|View single post by Texas Defender|
|Posted: Sat Apr 17th, 2010 09:13 pm||
I didn't go to West Point, but I knew some who did.They tended to have a sense of superiority, and they had indeed received a very fine education. But that was no guarantee that they would be successful.
Military officers in the stress of battle tend to react pretty much as they have been trained to. But it is not always enough to know the "rules." A good commander must also have a feel for the exceptions to the rules.
The types who are advanced most quickly in peacetime often don't turn out to be successful in wartime, especially if it has been a long time since the last war. In the Civil War (as in World War II), it took some time to separate the wheat from the chaff when it came to those in leadership positions. The unsuccessful were soon relegated to rearward positions or to retirement.
Often those who were successful were the "oddballs" who weren't regarded highly during peacetime. As long as they were successful, they were quickly advanced up the levels of command. Often they were successful because they tended to be unconventional.
Because of their success, their eccentricities were tolerated. But when the emergency of war ended, many of the oddballs could then be dispensed with. The system no longer had to put up with them. General Patton can be seen as an example of this. Being who he was, he quickly irritated those in power and soon after the shooting stopped, he was relieved of command of the Third Army.
Last edited on Sat Apr 17th, 2010 09:16 pm by Texas Defender