This paper examines the strategic leadership competencies of British General William Howe during the American Revolution (1775-1778). During the American War of Independence, General Howe displayed periodic tactical brilliance and operational competence but consistent strategic ineptitude. After arriving in America, Howe was quickly thrust into the position of Commander-in-Chief of British Forces and General of North America. Howe’s lack of self-awareness, ineptness in managing the personalities of his subordinate commanders, personal biases, and lack of political savvy resulted in the strategic failure of the British war effort. Howe’s difficulty in transitioning from tactical, through operational to the strategic level provides a useful example as to the dramatically different challenges faced by current leaders as they prepare for and address similar challenges in our contemporary operational and strategic environment.
Leadership is an intensely studied subject, and a considerable number of models exist. By reviewing four leadership theories, two German, one British, and one American, a model developed that contained the enduring interrelated tenets of courage, judgment, determination, integrity, vision, and luck. George Washington displayed considerable ability in all these. He had tremendous courage both in battle and in his conviction of a victorious outcome of the war. His judgment above the tactical level was exceptional, and, from limited resources, he developed a standing army and a defensive military strategy, both of which became the cornerstone of victory. He continually frustrated the British. Throughout all the stresses of the war, Washington remained a man of integrity while pursuing a vision of a free and fair republic. His lack of resources forced him to be unconventional. This he achieved by seeking out as much information as possible, so that every favorable opportunity could be exploited and every unfavorable one avoided. William Howe displayed a limited ability in all the aforementioned tenets. Although brave, he lacked the moral conviction required to prosecute an aggressive military campaign. His tactical judgment was good, if ponderous, but he failed to develop this into operational or strategic success. In particular, he failed to focus to destroy Washingtons army. Consequently, his efforts lacked tenacity, and he became distracted while showing limited integrity by setting a poor example. His focus became purely his army, rather than his area of responsibility as a whole. His limited vision was consistently complicated by his dual role as both military leader and diplomat, and he failed to address either with vigor. His frustration saw him use slow and conventional tactics which were unsuited to the circumstances, while he consistently failed to exploit his opportunities.
From the author of Triage and Searching for Augusta, comes a history of love, hate, jealousy, and revenge between brothers and sisters during times of war through the ages. Journey back through time to discover remarkable accounts of parents who waved off their sons and daughters, never knowing if they would ever see them again. One mother saw no less than ten of her sons between the ages of eighteen and thirty-seven, dispatched to the frontline in the First World War. The biggest “real” band of brothers that ever served their country, but to discover how many made it back and who this dear lady was, you will have to read the rest. War is completely indiscriminate when it comes to inflicting suffering and heartbreak on families, particularly when one’s own blood takes up arms to fight with, and in some cases against their own kin. These stories recount some of the prime examples of families divided and united in some of the direst conflict. When British police discovered the body of a dead woman, who locals knew as the “Crazy Cat Lady” they found a small bundle of possessions that revealed a truly incredible story of two amazing sisters who served behind enemy lines as elite Special Operations Agents (SOE) during World War II.
“The world’s most fascinating battles and how they were won or lost, according to the Chinese sage.”—Kirkus Reviews Imagine if Robert E. Lee had withdrawn to higher ground at Gettysburg instead of sending Pickett uphill against the entrenched Union line. Or if Napoléon, at Waterloo, had avoided mistakes he’d never made before. The advice that would have changed these crucial battles was written down centuries before Christ was born—but unfortunately for Lee, Napoléon, and Hitler, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War only became widely available in the West in the mid-twentieth century. As Bevin Alexander shows, Sun Tzu’s maxims often boil down to common sense, in a particularly pure and clear form. When Alexander frames these modern battles against 2,400-year-old precepts, the degree of overlap is stunning.
With more than 1,300 cross-referenced entries covering every aspect of the American Revolution, this definitive scholarly reference covers the causes, course, and consequences of the war and the political, social, and military origins of the nation. • Contains more than 1,300 A–Z entries on various political, social, and military topics connected with the American Revolution • Features contributions from more than 120 distinguished scholars and independent historians from a variety of disciplines • Introduces entries with essays on the war's underlying causes and the events that catalyzed its outbreak, a synopsis of the war, and an analysis of its long-term impact • Includes key documents relevant to the period, including Common Sense, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, eyewitness battle accounts, speeches, and treaties • Supplements entries with hundreds of illustrations depicting colonial and Revolutionary America, plus dozens of maps depicting major geopolitical relationships, large-scale military operations, and individual battles on land and sea • Addresses all major Native American tribes involved in the conflict and their role in the war
This Guide to the Study and Use of Military History is designed to foster an appreciation of the value of military history and explain its uses and the resources available for its study. It is not a work to be read and lightly tossed aside, but one the career soldier should read again or use as a reference at those times during his career when necessity or leisure turns him to the contemplation of the military past.
From Filipino guerilla leader Emilio Aguinaldo to British naval officer James Lucas Yeo, 223 entries offer biographical information on people who have taken up arms against the United States government.