting the art of slipping his phone number to other officers’ wives at parties.

1861-1863: Confederate general Thomas J. Jackson earned the nickname “Stonewall” for his tenacity in the face of Mary Anna Jackson’s accusations about that barmaid in Richmond.

218-216 B.C.: Hannibal’s brilliant crossing of the Alps to invade Roman Italy culminated in victory at the Battle of Cannae. The Carthaginian leader employed his classic pincer movement against General Varro’s legions, and also against Varro’s wife until she told Hannibal she wasn’t so into that.

1066: After winning at Hastings, William the Conqueror became the last successful foreign invader of England to hook up with older women (and I mean much older women) without any of his buddies ratting him out or giving him shit about it.

1898: Admiral George Dewey made American naval history at Manila Bay by torpedoing the entire Spanish Pacific Squadron, and two girls at once. Dewey succeeded despite facing superior numbers in both circumstances.

327 B.C.: Alexander the Great cemented his conquest of Persia with a big ceremonial marriage to the princess Roxana. Alexander then invaded India, because his male lover and domestic partner Hephaestion found out about everything, and Alex needed to dodge that heat for a while.

1812: Russian commander Mikhail Kutuzov used scorched earth tactics to make Napoleon’s long retreat a nightmare, putting the Little Corporal through a brutal winter with few provisions and even fewer serfs’ daughters that were at least a 7 (which is a 5 in Paris).

1415: Beaten badly at the Battle of Agincourt, Henry V cleverly used William Shakespeare’s playwriting talents to make everyone think the English actually won the day, and that he didn’t miss the fighting completely to spend an afternoon throwing it in a weaver’s daughter.

1779-1781: Benedict Arnold famously betrayed the Continental Army in the American Revolution. He less famously counterbetrayed the British by having an affair with Nathanael Greene’s wife. Arnold’s pillow talk included all kinds of great Army tips, really really great stuff, so Mrs. Greene passed this intelligence on to George Washington and it proved crucial to the American victory at Yorktown.

1914-1917: After three years of bloody stalemate on the Western Front, and aided by the intervention of American allies, British Field Marshal Douglas Haig finally worked up the nerve to talk to that waitress. As usual, he didn’t get far.

516 B.C.: You know that story about Sun Tzu successfully teaching an army of concubines to march in formation? Don’t tell Mrs. Tzu, but…second regiment, third row, fifth from the left. Yeah. He hit it.


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