Finally, the Australian military explained to the rest of us: It’s a sentimental outfit
It is not surprising that a style of warfare characterized by aggression, individual initiative, and a distinctly impertinent attitude towards authority was celebrated.
“It is not surprising that a style of warfare characterized by aggression, individual initiative, and a distinctly impertinent attitude towards authority was celebrated.… According to the national folklore, the Australian Army has been successful because of the extraordinarily good character of its fighting men, not its staffs and generals.” —Australian military historian Russell Parkin, writing in the October issue of the Journal of Military History.
My thought: Many countries seem to feel this way. What isn’t said is that this view is extremely romantic, and — when held by military members — probably unprofessional. It is dangerous because it tends to underestimate the crucial nature of competence in command and staff. Elan goes a long way, but not as far as coordinated close air support, good intelligence feedback, and dependable logistics. For more on this, read Roy Appleman’s East of Chosin, or my summary in The Generals of the U.S. Army’s troubles in that campaign.
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