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Washington voted greatest commander

George Washington has been voted the greatest commander to lead an army against British forces in the field of battle.

The first president of the United States was the clear winner of a poll among guests at an event at the National Army Museum, securing 30 votes against 14 for Irish revolutionary leader Michael Collins.

Third was Napoleon Bonaparte with 12 votes, followed by Erwin Rommel with seven and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (four).

The vote concluded a hard-fought contest launched by the museum in February, which asked the public to vote online for their top foe.

From its launch on February 13 to its close on March 31, the online voting site attracted almost 8,000 votes and more than 300,000 web hits.

The top five commanders as determined by the online poll then went forward to be represented at the all-day event.

The poll was created to highlight the achievements of Britain's most celebrated enemies and to draw attention to some lesser-known adversaries.

In assembling the shortlist the main criterion was that each commander must have led an army against British forces in the field, which saw the exclusion of some political enemies, such as Adolf Hitler, and that they must fall within the museum's historical remit, from the 17th century onwards.

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