The Anatomy of Failure in War
Eliot A. Cohen and John Gooch
Military historians Eliot Cohen and John Gooch, by examining the causes of military failure, write an important "thinking outside the box" book. They examine and discount traditional theories such as incompetent leadership, leadership caught up in a military mindset, authoritarianism, and collective military incompetence. Instead, they put forward a theory based on organizational issues such as failure to learn, failure to anticipate, failure to adapt, and failure to take advantage of opportunities. They apply this theory to several concrete examples such as American antisubmarine warfare in 1942, Israel defense on the Suez front and the Golan Heights in 1973, the British at Gallipoli in 1915, the defeat of the Eighth Army in Korea in 1950 and the failure of the French Army and Air Force in spring, 1940. The book is interesting and well written and is useful reading for those in business and government as well as the military. Brewers and brewery owners might find this an inspiring read.
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