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Michael Collins - Favourite Foe?

Last updated: 15 March 2012

Irish revolutionary leader Michael Collins has captured voters’ support and is currently leading the National Army Museum’s latest public poll. Enemy Commanders: Britain’s Greatest Foes challenges voters to choose from a 20-strong shortlist of the military leaders who have dealt the British Army the biggest blow.

Michael CollinsMichael Collins. One of the leaders shortlisted for 'Enemy Commanders: Britain’s Greatest Foes'

Ahead of St Patrick’s Day, there has been a huge surge in votes for Collins, who this week pinched pole position from firm favourite Napoleon and left other front-runners, like Rommel and Washington, floundering in his wake.

Collins’s place in the National Army Museum’s top 20 list of formidable foes is clear. An outstanding leader during the Irish War of Independence, he fought the British to a standstill with an army that never exceeded more than 3,000 active volunteers at any given time. He also had an instinctive understanding of the strengths and limitations of guerrilla warfare.

However, there is still plenty of time for Collins’s rivals to stage a comeback. The online voting runs until Friday 30 March 2012. The top five commanders, as determined by the public, will then go forward to be represented at an all-day celebrity speaker event on Saturday 14 April 2012. Only the votes registered at this live event will count towards the naming of the overall winner. So vote now to see your favourite foe in the final five!


For more information or images, please contact:

  • National Army Museum press office
    020 7881 2433

Notes to editors

The National Army Museum explores the impact of the British Army on the story of Britain, Europe and the world; how Britain's past has helped to shape our present and our future and how the actions of a few can affect the futures of many.

The National Army Museum was established by Royal Charter to tell the story of the Land Forces of the Crown wherever they were raised. Opened by the Queen in 1960, it moved to its current site in Chelsea in 1971.


Thomas OKeeffe
19 March 2012, 9.27am

A brilliant general ,his

A brilliant general ,his sectret service second to none penetrated Dublin Castle this was the means of his success in a bloody war where both sides suffered many casulties and it unfortunatly lead to his untimely death.

19 March 2012, 5.16pm

he took every trick the

he took every trick the british knew and turned itback on them a great commander and sad loss to ireland.

Johnny Ross
20 March 2012, 2.22pm

A man to be admired. He

A man to be admired. He changed the course of Irish and British History and I firmly believe that if he wasn't killed in the subsequent Civil war that followed the signing of the peace treaty with Britain that he would have achieved full Irish Independence for 32 counties. He had limited resources as a military commander but still managed to bring the might of the British Empire to a stalemate. A remarkable accomplishment.

Gordon Lucy
20 March 2012, 3.13pm

As they were walking out of

As they were walking out of Downing Street after signing the Anglo-Irish Treaty, Collins said to the Hamar Greenwood, the Chief Secretary for Ireland: ‘You had us dead beat. We could not have lasted another three weeks. When we were told of the offer of a truce we were astounded. We thought you must have gone mad’.

Gerard O'dwyer
17 February 2014, 7.27am

i know who shot General

i know who shot General Michael Collins our Commander in chief he was shot by Sonny O,Neill he was there on the of the fighting Collins was a great leader he was a good man he was innocent his family loved him and his men missed him and loved him so much

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