The word generalissimo ((Italian: Generalissimo), an Italian term, is the absolute superlative of generale ('general') thus meaning "the highest-ranking of all generals". The superlative suffix -issimo itself derives from Latin -issimus, meaning "utmost, to the highest grade". Similar cognates in other languages include generalísimo in Spanish, generalíssimo in Portuguese, généralissime in French, and generalissimus in Latin.
Historically this rank was given to a military officer leading an entire army or the entire armed forces of a nation, usually only subordinate to the sovereign. Other usage of the rank has been for the commander of the united armies of several allied powers.
List of generalissimos
|Chiang Kai-shek||National Revolutionary Army||Republic of China||1926||Appointed commander in chief of the Nationalist Army for the Northern Expedition. In 1935 was appointed "general special class" (特級上將 Tèjí shàng jiàng).|
|Joffre, JosephJoseph Joffre||French Army||France||1914||His rank was Marshal of France, but his title as commander-in-chief of the French Army was généralissime.|
|Suvorov, AlexanderAlexander Suvorov||Russian Imperial Army||Russian Empire||1799|
|Menshikov, Alexander DanilovichAlexander Danilovich Menshikov||Russian Imperial Army||Russian Empire||1727–1728|||
|Foch, FerdinandFerdinand Foch||French Army||France||1918||Généralissime was the title used to describe Ferdinand Foch's Allied Command, starting 26 March 1918. He actually held the rank of général de division, Marshal of France and later the ranks of British Field Marshal and Marshal of Poland.|
|Gamelin, MauriceMaurice Gamelin||French Army||France||1939||His rank was général d'armée, but his title as commander-in-chief of the French Armed Forces was généralissime.|
|Weygand, MaximeMaxime Weygand||French Army||France||1939||His rank was général d'armée, but his title as commander-in-chief of the French Armed Forces was généralissime.|
|de Miranda, FranciscoFrancisco de Miranda||Venezuelan Army||Venezuela||1812|
|Hidalgo y Costilla, MiguelMiguel Hidalgo y Costilla||Revolutionary Army of Mexico||América Mexicana||1810 September – 1811 February|||
|de San Martín, JoséJosé de San Martín||Peruvian Army||Perú||1821-1822||Generalísimo de las Armas del Perú|
|Franco, FranciscoFrancisco Franco||Spanish Armed Forces||Spain||1936–1975||generalísimo|
|Emilio Aguinaldo||Philippine Revolutionary Army||Philippines||1898–1901||Heneralismo|
|Ihsan Nuri||Ararat Forces||Kurdish Republic of Ararat||1927–1930|||
|Crown Prince Charles John||Royal Swedish Army||Sweden||1810–1818||[Note 1]|
|Stalin, JosephJoseph Stalin||Soviet Armed Forces||Soviet Union||1945||Generalissimus of the Soviet Union (declined)|
|Kim Il-sung||Korean People's Army||North Korea||1992||Taewonsu|
|Kim Jong-il||Korean People's Army||North Korea||2012||Taewonsu (Promoted posthumously)|
|Trujillo, RafaelRafael Trujillo||Dominican Army||Dominican Republic||1930|||
|Sun Yat-sen||National Revolutionary Army - Warlord Era (Northern Expedition)||Republic of China||1921||Technically as da yuan shuai or "grand marshal of the army and navy"|
|Albrecht von Wallenstein||30 Year's War||Holy Roman Empire via the "Principal Decree of the Imperial Deputation"||1625|||
|Pershing, John J.John J. Pershing||United States Army||United States of America||1919||Promoted to General of the Armies of the United States on September 3, 1919.|
|Washington, GeorgeGeorge Washington||Continental Army
United States Army
|United States of America||1776||Promoted posthumously to General of the Armies of the United States on January 19, 1976 with date of rank of July 4, 1976.|
|da Fonseca, DeodoroDeodoro da Fonseca||Brazilian Army||Brazil||1890|
|Kalākaua||Hawaiian Army||Kingdom of Hawaii||1886-1891||King of Hawaii, was given titles of "Supreme Commander and Generalissimo of the Hawaiian Army".|
- Field marshal
- Highest military ranks
- Generalissimus of the Soviet Union
- General of the armies
- The Napoleonic Marshal of France Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, Prince of Ponte Corvo, was elected Crown Prince of Sweden by the Riksdag of the Estates and King Charles XIII in 1810. Given his exalted French military rank, the rank of generalissimus was likely granted him in order to give him precedence over "mere" Swedish field marshals. Once he became King of Sweden and Norway in 1818, the generalissimus rank became superfluous.
