Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > Themes in History > War and Military History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

War and Military History War and Military History Forum - Warfare, Tactics, and Military Technology over the centuries


Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old January 4th, 2018, 05:41 PM   #1
Academician
 
Joined: Jan 2017
From: North Carolina
Posts: 55
Have you notice people criticizing military blunders repeat same mistakes in life?


Since this is alternate history forum, I'd thought I'd post this. This is an observation I notice within the field of History and the History community.

We all know the Saying "History Repeats itself" and other similar historical maxims and often I see people (especially in Military History) often attack past mistakes done by Historical figures such as the good old "they were arrogantly stupid to have underestimated their enemy!" and so forth.

Here's the big observation I noticed. People who often espout criticism on the past (especially Armchair Generals and Armchair Politicians) often are precisely the type who would commit these mistakes or actually even do commit them IRL!

To use an example is the good old on how Military Leaders and Politicians are criticized for "failing to learn from History so history repeats itself" in a certain conflict or political fiasco. I can list so many people I know who espout this but I'll use myself as an example as I would be the epitome of this.

I often criticized Military leaders from failing to learn from their predecessors when I was first getting into Military History esp. in regards to counterinsurgency in "guerrilla" wars like thos of the Vietnam War and the Afghan-Soviet War and the Maginot Line constructors failing to realize weaponry and tactics always change. Of course I learned the story was much more complex, but I'll just leave it at there. I was a know-it-all who criticized people like Westmoreland for failing to learn from the French War in Indochina or Chamberlain and other politicians back in WW2 for failing to learn from history of the German aggressive nature.

However when I look back in my life, I realized how much I Repeated History as though it was an intrinsic part of me and despite making the same mistakes over and over and suffering harsh consequences, I failed to learn and continue repeating them (particularly in regard to procrastination and college work).

So in other words I'm just as guilty for making the same mistakes of Repeating History and failing to learn from it as many generals and politicians are criticized when getting into future conflicts that are similar to disasterous past ones.

The underestimation of enemies is one frequently espouted in History but almost everyone who espouts it do it at their own game. Southerners today often boast proudly that the Union Army arrogantly underestimated the fighting ability of the Confederate Army and thus were beating the Union Army up really bad during the CIvil War.But what Southerners who espout this often tend to selectively forget that the Southern Army did the same-that they underestimated the Union Army's will to fight and military potential and made the fatal mistakes of attacking the North rather than staying on the defensive. So here is a live example of "failing to underestimate" your enemies coming into repitition by people who spout this maxim.

I can go on and on. How people criticize that Chamberlain committed the apeasement policy with Hitler and criticize Chamberlain for lacking the backbone to stand up to Hitler. They criticize even though Chamberlain was doing what the population felt was the best option, that "Chamberlain should have known better and just go straight out against Hitler!!!!"

To use an analogy, well in fact if these people just got out of the Hospital after a brutal fight that sent them injured so badly and forced to be hospitalized for 1 month, they wouldn't have the guts again to fight the same bully who caused such injuries (even if fighting back is the best thing to do at the moment to show that they won't let themselves get pushed around) as the injuries were so grave in the last fight and instead these people would try to do what they can to avoid conflict where they can get hurt.

Same thing with the Chamberlain story, except in this case Britain LOST an ENTIRE GENERATION of young men from World War 1 and was still struggling to rebuild the country's scars from World War 1 back at the start of WW2. I mean if you don't got the backbone to fight a bully who just beat your up last time because he caused such grave injuries requiring a month to stay in a Hospital, what the hell do you expect for a prime minister of a country as exhausted of war as Great Britain was to go out there and rush intoa fight without thought???!!!

I can put so many examples but these should show my points.What do you think?

To add another example is Colonel Peroth, the commander of the Algerian Artillery battalion in Dien Bien Phu. When I first read about DBP and later when I read Hell In a Very Small Place by Fall, I thought Peroth was a ****ing idiot for committing suicide after making the fatal mistake that would lead his entire bazillion to death.Other people who read Hell In a Very Small Place or DBP state the same criticism.

However when I look back in my life, I realized I literally broke down and cried over much smaller things that aren't even much such as not having a girlfriend and whatnot.If such small pointless matters made me collapse out of stress, I now realized that I would probably have committed suicide too or at least panicked and whimper in a corner if I was in a dangerous situation that I brought myself into such as Peroth's decisions prior to Dien Bien Phu. The same can be said for most people who criticized Peroth for his decisions that lead to the Slaughter of his Algerian Artillerymen-they break too at things that are relatively laughable compared to battle such as being overburdened by debt. I mean if you can't even take care of your basic finances and you're crying from the stress, how the hell do you expect to last with the scar of knowing you got all your troops killed because of stupid decisions?

See what I'm saying?
Wrangler29 is offline  
Remove Ads
Old January 4th, 2018, 07:26 PM   #2
Historian
 
Joined: Jul 2016
From: USA
Posts: 5,087

King of copy pasta. I guess nobody answered sufficiently when you posted this identical wall of text 10 months ago in another forum.
aggienation is offline  
Old January 5th, 2018, 03:20 AM   #3

johnincornwall's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Nov 2010
From: Cornwall
Posts: 6,456

Quote:
Originally Posted by aggienation View Post
King of copy pasta. I guess nobody answered sufficiently when you posted this identical wall of text 10 months ago in another forum.
Smart. I was wondering what we are alternative to!

Vaguely on the subject - it's only in modern history (and Roman history I guess) that people are generally supposed to know what they are doing.

