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Most generals are eaten up by their own "inflated egos." Then they're captivated by the power they acquire. Those two qualities, more often than not, ensnare the individual, leaving them less than successful on the field of battle. The only test of success on the field of battle is VICTORY!!!!! That is achieved by CRUSHING and DESTROYING the enemy. Battles of that nature are long gone. The VICTORIOUS MIND SET is no longer an acceptable way of thinking, and thus real victory will always be elusive. To quote the second in command to General Maximus in the movie Gladiator, "a people should know when they're conquered."
The next problem area with which generals have to deal is; seeking good council and following it from subordinates. This, in my opinion, was one of Gen. Lee's problems. If their subordinates prove to be less than stellar, they fail to eliminate them from command, on the spot if nessessary.
The biggest problem of all however is having to contend with half-assed, idiotic, meddling politicians. That in itself is a battlefield where, again, the cards are stacked against them. Good generals must have (1) wisdom, (2) strength, and strength of his own convictions, (3) courage; especially the courage TO SAY NO to the politicians, and the COURAGE TO RESIGN!!!!!
 

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Cause I started from the rear of the posting list. Sometimes it's interesting to work ones way backwards. Then again, it may be some old repressed Jewish gene that's trying to burst forth and assert itself.
 

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Yup, it's an OLD thread - but a COOL old thread!

Two things - one is that I think they called General Mac Aurthur "Bug Out Doug" for when he left the Phillipines for Austrailia when the Japanese were about to take control. Second was that I wasn't even born yet - but from what my elders told me his wife loaded a cargo plane with household goods for evacuation - when that plane could have evacuated soldiers.

Back to the old topic - ..... The Confederacy had a great number of outstanding Generals - the top two of course would have to be Generals Lee and Jackson.
Gen. Lee was a good gen. however, he had a couple of bad leadership faults, both of which came to the forefront at Gettysburg. (1) He failed to take into account the failed tactics of previous battle scenarios at which he was the victor, thus he doomed his troops to the same failures his enemy had made. Case in point: Fredricksburg/making a frontal attack on a fixed stone wall fortification, without flanking forces (very stupid.) (2) Lee's second failure was not taking into account the advise of his proven battle commanders; Bragg, Longstreet, Armistead, Pickett. They all wanted to incorporate flanking movements. (3) Disregarded or failed to know how, a subordinate would function under fire when given an order. Case in point: Gen. Ewell. He was Stonewall's replacement. Lee knew from past battles how Ewell would respond in the attach mode. Ewell followed orders precisely. When ordered to achieve an objective, he accomplished that objective. He was like a bull dog. Rarely if ever did Ewell pursue the enemy or develop the battle field beyond his issued orders. This can be seen in his attach on Winchester,Va.
When given the order to assault Culp's Hill, Lee's orders were vague at best, boiling down to; take the hill , if it's not to much trouble.(my paraphrase.) Had Lee said, "Take that hill period!!! Ewell would have taken the hill. Unfortunately, darkness was setting in, and Ewell decided to fight the next day.
Had Culp's hill been taken, Lee, would have been victorious, For the North's entire defensive line would have been exposed to artillery fire lengthwise and the south's problem of over firing the target would have been negated.
(4) Lee was to soft with his subordinates. Generals Harry Heath, and Jeb. Stuart should have been relieved on the spot for failing to obey orders and dereliction of duty respectively. Heath launched an attach, when ordered not to do so. Stuart was out and about trying to out class the "Boy General Custer" instead of screening for the infantry.
 
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