Jan Zizka (aka Jan Žižka z Trocnova a Kalicha) is widely regarded as one of the single finest military minds in all of the worlds history.
Zizka, born in 1360, is generally considered to have never lost a battle. What makes this feat even more impressive is that, whereas the few other generals in history who’ve done this had powerful armies at their command, Zizka was in command of only peasants and rebels.
Zizka was a general during something known as the “Hussite Wars” which, in a nutshell, was an uprising by protestant dissenters against the Catholic Church. The Hussites, who were mostly Czechs, followed the teachings of Jan Hus, a Czech priest who was burned at the stake for heresy in 1415. Luckily for the Hussites, under the leadership of Zizka, they won victory after victory, despite generally being vastly outnumbered.
Prior to becoming a general for the Hussites, Zizka was actually a mercenary fighting for whomever paid him the highest wage. It was during his time as a mercenary, during the First Battle of Tannenberg (aka, the Battle of Grunwald) in 1410, that Zizka lost one of his eyes. After getting his eye stabbed out of his face, Zizka was still instrumental in helping claim victory that day for the Polish.
Zizka’s prowess on the battlefield was linked to a combination of his ability to effectively use the terrain of the battlefield to his advantage and his amazing ability to innovate, including being among the first to effectively incorporate small gun powder weapons in battle and developing what were essentially tanks. They were heavily armoured wagons, from which his men could safely pepper the enemy to death with crossbow bolts and hand cannon balls.
This prowess and these “war wagons” were instrumental in many of Zizka’s victories and helped him and his men overcome almost impossible odds. For example, during the Battle of Sudomer, Zizka and a force of just 400 lightly equipped men managed to fight off over 2,000 well trained soldiers.
Zizka himself however didn’t hide behind them, generally preferring to fight the enemy head on. His skill and ferocity on the battlefield quickly earned him the respect of his men, and his enemies. In fact, Zizka was so determined to lead his soldiers regardless of the odds, that he even did so after he lost his other eye during a battle in 1421. Zizka even once managed to lead an ambush against a group of men who’d tried to ambush him while he was completely blind in both eyes.
Zizka continued leading his men until 1424, when he finally died at the age 63-64, not from running into battle blind mind you, but from the plague. Before his death though, Zizka requested that his skin be flayed from his body and used to make war drums. So that his men could beat the drums as they marched into battle; meaning even in death, he could lead them on.
Further Info: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Žižka