Bulldog Spirit…

“Except for the scientific arms, engineers, and artillery, the function of British officers was to lead their men and, if necessary, to die well; the bulldog spirit was more important than technical expertise.” James L. Stokebury (1981) Military Leadership. Advertisements Advertisements

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Inarticulate Thoughts

“Only the officer who dedicates his thought and energy to his men can convert into coherent military force their inarticulate thoughts about their country; nor is any other in a position to stimulate their desire to be of service to it.” S.L.A. Marshal, Men Against Fire, 1947.

Professional Military Leadership…

“Effective, professional military leadership requires that certain standards of officer behaviour be met. Officers’ attitudes, actions, and abilities contribute to the formation of unit integrity. At a very minimum, these standards do not permit soldiers to be ‘used’ in pursuit of an officer’s career.” Richard A. Gabriel and Paul L. Savage (1978) Crisis in Command:… Read More

What Did Officers Actually Do?

“In return for their privileges, what did officers actually do? The simple answer, at least for regimental officers, is that they gave leadership, took responsibility, and set an example, if necessary, by dying. … Implicit was the assumption that the officer would be the first to die in battle. Officers were the first out of… Read More

Fail in his duty…

“On learning of the mutiny (Salerno, 1943), Field‐Marshal Montgomery said that although the Mutineers’ actions were quite inexcusable and could not be condoned in any way, ‘where soldiers get into trouble of this nature, it is nearly always the fault of some officer who has failed in his duty.’” J.M. Bereton, The British Soldier; A… Read More

The Real & Essential Fighting Unit

“And the platoon is the truly characteristic component of an army; it is the lowest unit habitually commanded by a commissioned officer; it is the real and essential fighting unit, whose action conditions that of the other arms and formations; it is a little world in which the relations between the led and the leader,… Read More

Superb Front-line Officer…

“In one attack our company commander, Bertinck, falls. He was one of those superb front-line officers who are foremost in every hot place.” E.M. Remarque (1898 to 1970), from All Quiet on the Western Front Erich Maria Remarque, pseudonym of Erich Paul Remark, was a German novelist who is chiefly remembered as the author of… Read More