Why do military commanders, most of them usually quite capable, fail at crucial moments of their careers? Robert Pois and Philip Langer -- one a historian, the other an educational psychologist -- study seven cases of military command failures, from Frederick the Great at Kunersdorf to Hitler's invasion of Russia. While the authors recognize the value of psychological theorizing, they do not believe that one method can cover all the individuals, battles, or campaigns under examination. Instead, they judiciously take a number of psycho-historical approaches in hope of shedding light on the behaviors of commanders during war. The other battles and commanders studied here are Napoleon in Russia, George B. McClellan's Peninsular Campaign, Robert E. Lee and Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg, John Bell Hood at the Battle of Franklin, Douglas Haig and the British command during World War I, "Bomber" Harris and the Strategic Bombing of Germany, and Stalingrad.
This book offers a fresh approach to the debate on the RAF's bomber offensive by using modern strategic leadership theory as an analytical tool to examine the campaign. In particular, it looks at the legality and legitimacy of the offensive and explores the key interfaces between the military leaders, the politicians and allies. It also looks at the major controversies in the aims and objectives of the campaign and the personalities involved. Modern literature from the leadership field is used to consider the challenges facing those charged with the formulation and execution of the offensive. Aspects of the senior leadership disputes are also dealt with in the context of the leadership literature and in the wider context of the strategic challenges then facing Churchill, Sinclair and Portal. A multi-disciplinary bent to the book enables the reader to move beyond the narrow confines of military considerations to the thorough investigation of the legality, legitimacy and morality of the offensive.
The third edition of Putting Psychology In Its Place builds on the previous two editions, introducing the history of Psychology and placing the discipline within a historical context. It aims both to answer and raise questions about the role of Psychology in modern society, by critically examining issues such as how Psychology developed, why psychoanalysis had such an impact and how the discipline has changed to deal with contemporary social issues such as religion, race and gender. This new third edition contains two completely new chapters: "Emotion: The Problem or the Whole Point?" and "Funding and Institutional Factors." An expanded epilogue has also been added which incorporates a discussion of the conceptual issues raised in the book and the volume now corresponds with the new BPS requirements for undergraduate courses. Other chapters, including those on Psychology and the Brain, Social Psychology and the Psychology of Madness, as well as those on gender, religion and race, have been substantially revised. Putting Psychology In Its Place is imaginatively written and accessible to all. It is an invaluable introductory text for undergraduate students of the history of Psychology and will also appeal to postgraduates, academics and anyone interested in Psychology or the history of science.
All would-be strategists would benefit by some formal education. However, for education in strategy to be well-directed, it needs to rest upon sound assumptions concerning the eternal nature yet ever shifting character, meaning, and function of strategy, as well as the range of behaviors required for effective strategic performance. The author emphasizes the necessity for strategic education to help develop the strategic approach, the way of thinking that can solve or illuminate strategic problems. He advises that such education should not strive for a spurious relevance by presenting a military variant of current affairs. The author believes that the strategist will perform better in today's world if he has mastered and can employ strategy's general theory.
The Pursuit of Mission Command in the U.S., British, and Israeli Armies
Author: Eitan Shamir
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Category: Political Science
On today's complex, fragmented, fast-moving battlefield, where combatants adapt constantly to exploit one-another's weaknesses, there is a demonstrable requirement for military commanders to devolve a high level of autonomy of decision-making and action to leaders on the ground. An effective model for doing this has existed for some time in the form of mission command and has been utilized by the U.S., Israeli, and British Armies—but with mixed success. This book examines in depth the experiences of the armed forces of each of these countries in implementing mission command, and reveals the key factors that have determined the success or failure of the implementation—factors such as the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), the spread of low-intensity conflicts and operations other than war, and differences in how military cultures interpret, articulate, and exercise the command function. It has significant implications for both the development of military doctrine and the training and education of tomorrow's military leaders.
Historians by Organization of American Historians. Meeting
Lee Moves North "A revisionist look at Lee's career . detailed and interesting." --Orlando Sentinel "Michael Palmer says that Robert E. Lee was 145;a man of military genius'--but only when he was reacting to a Union attack. When he analyzes Lee on the offensive, Palmer labels him a woefully inadequate general. Powerfully written, this no-holds-barred criticism of Lee the general will shake long-held perceptions of historians and buffs. Like this book or not, it is must reading." --John F. Marszalek, Mississippi State University author of Sherman: A Soldier's Passion for Order "A superb study--one that provides refreshingly new insight into the generalship of Robert E. Lee .a must for Civil War and military historians." --William N. Still Jr., coauthor of Why the South Lost "A unique and careful analysis of Lee's generalship …an excellent and persuasive consideration of the Marble Man." --Alan T. Nolan, author of Lee Considered Reconsidering a Confederate Legend . In a boldly revisionist look at the career, leadership capability, and decisive battles of the venerated General Robert E. Lee, prize-winning historian Michael Palmer delivers a riveting new perspective on one of the most compelling figures in United States history.
This assessment of the performance of the southern soldiers in the American Civil War of 1861 deals with every aspect of an army from its senior officer to the lowliest private, following every process as the soldier tried to adapt to military life, train, and overcome the enemy.
This book brings together experienced military leaders and researchers in the human sciences to offer current operational experience and scientific thought on the issue of military command, with the intention of raising awareness of the uniquely human aspects of military command. It includes chapters on the personal experiences of senior commanders, new concepts and treatises on command theory, and empirical findings from experimental studies in the field.
Despite the wealth of British Civil Wars studies, little work addresses the nature of military leadership effectiveness in terms of the eventual result -parliamentary victory. It is no longer sufficient to credit religion, economics, localism or constitutional concepts for the outcome without considering the role of effective military leadership. The study of human conflict illustrates a simple, immutable truth -the finest, most inspired or motivated, well-trained, disciplined or experienced force is quite like a modern cruise missile. Without effective guidance, it is no more than a collection of very expensive parts. For the general military history reader, the work provides a concise strategic and operational narrative of the British Civil Wars of 1642-51 in northern England and Scotland. For historians, it offers an additional causative explanation for ultimate parliamentary victory. As a study of effective military leadership, it proposes, through a case study analysis based on a framework of characteristics and behavior of specific commanders from the wildly successful to the abysmal failure, a model of effective military leadership for present and successive generations of military, naval and air officers at all levels of command.