Generalissimo and Generalissimus are military ranks of the highest degree, superior to Field Marshal
Field Marshal
Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

 and other five-star ranks.


The word "generalissimo" is an Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 term, from generale, plus the superlative
In grammar, the superlative is the form of an adjective that indicates that the person or thing modified has the quality of the adjective to a degree greater than that of anything it is being compared to in a given context. English superlatives are typically formed with the suffix -est In...

 suffix -issimo, itself from Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 -issimus, meaning "utmost, to the highest grade".

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
A sovereign is the supreme lawmaking authority within its jurisdiction.Sovereign may also refer to:*Monarch, the sovereign of a monarchy*Sovereign Bank, banking institution in the United States*Sovereign...

. Other usage of the rank has been for the commander of the united armies of several allied powers.

List of Generalissimos

Country Era Notes
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

Republic of China World War II
Ferdinand Foch
Ferdinand Foch
Ferdinand Foch , GCB, OM, DSO was a French soldier, war hero, military theorist, and writer credited with possessing "the most original and subtle mind in the French army" in the early 20th century. He served as general in the French army during World War I and was made Marshal of France in its...

France World War I
Albrecht von Wallenstein
Albrecht von Wallenstein
Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von Wallenstein , actually von Waldstein, was a Bohemian soldier and politician, who offered his services, and an army of 30,000 to 100,000 men during the Danish period of the Thirty Years' War , to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II...

Hapsburg c.1650
Alexander Suvorov
Alexander Suvorov
Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov , Count Suvorov of Rymnik, Prince in Italy, Count of the Holy Roman Empire , was the fourth and last generalissimo of the Russian Empire.One of the few great generals in history who never lost a battle along with the likes of Alexander...

Russia c.1800
Francisco de Miranda
Francisco de Miranda
Sebastián Francisco de Miranda Ravelo y Rodríguez de Espinoza , commonly known as Francisco de Miranda , was a Venezuelan revolutionary...

Venezuela c.1800
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla  Mexico c.1800
José María Morelos
José María Morelos
José María Teclo Morelos y Pavón was a Mexican Roman Catholic priest and revolutionary rebel leader who led the Mexican War of Independence movement, assuming its leadership after the execution of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in 1811...

Vicente Guerrero
Vicente Guerrero
Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña was one of the leading revolutionary generals of the Mexican War of Independence, who fought against Spain for independence in the early 19th century, and served briefly as President of Mexico...

Deodoro da Fonseca
Deodoro da Fonseca
Marshal Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca became the first president of the Republic of Brazil after heading a military coup that deposed Emperor Pedro II and proclaimed the Republic in 1889, disestablishing the Empire of Brazil.- Biography :...

Brazil c.1850
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

Spain c.1950
Máximo Gómez
Máximo Gómez
Máximo Gómez y Báez was a Major General in the Ten Years' War and Cuba's military commander in that country's War of Independence ....

Cuba c.1900
Ihsan Nuri  Kurdistan c.1930
Charles XIV John of Sweden
Charles XIV John of Sweden
Charles XIV & III John, also Carl John, Swedish and Norwegian: Karl Johan was King of Sweden and King of Norway from 1818 until his death...

Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-sung was a Korean communist politician who led the Democratic People's Republic of Korea from its founding in 1948 until his death in 1994. He held the posts of Prime Minister from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to his death...

Prince Michael of Portugal
Rafael Leónidas Trujillo
Rafael Leónidas Trujillo
Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina , nicknamed El Jefe , ruled the Dominican Republic from 1930 until his assassination in 1961. He officially served as president from 1930 to 1938 and again from 1942 to 1952, otherwise ruling as an unelected military strongman...

Sun Yat-sen
Sun Yat-sen
Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese doctor, revolutionary and political leader. As the foremost pioneer of Nationalist China, Sun is frequently referred to as the "Father of the Nation" , a view agreed upon by both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China...

Yeon Gaesomun
Yeon Gaesomun
Yeon Gaesomun was a powerful and controversial military dictator and Generalissimo in the waning days of Goguryeo, which was one of the Three Kingdoms of ancient Korea. Yeon is also remembered for a number of successful resistance in military conflicts with Tang Dynasty under Emperor Li Shimin and...

–Goguryo of Korea

See also

  • Highest military ranks
    Highest military ranks
    In many nations the highest military ranks are classed as being equivalent to or officially described as five-star ranks. However, a number of nations have used or proposed ranks such as generalissimo which are senior to their five-star equivalent ranks...

  • Generalissimus of the Soviet Union
  • Magister militum
    Magister militum
    Magister militum was a top-level military command used in the later Roman Empire, dating from the reign of Constantine. Used alone, the term referred to the senior military officer of the Empire...

  • Military rule (disambiguation)
  • Spahbod
    Spahbod or Spahbed , is derived from the words Spah and bod ; or "Aspah'Paeity" , and means commander of cavaliers/ knights; alternatively Spah Salar was a rank used in the Parthian empire and more widely in the Sassanid Empire of Persia...

  • Constable of France
    Constable of France
    The Constable of France , as the First Officer of the Crown, was one of the original five Great Officers of the Crown of France and Commander in Chief of the army. He, theoretically, as Lieutenant-general of the King, outranked all the nobles and was second-in-command only to the King...

  • Shogun
    A was one of the hereditary military dictators of Japan from 1192 to 1867. In this period, the shoguns, or their shikken regents , were the de facto rulers of Japan though they were nominally appointed by the emperor...

  • Supreme Allied Commander
    Supreme Allied Commander
    Supreme Allied Commander is the title held by the most senior commander within certain multinational military alliances. It originated as a term used by the Western Allies during World War II, and is currently used only within NATO. Dwight Eisenhower served as Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary...

  • The Generals
  • Reichsmarschall
    Reichsmarschall literally in ; was the highest rank in the armed forces of Nazi Germany during World War II after the position of Supreme Commander held by Adolf Hitler....

  • First Marshal of the Empire
    First Marshal of the Empire
    First marshal of the empire was a military rank established by the Italian Parliament on March 30, 1938. The highest rank in the Italian Military, it was only granted to Benito Mussolini and King Victor Emmanuel III...

  • Dux Bellorum
  • Grand Marshal
    Grand Marshal
    Grand Marshal is a ceremonial, military, or political office of very high rank. The term has its origins with the word "Marshal" with the first usage of the term "Grand Marshal" as a ceremonial title for certain religious orders...

  • General of the Armies
    General of the Armies
    General of the Armies of the United States, or more commonly referred to as General of the Armies, is the highest possible officer rank of the United States Army.Only two soldiers have been granted the rank of General of the Armies; John J...

  • Caudillo
    Caudillo is a Spanish word for "leader" and usually describes a political-military leader at the head of an authoritarian power. The term translates into English as leader or chief, or more pejoratively as warlord, dictator or strongman. Caudillo was the term used to refer to the charismatic...

  • Six-star rank
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