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Military Blunders: The How and Why of Military Failure

por Saul David

Otros autores: Ver la sección otros autores.

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1783122,326 (3.27)13
A professional military historian analyzes the most spectacular cock-ups in military history caused by everything from incompetent generals to interfering politicians, hopeless planning and misplaced confidence. This graphic account has a great deal to say about the psychology of military incompetence and the reasons even the most well-oiled military machines inflict disaster upon themselves. It covers more than 30 engagements, beginning in AD9 with the massacre of Varus and his legions in the Black Forest; including nightmares of the Victorian Age such as the Retreat from Kabul; crushing reverses of two World Wars such as the Siege of Kut, Mussolini's invasion of Egypt and the fall of Singapore; many fiascos such as the Second Crusade, Colenso and the Yalu River; and continuing right up to the present with Goose Green in the Falklands and the Bravo Two Zero SAS patrol in the Gulf War. Contents: Unfit to command - aged, ill, inexperienced, indecisive or plain incompetent generals; meddling ministers - fiascos caused by politicians interfering with or overriding their generals; planning for trouble - military operations that were doomed to fail because of flaws in the planning stage; misplaced confidence - catastrophes brought about by a fatal underestimation of the enemy; a failure to perform - battles and campaigns lost because of the poor performance of the ordinary soldier.… (más)
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Någon gång för flera år sedan, när jag trodde mig på väg att odla ett intresse för militärhistoria, plockade jag upp Saul Davids Militära misstag, en samling kortare redogörelser för diverse militära kampanjer som av en eller annan anledning slutade i katastrof, från slaget i Teutoburgerskogen till en spaningsräd under gulfkriget. På cirka tio sidor introduceras en konflikt, vilka som utkämpade dem, och exakt hur det gick åt pipan. Skalan sträcker sig från hela konflikter, som Koreakriget eller andra korståget, ned till små gruppers försök, som Jamesons räd (en del av förspelet till boerkriget) eller lätta brigadens anfall.

David grupperar sina studier under fem rubriker: »Olämpliga ledare«, »Planera för problem«, »Ministrarna lägger sig i«, »Obefogat självförtroende« och »Svaga insatser«; i synnerhet den sista av dessa kan ifrågasättas, då man lika gärna kunde fråga sig om det inte var olämpligt ledarskap som gjorde att insatserna inte blev bättre än de blev. Även de övriga kan egentligen sorteras in där.

Annars finns inte mycket att säga: formatet är vad det är, vilket gör att det blir ganska kortfattat och översiktligt. Urvalet är anglocentriskt, där 23 av 30 kapitel involverar britter eller amerikaner, och övriga sju romare, fransmän, tyskar eller spanjorer. Nio behandlar andra världskriget. Det är läsligt, halvhafsigt översatt och inte särskilt djupt. ( )
  andejons | Dec 3, 2019 |
The individual treatment of battles is interesting and well done, though more maps would have been very useful. What is an issue is the selection. After reading this, you're left with the impression that the British army is the most incompetent bunch of soldiers ever. Also, there's a very heavy emphasis on the 19th and 20th century. A pity because some major previous battle blunders go unmentioned. (Like the Romans - Teutoburg is a minor loss compared to Arausio, which was lost due to quarreling commanders.)

A nice overview for those interested in British (and to a lesser degree US-American) military history, but the promise of a wide historical scope is highly misleading. ( )
  surreality | Aug 22, 2008 |
It is the duty of all military personnel to learn from the past—not only to emulate the victories but also to learn from the mistakes. To that end, David has written a detailed analysis of some of the greatest military failures of the past. He outlines to a variety of reasons as to why these disasters happened—incompetent commanders, bad planning, meddling politicians, underestimation of the enemy and poor performance of soldiers—and provides details, including maps of the military operations that were doomed to failure. Peppered with interested asides and psychological insights, this book is a well written catalogue of how disasters could have been averted, and how rarely failure comes about due to unexpected factors. ( )
1 vota ForrestFamily | Jul 23, 2007 |
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Saul Davidautor principaltodas las edicionescalculado
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A professional military historian analyzes the most spectacular cock-ups in military history caused by everything from incompetent generals to interfering politicians, hopeless planning and misplaced confidence. This graphic account has a great deal to say about the psychology of military incompetence and the reasons even the most well-oiled military machines inflict disaster upon themselves. It covers more than 30 engagements, beginning in AD9 with the massacre of Varus and his legions in the Black Forest; including nightmares of the Victorian Age such as the Retreat from Kabul; crushing reverses of two World Wars such as the Siege of Kut, Mussolini's invasion of Egypt and the fall of Singapore; many fiascos such as the Second Crusade, Colenso and the Yalu River; and continuing right up to the present with Goose Green in the Falklands and the Bravo Two Zero SAS patrol in the Gulf War. Contents: Unfit to command - aged, ill, inexperienced, indecisive or plain incompetent generals; meddling ministers - fiascos caused by politicians interfering with or overriding their generals; planning for trouble - military operations that were doomed to fail because of flaws in the planning stage; misplaced confidence - catastrophes brought about by a fatal underestimation of the enemy; a failure to perform - battles and campaigns lost because of the poor performance of the ordinary soldier.

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