previous post next post  

More scalps, please.

Thomas Ricks finally sees the light shining inside the drum I've been beating for years.

Howinthehell during the decade of this war, have there not been more general officers cashiered for lack of success?

It doesn't have to be punitive.

Not every All-State football player makes it through the Combine.  Not every stud rookie makes it in the pros.

But not many generals get canned for failure to perform.  They mostly get canned for unignorable criminal behavior, or monumental lapses in judgement regarding dollars or sex.

But not for simply not.being.good.enough.

They protect themselves well, do the GOFOs.

More scalps, please.

12 Comments

What is often forgotten is that Terry Allen was later put in command of the 104th Infantry Division in the United States.  This division is often cited as the best trained division in World War II.  They became expert in night attacks, and when committed to combat were a superb fighting force.

Allen was too close to his beloved Big Red One, too close to his troops to impose needed discipline and too fond of drinking whiskey with his ADC, Teddy Roosevelt.  They both fared better in their next jobs.
 
General Fredendall, relieved of 2nd Corps after Kasserine, came back stateside and ran what we would now call "the institutional army" and did fine at that, even as he remained an irascible ass.
 
One wonders...if GEN Casey had been fired and sent off to retirement as a result of his less than stellar performance commanding MNF-I, and thus not become CSA, might we have been spared the humiliation of the ASU?

Of course, in large part, you'd be firing generals for operational level failures, when the truly important failures lie at the strategic level, and we can only fire the guy responsible for that every four years...
 
 The Old Army was a well integrated force because so many of the senior officers new each other well. They didn't hesitate to remove someone that didn't perform, like Fredendall, or were SOBs like Allen. They had a good idea where they would fit in.

Alas, the perfumed princes we have now don't fit in anywhere except teas and, maybe, the O-Club. I have little use for the Adm. Harveys of the world who see PC has the highest value our services have.
 
Greetings:

And the same Congress that gives us these GOFOs has given us tax-cheat Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury and Clinton corruptocrat Eric Holder as Attorney General.  Multitaskers, they are.
 
 O'Club, Quartermaster? Where have you been. Where IS that O'Club you refer to? As far as I know, they were abolished, at least Stateside, twenty years ago.

BTW, I still pay dues of $3/month to belong to the Club at Westchester ANG Base, but I think it's all-ranks, if it still exists. I haven't visited it, and only pay the dues so that in travels, I could actually USE a Club for something I might need.

Benefits for retired have gone completely to hell. If I use military transient quarters as a retiree, I now pay at least 90% of what it costs to rent a motel room off-base. I don't dare look up and see what a room at the Hale Koa on Oahu would be, it was $104/night twenty years ago for an O-4.
 

The demise of the clubs.

The fact that we're much better paid, have cars, and most of us have families these days, combined with the war on alcohol, caused things to change.

 
John, agree with much better paid -at least compared to 1971!  It helped that I spent a lot of time in an area where Yen was king, and it was almost 300 yen to the dollar, IIRC.
 
This reminds me of a story I read somewhere. Some British General, either Wavell or Alexander, was fired from his job in North Africa and sent home. It seems there was an enlisted guy in the same airplane who tried to console him, telling the General that he was sure the General had done the best he could. The General came right back at him, saying something like, " A General is not paid to do the best he can: a General is paid to win."
 
Yep, Armorer, it is sad, these days. I remember reading stories about the fiftieth anniversary of Gettysburg, at which all the old gray-bearded survivors of both sides who could get there converged on the place. They seem to have had a good time talking and reminiscing, after which they adjourned to a bar at the local hotel, which they absolutely and compendiously destroyed. A drunken old sojer can do a lot of damage with his hook and his crutch.
 
JTG
Probably this one:  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Auchinleck


Cheers
 
Alexander ended up in overall command in Sicily. Everyone prior to Montgomery was removed from command. Wavell reappeared in India, but don't know where Auchinleck went. I might if I read the article linked by J.M. but I have to go back to work shortly.