Catastrophe 1914

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

While reading Catastrophe 1914, by Max Hastings, Vox Day has noticed a few things:

  1. Civilian leadership usually appoints the wrong commanders.
  2. The main thing lacking in military leaders, from the highest level to the lowest, is a willingness to accept the risk of defeat. Nothing assures failure like indecisiveness.
  3. Advances in communications technology increases the amount of civilian interference into war operations.
  4. Civilian leadership seldom has a clear objective in mind.
  5. Military commanders regard “the book” as an intrinsic excuse and therefore have a tendency to cling to it.
  6. A historian’s take on a given war is strongly influenced by his nationalist sympathies.
  7. The temptation to interfere with a strategic plan once it is put into action appears to be almost overwhelming.


  1. Rollory says:

    There are reasons why nations with a warrior aristocracy tend to be able to impose upon those around them.

  2. Cassander says:

    Before 100 or so years ago, was there any country that didn’t have a warrior aristocracy?

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