War and battles was a real sport in between, where the people in charge were there because they became king or were of noble birth and knew the right people, rather than any talent for battle or war

So I reserve the right to crticise those many well-meaning incompetents in medieval Spain!!!
johnincornwall is offline  
Old January 7th, 2018, 07:01 AM   #4

TotalAaron's Avatar
No Relation. to stalin
 
Joined: Feb 2016
From: Hunnic Empire
Posts: 4,471
Blog Entries: 6

"However when I look back in my life, I realized I literally broke down and cried over much smaller things that aren't even much such as not having a girlfriend and whatnot.If such small pointless matters made me collapse out of stress"

Er you may want to get some mental help somewhere bud
TotalAaron is offline  
Old January 7th, 2018, 11:00 AM   #5
Academician
 
Joined: Jan 2017
From: North Carolina
Posts: 55

The point why I made this topic was because of how many people reading history books would always make comments like "they're so stupid to underestimate the Vietnamese can bring equipment to Dien Bien Phu!" and how many writers make it seem so obvious that the enemy has started to adapt their tactics or that its so easy not to panic and start throwing down your weapon after 30 days of nonstop exhausting fighting.

What bothers me about the way many historians write these incidents and moreso how many posters on the internet and amateur discussions at clubs irl, etc make it out as though these mistakes should be a no-brainer to avoid.

Well in fact so many of use do the exact same mistake, only its on a smaller scale and not involving life or death matter. I mean how many of us keep forgetting to return a DVD at the Redbox on time (to repeat the "history repeats itself" criticism)?

To use myself as an example.

Using myself as an example and using a non-military one, I thought it was ******* stupid that the US government was making the mistake of Keynesian economics during the Great Depression and that FDR was a moron who lacked common sense. Well in fact during my early college years my home was suffering immense screw up in infrastructure and I was already broke from college debt. I thought the best way to resolve my debt was to spend all my paycheck and even get more loans to help repair the home. I ended up accumulating at least 3X the initial college debt and I've been paying all of it over the years until just the Fall last year when I finally finished paying the interest. Much like how FDR though spending money to build infrastructure and employment to resolve the problem in the long run, I thought by getting rid off the house repairs my problem would be over far quicker than if I were to pay it later and wait for everything to collapse. It turns out I ended up being in debt and paying far more than I expected and parts of the house got destroyed anyway so I had to replace them entirely.


What I'm going it is how people act all tough and know-it-all that if they were Montgomery, they would have done this in Operation Marketgarden or that. Of if they were (to use an example from my OP), Colonel Peroth, they wouldn't have chickened out as a pussy and committed suicide. Or how amateur historians criticize the Union for underestimating the Confederacy, etc.

Well in fact they commit the same exact things in their own personal lives.


Thats the best way I can explain about what this thread is about.
Wrangler29 is offline  
Old January 7th, 2018, 11:43 AM   #6

Sam-Nary's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jun 2012
From: At present SD, USA
Posts: 6,460

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrangler29 View Post
To use myself as an example.

Using myself as an example and using a non-military one, I thought it was ******* stupid that the US government was making the mistake of Keynesian economics during the Great Depression and that FDR was a moron who lacked common sense...
Personal finance and government finance are different things... very different things.

And in the end, complaining that FDR wasn't running on a "balanced budget," just remember that many Republicans really weren't running on "balanced budgets" either. It's ultimately a matter on what said money is spent on.
Sam-Nary is offline  
Old January 8th, 2018, 01:35 AM   #7

johnincornwall's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Nov 2010
From: Cornwall
Posts: 6,456

There are 'no-brainers' out there in the Middle Ages. You mustn't assume everyone involved was a genius.

If you were in possession of a nice, secure City like Jerusalem, would you charge across the desert for a day, toward a more numerous enemy, to a place where there was no access to water for your men or horses, where the enemy commander was known to be competent, just because some idiot called you a coward if you didn't?

Hattin.
johnincornwall is offline  
Old January 8th, 2018, 07:25 AM   #8
Academician
 
Joined: Jan 2017
From: North Carolina
Posts: 55

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnincornwall View Post
There are 'no-brainers' out there in the Middle Ages. You mustn't assume everyone involved was a genius.

If you were in possession of a nice, secure City like Jerusalem, would you charge across the desert for a day, toward a more numerous enemy, to a place where there was no access to water for your men or horses, where the enemy commander was known to be competent, just because some idiot called you a coward if you didn't?

Hattin.
This is exactly what I mean by the OP. How many of us irl did incredibly stupid things when we were young such as take on a 6 foot tall 200 lb muscular football player jock despite we being smaller and relatively out of shape?

Hattin isn't even close many people irl (including those who criticize past leaders) often react by impulses enough that one actress dared a mugger to shoot her (just to show she isn't afraid).

Lets not forget medieval Europe was an honor culture where masculinity was such an essential part of the knightly caste that to refuse to take a challenge would have discredited him among his peers and even his followers. Not so different from teen jocks having to retaliate with a punch because you called him a pussy.
Wrangler29 is offline  
Old January 8th, 2018, 07:28 AM   #9

Naomasa298's Avatar
Modpool
 
Joined: Apr 2010
From: T'Republic of Yorkshire
Posts: 30,622

This is not an alternative history forum.

Thread closed.
Naomasa298 is offline  
Closed Thread

  Historum > Themes in History > War and Military History

Tags
blunders, criticizing, life, military, mistakes, notice, repeat



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Greatest Military Blunders In Professional Armies Celtae War and Military History 97 September 19th, 2015 05:29 PM
Military Blunders gladiatrice War and Military History 38 July 15th, 2014 04:09 PM
Great military blunders were caused by wargames?How practical are they? DiehardGrognardKriegspiel War and Military History 8 April 6th, 2014 01:27 AM
People Crticize Mistakes likely the one to Repeat them (and often do IRL)? Pisces Adonis General History 2 December 13th, 2012 01:04 PM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.