Worst Armchair Generals

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,350
#81
That is a common fallacy, often used when criticisms are correct. If the plumber has been fixing your toilet and it still leaks, he hasn't done his work properly. You don't need to point out an alternative.
Besides the main alternative to attacking in the mud in Flanders is fairly obvious, isn't it? Not attacking.
Trite Sloganism. War is complex and it's not a matter of just following steps and getting a job done. WW1 generals faced problems no generals faced before or scince. It was a war fought in uniqgue circumstances. Sure there were blunders it happens in all wars. WW1 a variety of factors came togetehr to make consequences of mistakes bigger. WW1 Generals were not particularly incompetent. Gievenr latiely evenly matched forces, given the techonlogical constrinats of the time, a bloody war of attrition is predictable result.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
31,606
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#83
You'd really want to go to Iraq or Afghanistan in an infantry battalion led by someone with almost zero infantry experience, who had almost zero line or command experience beyond some time as a junior lieutenant?
That's pretty much how the British Army operated during the Crimean War...
 

macon

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
3,545
Slovenia
#84
"According to Cicero, while at the court of Antiochus, Hannibal attended a lecture by Phormio, a philosopher, that ranged through many topics. When Phormio finished a discourse on the duties of a general, Hannibal was asked his opinion. He replied, "I have seen during my life many old fools; but this one beats them all."
Hannibal - Wikipedia

I like this funny quote a lot.
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
4,618
Netherlands
#86
Trite Sloganism. War is complex and it's not a matter of just following steps and getting a job done. WW1 generals faced problems no generals faced before or scince. It was a war fought in uniqgue circumstances. Sure there were blunders it happens in all wars. WW1 a variety of factors came togetehr to make consequences of mistakes bigger. WW1 Generals were not particularly incompetent. Gievenr latiely evenly matched forces, given the techonlogical constrinats of the time, rea bloody war of attrition is predictable result.
Why sloganism? Why would anyone need to come up with an alternative to see some decision is not that smart?

Btw it is not true that these WW1 problems were new. From the American Civil War to the Russian-Japan war and the Boer war, the problem was the same: How to cross terrain while being shot at by increasingly nasty firearms and artillery. It is just that a solution was rather difficult. That doesn't excuse some of the decisions, though.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,350
#87
Why sloganism? Why would anyone need to come up with an alternative to see some decision is not that smart?
The Plumber thing . But you have toi understand why they did what they did.

Btw it is not true that these WW1 problems were new. From the American Civil War to the Russian-Japan war and the Boer war, the problem was the same: How to cross terrain while being shot at by increasingly nasty firearms and artillery. It is just that a solution was rather difficult. That doesn't excuse some of the decisions, though.
This is not the critical problems of trecnh warfare on the western front in ww1. Generally that problem was solved. WW1 was a period of constant technological change. No other war really comes close.

Neither of those conflict are really comparable, the American civil war is no way close.
 
Feb 2016
4,180
Japan
#88
That's pretty much how the British Army operated during the Crimean War...
A bit harsh. Only Cardigan had used his name and connections to get where he was...

Colin Campbell - served in in Spain as an Ensign to Major in the 9th foot. Became battalion commander of the 7/60th in Canada. Helped Put down a slave rebellion as adc of the governer. Commanded the 98th in Opium War, Commanded a brigade in the Anglo Sikh war.

Lord Lucan - while he had not seen any combat, he’d joined the army as an ensign and had gone through the officer ranks at an average pace. At last 4 years between each promotion.

Codrington - longtime soldier from a military family. Crimea was his first combat experience but proved himself worthy of the family name.

Hugh Rose - long service professional. Several small actions in his career though few wars. By Crimea he was a major general after he’d been attatched to French HQ were he fought frequently alongside the 1st Zouves.

Pennefather - long service professional. Commanded the 22nd Foot at Meanee, which was his first war in a career starting in 1818 as a dragoon cornet but where he’d commanded at all levels.
 
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Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
4,618
Netherlands
#89
This is not the critical problems of trecnh warfare on the western front in ww1. Generally that problem was solved.
So pray tell, how was that solved prior to WW1?
WW1 was a period of constant technological change. No other war really comes close.
Not disagreeing, though the next one was even more so.
Neither of those conflict are really comparable, the American civil war is no way close.
It is not the scale. It is the issue of having encountered problems (assailing entrenched/hidden enemies) without really coming up with a solution.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
31,606
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#90
A bit harsh. Only Cardigan had used his name and connections to get where he was...

Colin Campbell - served in in Spain as an Ensign to Major in the 9th foot. Became battalion commander of the 7/60th in Canada. Helped Put down a slave rebellion as adc of the governer. Commanded the 98th in Opium War, Commanded a brigade in the Anglo Sikh war.

Lord Lucan - while he had not seen any combat, he’d joined the army as an ensign and had gone through the officer ranks at an average pace. At last 4 years between each promotion.

Codrington - longtime soldier from a military family. Crimea was his first combat experience but proved himself worthy of the family name.

Hugh Rose - long service professional. Several small actions in his career though few wars. By Crimea he was a major general after he’d been attatched to French HQ were he fought frequently alongside the 1st Zouves.

Pennefather - long service professional. Commanded the 22nd Foot at Meanee, which was his first war in a career starting in 1818 as a dragoon cornet but where he’d commanded at all levels.
But most of the senior commanders, including the overall commander Raglan hadn't seen active wartime service since around the time of tje Napoleonic Wars. Colin Campbell did rather well, and George Catchcart (? I think), the commander of the Heavy rigade too, despite being ridiculously short-sighted.
 

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