- Encyclopaedia Britannica: Or, A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Miscellaneous Literature, Enlarged and Improved. Archibald Constable. 1823. p. 484.
- Webster's Third New International Dictionary., French Larousse Étymologique.
- "Online Etymology Dictionary". Online Etymology Dictionary.
- "Define Generalissimo at Dictionary.com". Reference.com.
- "Generalissimo – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". Merriam-Webster.
- "Definition of generalissimo – Oxford Dictionaries (British & World English)". Oxford Dictionary of English.
- Thomas Hobbes (1660), Chapter XVIII: Of the Rights of Sovereigns by institution, retrieved 16 August 2015
- Service, Robert (2005). Stalin: A Biography. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. p. 548. ISBN 978-0-674-01697-2.
- S. M. Shtemenko. The General Staff in the War Years. Moskva 1985. Vietnamese version (vol. 2) . pp. 587-588.
- New York Times, Dec 04, 1926, pg.6.
- "Menschikow und Stalin waren die einzigen Heerführer der russischen Geschichte, die sich "Generalissimus" nennen ließen." [Menshikov and Stalin were the only military leaders in Russian history who declared themselves "generalissimus".] Jena, Detlev (1996): Die russischen Zaren in Lebensbildern, Graz, p. 520.
- John McGroarty :The Gray Man of Christ: Generalissimo Foch (1919) Los Angeles, Walter A Abbott
- Comunica Miguel Hidalgo su proclamaci n como General simo de Am rica. Documentos Historicos de Mexico, 24 Oct 1810.
- Cover, TIME magazine, 18 Oct 1943
- cite archive:
- Bletch Chirguh, La Question Kurde: ses origines et ses causes, Le Caire, Impimerie Paul Barbey, 1930, front cover, IHSAN NOURI PACHA Généralissime des forces nationales Kurdes (in French)
- (in Swedish) Ancienneté och Rang-Rulla öfver Krigsmagten år 1813
- Joseph Stalin was appointed Generalissimus of the Soviet Union. See: Ivan Aleksandrovich Venediktov, Selskokhozyaystvennaya yentsiklopediya, Vol. 4, Gos. izd-vo selkhoz, 1956, p. 584. (in Russian)
- The Daily Yomuiri, 29 September 2010, Kim Jong Un spotlighted / 'Heir apparent' promoted to general, makes DPRK media debut
- The Australian, 15 February 2012, Late Kim Jong-il awarded highest honour by North
- Stanley Walker, Generalissimo Rafael L. Trujillo (1955) Caribbean Library
- Linda Pomerantz-Zhang (1992). Wu Tingfang (1842–1922): Reform and Modernization in Modern Chinese History. Hong Kong University Press. p. 255. ISBN 962209287X. Retrieved 2010-10-31.
- Taylor, Jay (15 April 2009). The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the struggle for modern China. Harvard University Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-674-05471-4. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- A short history of Germany. Ernest Flagg Henderson, 1908
- Tilly und Wallenstein – ein Vergleich zweier Heerführer. Harry Horstmann, 2010. (in German)
- Public Law 66-45 of September 3, 1919 to revive the office of General of the Armies
- Public Law 94-479 of January 19, 1976 to provide for the appointment of George Washington to the grade of General of the Armies of the United States
- Chapter XXII: Act Act To Organize The Military Forces Of The Kingdom. Laws of His Majesty Kalakaua, King of the Hawaiian Islands: Passed by the Legislative Assembly at Its Session of 1886. Honolulu: Black & Auld. 1886. pp. 37–41. OCLC 42350849.